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.

Spotify says it will remove Neil Young’s music instead of dropping Joe Rogan

ArsTechnica - 1 hour 33 min ago
Neil Young playing guitar on stage.

Enlarge / Neil Young performs at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island during Farm Aid 30 on September 19, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois. (credit: Getty Images | Raymond Boyd)

With Neil Young having told Spotify that it can keep him or podcaster Joe Rogan but not both, the streaming company today said it will remove Young's catalog of music.

"We want all the world's music and audio content to be available to Spotify users," Spotify said in a statement to Deadline and other media organizations. "With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators. We have detailed content policies in place, and we've removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil's decision to remove his music from Spotify but hope to welcome him back soon."

Young's music was still on Spotify as of this writing but will presumably be removed soon unless either Young or Spotify change their minds. Objecting to misinformation about COVID aired on Rogan's podcast, Young told Warner Records this week that Spotify "has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform."

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Omicron’s wave is at least 386% taller than delta’s—and it’s crushing hospitals

ArsTechnica - 1 hour 59 min ago
Doctor in protective gear inspects patients.

Enlarge / Medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) checks the vital signs of a COVID-19 patien while her husband rests in a bed next to her at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, California, on January 3, 2021. (credit: Getty | Apu Gomes)

Despite its widespread reputation for being mild, the ultra-transmissible omicron coronavirus variant is sending a record number of people to emergency departments and hospital rooms in the US, swamping health care systems nationwide.

As of January 15, omicron's highest seven-day average of daily cases was nearly 799,000—a 386 percent increase from the highest average of daily cases seen during the delta wave (from July to the end of October). Similarly, omicron's highest daily average of emergency department visits was 86 percent higher than that of delta's, and hospital admissions were 76 percent higher.

The latest data comes from a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday. The study highlights that even though the omicron wave has been marked by relatively smaller proportions of severe cases and deaths, the variant's extraordinary spread has still overwhelmed hospitals and taken a devastating toll on the nation.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Android malware can factory-reset phones after draining bank accounts

ArsTechnica - 2 hours 22 min ago
Android malware can factory-reset phones after draining bank accounts

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

A banking-fraud trojan that has been targeting Android users for three years has been updated to create even more grief. Besides draining bank accounts, the trojan can now activate a kill switch that performs a factory reset and wipes infected devices clean.

Brata was first documented in a post from security firm Kaspersky, which reported that the Android malware had been circulating since at least January 2019. The malware spread primarily through Google Play but also through third-party marketplaces, push notifications on compromised websites, sponsored links on Google, and messages delivered by WhatsApp or SMS. At the time, Brata targeted people with accounts from Brazil-based banks.

Covering its malicious tracks

Now Brata is back with a host of new capabilities, the most significant of which is the ability to perform a factory reset on infected devices to erase any trace of the malware after an unauthorized wire transfer has been attempted. Security firm Cleafy Labs, which first reported the kill switch, said other features recently added to Brata include GPS tracking, improved communication with control servers, the ability to continuously monitor victims’ bank apps, and the ability to target the accounts of banks located in additional countries. The trojan now works with banks located in Europe, the US, and Latin America.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

AG says he forced Amazon to shut down “unlawful price-fixing” program

ArsTechnica - 2 hours 37 min ago
Cardboard boxes made to resemble Amazon packages, but with the logo in the shape of a frown.

Enlarge / Cardboard boxes made to resemble Amazon packages during a protest outside the home of Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (credit: Getty Images / Bloomberg Collection)

Amazon must shut down the price-fixing program known as "Sold by Amazon" (SBA) under a legally binding resolution announced today by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Amazon had already suspended the program amid an investigation, but the settlement prevents the program from being restarted.

"The 'Sold by Amazon' program allowed the online retailer to agree on price with third-party sellers, rather than compete with them," the announcement said. Ferguson alleged that Amazon violated antitrust laws by "unreasonably restrain[ing] competition in order to maximize its own profits off third-party sales" and that "this conduct constituted unlawful price-fixing."

Ferguson filed a lawsuit against Amazon and the consent decree in King County Superior Court today.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Valve confirms Steam Deck shipment, review dates: By the end of February

ArsTechnica - 2 hours 55 min ago
Starting on February 28, Steam Deck will finally leave Valve's hands and (possibly) land in yours.

Enlarge / Starting on February 28, Steam Deck will finally leave Valve's hands and (possibly) land in yours. (credit: Aurich Lawson | DC)

After delaying the Steam Deck's launch to a vague "February 2022" window, Valve has returned to keep its promise. Today, the company confirmed the date its portable, gaming-centric PC will begin shipping to some preorder customers.

Valve listed two key dates in its Wednesday announcement. Firstly, the Steam Deck will begin shipping on February 28 to customers who got their $5 preorder payments in at the earliest possible moment, i.e., the first few minutes after the clock struck 1 pm EST on July 16.

Customers have a chance of being part of this shipment window if their order has an official Steam shipping estimate of "Q1 2022"; you can check your estimate by loading the Deck store page while logged into Steam.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

US Air Force spends $60 million on supersonic commercial airliner

ArsTechnica - 3 hours 3 min ago
Promotional image of supersonic passenger jet.

Enlarge / Could Air Force officers fly on Boom Supersonic's Overture aircraft one day? (credit: Boom Supersonic)

The US military has indicated its interest in commercial supersonic flight by granting as much as $60 million to Boom Supersonic for its airliner development efforts.

The Colorado-based company has announced that the Air Force awarded a three-year contract to Boom to accelerate research and development of its Overture airliner. Separately this week, Boom selected Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, as the site of its first full-scale manufacturing facility. There, Boom plans to begin production in 2024, with the first Overture aircraft slated to roll out in 2025, fly in 2026, and carry its first passengers by 2029.

Boom is designing Overture to carry between 65 and 88 passengers at subsonic speeds over land and supersonic speeds over water—more than twice as fast as current commercial aircraft. The aircraft is designed to operate on 100 percent "sustainable" fuels, and the company says the vehicle will be net-zero carbon from day one.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple fixes major bugs in iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS software updates

ArsTechnica - 3 hours 22 min ago
An iPad with the screen on

Enlarge / The 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Today, Apple released several new operating system updates to the public: iOS 15.3, iPadOS 15.3, macOS Monterey 12.2, watchOS 8.4, tvOS 15.3, and HomePod Software 15.3.

The update notes for these releases are some of the leanest I've seen. iOS, iPadOS, and macOS simply state that the update "includes bug fixes and security updates" and is "recommended for all users."

iOS and iPadOS 15.3 do not add any new user-facing features. Rather, they fix several key security issues. The most notable is a zeroday vulnerability that was being exploited in the wild. Tracked as CVE-2022-22587, the threat stems from a memory corruption bug in the IOMobileFrameBuffer. Hackers who successfully exploit the bug can execute malicious code with kernel privileges on vulnerable devices. The vulnerability also resides in macOS Monterey.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Huawei manages to launch the P50 internationally—at ridiculous prices

ArsTechnica - 4 hours 40 min ago

It's time for a wellness check on Huawei, everyone's favorite beat-up Chinese smartphone vendor. The company is dealing with all sorts of export restrictions and plummeting market share, but it's somehow still shipping phones. The company's latest devices are the Huawei P50 Pro and P50 Pocket, which are finally getting a wider international release after launching in China earlier.

With this international launch, Huawei is positioning the P50 Pro and P50 Pocket as a pair of devices. The P50 Pro is a regular old slab phone, while the P50 Pocket is a flip-phone-style foldable. When we reviewed Samsung's foldable flip phone, the Galaxy Z Flip, our main takeaway was that it felt exactly like a regular smartphone, but it folded in half as a neat gimmick. Huawei is now offering two similar phones—one that folds in half and one that doesn't. It would be like Samsung selling the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 next to each other.

That's not to say the phones are the same sizes. The P50 Pro is a 6.6-inch device (158.8×72.8×8.5 mm) and costs €1,199 (~$1,353) while the Pocket is 6.9-inches (170×75.5×7.2 mm) and costs €1,299 (~$1,465). Huawei says the two phones will be available in “key markets across Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, Europe, and Latin America.”

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Major Windows 11 update, with taskbar tweaks and Android apps, coming in February

ArsTechnica - 4 hours 54 min ago
A PC running Windows 11.

Enlarge / A PC running Windows 11. (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft will be tending to some of the unfinished parts of Windows 11 in an update next month, according to a blog post by Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay. Foremost among the new features will be a public preview for Android apps running in Windows, a feature Microsoft promoted when it announced Windows 11 back in June 2021.

Microsoft also called out a few other areas of improvement in the post: redesigns for the Notepad and Media Player apps, taskbar improvements, a universal call mute and unmute button, "easier window sharing," and adding the weather directly to the taskbar instead of keeping it in a widget.

Most of these updates have already been available for Windows Insiders in the Beta and Dev channels for a while, so you can read our preview coverage (for Notepad, taskbar changes, and lots of miscellaneous bits and pieces) to get a good sense of what things will look like. It's possible that we'll see changes that Microsoft hasn't made public yet, but major changes are unlikely to skip the preview channels before being widely released.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a breath of fresh air for a stale franchise

ArsTechnica - 5 hours 28 min ago
 Arceus</em> is as close as we've ever gotten to an open-world <em>Pokémon</em> game.

Enlarge / Pokémon Legends: Arceus is as close as we've ever gotten to an open-world Pokémon game. (credit: Nintendo)

Last year's by-the-numbers Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes did even less than most Pokémon games to spruce up and modernize the series' decades-old formula. That's understandable for a remake of a 2006 Nintendo DS game, but the games were still disappointing follow-ups to the more adventurous Sword and Shield.

The good news is that if you've been waiting for Game Freak to really shake up Pokémon's gameplay without totally burning it to the ground and starting from scratch, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the game you've been waiting for. Part Pokémon and part Breath of the WildLegends takes the free-roaming "Wild Area" concept from Sword and Shield and updates the series' catching and battling mechanics to match.

That's not to say it's a perfect fusion of those disparate elements. Its mission-based structure gets pretty fetch quest-y, it leans heavily on an over-familiar roster of existing Pokémon, and the aging Switch hardware sometimes struggles to make it look good, especially when docked. But despite those problems, the whole package works together surprisingly well, and it makes the Pokémon feel fresher than it has in quite a while.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Amazon ends widely mocked scheme that turned workers into Twitter “ambassadors”

ArsTechnica - 6 hours 15 min ago
A large Amazon logo seen on the outside of a warehouse building.

Enlarge / Amazon fulfillment center in Las Vegas, Nevada. (credit: Getty Images | 4kodiak)

Amazon has killed a program under which it paid warehouse employees to say nice things about the company on social media. "Amazon quietly shut down and removed all traces of the influence campaign at the end of last year, people with direct knowledge of the decision told the Financial Times," FT reported today. FT noted that the social media program suffered from "poor reach and embarrassing backfires."

Amazon began paying workers to tweet in 2018 in a widely mocked effort to counter negative perceptions about the company. As Business Insider reported in August 2018, "The company now has a small army of 'FC Ambassadors' saying nice things about the company online and engaging in dialogue with average Twitter users. The ambassadors are full-time employees, according to an Amazon spokesperson, and it is their job to share their experiences working at a fulfillment center."

"FC" stands for fulfillment centers, and the "ambassadors" worked in the Amazon warehouses before being paid to tweet, and in at least some cases, they split duties between the warehouse and Twitter. "I get paid $15/hr whether I am answering tweets or out on the floor stowing. I do this 2 days a week and 2 days a week I stow," one Amazon employee explained in 2019, as seen in a Bellingcat report that found 53 Amazon FC Ambassador accounts on Twitter.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Today’s best deals: Apple AirPods Pro, MacBook Air, and more

ArsTechnica - 6 hours 29 min ago
 Apple AirPods Pro, MacBook Air, and more

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

It's time for another Dealmaster. Our latest roundup of the best deals from around the web includes a decent price drop on Apple's AirPods Pro, which are currently down to $180 at Amazon and Walmart. That's about $70 off Apple's MSRP and about $15 off the average Amazon price we've seen for the true wireless noise-canceling earphones over the past few months. For reference, we did see them drop as low as $159 around Black Friday, but this deal matches the best price we've tracked for about two months.

We've recommended the AirPods Pro a number of times since they launched in late 2019. Though they're getting up there in age, they continue to provide stronger active noise cancellation than most competing wireless earbuds, an effective ambient sound mode that layers outside noise under your music, and a balanced, neutral sound that still ranks among the best in the category. The ear pieces are light and comfortable and have an IPX4 rating for everyday sweat resistance. Apple now packages the AirPods Pro with a MagSafe Charging Case, an addition it made when it announced the third-gen AirPods last fall. And like all AirPods, the Pro pair brings a number of useful bonus features ("Find My" tracking, "Hey Siri" voice controls, quick device swapping) when used with other Apple devices.

The Pros are far less useful to Android users, to be clear. And at roughly five hours of continuous playback, their battery life is lacking. If you want a similar pair of noise-canceling Apple earphones that are better for working out, the Beats Fit Pro earned a spot on our holiday gift guide last month for packing many of the same benefits into a sportier design. Reports suggest that Apple plans to refresh the AirPods Pro with a new design later this year, too, though those may launch closer to the end of 2022. All that said, if you're an iPhone user who wants a premium pair of noise-canceling earphones today, this deal is a good value.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Chromebooks may borrow the Pixel’s battery-preservation trick

ArsTechnica - 6 hours 47 min ago
Chromebooks may borrow the Pixel’s battery-preservation trick

Enlarge (credit: Getty)

You can never have enough battery life, but keeping your device's battery at a constant 100 percent can degrade its life span. Many laptops already use artificial intelligence to control how a device uses its battery, and Chromebooks are now apparently heading down that road as well.

As spotted by 9to5Google this week, a new code change in the Chromium Gerrit references "adaptive charging" coming to Chromebooks. The change's description says the feature uses machine learning to "minimize the amount of time the device spends at full battery to preserve battery lifetime."

This system would be similar to features we've seen on higher-end Windows laptops. For example, HP's upcoming Elite Dragonfly 3 laptop will use intelligent charging, which, as the vendor puts it, "learns work patterns to optimize power consumption." It's unclear how exactly the developing Chrome OS feature would work, though. It appears that Google will allow the feature to be toggled off, and a notification will let you know when it's on.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Meta’s cryptocurrency ploy all but dead with Libra/Diem seeking to sell assets

ArsTechnica - 7 hours 24 min ago
With an image of Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Jerome Powell on a screen in the background, Facebook/Meta co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on October 23, 2019, in Washington, DC.

Enlarge / With an image of Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Jerome Powell on a screen in the background, Facebook/Meta co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on October 23, 2019, in Washington, DC. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After years of effort, Meta’s cryptocurrency initiative has collapsed under the weight of regulatory scrutiny.

The Diem Association, formerly known as the Libra Association, is considering selling its assets and returning money to investors, according to a Bloomberg report. There’s not much to sell, though. The company doesn’t have much in the way of physical assets—just some intellectual property. Perhaps the most valuable part of the association is its engineers. Diem is reportedly looking for a “new home” for them.

Mark Zuckerberg first announced the project in 2019, back when his company was named Facebook and the project was named Libra. He said the cryptocurrency would serve as the foundation for payments within Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Zuckerberg managed to convince dozens of companies to become founding members of the backing organization, including Visa, MasterCard, Uber, Lyft, eBay, Spotify, and Andreessen Horowitz.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Maserati wants its new MC20 supercar to rekindle that old magic

ArsTechnica - 7 hours 27 min ago
a red Maserati MC20 in the rain

Enlarge / Maserati's first mid-engined supercar in nearly two decades strikes a balance between on-track performance and everyday usability. (credit: Cooper Davis for Maserati)

Although the name Maserati is synonymous with exotic performance, the automaker hasn't unleashed a mid-engined supercar on the world in nearly two decades. In the years since the debut of the limited-production MC12 back in 2004, the company shifted its focus toward sedans and sport-utility vehicles like the Levante to reach a wider audience. Lackadaisical development and a liberal pilfering of the Stellantis parts bin, however, had threatened to dilute the brand.

That all changes with the introduction of the MC20. Developed in Modena, Italy, and built from the ground up on an all-new carbon-fiber monocoque chassis designed to accommodate coupe, convertible, and electric configurations, the MC20 shares very little with the rest of the vehicles in the current Maserati lineup. And thanks in part to its "Nettuno" V6, Maserati's new 3,300-pound halo car boasts the best power-to-weight ratio in a segment that includes names like Porsche, Lamborghini, and McLaren.

As with the platform, Maserati engineers took a clean-sheet approach when designing MC20’s power plant to create a dry sump engine that's wholly unique to the brand. The mill uses on-demand twin-combustion technology derived from Formula 1 that places a combustion chamber between the central spark plug and the conventional combustion chamber to improve both performance and efficiency, and the resulting peak output is 621 hp (463 kW) and 538 lb-ft (729 Nm) of torque. Those figures make the engine one of the most power-dense in production today, and that grunt is sent exclusively to the rear wheels through the same Tremec eight-speed dual-clutch transmission used in the C8 Corvette, though it has been dialed in for the requirements of the Maserati V6.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

European court overturns 12-year-old €1.06 billion fine against Intel

ArsTechnica - 9 hours 15 min ago
European court overturns 12-year-old €1.06 billion fine against Intel

Enlarge (credit: ony Avelar/Bloomberg)

Sometimes the wheels of justice turn very slowly. A €1.06 billion ($1.2 billion) fine levied against Intel back in 2009 by the European Commission has been wiped out. In a press release announcing the ruling (PDF) handed down on Wednesday morning, the General Court of the European Union said the financial assumption underlying the fine was based on faulty economic analysis. 

"The (European) Commission’s analysis is incomplete and does not make it possible to establish to the requisite legal standard that the rebates at issue were capable of having, or likely to have, anticompetitive effects," the court noted.

The "rebates at issue" were part of a program run by Intel between 2002 and 2007. The chipmaker offered rebates to OEMs that used Intel CPUs in at least 80 percent of their desktops. In one instance, Intel was found to have paid a manufacturer to delay shipment of AMD desktops, in turn hampering the ability of enterprise customers to buy AMD boxes. Another OEM turned down an offer of a million free CPUs from AMD so it could continue receiving rebates from Intel.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Nvidia RTX 3050 review: For an overpriced 1080p GPU, this could’ve been worse

ArsTechnica - 10 hours 27 min ago

Until something changes, we will assume the worst about the supply-and-demand curves of the current graphics card market. The most pessimistic sign of things to come, sadly, comes from GPU manufacturers themselves, as both Nvidia and AMD have begun pricing new products a bit more in line with market realities.

January has already seen some woeful GPU launches. The mildly tweaked RTX 3080, now with 12GB of VRAM instead of 10GB, arrived earlier this month at an MSRP of roughly $1,200—a whopping 42 percent jump over the highly reviewed launch model's suggested price. On the other side of the price spectrum, last week's AMD RX 6500XT, at an MSRP of $199, has proven quite underwhelming thus far in reviews. Between its 64-bit memory interface, its 4GB of VRAM, and its penalties for PCIe 3.0 systems, the card's performance pales even in comparison to the $199 RX 5500XT... which launched in 2019.

Not wanting to be left out of the latest low-end headlines, Nvidia arrives this week with the RTX 3050, which continues the longtime GPU manufacturer practice of repurposing "binned" GPUs. The card's $249 MSRP is the lowest yet in the RTX desktop series, below the $329 MSRP attached to the nearly one-year-old RTX 3060 but above the $229 MSRP of 2019's GTX 1660 Super. I get the feeling that this GPU is the monkey's paw proposition PC gamers get when we scream things like, "Please produce more graphics cards!"

Read 27 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Fabs stretched thin as chip shortage shrinks inventories to just 5 days

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/25/2022 - 7:25pm
A masked work in gloves holds up a computer component.

Enlarge / A worker checks a mainboard at a Vingroup production facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. (credit: NHAC NGUYEN/AFP)

US chip supplies are close to the breaking point as a new survey reveals diminished inventories and overstretched fabs.

The numbers put the chip shortage in stark relief. In 2021, companies that purchase semiconductors had less than five days of inventory on hand as opposed to the 40 days of inventory they had in 2019, according to a survey of more than 150 companies conducted by the US Department of Commerce. At the same time, demand was up 17 percent. Many of the companies surveyed said that demand exceeded their internal forecasts.

“We aren’t even close to being out of the woods as it relates to the supply problems with semiconductors,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on a press call Tuesday. “The semiconductor supply chain is very fragile, and it’s going to remain that way until we can increase chip production in the United States.”

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

A bug lurking for 12 years gives attackers root on most major Linux distros

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/25/2022 - 6:55pm
A laptop screen filled with stylized illustration of cybercrime.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Linux users on Tuesday got a major dose of bad news—a 12-year-old vulnerability in a system tool called Polkit gives attackers unfettered root privileges on machines running most major distributions of the open source operating system.

Previously called PolicyKit, Polkit manages system-wide privileges in Unix-like OSes. It provides a mechanism for nonprivileged processes to safely interact with privileged processes. It also allows users to execute commands with high privileges by using a component called pkexec, followed by the command.

Trivial to exploit and 100 percent reliable

Like most OSes, Linux provides a hierarchy of permission levels that controls when and what apps or users can interact with sensitive system resources. The design is intended to limit the damage that can happen if a user isn’t trusted to have administrative control of a network or if the app is hacked or malicious.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

A rare find: Archaeologists unearth 4,000-year-old board game in Oman

ArsTechnica - Tue, 01/25/2022 - 5:03pm
One stone among many is decorated with board game.

Enlarge

Archaeologists working in Oman's Qumayrah Valley recently unearthed a rare artifact: a stone board game dating back some 4,000 years. The board features grid-like markings (possibly indicating fields) and holes for cups. It was found at a site near the village of Ayn Bani Saidah.

The excavation is part of an ongoing project to study the Iron and Bronze Age settlements in the Qumayrah Valley. The dig is a collaboration between Sultan al Bakri, director general of antiquities at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism in Oman, and Piotr Bielinski of the Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Warsaw. The area is one of the least-studied regions of the country, but the archaeological finds thus far indicate that the Qumayrah Valley was likely part of a major trade route between several Arab cities.

There is archaeological evidence for various kinds of board games from all over the world dating back millennia: Senet and Mehen in ancient Egypt, for example, or a strategy game called ludus latrunculorum ("game of mercenaries") favored by Roman legions. The board just discovered at the Omani site might be a precursor to an ancient Middle Eastern game known as the Royal Game of Ur (or the Game of Twenty Squares), a two-player game that may have been one of the precursors to backgammon (or was simply replaced in popularity by backgammon).

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Syndicate content