A group of former Oracle executives with roles across its software compliance teams have described the close links between Big Red's auditing process and its drive to increase revenue. Speaking during a webinar broadcast last week, Adi Ahaja, senior director of Palisade Compliance and former Oracle licence management services (LMS) manager, said that Oracle's audit has become "a sales enablement tool." [S]ales has far more power within Oracle than the audit team. If sales want something done, they get their way Oracle's website says Oracle LMS "operates independently from any ongoing commercial discussions. Our services are delivered by a global team of highly experienced and knowledgeable consultants who collectively offer unrivaled knowledge on all aspects of Oracle's licensing policy." However, in practice there was a close relationship between sales and licence audits, Ahaja said. "There are sales goals that are based on audit numbers and how much revenue comes from auditing customers. It's not like they're just doing it in a vacuum. Typically, [auditors] get permission or approval from the [sales] team, so they're aware; and sales has far more power within Oracle than the audit team. If sales want something done, they get their way. A lot of the time what the audit has become is a sales enablement tool. The auditor goes in, finds some leverages and hand that to the sales team and you negotiate with them." Ahaja was speaking at a webinar by Palisade Compliance, a company that advises and represents Oracle customers in issues and disputes around licensing Big Red's software. Speaking on the call, Craig Guarente, Palisade CEO and former Oracle veep in the LMS team, said the participants represented 50 years of experience in dealing with Oracle licensing practices. He noted that there was nothing illegal about Oracle, or any company, using auditing to drive revenue. However, Ryan Bendana, Palisade Compliance director of delivery, said Oracle's LMS were there to help sales teams facilitate conversations. "Oracle has a lot of sales reps and they're all very hungry and they're all chomping at the bit to try to sell somet
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Review Visual Studio goes back a long way. Microsoft always had its own programming languages and tools, beginning with Microsoft Basic in 1975 and Microsoft C 1.0 in 1983. The Visual Studio idea came from two main sources. In the early days, Windows applications were coded and compiled using MS-DOS, and there was a MS-DOS IDE called Programmer's Workbench (PWB, first released 1989). The company also came up Visual Basic (VB, first released 1991), which unlike Microsoft C++ had a Windows IDE. Perhaps inspired by VB, Microsoft delivered Visual C++ 1.0 in 1993, replacing the little-used PWB. Visual Studio itself was introduced in 1997, though it was more of a bundle of different Windows development tools initially. The first Visual Studio to integrate C++ and Visual Basic (in .NET guise) development into the same IDE was Visual Studio .NET in 2002, 20 years ago, and this perhaps is the true ancestor of today's IDE. A big change in VS 2022, released November, is that it is the first vers
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Illustration by Kristen Radtke / The Verge First, he forgot his PIN — then he started looking for hackers By Jan 24, 2022, 3:49pm EST In early 2018, Dan Reich and a friend decided to spend $50,000 in Bitcoin on a batch of Theta tokens, a new cryptocurrency then worth just 21 cents apiece. At first, they held the tokens with an exchange based in China, but within weeks, a broad crackdown on cryptocurrency by the Chinese government meant they would soon lose access to the exchange, so they had to transfer everything to a hardware wallet. Reich and his friend chose a Trezor One hardware wallet, set up a PIN, and then got busy with life and forgot about it. By the end of that year, the token had sunk to less than a quarter of its value, come back up, and then crashed again. Reich decided he wanted to cash out, but his friend had lost the paper where he’d written the PIN and couldn’t remember the digits. They tried guessing what they thought was a four-digit PIN (it was actually five), but after each failed attempt, the wallet doubled the wait time before they could guess again. After 16 guesses, the data on the wallet would automatically erase. When they reached a dozen tries, they stopped, afraid to go further. Reich gave up and wrote off the money in his mind. He was willing to take the loss — until the price started to rise again. From a low of around $12,000, the value of their tokens started to skyrocket. By the end of 2020, it would be worth more than $400,000, rising briefly to over $3 million. It would be hard to get into the wallet without the PIN — but it wasn’t impossible. And with potentially millions on the line, Reich and his friend vowed to find a way inside. The only way to own cryptocurrency on the blockchain is to have sole possession of a private key associated with a block of currency — but managing those keys has been a, sometimes high-stakes, challenge from the beginning. You can’t sell or spend your currency without the key (or the string of words used to derive the key, also called the seed) — but if anyone else gets hold of it, they can grab your coins in a single anonymous transaction from anywhere in the world. You can store your key in a software wallet on an exchange service’s server or in a software wallet on your own computer or mobile phone — but those are vulnerable to remote attack if anyone on the internet is able to get your key. Hardware wallets, the size of a USB stick, are meant to solve that problem, storing the key locally, off the internet, and signing transactions inside the secure wallet when you insert the device into a computer and enter the PIN. But if you forget the PIN and don’t have the key written down, you’re generally out of luck and can no longer access your currency on the blockchain. This happens more often than you might think. The cryptocurrency data firm Chainalysis estimates that more than 3.7 million Bitcoins worth $66.5 billion are likely lost to owners. Currency can be lost for many reasons: the computer or phone storing a software wallet is stolen or crashes and the wallet is unrecoverable; the owner inadvertently throws their hardware wallet away; or the owner forgets their PIN or dies without passing it to family members. As the value of their inaccessible tokens rapidly rose in 2020, Reich and his friend were desperate to crack their wallet. They searched online until they found a 2018 conference talk from three hardware experts who discovered a way to access the key in a Trezor wallet without knowing the PIN. The engineers declined to help them, but it gave Reich hope. “We at least knew that it was possible and had some directional idea of how it could be done,” Reich says. Then they found a financier in Switzerland who claimed he had associates in France who could crack the wallet in a lab. But there was a catch: Reich couldn’t know their names or go to the lab. He’d have to hand off his wallet to the financier in Switzerland, who would take it to his French associates. It was a crazy idea with a lot of risks, but Reich and his friend were desperate. COVID and lockdowns slowed their plans in 2020, but in February 2021, with the value of their tokens now $2.5 million, Reich was making plans to fly to Europe, when suddenly they found a better option: a hardware hacker in the US named Joe Grand. Grand is an electrical engineer and inventor who has been hacking hardware since he was 10. Known by the hacker handle “Kingpin,” he was part of the famed L0pht hacker collective that, in 1998, testified to the US Senate about a vulnerability that could be used to take down the internet or allow an intelligence agency to spy on traffic. In 2008, he co-hosted the Discovery Channel’s “Prototype This” show and currently teaches hardware hacking to organizations and companies that design complex systems and want to understand how hackers can attack their products. Reich, an electrical engineer himself who owns a software company, had a better ability than most to assess if Grand had the skills to pull off the hack. After a single conversation, he knew they’d found the right person. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is perhaps one of the brightest electrical engineers I’ve ever met,’” he recalls. Grand, who has a custom lab in his family’s Portland backyard, purchased several identical wallets to the one Reich and his friend owned and installed the same version of firmware on them. Then he spent three months doing research and attacking his practice wallets with various techniques. They agreed that Reich, who lives in New Jersey, wouldn’t fly out to Portland with his wallet until Grand succeeded to crack three wallets using the same technique. “If he screwed something up, there was a good shot that it would never be able to be recovered,” says Reich. Luckily for Grand, there was previous research to guide him. In 2017, a 15-year-old hardware hacker in the UK named Saleem Rashid had developed a method to successfully unlock a Trezor wallet belonging to tech journalist Mark Frauenfelder and helped him free $30,000 in Bitcoin. Rashid found that when the Trezor wallet was turned on, it made a copy of the PIN and key that was stored in the wallet’s secured flash memory and placed the copy in RAM. A vulnerability in the wallet allowed him to put the wallet into firmware update mode and install his own unauthorized code on the device, which let him read the PIN and key where it was in RAM. But the installation of his code caused the PIN and key stored in long-term flash memory to erase, leaving only the copy in RAM. This made it a risky technique for Grand to use; if he inadvertently erased the RAM before he could read the data, the key would be unrecoverable. In any case, Trezor had altered its wallets since then so that the PIN and key that got copied to RAM during boot-up got erased from RAM when the device was put into firmware update mode. So Grand looked instead to the method used in the 2018 conference talk that Reich had also examined previously. The researchers in this case found that despite Trezor removing the PIN and key that got copied to RAM during boot-up, the PIN and key were showing up in RAM during another stage. They found that at some point during the firmware update mode, the PIN and key were being temporarily moved to RAM — to prevent the new firmware from writing over the PIN and key — then moved back to flash once the firmware was installed. So they devised a technique dubbed “wallet.fail.” This attack used a fault-injection method — also known as glitching — to undermine security protecting the RAM and allow them to read the PIN and key when they were briefly in RAM. There are three levels of
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Veteran Microsoft vice president, Brad Silverberg, has paid tribute to former Microsoft boss Bill Gates for saving Windows 95 from the clutches of the Redmond Axe-swinger. Silverberg posted his comment in a Twitter exchange started by Fast co-founder Allison Barr Allen regarding somebody who'd changed your life. Silverberg responded "Bill Gates" and, in response to a question from senior cybersecurity professional and director at Microsoft, Ashanka Iddya, explained Gates' role in Windows 95's survival. Bill saved Win 95 from being killed internally. He was our patron and I am forever grateful. — Brad Silverberg (@bradsilverberg) January 22, 2022 The exchange is fascinating from the perspective of What If? If Windows 95 had been ditched, would Microsoft have simply pushed ahead with Windows NT? Would people still be whining about the Start Menu, or would it be the changes made to a hypothetical Program Manager in Windows 11 that left users irate? Certainly, Windows 95 was not a sure thing back in the 1990s. Silverberg joined Microsoft in 1990, when Windows 3.0 launched. Windows 3.1 was to come in 1992 following by Windows NT 3.1 in 1993 and then Windows 95. He departed in 1999, having played a huge role in Microsoft's success and dominance. When Windows 3.1 launched, so did IBM's OS/2 2.0, bringing with it 32-bit support as well as DOS and Windows compatibility. Sure, Microsoft had Windows NT (or perhaps OS/2 3.0... but that's another story) waiting in the wings, but it required considerably more powerful hardware (this hack has fond memories of running NT 3.51 Workstation with a colossal 16MB of RAM) and was designed to complement rather than replace the whole DOS / Windows ecosystem. Which brings us on to Windows 95, originally codenamed "Chicago." Or maybe Windows 4.0. Or perhaps Windows 93, if the shipping dates had stuck. They didn't, and Windows 95 gained the interface cues of another Microsoft project, "Cairo", as well as the 32-bit protected mode kernel of "Cougar". We spoke to former Microsoft engineer, Dave Plummer (he of Task Manager and Pinball fame among others) who recalled the paths being followed at the time, from
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Amazon is bringing its cashierless Just Walk Out technology to a new format of stores aimed at suburbs, the company announced today. The new stores will use the Amazon Go branding that the company already uses for its locations in city centers, but will instead be located further afield where they’ll sell food, snacks, alcohol, and “a few every day essentials.” They’re convenience stores, basically, and come at a time when a shift to home working means that people are spending more time in the vicinity of their homes rather than commuting into city-based offices. Like its other Jus
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After the gold rush of signing Joe Rogan, Spotify now has to deal with the harvest. The latest difficulty in reaction to Spotify’s controversial star turn comes from singer and songwriter Neil Young, who says he’s extremely unhappy to be sharing a platform with Rogan. “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” Young wrote in an open letter to his manager and record label (which has since been deleted from his website). “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.” The reason? Rogan’s hand in spreading vaccine misinformati
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Nvidia is reportedly preparing to give up on its $40 billion purchase of chip designer Arm, according to Bloomberg News. The deal has faced intense scrutiny from regulators and vocal opposition from rivals, forcing Nvidia to adjust its original timeline for the purchase. Now, Bloomberg says Nvidia is telling partners it doesn’t expect the deal to go through at all, while Arm’s current owner SoftBank is reportedly “stepping up preparations” to take Arm public via an initial public offering — which could be an alternative way to profitably rid itself of the firm. Both Nvidia and SoftBank remain publicly committed to the deal, and Bloomberg notes that no final decision has been made. But such rumors are not surprising given it’s long been clear that geopolitical headwinds have been blowing hard against the acquisition. Arm is perhaps the world’s most important designer of silicon chips, and has become particularly successful through a policy of neutrality — creating designs for many rival companies around the world. Despite promises from Nvidia, regulators worry that the acquisition would mean the end of this stance, and that Arm’s work would slowly shift to align with US-based Nvidia’s interests, stifling the development of rival tech. It’s this basic dynamic that has prompted regulators in the UK, EU, and US to scrutinize the deal, with the United States’ Federal Trade Commission even suing to stop the acquisition altogether. It’ll be months before all these cases come to a conclusion, stretching out the already elongated acquisition, which is fast approaching two years from the initial announcement. In addition to the worries of Western regulators, there’s also China to consider, where Nvidia expects tough scrutiny. It’s hard not to compare the deal to US chip designer Qualcomm’s proposed 2016 acquisition of NXP Semiconductors. That $44 billion deal was eventually abandoned in 2018 after Chinese regulators objected. For now, though, Nvidia and SoftBank are publicly pushing the same line: we’re hopeful, and let’s just see what happens. “We remain hopeful that the transaction will be approved,” a SoftBank spokesperson told Bloomberg News. A spokesperson for Nvidia told the publication: “We continue to hold the views expressed in detail in our latest regulatory filings — that this transaction provides an oppor
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Digital transformation projects are being held back by a lack of skills, according to a new survey, which finds that while many employers believe they are doing well at training up existing staff to meet the requirements, their employees beg to differ. Skills shortages are nothing new, but the Talent Transformation Global Impact report from research firm Ipsos on behalf of online learning provider Udacity indicates that although digital transformation initiatives are stalling due to a lack of digital talent, enterprises are becoming increasingly out of touch with what their employees need to fill the skills gap. The report is the result of two surveys taking in over 2,000 managers and more than 4,000 employees across the US, UK, France, and Germany. It found that 59 per cent of employers state that not having enough skilled employees is having a major or moderate impact on their business. Over half of the organisations surveyed (56 per cent) agreed they were having difficulty hiring new employees with the level of experience needed for their digital transformation strategies. Not surprisingly, developing the skills of employees – or "talent transformation initiatives" as the report puts it - is therefore seen as a priority by the majority of enterprises. But the report found there were conflicting notions regarding the success of current learning and development programmes between the companies and employees. Although four in five employers that offer development programmes classified these as being at least moderately successful, only 45 per cent of employees said they found the programmes satisfactory. And while 65 per cent of employers agreed with the statement that their organisation prioritises the development of employee skills, only 41 per cent of employees agreed. Team behind delayed ERP project was aware of problems but didn't inform Surrey County Council for months A fifth of England's NHS trusts are mostly paper-based as they grapple with COVID backlog, warn MPs Thought NHS Digital's wind-down meant it would stop writing cheques? Silly you. It's gone on an IT buying spree Like nuclear fusion, funding of IT on the basis of revenue generation is just around the corner, Gartner says This trend held across all areas where the survey asked both employers and employees their view of their company's priorities, from being agile and adapting quickly, to attracting and retaining employees, to staying current with new trends and/or technologies. In each category there was at least a 10 per cent difference in the employer's perception versus that of employees, and in some cases more than a 20 per cent difference. According to the report's authors, the research suggests that companies worldwide are making bold claims regarding their priorities with regards to training and digital transformation, but their employees see things differently. The report states that this mismatch of opinions is a call to action for real change within enterprises. "This research...is a wake-up call for enterprises to invest in talent transformation or risk falling behind," Ipsos senior veep Christopher Moessner said i
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Frustrated at lack of activity from the "standard setting" UK Cyber Security Council, the government wants to pass new laws making it into the statutory regulator of the UK infosec trade. Government plans, quietly announced in a consultation document issued last week, include a formal register of infosec practitioners – meaning security specialists could be struck off or barred from working if they don't meet "competence and ethical requirements." The proposed setup sounds very similar to the General Medical Council and its register of doctors allowed to practice medicine in the UK. Officials in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) even linked their new professional regulation plans with future Computer Misuse Act amendments, floating the idea that people who aren't UKCSC-registered professionals might not be able to claim any new legal defences. Part of the new National Cyber Strategy launched late last year is for there to be a government-controlled body "at the top of the profession" in the UK. At the moment everyone's running with a hotchpotch of industry-created certifications for staff, with companies passing NCSC-backed audits for access to sensitive government contracts. UKCSC is intended to impose a single UK-specific structure on all of that. Yet over the past year it appears UKCSC hasn't achieved very much, with official disapproval of this being all but buried in a very long public consultation document titled "embedding standards and pathways across the cyber profession by 2025." UK mulls making MSPs subject to mandatory security standards where they provide critical infrastructure NortonLifeLock and Avast tie-up falls under UK competition regulator's spotlight Volunteer Dutch flaw finders bag $100k to forward national bug bounty goal Info-saturated techie builds bug alert service that phones you to warn of new vulns "We have heard through engagement that providing recognition of the UK Cyber Security Council through legislative underpinning would further support its role as the standard setting body for the profession," said the consultation, adding that UKCSC has received "grant funding for the first four years of operation to allow it to develop a business model." A suspicious person might think industry appears to be ignoring the self-declared "voice of the cyber security profession" to DCMS's horror. Bemoaning the amount of money and effort poured into UKCSC so far, the consultation said: Last year UKCSC's launch immediately hit the rocks after it told the world to visit its official website; a website on a domain it didn't actually own or control. Putting this kind of organisation in charge of the entire UK cybersecurity sector as a state-owned gatekeeper doesn't seem like an auspicious move. The consultation on UKCSC's statutory underpinnings is open and runs until 2345 on Sunday 20 March. Have your say – or don't, but don't complain if you do nothing and then don't like the outcome. ®
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The Dutch competition regulator, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), has fined Apple €5 million (around $5.6 million) for failing to let dating app developers use third-party payment methods, the ACM has announced. The regulator says that Apple will continue to be fined €5 million a week until it properly complies with the order, which was publicly issued on December 24th. With a market cap of well over $2 trillion and revenues last quarter of $83.4 billion, Apple’s bottom line is unlikely to be impacted by these €5 million fines. But the Dutch regulator’s actions, like South Korea’s before it, could embolden others to take action against Apple’s App Store policie
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Apple Events — An iPhone SE, new iPads, and more ARM Macs? All possible.
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The James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most complex space observatory built by NASA, has reached its final destination: L2, the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point, an orbit located about a million miles away. Mission control sent instructions to fire the telescope's thrusters at 1400 EST (1900 UTC) on Monday. The small boost increased its speed by about 3.6 miles per hour to send it to L2, where it will orbit the Sun in line with Earth for the foreseeable future. It takes about 180 days to complete an L2 orbit, Amber Straughn, deputy project scientist for Webb Science Communications at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said during a live briefing. "Webb, welcome home!" blurted NASA'
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Sad — Health industry loves to peddle pills and tricks, but Americans are missing the basics.
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As the right to repair movement gathers pace, Korea’s LG has decided to make sure that its whitegoods can be upgraded. The company today announced a scheme called “Evolving Appliances For You.” The plan is sketchy: LG has outlined a scenario in which a customer who moves to a locale with climate markedly different to their previous home could use LG’s ThingQ app to upgrade their clothes dryer with new software that makes the appliance better suited to prevailing conditions and to the kind of fabrics you’d wear in a hotter or colder climes. The drier could also get new hardware to handle its new location. An image distributed by LG shows off the ability to change the tune a dryer plays after it finishes a load. Another scenario suggests adding a filter to an air purifier, so it performs well if you acquire a pet. To get the best from the special purpose hardware, LG suggests also adding a new software program to the gadget to make the best use of the physical filter. “We want customers to experience the feeling of getting a new washer or refrigerator throughout the entire lifecycle of an LG appliance, not just the first time they bring the item home,” said Lyu Jae-cheol, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solution Company. Ending planned obsolescence is another ambition. Of course a Bluetooth-using home COVID test was cracked to fake results Secure boot for UK electric car chargers isn't mandatory until 2023 – but why the delay? Smart things are so dumb because they take after their makers. Let's fix that UK.gov emits draft IoT and smartphone security law for Parliamentary scrutiny Just how this will all work was not explained, but more info has been promised for followers of LG Appliances’ Instagram account. Hopefully Insta users get more than lifestyle shots because there is obvious security risk if evildoers upload something nasty into an appliance. That’s not The Register being paranoid: in 2017 Check Point Software demonstrated LG account takeovers that allowed remote control a robot vacuum cleaner, refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, and air conditioners. As we
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Spring is coming (soon, we promise), and smart lighting company Philips Hue has some new products that can help you spruce up your outdoor space, so you can enjoy spending more time outside when the ice finally melts. Signify, which owns Philips Hue, has announced three new additions to its outdoor smart lighting line, all arriving in the US on March 1st, 2022. Plus, two new lighting effects are scheduled to arrive on the Hue app later this year to add features to its indoor smart bulbs. The Philips Hue Inara wall light ($99.99, available on March 1st) is a vintage-style outdoor wall light featuring a filament bulb. Also known as an Edison bulb, a filament bulb has its “electric” filament visible through the bulb, resembling that first incandescent bulb designed by Thomas Edison. This traditional look is popular in fixtures that feature an exposed bulb, and they’ve been everywhere indoors for a while now. This is the first outdoor version we’ve seen, but you can’t buy the outdoor bulb alone and pop it into an existing fixture since it’s only available inside the Inara’s black vintage-style lantern. The Inara doesn’t have the color-changing options of Hue’s signature bulbs, instead, you can adjust the brightness of the filament bulb in the app, with a remo
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IBM has confirmed that a new model of its Z Series mainframes will arrive “late in the first half” of 2022 and emphasised the new device’s debut as a source of improved revenue for the company’s infrastructure business. CFO James Kavanaugh put the release on the roadmap during Big Blue’s Q4 2021 earnings call on Monday. The CFO suggested the new release will make a positive impact on IBM’s revenue, which came in at $16.7 billion for the quarter and $57.35bn for the year. The Q4 number was up 6.5 per cent year on year, the annual number was a $2.2bn jump. Kavanaugh mentioned the mainframe because revenue from the big iron was down four points in the quarter, a dip that Big Blue attributed to the fact that its last mainframe – the Z15 – emerged in 2019 and the sales cycle has naturally ebbed after eleven quarters of sales. But what a sales cycle it was: IBM says the Z15 has done better than its predecessor and seen shipments that can power more MIPS (Millions of Instructions Per Second) than in any previous program in the company’s history*. A new mainframe always brings a surge of revenue to IBM because plenty of clients are wedded to the systems and upgrades are therefore natural. As our sibling publication The Next Platform has reported, the next Big Blue mainframe seems set to run silicon called “Telum” packs as 22.5 billion transistors, is built on a 7-nanometre process, and will be especially adept at handling AI inference workloads. IBM uses that kind of power to lure new customers into its mainframe ecosystem. Big Blue also advances mainframes as excellent components of a hybrid cloud environment – the paradigm new-ish CEO Arvind Krishna said is IBM’s new focus on his first day in the job. After four bans, TikTok finally passes the Pakistan challenge IBM forges entanglement to double quantum simulations by 'cutting up a larger circuit into smaller circuits' How's 2022 going for you so far? Hopefully better than it is for IBM Cloud IBM bosses wrongly sacked channel salesman after Tech Data joint venture failed, tribunal rules On the earnings call, Krishna said IBM clients are “eager to leverage
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6.6-rated rumble joins fire, snow, plague, and trade war as source of recent semiconductor supply chain SNAFUs A 6.6 magnitude earthquake that hit southwestern Japan around 1:00 AM last Saturday has led to the closing of Toshiba’s Oita semiconductor plant. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said the 'quake may have caused significant shaking, making it difficult to walk unassisted and causing items on shelves to fall. The agency also warned that more tremors and earthquakes could occur in the immediate days following the seismic activity. Reports soon surfaced of damaged buildings and infrastructure, plus 13 injuries - some considered serious. An announcement from Toshiba on Monday January 24 confirmed the safety of all employees at its Oita and Buzen facilities, both located a little over one hour drive apart on the island of Kyushu. However, Toshiba also confirmed there was some damage to production lines at the Oita City semiconductor production site. IPv6 is built to be better, but that's not the route to success Pop quiz: The network team didn't make your change. The server is in a locked room. What do you do? Rolls-Royce consortium shopping for factory sites to build mini-nuclear reactors Throw away your Ethernet cables* because MediaTek says Wi-Fi 7 will replace them Robot vacuum cleaner employed by Brit budget hotel chain Travelodge flees The company’s announcement states: Toshiba told The Register that there wasn’t yet an update to yesterday’s announcement. The Oita plant produces LSI chips, primarily sold to the auto industry and industrial machine manufacturers. The incident sees “earthquakes” now added to a list of disasters that have hurt semiconductor production at semiconductor foundries and helped to create an ongoing chip drought. In February of last year, power outages caused by winter storms shut down Samsung chip manufacturing while that same month TSMC trucked in water to supply its fabrication plants during a major drought in Taiwan. Also in Japan, a fire
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Could clean up dispute over who collects tax and when, but unlikely to worry outsourcing rivals Pakistan’s minister for IT and Telecom, Syed Aminul Haque, has floated the idea of a ten-year tax holiday for freelancers, suggesting the move could improve the nation’s services exports. The idea was mentioned in Pakistan's 2021 Draft Freelancing Policy [PDF] and the minister minister raised the idea again last week at a meeting of Pakistan’s Committee on IT Exports Growth, a forum whose name says a lot about what the nation hopes to achieve with the policy. In 2020 Pakistan revealed a plan to grow tech services exports from $1.25bn to $5bn within three years.
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Facebook owner Meta is building the world's largest AI supercomputer to power machine-learning research that will bring the metaverse to life in the future, it claimed on Monday. The new super – dubbed the Research Super Computer, or RSC – will contain 16,000 Nvidia A100 GPUs and 4,000 AMD Epyc Rome 7742 processors. Each compute node is an Nvidia DGX-A100 system, containing eight GPU chips and two Epyc microprocessors, totaling 2,000 nodes. It's expected to hit a peak performance of 5 exaFLOPS at mixed precision – FP16 and FP32 – and use a data-caching system that can feed in 16 terabytes per second of training information from 1EB of storage, we're told. RSC is being built with the help of Penguin Computing, a HPC supplier based in California, who will provide the infrastr
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In brief Twitter's head of security and CISO both ejected from the social media biz this month. Infosec guru Mudge, aka Peiter Zatko, joined Twitter in 2020 in the aftermath of 130 high-profile accounts, including those of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, being hijacked by miscreants. You may remember Mudge as an original member of The Cult of the Dead Cow and L0pht. He's now out of the micro-blogging site, as is CISO Rinki Sethi, who was also recruited in 2020 to fix up Twitter's security. According to an internal memo seen by the New York Times, both are the latest victims of new CEO Parag Agrawal's move to remake the business under his management after Jack Dorsey's resignation. Presumably both got golden parachutes, and they won't have problems finding new employment. Mudge's exploits are legendary, and Sethi is one of the most highly regarded security folk in Silicon Valley, with stints at eBay, IBM, and Palo Alto Networks. She confirmed the move on Friday. The move raised eyebrows in the security community, along with speculation as to why they left: it doesn't quite appear voluntary. New CEOs like to put their own stamps on a
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REMOTE CODE EXECUTION — No interaction required. "I didn't even know that shit was possible," pwned player says. The_Grim_Sleeper Bandai Namco, publisher of the Dark Souls role-playing game series, has taken down its player-versus-player servers while it investigates reports of a serious vulnerability that allows players to execute malicious code on the PCs of fellow players. Word of the critical remote-code-execution flaw emerged over the weekend in Reddit threads here and here. An exploit that hit a user named The_Grim_Sleeper was captured in a video stream posted over the weekend. Starting around 1:20:22, the user’s game crashed, and a robotic voice mocked his gameplay and maturity level. “What the fuck,” The_Grim_Sleeper said in response. “My game just crashed, and immediately Powershell opened up and started narrating a fucking” screed. “I didn’t even know that shit was possible.” Details about the vulnerability weren’t immediately available. Initially, reports said the vulnerability resided in Dark Souls 3. On Sunday, Bandai Namco representatives said the company was removing PvP server play for Dark Souls 3, Dark Souls 2, and Dark Souls: Remastered as it investigated the reports. The tweet also said that Dark Souls: Prepare to Die would be affected. Based on the description and the demo on Twitch, the vulnerability sounds critical because it allows hackers to remotely execute code of their choice
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The release dates of the seventh and eighth installments of the Mission: Impossible series have been pushed back again due to pandemic-related delays, Deadline reported. The two flicks are the latest in a long list of movies to be delayed by the pandemic, which upended Hollywood as it has struggled to deal with closed movie theaters and halted or scaled back productions. The films Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8, both co-produced by Paramount Pictures and Skydance, are the latest installments in the film series that began in 1996, starring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, an agent for Impossible Mission Force. Mission: Impossible 7 was supposed to be released last year on September 30th but is now set for July 14th, 2023, and Mission: Impossible 8’s original release date was most recently set for July 7th, 2023 but was pushed to June 28th, 2024. Deadline reported in February 2021 that the original plan called for the two movies to be shot back-to-back, but according to Deadline’s sources, Paramount changed the plan because the release schedule at the time was still so uncertain. Another Cruise movie, Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun, was initially set to be released in 2019 but also was delayed several times. It’s currently still on track to be released this year, on May 27th.
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Two lawsuits have been filed in the past two weeks against farm equipment maker Deere & Company for allegedly violating antitrust laws by unlawfully monopolizing the tractor repair market. The first [PDF] was filed on January 12 in Illinois on behalf of Forest River Farms, a farming business based in North Dakota; the second, was filed in Alabama last week on behalf of farmer Trinity Dale Wells [PDF]. The lawsuits each claim what right-to-repair advocates have been saying for years: that Deere & Co., maker of John Deere brand farming equipment, denies customers the ability to repair and maint
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Ahead of the Steam Deck’s launch, Valve has detailed a new feature for Steam’s cloud saves that should carry over your progress from your Steam Deck back to your PC (or another Steam Deck) even when you put your Steam Deck into suspend mode without fully exiting a game. Valve has talked about this intriguing idea before, but now it has a name — Dynamic Cloud Sync. Here’s how it should work: when you put your Steam Deck into sleep mode, Dynamic Cloud Sync will automatically upload “all modified save game data” to the cloud, Valve explained in a blog post published Monday. That w
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An iceberg that was once the largest on the planet, dubbed A68a, recently released 152 billion tons of fresh water close to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, potentially impacting the region’s ecosystem, a study published earlier this month found. A68a captured the world’s attention in 2017 when it broke off the Larsen-C ice shelf, located near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The largest iceberg in the world at the time of its formation, it initially floated around the Weddell Sea close to Antarctica before making its way its way across the Drake Passage between southern S
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Lots of speed for lots of money — 2Gbps and 5Gbps available to 5.2 million homes and businesses in 70+ metro areas. AT&T has started offering 2Gbps and 5Gbps symmetrical Internet speeds over its fiber-to-the-home network, the telecom company announced today. The multi-gigabit speeds are available to "nearly 5.2 million customer locations in parts of more than 70 metro areas, such as LA, Atlanta, and Dallas," AT&T said. AT&T is charging $110 a month plus taxes for its 2Gbps home-Internet plan and $180 a month plus taxes for the 5Gbps home-Internet plan. Business fiber prices are $225 a month for 2Gbps and $395 for 5Gbps. Base prices for o
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We’re not out of the woods yet — not even close — but it looks like the prices of Nvidia and AMD GPU prices may finally be coming down. Tom’s Hardware in the US and 3DCenter.org in Germany have been charting eBay and local retail prices, respectively, and they’re each seeing the same thing: a substantial dip for nearly every new graphics card that Nvidia and AMD make. Want an Nvidia RTX 3080? Just two months ago, that might have cost you $1,773 on the street — over two and a half times the manufacturer suggested retail price. As we reported in November with our own chart, that was typical of the hottest graphics cards, and Tom’s Hardware shows things got slightly worse in December. But in January, those prices have dipped 11 percent to just under $1,600 on average. The R
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I know why you hardly sleep — Devs must update existing games to utilize handy new Dynamic Cloud Sync feature. Enlarge / Steam Deck's head is in the clouds—and thanks to Dynamic Cloud Sync, that's a good thing.Aurich Lawson | Getty Images As Valve's first portable PC, the Steam Deck, approaches its estimated February launch, the back-end work to translate third-party PC games to a Switch-like form factor has ramped up considerably. While we expected to see the Steam ecosystem get updates for things like improved Linux support and Deck-compatible store flags, a surprise Monday announcement confirmed a cool feature that nobody necessarily
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The Attorneys General of Indiana, Texas, and Washington DC on Monday each filed lawsuits against Google alleging that the search giant uses deceptive user interface designs known as "dark patterns" to obtain customer location data without adequate consent. "We're leading a bipartisan group of AGs from Texas, Indiana, [and] Washington, each suing in state court to hold Google accountable," said Karl Racine, Attorney General of Washington DC, in a statement via Twitter. "We're seeking to stop Google’s illegal use of 'dark patterns' [and] claw back profits made from location data." Dark patterns is a term for describing user interface design that is intended to produce a specific response, such as making the button to consent to data sharing more visually appealing than the button to rejec
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Enlarge / Close-up of fresh SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) used in kombucha. The refreshing kombucha tea that's all the rage these days among certain global demographics might also hold the key to affordable, environmentally sustainable living membranes for water filtration, according to a recent paper published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS ES&T Water. Experiments by researchers at Montana Technological University (MTU) and Arizona State University (ASU) showed that membranes grown from kombucha cultures were better at preventing the formation of biofilms—a significant challenge in water filtration—than current commercial membranes. As we've reported previously, you need three basic ingredient
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Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin looks like Square Enix’s biggest departure yet for the long-running Final Fantasy series. Though the name Final Fantasy has been synonymous with RPG for the last 35 years, Stranger of Paradise is an action game focused on challenging and fast-paced combat. With only two months to go before launch, The Verge spoke with its developers to talk about Stranger of Paradise and the unique place it occupies in the Final Fantasy family. More than setting itself apart by being an action game, Stranger of Paradise looks and feels vastly different from its numbered siblings with its bloody aesthetic. Most Final Fantasy games entice by offering a bright world to explore with beautiful people to befriend. Stranger of Paradise, by contrast, lets you know rig
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Twitter appears to be working on a feature that lets you share tweets with a specific group of people (via Input). If this sounds familiar, it’s because Instagram’s Close Friends feature lets you do the exact same thing — but in Twitter’s case, you’ll be limiting your tweets to your “Flock.” Twitter first gave us a glimpse of the feature last July, which it called “Trusted Friends” at the time. Since then, mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi has been keeping track of Twitter’s progress, and it’s really starting to take shape. #Twitter continues to work on Twitter Flock by adding an explanation of how it works ℹ️ You can choose up to 150 people to include in your Twitter Flock ℹ️ People won't be notified if you remove them from the list pic.twitter.com
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Julian Assange has won a technical victory in his ongoing battle against extradition from the UK to the United States, buying him a few more months in the relative safety of Her Majesty's Prison Belmarsh. Today at London's High Court, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Lord Burnett approved a question on a technical point of law, having refused Assange immediate permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court. The WikiLeaker's lawyers had asked for formal permission to pose this legal conundrum about Assange's likely treatment in US prisons to the Supreme Court: The Lord Chief Justice, presiding, refused – saying Assange's lawyers would have to ask the Supreme Court directly within 14 days. A densely procedural step that in practical terms, assuming Assange's team takes the quest
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Enlarge / Scenes like this could soon grace your Windows PC. Back in November, the Zelda Reverse Engineering Team announced that it had completed its months-long project of decompiling The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time's ROM into fully human-readable C code. Now, a group building on that work says it is nearing the release of a fully moddable PC port of the game. The Harbour Masters coding team (which shares some members with but is separate from the Zelda RET project) says its porting effort is currently about 90 percent complete. The project will hopefully be ready for release as a public repository by late February, lead developer Kenix told Ars Technica. But while the massive undertaking of decompiling the game provides
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Update January 24th, 4:56PM ET: Costco’s listing sold out at this time and has been removed from its site for now. We are continuing to keep an eye out for more restocks happening soon. The Sony PlayStation 5 comes and goes fast, with high demand at each and every restock opportunity. If you have not landed one yet, your options can be slightly improved by paying for subscriptions to select retailers that give special access. If you are a Costco member then you already do just that, and your time is now. You can order a PlayStation 5 console from Costco right now, bundled with additional accessories and 12-month PlayStation Plus membership card. You must be a paid Costco member to place this order. A membership starts at $60 per year and can be purchased here. Consoles are some of the
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Recreational vehicle manufacturer Thor Industries revealed last week an electric tow assisted “eStream” trailer concept under its Airstream brand and also a battery-powered RV with a range of up to 300 miles (via Electrek). The Airstream eStream trailer could be like any other camper that you tow — but this one can be detached and remotely moved around a campsite. That could make maneuvering easier and improve safety. While it may seem similar to such gimmicks as a Tesla’s remote parking feature, the eStream’s electric propulsion enables other advances, such as the ability to synchronize with a towing vehicle to help increase range between recharging. Nowadays, electric vehicles have expanded range capabilities, but if you’ve ever tried towing a trailer behind a Tesla, you
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Embattled California utility PG&E ends a five-year felony probation period tomorrow that failed to rehabilitate the company, according to the US District Court judge that oversaw the probation. “In these five years, PG&E has gone on a crime spree and will emerge from probation as a continuing menace to California,” US District Judge William Alsup wrote in a scathing report released days ahead of the probationary period that lifts at midnight. The company was placed on probation in 2017 when it was convicted of six felony crimes connected to one of its natural gas pipelines that exploded in 2010, killing eight people. Since a company can’t go to prison for committing a crime, PG&E faced a $3 million fine and the maximum length of probation. Since then, PG&E has caused even more
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Black hole spin kick is weak — Black holes may be inclined to lean while merging, get kicked as a result.  Enlarge / A simulation of a black hole merger.LIGO/Caltech/MIT/Sonoma State (Aurore Simonnet) I was pretty excited when LIGO, the giant double-eared gravitational wave observatory in the US, detected the first gravitational waves. When Virgo came online, triangulating gravitational wave signals became possible, and gravitational wave astronomy became a reality. Once the initial excitement of seeing individual events died away, it was only a matter of time and statistics before scientists started pulling new insights out of the data. A pair of new papers has looked at black hole merger statistics, and the papers' results suggest that there might be something unusual in the distribution of black hole spins. The revealing death spiral Gravitational waves are the result of mass moving through space and time. The mass stretches space and time, causing a ripple effect, much like the bow wave from a boat moving through water. And, just like a bow wave, the heavier and faster the mass, the bigger the wave. Unlike water, space-time is very stiff, so it needs more than an ocean liner to create a noticeable gravitational wave. This means that we can only observe gravitational waves from very heavy objects that are moving extremely fast. Pairs of black holes that are in the final moments of a death spiral and collision definitely fit this requirement. In the last few orbits, the two black holes have speeds th
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HACKTIVISM — If confirmed, the attack would be one of the first times ransomware has been used this way. Enlarge / Servicemen of Russia's Eastern Military District units attend a welcoming ceremony as they arrive in Belarus to take part in joint military exercises. Russia's military is combining its own means of transport with train travel.Getty Images Hacktivists in Belarus said on Monday they had infected the network of the country’s state-run railroad system with ransomware and would provide the decryption key only if Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko stopped aiding Russian troops ahead of a possible invasion of Ukraine. Referring to the Belarus Railway, a group calling itself Cyber ​​Partisans wrote on Telegram: BelZhD, at the command of the terrorist Lukashenko, these days allows the occupying troops to enter our land. As part of the "Peklo" cyber campaign, we encrypted the bulk of the servers, databases and workstations of the BelZhD in order to slow down and disrupt the operation of the road. The backups have been destroyed. Dozens of databases have been cyberattacked, including AS-Sledd, AS-USOGDP, SAP, AC-Pred, pass.rw.by, uprava, IRC, etc. ⚠️ Automation and security systems were deliberately NOT affected by a cyber attack in order to avoid emergency situations. The group also announced the attack on Twitter. We have encryption keys, and we are ready to return Belarusian Railroad's systems to normal mode. Our conditions:🔺 Release of the 50 political prisoners who are most in need of medical as
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My TikTok For You page is generally a wonderland of soothing cooking videos, lesbian carpentry, dieticians frothing at the mouth at fitness scams, and whatever it is @yoleendadong is up to. But every so often, my FYP will land me in FinanceTok and CryptoTok. And buddy, I do not think everyone there is OK. I’ve never turned down a chance to leap down the TikTok rabbit hole, and perusing the #marketcrash2022 and #cryptocrash2022 tags is truly tragic. There’s this baby going through a rollercoaster of emotions watching stocks go up and down. There’s also this grown adult man doing the same thing, set to the Emotional Damage vs. Pompeii by William Li sound. Actually, it seems like a lot of grown men are crying about their cryptocurrency and investment portfolios tanking. Those are just the tip of the iceberg. FinanceTok is a menagerie of self-proclaimed money experts telling you which stocks to buy and sell. It seems they’ve all read Rich Dad Poor Dad and I Will Teach You to Be Rich but come to very different conclusions about what the lessons ought to be. But once a crash actually happens, so do new types of videos. There are the self-satisfied creators who called the crash several months ago and are using that as clout so you’ll “hit plus for more.” Then there are the smug creators opining about why they’re “not worried about the crash” because “historically markets always rise after a crash.” An absurd number are obsessed with that one Warren Buffet quote, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” It’s used to justify either HODLing (that is, continuing to hold) or going on a crypto buying spree when the market is down. Meanwhile, a TikTok astrologer who pivoted to cryptocurrency has over a million followers. One of her latest YouTube videos, a 22-minute clip about how Pluto returning to the US’s second house of finance hints at economic malaise (and a good time to invest in crypto), has more than 36,000 views. Even the real estate TikTokkers are joining in, sighing at the discourse about whether this is exactly like 2008. Others are keen to explain why or why not a housing crash is also on th
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arc they here yet? — Intel's stab at the dedicated GPU market still looks promising. Enlarge / Intel's upcoming Arc GPUs. Intel hasn’t said much about its upcoming Arc dedicated GPUs since announcing their branding and a handful of architectural details a few months ago, but recent leaks have given us some indications of what we can expect when it comes to performance and to the GPUs that Intel is planning for laptops later this year. Of the leaks, the one about the laptop Arc models is more concrete. A slide originally leaked on Twitter outlines a total of five different GPU models for laptops, ranging from a couple of slow-but-better-than-integrated options at the bottom all the way to a potential high-end GeForce or Radeon competitor. Enlarge / Potential configuration options for Intel's laptop Arc GPUs. The best of the GPUs includes 512 of Intel’s GPU execution units (EUs) attached to 16 GB of 16 Gbps video memory using a 256-bit interface; that wide a memory interface and that much memory suggests a high-end GPU that’s trying to compete with GeForce 3070- and 3080-series and Radeon 6800- and 6900-series products. Th
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Twitter has banned @wordlinator, a bot that replied to people’s Wordle posts with rude messages that include spoilers for the next day’s game. The account’s spoilers appeared to be accurate (the key is easily accessible in the game’s code, so it’s not necessarily a surprise), which could end up ruining the game for anyone who sees them. For anyone who’s managed to avoid it, Wordle is a game where you get six chances to guess a five-letter word — if you’re interested, you can learn how to play it here. The answer is the same for everyone playing, and it only changes once a day. The game also has an interesting sharing mechanic, where you can copy and paste a series of emoji to let people know how easy or hard it was for you to guess the word of the day. If you’ve seen a ton of yellow, gray, and green squares on Twitter, they’re probably either Wordle results or a joke about Wordle. The bot wasn’t well-received by Wordle fans. Given that the game is about guessing a word, knowing what the next one will be can ruin the entire point. It’s also one of those things that’s almost impossible to put out of your head — when you’ve seen what the next word is, you probably won’t be able to forget it no matter how hard you try. While this particular bot is gone, Twitter could become a dangerous place for people who want to post their Wordle results — the internet has already figured out how to predict what the next word will be, and someone else could make another bot to do the same thing as Wordlinator. (If you do end up seeing a new version of the bot, it’s best to block it to keep it from spoiling you and your followers.) Before Wordlinator was banned, The Verge reached out to Twitter to ask if it was in violation of the platform’s rules. The company didn’t immediately reply, but the bot seemed to break at least one of the standards laid out on Twitter’s Automation Rules page. Under the word “Don’t!” it lists “spam or bother users, or otherwise send them unsolicited messages.” If you’re tired of seeing Wordle tweets and want to know how to mute them, we’ve got a how-to for that as well. I recommend taking tha
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Google is working on a lower-end Chromecast with Google TV that would slot in below its current model in price — and also video resolution. According to Protocol’s Janko Roettgers, the upcoming, cheaper Chromecast will run the same Google TV software as the existing hardware and will still include a remote control. But it will be limited to a maximum of 1080p video quality. Playing to that limitation, Protocol believes Google might market the device as “Chromecast HD with Google TV,” similar to the branding of Apple’s Apple TV HD. The product would be marketed towards consumers with 1080p TVs who don’t necessarily care about having the very best picture quality. Other specs mentioned in the report include a maximum of 2GB RAM and 60fps frame rate and confirmation that the hardware would be capable of decoding Google’s preferred AV1 codec. With the 2020 Chromecast with Google TV priced at $49.99, potential price points for the HD version could range anywhere from $19.99 to $39.99. The entry-level streaming hardware market is fiercely competitive, with multiple models to choose between from Amazon and Roku alone; clearly, Google wants in on that pool of potential customers. The only thing that would give me pause about a lower-end Chromecast with Google TV would be performance. The current model can already get bogged down from time to time, so, hopefully, Google can deliver a device that sacrifices resolution without ruining the day-to-day experience of browsing streaming recommendations and apps. This new Chromecast HD with Google TV would likely replace the aging, older-generation Chromecast that Google continues to sell for $29.99 — despite it coming without any built-in entertainment apps or a remote. Like its predecessors, the standard Chromecast relies on users to stream content from another device like their smartphone or PC to the HDMI dongle. Google TV is a much simpler approach that offers a vast app store, voice search, Google Assistant integration, and more.
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Point A to Point B — Using Europe as an example, the technical feasibility looks promising. The transition to clean energy involves some markets where we have solutions that are no-brainers (more wind and solar, please) but also some head-scratchers. Maritime shipping falls in the latter category. Barring a return to sailing, these vessels will continue to require relatively high energy-density fuel to cheaply move goods over long distances.
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At the beginning of this month, my colleague Monica Chin published an article with the headline “It’s 2022, and the Surface Duo still doesn’t have Android 11,” pointing out that Microsoft hadn’t brought Android 11 to the dual-screen phone despite having said in September that it was working on delivering the by the end of 2021. That’s finally changing, as Microsoft has begun to roll out Android 11 for unlocked Surface Duos in North America and Europe, as reported by 9to5Google. Not every Surface Duo will be getting the update right away; if you have a Surface Duo that’s tied t
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After traveling hundreds of thousands of miles through space over the last month, NASA’s revolutionary new James Webb Space Telescope performed its last big course correction maneuver this afternoon, putting itself into its final resting place in space. Now, the observatory will live in perpetuity at a distance of roughly 1 million miles from the Earth, giving the vehicle a front-row view of the most ancient stars and galaxies of the Universe. Launched on Christmas Day, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, has had a wild ride to its destination. Too enormous to fly to space in its final form, the telescope had to launch folded up inside its rocket. Once it reached space, JWST began an extremely complex routine of shape-shifting and unfurling, a type of choreography that no spacecraft had ever performed before. Yet JWST performed every step flawlessly, completing its major deployments on January 8th and blossoming into its full configuration. Plenty of anxiety surrounded those deployments, as they had to work as planned; one failure could have jeopardized JWST’s entire mission. But the mission team’s unease didn’t end when unfurling was complete. JWST still had to get into its final position in space in order to do its job properly. If the observatory didn’t slow down just right today, the vehicle ran the risk of getting into the wrong orbit or missing its target trajectory completely. Such a failure could have complicated the mission’s future, making it incredibly difficult for scientists to communicate with the nearly $10 billion space observatory. Fortunately, JWST performed this last maneuver flawlessly. “During the past month, JWST has achieved amazing success and is a tribute to all the folks who spent many years and even decades to ensure mission success,” Bill Ochs, the JWST project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement. Though it’s been a month getting to this point, it didn’t take long for JWST to put itself into its final destination this afternoon. At around 2PM ET, JWST fired its onboard thrusters for roughly 5 minutes. It was the last of three course correction burns that JWST has done, slowing the spacecraft down enough to put it into a very precise orbit in space. JWST is now orbiting around an invisible point in space known as an Earth-Sun Lagrange point. It’s a somewhat mysti
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We got the closest look yet at an alleged prototype of the Tesla Cybertruck, thanks to a walkaround video posted to the Cybertruck Owners Club forum (via Electrek). We get to see a good deal of the vehicle, including its giant windshield and wiper. You can watch the whole thing below. We saw the wiper last month when a drone video captured a Cybertruck doing laps on the company’s test track in Fremont, California. Tesla CEO Elon Musk commented on the wiper at the time, saying that it troubled him and that a wiper you could stow away in the front trunk would be “ideal, but complex.” (Is getting out in the rain, sleet, or snow to put on your windshield wiper really ideal, though?) The person in the video seems to express doubt that it can clean the entire windshield but is assured it can. Image: CybertruckOwnersClub.com The video shows the rest of the truck as the person walks around it, giving us a look at the wheels, tailgate, and bed. It’s been said before, but the Cybertruck still looks a little unreal to me with its stainless steel finish and trapezoidal shape. Unlike the version shown off during Tesla’s 2019 announcement event, this version of the truck doesn’t have any door handles. How to open the doors was a topic of discussion while the video was being filmed, according to the subtitles. (The actual audio isn’t included, so it’s not clear if that’s actually what’s being said.) It seems to be explained that you can tap your phone or a keycard on a specific sensor, and the door will open.
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Kid-resistant — Laptops come in screen sizes ranging from 11 to 14 inches, start at $350. Enlarge / Acer Chromebook 314.Acer Acer is taking an interesting approach to durability with four Chromebooks it announced today. Specifically, the kid-focused laptops' keyboards are designed to be hard to damage. The Chromebook 512 (C852), Chromebook 511 (C734/C734T), Chromebook 314 (C934/C934T), and Chromebook Spin 311 (R722T/R723T) join Acer's education-focused machines with keyboards featuring "mechanically anchored keys." According to the company, that makes it difficult for users—especially curious young students—to rip keys out of the laptops, while still offering keyboards that are easy to repair or replace. Diagram of the ridge.Acer An Acer spokesperson further explained the keyboard to Ars, saying that a ridge under each key makes it difficult for fingers to get under and pop it out. "The ridge holds it in place better than other designs," the spokesperson said. "This design helps minimize damage to the Chromebook and reduces the likelihood for needing service." Even students who know it's not wise to try to take apart their keyboard can still have accidents. The keyboards should be able to withstand up to 11 fluid ounces of liquid through an integrated drainage system that "helps protect internal components," Acer s
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Most distros haven't got to 5.15 yet, but openSUSE's downstream project GeckoLinux boasts 5.16 of the Linux kernel and the latest Cinnamon desktop environment. Some of the big-name distros have lots of downstream projects. Debian has been around for decades so has umpteen, including Ubuntu, which has dozens of its own, including Linux Mint, which is arguably more popular a desktop than its parent. Some have only a few, such as Fedora. As far as we know, openSUSE has just the one – GeckoLinux. The SUSE-sponsored community distro has two main editions, the stable Leap, which has a slow-moving release cycle synched with the commercial SUSE Linux Enterprise; and Tumbleweed, its rolling-release distro, which gets substantial updates pretty much every day. GeckoLinux does its own editions of both: its remix of Leap is called "GeckoLinux Static", and its remix of Tumbleweed is called "GeckoLinux Rolling". In some ways, GeckoLinux is to openSUSE as Mint is to Ubuntu. They take the upstream distro and change a few things around to give what they feel is a better desktop experience. So, while openSUSE has a unified installation disk image, which lets you pick which desktop you want, GeckoLinux uses a more Ubuntu-like model. Each disk image is a Live image, so you boot right into the desktop, give it a try, and only then install if you like what you see. That means that GeckoLinux offers multiple different disk images, one per desktop. It uses the Calamares cross-distro installation program. SUSE has long been fond of less common Linux filesystems. When your author first used it, around version 5 or 6, it had ReiserFS when everyone else was on ext2. Later it used SGI's XFS, and later still, Btrfs for the root partition and XFS for home. These days, it's Btrfs and nothing but. Not everyone is such an admirer. Even after 12 years, if you want to know how much free space you have, Btrfs doesn't give a straight answer to the df command. It does have a btrfsck tool to repair damaged filesystems, but the developers recommend you don't use it. With GeckoLinux, these worries disappear because it replaces Btrfs with plain old ext4. There are some nice cosmetic touches, such as reorganised panel layouts, some quite nicely clean and restrained desktop themes, and better font rendering. Unlike Mint, though, GeckoLinux doesn't add its own software: the final installed OS contains only standard openSUSE components from the standard openSUSE software repositories, plus some from the third-party Packman repository – which is where most openSUSE users get their multimedia codecs and things from. Windows box won't boot? SystemRescue 9 may help Desktop-deprived Linus Torvalds releases first release candidate of 'not huge' kernel 5.17 SUSE announces 'tech and support' product Liberty Linux Version 7 of WINE is better than ever at running Windows apps where they shouldn't We tried the new Cinnamon Rolling edition on our trusty Thinkpad T420, and it worked well. Because openSUSE doesn't include any proprietary drivers or firmware, the machine's Wi-Fi controller didn't work right. (Oddly, it was detected and could see network
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With the number of electric vehicles on the roads poised to skyrocket this decade, millions of drivers are going to need auto mechanics who can fix their new batteries-on-wheels. But today, the vast majority of auto repair professionals do not have the training or equipment to repair EVs, which are anatomically very different from their gas-powered predecessors. As a result, many early EV adopters have been forced to rely on vehicle manufacturers and dealerships to service their cars — a situation that can drive up repair costs and lead to frustratingly long wait times. Ruth Morrison, who chairs the Automotive Technology Department at Southern Maine Community College (SMCC), wants to change that. Morrison, who was an auto mechanic before she began teaching in 2003, took a course focused on hybrid and EV repair back in 2009. She’s wanted to teach the subject ever since. And with SMCC recently receiving funds from the state for additional workforce training, she now has the opportunity. Last month, SMCC did its first run of a new class designed to teach mechanics to work on hybrid and electric vehicles — the first in Maine, to Morrison’s knowledge, and one of a relatively small number of such programs nationwide. The Verge spoke with Morrison to learn more about what her course offers and the fast-evolving EV repair landscape. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. Maddie: We’re on the cusp of a huge electric vehicle boom in the United States and also globally. What are the implications of that for independent auto repair? What new skills are mechanics going to have to learn? Ruth: [Electric vehicles] have different components. They’re going to require different equipment and tools, and technicians are going to need to get trained in how to use them. The safety concerns are one issue, but then, the equipment we use in this class is specific to diagnosing the electric machines [motors or generators], the power inverters, and the batteries. And if independent shops want to get into repairing these components, rather than just putting in a whole new unit, then they’re going to need to get training in this. Which is different from what the dealerships have been doing. Dealerships will generally replace an entire battery rather than try and balance it or replace the cells and balance it after that. As there’s more of these vehicles that are outside of warranty, and people are buying them used, I would think that the consumers are going to want to spend less money and not have to foot the bill for the entire component, just get it repaired. And then, if somebody is buying a used car, it’s nice to know what condition it’s in before buying it. So there’s some predictive maintenance that can be done to see how the motor is, kind of like doing a compression test on a gasoline engine or a diesel engine. If you want to know how worn the engine is before you buy the car, you can do some sort of predictive testing. And for electric vehicles, there’s also predictive testing that can be done. Maddie: How did your idea for a course focused on training independent mechanics on electric vehicles first come about?
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Coinbase, one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, is adding a new tax center to its app and website to help US customers work out how much they might owe to the IRS as a result of their crypto transactions, the company has announced. The section is designed to gather every taxable transaction into one place to simplify matters come tax day. Although cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin often appear similar to the fiat money we’re accustomed to, in the eyes of the IRS, the digital assets are actually property, according to this FAQ from the federal agency. That means cryptocurrency transactions may need to be reported as capital gains or losses, and that means keeping tra
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Closing loopholes — Plan would block sale-and-leaseback wiring deals and exclusive revenue sharing.
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Mondays are for football hangovers, extra strong coffee, and deals. If the weekend brought you grief due to some big playoff upsets, we’re here to ease the pain with great savings on gadgets. What better way to dull the sting of an abysmal 13-10 loss to the sixth seed when you’re supposed to be the favorite to win it all? Put down the cheese and dry those tears with some excellent deals. First up, the latest Blink Outdoor cam with a floodlight attachment is currently just $89.98 at Amazon and Best Buy, which is $50 less than its regular price of $139.98. It comes equipped with a 700-lumen LED floodlight and the Sync Module 2 for connectivity. If you want to make battery anxiety a thin
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Enlarge / Russian mobile phone networks could be severely hampered if mooted US tech sanctions go into effect.Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg The U
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Social media conglomerate Meta is the latest tech company to build an “AI supercomputer” — a high-speed computer designed specifically to train machine learning systems. The company says its new AI Research SuperCluster, or RSC, is already among the fastest machines of its type and, when complete in mid-2022, will be the world’s fastest. “Meta has developed what we believe is the world’s fastest AI supercomputer,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement. “We’re calling it RSC for AI Research SuperCluster and it’ll be complete later this year.” The news demonstrates the absolute centrality of AI research to companies like Meta. Rivals like Microsoft and Nvidia have already announced their own “AI supercomputers,” which are slightly different from what we think of as regular supercomputers. RSC will be used to train a range of systems across Meta’s businesses: from content moderation algorithms used to detect hate speech on Facebook and Instagram to augmented reality features that will one day be available in the company’s future AR hardware. And, yes, Meta says RSC will be used to design experiences for the metaverse — the company’s insistent branding for an interconnected series of virtual spaces, from offices to online arenas. “RSC will help Meta’s AI researchers build new and better AI models that can learn from trillions of examples; work across hundreds of different languages; seamlessly analyze text, images, and video together; develop new augmented reality tools; and much more,” write Meta engineers Kevin Lee and Shubho Sengupta in a blog post outlining the news. “We hope RSC will help us build entirely new AI systems that can, for example, power real-time voice translations to large groups of people, each speaking a different language, so they can seamlessly collaborate on a research project or play an AR game together.” Meta’s AI supercomputer is due to be complete by mid-2022. Image: Meta Work on RSC began a year and a half ago, with Meta’s engineers designing the machine’s various systems — cooling, power, networking, and cabling — entirely from scratch. Phase one of RSC is already up and running and consists of 760 Nvidia GGX A100 systems containing 6,080 connected GPUs (a type of processor that’s particularly good at tackling machine learning problems). Meta says it’s already providing up to 20 times improved performance on its standard machine vision research tasks. Before the end of 2022, though, phase two of RSC will be complete. At that point, it’ll contain some 16,000 total GPUs and will be able to train AI systems “with more than a trillion parameters on data sets as large as an exabyte.” (This raw number of GPUs only provides a narrow metric for a system’s overall performance, but, for comparison’s sake, Microsoft’s AI supercomputer built with research lab OpenAI is built from 10,000 GPUs.) These numbers are all very impressive, but they do invite the question: what is an AI supercomputer anyway? And how does it co
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A bug in OpenSea, the popular NFT marketplace, has let hackers buy rare NFTs for well below market value, in some cases leading to hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses for the original owners — and hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits for the apparent thieves. The bug appears to have been present for weeks and seems to be referenced in at least one tweet from January 1st, 2022. But exploitation of the bug has picked up significantly in the past day: blockchain analytics company Elliptic reported that in a 12-hour stretch before the morning of January 24th, it was exploited at
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It's coming. Microsoft is preparing to start shoveling the latest version of Windows 10 down the throats of refuseniks still clinging to older incarnations. The Windows Update team gave the heads-up through its Twitter orifice last week. Windows 10 2004 was already on its last gasp, have had support terminated in December. 20H2, on the other hand, should be good to go until May this year. We started the first phase in the Windows 10, version 21H2 rollout for machine learning (ML) t
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The latest version of an old friend of the jobbing support bod has delivered a new kernel to help with fixing Microsoft's finest. It used to be called the System Rescue CD, but who uses CDs any more? Enter SystemRescue, an ISO image that you can burn, or just drop onto your Ventoy USB key, and which may help you to fix a borked Windows box. Or a borked Linux box, come to that. SystemRescue 9 includes Linux kernel 5.15 and a minimal Xfce 4.16 desktop (which isn't loaded by default). There is a modest selection of GUI tools: Firefox, VNC and RDP clients and servers, and various connectivity tools – SSH, FTP, IRC. There's also some security-related stuff such as Yubikey setup, KeePass, token management, and so on. The main course is a bunch of the usual Linux tools for partitioning, formatting, copying, and imaging disks. You can check SMART status, mount LVM volumes, rsync files, and other handy stuff. Usefully, there's also a full local copy of the website and all documentation, including a console-mode web browser to read it with. What you don't get are menus and lots of hand-holding. There are a lot of bootup choices, including various safe modes, and loading into RAM so you can remove the media – handy if you're short on USB ports, for example. Once it boots, you're basically left at a root shell prompt with only the docs for help. Fine if you know what you're doing. Probably rather panic-inducing if you don't. Windows gets its underwear in a twist relatively easily, and it's not generous with tools to fix it. It won't let you check or repair its own UEFI system partition, for instance. And on UEFI machines, it can be extra-tricky to get into the firmware setup program. Some machines ignore the hotkeys and force you to use the Windows troubleshooting menu – which is no help at all if Windows won't start. Wolfing down ebooks during lockdown? You might want to check out Calibre, the Swiss Army ebook tool 'Now' would be the right time to patch Ubuntu container hosts and ditch 21.04 thanks to heap buffer overflow bug SUSE announces something for those who miss the old CentOS: Liberty Linux Version 7 of WINE is better than ever at running Windows apps where they shouldn't This version of SystemRescue includes native in-kernel NTFS support as well as the older FUSE NTFS, so you can, for example, start a dead Windows box, attach an external drive (or a network drive), get at any data on the box and copy it to another drive. If the drive is failing, both ddrescue and dd_rescue are included, so you can recover as much as possible. The main advantage of SystemRescue over just using the normal install ISO of your preferred distro is that it's small, it's current, and it includes a selection of repair tools pre-installed, and very little else. As a result, it's only a hair over 800MB. We would have quite liked to see some tools to help with a dead Linux box, too, though. For instance, BootRepair would have been handy, but as it is, SystemRescue doesn't even include GRUB. The other thing to note is that the snazzy new in-kernel NTFS3 driver doesn't magically bestow NTFS-repairing powers to Linux. All
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MediaTek claims to have given the world's first live demo of Wi-Fi 7, and said that the upcoming wireless technology will be able to challenge wired Ethernet for high-bandwidth applications, once available. The fabless Taiwanese chip firm said it is currently showcasing two Wi-Fi 7 demos to key customers and industry collaborators, in order to demonstrate the technology's super-fast speeds and low latency transmission. Based on the IEEE 802.11be standard, the draft version of which was published last year, Wi-Fi 7 is expected to provide speeds several times faster than Wi-Fi 6 kit, offering connections of at least 30Gbps and possibly up to 40Gbps. MediaTek boasts that this will make wireless connections a viable alternative to wired networks such as Ethernet even in applications that call for very high throughput, and predicts it will be used as the backbone of home, office and industrial networks. "The rollout of Wi-Fi 7 will mark the first time that Wi-Fi can be a true wireline/Ethernet replacement for super high-bandwidth applications," said Alan Hsu, corporate vice president and general manager of MediaTek's Intelligent Connectivity business. MediaTek claims that its Wi-Fi 7 Filogic technology will be able to achieve the maximum speed defined by IEEE 802.11be, and said that its demonstration shows off the multi-link operation (MLO) technology in operation. Wifinity hands customers bills for Wi-Fi services they didn't want but used by accident after software 'glitch' let 'fixed term' subs continue Netgear router flaws exploitable with authentication ... like the default creds on Netgear's website Party on Semiconductor Street as worldwide 2021 revenues top record half a trillion dollars UK Ministry of Justice secures HVAC systems 'protected' by passwordless Wi-Fi after Register tipoff MLO aggregates multiple channels on different frequency bands, allowing connections using 2.4GHz, 5GHz or 6GHz radios simultaneously. This is expected to deliver greater reliability, allowing data to flow seamlessly even if there is interference or congestion on some of the bands. According to Cisco, another Wi-Fi 7 capability called Restricted Target Wake Time will enable an access point to reserve bandwidth for latency sensitive traffic, which together with MLO will provide network admins with the flexibility to optimise operations via a managed use of network resources. Wi-Fi 7 will deliver faster speeds than Wi-Fi 6, even with the same number of antennas, according to MediaTek. This is because Wi-Fi 7 doubles the channel bandwidth to 320MHz and supports 4K QAM technology. Products with Wi-Fi 7 are expected to start appearing on the market in 2023. Meanwhile, organisations have already been investing heavily in Wi-Fi 6, as The Register reported last year, as enterprises made Wi-Fi upgrades a priority in preparation for an expected return to the workplace by remote working employees. ®
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UK aerospace and engineering giant Rolls-Royce is on the hunt for sites for its much-touted small nuclear reactors, which received a £210m grant from the UK government last year. A consortium of BNF Resources UK Ltd, Exelon Generation Ltd, and Roll-Royce Group is set to invest £195m roughly over three years, qualifying it for a £210m grant from government, specifically UK Research and Innovation Funding. The group has now written to sites across the country to find a prospective home for a factory to build the new reactors. Writing to Local Enterprise Partnerships – non-profit bodies which aim to bring councils and commerce together – the group is seeking bids for the location of its "factory" set to make the new approach to nuclear-powered electricity generation, according to the Financial Times. Small modular reactors (SMRs) are much smaller than the current generation of nuclear reactors under construction. While Hinkley Point C, currently being built by EDF in the west of England, is expected to produce 3,200MW of electricity – around 7 per cent of the UK's consumption – SMRs are expected to produce 300MWe per unit. Rolls-Royce said one of its SMR power stations will have the capacity to generate 470MW of "low carbon energy." But what SMRs lack in economies of scale, they make up for in modular design and off-site construction. The International Atomic Energy Authority says that "prefabricated units of SMRs can be manufactured and then shipped and installed on-site, making them more affordable to build than large power reactors, which are often custom-designed for a particular location, sometimes leading to construction delays. SMRs offer savings in cost and construction time, and they can be deployed incrementally to match increasing energy demand." According to the FT, the consortium has written to LEPs promising the lucky winners would get "high value, sustainable jobs which will produce products that will be exported globally for many decades to come" if they were chosen for the factory site. It was looking for "sites based on our selection criteria in your region together with supporting evidence or financial and non-financial support where appropriate," according to the pink business newspaper. Rolls-Royce set for funding fillip to build nuclear power stations based on small modular reactor technology Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution New 'supercritical' generators to boost nuclear output by 50% Nuclear reaction: what's next in energy science? A Rolls-Royce SMR spokesperson said: "The development and growth of a UK nuclear manufacturing base is core to the deployment of Rolls-Royce SMRs. We have therefore initiated a process to identify a site for the first major factory installation, the Heavy Pressure Vessel factory. "We look forward to working with LEPs and the Welsh government to identify potential sites, an important step in delivering on our commitment to 80 per cent UK content for Rolls-Royce SMR deployment in the UK." The government is putting a bill through Parliament proposing a "regulated asset base" funding model for new nuclear po
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I can't believe someone thought 8GB was ok — The obvious upgrades would be more storage and AV1 support. Enlarge / The Chromecast with Google TV. It comes in colors. 9to5Google reports that Google is prepping a sequel to the Google Chromecast with Google TV. Last year, Google changed the high end of the Chromecast line from a dead-simple, streaming-only video device to a full-blown Android streamer with installable apps, a navigable UI, and a physical remote. The move was effectively a merger of Google's two TV products, the Chromecast
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Did you think the season of giving was over? Not at The Verge! Not only are we continuing to give you a heads-up regarding discounts and sales on the latest gadgets, but we have another mystery bag
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AT&T is rolling out 2Gbps and 5Gbps speed tiers for its fiber-optic internet option. The company made the announcement to kick off its Life Gigified event, where it said new and existing AT&T Fiber customers will soon be able to take advantage of these multi-gig connections. If you don’t know what multi-gig is, it means a single connection that offers speeds higher than 1Gbps. AT&T’s new multi-gig speeds need Wi-Fi 6 technology for “optimal” performance, which means you’ll probably want to upgrade your router, and of course, AT&T has a new “All-Fi” device ready. The company may offer even faster speeds eventually; AT&T says it reached speeds of 10Gbps in a lab environment.
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The Moon had it coming — The impact could offer scientists a peek at the selenology of the Moon.
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The attorneys general of three states and the District of Columbia are suing Google for the allegedly deceptive collection of location data on Android. The complaints, which build on a 2020 lawsuit filed by the Arizona Attorney General, allege that Google’s “complex web” of settings obfuscated whether users were sharing their location at a given moment. Furthermore, they allege Google pushed Android users with “repeated nudging, misleading pressure tactics, and evasive and deceptive descriptions” to share more information either “inadvertently or out of frustration.” “Google falsely led consumers to believe that changing their account and device settings would allow customers to protect their privacy and control what personal data the company could access,” said DC Attorney General Karl Racine in a statement. “The truth is that contrary to Google’s representations it continues to systematically surveil customers and profit from customer data.” Racine’s suit, filed today, accuses Google of violating DC’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act. State attorneys general from Washington, Texas, and Indiana are also filing similar suits in their own jurisdictions. The DC complaint claims that Google’s settings “purport to give consumers control over the location data Google collects and uses. But Google’s misleading, ambiguous, and incomplete descriptions of these settings all but guarantee that consumers will not understand when their location is collected and retained by Google or for what purposes.” Like the earlier lawsuit from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, the DC suit draws heavily on a 2018 Associated Press report that found “many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.” Reached for comment, Google denied the claims in the suit, pointing to recent changes like the ability to auto-delete location history. “The attorneys general are bringing a case based on inaccurate claims and outdated assertions about our settings,” said Google policy spokesperson José Castañeda. “We have always built p
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Bork!Bork!Bork! Back by unexpectedly popular demand, Bork takes a vacation to Vegas for an Elvis Presley tribute act. Register reader Roger was in the audience for one of the final shows in a run of All Shook Up at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Click to enlarge It also being the end of CES, the show served not only as a reminder of The King himself, but also of the inherent fallibility of using technology in any public-facing setting. While the impersonator on stage might have rattled through the likes of Suspicious Minds, Microsoft's finest made an unwanted appearance behind the gyrations of a man in a bejewelled jumpsuit. "I can't seem to stand on my own two feet" indeed. And as for "acting wild as a bug," well – Windows and bugs go together just like Elvis Presley and a high-cholesterol diet. Cruel and unusual IT fail upstages Megan Fox. Transformers: Windows in disguise Windows terminates here. Please remember to finish setting it up on arrival Mind your Ps and queues: Bork makes a visit to the A&E Meatballs, Abba, and bork: 3 things Sweden is famous for "It made us laugh all the way through," said Roger, "as they were trying valiantly to change the screen res/external monitor config." "We almost wanted to go and help." Roger and pals
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Customers of Centrica-owned Hive are reporting problems with their cameras, with many complaining the devices have packed up, some after a few years of operation and others after mere days. The company's forums are filled with complaints from customers finding their cameras have unexpectedly headed towards the light (or flashing white light in this case) while the vendor appears unable to rectify the issue. Although complaints have been rumbling for a while now, things appear to have picked up steam from last month. Customers have reported (assuming they were able to get through to support) being advised to reset or delete and reinstall the devices without a tremendous amount of success. In a few instances, Hive has replaced the units only for those units to also fail. One user told us: "The new one lasted 2 days before experiencing the same issues and now my emails are being ignored." The Hive brand has its origins in British Gas's tinkering with home automation. One can pick up smart thermostats, radiator valves, light bulbs, security sensors and smart plugs. And, of course, the Hive View camera, which is where the problems seem to lie. The View is an upgrade from Hive's original security camera – and both outdoor and indoor versions are available. However, you'll need a subscription (or a quick finger on the download button) if you want to keep recordings past 24 hours. The warranty on the device is for one year. Extending that warranty means joining Hive Live for £2.99 a month. Another customer told The Register he'd paid for the installation of the outdoor version as well as the annual fee to store data only to find the device managed to work for just a single day before problems started. Hive suggested a broadband upgrade, which was done but to no avail. Still, a nice bit of exterior decoration, no? Some people put up fairy lights in December. It seems like others found themselves with unhappy camera kit screwed to the walls. Microsoft sends HoloLens 2 into a care home... Nope, not a headline gag about retiring the tech. They actually did this Ransomware puts New Mexico prison in lockdown: Cameras, doors go of
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IBM says it has found a way to solve problems using fewer qubits than before, effectively doubling the capability of a quantum system by combining both quantum and classical resources. These claims come in a recently published research paper, in which an IBM team demonstrated what it calls "entanglement forging" to simulate the ground state energy of a water molecule, representing 10 spin-orbitals using just five qubits of a quantum processor rather than 10. A spin-orbital is a wave function that covers both the position and spin angular momentum of a single particle. Entanglement forging, it turns out, involves the use of a classical computer to capture quantum correlations and effectively split the problem in half, making it possible to separate the 10 spin-orbitals of the into two groups of five that could be processed separately. This doubles the size of the system that can be simulated on quantum hardware. In the paper, published in open-source journal PRX Quantum, the IBM research team describes how they were able to successfully represent the ground energy state of a water molecule using just five qubits of IBM's 27-qubit Falcon quantum processor. Entanglement forging could markedly expand the computational power of quantum systems, IBM claimed. This is likely to be a small step on the road to making quantum computers that are capable of solving complex real-world problems. It has been estimated that quantum hardware will need thousands of qubits to solve many practical problems, and will also need to become much more reliable. However, entanglement forging is a particularly scalable method, according to Sarah Sheldon, one of the IBM Quantum researchers who co-authored the paper. That holds for problems involving weak entanglement, at least. Entanglement forging can also be applied to systems that are not weakly entangled, but that means doing more legwork on the classical computer to determine how best to partition the system, or to represent the correlation between the two halves, she explained. The entanglement forging technique essentially involves dividing the system being simulated into two weakly entangled h
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Ford’s hot-in-demand 2022 Maverick pickup truck appears to be sold out, with The Wall Street Journal reporting that the automaker has taken the unusual step of suspending reservations. Ford reached out to its dealers to tell them it was suspending customer orders, the Journal reports. The company will resume taking orders for the plug-in hybrid truck this summer. A Ford executive confirmed the unusual move in an interview with the paper as well, stating: “We didn’t want to take more orders than we could build,” said Dean Stoneley, general manager of Ford trucks, in an interview. “We’re getting customers who would have perhaps bought a used car and are now buying the Maverick because it is so affordable,” he said. The Maverick’s affordability — the base model starts at
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After years of being trapped in different circles of development hell, co-director Guillermo del Toro’s long-awaited take on Pinocchio is finally happening, and the stop-motion feature’s first teaser trailer is here to introduce the world to the story’s minuscule moral center. Set during Benito Mussolini’s fascist reign over Italy in the 1930s, del Toro’s Pinocchio once again tells the tale of a wooden puppet who suddenly comes to life, much to his woodcarver “father’s” surprise. Unlike some of the other Pinocchio tellings you may be familiar with, though, this film’s Pinocchio (Gregory Mann) quickly gets into the sorts of cruel mischief that put him at odds with Geppetto (David Bradley), who loves his son but can’t help but see that he isn’t exactly what one would
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Panasonic is due to start mass producing next-generation lithium-ion batteries for Tesla with five times the energy capacity of existing models as early as 2023, according to a report from Nikkei Asia. Although the batteries are being manufactured primarily for Tesla, a Panasonic executive didn’t rule out supplying them to other companies in a November interview. The new batteries promise to boost the range of electric cars, and make them more affordable to produce and sell. In a statement given to Reuters, Panasonic declined to confirm Nikkei’s report. “We are studying various options for mass production, including a test production line we are establishing this business year,” the company said. “We don’t, however, have anything to announce at this time.” Nikkei reports that the larger, higher-capacity batteries — which are known as 4680 battery cells because they measure 46mm x 80mm in size — could increase the range of electric vehicles by around 20 percent, while Tesla itself has mentioned a 16 percent range increase. They could take a car like its flagship Model S and increase its range from 650km (around 404 miles) to 750km (around 465 miles), according
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US scientists have discovered that black holes can create as well as destroy, as the observed hot gas emitted from such a void in a dwarf galaxy could have contributed to the birth of stars. A paper in the science journal Nature reveals how observations made with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on Hubble revealed the inner secrets of galaxy Henize 2-10, a distance of around 9 megaparsecs or about 30 million light-years (a parsec being a measure of distance, not time, so sit down Han Solo, let's not go down that black hole). Lead researcher and Montana State University Physics Department assistant professor Amy Reines found traces of an outflow or bridge of hot gas stretching 230 light-years from the massive black hole to a (relatively) nearby star nursery. Working with graduate researcher Zachary Schutte, Reines gathered enough evidence to conclude that "this black-hole outflow triggered the star formation." A pullout of the central region of dwarf starburst galaxy Henize 2-10 traces an outflow, or bridge of hot gas 230 light-years long, connecting the galaxy's massive black hole and a star-forming region. Pic: NASA, ESA, Zachary Schutte (XGI), Amy Reines (XGI); image processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI) Larger galaxies experience an opposite effect. Gases sucked into a black hole are influenced by surrounding magnetic fields to form a hot plasma jet moving close to the speed of light. Gases in the path of these jets are assumed to be heated beyond the threshold needed to cool back down and form stars, an accompanying report from NASA explained. Move over exoplanets, exomoons are the next big thing Massive rugby ball-shaped planet emerges from scrum of sp
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Unit dragged back to work after being found under hedge a day later Other stories you might like A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... a massive black hole spewed out gases that probably helped make stars As it destroys so it creates US scientists have discovered that black holes can create as well as destroy, as the observed hot gas emitted from such a void in a dwarf galaxy could have contributed to the birth of stars.A paper in the science journal Nature reveals how observations made with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on Hubble revealed the inner secrets of galaxy Henize 2-10, a distance of around 9 megaparsecs or about 30 million light-years (a parsec being a measure of distance, not time, so sit down Han Solo, let's not go down that black hole).Lead researcher and Montana State University Physics Department assistant professor Amy Reines found traces of an outflow or bridge of hot gas stretching 230 light-years from the massive black hole to a (relatively) nearby star nursery. Continue reading Elvis may have left the building, but Wi
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Wisk Aero, the electric air taxi startup, raised $450 million from Boeing in a new funding round that it claims will make it “one of the most well-funded [advanced air mobility] companies in the world.” In its announcement, Wisk highlights the fact that its “a privately-backed AAM leader,” setting up a contrast with a slate of similar startups that have gone public in recent months by merging with special purpose acquisition companies, also known as SPACs or “blank check” companies. Wisk Aero was formed in 2019 as a joint venture between Boeing and Kitty Hawk, the flying taxi co
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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned the flying of consumer drones by hobbyists. The news comes after a suspected drone attack hit an oil facility and airport in the country’s capital, Abu Dhabi, last week. The ban was announced by the Ministry of the Interior on Saturday and also applies to light aircraft like gliders. The ministry did not mention the recent attacks in its statement, but referenced “misuse spotted recently,” incidents of drone pilots “trespassing into areas where these types of activities are prohibited,” and a need to “ensure the safety of lives and prope
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Problems with Surrey County Council's £30m projects to replace an ageing SAP R/3 system with a Unit4 SaaS application were known in June, but not discussed with key council committees until after September. In April and June last year, new requirements from the HR department continued to arrive after the main software build was complete. The application supplier assured the council these changes could be accommodated within the original project timeline, but by September it became clear it wasn't going to make that December 2021 launch date, a council meeting heard late last week. Earlier th
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Opinion In the World of Tomorrow that's always 10 years away, Linux dominates the desktop, quantum computers control the fusion reactors, and all Android phones receive regular system updates. And the internet runs on IPv6. This sort of talk irks IPv6 stans, mostly because it's true. They are serious-minded, far-seeing, sober engineering types who are both baffled and angry that IPv4 still rules the world in 2022. This is not how it was supposed to be. IPv4 was designed by expert prophetic dreamers more than 40 years ago to be future-proof, but the future it actually created outstripped their dreams. IPv6 was the engineers' answer, born from a decade and a half of experience, and solving IPv4's undeniable routing, addressing, security and performance problems at the unprecedented scale it
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Toshihiro Nagoshi, former chief creative officer at Sega, where he led development of the Yakuza series as general director of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, has announced his next move. He’s started up his own studio, simply titled Nagoshi Studio, which is being wholly funded by Chinese internet and gaming company NetEase. Nagoshi announced his departure from Sega last October, but today’s news also follows a report from Bloomberg back in August that named NetEase as his prospective future partner. Masayoshi Yokoyama, who The Verge interviewed last year about his work on the most recent Yakuza game Like a Dragon, is the new head of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and is currently working on the next game in the series. Nagoshi Studio will be headquartered in Tokyo and has hired several former long-tim
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Who, Me? Welcome to another entry in The Register's Who, Me? archives. Today, a reader goes full Hollywood to save the day (and fix some IP addressing). Our story comes from Dave and takes us back to the Australia of the 1990s. It was the era of Paul Keating and John Howard and, significantly, a time of advancement in telecommunications technology. Riding that wave was our reader, "Dave" (no, not his real name) who was working in software and infrastructure for a government agency. His team had developed an imaging system ("back when that was hard," he said modestly) that could display trademark registrations on the new-fangled Windows desktops that were popping up all over the place. "The application worked a treat," explained Dave, "and saved everybody heaps of time in their day
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If you're looking for a sign that the COVID-19 pandemic has eased and life is approaching normal, Apple has a bad omen: the fruity company has again extended viral relief to developers. Apple has offered a smidgen of help since early 2020 by waiving App Store Review Guideline 3.1.1, which requires apps offering paid online group services to do so via in-app purchases. By dropping that requirement, Apple reckoned it helped some businesses. The waiver has was since been extended, and on Saturday Apple extended it again. “Given the recent resurgence of COVID and its continued impact on in-person services, we’ve extended the most recent deadline to June 30, 2022,” said Apple in a canned statement. The post reminds developers that one-to-one services like tut
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Myanmar's military junta has floated a cyber security law that would ban the use of virtual private networks, under penalty of imprisonment and/or fines, leaving digital rights organisations concerned about the effects of further closing the country off digitally to the outside world. The draft bill, dated January 13 is signed by Soe Thein, permanent secretary of the military's transport and communications ministry and is undergoing request for comments until January 28. Upon adoption, it will subject VPN users to between one and three years inside, and fines of up to five million Myanmar Kyats ($2,800). The bill also bans the use of digital currency, under penalty of imprisonment for six months to a year, and the same fine used to deter VPN use. Furthermore, it obligates service p
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Beijing blamed for change from campaign outreach to … a guide for expats? Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's WeChat account has been taken over by entities that have rebranded it "Australian Chinese new life" and used the account to offer advice on living in Australia for the nation's Chinese community. Morrison, leader of the right-of-centre Liberal Party of Australia, has used Tencent-owned WeChat as a campaigning tool to reach Australia's sizable Chinese community – many of whom are concentrated in particular seats and are therefore considered a sought-after voting bloc. Other members of the government have concluded the takeover of the account must b
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Seeks salespeople focused on expansion – and casinos – and adds a trio of senior managers Cloudflare has signalled significant expansion into the Asia-Pacific, Japan, and China, using Singapore as a beachhead. The Register has spotted a raft of job ads from the net-grooming company, among them a "Head of Expansion, APJC" whose job will be to manage a clutch of expansion-oriented salespeople in pursuit of new business. Another role, titled "Regional Major Account Executive – Gaming and Online Casino" gets the job of working with "iGaming and Online Casino related companies across APAC" to bring more bucks through Cloudflare's door. Three of Cloudflare's new roles require spoken Mandarin or C
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In-brief IBM has offloaded healthcare data and analytics assets from its Watson Health business, with private equity firm Francisco Partners hand over around $1bn for the privilege. The takeover “is a clear next step as IBM becomes even more focused on our platform-based hybrid cloud and AI strategy,” Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Software, told newswire Bloomberg. “IBM remains committed to Watson, our broader AI business, and to the clients and partners we support in healthcare IT.” Launched in 2015, IBM Watson Health hasn’t been able to turn a profit despite the company spending $4bn in acquisitions to grow the business and its capabilities. IBM has tried to whittle down its Watson Health division for a while, after struggling to sign hospitals as clients.
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Life on the road increases reliance on cloudy tools instead of Emperor Penguin's preferred local tests The first release candidate for version 5.17 of the Linux kernel has rolled off the production line – despite fears that working from a laptop might complicate matters. Emperor Penguin Linus Torvalds is currently on the road and, when announcing the release of Linux 5.16 predicted that the version 5.17 release merge window would be “somewhat painful” due to his travels, and use of a laptop – something Torvalds said “I generally try to avoid.” Torvalds’ laptop aversion comes from the fact that he likes to do lots of local testing on his beastly worksta
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If you’ve connected your bank account to financial apps like Robinhood, Acorns, Venmo, American Express, Coinbase, and Credit Karma, you may be entitled to some cash, according to a report by Fast Company. Plaid, the financial service these apps (and 5,500 others) use to link your bank account, has settled a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of collecting more financial data from users than necessary. The suit also alleges Plaid obtained users’ bank login information “through its user interface, known as ‘Plaid Link,’ which had the look and feel of the user’s own bank account login screen.” In reality, users were inputting their information “directly to Plaid.” Plaid denies these claims and says it was transparent with its customers. Plaid will pay $58 million
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Potential European pricing information for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S22 series has been released by reliable leaker Roland Quandt, as reported by Android Police. Samsung appears to have carried over its prices from the previous S21 lineup, with the only inconsistency being an equally-priced S22 Ultra model that supposedly comes with less RAM than its S21 predecessor. Whoever said S22 series was to be cheaper, didn't think of Covid, parts shortages and inflation.Actual official EURO prices:S22 8/128GB = 849S22 8/256GB = 899S22+ 8/128GB = 1049S22+ 8/256GB = 1099S22 Ultra 8/128GB = 1249S22 Ultra 12/256GB = 1349S22 Ultra 12/512GB = 1449 pic.twitter.com/QRnfrhkzTz— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) January 22, 2022 Quandt claims the S22 will start at 849€ (~$963), the S22 Plus will set yo
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Crypto bears — Cryptocurrencies tumble in wake of global stock sell-off, proposed Russian crypto ban. Bitcoin dropped to a six-month low on Saturday, extending a steep fall recorded in the previous session as the cryptocurrency market was swept up in a powerful shift by investors out of speculative assets. The price of the biggest digital token by market value fell 4.3 percent in the European morning on Saturday to $35,127, the lowest level since July 2021. Bitcoin has now lost almost a quarter of its value this year. Other cryptocurrencies have also come under intense selling pressure, with an FT Wilshire index of the top five tokens ex
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Stayin' alive — Philipp Dettmer, a self-described immune enthusiast, invites us into his world. If ever there was a moment to brush up on your knowledge of the immune system, this is that moment. (Okay, March-April 2020 may have been preferable, but you can still catch up.) And Immune is the perfect vehicle to help you do that. This book is phenomenal. It is engaging, it is informative, it is extremely clear and well-organized, it is helpful and illuminating and relevant and eye-opening and incredibly timely. And it is beautiful. Go get it and read it. With enthusiasm Philipp Dettmer is not an immunologist. He is a self-described “immune system enthusiast.” But his is no dilettantish, idle intellectual curiosity. He comes by his enthusiasm honestly, as he has had more intimate run-ins with his own immune system than anyone would like. He developed a food allergy as an adult that sent him to the hospital with shock, and he had cancer at age 32 and had to undergo chemotherapy. What he is, is an information designer. He founded Kurzgesagt-In a Nutshell, one of the largest science channels on YouTube, which exists to explain complex ideas in an accessible, holistic manner. But the immune system is incredibly, ridiculously, notoriously complex. So much so that even Dettmer, who has dedicated his career to making obtuse scientific information accessible, decided that the best way to introduce immunity was in book form rather than through his online videos. For, an introduction is all the book is, as he tells you repeatedl
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On the last day of 2021, as final preparations were being made for the New Year’s Eve firework display in central Berlin, outside the German capital another era was drawing to a close. It was the beginning of the end of Germany's decades-long dalliance with nuclear power. On December 31, Germany shut down three of its six remaining nuclear plants. By the end of 2022, the other three will be shut as well. Two decades after an agreement to eliminate nuclear power became law, the country’s phaseout has been dramatic. In 2002, Germany relied on nuclear power for nearly 30 percent of its electricity. Within a year, that percentage will be zero. Germany isn’t the only European nation reevaluating its relationship with nuclear energy. Its neighbor Belgium currently sources nearly 40 percent of its electricity from nuclear power but has committed to closing down its seven remaining reactors by 2025. To the south, Switzerland has already shut down one of its five remaining nuclear power plants, the first stage in what will eventually be a total phaseout. Switzerland’s phaseout was decided in a 2017 referendum, when the majority of the public endorsed an energy strategy that subsidized renewables and banned new nuclear power plants. The Swiss referendum was driven by environmental concerns raised in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, when three reactors melted after a tsunami overwhelmed the power plant. That disaster, and concerns about the disposal of nuclear waste, also hastened Germany’s nuclear shutdown. Shortly afterward, then-chancellor Angela Merkel—who had previously said she didn’t agree with
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Spoilers ahead for And Just Like That... and Billions. Peloton really can’t catch a break. Not only did rumors it’s temporarily suspending production of its connected bikes and treadmills send the stock plunging on Thursday, but — in a plot twist worthy of the big screen — a second TV show character has been shown having a heart attack while riding a Peloton. This comes just over a month after a beloved character from Sex and the City was killed off after a workout on one of the company’s bikes. In the season six premiere of Billions (available in an early release via streaming, including for free on YouTube, ahead of the show’s usual Sunday night time slot), the character Wags’ Peloton ride is interrupted by EMTs who tell him he’s having a heart attack. (The medics were called by his bosses who were secretly getting heart rate data from an Oura-like ring and initially suspect a different kind of late-night workout.) When he returns to the office, he even makes a reference to the now-infamous scene from last month: “I’m not going out like Mr. Big!” he triumphantly announces to his co-workers. Mr. Big may be gone from And Just Like That, but he’s been haunting Peloton. First, of course, was the fictional character’s death, which hurt the company’s very real stock prices. Then, Peloton tried to quickly turn the situation around with an ad featuring Ryan Reynolds and Mr. Big’s actor, Chris Noth. The ad directly calls out the show, explaining the health benefits of regular cycling and ending with “he’s alive.” Days later, Peloton scrubbed the ad from the internet after two women accused Noth of sexual assault. Billions using almost the same plot point as And Just Like That is completely coincidental, according to The New York Times. The scene was apparently written and shot early last year, and the line about Mr. Big was dubbed in after the fact. Even as someone who doesn’t watch Billions, this serendipity is delightful — though I don’t imagine Peloton would agree. While the company hasn’t blamed Wag’s extravagant lifestyle for the heart condition, it did point out to the Times the virtues of a good cardio workout.
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Cold case files — Vincent Pankoke ID'd Jewish Council member Arnold van den Bergh as most likely culprit Enlarge / Anne Frank in 1940. A new book, The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation, by Rosemary Sullivan, claims that a retired FBI special agent and a team of investigators have solved the mystery of who betrayed the Frank family to the Nazis.Public domain Former FBI special agent Vincent Pankoke was looking forward to a relaxing retirement hanging out at the beach when he left the agency. Instead, he was drawn into solving a famous cold case: the question of who betrayed Anne Frank and her family to the Nazis, leading to their arrest and deportation to a concentration camp. Only the father, Otto Frank, survived. To find his own answer to that question, Pankoke assembled his own crack team of dogged investigators. They spent five years poring over every bit of pertinent material, setting up an extensive online database, and developing an AI program to help them sift through it all and find new connections. While admitting that the case is circumstantial and some reasonable doubt remains, Panko
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A dangerous remote code execution (RCE) exploit found in Dark Souls 3 could let a bad actor take control of your computer, according to a report from Dexerto. The vulnerability only puts PC gamers who play online at risk and may potentially affect Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, and the upcoming Elden Ring. The exploit was seen in action during The__Grim__Sleeper’s Twitch stream of Dark Souls 3 online. At the end of the stream (1:20:22), The__Grim__Sleeper’s game crashes, and the robotic voice belonging to Microsoft’s text-to-speech generator suddenly starts criticizing his gameplay. The__Grim__Sleeper then reports that Microsoft PowerShell opened by itself, a sign that a hacker used the program to run a script that triggered the text-to-speech feature. However, this likely wasn’t a malicious hacker — a screenshotted post on the SpeedSouls’ Discord may reveal the “hacker’s” actual intentions. According to the post, the “hacker” knew about the vulnerability and attempted to contact Dark Souls developer FromSoftware about the issue. He was reportedly ignored, so he started using the hack on streamers to draw attention to the problem. But if a bad actor discovered this problem first, the outcome could’ve been much worse. RCE is one of the most dangerous vulnerabilities, as noted by Kaspersky. It allows hackers to run malicious code on their victim’s computer, causing irreparable damage, and potentially stealing sensitive information while they’re at it. Blue Sentinel, a community-made anti-cheat mod for Dark Souls 3, has since been patched to protect against the RCE vulnerability. In a post on the r/darksouls3 subreddit, a user explains that (hopefully) only four people know how to execute the RCE hack — two of which are Blue Sentinel developers, and the other two are people “who worked on it,” possibly referring to the individuals who helped uncover the issue. For now, though, it’s probably best to stay off Dark Souls online until an official fix has been released. A Bandai Namco representative commented on a Reddit post in response to the issue, stating: “Thanks very much for the ping, a report on this topic was submitted to th
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The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee is telling athletes to ditch their personal phones for burners ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in China, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal (via Android Central). The advisory was reportedly sent out twice last year to warn athletes about the possibility of digital surveillance while in China. “Every device, communication, transaction and online activity may be monitored,” the bulletin states. “Your device(s) may also be compromised with malicious software, which could negatively impact future use.” As noted by the WSJ, Great Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands have also cautioned athletes against bringing their personal electronics into the country. The Committee’s fears aren’t unfounded. In 2019, China was caught secretly installing spyware on tourists’ phones who entered from the Xinjiang region. This heavily-surveilled area is populated by the Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority that China has subjected to imprisonment and torture. In addition, research group Citizen Lab found that China’s My2022 Olympic app, which all attendees are required to install, is full of security holes that could lead to privacy breaches, surveillance, and hacking. Back when Beijing held the 2008 Summer Olympics, the US Department of Homeland Security issued a similar advisory for any travelers headed to China, warning that bringing any devices potentially exposes them to “unauthorized access and theft of data by criminal or foreign government elements.” Things are a bit different this time around, however, as China has banned all foreign spectators due to concerns over COVID-19. Athletes will likely be relying on their mobile devices to stay in touch with friends and family, which could be more complicated on a burner phone that comes with limits on mobile data, texting, and calling. But even if the Olympic athletes want to use their burner phones to browse the internet, they still might not get unlimited access. During the 2008 Olympics, China promised to offer spectators, journalists, and athletes unrestricted access to the web, since The Great Firewall of China curre
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Apple has extended its deadline requiring online group and event apps to comply with the company’s in-app purchase policy once again, as announced in a post on the company’s developer’s blog (via 9to5Mac). Apps in this category can now use alternate payment options until June 30th, allowing them to skirt Apple’s 15 to 30 percent cut the company takes out of in-app purchases. “In 2020, we chose to support apps and developers that needed to adapt services from in-person to digital as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Apple writes in the post. “Given the recent resurgence of CO
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On Thursday, the European Parliament voted to approve the initial draft of a bill that aims to curb Big Tech’s invasive advertising practices (via Bloomberg). The Parliament adopted the draft with 530 votes of approval, 78 against, and 80 absentations. The Digital Services Act, which was first introduced in 2020, will prevent platforms, like Google, Amazon, and the Meta-owned Facebook, from using sensitive information, such as sexual orientation, race, and religion for targeted ads. It will require services to give users the ability to easily opt out of tracking, and pressures platforms t
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Analysis The European Parliament has adopted a set of amendments to the Digital Services Act (DSA) that makes the pending legislation even more protective of personal privacy and requires businesses to give greater consideration to advertising technology, respecting user choice, and web design. The DSA, advanced by the European Commission in late 2020, aims to police online services and platforms by creating "a safer digital space where the fundamental rights of users are protected and to establish a level playing field for businesses." It's a set of rules for limiting illegal content and misinformation online and for making digital advertising more accountable and transparent. It complements the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which focuses on regulating large technology "gatekeepers" like Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta (Facebook), and Microsoft. Both of these packages of rules – the DSA and the DMA – are expected to take effect in 2023 or thereafter, subject to final approval from the European Parliament and Council. On Tuesday, Members of Parliament (MEPs) voted 530 to 78, with 80 abstentions, to approve the text of the DSA, which will now be subject to negotiation with member states. "Online platforms have become increasingly important in our daily life, bringing new opportunities, but also new risks," said Christel Schaldemose, an MEP from Denmark, in a statement. "It is our duty to make sure that what is illegal offline is illegal online. We need to ensure that we put in place digital rules to the benefit of consumers and citizens." The revised DSA rules [PDF] are even more strict in some cases than they were initially, Dr Lukasz Olejnik, privacy researcher and consultant, told The Register in an email. As examples, he pointed to limitations on targeted advertisements and a requirement that deepfakes be labeled. Recital 52 disallows targeted advertising to minors and prohibits the use of sensitive data (e.g. religion) for targeting adults. The rules also now require the ad repositories maintained by very large platforms to include with archived ads both data on the advertiser "and, if different, the natural or legal person who paid for the advertisement." In addition, dark patterns have been explicitly forbidden: "Therefore, providers of intermediary services should be prohibited from deceiving or nudging recipients
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HACK OF THE NAZIS — Patriot Front says it's aligned with American heroes. Leaks paint a darker picture. Enlarge / Patriot Front members spray painting in Springfield, IL.Unicornriot.ninja Chat messages, images, and videos leaked from the server of a white supremicist group called the Patriot Front purport to show its leader and rank-and-file members conspiring in hate crimes, despite their claims that they were a legitimate political organization. Patriot Front, or PF, formed in the aftermath of the 2017 Unite the Right rally, a demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia where one of the attendees rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 35 others. PF founder Thomas Rousseau started the group after an image posted online showed the now-convicted killer, James Alex Fields, Jr., posing with members of white supremacist group Vanguard America shortly before the attack. Vanguard America soon dissolved, and Rousseau rebranded it as PF with the goal of hiding any involvement in violent acts. Since then, PF has strived to present itself as a group of patriots who are aligned with the ideals and values of the founders who defeated the tyranny of the British in the 18th century and paved the way for the United States to be born. In announcing the the formation of PF in 2017, Rousseau wrote: The new name was carefully chosen, as it serves several purposes. It can help inspire sympathy among those more inclined to fence-sitting, and can be easily justified to our ideology [sic] and worldview. The
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WhatsApp might be working on a feature that lets you migrate your chat history from Android to iOS, as reported by WABetaInfo via (Android Central). The feature was first spotted in the latest WhatsApp beta version 22.2.74 for iOS, and appears to corroborate WABetaInfo’s previous discovery in beta version 2.21.20.11 for Android. Both updates point towards a feature that may let you transfer your WhatsApp chats from Android to iOS using the Move to iOS app. Image by WaBetaInfo WABetaInfo also shared a couple of screenshots that show what the feature may look like. Judging by the images, it appears WhatsApp will ask for permission before starting the transfer process, and will then instruct you to keep the app open and your phone unlocked as it migrates your chats. WhatsApp first started letting users migrate their chat histories from iOS to Samsung phones in September, and later extended the feature to support chat transfers from iOS to Google Pixels and other Android 12 devices. Letting users transfer their chats from Android to iOS would close an obvious loop, but it remains unclear which devices will support the rumored feature, as well as when (or if) it will start rolling out.
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full-size suvs — Luxurious interior and quiet ride combine with disappointing mileage. Enlarge / The 2022 Wagoneer. Uncooperative weather forced us to rely on Stellantis media images for this review.Stellantis Even as the automotive industry charts a course into a mostly electrified future, internal combustion engines still rule the roost in most segments. This includes the full-size SUV segment dominated in the US by the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Explorer. Although Jeep parent Stellantis forecasts having 40 percent of its sales come from BEVs by the end of the decade, it needs to challenge GM and Ford with its own three-row SUV: the all-new Wagoneer. Starting at $71,845 for the base model, this is not your father's Jeep Wagoneer. While the grille screams Jeep, that word doesn't actually appear on this massive SUV. Instead "Wagoneer" appears in numerous spots inside and outside. And it is truly massive—the Grand Wagoneer measures a whopping 215 inches (5,461 mm) from head to tail, a couple of inches longer than the competition from GM and Ford. Smooth sailing on smooth pavement. Stellantis You won't find the word Jeep on the exterior of the Wagoneer. Stellantis It's definitely a Wagoneer. Stellantis To propel this beast of an SUV, Jeep has gone with a 5.7-liter V8 with eTorque (a 48 volt battery-powered motor generator designed to help with performance and fuel economy) and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Although it uses the same box-on-frame design as the Ram pickup truck, the rear-wheel drive Wagoneer's independent suspension gives it a much smoother ride than the Ram 1500 with its solid rear axle. The upside is nearly 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) of towing capacity, surprisingly quick acceleration, and smooth rides on the highway. The downside of this combination of p
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Comment Intel puts on a show for its biggest manufacturing announcements, with episodes every few years using a rotating cast of CEOs and US presidents. Intel boss Pat Gelsinger and President Joe Biden were the latest to join the series, on Friday jointly announcing the chip maker's investment of $20bn in plants near Columbus, Ohio. The fabs could be operational by 2025 and make chips down to 2nm and beyond. "This is our first major site announcement in 40 years," Gelsinger said on on-stage later in the day with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R). "Intel's announcement today is a signal to China and to the rest of the world that from now on our essential manufactured products in this country will be made in the United States of America," DeWine said. Intel's announcement today is a signal to China and to the rest of the world that from now on our essential manufactured products in this country will be made in the United States of America Intel has previously wheeled out chief executives and commanders-in-chief to announce the plowing of billions into factories, with the presidents using the events to highlight the bump in manufacturing and jobs for the United States. But the aftermath has been littered with unfulfilled promises and failed goals, partially due to Intel's sometimes incoherent manufacturing and product strategies. This time around, Gelsinger has identified manufacturing as a major growth driver, as part of his Integrated Device Manufacturing 2.0 strategy. Intel has promised to expand its contract manufacturing in a meaningful way, fabricating components that use the non-x86 Arm and RISC-V architectures, and signed on Qualcomm, a semiconductor rival, as a foundry customer. Intel's latest $20bn commitment will be used to build two plants on a 1,000-acre site that could be expanded to up to 2,000 acres and eight fabs. The site will employ 3,000 folks with an average salary of $135,000, and also bring 7,000 construction jobs to Ohio, DeWine said. You can't fault Gelsinger for announcing the factories: his shareholders and the world, amid a chip supply crunch, expect it. But not only should the news be seen in an historical context, it remains to be seen if Intel can meet the promises it laid out for the Ohio facilities. In 2011, then-CEO Paul Otellini announced Intel was investing $5bn to complete Fab 42 when President Barack Obama visited an Intel facility in Hillsboro, Oregon. At the time, Fab 42 was to make 14nm chips, including smartphone processors, and create 4,000 jobs. Ultimately, the announcement turned out to be a false promise. Intel cancelled completion of Fab 42 in 2014 after manufacturing woes and blunders in markets including mobile devices. In 2016, Intel laid off 12,000 employees to prioritize its products in the data center and the Internet of Things markets. In 2017, then-CEO Brian Krzanich repeated the pledge to complete Fab 42, this time repackaged as a fresh announcement with President Donald Trump. Intel said it would invest $7bn to complete Fab 42 to make 7nm chips. Intel powered up Fab 42 in Arizona in late 2020 to make not 7nm but 10nm chips. That's the proc
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Even in the midst of a crypto slump, New York City Mayor Eric Adams isn’t backing out of his plans to take his first three paychecks in Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin fell beneath $36,000 on Friday — a 47 percent dive from its all-time high in November — dragging the entire cryptocurrency market cap below $2 trillion. Adams officially received his first paycheck yesterday, which was converted to Bitcoin and Ethereum through cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. According to the New York Post, the NYC mayor receives biweekly paychecks of about $5,900, amounting to a salary of $258,750 a year. Adams didn’t reveal how much of his $5,900 check is split between Bitcoin and Ethereum, but if
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Just in time for Super Bowl season, a three-month subscription to the YouTube TV streaming service is a little more affordable. Right now, new subscribers can pay $54.99 each month instead of $64.9
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TCD | Prod.DB | Apple TV+/ | lamy In the first episode of the Foundation series on Apple TV, we see a terrorist try to destroy the space elevator used by the Galactic Empire. This seems like a great chance to talk about the physics of space elevators and to consider what would happen if one exploded. (Hint: It wouldn't be good.) People like to put stuff beyond the Earth's atmosphere: It allows us to have weather satellites, a space station, GPS satellites, and even the James Webb Space Telescope. But right now, our only option for getting stuff into space is to strap it to a controlled chemical explosion that we usually call "a rocke
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