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.

Lexus’ new 2021 LC500 Convertible puts on the pretty

ArsTechnica - Mon, 09/14/2020 - 8:27am

In 2018 when the Lexus LC500 coupe first wafted past our eyes, we called it a herald for Lexus' future, a marker for upcoming Lexus design and the first pretty Lexus since the original SC300 & SC400 (known as the Toyota Soarer in Japan).

While the intervening two years have not produced an onslaught of pretty and muscular Lexuses inspired by the LC, the company is now unleashing a convertible LC500 that builds on the pretty to make it prettier, airier, opener, funner, and even slicker. In a world of expensive luxe-niche GTs, the LC Convertible might even out-do the vaunted Mercedes-Benz SL. Though, where the SL offers just two seats and the LC offers four, the two in the rear barely accommodate luggage, let alone very small humans.

However, the Mercedes SL was born an open-top car, and the LC wasn't. And the biggest challenge to engineers when cleaving the roof off a coupe is structural stiffness. Remedies are needed to keep the car from shaking like a paint mixer over bumpy roads (or folding up like a pretzel in the worst of cases). Despite only being Lexus' third convertible in history, the car suffers from none of the shakes of most converted coupes.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Feds seize OnePlus Buds, mistaking them for “counterfeit” AirPods [Updated]

ArsTechnica - Mon, 09/14/2020 - 7:07am
These are OnePlus Buds. They are a real product made by a real company, despite what US Customs seems to think.

Enlarge / These are OnePlus Buds. They are a real product made by a real company, despite what US Customs seems to think. (credit: OnePlus)

Original story 10:07am EDT: US Customs and Border Protection this weekend proudly tweeted about a high-value seizure of counterfeit electronic goods at John F. Kennedy International Airport. "That's not an

Private data gone public: Razer leaks 100,000+ gamers’ personal info

ArsTechnica - Mon, 09/14/2020 - 6:35am
This redacted sample record from the leaked Elasticsearch data shows someone's June 24 purchase of a $2,600 gaming laptop.

Enlarge / This redacted sample record from the leaked Elasticsearch data shows someone's June 24 purchase of a $2,600 gaming laptop. (credit: Volodymyr Dianchenko)

In August, security researcher Volodymyr Diachenko discovered a misconfigured Elasticsearch cluster, owned by gaming hardware vendor Razer, exposing customers' PII (Personal Identifiable Information).

The cluster contained records of customer orders and included information such as item purchased, customer email, customer (physical) address, phone number, and so forth—basically, everything you'd expect to see from a credit card transaction, although not the credit card numbers themselves. The Elasticseach cluster was not only exposed to the public, it was indexed by public search engines.

I must say I really enjoyed my conversations with different reps of @Razer support team via email for the last couple of week, but it did not bring us closer to securing the data breach in their systems. pic.twitter.com/Z6YZ5wvejl

— Bob Diachenko (@MayhemDayOne) September 1, 2020

Diachenko reported the misconfigured cluster—which contained roughly 100,000 users' data—to Razer immediately, but the report bounced from support rep to support rep for over three weeks before being fixed.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

5G in rural areas bridges a gap that 4G doesn’t, especially low- and mid-band

ArsTechnica - Mon, 09/14/2020 - 6:00am
Collage of cartoon animals and houses, all with satellite dishes.

Enlarge / This might be the best listing image Aurich has ever created. The duck just kills me. Look at his little hat! (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

In this third installment of our series explaining what we can expect from 5G, we're going to focus on how 5G deployment can impact rural and underserved areas.

A brief refresher: What is 5G?

If you didn't read the first article in the series, you might need a refresher on what 5G actually is—and is not. The term "5G" itself doesn't refer to any particular frequency range; it just specifies the communications protocol being used—like 2G, 3G, and 4G before it. You may sometimes also see the term 5G NR, which simply means "fifth generation, new radio"—the two terms are interchangeable. Fortunately, and unlike earlier generations, there are no competing standards—5G is just 5G.

With that said, much of what you've heard about 5G likely does refer to specific frequencies that it can operate at. There are three general bands allocated for 5G, which are further subdivided and leased to individual carriers. Those are the low, mid, and high bands. The low and mid bands are 600MHz-900MHz and 2.5GHz-4.2GHz, respectively. These bands share similar radio characteristics with existing 4G LTE low and high bands; taken together, you may also hear the pair of them referred to as "sub-6GHz" or "5G FR1."

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Astra finally launches its first orbital rocket, and it flew for 30 seconds

ArsTechnica - Mon, 09/14/2020 - 5:22am

After months of technical and weather delays, Astra launched its first orbital rocket on Friday night from a spaceport in southern Alaska.

The stubby, small rocket's five main engines lit several seconds before liftoff, and then the booster named Rocket 3.1 began to climb into the deepening evening sky. Rocket 3.1 appeared to climb straight and true for about 15 seconds before it began to sway back and forth a little bit.

Later, the company's co-founder and chief technology officer, Adam London, would explain that a problem with the rocket's computerized guidance system introduced a slight roll oscillation. As this happened, the vehicle began to drift away from its planned trajectory.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Oracle, one of Donald Trump’s favorite companies, wins TikTok deal

ArsTechnica - Sun, 09/13/2020 - 7:40pm
Oracle chairman Larry Ellison.

Enlarge / Oracle chairman Larry Ellison. (credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Oracle has apparently won the competition to take over TikTok's US operations. Microsoft disclosed on Sunday that ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese owner, rejected Microsoft's rival bid earlier in the day.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal will not be an outright sale. Instead, Oracle will become ByteDance's US "tech partner." The details of the transaction aren't yet public, but they will soon be submitted to US regulators for their approval.

It's a victory for Larry Ellison, the chairman of Oracle and one of the few technology tycoons who has been openly supportive of Donald Trump. Ellison held a fundraiser for Trump in February.

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How the Warsaw Ghetto beat back typhus during World War II

ArsTechnica - Sun, 09/13/2020 - 11:13am
Painting by Israel Bernbaum depicting Jewish children in Warsaw Ghetto and in the death camps (1981).

Enlarge / Painting by Israel Bernbaum depicting Jewish children in Warsaw Ghetto and in the death camps (1981). (credit: Monclair State University collection)

During the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II, Jewish residents in Warsaw were forcibly confined to a district known as the Warsaw Ghetto. The crowded, unsanitary conditions and meager food rations predictably led to a deadly outbreak of typhus fever in 1941. But the outbreak mysteriously halted before winter arrived, rather than becoming more virulent with the colder weather. According to a recent paper in the journal Science Advances, it was measures put into place by the ghetto doctors and Jewish council members that curbed the spread of typhus: specifically, social distancing, self-isolation, public lectures, and the establishment of an underground university to train medical students.

Typhus (aka "jail fever" or "gaol fever") has been around for centuries. These days, outbreaks are relatively rare, limited to regions with bad sanitary conditions and densely packed populations—prisons and ghettos, for instance—since the epidemic variety is spread by body lice. (Technically, typhus is a group of related infectious diseases.) But they do occur: there was an outbreak among the Los Angeles homeless population in 2018-2019.

Those who contract typhus experience a sudden fever and accompanying flu-like symptoms, followed five to nine days later by a rash that gradually spreads over the body. If left untreated with antibiotics, the patient begins to show signs of meningoencephalitis (infection of the brain)—sensitivity to light, seizures, and delirium, for instance—before slipping into a coma and, often, dying. There is no vaccine against typhus, even today. It's usually prevented by limiting human exposure to the disease vectors (lice) by improving the conditions in which outbreaks can flourish.

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Nvidia buys ARM Holdings from SoftBank for $40 billion [Updated]

ArsTechnica - Sun, 09/13/2020 - 9:50am
Components manufactured by ARM Holdings Plc sit inside a demonstration ARMmbed parking meter on display on the second day of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017.

Enlarge / Components manufactured by ARM Holdings Plc sit inside a demonstration ARMmbed parking meter on display on the second day of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images)

Update: SoftBank has agreed to sell Arm Holdings to US chip company Nvidia for $40 billion, ending four years of ownership as the Japanese technology group shifts towards becoming a global investment and asset management powerhouse.

The UK chip designer is the latest large asset disposal orchestrated by SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son as his newly built war chest opens up options for the group including an expansion of trading into publicly listed technology stocks and a potential delisting of its own shares.

Under the deal, SoftBank will become the largest shareholder in Nvidia, which will pay the Japanese group $21.5 billion in common stock and $12 billion in cash. “We look forward to supporting the continued success of the combined business,” Mr Son said in a joint statement late on Sunday.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

AI ruined chess. Now it’s making the game beautiful again

ArsTechnica - Sun, 09/13/2020 - 4:10am
Chess board, black king lying beside white king

Enlarge (credit: Dimitri Otis | Getty Images)

Chess has a reputation for cold logic, but Vladimir Kramnik loves the game for its beauty.

“It’s a kind of creation,” he says. His passion for the artistry of minds clashing over the board, trading complex but elegant provocations and counters, helped him dethrone Garry Kasparov in 2000 and spend several years as world champion.

Yet Kramnik, who retired from competitive chess last year, also believes his beloved game has grown less creative. He partly blames computers, whose soulless calculations have produced a vast library of openings and defenses that top-flight players know by rote. “For quite a number of games on the highest level, half of the game—sometimes a full game—is played out of memory,” Kramnik says. “You don’t even play your own preparation; you play your computer’s preparation.”

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Political appointees demand ability to rewrite CDC case reports

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/12/2020 - 11:40am
Image of a man holding his hand to his ear in order to hear better.

Enlarge / Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), listens during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus. Redfield may be finding himself trapped between scientists and political appointees. (credit: Getty Images)

Political appointees in the Department of Health and Human services are objecting to reports on the COVID-19 pandemic from the Centers for Disease Control and are trying to exercise editorial control of future reports. That's the bottom line of an extensive report from Politico that was based on both internal emails and interviews with people in the organization. The problems apparently stem from the fact-based reports from the CDC running counter to the Trump administration's preferred narrative about the spread of the pandemic and the appropriate public health responses.

The CDC documents at issue are termed Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which provide rapid summaries of the state of our knowledge about public health issues. Typically, they're the product of a CDC-backed investigation into a known issue; in the past, they've focused on things like outbreaks of food-borne illnesses. While they don't have the weight of peer-reviewed literature, they're widely considered to be scientifically reliable, and their rapid publication makes them a valuable resource for public health officials.

It's easy to see how the reports' accurate information could be viewed as counter to the preferred message of the Trump administration. Trump has made reopening schools a centerpiece of his pandemic policy, but CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly reports have described how SARS-CoV-2 can spread rapidly in a school-aged population, how young children can bring the disease home and pass it on to adults, and how children can suffer severe complications from the disease.

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Rush Limbaugh downplaying hurricane Irma may have decreased evacuations

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/12/2020 - 9:59am
Hurricane Irma as it strikes Florida.

Enlarge / Hurricane Irma as it strikes Florida. (credit: NASA EO)

Before Hurricane Irma hit Florida in 2017, radio entertainer (and Florida resident) Rush Limbaugh falsely ranted that landfalling hurricanes are “never as strong as they’re reported,” claiming that life-saving forecasts are exaggerated “to advance this climate change agenda.” Beyond his radio audience, the comments generated a fair amount of news coverage. Yet Limbaugh evacuated his beachfront mansion a few days later.

Given the cultural polarization about certain scientific facts, it’s fair to wonder if these irresponsible falsehoods had a discernible impact on evacuations. UCLA’s Elisa Long, Keith Chen, and Ryne Rohla used a phone-location dataset to find out. They compared evacuations for Irma to those in Texas for Hurricane Harvey and to Florida’s 2016 Hurricane Matthew.

The dataset includes anonymized locations from millions of phones, so it requires some simplified processing. Each phone’s home location is defined by its most common location in the week previous to the first hurricane alert. Then, for a window of time around the hurricane, evacuations are determined by a change in location that lasts at least 24 hours.

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Defying crackdowns, QAnon continues its relentless global spread

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/12/2020 - 8:58am
BOSTON—A man wearing a QAnon vest held a flag during a No Mandatory Flu Shot Massachusetts rally held outside of the State House in Boston on Aug. 30, 2020, to demonstrate against Gov. Charlie Baker's order for mandatory influenza vaccinations for all students under the age of 30, an effort to lower the burden on the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enlarge / BOSTON—A man wearing a QAnon vest held a flag during a No Mandatory Flu Shot Massachusetts rally held outside of the State House in Boston on Aug. 30, 2020, to demonstrate against Gov. Charlie Baker's order for mandatory influenza vaccinations for all students under the age of 30, an effort to lower the burden on the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic. (credit: Boston Globe | Getty Images)

The online phenomenon known as QAnon is evolving beyond its pro-Trump roots and spreading rapidly into new global communities, despite efforts by social media platforms to stamp out the world’s most persistent conspiracy theory.

Cryptic posts by the group or individual known as “Q” first began appearing on the imageboard 4chan in 2017, propagating a theory that swiftly gained traction online in which the US president is leading a battle against a “deep state” that wields control over the country.

In July, TikTok blocked several hashtags, while Twitter banned thousands of accounts. Last month, Facebook launched a sweeping crackdown on the movement, including shutting down 790 QAnon-related groups.

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Don’t risk your health to see Tenet, which is uber-fun but still just a movie

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/12/2020 - 7:00am

John David Washington stars in Christopher Nolan's forthcoming film Tenet.

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas—The biggest irony in this summer's cinematic saga over Tenet—director Christopher Nolan's latest heady time-travel detective movie that he and his studio insist must play in The Theater™ despite a worldwide pandemic—is that the film itself will inevitably get lost. Whatever performances, ideas, and dazzling set pieces Nolan manages to imbue into this film have and will become secondary to the bigger industry struggles. What does reopening theaters safely look like? Is it too soon to do so? Does limiting the release of such a high-profile film to theaters become unethical if it puts viewers at risk? And if the bottom line continues to motivate all this, does pivoting to VOD-first, even temporarily in the midst of unprecedented health challenges, mean eventually transitioning to that model (and its potentially smaller revenue ceiling) forever?

All that stuff sat on my mind when I received two emails last month. The first, on August 11, seemed to be testing the water. "How do you feel about attending a 'press only' (no guests) in a playdate theater, where there will be social distancing and face masks required?"

My response: lol, no. Even movie theaters boasting HEPA Filter Vacuums and 25-percent capacity run directly in conflict with World Health Organization advice that suggests the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk is to avoid the Three Cs: crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined or enclosed spaces. The Texas Medical Association placed "going to the movies" near the top of its COVID-19 risk scale alongside experiences like "going to a theme park," "eating at a buffet," and "attending religious service with 500+ patrons." If you haven't read the news in the US lately, it remains not good: we're about to surpass 200,000 COVID-19 deaths in the very near future as communities grapple with things like school re-opening, football season, and in-person voting.

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Why online voting is harder than online banking

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/12/2020 - 6:00am
Why online voting is harder than online banking

Enlarge (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

For a feature last week, I talked to a number of election experts and computer security researchers who argued that secure Internet voting isn't feasible today and probably won't be for many years to come. A common response to this argument—one that came up in comments to last week's article—is to compare voting to banking. After all, we regularly use the Internet to move money around the world. Why can't we use the same techniques to secure online votes?

But voting has some unique requirements that make secure online voting a particularly challenging problem.

Votes are anonymous, banking isn’t

Every electronic transaction in the conventional banking system is tied to a specific sender and recipient who can confirm that a transaction is valid or raise the alarm if it isn't. Banks count on customers to periodically review their transactions—either online or in paper statements—and notify the bank if fraudulent transactions occur.

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Porn surfers have a dirty secret. They’re using Internet Explorer

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/12/2020 - 5:30am
Porn surfers have a dirty secret. They’re using Internet Explorer

(credit: unknown)

They’re back—attacks that use booby-trapped Web ads to install malware on the computers of unsuspecting visitors.

So-called malvertising works by paying advertising networks to display banner ads on legitimate websites. Malicious code sneaked into the ads then surreptitiously exploits vulnerabilities in browsers or browser plugins. The result: merely browsing to the wrong site infects vulnerable computers with malware that steals banking credentials, logs passwords, or spies on users.

Malvertising never went away, but it did become much less common in the past few years. Thanks to dramatic improvements in browser security, malvertising was replaced by more effective infection techniques, such as phishing, malicious macros in Microsoft Office documents, and tricking targets into installing malicious apps that masquerade as legitimate software.

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Trump and Twitter are on likely showdown path with expanded misinfo rules

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/12/2020 - 5:00am
Trump and Twitter are on likely showdown path with expanded misinfo rules

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

With just over 50 days to go before the 2020 US presidential election, everything is—predictably—hitting the fan. Foreign interference is of course an ever-present threat, with known actors both attempting to amplify social discord as well as literally hack campaigns. But good-old homegrown deliberate misinformation is also a significant threat to this year's entire electoral process.

Misinformation spreads rapidly thanks to the advent of social media—especially Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Facebook already announced its (weak) plan for combating rampant falsehoods, and this week Twitter and Google both made their plans public as well.

Tweet, tweet...

Twitter's existing policy prohibits users from posting content that includes "false claims on how to participate in civic processes" or "content that could intimidate or suppress participation." In other words, at a very high level you're not allowed to use Twitter to lie about voting or tell people not to vote.

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Review: Small World of Warcraft takes the tabletop strategy hit to Azeroth

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/12/2020 - 4:00am
 Small World of Warcraft takes the tabletop strategy hit to Azeroth

Enlarge

Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com.

Since it was first published in 2009, the hyper-competitive family strategy game Small World has become a perennial tabletop favorite. Ironically, given its name, its success has caused its fantasy realm to grow over the years, with a steady stream of expansions introducing new factions to command and new regions to explore. Now, though, the game has shifted to an entirely new setting with Small World of Warcraft, a standalone game set in WoW's orc-infested land of Azeroth.

For the uninitiated, the original Small World has players control rival factions, all competing to seize territory and expand their empires. While it’s a premise shared by countless "dudes-on-a-map" strategy games, Small World's unpredictable take on the concept comes with a handful of twists that help it stand out from the crowd.

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How does a Sturgis-sized crowd affect COVID-19? It’s complicated

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/12/2020 - 3:15am
A small-town Main Street at night is cluttered with motorcycles and pedestrians.

Enlarge / STURGIS, SD—People walk along Main Street during the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, on August 8, 2020. (credit: Michael Ciaglo | Getty Images)

The coronavirus loves a crowd. Put enough warm, susceptible bodies together and it's sure to spread. Scientists have known that since nearly the start of the pandemic, from studying COVID-19 outbreaks aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, inside a megachurch in South Korea, at a Champions League soccer match in Italy. Countless other clusters have since been recorded, often seeded by a single contagious individual.

It’s the danger of crowds that led the governments of other countries to enact national lockdowns. In the United States, it was more of a patchwork of state and local stay-at-home orders, school closures, and bans on mass gatherings. As scientists have learned more about the specific conditions that can lead to such superspreading events—unmasked people talking, singing, or exercising inside poorly ventilated indoor spaces—that’s made it possible, in theory, to fine-tune these disease-containment strategies and to ease up on the most dramatic restrictions and focus on the policies that do the most to stem the spread of the virus.

But people also love a crowd. And over the late spring and summer, a number of mass gatherings—often anxiously watched by the media, health care professionals, and worried neighbors—became real-life experiments in what happens when you put people together in the COVID-19 era. The events ranged from the apolitical (spring break, summer camp, back-to-school) to the politically supercharged (President Trump’s Tulsa rally, “reopen” protests, anti-police brutality protests, and ongoing demonstrations in Portland against the use of federal agents). Each one tested different variables—masks versus no masks, indoors versus outdoors—but all elicited an opportunity to study the same questions: How many people would get sick as a result, how many would die, and who would bear the cost of the health care bill?

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E-sports pros have “dream” jobs—but game publishers have all the power

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/12/2020 - 3:01am
James Eubanks competes during a <em>Call of Duty</em> final in 2017.

Enlarge / James Eubanks competes during a Call of Duty final in 2017. (credit: Chesnot | Getty Images)

In 2008, James “Clayster” Eubanks, then 16, decided he had what it took to be the number one Call of Duty player in the world. Growing up in Virginia, Eubanks owned all the latest consoles and specced-out gaming PCs; his house was the first on the block to have DSL. Now, he put all that practice to use, grinding up the Call of Duty ranks every single day, balancing his competitive ambitions against school, part-time jobs, girls. Playing the game professionally wasn’t an established career path yet, but there eventually came to be a loose circuit of tournaments. “It was really hectic,” Eubanks says. “But it became more and more sophisticated as the years have gone on.” Every year, tournament prizes got a little bigger. The competition got harder. He got more famous.

Then, the esports industry ballooned, as the massive popularity of League of Legends and Starcraft II esports kicked off a wave of big-money sponsorships and international stadium events. Publisher Activision began looking at competitive Call of Duty through a new lens. In 2020, Activision launched the Call of Duty League: 12 teams with five players each, representing 12 different cities around the world. As a top competitor playing on the Dallas Empire, Eubanks helped his team take the first Call of Duty League championship in July. He was thrilled. Then everything changed.

In August, Activision decided that professional Call of Duty games should be four-versus-four, not five-versus-five. Twenty percent of the league’s players had to go. Days after his big victory, the Dallas Empire dropped Eubanks, who had been designated fifth on the roster. “Got about 24 hours of happiness before I got thrown back into the blender, but that's the story of my career,” Eubanks wrote on Twitter.

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Judge in Theranos fraud case orders 14-hour psychological test for Holmes

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 3:10pm
Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of Theranos, arrives for motion hearing on Monday, November 4, 2019, at the US District Court House in San Jose, California.

Enlarge / Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of Theranos, arrives for motion hearing on Monday, November 4, 2019, at the US District Court House in San Jose, California. (credit: Getty | Yichuan Cao)

Elizabeth Holmes—the disgraced founder and ex-CEO of the now-defunct blood-testing startup, Theranos—may use a mental condition as a defense against a slew of federal fraud charges, according to a court document filed this week.

Holmes and Theranos’ former president, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, were charged in June 2018 with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Federal prosecutors allege the pair—who were romantically involved during the alleged crimes—engaged in conspiracy to defraud Theranos investors out of more than $100 million and defraud doctors and patients into falsely believing the company’s faulty blood-testing technology could reliably perform accurate health tests with just drops of blood from a finger-prick.

According to the court document filed this week, Holmes—who is now being tried separately from Balwani—notified the court last December that she plans to submit “expert evidence relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition” that has bearing on the issue of guilt. The expert providing such evidence was named in the document as psychologist Mindy Mechanic, of California State University, Fullerton.

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