Feed aggregator

  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.

Do Homeopathic Cures Work?

Discovery News Headlines - Fri, 11/27/2020 - 11:33am
Alternative medicine has proven tricky to study, and sometimes dangerous to patients. Doctors are divided as to whether or not it has any merit at all.

Hulu brings back that irreverent magic with trailer for Animaniacs reboot

ArsTechnica - 4 hours 13 min ago

Yakko, Wakko, and Dot are back in Hulu’s reboot of the classic Animaniacs cartoon.

Readers of a certain age will have fond childhood memories of weekday afternoons spent in the company of the Warner siblings, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, the central figures of the hugely popular, Emmy-award winning animated series, Animaniacs. Now a whole new generation can appreciate their comic genius with Hulu's revival of the show, slated to debut next month.

The premise of the original Animaniacs was that Yakko, Wakko, and Dot were characters from the 1930s who were locked way in a water tower on the Warner Bros. lot until they escaped in the 1990s. Now they exist to wreak havoc and have fun. The format borrowed heavily from sketch comedy, with each episode typically featuring three short mini-episodes centered on different characters, connected by bridging segments. Other regular characters included two genetically altered lab mice, Pinky and the Brain, who are always trying to take over the world; Ralph the Security Guard; Slappy Squirrel and her nephew, Skippy; Chicken Boo; Flavio and Marita, aka the Hip Hippos; studio psychiatrist Dr. Otto Scratchansniff and Hello Nurse (also a common catchphrase); and a trio of pigeons known as The Goodfeathers.

As appealing to adults as to kids, the show was smart, funny, irreverent, and even educational, especially with its playful songs listing the nations of the world, for instance, or all the US states and their capitals—set to the tune of "Turkey in the Straw"—or all the presidents set to the "William Tell Overture." (My personal favorite was "The Solar System Song," complete with the obligatory joke about Uranus.) The writers were masters of parody, so much so that it became something of a badge of honor to be so featured. Honorees included A Hard Day's Night, Seinfeld, Friends, Bambi, Power Rangers, Rugrats, and The Lion King, as well as the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore. And of course, the Goodfeathers segments invariably parodied characters from both The Godfather and Goodfellas.

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New Google Nest Hub experiment nixes the “Hey Google” voice hotword

ArsTechnica - 4 hours 59 min ago

Here's an interesting experiment Google is kicking around on its smart displays: voice-command input without a hotword. A video detailing the feature is up on YouTube from Jan Boromeusz, a Nest Home hacker who has a proven track record of scoring early smart display features before they get announced.

Boromeusz's Nest Hub Max is somehow in "Dogfood" mode, which means it receives early, non-public builds of the smart display software meant only for internal use at Google. A special menu called "Dogfood features" lists a "Blue Steel" feature that will let the device respond to commands without having to say the "Hey Google" hotword first—you just say a command and it will respond. Boromeusz says the device will listen for commands after "detecting presence," so if someone is in front of the display, it will just start answering questions.

Today Google's voice command hardware listens all the time, but only for the "Hey Google" hotword. Once that's detected, it will start processing additional commands. The more modern implementations also use the hotword as the cutoff point for connecting to the Internet—"Hey Google" detection is processed locally, and anything after that will get uploaded, processed, and stored on Google's servers. The hotword also acts as a form of consent, not just by having the following words uploaded to the Internet, but also because letting the device listen all the time and respond to every possible thing that could be interpreted as a command would be annoying.

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NASA reaches out and touches an asteroid 320 million kilometers away

ArsTechnica - 6 hours 5 min ago

OSIRIS-REx collects samples from asteroid Bennu.

NASA scientists confirmed Wednesday that the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully made contact with an asteroid a day earlier, touching the surface for six seconds and collecting dust and pebbles from its surface.

The spacecraft's performance at the asteroid Bennu, which is only about as wide as the Empire State Building is tall, was remarkable. Because the asteroid is so small, its gravity is negligible, which complicates orbital maneuvering by the spacecraft around what is, essentially, a rubble pile.

Despite these challenges, at a distance of 320 million kilometers on Tuesday, NASA engineers and scientists programmed a spacecraft to autonomously touch down within a single meter of its target area.

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Tesla made $331 million profit in Q3 2020

ArsTechnica - 7 hours 28 min ago
A Tesla logo superimposed over a mess of numbers and figures.

Enlarge (credit: Tesla / Aurich Lawson)

On Wednesday, Tesla published its financial results for the third quarter of 2020. The company says it ended Q3 2020 with a GAAP profit of $331 million, the fifth profitable quarter in a row for the US automaker. Despite the pandemic, it's a strong improvement on Q3 2019.

Tesla ends Q3 2020 with a positive free cash flow of $1.4 billion and $14.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Tesla says in its presentation to investors that Q3 was marked by substantial growth in vehicle deliveries, which counteracted a decrease in the average selling price as the company sells fewer and fewer Models S and X and sells more and more Models 3 and Y. Regulatory credits accounted for $397 million of its revenues, and the company had to pay out $280 million in stock-based compensation for CEO Elon Musk after the company reached certain milestones.

The automaker had already released data on its Q3 deliveries earlier in October, but to reiterate, it made 16,992 Models S and X, delivering 15,725 of the same. Models 3 and Y production clocked in at 128,044; in total, it delivered 124,318 of these vehicles during the three months in question. Impressively, total deliveries are up 54 percent quarter-on-quarter and 44 percent year-on-year. In total, the company's automotive business brought in $7.6 billion in revenue.

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Twitch blasts streamers with vague, unhelpful DMCA takedown emails

ArsTechnica - 8 hours 21 sec ago
Twitch blasts streamers with vague, unhelpful DMCA takedown emails

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

Streaming platform Twitch this week surprised many of its users when it sent out a huge batch of copyright takedown emails. These messages not only didn't tell streamers what supposedly infringing content they posted, but it also said that Twitch had simply deleted content outright without giving users a chance to appeal.

Many Twitch "partners"—the folks who make actual money from their Twitch participation—received emails on Tuesday warning that some of their archival content was about to be deleted for violating copyright law.

"We are writing to inform you that your channel was subject to one or more of these DMCA takedown notifications and that the content identified has been deleted," a screenshot of the email posted to Twitter by streamer Devin Nash reads. The email then goes on to recommend that users familiarize themselves with Twitch's guide to copyright law before "normal processing" of DMCA notifications resumes on Friday (October 23).

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Quibi streaming service shutting down after less than 1 year

ArsTechnica - 8 hours 12 min ago
It's not a great tombstone, but... well, we'll just leave it at that. RIP Quibi.

Enlarge / It's not a great tombstone, but... well, we'll just leave it at that. RIP Quibi. (credit: Getty Images / Sam Machkovech)

Quibi, the video-streaming service designed to revolve around smartphone screens, is no more, according to The Wall Street Journal.

After launching only in April this year, with a $1.75 billion infusion of cash and the leadership of former NBC bigwig Jeffrey Katzenberg, the service is ending as part of the closure of its holding company, Quibi Holdings LLC, according to "people familiar with the matter," the WSJ says. The news was delivered directly by Katzenberg to the LLC's investors on Wednesday, according to the report.

The writing appeared to be on the wall as soon as Quibi's primary sales pitch—quick-burst videos designed to attract the average on-the-go smartphone user—fell apart all over the United States in the wake of coronavirus-related shutdowns. (People just weren't watching videos on their phones as much this year while, say, commuting on crowded trains or going to and from schools and universities.) This issue was compounded by Quibi's surprising lack of home-friendly ways to watch its content, with zero major launches on set-top platforms like Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV.

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Trial to deliberately infect people with coronavirus draws mixed reaction

ArsTechnica - 8 hours 37 min ago
A masked woman looks away as another woman in a mask sticks a needle in her arm.

Enlarge / Woman receives an experimental COVID-19 vaccine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA, on September 04, 2020, as part of a clinical trial. (credit: Getty | Boston Globe)

Researchers in the United Kingdom plan to begin intentionally infecting a small batch of healthy young people with the novel coronavirus in January as part of a first “human challenge trial,” according to an announcement Monday.

The plan has not yet been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which regulates clinical trials in the UK, and outside experts have had mixed reactions to the announcement so far.

Nevertheless, the UK government is planning to invest $43.4 million (33.6 million pounds) in the trials. Researchers meanwhile are preparing to recruit an initial 30 to 50 people, aged 18 to 30, who have no underlying health conditions. Those conditions include diabetes, heart disease, or obesity, all of which would put them at greater risk of the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

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FCC cites Title II in defense of helping Trump’s attack on social media

ArsTechnica - 10 hours 6 min ago
A computer keyboard with the word

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Peter Dazeley)

The Federal Communications Commission's top lawyer today explained the FCC's theory of why it can grant President Donald Trump's request for a new interpretation of a law that provides legal protection to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Critics of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plan from both the left and right say the FCC has no authority to reinterpret Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives legal immunity to online platforms that block or modify content posted by users. FCC General Counsel Thomas Johnson said those critics are wrong in a blog post published on the FCC website today.

Johnson noted that the Communications Decency Act was passed by Congress as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was an update to the Communications Act of 1934 that established the FCC and provided it with regulatory authority. Johnson also pointed to Section 201(b) of the Communications Act, which gave the FCC power to "prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary in the public interest to carry out the provisions of this Act."

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Does paper recycling benefit the climate? It depends

ArsTechnica - 11 hours 8 min ago
A row of blue paper recycling bins stuffed with cardboard.

Enlarge (credit: John Lambert Pearson / Flickr)

For many people, the most familiar way to “go green” or “be eco-friendly” is probably paper recycling. (And perhaps its aging office cousin: “Consider a tree before you print this email.”) There are many ways to evaluate the environmental benefits of such actions, and one of those is greenhouse gas emissions. So how does paper recycling stack up in this regard?

That’s a more interesting question than it may seem, namely because of the way paper products are made. Processing pulp to make paper is typically powered by “black liquor”—a byproduct organic sludge with some useful properties. Burning it for heat and electricity to run the mill is approximately carbon neutral, since the carbon you emit into the air started out in the air (before a temporary stint as tree stuff). So if your recycling process generates CO2 as it makes new paper, recycling could end up increasing emissions.

A new study led by Stijn van Ewijk at Yale University tries to do the math on this, using practical scenarios for the next few decades. Namely, they calculate whether increasing paper recycling would make it easier or harder to hit emissions targets that would halt global warming at 2°C.

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AOC makes explosive Twitch debut with over 435,000 Among Us viewers

ArsTechnica - 13 hours 20 min ago
Just a normal discussion of video game murder with a sitting House member.

Enlarge / Just a normal discussion of video game murder with a sitting House member. (credit: AOC / Twitch)

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) drew more than 430,000 concurrent viewers to her first-ever Twitch stream Tuesday night.

Ocasio-Cortez's 3.5 hour Among Us session—which she used in part to encourage viewers to vote—included fellow Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and popular streamers like Pokimane and Disguised Toast, who responded rapidly to an off-handed tweet invite on Monday. And just in case you were wondering, Omar tweeted out the specs of her (very nice) gaming rig.

The debut instantly made Ocasio-Cortez—who admitted to having little experience with Among Us beforehand—one of the most popular streamers on the Amazon-owned video streaming service. Her peak of 435,000 viewers put her in the top 20 most popular streams ever on the site, according to data gathered by TwitchTracker, an echelon that's dominated by major gaming brands with massive marketing departments. As of this writing, the AOC Twitch account has over 571,000 followers, and her debut video clip has attracted over 4.73 million views.

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American excess is back with the 1,000hp 2022 GMC Hummer EV truck

ArsTechnica - 13 hours 29 min ago

On Tuesday night, and after a long teaser campaign that included a Super Bowl advert, GMC introduced its new Hummer EV to the world. The Hummer EV is the first of a promised onslaught of new electric vehicles from General Motors, but for real, unlike the last time GM promised such a thing. It's also the company's first battery electric vehicle since the Chevrolet Bolt EV, and it represents a complete volte-face for the automaker.

After all, if an affordable, compact, efficient BEV won't find favor with American consumers, maybe a 1,000hp (745kW) super truck with a 0-60mph time of three seconds will do the trick. Oh, and a $112,595 price tag, at least to begin with.

And this one is big: 216.8 inches (5,507mm) long, making it slightly shorter than the Escalade that you all hate. It's 86.7 inches wide (2,201mm) without counting the mirrors, or 93.7 inches (2,380mm) with them included. and we're pretty sure it's 81.1 inches (2,060mm) tall. I have no idea about its curb weight in pounds but would guess it starts with a six.

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Amazon Luna is live, and it’s already out-streaming Google Stadia

ArsTechnica - 16 hours 15 min ago
Amazon Luna is live, and it’s already out-streaming Google Stadia

Enlarge (credit: Amazon)

Roughly one month ago, Amazon ended over a year of speculation by announcing the upcoming launch of Amazon Luna, its own dedicated gaming-in-the-cloud service. At the time, Amazon suggested that Luna would launch "next month" in the form of a limited public beta, meant to reach a tiny subset of interested users before a wider launch at an unspecified date.

"Next month" is right about now, and sure enough, Amazon began sending random invites on Monday to users who'd previously signed up. Somehow, I received an invite to my personal Amazon account faster than any formal "press" demo opportunity. I immediately signed up and logged in to see what Luna's $5.99/mo tier will look and feel like when it launches to a wider audience in the near future. So far, I must say: It's pretty darned good, but not perfect.

One more big-tech fish in the cloud-gaming stream

If you're oblivious to the rising trend of cloud-streamed video games, catch up by checking out our previous coverage of major players in the space: Microsoft Project xCloud, Google Stadia, PlayStation Now, and Nvidia GeForce Now.

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Review: The Haunting of Bly Manor is a perfectly splendid ghost story

ArsTechnica - 16 hours 31 min ago

A young American woman fleeing her tragic past finds herself caring for two orphaned children on an English estate that she suspects might be haunted in the new Netflix series The Haunting of Bly Manor. Showrunner Mike Flanagan's highly anticipated followup to 2018's exquisitely brooding The Haunting of Hill House, this season is loosely based on the Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw.

Granted, Bly Manor never quite reaches the same level as the exquisitely rendered Hill House, but it's nonetheless a "perfectly splendid" ghost story that doubles as a quiet, thoughtful reflection on love and loss, in keeping with the oblique, cerebral writing style of James. Between Doctor Sleep, Hill House, and Bly Manor, Flanagan has pretty much established himself as the reigning master of reinventing classic horror stories for a modern audience.

(Some spoilers for The Turn of the Screw, The Innocents, and The Turning. Only mild spoilers for Bly Manor; no major reveals.)

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Trickbot—the for-hire botnet Microsoft attacked—is scrambling to stay alive

ArsTechnica - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 7:00pm
Cartoon image of a desktop computer under attack from viruses.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Ars Technica)

Operators of Trickbot—a for-hire botnet that has infected more than 1 million devices since 2016—are looking for new ways to stay afloat after Microsoft and a host of industry partners took coordinated action to disrupt it last week.

In an update published on Tuesday, Microsoft Corporate VP for Security & Trust Tom Burt said the operation initially managed to take down 62 of the 69 servers Trickbot was known to be using to control its vast network of infected devices. Trickbot operators responded by quickly spinning up 59 new servers, and Microsoft was able to eliminate all of them except for one.

In all, the industrywide operation has taken down 120 of 128 servers identified as belonging to Trickbot. Now, Trickbot is responding by using a competing criminal group to distribute the Trickbot malware.

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What we know about the DOJ’s antitrust case against Google so far

ArsTechnica - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 1:40pm
Multistory glass building with huge Google logo.

Enlarge / If the company got broken up, maybe each business would take a different color with them when they go. (credit: JHVEPhoto | Getty Images)

The Justice Department today filed a landmark antitrust case against Google. The hotly anticipated, long-awaited lawsuit accuses Google of using its market dominance to force unfair contract terms on suppliers and competitors to the detriment of competition and the marketplace.

The suit might just be the biggest thing in antitrust since the DOJ sued Microsoft in the 1990s... or it might not. Even though the investigation that led here has been going on for 16 months, a suit like this is the beginning, not the end, of the process. So here's everything we know—and more importantly, everything we still don't—about what this blockbuster case really means.

What does the suit allege?

The complaint (PDF) lays out the case that Google used "exclusionary agreements and anticompetitive conduct" to become dominant in the search marketplace, and then kept abusing that market dominance to prevent nascent rivals from gaining enough of a toehold potentially to become real competition.

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You can currently take $10 off Cyberpunk 2077 a month before it comes out

ArsTechnica - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 12:37pm
Collage of electronic consumer goods against a white background.

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

Today's Dealmaster is headlined by a $10 pre-order discount on Cyberpunk 2077, the latest open-world RPG from The Witcher developers CD Projekt Red. The deal applies to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC (via a GOG code) copies of the game, bringing them all down to $50. This deal has actually been live at Amazon and Walmart for much of the past several months—continuing a trend we've seen for various high-profile games recently—but given that we're now less than a month from the game's November 19 launch (when the price should jump back to the usual $60), we figured it's worth highlighting for anyone who already plans on taking the plunge.

Now, to be perfectly clear: we have no clue if Cyberpunk 2077 will be any good. CD Projekt Red has revealed a good chunk about the game's systems and futuristic sci-fi setting, we know it looks to be mammoth in scope, we know it stars Keanu Reeves, and we know the studio's last major game was the tremendous The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. (Unfortunately, we also know about reports of CD Projekt Red forcing overtime onto its employees to get the game out the door.) We won't be able to give a final judgment until we're able to actually play and review the game closer to launch, though.

But we also realize that Cyberpunk 2077 has been hugely anticipated for several years now and that many players are committed to getting it on launch day, for better or worse. If you're one of them, you might as well save a Hamilton along the way. Note that the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game will be backward-compatible with the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, respectively, and that CD Projekt Red says those copies will get free upgrades that take "full advantage" of the new hardware at some point in the future. When those upgrades will arrive is not clear, but this means you may wind up saving money getting a current-gen copy here instead of buying directly through a PS5 or Xbox Series console.

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“Here we go”: Disney drops one last teaser for The Mandalorian S2

ArsTechnica - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 12:29pm

Pedro Pascal stars as the titular character in The Mandalorian, returning to Disney+ for a second season on October 30.

We're just a little over a week away from the season 2 debut of The Mandalorian, the Emmy-nominated, first live-action Star Wars TV series. And Disney+ has decided to whet our appetites with one last "special look" teaser for the series.

Created by Jon Favreau and starring Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin, the titular Mandalorian, the series takes place a few years after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. The basic premise is that after the defeat of the Empire in Return of the Jedi, there was a period of chaos and lawlessness as a new government struggled to emerge from the wreckage. Pascal's bounty hunter is "a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic."

The first season garnered 15 Emmy nomination for its eight-episode freshman outing. And it easily landed a spot on our top TV shows of 2019. "Favreau's brainchild has proven to be a killer vehicle for the most Star Trek-like storytelling yet in a live-action Star Wars product," Ars Tech Culture Editor Sam Machkovech wrote at the time. "Even better, its freak-of-the-week and brand-new-planet progression has been paired with a proper samurai story, as anchored by the religious, fervent, and conflicted Mando himself."

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FCC trying to help Trump win election with Twitter crackdown, Democrats say

ArsTechnica - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 11:59am
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai talking while standing in front of an FCC seal.

Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on December 14, 2017, in Washington, DC, the day of the FCC's vote to repeal net neutrality rules. (credit: Getty Images | Alex Wong )

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has turned the FCC into "a political appendage of President Trump's campaign" by aiding Trump's battle against social media websites, two House Democrats said yesterday.

"Chairman Pai's decision to start a Section 230 rulemaking is a blatant attempt to help a flailing President Trump," said Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-Penn.). "The timing and hurried nature of this decision makes clear it's being done to influence social media companies' behavior leading up to an election, and it is shocking to watch this supposedly independent regulatory agency jump at the opportunity to become a political appendage of President Trump's campaign."

On Thursday last week, Pai announced that he is backing President Trump's proposal to limit legal protections for social media websites that block or modify content posted by users. Pai said he will propose a new interpretation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, limiting the legal immunity websites like Facebook and Twitter are granted when they block or screen content. Trump claims the companies are biased against conservatives, and he wants to post on social media without the platforms adding fact checks or limiting the reach of posts that violate their rules.

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Sneak Preview: MSI Summit Tiger Lake-powered business laptop

ArsTechnica - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 11:13am
A laptop computer sits triumphant on a desk.

Enlarge

Specs at a glance: MSI Summit E14, as tested OS Windows 10 Pro CPU 3.0GHz 4-core Intel i7-1185G7 (4.8GHz turbo) RAM 32GB LPDDR4 GPU Nvidia GTX 1650Ti MaxQ SSD 1TB Western Digital SN730 NVMe Battery 52.4Wh 3-cell LiOn Wi-Fi Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 Display 14-inch 1080p IPS Camera 720p, top bezel mounted Connectivity
  • one USB-A 2.0 port
  • two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C 4 ports (power delivery support)
  • 3.5mm phone/mic combo jack
  • one microSD card slot
  • fingerprint reader
Price as tested expected retail ~$1,800

Last month, we got a look at one of Intel's engineering prototype laptops for its new Tiger Lake CPU family. We still don't have any production Tiger Lake laptops to test, but as of today we're one step closer with an MSI Summit sales/engineering sample. MSI provided the sample to us mostly for a "photo opportunity," but they graciously allowed benchmarking as long as we clearly marked the tests as being on a preproduction sample unit.

This model, marked as a sales sample, seems to be a prototype of what will be the Summit E14-087. Our MSI representative warned us that some hardware tuning and details may change between now and launch but confirmed that the chassis itself is exactly as it will be in production. In particular, we expect the power tuning to change—MSI promotes the laptop as having a 10hr+ battery life, which we suspect will not be possible with the 28W cTDP our sample shipped with.

This is not a cheap laptop—we managed to find an early retail listing for this model, and it looks like it will sell for $1,800. However, the device is jampacked with high-end parts, including but not limited to Intel's newest i7-1185G7 top-of-the-line processor and an Nvidia GTX 1650Ti MaxQ discrete GPU. The laptop also has a distinct, bold style that stands out from its competitors.

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