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.

Konami looks to cash in on NFT mania with digital collectible collection

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 11:22am
No, see, <em>this</em> copy of the image isn't worth anything, because it's not on signed on the blockchain...

Enlarge / No, see, this copy of the image isn't worth anything, because it's not on signed on the blockchain...

Konami became the latest gaming company to jump on the non-fungible token bandwagon Thursday with the announcement of the Konami Memorial NFT Collection. But rather than focusing on in-game cosmetics or supply-constrained virtual land as some other publishers have, Konami is simply offering a small set of NFT-backed artwork and music drawn from the Castlevania series in honor of its 35th anniversary.

Konami's collection includes 14 individual NFTs representing five songs from the NES Castlevania games, six short videos showing off special item use in the first Castlevania, two pieces of hand-drawn promotional art from Circle of the Moon, and a unique piece of "Dracula's Castle" pixel art inspired by the games. Each item in the collection is a "one of one" cryptographic signature that will be posted on the Ethereum blockchain after an OpenSea auction set to start on January 12. Those auctions have an effective reserve price of one "wrapped Ethereum," or about $3,350 at today's market value.

The NFTs will represent the associated digital collectible, whose "minting" is linked to Konami's verified account to help establish provenance. Konami also promises that an "NFT with the exact same data will not be resold, but similar NFTs tied to the same game title may be resold in the future," making them "unique" on the blockchain (even if the underlying images and sounds are endlessly copiable).

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Two research teams independently used vacuums to measure biodiversity

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 10:54am
Two research teams independently used vacuums to measure biodiversity

Enlarge (credit: Surapong Thammabuht / EyeEm)

Just as the pandemic hit, Christina Islas Lynggaard—a postdoc researcher at the University of Copenhagen’s Globe Institute—sat in her apartment surrounded by vacuums and filters. She tested them, eventually landing on a water vacuum, which was, for her purposes, pretty good. The rest didn’t quite make the cut—they had good suction, but the second you put a filter in them, it messed with their power supplies. “It just dies, and then the motor comes to overheat, and it was very difficult,” Lynggaard said.

All this testing was done for an interesting case, one that seems obvious in hindsight but could have valuable ecological applications. In short, Lynggaard and other researchers on her team were looking for a way to collect environmental DNA (eDNA) from the air to measure biodiversity or look for the presence of rare or invasive species.

Out of thin air

“We had no idea the best way to collect DNA from air,” Kristine Bohmann told Ars. Bohmann is an associate professor at the Globe Institute and one of the researchers involved in the effort.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Volvo’s 2023 electric SUV will use lidar to drive itself

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 10:18am
Volvo Concept Recharge lidar

Enlarge / Volvo's future SUV will probably resemble something like the Concept Recharge first introduced in June 2021. (credit: Luminar)

Level 3 autonomous driving appears poised to debut in the US as soon as next year.

At the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show yesterday, Volvo announced that it intends to offer its Ride Pilot feature to customers in California, pending regulatory approval. The automaker has been testing the system in Sweden, and it will begin testing in California later this year. It plans to ship the feature with its forthcoming all-electric SUV, due in 2023.

Volvo chose California because “the climate, traffic conditions, and regulatory framework provide a favorable environment for the introduction of autonomous driving,” the company said.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Meltdown prediction: Intellivision Amico doesn’t seem long for this world

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 8:48am
A look at a very weird year for a retro-minded game console that may or may not exist by the end of 2022.

Enlarge / A look at a very weird year for a retro-minded game console that may or may not exist by the end of 2022. (credit: Intellivision | Aurich Lawson)

Most of Ars' end-of-2021 gaming coverage focused on the best stuff made during a bizarre year of delays and chip shortages. But there's one other matter to wrap up before moving wholesale into 2022: my prediction for the biggest gaming product to not last past the end of this new year. Somehow, that prediction doesn't involve NFTs.

When I first stumbled upon the Intellivision Amico in 2018, I was intrigued. This home-console concept looked like a unique entry into the resurgent "retro console" sector; it had an unusual touchscreen controller and designs on resurrecting Mattel's classic Intellivision brand. Comparatively, companies like Nintendo had stopped manufacturing retro-friendly throwback consoles, leaving a gap in the market for a brand like Intellivision to potentially capitalize on.

Between recognizable licenses and a few decent games in its original sizzle reels, I wondered if this modest system might have a shot. (I was optimistic about many more things in 2018, of course.)

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

5 months on, Apple has yet to fix iOS bug that sends devices into a crash spiral

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 7:59am
5 months on, Apple has yet to fix iOS bug that sends devices into a crash spiral

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Apple has been taking its time fixing an iOS bug that makes it easy for miscreants to completely disable an iOS device unless the victim performs a factory restore and follows other cumbersome steps, a researcher said.

HomeKit is an Apple-designed communication protocol that allows people to use their iPhones or iPads to control lights, TVs, alarms, and other home or office appliances. Users can configure their devices to automatically discover appliances on the same network, and they can also share those settings with other people so they can use their own iPhones or iPads to control the appliances. The sharing feature makes it easy to allow new people—say, a housesitter or babysitter—to control a user’s appliances.

Trevor Spiniolas, a self-described programmer and “beginning security researcher,” said recently that a bug in the feature allows someone to send an iOS device into an unending crash spiral. It can be triggered by using an extremely long name—up to 500,000 characters in length—to identify one of the smart devices and then getting a user to accept an invitation to that network.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Report finds that US accounts for more than half of global space spending

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 7:35am
Change in government space budgets over time.

Enlarge / Change in government space budgets over time. (credit: Euroconsult)

Nations around the world spent a total of $92 billion on the "space sector" in 2021, the market intelligence firm Euroconsult reports. This represents an 8 percent increase in spending from the year 2020.

In the latest edition of the report "Government Space Programs," the consulting firm says that civilian space activities accounted for $53 billion of the spending, and defense activities $39 billion. However the report noted that the proportion of defense spending is increasing.

"Geopolitical tensions, increasing rivalry between leading space powers, and the value of space as the ultimate high ground drive the militarization of space trend, with leaders increasing their investments in defense space assets and technologies," a news release about the report states.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Chevrolet readies a $30,000 Equinox EV crossover for 2023

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 7:34am
General Motors Chair and CEO Mary Barra confirmed during her 2022 CES keynote address that Chevrolet will launch the Chevrolet Equinox EV in the 2024 model year.

Enlarge / General Motors Chair and CEO Mary Barra confirmed during her 2022 CES keynote address that Chevrolet will launch the Chevrolet Equinox EV in the 2024 model year.

Chevrolet's headline news at CES this year was its forthcoming Silverado EV, a truck that—initially at least—will carry a lot of lithium ion, and a six-figure price tag to reflect that. When seen together with the bombastic Hummer EV, it's easy to get the impression that General Motors' product planners see the first wave of Ultium battery electric vehicles as just for the well-off.

But GM's battery platform is modular, and while it can accommodate huge 200 kWh packs to give bluff-faced pickup trucks a potential 400 miles of range, you can also design a car around a six-module battery with 50 kWh. If I had to guess, I'd say that's the pack we'll find in another new electric Chevrolet—the Equinox EV—which goes on sale in fall 2023.

The Equinox EV got a brief mention in GM's CES keynote, and the company isn't sharing any more details on the crossover right now other than that fall 2023 arrival and the fact that the model will start "around $30,000."

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Stars from ancient cluster found in the Milky Way

ArsTechnica - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 5:15am
Oval depicting the Milky Way, including traces that follow star motions.

Enlarge / Scientists have used the data from Gaia to track the location and motion of stars in our galaxy. (credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC)

Galaxies like the Milky Way are thought to have been built through a series of mergers, drawing in smaller galaxies and clusters of stars and making these foreign stars their own. In some cases, the mergers were recent enough that we can still detect the formerly independent object as a cluster of stars orbiting the Milky Way together. But, as time goes on, interactions with the rest of the stars in the Milky Way will slowly disrupt any structures the cluster incorporates.

So it's a bit of a surprise that researchers found what appear to be the remains of a globular cluster composed of some of the oldest stars around. The finding is consistent with a "growth through merger" model of galaxy construction, but it raises questions about how the cluster stayed intact for as long as it did.

Data-mining Gaia

The results started with an analysis of data from the ESA's Gaia mission, which set out to do nothing less than map the Milky Way in three dimensions. Gaia imaged roughly a billion objects dozens of times, enough to estimate both their location and their motion around the Milky Way's core. This map has helped scientists identify structures within our galaxy based on the fact that there are some groups of stars that are not only physically close to each other, but all moving in the same direction.

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Written in the bones: Medieval skeletons tell story of daily life in Cambridge

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/05/2022 - 7:43pm
The remains of an individual buried in an Augustinian friary, excavated in 2016 on the University of Cambridge's New Museums site.

Enlarge / The remains of an individual buried in an Augustinian friary, excavated in 2016 on the University of Cambridge's New Museums site.

There's rarely time to write about every cool science-y story that comes our way. So this year, we're once again running a special Twelve Days of Christmas series of posts, highlighting one science story that fell through the cracks in 2020, each day from December 25 through January 5. Our final post in the 2021 series: Skeletal remains excavated from medieval sites in Cambridge reveal occupational and social disparities in the population.

A working class woman who suffered from domestic violence. A friar who may have been the victim of a horse-and-cart hit-and-run. Those are just two examples of the remains of 314 people excavated from three very different medieval burial sites in Cambridge, England. The evidence of skeletal trauma on many of those remains sheds light on what medieval Cantabrigian lives were like, in terms of occupation, living conditions, and social status, according to a paper published last January in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

The research stems from the After the Plague project at Cambridge University's Department of Archaeology, which explores how historical conditions influence health and how health, in turn, shapes history. The project particularly focuses on the Black Death period (1347-1350 CE) in later medieval England, which wiped out between a third and a half of Europe's population.

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CDC muddles message on rapid tests while defending controversial guidance

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/05/2022 - 5:26pm
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky testifies during a Senate committee hearing in July 2021.

Enlarge / CDC Director Rochelle Walensky testifies during a Senate committee hearing in July 2021. (credit: Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday offered mixed messages on the use of at-home rapid tests as the agency continued to defend its controversial recommendation that people with COVID-19 can leave isolation early without testing.

The CDC updated its guidance on isolation and quarantine periods last week. It shortened isolation periods for infected people from 10 days down to only five if their symptoms have cleared or are resolving by then and if they wear a mask for five days afterward. Notably, the agency did not hinge the recommendation on people getting tested after five days and only ending their isolation early if they receive a negative result.

The omission drew swift criticism from experts who argue that testing is vital to shortening isolation periods safely. Harvard epidemiologist and rapid-test advocate Dr. Michael Mina called the move "reckless," and virology expert Angela Rasmussen called the agency's reasoning "bullshit."

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Lenovo’s 2022 laptop lineup is ready for the year’s video calls

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/05/2022 - 4:57pm
Promotional image of cutting-edge laptop computer.

Enlarge / Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 in "vegan leather" with a bronze colored "Communications Bar" up top. (credit: Lenovo)

It's a new year, which means it's time for laptop refreshes. If 2022 is anything like 2021, many premium and business users will find themselves juggling work and home life, potentially both in an office and at home. Lenovo's next pile of laptops aimed at these power users comes with a slew of features that it claims will help you show your best side when you're collaborating, even if it requires a chunkier notch for your display's top bezel.

The new ThinkPads’ Communications Bar

All of Lenovo's new ThinkPads have what Lenovo is calling a Communications Bar, which is really just a chunky notch on the screen's top border. In the three upcoming ThinkPad X1 laptops announced today, the notch allows for four microphones, plus a powerful webcam packing a larger-than-average camera sensor for a laptop at 1.4 µm. In the case of the two ThinkPad Z-series laptops announced Tuesday, there are only two microphones.

The new ThinkPad X1s can go up to a 1080p IR MIPI camera with a physical shutter and computer vision, which uses a neural processing unit to tell if you're sitting in front of the PC. That way, the laptop knows if it should wake up or go dim when you look away, which saves battery and protects privacy. Lenovo even claims you can wear a face mask and use the feature.

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Report: Meta pulls the plug on its AR/VR operating system [Updated]

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/05/2022 - 4:29pm
The Oculus Quest 2, Meta's most popular VR headset today.

Enlarge / The Oculus Quest 2, Meta's most popular VR headset today. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

Update: Meta sent a statement to The Verge clarifying that it is "not halting or scaling back our operations in building a reality operating system.” It goes on to say that "the team continues to make progress and we continue to invest in building for future computing platforms like AR glasses and wearable devices to help realize our metaverse vision," suggesting that while work may have ended on this particular version of the idea, Meta still won't be relying on Android forever.

Original story:

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has pulled the plug on its current efforts to develop an operating system for AR and VR devices, The Information reported today.

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Google fixes nightmare Android bug that stopped user from calling 911

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/05/2022 - 4:09pm
Rotating lights flash on an ambulance.

Enlarge (credit: Eric Lagace / Flickr)

Android's January security patch is out, and it's addressing one of the nastiest Android bugs to come up in some time: certain apps can stop you from contacting 911 or other worldwide emergency services numbers.

In early December, a harrowing tale popped up in the GooglePixel subreddit from a user whose Pixel 3 crashed when they needed it most: while dialing 911 for their grandmother who "appeared to be having a stroke." The whole phone subsystem seemed to immediately crash upon calling emergency services, with user "KitchenPicture5849" saying they couldn't get the call to connect or hang up to try the call again. Luckily, a nearby landline was available after their Android phone let them down, and emergency services was able to be contacted.

After the crisis was over, the user gave calling 911 from their smartphone another shot, and Android crashed again, indicating it wasn't a one-off bug. A check of their phone bill also revealed that KitchenPicture5849 never actually connected to 911. They say they also got a few other DMs from users reporting that they were experiencing the same bug.

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The launch of NASA’s titanic SLS rocket slips toward summer 2022

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/05/2022 - 3:17pm
Space rocket construction in a mammoth hangar.

Enlarge / The launch-vehicle stage adapter for NASA's Space Launch System rocket is integrated with the core stage in June 2021. (credit: NASA)

NASA said Wednesday that it is now targeting "mid-February" for an initial rollout of the Space Launch System rocket to the launch pad.

The space agency set the new date after engineers and technicians successfully removed a faulty engine controller from one of the four space shuttle main engines that power the massive rocket. An engine controller is basically a flight computer that communicates between the engine and the rocket; this one had failed communication tests in late November.

At present, NASA engineers, alongside contractor teams who have built various components of the rocket, are working to complete all remaining SLS preflight diagnostic tests and hardware close-outs prior to rolling the fully stacked rocket to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center.

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Explaining QD-OLED, Samsung’s display tech that’s wowing CES

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/05/2022 - 2:53pm
QD-OLED monitor explosion

Enlarge / Samsung Display uses a blue light source for its QD-OLED panels, saying it's the strongest. (credit: Samsung Display)

The Consumer Electronics Show, the country's largest tech exhibition, is always filled with exciting new products and concepts. But one of my favorite things about the show is the spotlight it puts on the emerging technologies driving these product launches.

One piece of next-generation tech generating buzz at this year's CES is QD-OLED. A variation of OLED from Samsung Display, the technology has made a splash through big TV and PC monitor reveals. But what exactly is QD-OLED, how different is it from regular OLED, and do we really need another acronym?

What is QD-OLED?

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Dell’s new UltraSharp 4K monitor has a monstrous 4K webcam built in

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/05/2022 - 12:43pm

Dell's UltraSharp monitors have a long-standing reputation for being strong picks for office professionals and creatives, and the USB-C variants have proven to be some of the most popular Mac monitors. Dell's latest 32-inch UltraSharp was announced during the Consumer Electronics Show this week, and it doubles down on that legacy.

The monitor hits the standard bullet points: it has a USB-C port and a 3840 x 2160 screen resolution. It can act as a USB hub with its five 10Gbps USB-A ports. But what really sets the monitor apart is its 4K webcam.

As noted, these monitors are made to appeal to professionals like designers, marketing folks, and so on, so a color-accurate 4K screen is important. But these days, those workers will be spending a fair amount of time on video calls, so it seems Dell is trying to make the product a more comprehensive package for remote-working pros.

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Activision goes to court to stop Call of Duty cheat software

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/05/2022 - 12:28pm
A shot of the "3D radar" feature Activision is trying to stop with its lawsuit.

Enlarge / A shot of the "3D radar" feature Activision is trying to stop with its lawsuit.

Activision has filed a federal lawsuit against German cheat makers EngineOwning and associated individuals for "trafficking in technologies that circumvent or evade anti-cheat technologies used by Activision to protect the integrity of [Call of Duty] games."

EngineOwning charges 13 euros per month or more for subscription access to individualized suites of cheating tools designed for Call of Duty games—and also Battlefield, Titanfall 2, and Star Wars Battlefront. The software promises abilities like automated aimbots, auto-firing triggerbots, "2D radar" that shows enemy locations on the HUD, and "3D radar" that can track and display opposing players even behind cover.

EO promises its software is undetectable by automated tools, including Activision's recently launched Ricochet kernel-level anti-cheat tools. The software also includes built-in tools to make cheating less obvious to human moderators and recording software, making users "look like a legit player." The company separately sells "hardware ID spoofer" software that promises to get around hardware-based bans in Call of Duty and other games.

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FAA agrees not to seek any more 5G delays from AT&T and Verizon

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/05/2022 - 12:06pm
Verizon store front displays a large 5G sign.

Enlarge / Verizon store front near Grand Central Terminal in New York City. (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images /)

The Federal Aviation Administration tentatively agreed not to seek any more 5G delays from AT&T and Verizon, potentially ending a battle over the aviation industry's unproven claim that 5G transmissions on C-Band frequencies will interfere with airplane altimeters.

The commitment came Monday night, when AT&T and Verizon agreed to one more delay of two weeks, pushing their deployment off until January 19. They had previously agreed to a delay from December 5 until January 5. Terms of Monday's deal were described in an attachment to a letter that Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg sent to the carriers.

"In light of the foregoing, and subject to any unforeseen aviation safety issues, DOT and FAA will not seek or demand any further delays of C-Band deployment," the deal terms say.

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Today’s best deals: Nintendo Switch Online + microSD card bundle, iPads, and more

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/05/2022 - 11:46am
 Nintendo Switch Online + microSD card bundle, iPads, and more

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

It's a new year, so it's time for a new Dealmaster. Today's roundup of the best tech deals we can find is headlined by a nifty bundle for Nintendo Switch owners at Best Buy. Right now, if you buy a 12-month Family Membership to Nintendo's Switch Online service at its usual cost of $35, you can get a 128GB SanDisk microSD card thrown in for no extra cost. The latter should appear automatically in your cart.

We highlighted a similar deal last June, but if you need to top off your Switch Online membership and your Switch could use the extra storage space, this is still a nice opportunity. In general, Switch Online isn't quite as essential to enjoying the Switch as competing services from Sony and Microsoft are for their consoles, but it's still required to play online multiplayer in a variety of popular games (Mario Kart 8 DeluxeAnimal Crossing: New Horizons, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate among them), and it allows you to back up your game save data to cloud servers. A subscription also provides access to a number of emulated classic NES and SNES games. You don't get access to the more recently supported N64 or Sega Genesis titles with this subscription tier, but that might be for the best anyway.

Just note that this deal applies to the Family Membership, which is designed to cover benefits for up to eight different Switch users in a designated "family group." If you're just looking for a Switch Online membership for yourself, you can still get a 12-month Individual Membership for $20, but this deal is a bit less appealing.

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Chrysler to go all-electric by 2028, starting with the Airflow in 2025

ArsTechnica - Wed, 01/05/2022 - 11:24am
The Chrysler Airflow Concept front grille

Enlarge / Yes, it has a light bar, just like pretty much every other EV concept. Still, the lit Chrysler badge is tastefully integrated. (credit: Stellantis)

Not much appeared to be happening at Chrysler in the past few years, though that’s about to change. Its parent company, Stellantis, announced yesterday that Chrysler will become its vanguard electric brand. By 2028, the 96-year-old automaker’s entire lineup will be all-electric.

That’s not too much of a stretch. Chrysler only sells two vehicles right now, the decade-old 300C sedan and the Pacifica minivan, which is available as a plug-in hybrid. Today, at the Consumer Electronics Show, the company shared more details on the Airflow, a concept crossover that appears to be close to ready for production—so close, in fact, that the announcement was probably a thinly veiled preview of the company’s first EV due in 2025. 

The Airflow is powered by two 150 kW (201 hp) electric motors, one for each axle, and while Chrysler hasn’t disclosed the size of the battery, it said it is targeting 350–400 miles of range. If the company can achieve that, it would be quite the coup, rivaling the best from Tesla. Good thing it has a few years before it has to deliver.

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