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.

Entangled microwave photons may give 500x boost to radar

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/07/2022 - 1:38pm
Entangled microwave photons may give 500x boost to radar

Enlarge (credit: NASA)

Quantum radar has been on the… ahem… radar for a while now. Unfortunately, the theoretical and practical results from our explorations of the concept have been underwhelming. But before we get to the disappointments, let me give all you radar enthusiasts a reason for hope. A new paper demonstrates that, under conditions of low signal-to-noise ratios (at the edge of the radar’s classical range), employing quantum technologies may offer a very significant boost in accuracy.

Quantum radar?

Radar, at its simplest, involves sending out pulses of radiation that reflect off an object. The reflected signal is detected, and the time of flight is measured. The time of flight is then translated into a range, while the direction that the radar antenna was pointed when it picked up the reflection tells us the direction.

The horrible thing about radar is that the signal drops off very rapidly—as the fourth power of the distance. This is because the power of the radiation we send out drops as the square of the distance between the transmitter and the object. And then it drops as the square of the range again after it's reflected and has to travel back to the receiver. You get clobbered by the inverse square rule twice.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Biden’s vaccine mandates come before the Supreme Court

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/07/2022 - 1:08pm
The US Supreme Court building in Washington DC.

Enlarge / The US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Mike Kline)

On Friday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases that could severely limit the federal government's ability to set public health policy during the pandemic. At issue is whether existing health and safety authority given to federal agencies by Congress is broad enough to cover the pandemic or whether Congress needs to step in and explicitly authorize the agencies' actions.

The arguments occur as the US sees an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases. Indeed, two of the state lawyers arguing against these new public health measures were caught up in that surge and had to participate in the hearings remotely.

For and against

Two separate cases are being heard today, both regarding executive actions taken by the Biden administration. The first case involves a rule, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), covering all health care workers at facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid. The rule requires these workers to be vaccinated unless they are exempted on medical or religious grounds. The second case involves a vaccine-or-test mandate issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); the mandate would apply to any businesses with 100 or more employees.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Amazon’s Fallout TV series is about to enter production

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/07/2022 - 11:58am
A screenshot from <em>Fallout 4</em>, the most recent main entry in the game franchise.

Enlarge / A screenshot from Fallout 4, the most recent main entry in the game franchise. (credit: Bethesda)

Amazon Prime Video's adaptation of the Fallout franchise of video games is entering production this year, and its two lead writers have been named, according to reports in Deadline and Variety.

It was previously known that Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy (who worked together on HBO's Westworld) would be executive producers, and Variety and Deadline both report that Nolan will direct the first episode of the show.

But Nolan and Joy will not be the primary creative leads on the series. Rather, Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner have been attached as showrunners.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Final reminder: Donate to win swag in our annual Charity Drive sweepstakes

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/07/2022 - 11:41am
 Donate to win swag in our annual Charity Drive sweepstakes

Enlarge (credit: CanStockPhoto)

If you've been too busy playing the best games of 2021 to take part in this year's Ars Technica Charity Drive sweepstakes, you're running out of time to donate to a good cause and get a chance to win your share of over $1,600 worth of swag (no purchase necessary to win). The deadline is 11:59 pm EST tonight (Friday).

Over the past few weeks, over 300 readers have contributed almost $38,000 to either the Electronic Frontier Foundation or Child's Play as part of the charity drive (EFF is now leading in the donation totals by about $8,000). That's still a bit off from last year's record haul of over $58,000, but it's quickly approaching the previous record of $38,861.06 set in 2015.

If you've put it off this long, don't do so any longer! There are only a few hours left to get your entry recorded and help a good cause at the same time.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The adorable VW ID Buzz electric van will debut in March

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/07/2022 - 10:11am
A VW ID Buzz prototype equipped with Argo AI's autonomous driving hardware and software, on the streets of Munich, Germany.

Enlarge / A VW ID Buzz prototype equipped with Argo AI's autonomous driving hardware and software, on the streets of Munich, Germany. (credit: Argo AI)

This week, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess set a date for the launch of what might be the most eagerly anticipated of VW's new battery electric vehicles. The retro-styled ID Buzz concept car blew so many socks off when we first saw it in 2017, and we'll get our first proper look at the production version on March 9, according to Diess' Twitter feed.

The legend returns on 03/09/22! pic.twitter.com/Q4hFyCN5mr

— Herbert Diess (@Herbert_Diess) January 6, 2022

Intentionally or not, Volkswagen's ID Buzz concept might be the most successful aspect of the company's post-Dieselgate charm offensive. VW has had to pivot hard into electrification, applying its proven strategy of building many different styles of vehicles from the same family of parts and designs.

Most of those vehicles have been pretty conventional, like the ID.3 hatchbacks that are starting to get thick on the ground in Europe or the designed-with-the-US-in-mind ID.4 crossover. Then there are the less conventional concepts—try as they might, the engineers couldn't make a business case for the ID Buggy.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Holmes’ testimony backfired—jurors rated her the least credible witness

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/07/2022 - 9:57am
 Split verdict finds Theranos founder guilty of four counts of criminal fraud, not guilty on four other counts

Enlarge / Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, center, and her family leave the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building and US Courthouse after the jury found her guilty on four counts in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, January 3, 2022. (credit: Dai Sugano/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News)

When jurors deliberated the case of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of failed medical diagnostic startup Theranos, two pieces of evidence helped them convict her of fraud: a faked pharmaceutical company report and inflated financial projections.

Holmes was convicted earlier this week of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud, all involving investors. She was acquitted of defrauding patients, and the jury deadlocked on charges that she defrauded three other investors. The four women and eight men who served as jurors reached their decision after more than 50 hours of deliberations.

On the four guilty counts, jurors found the evidence clearly convincing, with one juror describing two pieces as “smoking guns” in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. One piece was a Theranos-authored report that Holmes gave to investors; it had a Pfizer logo at the top of every page, making it look like the pharmaceutical company had either written or approved its findings. The second was a set of financial projections that Holmes shared with investors, including Lakeshore Capital Management, the DeVos family office. 

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google loses Sonos patent case, starts stripping functionality from speakers

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/07/2022 - 9:43am
Promotional image of smart speaker.

Enlarge / The new Nest Audio. (credit: Google)

Following a preliminary ruling in August, the US International Trade Commission has issued a final decision saying that Google infringed five Sonos smart speaker patents. It would be possible for this ruling to result in some products like the Nest Audio, Chromecast, and Pixel line being banned in the US, but Google has prepared ITC-approved software downgrades, which remove the infringing features from users' products.

Sonos essentially invented the connected speaker category for streaming music, but the advent of voice assistants has led to Big Tech stomping all over Sonos' territory. Sonos says that while it was pitching Google for support of Google Play Music, Google got a behind-the-scenes look at Sonos' operations in 2013. Sonos says Google used that access to "blatantly and knowingly" copy Sonos' features for the Google Home speaker, which launched in 2016. Sonos sued Google in early 2020.

Eddie Lazarus, the chief legal officer at Sonos, told The New York Times, “We appreciate that the ITC has definitively validated the five Sonos patents at issue in this case and ruled unequivocally that Google infringes all five. That is an across-the-board win that is surpassingly rare in patent cases.”

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Rocket Report: SpaceX raises more cash, buy your own New Glenn

ArsTechnica - Fri, 01/07/2022 - 5:00am
The James Webb Space Telescope lifts off from French Guiana on an Ariane 5 rocket on December 25.

Enlarge / The James Webb Space Telescope lifts off from French Guiana on an Ariane 5 rocket on December 25. (credit: ESA - S. Corvaja)

Welcome to Edition 4.27 of the Rocket Report! And after two weeks away, the Rocket Report is back. I'd like to say I'm tanned, rested, and ready, but hey, one out of three isn't bad. Anyway, there's a ton of news to report after the holiday hiatus, so let's jump right into it.

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

Ukrainian investor asked to divest from Firefly. The US government has requested that Max Polyakov, a wealthy Ukrainian tech entrepreneur, sell his stake in the rocket company Firefly Aerospace Inc., Bloomberg reports. The military cited national security concerns in making the request. Polyakov backed Firefly with $200 million in 2017 after it declared bankruptcy and is credited with turning the company around. Polyakov had already stepped back from Firefly's board of directors a year ago.

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Study: 1960 ramjet design for interstellar travel—a sci-fi staple—is unfeasible

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 4:59pm
Artist's impression of the Ramjet propulsion system proposed in 1960 by physicist Robert W. Bussard

Enlarge / Artist's impression of the Ramjet propulsion system proposed in 1960 by physicist Robert W. Bussard (credit: NASA)

In Poul Anderson's 1970 novel Tau Zero, a starship crew seeks to travel to the star Beta Virginis in hopes of colonizing a new planet. The ship's mode of propulsion was a so-called "Bussard ramjet," an actual (though hypothetical) means of propulsion which had been proposed by physicist Robert W. Bussard just a decade earlier. Now, physicists have revisited this unusual mechanism for interstellar travel in a new paper published in the journal Acta Astronautica, and alas, they have found the ramjet wanting. It's feasible from a pure physics standpoint, but the associated engineering challenges are currently insurmountable, the authors concluded.

A ramjet is basically a jet engine that "breathes" air. The best analog for the fundamental mechanism is that it exploits the engine's forward motion to compress incoming air without the need for compressors, making ramjet engines lighter and simpler than their turbojet counterparts. A French inventor named Rene Lorin received a patent in 1913 for his concept of ramjet (aka, a flying stovepipe), although he failed to build a viable prototype. Two years later, Albert Fonó proposed a ramjet propulsion unit to increase the range of gun-launched projectiles and eventually was granted a German patent in 1932.

A basic ramjet has three components: an air intake, a combustor, and a nozzle. Hot exhaust from fuel combustion flows through the nozzle. The pressure of the combustion must be higher than the pressure at the exit of the nozzle in order to maintain a steady flow, which a ramjet engine achieves by "ramming" external air into the combustor with the forward speed of whatever vehicle is being powered by the engine. There is no need to carry oxygen on board. The downside is that ramjets can only produce thrust if the vehicle is already moving, so they require an assisted takeoff using rockets. As such, ramjets are most useful as a means of acceleration, such as for ramjet-powered missiles or for increasing the range of artillery shells.

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Lawsuit: Facebook recommendations helped extremists meet and plan murder

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 4:33pm
Members of the Boogaloo Bois gather for the 12th annual Second Amendment March sponsored by Michigan Open Carry Inc. and Second Amendment March outside of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on September 23, 2021.

Enlarge / Members of the Boogaloo Bois gather for the 12th annual Second Amendment March sponsored by Michigan Open Carry Inc. and Second Amendment March outside of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on September 23, 2021. (credit: Getty Images | Jeff Kowalsky)

The sister of a slain federal security officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Facebook owner Meta. The lawsuit alleges that the killing of Dave Patrick Underwood in May 2020 "was not a random act of violence" but rather "the culmination of an extremist plot hatched and planned on Facebook by two men who Meta connected through Facebook's groups infrastructure and its use of algorithms designed and intended to increase user engagement and, correspondingly, Meta's profits."

The lawsuit says that Meta "helped build" the antigovernment "boogaloo" community, which includes white supremacists, militia promoters, and far-right conspiracy theorists. This community "supported [the] criminal planning" of Underwood's murderer and his accomplice, the complaint says, accusing Facebook of negligence.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday by Angela Underwood Jacobs in California Superior Court for Alameda County, and it seeks damages of at least $25,000. The lawsuit notes that Dave Underwood "was a Federal Protective Services Officer working under a contract with the Department of Homeland Security to provide security" at a federal building and courthouse in Oakland. On May 29, 2020, during protests over the police killing of George Floyd, the 53-year-old Underwood was stationed in a guard post outside the building and was killed in a drive-by shooting. He was shot in the neck and right flank and endured "extreme pain and suffering" before dying in the emergency room, the lawsuit said.

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GameStop stock takes off as plans for NFT marketplace come into focus

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 4:09pm
Gamestop promotional image reads Power to the players, creators, and collectors.

Enlarge (credit: GameStop)

Two of 2021's strangest trends are coming together Thursday evening as GameStop's stock surges on a report that it is working to establish an NFT and cryptocurrency marketplace alongside partner game developers and publishers.

The news, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, suggests GameStop has a 20-person unit working on the online marketplace, set to launch later this year, which will offer in-game goods as supply-limited, cryptographically signed NFTs. In addition, the Journal's sources suggest GameStop may be preparing to invest "tens of millions of dollars" in crypto-related companies, including the development of games that use the blockchain.

Shares of GameStop stock, which today closed at its lowest point since last March after a six-week slide, were up sharply in after-hours trading immediately following the report. As of this writing, the stock's value had increased over 30 percent in a little more than an hour after the market closed, bringing to mind images of the "meme stock" rallies of last January.

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Omicron is not mild and is crushing health care systems worldwide, WHO warns

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 3:46pm
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a press conference on December 20, 2021, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva.

Enlarge / World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a press conference on December 20, 2021, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. (credit: Getty| Fabrice Coffrini)

The World Health Organization on Thursday pushed back against the consistent chatter that the ultra-transmissible omicron coronavirus is "mild," noting that the variant is causing a "tsunami of cases" that is "overwhelming health systems around the world."

"While omicron does appear to be less severe compared to delta—especially in those vaccinated—it does not mean it should be categorized as 'mild,'" WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press briefing Thursday. "Just like previous variants, omicron is hospitalizing people, and it is killing people."

The warning comes as the US is still experiencing a vertical rise in cases and hospitalizations from the quick-spreading variant. In the week ending on January 1, omicron was estimated to account for 95 percent of all cases in the US, according to the latest analysis by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The delta variant, which was making up over 99 percent of US cases as recently as the week ending on December 4, has now been relegated to just 5 percent of cases.

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Samsung shows off foldable laptop, tablet, and smartphone concepts at CES

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 3:33pm

Samsung has been leading the charge toward foldable smartphones for almost three years now, but the future of the company's foldable ambitions have always been on display at trade shows, going all the way back to 2008. With three versions of the Galaxy Z Fold (and two smaller Z Flips) under the conglomerate's belt, Samsung's Display division has shown up to CES with a plethora of prototypes detailing what it thinks the future of foldables will look like. For whatever reason, Samsung produced official hands-on videos of these devices but isn't hosting them anywhere, but there are some mirrors on YouTube from Abhijeet Mishra (1, 2, 3, 4).

These aren't from the "Galaxy" division (that would be Samsung Mobile), and they aren't fully featured devices. But Samsung Display's technology has been a driving enabler behind the Galaxy Fold line of devices. Now, the display division wants to tackle even bigger and more complicated form factors.

The tri-fold “Flex S” and “Flex G” concepts

If one fold works on the Galaxy Z Fold, then surely two folds will be even better. The first concept, the "Flex S," folds up in an "S" shape (It's more like a "Z" but "S" has way better Samsung branding synergy). This gives you a visible front display when the device is closed and a wide aspect ratio when open. The Flex S comes in phone and tablet versions. The commercial Galaxy Fold needs a totally separate screen to have a front display, while the Flex S only needs a single screen. The Huawei Mate X tried a single-screen design with only one fold, but that meant the entire device was a display when closed, and there was no "safe" side to place on the table. The Flex S works around that problem with the second fold.

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E3 makes months-in-advance call to skip convention hall in 2022, go “virtual” [Updated]

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 3:07pm
Hands put on medical gloves in front of an E3 logo.

Enlarge / On Thursday, E3 made an incredibly early call about its 2022 incarnation. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

If you thought this might be the year of E3's in-person comeback, its creators and showrunners have bad news for you. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) confirmed on Thursday that it will not proceed with a traditional exposition floor plan for E3 2022, an event that, in previous years, was the gaming industry's biggest coming-out party of the year. Instead, organizers have pledged to bring the expo back as an online-only version, as we saw in 2021.

The ESA's official explanation for the move, first offered to VentureBeat, references "the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees." When asked directly about whether E3 will return to last year's online-only format, ESA representatives declined to answer. Instead, they said the organization is "excited" about such an option.

Ars Technica's attempts to contact the ESA's E3 news line, which was live during its E3 2021 period, bounced back on Thursday as undeliverable. [Update, 6:03 p.m. ET: In an email to Ars Technica, an ESA representative confirmed that "the show is going to be virtual this year," then forwarded the same statement sent to VentureBeat.)

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Mac architecture lead Jeff Wilcox defects to Intel to design new SoCs

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 2:26pm
Enormous, circular complex surrounded by suburban sprawl.

Enlarge / The Apple Park campus stands in this aerial photograph taken above Cupertino in October 2019. (credit: Sam Hall/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Jeff Wilcox, Apple's director of Mac system architecture who oversaw much of the Apple Silicon transition, has left Apple to join Intel. He will head up Intel's efforts to develop its own system-on-a-chip.

Wilcox makes this move after eight years as a key player in Apple's desktop and laptop product development. Before that time, he was actually at Intel, so the move is a return for him, not an entirely new frontier.

He announced the change on LinkedIn over the past few weeks. In his initial LinkedIn post, he wrote:

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Lenovo announces an ultrawide laptop with an extra screen

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 1:58pm
Promotional image of new notebook computer.

Enlarge / Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3. (credit: Lenovo)

While the majority of laptops still use the 16:9 aspect ratio, we've seen many companies increasingly embrace taller aspect ratios over the last couple years. Lenovo, while also playing around with the likes of 16:10 laptop screens in other upcoming machines, is taking a wider approach. At CES this week, it announced a laptop with an ultrawide display. Oh, and it has a second screen next to the keyboard, too.

Lenovo says the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is the first machine to use a 17.3-inch 21:10 screen. We've seen ultrawide laptops before, but laptops with a screen that's wider than 16:9 are incredibly rare today.

Toshiba tried to make it a thing in 2012. The company's 21:9 Toshiba U845W laptop promised a superior experience for watching movies (at least ones made in the same aspect ratio) and multitasking. More recently, Acer's 2017 Predator 21 X used the 21:9 aspect ratio and a unique curve to claim supreme gaming immersion (again, with supported titles).

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Moonfall trailer is gloriously ridiculous

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 1:35pm

Halle Berry and Patrick Wilson co-star in director Roland Emmerich's latest film, Moonfall.

Hello, police? I'd like to report a murder—the sacrifice of credible science on the altar of entertainment, as evidenced in the latest trailer for Moonfall. It's the latest epic disaster blockbuster from director Roland Emmerich, in which the Earth's existence is threatened by the Moon getting knocked out of its orbit and into a collision course toward Earth.

Look, I love me some Roland Emmerich. Independence Day (1996) is top-notch entertainment, and while his Godzilla (1998) was widely panned by critics, it featured a world-weary Jean Reno as a French scientist constantly bemoaning the lack of decent coffee in America, which was worth the price of admission alone. But in recent years, the director has pivoted to what can only be called climate-change inspired "disaster p*rn," with over-the-top films like 2009's 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow (2004).

Both films made big bucks at the box office, despite mixed critical reviews and dings for their sloppy use of science. In fact, The Day After Tomorrow frequently winds up on people's lists of most scientifically inaccurate films. That's not a deal-breaker so long as the film is entertaining. As screenwriter Jeffrey Nachmanoff pointed out at the film's Berlin premiere, "This is a disaster movie and not a scientific documentary, [and] the film makers have taken a lot of artistic license." Thus far, Emmerich has shown a talent for pushing an audience's willing suspension of disbelief to the limit without crossing the line into utter ridiculousness (or at least, audiences will be having so much fun, they'll cheer on the ridiculous aspects with glee).

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Asus takes a page from Lenovo with new foldable PC

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 12:23pm
Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED in four different setups

Enlarge / The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED can take many forms. (credit: Asus/YouTube)

When Intel unveiled its 12th-gen mobile CPUs on Tuesday, the company pointed to the chips' suitability for use in foldable PC designs by showing unidentified concept images. It didn't take long to figure out what Intel was talking about. On Wednesday, Asus announced a foldable PC—think of it as a 17.3-inch OLED tablet that can fold in half.

In addition to a 12th-gen i7 CPU, the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED comes with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD. The components live in a device measuring 14.9 x 11.32 x 0.34–0.46 inches when open and housing an OLED touchscreen with a 2560 x 1920 resolution and a 0.2 ms GTG response time.

The display has a 4:3 aspect ratio, making it tall when fully open. If you fold it down the middle, the screen will act as two 12.5-inch displays with 1920 x 1290 resolutions and 3:2 aspect ratios. When you're done, you can fold the device shut so that it's "smaller than a sheet of photocopier paper," measuring 11.69 x 8.27 inches, according to Asus' announcement. And if you're worried about how many times you can fold the device, Asus claims the hinge lasts for at least 30,000 cycles.

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GM readies Qualcomm-powered Ultra Cruise driver assistance for 2023 launch

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 12:08pm
A closer look at the hardware inside the Ultra Cruise computer.

Enlarge / A closer look at the hardware inside the Ultra Cruise computer. (credit: General Motors)

General Motors has partnered with Qualcomm to provide the computing power for its next-generation hands-free driver-assistance system. First announced in October 2021, the new system is called Ultra Cruise, and it one-ups the (already very competent) GM Super Cruise in terms of performance and operational design domain.

Whereas Super Cruise is limited to restricted access, divided-lane highways, Ultra Cruise will at first operate on more than 2 million miles of roads in the US and Canada. An Ultra Cruise-equipped car will sense its environment using a mix of lidar, optical cameras, and radar to generate a sensor-fused 360-degree view of the world around it. It will recognize and react to permanent traffic control devices like stop signs and traffic lights, and it will even handle left-turns, albeit with a little driver input.

Like Super Cruise, Ultra Cruise is a driver-assistance system (it falls under the SAE's level 2), and the human driver is still responsible for providing situational awareness (with a driver-monitoring system making sure that's happening).

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France orders Google and Facebook to offer one-click cookie rejection

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 11:29am
A computer cursor hovering over an

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Sean Gladwell)

French regulators today ordered Google and Facebook to make rejecting cookies as simple as accepting them and fined the companies a total of €210 million for failing to comply with France's Data Protection Act.

The CNIL (Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés) said that "facebook.com, google.fr and youtube.com offer a button allowing the user to immediately accept cookies" but "do not provide an equivalent solution (button or other) enabling the Internet user to easily refuse the deposit of these cookies. Several clicks are required to refuse all cookies, against a single one to accept them."

The process making it harder to reject cookies than to accept them "affects the freedom of consent of Internet users and constitutes an infringement of Article 82 of the French Data Protection Act," the CNIL said. The agency announced fines of €150 million for Google and €60 million for Facebook and said it "ordered the companies to provide Internet users located in France with a means of refusing cookies as simple as the existing means of accepting them, in order to guarantee their freedom of consent, within three months. If they fail to do so, the companies will have to pay a penalty of 100,000 euros per day of delay."

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