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.

macOS Big Sur launch appears to cause temporary slowdown in even non-Big Sur Macs

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/12/2020 - 3:34pm
The words

Enlarge / A promotional image for macOS Big Sur. (credit: Apple)

Mac users today began experiencing unexpected issues that included apps taking minutes to launch, stuttering and non-responsiveness throughout macOS, and other problems. The issues seemed to begin close to the time when Apple began rolling out the new version of macOS, Big Sur—but it affected users of other versions of macOS, like Catalina and Mojave.

Other Apple services faced slowdowns, outages, and odd behavior, too, including Apple Pay, Messages, and even Apple TV devices.

It didn't take long for some Mac users to note that trustd—a macOS process responsible for checking with Apple's servers to confirm that an app is notarized—was attempting to contact a host named ocsp.apple.com but failing repeatedly. This resulted in systemwide slowdowns as apps attempted to launch, among other things.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

In a nightmare year, Victor Glover is on the verge of living his dream

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/12/2020 - 2:56pm
A man in a NASA jumpsuit strikes a victorious pose in front of a US flag.

Enlarge / NASA announced in August 2018 that Victor Glover would be flying aboard the first operational Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station. (credit: NASA)

Victor Glover says he does not want the attention. Not for this, at least. And I believe him.

"I wish that there wasn't anything to talk about, but that's not the world that we live in," the NASA astronaut acknowledged during a recent interview.

The time we live in is the year 2020, an age that finds the United States riven yet again by racial tensions, sparked to life by the killing of George Floyd in May and exacerbated by an extraordinarily tense presidential election.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

SpaceX Starlink has some hiccups as expected, but users are impressed

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/12/2020 - 1:18pm
A SpaceX Starlink satellite dish placed on the ground in a forest clearing.

Enlarge / Starlink satellite dish and equipment in the Idaho panhandle's Coeur d'Alene National Forest. (credit: Wandering-coder)

When SpaceX opened the Starlink public beta last month, the company told users to expect "brief periods of no connectivity at all" over the first few months. It's one of the reasons that SpaceX calls this testing period the "Better Than Nothing" beta.

Early reports from Starlink beta testers confirm that users are suffering from this problem to some extent. But Starlink's overall performance has wowed beta testers, many of whom previously had no access to modern broadband speeds.

"Link stability is a little rough," Reddit user Exodatum wrote on the Starlink subreddit yesterday. "We're getting jumps bad enough to disconnect us from connection-sensitive servers every 5-10 minutes, but things like Netflix are working perfectly. We watched Airplane! as an inaugural stream and it was fabulous." (Buffering deployed by Netflix and other streaming services can keep videos running when there are brief Internet problems.)

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

What is Parler, and why is everyone suddenly talking about it?

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/12/2020 - 1:10pm
What is Parler, and why is everyone suddenly talking about it?

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

Hundreds of millions of Americans—and our counterparts worldwide—watched the US election and its high-drama aftermath unfold on social media over the past week or so. Most of us were using Facebook or Twitter, but in the immediate wake of Election Day, a new social media platform suddenly rocketed to the top of the app download charts: Parler.

Conservative politicians, such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), have been evangelizing Parler to their followers for more than a year and have been joined by right-wing media personalities. Conservatives have now redoubled their efforts to evade "censorship," as Twitter works overtime to fact-check false claims about the election.

What is Parler?

Parler is a Twitter-style social media platform that first launched in 2018. As with Twitter, it's built around a newsfeed of accounts you can choose to follow, and users can upload images in addition to creating posts of up to 1,000 characters (Twitter caps posts at 280). In addition to being available by Web, Parler has both iOS and Android apps available.

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

macOS 11.0 Big Sur: The Ars Technica review

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/12/2020 - 11:00am
Big Sur's default wallpaper is bright and abstract and frankly kind of iOS-esque.

Enlarge / Big Sur's default wallpaper is bright and abstract and frankly kind of iOS-esque. (credit: Apple)

The era of Mac OS X is over. Kind of.

For the first time in almost two decades, Apple has decided to bump up the version number of the Mac’s operating system. The change is meant to call attention to both the pending Apple Silicon transition—Big Sur will be the first macOS version to run on Apple’s own chips, even if it’s not the first to require those chips—and to an iPad-flavored redesign that significantly overhauls the look, feel, and sound of the operating system for the first time in a long while. Even the post-iOS-7 Yosemite update took pains to keep most things in the same place as it changed their look.

But unlike the jump from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X, where Apple swept away almost every aspect of its previous operating system and built a new one from the foundation up, macOS 11 is still fundamentally macOS 10. Early betas were even labeled as macOS 10.16, and Big Sur can still identify itself as version 10.16 to some older software in order to preserve compatibility. Almost everything will still work the same way—or, at least, Big Sur doesn’t break most software any more than older macOS 10 updates did. It may even be a bit less disruptive than Catalina was. This ought to be a smooth transition, most of the time.

Read 224 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Today’s best tech deals: iPad, Fitbit, Bluetooth speakers, and more

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/12/2020 - 10:58am
 iPad, Fitbit, Bluetooth speakers, and more

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

We're inching closer to Black Friday, but today's Dealmaster has a few good deals for those in need of new tech in the meantime.

Our roundup includes Apple's latest-generation iPad for $299, which is a $30 discount from Apple's MSRP for a tablet we still consider commendable for casual users. Beyond that, one of Fitbit's newest fitness trackers, the Charge 4, is down to a new low of $100, while Apple's AirPods Pro are still available for their all-time low of $194. We have discounts on recommended Bluetooth speakers, USB-C chargers, and games as well, plus half off a year of NBC's new Peacock service and a good price on an Instant Pot.

You can take a look at the full rundown below.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

YouTube and YouTube TV suffered a two-hour global outage last night

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/12/2020 - 10:38am
downdetector graph

Enlarge / Popular "is it me?" site DownDetector displays a massive spike of user reports of YouTube outages. The site itself (and associated apps) remained functional, but videos did not play successfully during the outage. (credit: Jim Salter)

Last night between 7:10pm and 9:13pm Eastern Time, YouTube was unavailable to its users. The outage does not appear to have been limited to any particular market or region. YouTube's team acknowledged the issue within 10 minutes or so of the spike on DownDetector, and YouTubeTV chimed in an hour later to acknowledge that the unexplained issue brought it down as well.

Just over two hours after the initial spike of user reports, Team YouTube assured users that the service was back online, though with no explanation whatsoever about what went wrong or how the problem had been fixed—either on its Twitter accounts or in the support thread it opened to keep users apprised of the outage status. This is an unfortunate contrast to other massive services, which tend to provide fairly detailed explanations in short order during similar outages.

Although YouTube is owned by Google, the service isn't included in the Google Cloud Dashboard or G Suite Dashboard—both of which report significant technical detail about engineering issues as they occur, and neither of which reported any significant problems last night. When reached for comment, YouTube representatives so far are not providing any further details and simply refer any inquiries to the tweets linked above.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Judge dismisses Apple’s “theft” claims in Epic Games lawsuit

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/12/2020 - 9:41am
A <em>Fortnite</em> loading screen displayed on an iPhone in 2018, when Apple and Epic <em>weren't</em> at each other's legal throats.

Enlarge / A Fortnite loading screen displayed on an iPhone in 2018, when Apple and Epic weren't at each other's legal throats. (credit: Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images)

US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers this week threw out two Apple counterclaims stemming from the company's antitrust/breach-of-contract court battle with Epic Games over the fate of Fortnite on iOS.

The underlying court case, as regular readers know, stems from Epic's August attempt to get around Apple's standard 30% fee on microtransactions by adding an "Epic Direct Payments" option to Fortnite on iOS. Apple considered this a breach of Epic's development contract and barred the game from the iOS App Store as a result, leading Epic to immediately sue Apple for "anti-competitive conduct."

This week's ruling, however, deals with counterclaims filed by Apple in response to that lawsuit. In those counterclaims, Apple argued that the introduction of Epic Direct Payments (which are still available in the iOS version of the game, for people who downloaded it before the App Store removal) amounted to "intentional interference" with Apple's legitimate business. The company also sought extra punitive damages for what it considers "little more than theft" of the 30-percent commission that it is rightfully owed.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

DNS cache poisoning, the Internet attack from 2008, is back from the dead

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/12/2020 - 7:30am
Extreme close-up photograph of Web browser window.

Enlarge (credit: Henrik 5000 / Getty Images)

In 2008, researcher Dan Kaminsky revealed one of the more severe Internet security threats ever: a weakness in the domain name system that made it possible for attackers to send users en masse to imposter sites instead of the real ones belonging to Google, Bank of America, or anyone else. With industrywide coordination, thousands of DNS providers around the world installed a fix that averted this doomsday scenario.

Now, Kaminsky’s DNS cache poisoning attack is back. Researchers on Wednesday presented a new technique that can once again cause DNS resolvers to return maliciously spoofed IP addresses instead of the site that rightfully corresponds to a domain name.

“This is a pretty big advancement that is similar to Kaminsky’s attack for some resolvers, depending on how [they’re] actually run,” said Nick Sullivan, head of research at Cloudflare, a content-delivery network that operates the 1.1.1.1 DNS service. “This is amongst the most effective DNS cache poisoning attacks we’ve seen since Kaminsky’s attack. It’s something that, if you do run a DNS resolver, you should take seriously.”

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Bruce Willis returns to space to kick some alien derriere in Breach trailer

ArsTechnica - Wed, 11/11/2020 - 8:26pm

Bruce Willis battles an alien life form aboard an interstellar ark en route to a New Earth in Breach.

An interstellar ark transporting the last humans on Earth to a new home inadvertently brings along a shape-shifting alien stowaway in Breach, a new sci-fi action film starring Bruce Willis and directed by John Suits. The trailer just dropped, and the film looks like a fairly generic mix of elements from Alien, The X-Files, and Event Horizon. But anything that lets Willis "yippee-ki-yay" his gun-toting way to saving humanity from aliens in space is okay by me.

Suits is best known for 2016's Pandemic, essentially a zombie horror thriller shot entirely from a first-person point of view, like a video game. He also directed the recently released short Diehard is Back, a fun Willis-starring commercial for Diehard batteries that pays tongue-in-cheek homage to the franchise, including a few cameos that should delight fans. ("From fighting his way to Advance Auto Parts to racing against the clock to install his new DieHard Battery—McClane will stop at nothing, to start his car again.") So I'm hopeful that Suits can bring a fitting mix of suspense, action, and humor to Breach and just let Willis be Willis.

Originally titled Anti-Life, the film's premise is that a devastating plague has wiped out much of Earth's population, and the survivors are being evacuated via an interstellar ark to "New Earth." Willis plays Clay Young, described as a hardened mechanic who is part of the crew selected to stay awake and maintain the ark for the six-month journey. But then he discovers a shape-shifting alien (or "a malevolent cosmic terror," per the early press materials) has also stowed away on the ark, and it seems to be intent on killing everyone on board.

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Google Photos is the latest “Unlimited” plan to impose hard limits

ArsTechnica - Wed, 11/11/2020 - 3:42pm
Screenshot of user interface for Google Photos.

Enlarge / Google is no longer offering unlimited photo storage—except to Pixel users, that is. (credit: Google)

Today, Google Photos VP Shimrit Ben-Yair announced the end of Google Photos' unlimited photo storage policy. The plan already came with significant caveats—unlimited storage was for the tier Google deems "High quality," which includes compressed media only, capped at 16 megapixels for photos and 1080p for videos. Uncompressed or higher-resolution photos and videos saved in original quality count against the 15GiB cap for the user's Google Drive account.

As of June 2021, high-quality photos and videos will also begin counting against a user's Google Drive storage capacity. That said, if you've already got a terabyte of high quality photos and videos stored in Photos, don't panic—the policy change affects new photos and videos created or stored after June 2021 only. Media that's already saved to Google Photos is grandfathered in and will not be affected by the new policy change.

Original quality—again, meaning either uncompressed or resolution over 16mp still/1080p video—is also unaffected, since those files were already subject to the user's Google Drive quota. Any additional capacity purchased through Google One membership also applies to media storage—if you lease 100GiB of capacity at Google One's $2/month or $20/year plans, that capacity applies to your Google Photos data as well.

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Hurricanes might not be losing steam as fast as they used to

ArsTechnica - Wed, 11/11/2020 - 3:35pm
Satellite photo of hurricane entering Gulf of Mexico.

Enlarge / Hurricane Eta on November 3 of this year. (credit: NASA EO)

Lots of attention is given to the effects of climate change on tropical cyclones, much of it focusing on effects that are dead obvious. Projections indicate increased intensity among the strongest storms, for example, and increases in rainfall and storm surge are unavoidable consequences of warmer air holding more moisture and sea level rise, respectively.

But a new study by Lin Li and Pinaki Chakraborty at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University focuses on a less-than-obvious question: what happens to hurricanes after landfall in a warming world? Once a storm moves over land, it loses the water vapor from warm ocean waters that fuel it, so it rapidly weakens. The total damage done depends in part on how quickly it weakens.

The researchers examined a data set of all North Atlantic landfalling hurricanes between 1967 and 2018. The primary metric they were interested in was the rate the hurricane lost strength over the first 24 hours after landfall. Strength “decays” on an exponential curve, so they boiled this down to a mathematical parameter for decay time.

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Twitch explains confusing copyright crackdown, urges users to delete videos

ArsTechnica - Wed, 11/11/2020 - 2:48pm
An icon for the Twitch app displayed on a smartphone screen.

Enlarge / Photo illustration of the Twitch logo on a smartphone. (credit: Getty Images | Thomas Trutschel)

Twitch today apologized to users for how it handled a copyright crackdown last month, but the site still told streamers that they will have to stop using copyrighted recordings to avoid further takedown notices. Twitch—the popular game-streaming site acquired by Amazon for $970 million in 2014—was forced to take more aggressive action on copyright by record labels. But Twitch's mishandling of the crackdown left users in a state of confusion about which videos violated copyrights and about how users can comply with the rules without simply deleting all their past videos.

In a blog post today, Twitch said users have been asking how they can stream "without having to worry about getting DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] notifications from music use." The answer is that users need to stop using recorded music on their streams if they don't own the copyrights and delete old videos that have copyrighted music in them.

Twitch explained:

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SITREP: Azerbaijan’s drone war expands with Reaper-like TB2

ArsTechnica - Wed, 11/11/2020 - 12:30pm

(video link)

The renewed war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagoro-Karabakh region has captured the attention of military strategists worldwide, including the United States, because of the degree to which drones have changed the battlefield. While the wide-open, rugged terrain of the region has played a role, Turkish- and Israeli-built remotely piloted vehicles are dominating the battlefield, causing strategists to think a lot about land-battle tactics—and about the value of tanks in the 21st century.

Azerbaijan has been using a number of weapons systems from both Turkey and Israel, including the Israeli Harop (seen in this Azerbaijani pop music video) and Orbiter-1k drones. Both are "loitering munitions"—i.e., drones that carry warheads and crash into their targets.

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Historical detectives discover more first editions of Isaac Newton’s Principia

ArsTechnica - Wed, 11/11/2020 - 11:59am
A copy of Isaac Newton's <em>Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica</em>, one of the most important scientific works ever written, housed at the Science Museum Library and Archives in Swindon, England.

Enlarge / A copy of Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, one of the most important scientific works ever written, housed at the Science Museum Library and Archives in Swindon, England. (credit: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Image)

Isaac Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (known by its shortened Latin name, the Principia) is a massive, three-volume 17th-century treatise that is one of the most influential scientific books ever written. The famed 18th-century mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange described it as "the greatest production of a human mind." Science historians have long debated just how many copies were produced during the book's first print run.

Thanks to two intrepid researchers who spent more than a decade scouring records and archives across the globe, it now seems there could be more than twice as many surviving first editions as the long-accepted prior best estimates. They described the findings of their census in a new paper published in the journal Annals of Science.

As a young man, Newton attended Cambridge University, earning his undergraduate degree in science and math in 1665. His graduate studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the plague in Cambridge. Students and professors alike fled the city, and Newton returned home for the ensuing year, until the danger had passed. In that one year, he laid the groundwork for revolutionary ideas that would change the course of scientific history.

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US healthcare on brink as COVID-19 hospitalizations hit all-time high

ArsTechnica - Wed, 11/11/2020 - 11:30am
Medical workers in protective gear apply a breathing apparatus to a recline patient.

Enlarge / Medical staff members treat a patient suffering from coronavirus in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at the United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) on November 10, 2020, in Houston, Texas. (credit: Getty | Go Nakamura)

More people in the United States are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 than ever before in the pandemic, and hospitals in numerous states are on the brink of being overwhelmed.

Around 62,000 people in the US are now in the hospital with the pandemic coronavirus, topping all previous peaks in hospitalizations, which were around 60,000, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The surge is intense and diffuse. Hospitalizations are up 40 percent over the last two weeks alone, and they’re rising in every region of the country.

Seventeen states are now at record-breaking numbers of hospitalizations, with states in the Midwest hit the hardest. In North Dakota, hospitals are at 100 percent capacity. On Monday, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced that the state has amended a health order to now allow nurses who are infected with the coronavirus to keep working in hospitals as long as they show no symptoms. The move is aimed at alleviating strain on hospital staff who are being overwhelmed by the influx of patients. The governor added that the state is also looking to hire emergency medical technicians and paramedics to run COVID-19 testing operations.

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The PlayStation 5 has a hidden Web browser; here’s how to find it

ArsTechnica - Wed, 11/11/2020 - 11:00am

Officially, the PlayStation 5 doesn't include a Web browser, marking an apparent software downgrade from the PlayStation 4. But Ars has discovered the PS5 does actually include a limited, hidden Web browsing interface that you can use to load up generic websites on your TV in a pinch.

Getting in

The easiest way to get into the PS5 Web browser is to go to the system settings and load up the User's Guide. Unlike most other informational menus on the system, this one loads up inside a Web browser that points to the live URL at manuals.playstation.net.

If you visit that address from a standard PC or mobile Web browser, the site gives an error message. But if you access it from the PS5 menu, you see a picture explaining "how to navigate this user's guide" with the DualSense controller, as seen above.

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TikTok says it’s been waiting weeks for a Trump response on US ban

ArsTechnica - Wed, 11/11/2020 - 10:27am
TikTok headquarters in Culver City, California.

Enlarge / TikTok headquarters in Culver City, California. (credit: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

ByteDance on Tuesday appealed to a federal appellate court seeking to overturn a sweeping Trump administration order requiring the company to divest itself of its popular TikTok platform—at least in the United States. The order is scheduled to take effect tomorrow. But ByteDance says that it has been weeks since it has heard from the government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States about ByteDance's plan to address the government's concerns without shutting TikTok down.

ByteDance has proposed selling a share of TikTok to Oracle and giving the company's US division more autonomy. These changes were designed to address the government concerns that American TikTok users could be subjected to Chinese government surveillance or other meddling.

“For a year, TikTok has actively engaged with CFIUS in good faith to address its national security concerns, even as we disagree with its assessment,” TikTok said in a media statement. “In the nearly two months since the president gave his preliminary approval to our proposal to satisfy those concerns, we have offered detailed solutions to finalize that agreement—but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework.”

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Improperly installed Ring doorbells are catching on fire

ArsTechnica - Wed, 11/11/2020 - 10:17am
The issue isn't really the Ring device itself—it's the use of improper screws. Specifically, long pointy ones that might reach places they shouldn't and electrically short-circuit things that absolutely should not be short-circuited!

Enlarge / The issue isn't really the Ring device itself—it's the use of improper screws. Specifically, long pointy ones that might reach places they shouldn't and electrically short-circuit things that absolutely should not be short-circuited! (credit: Amazon / Jim Salter)

Approximately 350,000 Ring doorbells sold in the North American markets are subject to a safety recall issued yesterday. Specifically, improperly installed 2nd-generation Ring doorbells can catch fire, causing property damage and potential burn hazards. This is a fairly unusual recall, however—and one that doesn't require consumers to return their devices.

As long as the Ring doorbells were installed using the screws provided with the devices themselves, they're fine. The issue is that quite a few homeowners substituted their own screws for the ones included in the package—and longer screws may reach places inside the Ring device that they shouldn't, causing a short-circuit that can lead to overheating or fire.

Ring reports to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission that it has received 85 incident reports involving use of improper screws, with 23 cases of ignition involving minor property damage and eight cases of minor personal burns.

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Ajit Pai urged to accept Trump loss and stop controversial rulemakings

ArsTechnica - Wed, 11/11/2020 - 9:43am
All five FCC commissioners sitting at a table in front of microphones at a congressional hearing.

Enlarge / From left to right, Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and commissioners Michael O'Rielly, Brendan Carr, Jessica Rosenworcel, and Geoffrey Starks testify before the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee on December 05, 2019 in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla)

Congressional Democrats yesterday called on Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to "immediately stop work on all partisan, controversial items" in recognition of Joe Biden's election victory over President Donald Trump.

It has been standard practice to halt controversial rulemakings in the period between an election and inauguration when control of the White House switches from Republicans to Democrats or vice versa. In November 2016, Pai himself called on then-Chairman Tom Wheeler to "halt further action on controversial items during the transition period." Wheeler complied one day later.

But things could be different this time, because Trump is contesting the election despite Biden's clear victory and making baseless allegations that the election was stolen by Democrats. The Trump administration has refused to formally begin the presidential transition and has reportedly continued budget planning and vetting candidates for job openings as if there will be a second Trump term. To comply with Democrats' request to the FCC, Pai would effectively have to concede Trump's defeat before Trump himself does so.

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