posted about 10 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock face a new kind of zombie in Zombieland 2: Double Tap. (credit: YouTube/Sony Pictures) The makeshift family unit that slays together stays together in Zombieland: Double Tap, Director Ruben Fleischer's follow-up to his 2009 hit film Zombieland. This hotly anticipated sequel succeeds in recapturing much of the original's magic, with plenty of wit, gore, and playful callbacks to delight diehard fans. And let's just say you'll definitely want to hang around through the closing credits. (Some spoilers below.) In the first Zombieland, a virulent form of human-adapted mad cow disease sweeps across the United States, transforming most of the nation’s populace into ravenous zombies. The film follows a ragtag group of unlikely survivors—Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), and orphaned sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin)—on a road trip in hopes of finding some place yet untouched by the disease, ending with a pitched battle against zombie hordes in an abandoned amusement park. Audiences (myself included) loved the mix of horror and dark screwball comedy, especially the "Zombie Kills of the Week" and Columbus's hilarious survival rules—cardio, limber up, beware of bathrooms, and buckle up, for instance—often illustrated by various doomed souls who failed to heed those rules. It was a fresh, fun take on the "zom-com" format. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 11 hours ago on ars technica
NASA astronaut Christina Koch (right) poses for a portrait with fellow Expedition 61 Flight Engineer Jessica Meir, who is inside a US spacesuit for a fit check. [credit: NASA ] Two American astronauts made history on Friday when they performed a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station—it was the first all-woman extravehicular activity (EVA). Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir spent 7 hours and 17 minutes outside the station. The pair, who are best friends, worked well together. Not only did they complete the primary task of replacing a failed power charging unit, which is already operating properly, but they also performed several extra tasks. While the astronauts recognized the achievement, they sought to play down the significance of the moment. "You know, for us, this is really just us doing our job," Meir said during NASA's broadcast of the spacewalk. "It’s something we’ve been training for for six years, and preparing for." That seemed to be the attitude of most NASA people following the event—that this was a good milestone, and an important one for NASA to get past. (Especially after NASA had to cancel the first all-female EVA back in March). But in the future, this shouldn't be a notable thing. "I think the milestone is hopefully this will now be considered normal," NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson said Friday. "I think many of us are looking forward to this just being normal." Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 12 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty ) After three decades of progressive symptoms, a 43-year-old man from Panama was rushed into emergency surgery with a massively swollen scrotum that hung past the level of his knees and had begun to rot and ooze foul-smelling pus, a team of Texas doctors report. CT imaging illustrating impressive scrotal edema and massive inguinal hernia. (credit: Dowd et al.) When he arrived at the hospital, he had a fever of 102.2 °F (39 °C) and rapid heart rate, as well as extensive swelling and thickened skin in his scrotum and upper right leg. He also had two open wounds in his scrotum. Further imaging of his abdomen and pelvis revealed a large hernia containing part of his colon, as well as a huge abscess, considerable tissue damage, and fluid collection. (You can see NSFW images of his condition here) Fearing the ravages of gangrene and sepsis—a life-threatening response to infection—the doctors quickly wheeled him to an operating room to try to remove the rotting flesh. Pathologists examining tissue from his scrotum found extensive inflammation and that some of his skin had begun to liquify. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 12 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Coming soon to a Nest near you: Your Google account. (credit: Google Nest) Google's "Nest" smart home division has seen major upheaval this year, and according to a report from Bloomberg, the changes aren't sitting well with residential builders that formerly integrated Nest projects into their construction projects. This year, we finally started seeing results from Nest's 2018 demotion from a standalone Alphabet company to a merger with Google. "Nest" is no longer a line of products developed by a company or division and now seems to be a general-purpose sub-brand for any of Google's smart home devices. We've seen several existing product lines be rebranded from "Google" to "Google Nest" like the Google Nest Mini (formerly the Google Home Mini), the Google Nest Hub (formerly the Google Home Hub), the Nest Wifi (formerly Google Wifi), and the Google Nest Learning Thermostat (formerly the Nest Learning Thermostat). In addition to the death of Nest the company, we're also seeing the death of the Nest ecosystem. The "Works with Nest" smart home program is being shut down in favor of Google Assistant compatibility, and that means devices that used to communicate with Nest now work differently or not at all. Nest's account system is also being shut down, and in the future, users will need a Google account. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 13 hours ago on ars technica
(credit: Aurich Lawson) AT&T is rolling out another batch of price increases for AT&T TV Now, the online streaming service formerly known as DirecTV Now. The AT&T TV Now "Plus" package that contains 45 channels and costs $50 a month will rise to $65, AT&T told Ars. Customers on some other plans will get a $10 increase, AT&T said. That means the "Max" plan with 60 channels will go from $70 to $80, but plans with more channels that range in price from $86 to $135 will stay at the current prices, AT&T told us. Notices of the increases are being sent to existing customers, so the price hikes will affect both new and existing users. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 13 hours ago on ars technica
The Motorola Razr V3—the classic phone that started this hype train moving. [credit: Remy Overkempe / Flickr ] Motorola and parent company Lenovo have invited press outlets to a product unveiling event on November 13 in Los Angeles that has enthusiasts speculating about the potential imminent announcement of a new Razr phone. As reported by CNET, an invitation went out with taglines like "an original unlike any other," "you're going to flip," and "highly anticipated unveiling of a reinvented icon." Accompanying the invitation was an animated image depicting the original Razr phone hinge design being peeled back to reveal another, partially obscured device that is clearly meant to look like a foldable device. Given that, it's hard to imagine this event as anything other than a Razr event. Despite a dearth of reliable information or confirmations, the Razr reboot has become one of the most anticipated smartphone releases among gadget enthusiasts. It's understandable; the Razr V3 was the first smartphone to achieve pop culture icon status, thanks to aggressive, fashion-oriented marketing, among other things. More than 130 million Razr phones were sold over several years after it was announced. It's one of only a few specific phones even today that many consumers in the general public could recall by brand name. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 15 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A Frontier Communications service van. (credit: Mike Mozart) Minnesota regulators are letting Frontier Communications settle an investigation without admitting fault, despite the state attorney general's office calling the settlement "paltry compared with Frontier's alleged misconduct." Frontier failed to properly maintain its telecom network in Minnesota, leading to "frequent and lengthy" phone and Internet outages, the Minnesota Commerce Department said in January. Frontier also failed to provide refunds or bill credits to customers affected by outages that sometimes lasted for months, committed frequent billing errors that caused customers to pay for services they didn't order, and failed to promptly provide telephone service to all customers who requested it, the department's investigation found. The Commerce Department in August announced a proposed settlement in which Frontier agreed to offer refunds to customers for problems dating back to November 2015, and to improve future service quality, customer service, and billing practices. The settlement would expire in two years if Frontier is in "substantial compliance" with its terms. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 15 hours ago on ars technica
The contents of the Bronze Age toolkit with the mud cleaned off. (credit: V. Minkus) Three-thousand years ago, at least 140 fighters died in a battle along the banks of Germany’s Tollense River. One of the fallen dropped a small kit containing tools and a handful of bronze scraps. Based on the types of artifacts archaeologists found in this kit, they've concluded that at least some of the combatants in the prehistoric battle probably came from hundreds of kilometers away in Central or even Southern Europe. According to University of Göttingen archaeologist Tobias Uhlig and his colleagues, that suggests that large-scale battles between far-flung groups began long before people in Europe had developed a system of writing to record the history of their conflicts. An ancient battlefield Today, quiet pastures flanked by woods line the banks of the Tollense River in Northeastern Germany. But beneath the green grass and the placid surface of the water, the 3,000-year-old remains of fallen soldiers and their broken weapons lie scattered for at least 2.5km along the river. Most of what we know of the European Bronze Age comes from more peaceful contexts, like settlement or burial sites; the bones, weapons, and personal effects along the Tollense River are the only archaeological evidence (so far) of a battle in prehistoric Europe. Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 15 hours ago on ars technica
Remember the old Xbox "Jump In" ad campaign? Apparently it's back. Through nearly two decades of Xbox game consoles, Microsoft has never followed Nintendo's and Sony's lead in attempting to create a dedicated portable gaming system. Project Xcloud, which entered a limited public beta test this week, is an interesting end-run attempt at filling in that hole. Instead of downloadable games running locally, you stream games running on powerful remote servers over Wi-Fi. Instead of dedicated hardware, you use the smartphone you probably already own. After spending a few days playing "portable" Xbox One games at home via Xcloud, we're somewhat warming up to the idea. But there are enough hassles and caveats that we're glad Xcloud isn't serving as a full-on replacement for Microsoft's existing gaming strategy just yet. Head in the clouds After getting approved for the preview, setting up our Xcloud test was as simple as logging in to the free Android app with a Microsoft account and connecting the controller via Bluetooth. There were about 60 seconds of loading when first starting up a game, but much less when switching back to an existing game after briefly moving to another app on the phone. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 15 hours ago on ars technica
The Google Pixel 4. [credit: Ron Amadeo ] Google's recently announced Pixel 4 has a new biometric feature—well, new for Google, at least—face unlock. Like most new biometric systems, that means we'll probably be writing about security flaws in its implementation, and the first one has already popped up before the phone is even out. You don't need to have your eyes open for the Pixel 4's face unlock to work. The flaw was first publicized by the BBC's technology reporter, Chris Fox, who was able to get face unlock to work on several people with their eyes closed. The thing about biometrics versus a password or PIN is that having to enter data via a keyboard is a pretty good indicator of consent. You're conscious, you're recalling this secret information, and you're typing it into the phone. You're at least aware of what's going on. Biometrics, on the other hand, are something other people can do for you, or to you. The easiest example is pointing a phone at a sleeping person to unlock it. You could also lift a person's finger and put it on a fingerprint reader, but at least you have to touch the victim to do that. There's a real lack of consent and awareness when you can just point the phone at an unconscious person. Fox gives a great video example on Twitter: Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 16 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty) Connected cars should come with a kill switch. That's the take-home message—and the title—of a report by the group Consumer Watchdog. Software increasingly defines the vehicles we drive, and software can be exploited by nefarious people for nefarious means. The problem is compounded by the fact that automakers rely on software written by third parties, including open source software that is riddled with security holes, it says. Therefore, to prevent "a 9/11-like cyber-attack on our cars," the report calls for physical "kill switches" to be built into new cars to allow them to be completely disconnected from the Internet. If carmakers don't agree to the report's recommendations by year's end, then "legislators and regulators should mandate these protections," it says. Yes, there’s a modem in your new car You may have noticed that it's becoming increasingly difficult to buy a new vehicle that doesn't feature an embedded modem in it. The benefits of a connected car are various, we're told. It enables onboard telematics that the car maker can use both to improve future products and to allow features like predictive maintenance alerts. And an Internet connection to the infotainment system opens up streaming media services alongside more traditional platforms like FM or satellite radio. In Europe, an onboard modem that can call emergency services in the event of a serious crash has been mandatory since last year. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 16 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty | Bill Diodato) Drug makers and medical device makers are still spending between $2.1 billion and $2.2 billion a year to woo doctors into prescribing and using their products, according to a new investigation by ProPublica. Between 2014 and 2018, more than 600,000 of the approximately 1.1 million doctors in the US received at least one payment from industry in any given year. The payments were for things including speaking fees, consulting, meals, gifts, travel, and royalties. While thousands of doctors have made $100,000 or more, more than 2,500 received $500,000 or more in the five-year period—and those payments do not include royalties. More than 700 received at least $1 million. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 17 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Capcom / Getty Images) Ricky "Infil" Pusch is a long-time fighting game fan and content creator. He wrote The Complete Killer Instinct Guide, an interactive and comprehensive website for learning about Killer Instinct. This article was originally published there. At its core, netcode is simply a method for two or more computers, each trying to play the same game, to talk to each other over the Internet. While local play always ensures that all player inputs arrive and are processed at the same time, networks are constantly unstable in ways the game cannot control or predict. Information sent to your opponent may be delayed, arrive out of order, or become lost entirely depending on dozens of factors, including the physical distance to your opponent, if you’re on a WiFi connection, and whether your roommate is watching Netflix. Online play in games is nothing new, but fighting games have their own set of unique challenges. They tend to involve direct connections to other players, unlike many other popular game genres, and low, consistent latency is extremely important because muscle memory and reactions are at the core of virtually every fighting game. As a result, two prominent strategies have emerged for playing fighting games online: delay-based netcode and rollback netcode. Read 164 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 17 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Pour one out for the 8-inch floppy, retired from the Air Force after 50 years of service. (credit: CBS News) Five years ago, a CBS 60 Minutes report publicized a bit of technology trivia many in the defense community were aware of: the fact that eight-inch floppy disks were still used to store data critical to operating the Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missile command, control, and communications network. The system, once called the Strategic Air Command Digital Network (SACDIN), relied on IBM Series/1 computers installed by the Air Force at Minuteman II missile sites in the 1960s and 1970s. Those floppy disks have now been retired. Despite the contention by the Air Force at the time of the 60 Minutes report that the archaic hardware offered a cybersecurity advantage, the service has completed an upgrade to what is now known as the Strategic Automated Command and Control System (SACCS), as Defense News reports. SAACS is an upgrade that swaps the floppy disk system for what Lt. Col. Jason Rossi, commander of the Air Force’s 595th Strategic Communications Squadron, described as a “highly secure solid state digital storage solution.” The floppy drives were fully retired in June. But the IBM Series/1 computers remain, in part because of their reliability and security. And it's not clear whether other upgrades to "modernize" the system have been completed. Air Force officials have acknowledged network upgrades that have enhanced the speed and capacity of SACCS' communications systems, and a Government Accountability Office report in 2016 noted that the Air Force planned to "update its data storage solutions, port expansion processors, portable terminals, and desktop terminals by the end of fiscal year 2017." But it's not clear how much of that has been completed. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 18 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Kim Mitchell; USFWS) Bees’ fuzzy yellow bodies and hairy legs are custom-built for picking up pollen. Nothing can distribute the yellow powder more efficiently—something farmers that shell out for commercial beehives every growing season know all too well. And starting with this fall’s growing season, bees may be given some cargo to carry on their outbound journey to the blossoms: pesticides. On August 28, the EPA approved the first-ever bee-distributed organic pesticide for the US market—a fungus-fighting powder called Vectorite that contains the spores of a naturally-occurring fungus called Clonostachys rosea (CR-7). CR-7 is completely harmless to its host plant, and acts as a hostile competitor to other, less innocuous fungi. It has been approved for commercial growers of flowering crops like blueberries, strawberries, almonds, and tomatoes. The beauty of Vectorite is that it mimics a “locally appropriate natural system,” said Vicki Wojcik, director of Pollinator Partnership Canada. “It’s an interesting twist…where care for the health of the pollinator is actually vital because it is your actual vector.” Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 20 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Two Rudds are better than one in Living With Yourself. (credit: Netflix) It's easy to criticize long-running sci-fi series for losing their way after a few seasons. The initial spark might fade; ridiculous plot twists might emerge; the whole thing might end with a painful hand-wave of logic. But let's not forget that these hit TV series, and the expectations assigned by their fans, all start with some incredible coincidences. How often do we see the right cast, writers, directors, and out-there concept come together in a watchable, memorable series? And what about when such a series jumps on a seemingly familiar sci-fi trope, yet still digs up new ideas? By the time I finished marathoning the debut season of Living With Yourself, a Netflix series about cloning starring everyman Paul Rudd (Ant Man, Anchorman), I was floored by how this modest series had defied my expectations. When I first sat with this show, I wasn't hot for its shameless use of the "cohabitating clones" concept from Orphan Black. Unlike that BBC America series, Living With Yourself comes with no genetic-research intrigue, no identity-hunting mystery. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 21 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A Google Wifi Router sits next to a Google Wifi Point in this product shot from the Made by Google 2019 event. (credit: Google (video still)) Google's new Nest Wifi is notable largely for two things—having a built-in smart speaker and digital assistant in every node and not using the newest Wi-Fi technology at all. We still don't know exactly what chipsets are used in the replacement for Google Wifi; Google's not telling, and the company has submitted confidentiality letters to the FCC that kept it from needing to release photographs of the devices' boards for now, as well. All we know for sure is that the Nest Wifi Points are AC1200 (like the original Google Wifi) and the Nest Wifi Router is AC2200. Consumer AC speed ratings are largely bogus, but this should translate into one 2.4GHz 2x2 radio and one 5GHz 2x2 radio on the Points as well as one 2.4GHz 2x2 radio with two 5GHz 2x2 radios on the Nest Router. We also know that Google decided to go with Wi-Fi 5 in the new kit rather than Wi-Fi 6. Google wasn't the first to make that call—Amazon's new Eero models also continue to use Wi-Fi 5 chipsets—but Google's rationale for the use of the older technology raised eyebrows at Ars Orbiting Headquarters. When VentureBeat asked Nest Wifi product manager Chris Chan to explain the lack of Wi-Fi 6, he pointed to both cost and performance. He said, "You do see a lot of routers with Wi-Fi 6 built in, but it charges quite a bit of a premium in order to get that, and in fact, you need to have Wi-Fi 6-compatible other devices in order for it to be a faster experience," Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 21 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base. (credit: Aurich Lawson/SpaceX) Welcome to Edition 2.19 of the Rocket Report! Plenty of news this week from the small side of things (two new Pegasus rockets are going on the market) to the bigger side of things (a brief stoppage of work on the Space Launch System rocket). Also, it looks like the Falcon Heavy will go for its fourth flight of the same booster. As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar. Read 22 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A soldier Saharan silver ant (Cataglyphis bombycina) in the desert at Douz, Tunisia. (credit: Harald Wolf) Saharan silver ants routinely brave the blazing-hot midday sun in the desert to forage for food. That's a time of day when sand temperatures can be as high as 140°F (60°C), and many insects perish under those conditions, making it prime foraging time. But it's also risky for the silver ants. Perhaps that's why they are also one of the fastest creatures on the planet, capable of covering their own body length 108 times in a single second, according to a new paper in the Journal of Experimental Biology. That's equivalent to a human being running roughly a nine-second mile. Silver ants have a number of ways to deal with the harsh desert conditions. Their silver appearance, for instance, is due to small triangular hairs that help them regulate temperature. The ants also have strong navigational skills, often finding pockets of shade under small rocks or blades of grass. And they return regularly to their nests to cool off. Being able to move across the sand quickly is key to their survival—and anyone who has walked or run on a beach knows that the granular nature of sand can slow down movement and expend more energy than walking or running on, say, a dry salt pan. Harald Wolf, a neurobiologist at the University of Ulm in Germany, noticed the presence of silver ants (Cataglyphis bombycina) during a trip to the Tunisian desert to study one of its larger cousins, Cataglyphis fortis. He returned to the Tunisian town of Douz with his team in 2015 to study the creatures more closely. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Wi-Fi Alliance) A potentially serious vulnerability in Linux may make it possible for nearby devices to use Wi-Fi signals to crash or fully compromise vulnerable machines, a security researcher said. The flaw is located in the RTLWIFI driver, which is used to support Realtek Wi-Fi cards in Linux devices. The vulnerability triggers a buffer overflow in the Linux kernel when a machine with a Realtek Wi-Fi card is within radio range of a malicious device. At a minimum, exploits would allow denial-of-service attacks and could possibly allow a hacker to gain complete control of the computer. The flaw dates back to version 3.12 of the Linux kernel released in 2013. "The bug is serious," Nico Waisman, who is a principal security engineer at Github, told Ars. "It's a vulnerability that triggers an overflow remotely through Wi-Fi on the Linux kernel, as long as you're using the Realtek (RTLWIFI) driver." Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / This image of a Call of Duty supply drop falling to the ground can also symbolize the entire concept floating up and out of our lives. (credit: Call of Duty) In a major reversal for the franchise, Activision has announced that the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will not include a loot-box system. Specifically, the company says that "all functional content that has an impact on game balance, such as base weapons and attachments, can be unlocked simply by playing the game." Loot boxes have been a staple of the Call of Duty franchise since 2014's Advanced Warfare, which included randomized "supply drops" of high-end gear that could be purchased with real money or in-game currency. More recently, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 introduced a loot-box system four months after its launch, a decision that led to a lot of money for the publisher and a lot of anger from franchise fans. User interface elements from last month's Modern Warfare beta suggested Activision was planning to continue the tradition with a "Lootbox: Common Supply Drop" option in the upcoming game. But developer Infinity Ward took to Reddit earlier this week to offer some pushback on those reports, saying that "right now... we are definitely NOT working on any kind of supply drop or loot box system." Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / "We heard from people working at pizza parlors" being asked to sign noncompete agreements, a Massachusetts state legislator told Ars last year. (credit: Valentyn Semenov / EyeEm / Getty) A bipartisan pair of senators has introduced legislation to drastically limit the use of noncompete agreements across the US economy. "Noncompete agreements stifle wage growth, career advancement, innovation, and business creation," argued Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) in a Thursday press release. He said that the legislation, co-sponsored with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), would "empower our workers and entrepreneurs so they can freely apply their talents where their skills are in greatest demand." Noncompete agreements ban workers from performing similar work at competing firms for a limited period—often one or two years. These agreements have become widely used in recent decades—and not just for employees with sensitive business intelligence or client relationships. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The Bullet Cluster is widely viewed as a clear demonstration of the existence of dark matter. (credit: APOD) Dark matter is the mysterious substance that comprises about 23 percent of all the matter and energy in our universe, but thus far it has eluded physicists' many attempts to directly detect it. Maybe instead of looking for a dark matter particle, they should be looking for something more akin to a wave—a hypothetical dark matter candidate known as an axion. In that case, perhaps we should be "listening" for the dark matter. Physicists at Stockholm University and the Max Planck Institute of Physics have proposed a novel design for an "axion radio" that employs cold plasmas (gases or liquids of charged particles) to do just that in a recent paper in Physical Review Letters. "Finding the axion is a bit like tuning a radio: you have to tune your antenna until you pick up the right frequency," said co-author Alexander Millar, a postdoc at Stockholm University. "Rather than music, experimentalists would be rewarded with 'hearing' the dark matter that the Earth is traveling through." Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Crème brulee getting torched. (credit: Getty | Anne Cusack) Leading e-cigarette maker Juul on Thursday announced that it is immediately suspending the sale of some of its flavored products—Mango, Fruit, Creme (crème brulee), and Cucumber. Notably, mint and menthol flavored products are not included in the pack of extinguished flavors. The move is ostensibly to ease growing alarm over the spike of vaping among teens—who strongly prefer flavored products. About 25% of high school seniors reported recent e-cigarette use in a health survey this year, up from 11% in 2017. About 12% of students said this year that they used the products on a daily basis. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Dikembe Mutombo rejects your flawed publication. (credit: DAVID MAXWELL / Getty Images) Science is an activity performed by humans, so it's inevitable that some of the scientific papers we cover will end up being wrong. As we noted yesterday, the cause can range from factors completely outside of a researcher's control (like OS implementation oddities), to mistakes and errors, to intentional fraud. In some cases, the problems are minor or peripheral to the main conclusions of a study, and can be handled with a correction. In others, the issues are fatal to the paper's conclusion. In these cases, the only option is to retract the paper. When Ars discovers that a paper we've covered has been retracted, we've definitely made an effort to go back and provide a notice of it in our article. But, until recently, we didn't have a formal policy regarding what that notice should look like, and we typically didn't publish anything new to indicate a retraction had occurred. But, having given it some thought, that practice seems insufficient. A failure to prominently correct the record makes it easier for people to hang on to a mistaken impression about our state of understanding. Perhaps more importantly, not reporting a retraction leaves people unaware of a key aspect of science's self-correcting nature and how retractions can sometimes actually advance our scientific understanding. This is definitely apparent in the contrast between two retractions that we'll revisit today. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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