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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.

HBO Max now offers a (partially) ad-supported service tier

ArsTechnica - Wed, 06/02/2021 - 10:53am
The entrance to a drive-in theater has been manipulated to include promotional posters for current HBO offerings.

Enlarge / If you want Warner Bros. same-day movie premieres, you'll need to stick to the original $15/mo plan—the new ad-supported plan won't offer them. (credit: Jeff Kravitz / Getty Images)

Wednesday morning, HBO Max rolled out a new, partially ad-supported service plan. Consumers can now choose between the original ad-free plan at $15 per month or the new, ad-supported plan at $10 per month—the breakdown is similar to Hulu (no ads) versus Hulu (with ads), at $12 per month and $6 per month, respectively.

HBO Max customers (new or existing) can also prepay for additional savings. Paying upfront gets you a year of service for the cost of 10 months at the monthly rate—$150 per year for ad-free or $100 per year for ad-supported.

The new ad-supported tier offers the same content as the ad-free tier, with the exception of Warner Brothers same-day premiere films. The ad-supported plans also do not offer resolution higher than 1080p or the ability to download content for offline viewing.

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After months of drama, Minecraft speedrunner Dream admits he used mods

ArsTechnica - Wed, 06/02/2021 - 10:42am
Bartering Piglins were at the heart of Dream's <em>Minecraft</em> cheating drama.

Enlarge / Bartering Piglins were at the heart of Dream's Minecraft cheating drama.

For months now, popular Minecraft streamer Dream has insisted there was nothing fishy about six "Any% Random Seed" speedruns he streamed last October, despite evidence to the contrary presented by the moderators of clearinghouse Speedrun.com. Over the weekend, though, Dream said in a message posted to Pastebin that he had "actually been using a disallowed modification during ~6 of my live streams on Twitch" while maintaining that he "didn't have any intention of cheating."

The admission seems to finally put to rest months of drama and dueling accusations between Dream and the mods, settling an argument that relied on complex mathematics to prove that Dream's runs were vanishingly unlikely to be the result of random chance alone.

The math

To understand the accusations at play here, first you have to understand just how much of a role luck plays in a top-level Any% speedrun of Minecraft and how ridiculously lucky Dream appeared to be in the streamed runs in question.

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Amazon Prime Day 2021 runs June 21-22, and a few deals are already live

ArsTechnica - Wed, 06/02/2021 - 8:17am
Amazon Prime Day 2021 runs June 21-22, and a few deals are already live

Enlarge (credit: Amazon)

Amazon Prime Day, the mega-retailer’s two-day shopping event featuring discounts on everything from clothes to 4K TVs, laptops, blenders, air fryers, and Instant Pots, is set for June 21st and 22nd. The event serves up deals for members of Amazon’s Prime service and typically takes place mid-summer. It was postponed until October last year due to the ongoing pandemic.

Meant to drive sales and Prime membership sign-ups, Prime Day puts a major tentpole event on the calendar during the typically slower time of year for online retail. It’s not uncommon to find deals from competitors during this time as well. This year, customers not subscribed to Prime may have a bit more incentive to sign up, as the recently announced acquisition of MGM should bolster Amazon Prime’s media library.

Every Prime Day comes with some level of controversy surrounding the retail giant, be it worker strikes held across the world on various Prime Days or Amazon's questionable and illegal treatment of workers, aggressive union-busting tactics, and downright antagonistic behavior. CEO Jeff Bezos, Forbes 2021's richest person in the world, has also faced sharp criticism from activists and politicians.

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Launcher raises $11 million, ramps up hiring for 2024 flight

ArsTechnica - Wed, 06/02/2021 - 7:00am
Launcher is targeting 2024 for the launch of its Launcher Light vehicle, shown here in a rendering.

Enlarge / Launcher is targeting 2024 for the launch of its Launcher Light vehicle, shown here in a rendering. (credit: Launcher)

The California-based rocket startup Launcher said Wednesday that it has raised $11.7 million in a Series-A round of funding, well above its $7 million goal, as it seeks to accelerate the development of its first orbital vehicle.

In an interview, Launcher founder Max Haot said the company remains on track to debut the small satellite "Launcher Light" rocket in 2024. However, to meet this goal, the company needs to grow significantly now.

This is a big change for Launcher, which has prided itself on being an exceptionally lean company with few employees and low overhead costs. During its first four years, during which it focused on the development of a first-stage rocket engine, the company had just a handful of employees and expended about $1.5 million per year.

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Review: Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti is a powerhouse—but good luck finding it at $1,199 MSRP

ArsTechnica - Wed, 06/02/2021 - 6:00am

Nearly nine months ago, the RTX 3000 series of Nvidia graphics cards launched in a beleaguered world as a seeming ray of hope. The series' first two GPUs, the RTX 3080 and 3070, were nearly all things to all graphics hounds. Nvidia built these cards upon the proprietary successes of the RTX 2000 series and added sheer, every-API-imaginable rasterization power on top.

An "RTX"-optimized game ran great on the line's opening salvo of the RTX 3080, sure, but even without streamlined ray tracing or the impressive upsampling of DLSS, it tera'ed a lot of FLOPs. Talk about a fun potential purchase for nerds trapped in the house.

Even better, that power came along with more modest MSRPs compared to what we saw in the RTX 2000 series. As I wrote in September 2020:

Read 40 remaining paragraphs | Comments

AMD triples Zen 3 CPU cache using 3D stacking technology

ArsTechnica - Tue, 06/01/2021 - 3:35pm

Yesterday at Computex 2021, AMD CEO Lisa Su showed off the company's next big performance play—3D stacked chiplets, allowing the company to triple the amount of L3 cache on its flagship Zen 3 CPUs.

The technology is just what it sounds like—a layer of SRAM cache sitting atop the Complex Core Die (CCD) of the CPU itself. Current Zen 3 architecture integrates 32MiB of L3 cache per eight-core chiplet—making 64MiB total for a 12- or 16-core chiplet like the Ryzen 9 5900X or 5950X. The new technology adds an additional 64MiB L3 cache on top of each chiplet's CCD, bonded with through-silicon vias (TSVs).

The additional 64MiB L3 cache layer does not extend the width of the CCD, resulting in a need for structural silicon to balance pressure from the CPU cooling system. Compute and cache dies are both thinned in the new design, allowing it to share substrate and heat spreader technology with current Ryzen 5000 processors.

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What the physics of skipping stones can tell us about aircraft water landings

ArsTechnica - Tue, 06/01/2021 - 3:09pm
Experiments by Chinese physicists have shed further light on the intricate physics involving in skipping a stone across the water's surface. Their findings revealed key factors that could influence spaceflight water landings after re-entry.

Enlarge / Experiments by Chinese physicists have shed further light on the intricate physics involving in skipping a stone across the water's surface. Their findings revealed key factors that could influence spaceflight water landings after re-entry. (credit: Colin Anderson Productions / Getty Images)

Learning how to skip stones across a lake or pond is a time-honored childhood tradition. The underlying physics of skipping stones could also be a useful model for landing aircraft or spacecraft on water, according to a recent paper published in the journal Physics of Fluids. Chinese physicists have built just such a model, and they used it to further clarify the key determining factors behind how many times a stone (or spacecraft) will bounce upon hitting the water.

Skipping stones is just the sort of natural everyday phenomenon that would fascinate physicists, even though at first glance the basic concepts seem simple. It all comes down to spin, speed, shape of the stone, and angle. As the stone hits the water, the force of impact pushes some of the water down, so the stone, in turn, is forced upwards. If the stone is traveling fast enough to meet a minimum velocity threshold, the stone will bounce; if not, it will sink. A round, flat stone is best, simply because its surface area displaces more water as it skips.

Experiments in 2004 by French physicists Lyderic Bocquet and Christophe Clanet demonstrated as much. They built a catapult device to toss aluminum disks at a tank of water and then recorded the splashes with high-speed video. They learned that the bouncing stone must be spinning at a minimal rate of rotation (at least once during its collision time) in order to be stable. In other words, a skipping stone relies on the gyroscopic effect, in which a body rotating around its own axis tends to maintain its own direction. (It's also what stops a spinning top from tipping over.) Experienced stone-skippers typically apply this rotation to the stone with a simple flick of the finger.

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Months from the release of Dune 2021, the 1984 version gets a 4K release

ArsTechnica - Tue, 06/01/2021 - 2:43pm

The controversial yet memorable 1984 film adaptation of Frank Herbert's seminal 1965 science fiction novel Dune will be released in 4K and HDR for the first time on August 31, thanks to a new 4K UltraHD Blu-ray set from distributor Arrow Films.

According to Arrow Films, the upcoming release was mastered from the original camera negative in 4K and Dolby Vision HDR, though playback in the HDR-10 format is also supported. The set offers two audio options: uncompressed stereo and DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound.

There's one thing genre cinephiles might be hoping for that they won't get here, though: commentary from filmmaker David Lynch, who directed the film and became famous for later works like Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet. Those familiar with the film's history won't be surprised by that omission though; Lynch disowned Dune when it was released, saying that it did not represent his creative vision due to interference from the studio.

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Shortages loom as ransomware hamstrings the world’s biggest meat producer

ArsTechnica - Tue, 06/01/2021 - 1:39pm
Exterior sign for JBS Greeley Beef Plant.

Enlarge (credit: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

A ransomware attack has struck the world’s biggest meat producer, causing it to halt some operations in the US, Canada, and Australia while threatening shortages throughout the world, including up to a fifth of the American supply.

Brazil-based JBS SA said on Monday that it was the target of an organized cyberattack that had affected servers supporting North American and Australian IT operations. A White House spokeswoman later said the meat producer had been hit by a ransomware attack “from a criminal organization likely based in Russia” and that the FBI was investigating.

Existential threat

The weekend attack came three weeks after a separate ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline disrupted the availability of gasoline and jet fuel up and down the US East Coast. Late last year, ransomware attacks on hospitals hamstrung their ability to provide emergency services just as the coronavirus was already straining their capacity.

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Big Tech sues Florida, saying social media law violates First Amendment

ArsTechnica - Tue, 06/01/2021 - 12:08pm
A computer keyboard with a

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | s-cphoto)

Trade groups representing Facebook, Twitter, and other major websites have sued Florida to block a state law that makes it illegal for social media companies to ban politicians. The industry groups say the law violates the First Amendment—and legal experts have said the same, as we've previously written.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law on May 24, slamming what he called the "censorship" of conservatives on social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook. The law, scheduled to take effect on July 1, gives Floridians the right to sue Big Tech companies over content-moderation decisions and prohibits the companies from "deplatforming" political candidates and journalistic enterprises. The law imposes fines of up to $250,000 per day on social media companies that ban candidates for elected office.

The lawsuit against Florida was filed by Netchoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA). Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Google, and eBay are members of both groups.

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Xiaomi’s 200 W phone charger goes from 0-100% in 8 minutes

ArsTechnica - Tue, 06/01/2021 - 11:10am
Xiaomi's charging demo. That's a wattage meter on the left.

Enlarge / Xiaomi's charging demo. That's a wattage meter on the left. (credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi has just showed off a new high mark for smartphone charging: a 200 W charging system. The company demoed "Xiaomi HyperCharge" in a new Twitter video this weekend, saying that the new tech can rocket a phone from empty to full in eight minutes. That's about as long as a trip to the gas station.

These quick-charging systems don't provide a continuous charge rate, but Xiaomi was nice enough to hook its new charger up to an electricity usage monitor so we can see what's happening. The phone charges to 10 percent in just 44 seconds, then quickly ramps up to 200 W. The phone achieves a 50 percent charge in a ridiculous three minutes. Next, the phone slowly ramps the power down, dropping to 150 W and hitting 75 percent charge in five-and-a-half minutes. Finally, the system ramps down to 40 W on its way to a full charge at eight minutes.

Behavior like this—gently topping off the battery for the last part of the charge cycle—is meant to protect battery longevity, and it is part of the reason there's no evidence that fast charging degrades your battery more quickly than regular charging.

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Pirelli puts a wireless sensor in its new tire for the McLaren Artura

ArsTechnica - Tue, 06/01/2021 - 10:30am
The new McLaren Artura plug-in hybrid supercar will be the first production car to use tires with built-in monitoring sensors.

Enlarge / The new McLaren Artura plug-in hybrid supercar will be the first production car to use tires with built-in monitoring sensors. (credit: McLaren)

When the McLaren Artura reaches the road later this year, it will do so riding on the world's first "Cyber Tires." Made by Pirelli, the tires feature an evolution of the tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) that are now fitted to new cars. Normally, those sensors are in a car's wheels, but Pirelli has here embedded them in the construction of the tire, where they measure pressure, temperature, and acceleration.

That little snippet of information from the Artura press briefing left me intrigued, if a little skeptical. So I reached out to Pirelli to see if it could convince me that smart tires are a good idea.

"Now we have the technology to install at industrial level a sensor inside the tire and, most of all, integrate the sensor into the car itself," said Piero Misani, Pirelli's senior VP of R&D. "You can put in a sensor, you can put in an app [linked to a tire], but this is not a dialogue between the tire and the car. That is something that is a standalone system. With the McLaren Artura, we believe that we'll be the first to fully integrate a sensor in the tire with the car's electronics."

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After 75,000 Echo arbitration demands, Amazon now lets you sue it

ArsTechnica - Tue, 06/01/2021 - 9:58am
An Amazon Echo smart speaker.

Enlarge / An Amazon Echo smart speaker. (credit: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Amazon quietly changed its terms of use last month, dropping a clause that forced customers into arbitration. Now, people can sue the company individually or in a class action.

The change apparently was brought about by a surge in arbitration demands over revelations that Amazon’s Echo devices were sometimes recording and saving conversations without consent, including those involving children. Those recordings allegedly ran afoul of laws in several states that require consent before recording and data collection.

Two state laws, the Illinois Biometrics Information Privacy Act and the California Information Privacy Act, have been key drivers of complaints against Amazon. Lawyers have filed class-action suits on the grounds that Amazon’s Echo recordings violated both consent laws and biometric laws, since some recordings were used to develop voiceprints to identify individual users in a household. But Amazon’s attorneys have successfully argued on several occasions that the cases should be kicked out of court and sent to arbitration.

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ROM site owner made $30,000 a year—now owes Nintendo $2.1M

ArsTechnica - Tue, 06/01/2021 - 9:14am
Artist's conception of Nintendo's reaction to the summary judgment.

Enlarge / Artist's conception of Nintendo's reaction to the summary judgment.

The now-unemployed owner of a shuttered ROM distribution site has been ordered to pay $2.1 million in damages to Nintendo after trying and failing to defend himself in the case.

In September 2019, Nintendo filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles resident Matthew Storman over his operation of RomUniverse.com, which offered prominent downloads of "Nintendo Switch Scene Roms" and other copyrighted game files. At the time, Nintendo said that the site had been "among the most visited and notorious online hubs for pirated Nintendo video games" for "over a decade."

Storman has admitted that, in 2019, the site made up the bulk of his $30,000 to $36,000 a year in income. This included direct revenue from the sale of "premium unlimited accounts" for $30 per year that provided users with faster downloads and no limits. By the time Storman signed a September 2020 agreement with Nintendo to shut the site down, he said he was deriving $800 a month from the site. According to court documents, Storman's income is now derived primarily from "unemployment and food stamps."

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Webb telescope launch date slips again

ArsTechnica - Tue, 06/01/2021 - 8:45am
Image of the telescope's mirror.

Enlarge / The mirror of the James Webb, with its individual segments unfolded into place. (credit: NASA)

The James Webb Space Telescope won't launch as scheduled on Halloween this year—which is definitely a trick rather than a treat for the space community. However, the delay may only be a few weeks.

Last summer, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) set an October 31, 2021, launch date for the $10 billion telescope. The instrument, which is the largest science observatory ever placed into space, will launch on a European Ariane 5 rocket from a spaceport in French Guiana. Now, however, three considerations have pushed the launch into November or possibly early December.

During a press briefing with reporters on Tuesday, the telescope's director for launch services, Beatriz Romero, said that there are a "combination of different factors" to consider when setting a new launch date. These factors include shipment of the telescope, the readiness of the Ariane 5 rocket, and the readiness of the spaceport in South America as well. Romero said she did not expect to identify a new launch date until later this summer or early fall.

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The US military is starting to get really interested in Starship

ArsTechnica - Tue, 06/01/2021 - 5:50am
Image of Starship on the launch pad.

Enlarge / A Starship prototype stands on the launch site in South Texas this year. (credit: Trevor Mahlmann )

As part of last week's federal budget rollout, a process during which the White House proposes funding levels for fiscal year 2022, the US Air Force released its "justification book" to compare its current request to past budget data. The 462-page book contains a lot of information about how the Air Force spends its approximately $200 billion budget.

For those tracking the development of SpaceX's ambitious Starship vehicle, there is an interesting tidbit tucked away on page 305, under the heading of "Rocket Cargo" (see .pdf). The Air Force plans to invest $47.9 million into this project in the coming fiscal year, which begins October 1.

"The Department of the Air Force seeks to leverage the current multi-billion dollar commercial investment to develop the largest rockets ever, and with full reusability to develop and test the capability to leverage a commercial rocket to deliver AF cargo anywhere on the Earth in less than one hour, with a 100-ton capacity," the document states.

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The best Memorial Day sales we can find on laptops, video games, and more tech [Updated]

ArsTechnica - Mon, 05/31/2021 - 8:32am
The best Memorial Day sales we can find on laptops, video games, and more tech [Updated]

Enlarge

Update (05/31/21 11:30am ET): We've refreshed our deals roundup for Memorial Day proper to reflect expired deals and new offers we've found over the course of the weekend.

Original story (05/29/21 11:15am ET): Memorial Day weekend has arrived, which means it's time for a special holiday edition of the Dealmaster's usual deals roundup.

As is often the case, this year's crop of Memorial Day sales aren't explicitly focused on electronics as much as mattresses, appliances, and other home goods. Those who can hold out for more sweeping sales events like Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday will generally find better prices on a wider selection of tech.

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Can we keep human inconsistency from confusing expert advice?

ArsTechnica - Mon, 05/31/2021 - 6:00am
 A Flaw in Human Judgment

Enlarge (credit: Little, Brown and Company)

Everyone has biases. And everyone knows that everyone has biases, and that these biases affect our judgements. Bias is explainable, and our brains like things they can explain.

One of the leading explainers of our biases is economist Daniel Kahneman, famed for a Nobel win and his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. He's now teamed with Olivier Sibony and Cass Sunstein to write a book... that's... not about bias. Entitled Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement, it deals with—you guessed it—noise, the variability among human judgements that is the result of humans being variable. We have distinct temperaments and personalities; we are different from each other, and we are different from ourselves, certainly from year to year but also even from hour to hour.

All of that noise is totally OK. But it is totally not OK when it means that one petty thief is granted bail while another must await trial in jail, or one asylum seeker gets admitted into the US while another does not, or one child at risk of abuse gets shunted into foster care while another stays put—all because they saw a particular judge on a particular morning.

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Genetic tricks of the longest-lived animals

ArsTechnica - Mon, 05/31/2021 - 5:45am
Image of a bat in flight

Enlarge / Bats, remarkable little things. (credit: Bernd Wolter / EyeEm)

Life, for most of us, ends far too soon—hence the effort by biomedical researchers to find ways to delay the aging process and extend our stay on Earth. But there’s a paradox at the heart of the science of aging: The vast majority of research focuses on fruit flies, nematode worms and laboratory mice, because they’re easy to work with and lots of genetic tools are available. And yet, a major reason that geneticists chose these species in the first place is because they have short lifespans. In effect, we’ve been learning about longevity from organisms that are the least successful at the game.

Today, a small number of researchers are taking a different approach and studying unusually long-lived creatures—ones that, for whatever evolutionary reasons, have been imbued with lifespans far longer than other creatures they’re closely related to. The hope is that by exploring and understanding the genes and biochemical pathways that impart long life, researchers may ultimately uncover tricks that can extend our own lifespans, too.

Everyone has a rough idea of what aging is, just from experiencing it as it happens to themselves and others. Our skin sags, our hair goes gray, joints stiffen and creak—all signs that our components—that is, proteins and other biomolecules—aren’t what they used to be. As a result, we’re more prone to chronic diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes—and the older we get, the more likely we are to die each year. “You live, and by living you produce negative consequences like molecular damage. This damage accumulates over time,” says Vadim Gladyshev, who researches aging at Harvard Medical School. “In essence, this is aging.”

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Building a better edible

ArsTechnica - Mon, 05/31/2021 - 3:30am
"Digital generated image of popsicles organized into rainbow colored pattern on pink surface," thanks Getty Images.

Enlarge / "Digital generated image of popsicles organized into rainbow colored pattern on pink surface," thanks Getty Images. (credit: Getty Images)

Lo Friesen reaches for a plastic bag the size of a pillowcase filled with dark green plant matter. “Here we have some more material for our edibles clients,” she says. “Just giant bags of weed."

Behind her, something is making a soft, regular chirping noise, like a little bird. Friesen turns and gestures at a silver contraption made of pipes and cylinders. “These are our machines,” she says. “This is where the material goes in.”

Friesen is a cannabis extractor in Seattle. Her company, Heylo Cannabis, is part of a whole ecosystem of suppliers, processors and distributors that has sprouted up since Washington state legalized marijuana in 2012. In this food chain, Friesen is somewhere between the plant growers and the retailers that sell to consumers. With the help of the chirping machines, her team separates and distills the various compounds found in the raw cannabis plant—the essence of weed. The result is a kind of oily, maple syrup–colored liquid that gently sloshes in glass flasks and jars in her lab.

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