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.

Telecom pioneer and convicted fraudster Bernard Ebbers has died

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 8:56am
Bernard Ebbers after his conviction in 2005.

Enlarge / Bernard Ebbers after his conviction in 2005. (credit: Adam Rountree/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Bernard Ebbers, the man who built Worldcom into a telecom giant before it collapsed into bankruptcy, has died at the age of 78. Ebbers was released from prison in December after serving 13 years for fraud and conspiracy charges related to the Worldcom scandal.

Ebbers was born in Canada and operated a hotel chain in Mississippi before getting involved in the burgeoning long-distance phone business in the early 1980s. He became an investor in, and then the CEO of, a small long-distance provider called LDDS.

Through a series of acquisitions, Ebbers grew LDDS into one of the nation's largest telecommunications companies. He re-branded the company Worldcom in 1995.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Panasonic and Toyota team up to build prismatic batteries for EVs

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 7:38am
Two Japanese executives shake hands

Enlarge / Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp., left, shakes hands with Kazuhiro Tsuga, president of Panasonic Corp., during a joint news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. (credit: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

On Monday, Panasonic and Toyota announced that they are creating a new joint venture to develop and build advanced batteries for electric vehicles. The new company will be called Prime Planet Energy and Solutions, and when it starts operating in April of this year, it will work on the development and production of prismatic lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. It will also develop and manufacture more advanced energy storage technologies like solid state batteries. And this tech won't just be for Toyota vehicles—the announcement states that "the joint venture will supply batteries not only to Toyota but also, broadly and stably, to all customers."

Industry watchers may well have been expecting this news. Back at the beginning of 2019, we discovered that a joint venture between Panasonic and Toyota on battery tech was in the works, and most of the information we learned back then appears to have panned out. Prime Planet Energy and Solutions is 51 percent owned by Toyota and 49 percent owned by Panasonic, it will build batteries in Japan and China (employing around 5,100 people), and it plans to develop and build advanced high-capacity batteries including solid state cells.

It's not the only recent Panasonic/Toyota tie-up. Last May, the pair revealed plans to create another joint venture to fuse together Toyota's "mobility" initiatives and Panasonic's "lifestyle updates" (yes, I can hear you rolling your eyes) to create a "town development business," working on some of the same problems as are being explored in Columbus, Ohio as part of the Smart City movement.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

OneWeb joins the satellite Internet gold rush this week

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 7:19am

For the better part of a year, SpaceX has gotten the lion's share of attention when it comes to mega-constellations and satellite Internet. Between May and January, the company launched 240 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit, with more launches coming, and has talked of offering preliminary commercial service later this year.

But it was actually another company, OneWeb, that launched the first six satellites of its mega-constellation back in February, 2019. Initial tests of those satellites went well, the company said last summer. Now OneWeb is preparing for its second launch of 34 satellites on board a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The launch is scheduled for 4:42pm ET (21:42 UTC) on Thursday, February 6.

On the eve of Thursday's launch, Ars spoke with OneWeb Chief Executive Officer Adrián Steckel about the company's plans and how it will compete with half a dozen other firms looking at providing Internet from space.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Tracking the future of remote workplaces: Apps, communication, and liability

ArsTechnica - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 6:00am
Must work-from-homers always rely on a such a patchwork suite of apps?

Enlarge / Must work-from-homers always rely on a such a patchwork suite of apps? (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

When it comes to predicting the future of technology these last 20 years, Ars has had its occasional slam-dunk predictions mixed in with some admittedly uneven guesses. So I'm lucky to begin this article with a no-brainer conclusion: over the next five years, more offices and businesses across the globe will increase their reliance on work-from-home systems.

In other news, water is wet and bears defecate in the woods. In our connected world, computers are a likely common tool at almost any workplace—arguably they're more of a given than even having to be in a particular place. So long as you log in, get your work done, and communicate with colleagues, your computer can be on Mars for all your boss cares.

But how will more companies take the remote-workplace plunge, and what trends will emerge as a result? That's a tougher prediction to make, but I've been asked to poke my head out of my Tech Culture Editor cave to offer some answers based on my knowledge as an Ars staffer for six years—and as a "remote" worker for even longer than that. How long? My first job, in 1996, revolved around working from home as a newspaper columnist (my mom's home, to be accurate, since I was still in high school).

Read 33 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Virus tricked into glowing reveals entryway to cellular victim

ArsTechnica - Sun, 02/02/2020 - 8:00am
Image of blue ovals surrounded in a glowing green mesh.

Enlarge / The microtubules inside a cell, here shown in green, are like a race track for viruses. (credit: National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research)

One of the reasons that I tend to stick to physics is that the subject is actually pretty simple. Any single bit of chemistry is more complicated than all of physics put together. Biology, in all its wonders, simply boggles what little of my mind is left.

With that in mind, the idea of me writing about viruses seems like a bit of a joke. But a cool development that allows researchers to track single viral particles and watch them invade their hapless victims is simply too good to pass up.

Glowing virus illuminated well-worn path?

Tracking single virus particles is not exactly new. The idea is that you attach some sort of molecule that will glow to the virus. Then, you hit the sample with an exciting laser and look for glowing points of light. Optical microscopes can then track the virus' location with very high precision.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Flat surfaces surf past each other on the peak of a wave

ArsTechnica - Sun, 02/02/2020 - 7:00am
Image of a rough, textured surface.

Enlarge / Some surfaces, like sandpaper, create more friction than others. (credit: Daniel Machado / Flickr)

A cook's reaction to cockroaches in the kitchen is a good approximation of a physicist's reaction to friction: not only is it undesirable, it is hard to get rid of. OK, our analogy falls at a last hurdle: unlike cooks, most physicists don't really want to understand friction.

That said, there are a few strong-stomached physicists who are trying to understand friction. One of the problems they face is that friction is so… individual. Every experiment is different. Even copies of the same experiment are slightly different. Despite that, one group has now managed to come up with a general model that replicates many of the main features of friction.

Friction, how I stab at thee

Actually, part of that last sentence is a lie. The model focuses on the transition between two different types of friction. I'll get to that in a moment.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Success kid’s mom won’t stand for Steve King’s “meme” ad

ArsTechnica - Sun, 02/02/2020 - 3:57am
Success kid’s mom won’t stand for Steve King’s “meme” ad

Enlarge

Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) wanted supporters to fund his memes—but he may end up paying for them instead. On Monday, King and his campaign for reelection to the House of Representatives received a cease-and-desist letter from the attorneys of Laney Griner, the mother of 2011’s most ubiquitous meme, Success Kid: a baseball-shirted cherub clasping a fistful of sand with a look of utter triumph. King’s campaign had used the famous image of Griner’s son for an ad, emblazoning it with the phrase “FUND OUR MEMES!!!” and superimposing the baby over an image of the US Capitol. As soon as she found out, Griner made it clear she would not stand for it.

She may not have to. Even though the point of a meme is that it gets reused and remixed and reappropriated, and Success Kid in particular has been memed across the world for almost a decade, Griner could have the law on her side. “The question everyone is going to be asking is, can you copyright a meme? But that’s not the right question to ask,” says Derigan Silver, who researches internet law at the University of Denver. “[King] is using the original picture of this kid, which is clearly copyrightable.” To that end, Griner does, in fact, hold the copyright, and she wouldn’t be the first person to try to enforce their copyright of an image-turned-meme. Matt Furie, the artist behind the infamous Pepe the Frog meme, has taken around 75 people and entities to task (or court) for reproducing Pepe’s image without his permission.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Email release reveals chaos sowed by President Trump’s hurricane tweets

ArsTechnica - Sat, 02/01/2020 - 9:25am
President Donald Trump displaying a doctored forecast map that incorrectly shows Hurricane Dorian hitting Alabama.

Enlarge / President Donald Trump displaying a doctored forecast map at the White House on September 4, 2019, in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla )

For meteorologists and senior leaders at NOAA, the first week of September 2019 is one they're never going to forget.

Amidst the tumult of Hurricane Dorian and its threat to the United States, President Trump injected himself into the story by warning that several states, including Alabama, would "most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever." Alabama faced virtually no risk from the storm at the time. After being ridiculed for this errant forecast, the president responded with a White House event where he displayed an official National Hurricane Forecast map with a Sharpie-drawn extension that included Alabama in Dorian's "cone of uncertainty."

The controversy only burned all the brighter when the Birmingham office of the National Weather Service tweeted that Alabama residents had nothing to fear from Dorian (which was accurate). This tweet occurred after the president's tweet about Alabama's risk but was apparently not directly in response to the president. Instead, it came in response to a surge of public inquiries. According to the meteorologist in charge of the Alabama office, Chris Darden, his office's phones "started ringing off the hook" with public inquiries and concern after the president took to Twitter.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

White dwarf causes strange relativity effect called frame dragging

ArsTechnica - Sat, 02/01/2020 - 8:00am
Image of diffuse blue rings surrounding a long, thin object.

Enlarge / The lit up rings in this image are caused by wobbles in a pulsar's axis of rotation. (credit: NASA)

Ask about some mind-bending physics, and people will tend to focus on the many mind-bending oddities of quantum mechanics. But there's no shortage of strangeness in another one of physics' cornerstone theories: relativity. From time being relative to things getting more massive as they accelerate, there are lots of head scratchers in relativity.

But the thing that may top the strangeness scale is an effect called "frame dragging," where a massive rotating object distorts the space-time around it. While it was first identified as a relativistic effect shortly after relativity was proposed, we weren't in any position to test it until the satellite era. While a number of missions have produced results consistent with relativity, the experiments had rather large uncertainties.

Now, an international team of scientists has used an interstellar laboratory to test the proposal. Taking advantage of a large white dwarf with a nearby neutron star, the researchers have detected frame dragging effects in the regular pulses of emission from the neutron star.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

We are entering the Golden Age of studying our Sun

ArsTechnica - Sat, 02/01/2020 - 7:00am

The Sun is our closest star, and without it life on our world could not survive. So it is essential to understand its nature. And yet, even though the Sun shines brightly on every clear day on Earth, it is difficult for astronomers to observe the star closely for a number of reasons.

Most obviously, it is hot—so hot, it is difficult to get too close without getting burnt to a crisp. Additionally, due to high solar gravity, it requires a lot of energy to insert a spacecraft into an orbit near the Sun. The harsh radiation near the Sun also plays havoc with the scientific instruments on spacecraft.

For all of these reasons, while astronomers have made steady progress in understanding the Sun and its effects on Earth, our atmosphere, and other bodies in the Solar System, we still have big questions. The good news is that we are now entering the golden age of Solar research with a major new ground-based telescope and two space-based observatories that will come close to the Sun.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Dear Ashley Madison user, I know everything about you. Pay up or else

ArsTechnica - Sat, 02/01/2020 - 5:45am
Dear Ashley Madison user, I know everything about you. Pay up or else

Enlarge (credit: ashleymadison.com)

Four years after hackers dumped the intimate details of 32 million Ashley Madison subscribers, criminals have revived an extortion scheme that targets people who used the dating website to cheat on their partners.

In the past two weeks, researchers have detected “several hundred” emails that threaten to air those intimate details to the world unless the former subscribers pay a hefty fee.

“I know everything about you,” one of the emails, dated January 15, says. “I even know that you ordered some … let’s call them ‘male assistance products’ online on 12/11/2018 using your account at Bank of America N,a routing# 121000358 account# [redacted] for $75 for mailing to [redacted] CA [redacted]!” The extortionist goes on to say: “If you do not act very fast your full AMadison profile and proof of it will be shared with friends, family, and online over social media—and of course your internet orders.”

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The fractured future of browser privacy

ArsTechnica - Sat, 02/01/2020 - 5:15am
The fractured future of browser privacy

Enlarge

In the 1990s, web browsers like Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer competed bitterly to offer the snazziest new features and attract users. Today, the browser landscape looks totally different. For one thing, Chrome now dominates, controlling around two-thirds of the market on both desktop and mobile. Even more radical, though, is the recent competitive focus on privacy, a welcome change for anyone who's gotten sick of creepy ad tracking and data mismanagement. But as browsers increasingly diverge in their approaches, it's clear that not all privacy protections are created equal.

At the USENIX Enigma security conference in San Francisco this week, developers, security researchers, and privacy advocates presented differing views of how browsers should protect their users against data abuses. In a panel discussion that included representatives from Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Brave, all participants agreed that collaboration across the industry has driven innovation and helped make privacy a priority. But some browsers are taking a hardline approach, while others prefer to increase protections within the status quo.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Fast & Furious 9 trailer: The only 4 minutes of the film you’ll need to watch

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/31/2020 - 7:56pm

Vin Diesel returns as Dominic Toretto in Fast & Furious 9, directed by Justin Lin.

Universal Pictures has dropped the first full trailer for Fast and Furious 9, the latest installment in its multibillion-dollar franchise. It's nearly four full minutes of all the ridiculously over-the-top mayhem we've come to expect from Domininc Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his merry band of badass misfits. And no wonder: Director Justin Lin is back on board, who helmed 2006's Tokyo Drift and the next three installments before passing the baton to James Wan for Furious 7.

Fast and Furious 9 is the sequel to 2017's The Fate of the Furious, in which Dom is coerced into following the orders of a cyberterrorist named Cipher (Charlize Theron). Over the course of a very convoluted plot, Dom discovers that his former lover, DSS agent Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky) bore him a son. Elena doesn't survive the film, but the boy does. And of course, Dom and company end up saving the day.

News of a planned ninth and 10th film to complete the franchise broke back in 2016, with F&F9 initially slated for an April 2019 release. It was rescheduled for this year to make room for the 2019 spinoff film, Hobbs and Shaw, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Stratham in the title roles. There were already rumors of tension between Johnson and Diesel on the set of The Fate of the Furious, and the delay on the ninth film prompted a bitter outburst on Instagram by co-star Tyrese Gibson, who plays team member Roman Pearce in the franchise.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Ajit Pai: Carrier sales of phone-location data is illegal, FCC plans punishment

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/31/2020 - 2:10pm
A cell phone displays a map and directions while mounted on a car dashboard.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Nakhorn Yuangkratoke/EyeEm)

Mobile network operators who sold their customers' real-time location data violated US law and the Federal Communications Commission will try to punish carriers that did so, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wrote today.

"[T]he FCC's Enforcement Bureau has completed its extensive investigation and... it has concluded that one or more wireless carriers apparently violated federal law," Pai wrote in a letter today to Democratic members of Congress who asked for an update on the probe.

"I am committed to ensuring that all entities subject to our jurisdiction comply with the Communications Act and the FCC's rules, including those that protect consumers' sensitive information, such as real-time location data," Pai's letter continued. "Accordingly, in the coming days, I intend to circulate to my fellow Commissioners for their consideration one or more Notice(s) of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in connection with the apparent violation(s)."

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Huawei outsells Apple in 2019, becomes No. 2 global smartphone vendor

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/31/2020 - 1:43pm
Huawei's logo seen at a technology conference.

Enlarge / Huawei's logo at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona in November 2019. (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images)

Market research firms Canalys and Counterpoint Research have posted their 2019 global smartphone market share reports. Both reports say the biggest mover is Huawei, which, thanks to a whopping 16-17 percent annual growth, claimed the No. 2 smartphone vendor spot in 2019, behind Samsung and ahead of Apple. Both firms have similar global market share numbers for 2019, with Samsung at around 20 percent, Huawei at 16 percent, Apple at 13 percent, and Xiaomi and Oppo at around eight percent each.

Counterpoint credits Huawei's success in its home country of China for its success, saying, "This was the result of an aggressive push from Huawei in the Chinese market, where it achieved almost 40 percent market share." According to the firm, China makes up 60 percent of Huawei's shipments.

Is this “Peak Huawei?”

While holding onto the No. 2 spot is a big accomplishment for Huawei, the company's future in the smartphone market currently looks pretty murky. The Trump Administration's Huawei export ban means US companies can no longer do business with Huawei. Huawei should be OK when it comes to hardware, as the company has aggressively cut US components out of its hardware supply line. For software, however, it has a serious problem. No US products means the Google ecosystem is off-limits to Huawei, so Huawei phones don't have access to Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, the Google Assistant, and the millions of apps on the Play Store. This seriously limits the appeal of Huawei phones outside of China.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Coronavirus outbreak sparks first federal quarantine in over 50 years

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/31/2020 - 1:33pm
A crew member of an evacuation flight of French citizens from Wuhan gives passengers disinfectant during the flight to France on February 1, 2020, as they are repatriated from the coronavirus hot zone.

Enlarge / A crew member of an evacuation flight of French citizens from Wuhan gives passengers disinfectant during the flight to France on February 1, 2020, as they are repatriated from the coronavirus hot zone. (credit: Getty | Hector Retamal)

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued the first federal quarantine order in more than 50 years for 195 Americans who were evacuated out of Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak (2019-nCoV)

The US citizens will be held under quarantine at the March Air Reserve Base in California, where they arrived from Wuhan on Wednesday, January 29 on an aircraft chartered by the US State Department. They have remained at the base since then. The quarantine will last 14 days from the time that their flight left Wuhan. Fourteen days is considered the likely maximum time of a 2019-nCoV infection incubation period—that is the time between an exposure and onset of symptoms.

The decision to issue a quarantine comes amid the continued spread of 2019-nCoV—both within and beyond China. It also comes on the heels of a report that an asymptomatic infected person from China spread the viral illness to a 33-year-old healthy business associate in Germany. Further testing found that three other associates at the same company in Germany had also contracted the infection. All four cases were mild, and the first infected associate, who noticed symptoms on January 24, started feeling better and returned to work on the 27. The report was published yesterday, January 30, in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Linux Star Trek fans, rejoice: CBS All Access now works in your OS [Updated]

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/31/2020 - 1:16pm
A retouched screenshot from Picard portrays Jean-Luc Picard petting a penguin.

Enlarge / No CBS All Access on Linux makes elderly Picard cry. (credit: Aurich Lawson / CBS / Getty)

Update, January 31: After this story went live earlier in the week, an Ars reader reached out to speculate that the problem was most likely due to enabling VMP (Verified Media Path) on CBSi's Widevine server. Verified Media Path, similarly to UEFI Secure Boot, makes certain that content will only be delivered to browsers with sanctioned, verifiable "authentic" framework; this is a configurable behavior, and by default, unverified platforms are allowed to receive licenses.

This morning we asked CBSi executives to check with their engineers and see if this was the problem. While we never received a response, two hours later, CBS All Access was playing successfully on Google Chrome on multiple Linux distributions. (Firefox still crashes.) For now, we have verified that the fix—which, again, may or may not actually have involved VMP—covers all of CBS' content and not merely the first episode of Picard, which CBS released yesterday on YouTube for a limited time. If we hear official word from CBS regarding what happened behind the scenes, we'll update this post accordingly. The original story appears unchanged below.

As of this month, the CBS All Access streaming-video platform—home of popular shows including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and now Star Trek: Picard—stopped working on Linux PCs, regardless of the choice of browser. Ten years ago, this would have been just another day in the life of a Linux user, but it's a little surprising in 2020. We were originally tipped off to the issue by a few irate readers but quickly found it echoed in multiple threads on Reddit, Stack Exchange, and anywhere else you'd expect to find Linux users congregating.

I'm both a Linux user and a CBS All Access subscriber myself, but I had been unaware of the problem since I do all my own watching on a Roku. Technically, the Roku is a Linux PC in its own right—but CBS has its own app in the Roku store, which works perfectly.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Ajit Pai’s “surprise” change makes it harder to get FCC broadband funding

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/31/2020 - 12:22pm
A photo of Ajit Pai.

Enlarge / Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, during an interview in New York, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

After deciding to shut New York and Alaska out of a rural broadband fund, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has made another change that could reduce or eliminate funding available for ISPs in other US states.

When the FCC yesterday approved the $20.4-billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), the order contained a new provision that bans funding for areas already receiving money from any similar federal or state broadband-subsidy program. The new provision is so vague and expansive that it could affect areas in dozens of states or exclude some states from receiving money entirely, according to Democratic FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks.

"Based on my initial research, that means that the nearly 30 states that fund rural broadband through their own programs may find their eligibility reduced or eliminated," Starks said before yesterday's vote. "These provisions discourage badly needed state-federal partnerships, risk unequal application of the rules between states, and create an unnecessary risk of litigation."

Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

FCC proposes to fine racist troll $13 million for robocalling spree

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/31/2020 - 10:33am
Woman holds phone

Enlarge (credit: Tim Robberts)

The Federal Communications Commission is preparing to fine a Utah man $12.9 million for conducting a string of racist robocalling campaigns across the United States over the last two years.

The FCC says one of the campaigns seemed like an attempt to tamper with a jury in an ongoing case. Another targeted a newspaper for criticizing his earlier campaigns.

Shortly before the 2018 election, the man, Scott Rhodes, reportedly made 766 spoofed robocalls in Florida, where black Democrat Andrew Gillum was running for governor. According to the FCC, "robocalls falsely claimed to be from the candidate and used 'a caricature of a black dialect' with jungle background noises."

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Levitating sand escapes classical world, enters quantum ground state

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/31/2020 - 9:50am
Image of two scientists wearing gloves and sunglasses in amidst lab equipment.

Enlarge / Two of the scientists involved in the new work wearing proper safety equipment while playing with lasers. (credit: Lorenzo Magrini, Yuriy Coroli/University of Vienna)

How big can something get and still display quantum behavior? It's a fundamental question in physics, and it gets at the nature of reality itself. All sorts of weird behavior goes on in the quantum world: particles behave like they're in two places at once, there are limits to how certain we can be of where things are, and so on. But once things get bigger than a handful of atoms, we get the nice, orderly behavior of our familiar world, where things exist in definite locations.

The transition between the quantum and the familiar seems to be set by environmental interactions. Once an object gets big enough, it's constantly bumping into atoms and absorbing photons, any of which can push it out of a well-defined quantum state. So the question becomes one of how big we can let things get while still controlling their interactions with the environment.

For the last decade, the gold standard in this area has been a physical resonator linked to hardware that lets us control it with photons of a specific wavelength. To keep stray bits of energy from messing with the resonator, the whole device is kept very close to absolute zero. But now, researchers have found that they can control the interactions of a tiny bead that's levitated on laser light. While it's smaller than the resonators, the setup works at room temperature and doesn't require that the bead be physically linked to any special hardware.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Syndicate content