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.

The latest generation of climate models is running hotter—here’s why

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/08/2020 - 10:23am
IDL TIFF file

Enlarge / IDL TIFF file (credit: NASA)

Ahead of every Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the world’s climate modeling centers produce a central database of standardized simulations. Over the past year, an interesting trend has become apparent in the most recent round of this effort: the latest and greatest versions of these models are, on average, more sensitive to CO2, warming more in response to it than previous iterations. So what’s behind that behavior, and what does it tell us about the real world?

Climate sensitivity is one of the most-discussed numbers in climate science. Its most common formulation is the amount of warming that occurs when the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is doubled and the planet gets a century or two to come to a new equilibrium. It's an easy way to get a sense of what our emissions are likely to end up doing.

In climate models, this number is not chosen in advance; it emerges from all the physics and chemistry in the model. That means that as modeled processes are updated to improve their realism, the overall climate sensitivity of the model can change. As results have trickled in from the latest generation of models, their average climate sensitivity has noticeably increased. A new study led by Mark Zelinka of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory analyzes these new model simulations, comparing their behavior to the previous generation.

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Gallery: The amazing costumes, weird controllers, and gaming rarities of MAGFest 2020

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/08/2020 - 9:15am

I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again: MAGFest (The Music and Gaming Festival) is the best gaming convention I go to all year. The gathering of thousands of video gamers, tabletop gamers, cosplayers, chiptune music fans, and all other manner of nerds creates an electric atmosphere that lasts through four whole days, both day and night.

Other fan-focused conventions like PAX can capture some of that feeling, but the presence of major game publishers at those shows ends up creating a more corporate feeling. Over 18 years, MAGFest has maintained its atmosphere as a grassroots gathering of all manner of fans, giving them a chance to share in their common interests in a safe and controlled space. It's the perfect way to start a new year.

Here are some of the most interesting images I encountered during this year's show.

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Unpatched VPN makes Travelex latest victim of “REvil” ransomware

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/08/2020 - 9:03am
It may take longer to get your money changed when you travel, since Travelex is doing everything on paper because of a ransomware attack.

Enlarge / It may take longer to get your money changed when you travel, since Travelex is doing everything on paper because of a ransomware attack. (credit: iStock Editorial/Getty Images)

In April of 2019, Pulse Secure issued an urgent patch to a vulnerability in its popular corporate VPN software—a vulnerability that not only allowed remote attackers to gain access without a username or password but also to turn off multi-factor authentication and view logs, usernames, and passwords cached by the VPN server in plain text. Now, a cybercriminal group is using that vulnerability to target and infiltrate victims, steal data, and plant ransomware.

Travelex, the foreign currency exchange and travel insurance company, appears to be the latest victim of the group. On New Year's Eve, the company was hit by Sodinokibi ransomware, also known as REvil. The ransomware operators contacted the BBC and said they want Travelex to pay $6m (£4.6m). They also claimed to have had access to Travelex's network for six months and to have extracted five gigabytes of customer data—including dates of birth, credit card information, and other personally identifiable information.

"In the case of payment, we will delete and will not use that [data]base and restore them the entire network," the individual claiming to be part of the Sodinokibi operation told the BBC. "The deadline for doubling the payment is two days. Then another seven days and the sale of the entire base."

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This tech could mean your phone stops you from getting killed by a car

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/08/2020 - 7:08am
Three pedestrians cross a road in New York City

Enlarge (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Progress isn't always positive. Although the occupants of modern cars are undeniably safer in a crash than they would be in models just a few years old, that's not true for people using Shank's pony. Overall, fewer people died on America's roads in 2018 (the last year for which full data is available) than the year before—some 36,600 in total. But concealed within that figure is a big rise in the number of pedestrians who were killed by drivers—6,283 in all, an increase of 3.4 percent on 2017.

Obviously, there's no single cause to which we can point. More than three-quarters of pedestrians were killed after dark, and a similar percentage were killed while crossing a road, but Americans' antisocial love for big SUVs needs reckoning with, too. Obviously this is a problem we need to solve. Some US cities have adopted the Vision Zero project, although few have come anywhere near the success of the Norwegians when it comes to shrinking that body count. We could implement far stricter driver training and significantly beef up traffic law enforcement, but only the most naive optimists think there's any actual possibility of that happening any time soon.

Pedestrian detection is increasingly a component of the advanced driver assistance systems that are fitted to some new cars, but independent testing suggests you probably don't want to rely on these to save your life. Meanwhile, some are hoping that another technology can save us through deployment of what's known as Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P). V2P is related to the Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication protocol, a protocol that after 20 years has yet to be deployed and is now the subject of a bitter fight among regulators and interest groups over its allocated 5.9GHz bandwidth. But not all Vehicle-to-whatever communication needs to use dedicated short-range communications (DSRC); in the past we've reported on a compatible cellular approach, called C-V2X.

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How Ars tests Wi-Fi gear (and you can, too)

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/08/2020 - 6:00am
 four refurbished Chromebooks, each with an additional Linksys WUSB6300 Wi-Fi adapter for out-of-band control and communications.

Enlarge / Behold the glory: four refurbished Chromebooks, each with an additional Linksys WUSB6300 Wi-Fi adapter for out-of-band control and communications. (credit: Jim Salter)

After our review of Google's Nest Wi-Fi kit last fall, we received an unexpected request: Ars reader GerbilMagnus hopped into the comments and asked for an explainer about how we test Wi-Fi.

Machination minutiae hadn't necessarily struck us as something of interest, but ask and you shall receive dear readers. Today, we're taking GerbilMagnus' lead and taking readers behind the scenes of our Wi-Fi testing process—we'll also toss in a little theory and practice along the way. If you want to try our methods at home, know up front that you don't necessarily have to replicate our entire test setup to start seeing useful results for yourself. But if you want to put the latest and greatest mesh gear through the gauntlet, we'll absolutely cover everything from top to bottom before we're done.

Why we run complex tests

Most professional Wi-Fi tests are nothing more than simple Internet speed tests—set up a router or mesh kit, plop a laptop down 10 feet away, and let 'er rip. The idea here is that the highest top speed at close range will also translate into the best performance everywhere else.

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AMD’s third shoe finally drops at CES 2020—7nm Zen 2 mobile CPUs

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/08/2020 - 5:44am

AMD has really been bringing the heat to Intel this year, with incontestable wins for its 7nm CPUs in the desktop space, high-end desktop space, and server space. The one thing everybody has been waiting with bated breath for is mobile—while Intel brought limited supplies of high-performance 10nm Ice Lake parts to market, AMD has remained pretty silent about mobile. The most I could ever get out of my AMD folks was a sort of "we can't talk about that yet," with suspicious little yellow feathers floating out of their mouths, but no real detail.Ars at CES 2020

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Yesterday at CES, that final shoe dropped—Ryzen 4000 mobile is here, and it brings AMD's recent trademark of high core and thread counts and jaw-dropping low TDPs to the mobile arena. The flagship U-series part, Ryzen 4800u, offers eight cores/16 threads on only 15W TDP, and although we've got nobody's word for it yet but AMD Performance Labs', it appears to whip the high-end Ice Lake i7-1065G7 solidly across the board in tests ranging from Cinebench R20 to 3DMark, Adobe Premiere, and more.

Of course, performance is only half the battle in ultralight form factors—power consumption is the other. It shouldn't be any surprise that AMD is showing massive performance-per-watt increases over the first two generations of mobile Ryzen, given those performance numbers with a 15W TDP. The bigger question—and one that can't be so quickly answered—is how well Ryzen 4000 series systems will idle. And unfortunately, that's not a question AMD can entirely control themselves.

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Researcher promoting red meat, sugar failed to disclose industry ties—again

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 4:50pm
A close-up of charred meat cooking on a grill with flames below and rising smoke

Enlarge / Cooked. (credit: Getty | picture alliance)

A controversial researcher known for bucking the well-established dietary advice that people should limit their sugar and red meat intake has, once again, failed to disclose his financial ties to the food industry.

Epidemiologist Bradley Johnston failed to report funding from a research agency backed by the beef industry when he published a high-profile review on red meat consumption, according to the journal that published the review last year, Annals of Internal Medicine. The review concluded that consumers should continue—not reduce—their consumption of red and processed meats, which has been fiercely criticized by nutrition experts.

Annals issued a correction on the review last week, updating the review's accompanying disclosure forms.

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Firefox 72 blocks fingerprinting scripts by default, rethinks notification pop-ups

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 4:30pm
A Firefox logo is seen outside Mozilla's office in San Francisco.

Enlarge / Mozilla's office in San Francisco. (credit: Getty Images | Iuliia Serova)

Mozilla has released Firefox 72, an update that, like many recent browser updates, focuses on privacy features—specifically, ways to deal with fingerprinting and a new way of managing websites' requests to send you notifications.

Mozilla made it possible to block website notifications altogether in a previous update to Firefox, but this update offers this new, ostensibly more manageable variation as well. Instead of showing these requests as a pop-up that interrupts your experience, it will now show a speech bubble in the address bar that you can use to opt-in to the notifications—similar to how some modern browsers handle other kinds of pop-up attempts.

The other major feature of Firefox 72 is a further expansion of the browser's Enhanced Tracking Protection feature. The browser now blocks fingerprinting scripts by default for all users. Mozilla introduced Enhanced Tracking Protection a few versions ago and recently made it on by default. We went over some of the other aspects of Enhanced Tracking Protection in a previous report.

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Samsung’s CES vaporware keynote details AR glasses, fitness exoskeleton

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 3:41pm

Samsung's CES 2020 keynote wrapped up last night, and it was a wild, rapid-fire showing of things that may or may not ever come to market. Samsung called the keynote its "vision for the future of tech and innovation" so I guess these are "concepts" and not "products."

The company ran through several devices, each of which got about three minutes of presentation time with no price or release date, and then it was on to the next thing. The devices all seemed pretty early in development, and nailing down exactly how anything would work was a challenge, but here's a roundup of the things Samsung talked about at CES.

The Bixby speaker lives!

Before we dive into Samsung's futuristic concepts, let's point out that this is all coming from a company that is currently struggling to bring a smart speaker to market. Samsung wants to compete with the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple Homepod, so in 2018 it announced the Samsung Galaxy Home, a smart speaker with the company's Bixby voice assistant built-in. It's almost a year and a half later, and the Bixby speaker still hasn't launched. The last thing we heard about the Galaxy Home was in June, when Samsung gave the speaker a vague release window in the second half of 2020. This would be something like two years after it was announced and six years behind the launch of the Amazon Echo.

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Waymo is way, way ahead on testing miles—that might not be a good thing

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 2:53pm
A self-driving car driving itself

Enlarge / A Waymo self-driving car doing its thing in May 2019. (credit: Picture Alliance / Getty Images)

Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving company, has logged 20 million miles on public roads, the company announced in a Tuesday press statement. The new milestone comes just 15 months after Waymo hit the 10 million mile mark in October 2018.

The latest figure puts Waymo far, far ahead of its rivals. I noted 15 months ago that only one company had announced even 1 million miles of driving—and that was Uber, which was forced to scale back its testing after a fatal crash. Today, the story is largely the same; if anyone else in the self-driving industry has cracked a million miles of on-road driving, I haven't seen the press release. (Update: Russian company Yandex and Chinese company Baidu both reached 1 million miles last year.)

Back in 2018, I reported that most of Waymo's rivals are quick to dismiss the significance of testing miles. Today (as in 2018), they argue that quality of testing miles matters more than quantity.

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Iran courted US security expert for years, seeking industrial hacking training

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 2:40pm
The flag of Iran.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Iran has over the past decade built up its own organic hacking and cyberwarfare capabilities. But the groups associated with orchestrating Iran's various cyberwarfare and cyber-espionage activities have also relied significantly on mining the work of others—and in at least one case, they have tried to bring in outside help for the ostensible purpose of training would-be hackers.

According to Chris Kubecka—a security researcher who played a prominent role in Saudi Aramco's response to the Iran-attributed Shamoon "wiper" malware—officials with the Telecommunication Company of Iran emailed and messaged her on behalf of the Iranian government, attempting "to recruit me to teach hacking in country against critical Infrastructure with focus on nuclear facilities," she told Ars.

These efforts, which Kubecka alluded to briefly in a presentation at AppSec California in 2018, spanned over 2.5 years—during which Kubecka informed the FBI. "I was collecting evidence and communicating with them directly until last January when the FBI stepped in," she said. "The last contact we had, the Iranians wanted my home address to send me 'a gift'."

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Closest-ever fast radio burst makes some ideas on their origin less likely

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 2:20pm
Image of a galaxy with a small green circle.

Enlarge / The source of the fast radio bursts, circled in green. (credit: NSF'S OPTICAL-INFRARED ASTRONOMY RESEARCH LABORATORY/GEMINI OBSERVATORY/AURA)

Over a decade after their discovery, fast radio bursts remain an enigma. Often lasting less than a millisecond, the bursts release an incredible amount of energy in the radio frequencies, then go silent. In many cases, there's no indication of anything else happening near that location again, suggesting a catastrophic event that destroyed whatever produced it. But over time, a handful of repeating burst sites have been identified, allowing the galaxy of at least one source to be identified and a few inferences about its properties to be inferred.

But the identification of repeating sources hasn't cleared up as much of the mystery as we might hope. In fact, it has raised questions about whether repeating and lone events might be from entirely different sources.

On Monday, researchers described the closest repeating fast radio burst yet identified, as well as the identity of its host galaxy. And in analyzing the burst's behaviors, the scientists involved suggest that it favors a few existing ideas but should cause us to rethink a few others.

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Want to know if spaghetti is al dente? Check how much it curls in the pot

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 1:50pm
A new model predicts the way a spaghetti rod turns from straight to curly as it cooks.

Enlarge / A new model predicts the way a spaghetti rod turns from straight to curly as it cooks. (credit: zeljkosantrac / Getty Images)

Place a strand of spaghetti in a pot of boiling water and it will start to sag as it softens, before sinking slowly to the bottom of the pot, where it will curl back on itself to form a U shape. A cursory explanation might be that as the spaghetti softens during cooking, it deforms more easily, and gravity causes the saggy strand to sink. But what accounts for the curling behavior? Physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, provide a much more thorough explanation in a new paper in Physical Review E.

There have been a surprisingly large number of scientific papers seeking to understand the various properties of spaghetti, both cooking and eating it—the mechanics of slurping the pasta into one's mouth, for instance, or spitting it out (aka the "reverse spaghetti problem"). The most well-known is the question of how to get dry spaghetti strands to break neatly in two, rather than three or more scattered pieces.

The late Richard Feynman famously puzzled over the dilemma, conducting informal experiments in his home kitchen. French physicists successfully explained the dynamics at work in 2006. They found that, counterintuitively, a dry spaghetti strand produces a "kick back" traveling wave as it breaks. This wave temporarily increases the curvature in other sections, leading to many more breaks. Basile Audoly and Sébastien Neukirch won the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize for their insight.

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Clever design, lack of Bluetooth make Razer’s new phone gamepad a winner

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 12:55pm

What does it take for a phone-compatible gamepad to get our attention in 2020, in a world where pretty much every Bluetooth-compatible game controller can connect to your favorite iOS or Android phone? At this year's CES, Razer has the answer: a controller that may boost the cloud-streaming proposition of "triple-A gaming anytime, anywhere."

The Razer Kishi, announced Tuesday at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, arguably doesn't look special. It features the same array of joysticks, buttons, and triggers you'll find on most consumer-grade game controllers. Its trick of splitting in half and sandwiching a smartphone has been done before—with Razer already having its own Junglecat controller, which does just that.

But the Kishi adds a rare combination for this kind of gamepad: a flush fit to your smartphone of choice and a wired connection.

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Put a Tiger in your Lake: Intel’s next-gen mobile CPUs pack a punch

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 12:40pm
Tiger Lake mobile CPU on a small board

Enlarge / The slightly darker black blob in the center of this board is a Tiger Lake mobile CPU. (credit: Jim Salter)

Yesterday at CES 2020, Intel previewed its next-generation line of mobile CPUs, code-named Tiger Lake, in several new form factors while running brand-new (and impressive) software designed with the platform in mind.

Tiger Lake plays into Intel's ongoing Project Athena program, which aims to bring a performance and usability standard with concrete, testable metrics to mobile computing—that includes at least nine hours of battery life with the screen at 250 nits of brightness, out-of-the-box display and system settings, and multiple tabs and applications running. Project Athena has now been expanded to cover some new Chromebook models, as well as traditional Windows PCs.

Several new foldable designs were announced during the presentation, ranging from a relatively conventional Dell hinged two-in-one to much more outré designs such as Lenovo's X1 Fold—presented onstage by Lenovo President Christian Teismann—and an Intel concept design prototype called Horseshoe Bend. Both the X1 Fold and Horseshoe Bend will look immediately familiar to anyone who has been following Ron Amadeo's coverage of the Samsung and Motorola foldable smartphones; in each design, the screen itself folds down the middle.

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NASA may ask lunar lander aspirants to put more skin in the game

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 11:16am
NASA chief Jim Bridenstine says lunar lander partners may need to step up financial contributions to their designs.

Enlarge / NASA chief Jim Bridenstine says lunar lander partners may need to step up financial contributions to their designs. (credit: NASA)

NASA wants to return to the Moon, but it would like to do so in a way different from the Apollo Program—more sustainably, so that there are not just a handful of missions before humans retreat back into low-Earth orbit.

As part of this, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has said he prefers the space agency to be one of several customers for private companies interested in building transportation systems to the lunar surface and back. Initially, of course, NASA would be the sole customer, but over time, the agency would like to foster the commercial development of the Moon.

Because aerospace companies may one day find additional customers for their services, NASA has asked companies to invest in the rockets, landers, and spacecraft they are building as part of the agency's Artemis Moon program. In short, NASA wants its contractors to put some skin in the game.

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Dealmaster: Get a recommended RAVPower wireless charger and adapter for $17

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 10:56am
 Get a recommended RAVPower wireless charger and adapter for $17

Enlarge

Today's Dealmaster includes a few good deals on wireless chargers, headlined by a $10 discount on RAVPower's RP-PC058 charging pad with an on-page coupon at Amazon. While we haven't reviewed this model specifically, it's essentially an updated version of the top pick in our wireless charger buying guide: it has a similarly stable and efficient design, it supports both 10W charging for Samsung Galaxy phones and 7.5W charging for iPhones, and, importantly, it comes with an AC adapter in the box. The main advertised difference is that this model includes formal support for Apple's AirPods wireless charging case. At $17, this is tied for the cheapest it has been on Amazon.

If you'd prefer a wireless charging stand rather than a flat pad, consider Anker's PowerWave Stand, which we do recommend in our guide and is $5 off on Amazon with the code "AKA25241" at checkout. This one only supports 5W charging for iPhones and doesn't come with an AC adapter but might be more convenient for quick glances at a desk. Today's discount brings it down to $12.

If you prefer to charge your phone the old-fashioned (and technically faster) way, though, we also have deals on PlayStation Plus subscriptions, gaming headsets and mice, internal SSDs, and more. Have a look at the full list below.

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US finally prohibits ISPs from charging for routers they don’t provide

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 10:46am
A wireless router with an Ethernet cable hooked into it.

Enlarge / A Wi-Fi router. (credit: Getty Images | deepblue4you)

A new US law prohibits broadband and TV providers from charging "rental" fees for equipment that customers have provided themselves.

Even by the low customer-service standards of the cable and telecom industries, requiring customers to pay a monthly fee for equipment they own is pretty rude. But that's exactly what Frontier Communications does to its customers, as we wrote in July 2019. Frontier customers who use routers they own themselves must still pay Frontier $10 a month in a "Wi-Fi Router" fee, even if the router they use is fully compatible with the service and requires no additional work on Frontier's part.

As Frontier's website says, its customers are forced to pay "a monthly lease fee for your Frontier router or modem—whether you use it or not." That statement makes it sound like Frontier automatically provides the device to all customers—but the customer in Texas we wrote about never received a router from Frontier and was still required to pay the fee.

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Facebook is banning (most) deepfakes

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 10:02am
Mark Zuckerberg.

Enlarge / Mark Zuckerberg. (credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Facebook is opening a new front in its endless war on problematic content with an announcement that it is banning most deepfake videos from its platforms. Under the new policy, a video will be taken down if it is "the product of artificial intelligence or machine learning that merges, replaces or superimposes content onto a video" and if it is likely to "mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they did not actually say."

Parody and satire is still permitted, Facebook says.

Facebook has been the target of pointed protest and criticism in recent months. Last June, Internet pranksters uploaded a deepfake of Mark Zuckerberg supposedly gloating about being "one man, with total control of billions of people's stolen data." He added that "I owe it all to SPECTRE"—a fictional evil organization from the James Bond franchise.

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Qualcomm is getting into the self-driving market

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 9:10am
Qualcomm sign

Enlarge / Qualcomm sign. (credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm, the dominant provider of cellular modem chips, is the latest chip giant to seek a slice of the autonomous driving market. At the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon Ride platform, which uses chips derived from Qualcomm's mobile products to help a vehicle drive.

It might seem strange for a smartphone chip company to tackle self-driving, but in reality, many of the same technologies exist in both products. Qualcomm has long leveraged its mobile chip lead to grab a significant chunk of the broader system-on-a-chip market. Smartphone makers buy Qualcomm Snapdragon chips that contain an ARM-based CPU, modem chip, and various support chips.

In recent years, Qualcomm and other mobile chipmakers have been including increasingly powerful GPUs and dedicated AI chips in their SoC products—precisely the kind of silicon required for driving software based on machine learning. So it's not much of a leap for Qualcomm to launch a new SoC that includes (as Qualcomm's press release puts it) "high-performance multi-core CPUs, energy-efficient AI and computer vision (CV) engines, industry-leading GPU."

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