Feed aggregator

  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.

Symptomless spread of new coronavirus questioned as outbreak mushrooms

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/04/2020 - 12:56pm
A person stares ominously at camera while putting on goggles.

Enlarge / Information officer wearing protective mask, gloves, and goggle, as prevention of novel coronavirus epidemic, at international arrival gate of Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia on February 4, 2020. (credit: Getty | Nur Photo)

The Chinese businesswoman who spread the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to four colleagues in Germany while reportedly experiencing no symptoms of the infection actually did have symptoms, according to a news report in Science.

The woman’s case, published January 30 in The New England Journal of Medicine, was considered the most clearly documented evidence that the novel viral infection could spread silently from asymptomatic people. Public health experts have been particularly anxious about such transmission because it could potentially ease disease spread and negate outbreak control efforts, including screening travelers for symptoms, such as fever.

“The fact that asymptomatic persons are potential sources of 2019-nCoV infection may warrant a reassessment of transmission dynamics of the current outbreak,” the authors of the NEJM article concluded.

Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Dealmaster: Get a wireless pair of Anker noise-cancelling headphones for $40

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/04/2020 - 12:20pm
 Get a wireless pair of Anker noise-cancelling headphones for $40

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

If you're looking for a pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones but don't want to shell out the big bucks, today's Dealmaster should be of interest. Our roundup today is headlined by a joint low price on Anker's Soundcore Life Q20 Bluetooth headphones, which are down to $40 from an already affordable street price of $60.

Though we don't have a formal review of the Soundcore Life Q20 on Ars, we have tested them for future gift and buying guides and can verify that they're good value for a low-cost set of noise-cancelling cans. To be clear, they're still a clear step (or three) down from premium pairs like Sony's WH-1000XM3 or Bose's Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, particularly with regard to the strength of their active noise cancellation. They just aren't going to cut out as much noise in a plane or a busy office. Their bass-heavy sound isn't as nuanced as those higher-end options, either. But they're far from bad in either regard. They're comfortable for a headphone in any price range, and their battery gets more than 30 hours on a charge, which is excellent. If you want a comfy pair of headphones that can still provide decent ANC in a pinch, you could do way worse for less than $50, particularly in a market where sub-$100 options are usually worth avoiding altogether.

If you don't need a new set of headphones, we have plenty more deals on Logitech mice, the latest Pokemon games, lots of Apple devices, and more. You can check out the full list below.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Microsoft’s failures to renew: Teams, Hotmail, and Hotmail.co.uk

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/04/2020 - 12:02pm
This is the face of SSL certificate renewal failure.

Enlarge / This is the face of SSL certificate renewal failure. (credit: Microsoft)

Yesterday, Microsoft Teams—a combination instant messaging, chat, and collaboration package competing with Slack and the new version of Google Hangouts—was inaccessible for several hours, from approximately 8:30am to 11:30am ET.

By 10:30am, Microsoft acknowledged on Twitter that the outage was the result of an expired SSL certificate. Approximately an hour later, they had secured a replacement certificate and began deploying it in production, with service widely restored by Monday afternoon.

This isn't Microsoft's first major public embarrassment due to a service renewal failure. The company was responsible for one of the most famous "oops, we accidentally the whole domain" incidents in 1999, when it allowed the domain registry for passport.com to expire. The domain was responsible for authentication for a variety of Microsoft services, including Hotmail.com and Microsoft Messenger.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

“Robust,” “scalable” not words that apply to Iowa Dem Caucus app [Updated]

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/04/2020 - 10:48am
Volunteers tally votes during the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus at the Southridge Mall in Des Moines, Iowa, US, on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. The app used to submit the results turned out not to be seamless, scalable or robust.

Enlarge / Volunteers tally votes during the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus at the Southridge Mall in Des Moines, Iowa, US, on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. The app used to submit the results turned out not to be seamless, scalable or robust. (credit: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Iowa's Democratic Party turned to an untested software platform tied to a mobile application to streamline reporting from its presidential caucuses last night. What could possibly go wrong?

In a collapse that echoed the failure of a canvassing application used by Sen. Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential bid, the caucus reporting app repeatedly hung as precinct leaders attempted to submit returns. A backup hotline was jammed for hours. And as of the morning after the caucuses, the full results are still not tallied. The Iowa Democratic Party has promised at least 50 percent of results by the end of the day.

The application was built on technology provided by Shadow Inc.—a technology company that received seed funding from the nonprofit ACRONYM.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

RIP Stadia? Nvidia’s newly launched cloud-gaming service is (mostly) a stunner

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/04/2020 - 9:30am
RIP Stadia? Nvidia’s newly launched cloud-gaming service is (mostly) a stunner

Enlarge

Imagine it: a video game streaming service that lets you log on to the cloud, access games you already own on multiple storefronts (including free-to-play fare), and play them on any Windows, Mac, or Android device. You'd need nothing more than a broadband connection. You'd get snappy, low-latency performance, including tolerable stats on your router's 5Ghz wireless band. And you could access all of this for free.

All of this was what we had hoped to get out of Google Stadia, which arrived in November with promises of a tantalizing "Netflix for games" model. But that streaming service's launch was immediately hobbled with device restrictions, pricing confusion, and a terribly limited (and closed) games library. Instead, the above description comes courtesy of an utter surprise, launching today in both free and paid tiers: Nvidia's GeForce Now.

After a months-long closed beta, GeForce Now opens to the public sometime today (perhaps the moment this article goes live). Download its app on a supported device, then hook up your preferred control method (gamepad, mouse+keyboard) and connect to one of Nvidia's servers. You'll boot into a virtualized Windows PC on the cloud, which then loads one of "hundreds" of supported games as sold by Steam, Epic Games Store, Battle.net, uPlay, the Bethesda Launcher, and Origin. From there, the server's gameplay feed and your button presses go back and forth so that your low-powered device can stream high-end 3D video games.

Read 39 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Alphabet finally reveals YouTube revenue—$15 billion in 2019

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/04/2020 - 9:24am
The lobby of Google's new campus and office in Singapore.

Enlarge / The lobby of Google's new campus and office in Singapore. (credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to dealing with shareholders, has Google’s parent, Alphabet, turned over a new leaf?

The decision of co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to step away from day-to-day involvement in the tech-holding company last month stirred hopes on Wall Street that Alphabet would take on more of the trappings of a conventional company when it comes to dealing with shareholders.

So it was notable that, with his first quarterly earnings report on Monday, new boss Sundar Pichai gave Wall Street something it had long wanted: a look under the covers, with a new level of disclosure about the group’s YouTube and cloud computing divisions.

Read 24 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Nightmare Google Photos bug sent private videos to the wrong people

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/04/2020 - 9:05am
Nightmare Google Photos bug sent private videos to the wrong people

Enlarge (credit: SOPA Images / Contributor)

Google has disclosed a nightmare of a security and privacy bug affecting Google Photos users: for a time, it was possible for private videos to be downloaded by unrelated users. The bug happened through Google Takeout, a service that lets you download archives of your Google Data. Apparently, the wrong videos were included in these user-generated archives, resulting in the users getting local copies of somebody else's videos.

Google has been sending emails to affected Takeout users. In the email, which was first spotted by 9to5Google, Google writes, "Some videos in Google Photos were incorrectly exported to unrelated user's archives. One or more videos in your Google Photos account was affected by this issue. If you downloaded your data, it may be incomplete, and it may contain videos that are not yours." Google writes that the bug happened "between November 21, 2019 and November 25, 2019."

Whoa, what? @googlephotos? pic.twitter.com/2cZsABz1xb

— Jon Oberheide (@jonoberheide) February 4, 2020

While this message is directed to Google Takeout users who tried to download their own data and accidentally got someone else's, we've yet to see a message directed to the "unrelated users" whose videos ended up in the archive. We've asked Google if it plans to notify users who have had their private videos exposed, and we'll update this article if the company responds.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Check out the first-ever electric car designed by Porsche, the 1898 P1

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/04/2020 - 7:11am

With the Porsche Taycan finally making its way to customers, we thought it would be worth looking back and remembering Porsche's first battery-electric car. In this case, that means all the way back to 1898 and the Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model. Thankfully, Mr. Porsche himself referred to the car simply as the P1.

As a young man, Ferdinand Porsche was fascinated by electricity and chose not to follow in the footsteps of his small-town tinsmith father. In 1893, he moved to Vienna at the age of 18 to begin an apprenticeship at electrical firm Bela Egger & Co. while simultaneously enrolling as a student at the Imperial Technical University in Reichenberg.

This ambition and hard work paid off, as he was given a management position at Egger & Co. within just a few years of starting as an apprentice. 1897 was a milestone year for Mr. Porsche: now the head of the company's testing department, he built an electric wheel-hub motor, he met with carriage manufacturer Jacob Lohner & Co., and he began working on an electric car. Ferdinand Porsche was still just 22 years old.

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Technology glitches prevent same-night release of Iowa caucus results

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 11:14pm
Voters hold up presidential preference cards during the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus at the Southridge Mall in Des Moines.

Enlarge / Voters hold up presidential preference cards during the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus at the Southridge Mall in Des Moines. (credit: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Iowa caucuses are the first official event of the 2020 race for the Democratic nomination. Traditionally, results from the Iowa caucuses start being released shortly after the meetings wrap up around 9pm CT. But people who tuned in to see the results this evening were disappointed, as technical glitches delayed the release of results by hours. As I write this around midnight CT, there are still no numbers available.

It's not yet clear exactly what has happened, but early indications suggest that technical problems with the Democratic Party's reporting system are to blame. In particular, a new smartphone app for precincts to report back to party headquarters apparently isn't working properly.

A caucus isn't like a normal election where the candidate with the most votes wins. Instead, voters at each precinct site hold a meeting to select delegates to represent them at county and state meetings of the Democratic party. Voters back delegates who support their preferred presidential candidate, so votes for delegates are effectively votes for presidential candidates. But the distribution of voters at each precinct site can impact who gets the most delegates.

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New ransomware doesn’t just encrypt data. It also meddles with critical infrastructure

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 5:50pm
Stock photo of energy plant at night.

Enlarge (credit: An Energy Company / Flickr)

Over the past five years, ransomware has emerged as a vexing menace that has shut down factories, hospitals, and local municipalities and school districts around the world. In recent months, researchers have caught ransomware doing something that's potentially more sinister: intentionally tampering with industrial control systems that dams, electric grids, and gas refineries rely on to keep equipment running safely.

A ransomware strain discovered last month and dubbed Ekans contains the usual routines for disabling data backups and mass-encrypting files on infected systems. But researchers at security firm Dragos found something else that has the potential to be more disruptive: code that actively seeks out and forcibly stops applications used in industrial control systems, which is usually abbreviated as ICS. Before starting file-encryption operations, the ransomware kills processes listed by process name in a hard-coded list within the encoded strings of the malware.

In all, Ekans kills 64 processes, including those spawned by human-machine interfaces from Honeywell, the Proficy Historian from General Electric, and licensing servers from GE Fanuc. The same 64 processes, it turns out, are targeted in a version of the MegaCortex ransomware. That version first came to light in August.

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How do we test for coronavirus, anyway?

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 3:30pm
Image of a man gesturing behind a lectern.

Enlarge / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield speaks during a press conference about the 2019-nCoV outbreak. (credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

As the recently discovered coronavirus has rapidly spread beyond its origins in China, health authorities around the world have needed to quickly develop testing capabilities. In the United States, that task has been performed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which has published its methodology and is currently in the process of applying for an emergency waiver to allow medical-testing facilities to perform these tests.

But if you're not familiar with the tools of molecular biology, the CDC's testing procedure might as well be written in another language. What follows is a description of how to go from an unknown virus to a diagnostic test in less than a month.

Starting from nothing

When Chinese health authorities were first confronted with the outbreak, it had a disturbing familiarity. They had already dealt with a similar set of symptoms during the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s and had seen the spread of MERS a decade later. Thanks to these and related viruses, we already had a detailed description of the structure of the typical coronavirus genome as early as 2005. That knowledge would undoubtedly prove essential for the first step in developing a rapid diagnostic test: characterization of the genome of the new virus, 2019-nCoV.

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West Virginia is expanding its controversial smartphone voting push

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 2:20pm
West Virginia is expanding its controversial smartphone voting push

Enlarge (credit: Ezra Bailey / Getty Images)

West Virginia's legislature last week passed legislation allowing disabled voters to cast votes by smartphone, sending the bill to the desk of Governor Jim Justice. Justice is expected to sign the legislation, according to NBC.

It's a decision that alarms many computer security experts, who say that the Internet and smartphones are too vulnerable to hackers.

"This is incredibly unwise," Georgetown computer scientist Matt Blaze told NBC. "Mobile voting systems completely run counter to the overwhelming consensus of every expert in the field."

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FBI catches hacker that stole Nintendo’s secrets for years

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 2:06pm
Overwatch running on the Nintendo Switch.

Enlarge (credit: Samuel Axon)

A 21-year-old California man has pleaded guilty to hacking Nintendo's servers multiple times since 2016, using phishing techniques to gain early access to information about the company's plans.

Ryan S. Hernandez, who went by RyanRocks online, worked with an unnamed associate to phish employee login credentials for proprietary Nintendo servers, according to an indictment filed in Washington state federal court in December and unsealed over the weekend. Hernandez used that unauthorized access to "download thousands of files, including proprietary developer tools and non-public information" about upcoming Nintendo products and "access pirated and unreleased video games."

That information (and discussion of Nintendo's internal server vulnerabilities) was leaked to the public via Twitter, Discord, and a chat room called "Ryan's Underground Hangout," prosecutors said. At one point, "RyanRocks" drew at least a little infamy in the Nintendo hacking community for allegedly leaking a Nintendo Software Development Kit that had a piece of hidden Remote Access Tool malware added to it.

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How to virtually block a road: Take a walk with 99 phones

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 12:52pm

Ninety-nine used smartphones, rolling down a sunny street...


It turns out, if you're creative enough, you can use one of the most common of childhood toys to make Google Maps display false real-time data. All you need is a little red wagon—and a hundred cheap smartphones.

The little red wagon full of phones is the idea of German artist Simon Weckert, whose projects focus on "hidden layers" in technology and examine the social and moral effects of the modern electronics-based lifestyle.

Google Maps determines congestion by gathering the location and motion speed of phones in a given area. Generally speaking, those phones are going to be in the road because they're with drivers, inside vehicles, and so measuring the phones' speed is a reasonably decent proxy for measuring vehicle speed. Those data points, aggregated, make a road look green on the map if traffic seems to be moving smoothly, or they look red on the map if traffic appears to be severe. When traffic is severe, the map's navigation software will reroute drivers around the congestion when possible.

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Meet Sno*Drift, the USA’s premier winter rally

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 11:48am

There's something special about a winter rally, from the snow-covered forest views to the crisp, chilly winds—and, of course, the colorful cars hurtling past snowbanks at 100 miles per hour. Scandinavian countries have long enjoyed a winter rally tradition, which includes Finland's inimitable Arctic Lapland Rally and the long-running Rally Sweden. But the USA has also staked its own modest claim to winter rally. Sno*Drift, held in Atlanta, Michigan, is the American Rally Association's first race of the calendar year and starts the season off with a bang, as drivers face freezing rain, icy roads, and even raging bonfires—all while racing in street-legal cars.

"Winter conditions are the great equalizer," said Mark Rokus, one of this year's competitors who chatted with me while proudly showing off his '85 Volkswagen GTI during Parc Expose. "There are a lot of cars here with more horsepower than mine," he said, "but in conditions like these, what matters most is being able to drive it into a corner without scaring yourself to death!"

Unlike European rallies, Sno*Drift does not allow studded tires, making for particularly grueling conditions as drivers struggle for grip heading into each turn. "The main reason for this rule is that we run on state roads," said Alex Berger, who served as chairman of this year's Sno*Drift. "In the state of Michigan, you need special permissions to do that, and we're trying to minimize our impact on the community."

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Goop accused of more deceptive health claims, violating court order

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 11:31am
Gwyneth Paltrow attends the "In Goop Health" Summit on June 9, 2018 in Culver City, California.

Enlarge / Gwyneth Paltrow attends the "In Goop Health" Summit on June 9, 2018 in Culver City, California. (credit: Getty | Phillip Faraone)

Gwyneth Paltrow’s contextual commerce company Goop is still making more than a dozen false and misleading health claims about the medical products and nutritional supplements it sells, according to a complaint letter from the nonprofit advertising watchdog Truth in Advertising, Inc.

The bogus health claims are not just potential hazards to consumers, they are direct violations of a court order that bars Goop from making such false and misleading claims, the watchdog alleges.

That court order was part of a legal settlement Goop entered in September 2018 to resolve a lawsuit brought by 10 California District Attorney offices. The state prosecutors alleged that Paltrow’s “wellness empire” was making several unsubstantiated medical claims about their products. Specifically, the prosecutors noted that Goop claimed without evidence that its infamous vaginal Jade Egg “could balance hormones, regulate menstrual cycles, prevent uterine prolapse, and increase bladder control” and that a blend of essential oils (for oral consumption or for adding to bathwater) could help prevent depression.

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Record labels want to ask potential jurors: Do you read Ars Technica?

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 11:15am
Illustration of a person's hands holding up a vinyl record, which has an Ars Technica logo.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

Music-industry lawyers plan to ask potential jurors in a piracy case whether they read Ars Technica.

"Have you ever read or visited Ars Technica or TorrentFreak?" is one of 40 voir dire questions that plaintiffs propose to ask prospective jurors in their case against Grande Communications, an Internet service provider accused of aiding its customers' piracy, according to a court filing on Friday. TorrentFreak pointed out the juror question in an article yesterday.

Grande was sued in April 2017 by the three major labels, namely Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Records. The case is in US District Court for the Western District of Texas.

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The end of BlackBerry phones: TCL will cease sales in August 2020

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 10:50am

BlackBerry is quitting the phone business—again. You might recall BlackBerry quit manufacturing smartphones back in 2016, but it licensed its brand name to the Chinese smartphone corporation TCL. TCL started pumping out BlackBerry-branded devices—some of which were QWERTY equipped and some of which were shameless rebadgings of existing TCL phones. TCL's Zombie BlackBerry plan apparently wasn't working too well, though, since now that's dead, too.

Today, BlackBerry Mobile posted what amounts to an amicable breakup note on Twitter, saying that TCL's license to the BlackBerry brand would expire August 31, 2020, at which point the two companies would go their separate ways. Once the agreement expires, TCL will have "no further rights to design, manufacture, or sell any new BlackBerry mobile devices," though the company would still be on the hook for supporting existing devices until August 31, 2022. With no other manufacturers lined up, it sounds like BlackBerry-branded phones will be dead for good.

We've seen many smartphone brands slowly die out over the years, but the expiration of a license sounds like it's going to lead to the unique situation of a clean, decisive execution. What happens if there are leftover TCL BlackBerry phones? Do they get buried in the desert?

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Review: It’s a wonderful afterlife in The Good Place’s bittersweet finale

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 10:16am

We have bid a tearful farewell to The Good Place, NBC's hilariously inventive, yet thoughtful, take on the afterlife. The show delivered rich characters and plenty of laughs, but it also challenged us to ponder deeper questions of what it really means to be a good person. Consistently intelligent and insightful, particularly about human foibles, each season held enough surprising turns and unexpected twists to keep a typical sitcom running for twice as many seasons. But The Good Place was never a typical sitcom. I'm pleased to report that in the series finale, the writers didn't blink while grappling with (among other things) the troubling implications of an infinite afterlife for finite humans.

(Spoilers for first three and a half seasons below. Major spoilers from the last half of S4 are below the second gallery. We'll give you a heads up when we get there.)

In the pilot episode, Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) woke up in a generically pleasant waiting room and discovered she was dead and in "the Good Place." Neighborhood architect Michael (Ted Danson) explained the afterlife point system and introduced her to Janet (D'Arcy Carden), an AI guide who serves as the Good Place's main source of information and can pretty much give residents anything they desire (however ludicrous). Eleanor also met her "soulmate": a moral philosophy professor named Chidi (William Jackson Harper). Once they were alone, Eleanor confessed to Chidi that she'd been admitted to paradise by mistake and asked him to help her become a better person—no small feat, since by her own admission, Eleanor was a "trash bag" of a human being back on Earth.

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Archaeologists put stone tools through modern engineering tests

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 10:07am
It turns out the robot uprising will be equipped with (checks notes) sharp chert flakes.

Enlarge / It turns out the robot uprising will be equipped with (checks notes) sharp chert flakes.

A team of archaeologists recently applied high-tech engineering tests to stone tools, and the results suggest that even very early members of our genus, like Homo habilis, knew how to select rocks with the right combination of sharpness and durability for the work at hand.

Species on the hominin family tree have made and used stone tools for about 2.6 million years that we know of; you could call it a family tradition. At Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania, sediment layers dating back to about 1.8 million years ago contain simple stone tools—the handiwork of a small hominin called Homo habilis. That species was an early member of our genus who walked upright and had a mixture of human and ape-like features. Starting around 1.2 million years ago, a later hominin species called Homo erectus made more complex stone tools, like hand-axes.

Think about a stone flake from the oldest layers at Olduvai. That simple tool exists because 1.8 million years ago, a Homo habilis picked out a rock, worked the stone into the right shape, and then used it to do something. Archaeologists can learn a lot about what ancient hominins knew and how they lived by studying the wear and knapping marks on such tools. But the rock itself has a story to tell. Why did a hominin 1.5 million years ago pick this kind of rock, and why this particular chunk of it?

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