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  • 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.

Ex-Googler Levandowski gets 18 months in prison for trade-secret theft

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 9:40am
Anthony Levandowski walking to a courthouse while holding a cardboard box.

Enlarge / Anthony Levandowski arrives for a court appearance at the Phillip Burton Federal Building and US Courthouse on November 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (credit: Getty Images | Justin Sullivan )

Ex-Google engineer Anthony Levandowski yesterday was sentenced to 18 months in prison following his March guilty plea for stealing a confidential document related to Google's self-driving technology.

Levandowski's lawyers last week asked a judge in US District Court for the Northern District of California to let him off without any prison time, arguing that a year of home confinement, a fine, restitution, and community service would be sufficient punishment. The federal government asked for a 27-month prison sentence.

While handing down the 18-month sentence, US District Judge William Alsup said that a sentence without imprisonment would give "a green light to every future brilliant engineer to steal trade secrets," according to a Reuters report. Levandowski was originally charged with 33 counts of stealing trade secrets by downloading thousands of documents to his personal laptop in December 2015 shortly before he left Google to work on his startup, Otto, which was acquired by Uber for a reported $680 million in August 2016. In a plea deal, Levandowksi admitted to stealing one document called "Chauffeur TL weekly updates," which tracked the progress of Google's "Project Chauffeur" that later became Waymo. Prosecutors dropped the other charges.

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Big Nurse gets her origin story in trailer for prequel series Ratched

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 9:22am

Sarah Paulson plays Nurse Mildred Ratched in Netflix's prequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Fans of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest—whether Ken Kesey's 1962 novel or the 1975 Oscar-winning film starring Jack Nicholson—know that the sadistic, tyrannical Nurse Ratched is a crucial antagonist driving the story of a rebellious inmate in a psychiatric hospital. Now she's getting her own back story in the form of a new prequel series, Ratched. Netflix dropped the first trailer for the series yesterday.

(Spoilers for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest book and film below.)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is set in a psychiatric hospital in Salem, Oregon, where Randle Patrick McMurphy is sent after faking insanity to escape a prison farm sentence. Nurse Ratched (aka Big Nurse) rules the place with an iron hand, systematically abusing the inmates under her charge. She maintains order by withholding basic necessities, medications, or patient privileges, but McMurphy's rebellious nature challenges her authority, even in the face of shock therapy.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 is a stylish redesign without much new to say

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 8:56am

(credit: Samsung)

It has been two full years since the release of Samsung’s Galaxy Watch, and today we're finally getting a proper followup with the announcement of the Galaxy Watch 3. If you’ve been paying attention to leaks and rumors, you’ve known for at least a few months that this refresh was coming, and with leaks of the entire hands-on experience and instructional videos in recent days, little was left to our imaginations.

Still, looking at the new Galaxy Watch is quite a treat. Samsung has refined the style of an already good-looking watch to be more stylish, modern, and versatile. It's thinner, it's lighter, and it packs in a slightly larger screen than its predecessor. Thankfully, the rotating bezel, one of the watch’s biggest selling points, is still present in this latest model; it's even less chunky and is more uniform with the watch facade than before.

There’s also a new Mystic Bronze colorway that strikes an excellent balance between classy and casual, bringing the total number of color options to three, with Mystic Silver and Mystic Black rounding out the trio of stainless steel watch cases. A titanium version comes only in Mystic Black at the larger of the two watch sizes. With 41mm and 45mm sizes packing 1.2- and 1.4-inch AMOLED displays, respectively, the Galaxy Watch 3 still meets 5ATM and IP68 water and dust resistance specifications. As for internals, you'll have 1GB of RAM with 8GB on-board storage for music and apps all run by the same dual-core Exynos 9110 processor, clocked at 1.15GHz, found in its predecessor and the more recent Galaxy Watch Active 2. LTE versions will be available through carriers at a later date.

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Formula E returns today with the first of six races in nine days

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 8:45am

On Wednesday afternoon, Formula E returns to action in Berlin. And yes, you read that right—racing on a Wednesday. The electric racing series started its sixth season in Saudi Arabia back in November and managed to run a total of five races (out of a planned 14) before COVID-19 turned up and shut everything down. Tentative plans called for a return to racing in July in New York City, but with the pandemic raging out of control in the US, that turned out to be a non-starter.

Instead, the series got creative. Rather than continue to cross the globe, with all those attendant risks, it has decamped to Germany, a country where public health measures have largely worked to control viral infections. So it will wrap up this season with a total of six more races, held over the next nine days, all taking place at the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin.

To make things more interesting, the series will use three different track layouts in Berlin. For the first pair of races, which take place on Wednesday and Thursday (August 5 and 6), the cars will use a reversed version of the 10-turn, 1.5-mile (2.35km) track used in previous years. The second pair of races, which will be held on August 8 and 9, will use the traditional Berlin layout, the same 10 turns and 1.5 miles, but run counterclockwise, as in years past. And for the final two races, which take place on August 12 and 13, there's a new 16-turn, 1.6-mile (2.5km) layout to contend with.

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Samsung’s “beans” earbuds are here, and they’re called the Galaxy Buds Live

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 8:09am

Samsung on Tuesday announced its latest pair of true wireless earbuds, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. The earbuds, whose bean-shaped design caused a stir in tech circles after leaking last month, will be available starting Thursday and cost $169.99. They'll be available in black, bronze, and white finishes.

The Galaxy Buds Live are designed to sit entirely in your ear; there's no outward protruding "stem," but there are small, flat tips on each earbud to keep them securely in place. Samsung says it will include two sizes of these "wingtips" in the box.

In terms of features, Samsung has equipped the Galaxy Buds Live with active noise cancellation, bringing them in competition with other true wireless pairs like Apple's AirPods Pro and Sony's WF-1000XM3. Samsung is going about this a little differently, however. Because the Galaxy Buds Live's flattened design naturally lets in more ambient noise than more tightly sealed in-ear headphones like Apple's or Sony's pairs, Samsung wants its ANC to focus on muting low-end frequencies—an airplane cabin, a loud laundry machine, and so on—while still letting higher-pitch noises through.

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Samsung makes the $1,300 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra official

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 8:03am

Today is Samsung's big hardware event, Unpacked 2020, and the company's late-2020 flagships have been announced: meet the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the Galaxy Note 20. Typically, Samsung has built two nearly identical phones with different size screens and bodies, but this year there are major differences between the two devices. The big news today is the prices: the Note 20 Ultra starts (starts!) at $1,299, and the Note 20 starts at $999.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch, 3088×1440 120Hz display; 8GB or 12 GB of RAM; 128, 256, or 512GB of storage; and a 4500mAh battery. You get three cameras on the back, a 108MP main camera, a 12MP wide-angle, and a 12MP, 5x optical zoom. Earlier this year with the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung promoted the 5x optical zoom as a "100x Space Zoom" through the use of cropping and AI upscaling. As you can imagine from that huge gulf between optics and output, the resulting images were a blurry, smeared mess. For the second half of the year, on the Note 20, the feature has been cut down to a "50x Super Resolution Zoom."

As always, Samsung is offering two different SoCs. For both Note 20s, you get either the new Snapdragon 865+ or the Samsung Exynos 990 SoC, depending on the country. We expect the US will get the Snapdragon chip; Europe will get the Exynos. The Exynos models have an option for an LTE-only device, while 5G is mandatory on the Snapdragon chip, and at least some models have mmWave.

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Avengers video game beta impressions: Destiny, this ain’t

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 6:00am
Avengers assemble—in their newest video game.

Enlarge / Avengers assemble—in their newest video game. (credit: Crystal Dynamics / Square Enix)

After over a year of rumors, teases, and reveals, we have finally played the upcoming Avengers video game, slated to launch on PS4, Xbox One, and Windows PC on September 4. It's arguably the biggest Avengers-themed game ever made, in part thanks to a massive effort by developers Crystal Dynamics (makers of the modern Tomb Raider trilogy). Many of you will soon get to play the same content when the game's beta test opens Friday, August 7, exclusively for PS4 players who preordered the game. (By month's end, all three platforms will have open beta periods, no purchase required; more on that below.)

We've been careful about covering this superhero game, in part because its performance looked suspect during E3 2019 and because we couldn't tell how its Destiny-inspired looter-shooter system would translate to the beat-'em-up genre. This beta's selection of missions and story sequences has firmed up our suspicions on what to expect in the final game—and the news isn't great.

Feeling weak in a world of heroes

Avengers official beta overview

The beta opens with an all-star superhero brawl in San Francisco, primarily atop the Golden Gate Bridge, and it may look familiar, as this previously premiered at last year's E3. It's a show-of-force intro, with players jumping from one familiar superhero to the next: Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow. Each comes with a mix of melee, ranged, counter, and special attacks, and each can put the serious smackdown on large crowds of generic robo-soldier foes. Pummel, run, jump, and repeat.

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