posted about 1 hour ago on ars technica
On Thursday, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced plans to avoid the state of Indiana for any future company events following the passage of that state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. "Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination," Benioff wrote on his personal Twitter account. He then emphasized his "employees' and customers' outrage" over the bill and said that he would "dramatically reduce" the company's investment in Indiana as a result. Benioff spent much of Thursday posting links to stories about the bill's passage, most of which referred to its discriminatory aspects and its potential negative impact on Indiana's LGBTQ community. He also urged technology CEOs to "pay attention to what is happening in Indiana and how it will impact your employees and customers." Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 2 hours ago on ars technica
A second-tier German professional basketball team has been relegated to an even lower-tier as a result of being penalized for starting a recent game late—because the Windows laptop that powered the scoreboard required 17 minutes to perform system updates. The March 13 match between the Chemnitz Niners and the Paderborn Baskets was set to begin normally, when Paderborn (the host) connected its laptop to the scoreboard in the 90 minutes leading up to the game. In an interview with the German newspaper, Die Zeit (Google Translate), Patrick Seidel, the general manager of Paderborn Baskets said that at 6:00pm, an hour and a half before the scheduled start time, the laptop was connected "as usual." Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 3 hours ago on ars technica
It's been a few weeks since I got back from my road trip to California and upstate New York, but I've spent much of the last month diving into how different industries are using that stuff people label the "Internet of Things." We really need to come up with a better name—interconnected devices are being used to not just improve automation of their operations, but fundamentally change them. I got a lot of face time with GE software developers, technologists, data scientists, and engineers (so much time that we had over 10 hours of interviews on camera and even more off-camera to pull from), so I now have a good feel for why GE thinks its "Industrial Internet" concept will be transformative. Additionally, I spent just as much time talking to experts from other organizations about how the same technologies are being applied elsewhere and what role they think the fundamental pieces of the Internet of Things——networked, embedded computers in industrial devices talking to both private data centers and Internet services over web application interfaces——will have in major industries. So as we come to the end of my week of coverage on Iot and the Industrial Internet, I'll be taking your questions on what I've learned, what I think about it, industrial IT security, and my favorite places in both the Bay Area and 518. Meanwhile, John Timmer is girding himself to fly to the other side of the world to visit GE Global Research in Bangalore, India. I'm not saying I was shorted, but he'll likely leave his winter coat at home. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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posted about 3 hours ago on ars technica
On Wednesday afternoon, PayPal reached a settlement with the US Treasury Department, agreeing that it would pay $7.7 million for allegedly processing payments to people in countries under sanction as well as to a man the US has listed as involved in the nuclear weapons black market. The company neither confirmed nor denied the allegations, but it voluntarily handed over its transaction data to the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In its settlement agreement with PayPal, the Treasury accused the company of failing to screen its in-process transactions until 2013. Although the company made moves to prevent transactions involving sanctioned countries as early as 2006, its policies were lax until, in July 2011, the company implemented a “short term fix” in which PayPal could "scan live transactions for sanctions-related keywords and evaluate any potential matches while the completed payments were held in a pending status.” That short-term fix didn’t prove to be up to snuff in keeping forbidden transactions from being processed, however, and between 2009 and 2013 PayPal ended up processing nearly 500 transactions worth more than $40,000 for goods and services going to Cuba, Iran, and Sudan, as well as $7,000 in transactions involving Kursad Zafer Cire, a Turkish man on the US State Department’s list of Weapons of Mass Destruction proliferators. According to a Treasury Department enforcement information page, PayPal’s short-term fix filter flagged Cire’s transactions seven times, but it wasn’t until the seventh instance that PayPal blocked his account. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 5 hours ago on ars technica
Ready? 32 more images in gallery .related-stories { display: none !important; } ars.AD.queue.push(["xrailTop", {sz:"300x250", kws:[], collapse: true}]);Two labs, two coasts, two climates. My tour of GE's Global Research operations involved in developing what the company calls the "Industrial Internet" took me to places a bit less exotic than Shanghai and Munich. But like Lee Hutchinson, my schedule also kept me mostly indoors—first at GE Software in San Ramon, California and then at GE Global Research's facilities in Niskayuna and Schenectady, New York. I got a break in between to catch my breath, and the lull was extended a bit by a mid-February snowstorm that kept me pinned in Baltimore for a few extra days. While cloud computing is not very photogenic, I did get a close look at what GE is doing in the realm of human interface design work based on the cloud analytics company data scientists and developers are creating in San Ramon. I also got to play around with some of the hardware that it interacts with—in a very controlled environment, mind you. Safety goggles were required for a simulated gas turbine plant experience. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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posted about 6 hours ago on ars technica
In the ongoing quest to understand dark matter, collisions between clusters of galaxies provide a great testing ground. We learned quite a bit about dark matter from observations of the Bullet Cluster, and now a new study provides further insight by looking at dozens of galaxy cluster collisions, reinforcing models of dark matter in which the individual particles collide with each other. The conventional model of dark matter is that it’s cold—meaning that the particles are moving relatively slowly—and the particles don’t interact with each other much, if at all. This model has for the most part been incredibly successful in predicting a wide range of phenomena, from the behavior of galaxies up to the large-scale structure of the Universe. There is, however, some data which seems to conflict with the model. For one thing, the model predicts that there should be higher dark matter density toward the centers of galaxies and galaxy clusters, and our observations do not match those predictions. There are a number of possible resolutions to this conflict. Some of them involve potential processes involving the ordinary (baryonic) matter in those galaxies. Others involve slightly different versions of the cold dark matter model. One possibility in the latter category is that dark matter is self-interacting—dark matter particles can collide with each other more often than is commonly thought. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 6 hours ago on ars technica
The Australian Parliament has passed a series of amendments to the country's Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979, requiring "telecommunications service providers to retain for two years telecommunications data (not content) prescribed by regulations." The two-year retention period equals the maximum allowed under the EU's earlier Data Retention Directive that was struck down last year by the Court of Justice of the European Union for being "a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data." This month, the European Commission announced that it had no plans to introduce a new Data Retention Directive, although Member States are still able to introduce their own national legislation. Despite that move away from retaining communications metadata by the EU and continuing concerns in the US about the National Security Agency's bulk phone metadata spying program, the Australian government was able to push through the amendments implementing data retention thanks to the support of the main opposition party. Labor agreed to vote in favor of the Bill once a requirement to use special "journalist information warrants" was introduced for access to journalists' metadata, with a view to shielding their sources. No warrant is required for obtaining the metadata of other classes of users, not even privileged communications between lawyers and their clients. Even for journalists, the extra protection is weak, and the definition of what constitutes a journalist is rather narrow—bloggers and occasional writers are probably not covered. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 7 hours ago on ars technica
A federal appeals court is having second thoughts about its decision frowning on the US Navy for scanning every computer in the state of Washington accessing Gnutella, a large peer-to-peer network. The September decision (PDF) thwarted a child pornography prosecution that began when a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent in Georgia discovered the illicit images on a civilian's computer in Washington state. The agent was using a law-enforcement computer program called RoundUp to search for hashed images of child pornography. Following the court's 3-0 decision, the Department of Justice petitioned for a rehearing. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Wednesday to revisit the dispute with a larger, 11-judge panel. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 7 hours ago on ars technica
We'll have a heavyweight retail battle on our hands in a few days. The new flagships from Samsung and HTC are hitting US stores on the same day—April 10. Preorders for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge start tomorrow, March 27. All four big carriers have signed up to carry both Samsung phones, and it sounds like participating carrier stores and Best Buys will have in-store demo units tomorrow, too. Samsung has a store finder for participating locations here. Samsung has left the pricing up to the carriers, but so far we've seen T-Mobile chime in with monthly payment plans that total $679.92 for the 32GB S6 and $779.76 for the 32GB S6 Edge, with prices going all the way up to $959.83 for the 128GB Edge. It looks like the Edge costs $100 more than the flat S6, and each tier of storage (32, 64, and 128) costs around $80-100 more than the tier below it. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 8 hours ago on ars technica
If you work in an office environment, you probably know a few people—maybe a lot of people—with two smartphones. One is a personal phone full of pictures of the family, games, social networking, and sports stuff, and the other is a company-issued smartphone full of e-mail, appointments, contacts, and documents. With two phones, your IT department has full control over your work data and can remotely wipe it, and they never get to see your personal pictures or other information. It's a workable setup, but the downside is all the duplication—you have two phones, two chargers, and almost no free pocket space. The other alternative is BYOD—Bring Your Own Device—in which the IT department takes over and installs a bunch of company software to your personal phone. There is a better way, though, and it's called a "dual-persona smartphone"—a way to have separate work and personal data on a single device. Blackberry was the first to have it baked into the OS in BB10, but in terms of OSes that users actually want to use, it's been left up to often-clunky third-party solutions. With Android 5.0, Google laid the groundwork for dual-persona support right in the OS with "managed profile" APIs, and now there's a more complete solution from the company called "Android for Work." Read 29 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 8 hours ago on ars technica
We are all familiar with water, and we see it every day in many forms: in the bulk as a glass of water, in the crystal phase as ice, and the vapor phase as steam. While the behavior of these phases seems predictable, water is an unusual substance that behaves unlike any other small molecule we know of. This fact is particularly notable when water is viewed at small-length scales or confined to small compartments. An international team of scientists recently discovered some intriguing structural characteristics of water confined in graphene nanocapillaries. In these studies, the researchers deposited a graphene monolayer on a small grid, added a small amount of water, and then covered it with another monolayer of graphene. This sample was left overnight to allow excess water to evaporate, eventually bringing the graphene layers together so that only a small amount of adsorbed water remained between them. The water left behind showed some unusual structural properties. Structural characteristics of water are influenced by hydrogen bonding among adjacent water molecules. In the liquid state, water exhibits a partially ordered structure. In the crystal state, water molecules begin to conform to more rigid lattice structures, forming ice. As ice, the water molecules typically take on a geometry that is a three-dimensional “tetrahedral” structure, which basically looks like a square pyramid. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 8 hours ago on ars technica
In the beginning there was the word, and the word was Metro. And then it was Windows 8-style. And then it was Modern. And then it was Windows Store. And then it was Universal. And today, Microsoft has decreed that henceforth these apps—which are all ultimately based on Windows Runtime—will be known as Windows apps. Historically, of course, "Windows apps" (or "Windows programs") referred to standard, Win32-based executables that ran on the Windows desktop. Under the new naming scheme, these Win32 apps will now be called Windows desktop applications. As you can see in the slide above, despite the new nomenclature, the differences between the two types of app remain the same. While the continued name changes are tiresome, they do make sense. I suspect Microsoft would've stuck with Metro if it hadn't fallen afoul of a trademark dispute, but none of the following names ever quite made sense. Modern was meaningless. Windows Store wasn't bad, but (at the time) it didn't encapsulate the fact that Microsoft was moving towards apps that worked across Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox. Universal apps probably sounded OK in the marketing echo chamber, but it is unfortunately rather meaningless on its own—universal, but in what context? (Apple also referred to apps that ran natively on both Power PC and x86 processors in the early days of the transition to Intel processors as "Universal Applications.") Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 9 hours ago on ars technica
As amazing as Half-Life 2 was when it was first released in 2004, time has not been kind to the original release's graphics, which can look a bit flat and dated compared to modern PC games. Enter Romanian modder Filip Victor, who's ready to release the final version of a massive, Source engine-powered graphical update for the game on Steam for free tomorrow. As shown in a slick comparison trailer and detailed in a PDF brochure, Half-Life 2: Update offers graphical improvements like high dynamic range lighting, improved fog and particle effects, world reflections, more detailed water rendering, improved background models, and other effects that just weren't feasible back in 2004. The update also fixes a number of animation and cut-scene-activation bugs that have persisted in the original release and adds optional fan commentary from a number of high-profile YouTube personalities. Despite all the graphical changes, the update leaves the original gameplay, level design, character models, textures, and animations intact. "The goal of Half-Life 2: Update is to fix up, polish, and visually enhance Half-Life 2, without ever changing the 2004 original’s core gameplay, or time-tested style," Victor wrote in the update's brochure. "I wanted to ensure that the update was something that would be enduring, and worth the time it takes to play it. I hope that both newcomers and veterans of the Half-Life series will enjoy seeing the work that went into its creation." Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 9 hours ago on ars technica
OAKLAND, Calif.—Earlier this month, two federal judges in San Francisco allowed two significant labor lawsuits filed against Uber and Lyft to move ahead. In those cases, drivers for both services have sued in an attempt to be classified as employees rather than independent contractors. As an employee, workers have certain rights and benefits not traditionally granted to non-employees, such as overtime, minimum wage, worker’s compensation, and more. Beyond those cases, court filings show that at least four new similar lawsuits (some of which are proposed class-action cases) were filed in state and federal courts in the San Francisco Bay Area over the past month against so-called "sharing economy" startups. The underlying issue is the same: who exactly is—or should be—an employee? Here in Oakland, one law firm has brought two of the recent cases against Homejoy, a San Francisco company that describes itself as a "movement to make cleaning services available to a broad audience, rather than a luxury for the rich." The lawsuits, filed earlier this month in California Superior Court in San Francisco, are formally known as Zenelaj vs. Homejoy and Ventura vs. Homejoy. Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 9 hours ago on ars technica
Visiting Contra Costa County in California is not unpleasant, especially when you work for Ars. There's a critical mass of Ars staffers in the Bay area, so I was not entirely without social contact outside my assigned tasks in San Ramon. Let's just say that David Kravets throws a hell of a pizza party and leave it at that. A few Arsians at Casa de Kravets—from left to right, Cyrus Farivar, John (Jay) Timmer, Tiffany Kelly, Sean Gallagher, Dan Goodin, Joe Mullin, and David Kravets Esquire. There's also the scenery. After the first day of shooting, we took a trip to get some "b-roll" footage of the Bay Bridge and soon found ourselves on Yerba Buena Island looking for someplace to park. There may have been some questionable navigation involved, but I believe we were never technically trespassing on federal land. The California Highway Patrol car that stopped nearby was just there because the trooper was taking a smoke break and snapping pictures of San Francisco with his smartphone. In many ways, the Bay area is a sort of home away from home for me—I worked for a company in Palo Alto for a few years and spent a quarter of my time there. I have family in San Francisco and Santa Cruz. My wife and I honeymooned in San Francisco and used to spend a good chunk of our summers there (thanks largely to JavaOne). Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 10 hours ago on ars technica
One unlucky man who bought a house that can't get wired Internet service is reportedly selling the home just months after moving in. Seth, a software engineer who works at home, bought a house in Kitsap County, Washington state after being told by multiple Comcast employees that he could buy the Internet service he needs to do his job, according to a detailed Consumerist article yesterday. Seth also wrote a lengthy account on his blog titled, "It’s Comcastic, or: I Accidentally Bought a House Without Cable." (The man's last name was not given.) "Before we even made an offer [on the house], I placed two separate phone calls; one to Comcast Business, and one to Xfinity," Seth wrote. "Both sales agents told me that service was available at the address. The Comcast Business agent even told me that a previous resident had already had service. So I believed them." Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 10 hours ago on ars technica
A new report prepared by the United States Department of Justice’s internal watchdog has revealed that two major federal law enforcement agencies have spent millions of dollars on 23 drones that for some reason, are not operational. The report, which was published on Wednesday by the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General, also concludes that the FBI is the “only DOJ component that operationally deploys its own UAS,” using the government acronym for Unmanned Aerial System, or drone. The DOJ OIG report comes less than three months after the Department of Homeland Security OIG concluded that after eight years, the drone program run by Customs and Border Protection was ineffective. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 11 hours ago on ars technica
The effect that the expansion of warming ocean water has on sea level is easy to predict. You just plug the value for a given amount of warming into a physical calculation. The contributions from melting glacial ice, however, are much trickier to divine. It depends heavily on fine-scale details, like the shape of the surface beneath the ice, which controls the glacier’s flow toward the sea. Those fine-scale details aren’t easy to come by—not least because of the difficulty of accessing what can be remote and frigid places. While it’s expensive, field work can fill in key unknowns and reveal some of these glaciers’ histories, informing our estimates of future behavior. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet isn’t as fragile as its western counterpart, but it is much, much larger. The biggest individual outlet glacier for East Antarctic ice is the Totten Glacier. On its own, the ice behind Totten could raise global sea level more than three meters if it were to melt completely. These frozen giants are generally slow to stir, but like most glaciers around the world, Totten is shrinking. The large floating ice shelf in front of Totten, which holds back the flow of ice like a buttress, is thinning at a rate in the neighborhood of 10 meters per year. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 24 hours ago on ars technica
Chad Horwedel The original IndyCar concept. A bit too Batmobile for them. 6 more images in gallery It’s becoming obvious that relying so much on carbon-based fuels has consequences. Even the car industry sees this; electric vehicles (EVs) are no longer jokes, and hybrids abound. None of these, by itself, will be a perfect solution. Rather, the cumulative effect of lots of good or pretty good (or even just quite ok) solutions is more probable good outcome, at least for the near term. As critics of EVs and hybrids love to point out, all those batteries and motors and semiconductors have an environmental impact too. And technical obsolescence is a worry, too. We’re keeping our cars for longer than ever; how good will that lithium-ion batter be after 11 years? Absent some kind of fundamental breakthrough in energy storage, liquid petroleum-based fuels are going to with us for a while. So it’s good to see new ideas at using those fuels more frugally. Enter the Deltawing. The Deltawing currently only exists as a race car, one that was designed under the mantra “half the weight, half the fuel, half the horsepower, all the speed.” But Panoz (a GA-based low-volume car company from the man who invented the nicotine patch) wants to make road-going Deltawings, saying that you don’t need 300 horsepower to go fast; 1.4 L and 138 horsepower should be enough. Oh, and it’ll get 57 mpg combined. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Zoe Quinn speaks at the 2015 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Sam Machkovech When I sat down with her in January 2015, Zoe Quinn looked like she'd been through hell. In the public eye, Quinn was a number of things: an independent video game developer; a withdrawn, idiosyncratic presence at recent game conferences; and a visible victim of—and advocate against—a rising tide of anonymous abuse and harassment. The Zoe Quinn I met at a restaurant in the Pacific Northwest on a brisk January afternoon was more troubled than I’d ever seen before. Fingers shaking, eyes shifting, posture sulking. Only a few months earlier, the video game maker’s Twitter feed had become dominated by responses to, and stories about, the anonymous online harassment that she and her peers had received in the wake of the #GamerGate hashtag. GamerGate is hard to categorize—leaderless, amorphous, flitting from one issue to the next at a moment’s notice—but Quinn became involved early on due to allegations an ex-boyfriend made about her romantic relationship with a games writer. Read 71 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Two days ago, Google Chrome software engineer Rick Byers retweeted a photo of members of the Chrome and Microsoft browser teams having a social get together over beer, posted by Microsoft Web developer advocate Rey Bango. The photo was posted with the caption, "Proof that Microsoft and Google browser teams have love for each other." Today, Byers showed more of that love as he announced on the Chromium developer mailing list for the Blink rendering engine that the time had come to adopt Microsoft Internet Explorer's Pointer Events API in Blink. The Pointer Events API combines all of the touch, mouse, and stylus interactions with a browser into a single set of programmable events. It has been implemented in Internet Explorer since IE 10 and has also been supported by Mozilla's Firefox team (though it is implemented currently only on the Windows 'Metro' version of the browser). But last year, despite having been part of a W3C working group on pointer events, the Chrome team had announced it would not support the unified Pointer Events API and would instead continue to develop separate APIs for hardware pointing devices and touch. Apple's Safari team has lined up squarely against the Microsoft approach, at least so far. For developers, having a single API to rule all the pointing is extremely attractive. When the Pointer Events specification that has evolved out of the Microsoft API became a W3C Recommendation in February, jQuery UI project lead Scott Gonzalez was effusive about what it would mean for Web developers. "We love Pointer Events because they support all of the common input devices today – mouse, pen/stylus, and fingers – but they’re also designed in such a way that future devices can easily be added, and existing code will automatically support the new device," he wrote in a blog post in late February right after the W3C announcement. But without Google on board, there wasn't enough critical mass around the specification for developers to get too excited. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
According to an exclusive report by Deadline, director Steven Spielberg is headed back to the big chair to direct the film adaptation of Ernest Cline’s '80s-geek-gasm novel Ready Player One. The movie will be Spielberg’s first for Warner Brothers in 14 years; the last time he made a movie at the studio was 2001's A.I. The novel Ready Player One, released in 2011, is set in a near future obsessed with '80s pop culture thanks to a treasure hunt in a global MMORPG/MUD/MUSH called "The OASIS." The treasure hunt is centered around clues cloaked beneath layers of '70s and '80s ephemera—mainly movies, TV, video games, and music—with a multi-billion dollar prize waiting for the first person to solve all the puzzles. Centered on the character Wade Watts, a poor kid who rockets to fame near the beginning of the book when he solves the first major clue in the "Egg Hunt," Ready Player One is a non-stop barrage of movie and TV quotes and references—at times coming so heavily that it’s hard to see the plot forest for the (Day-Glo green) trees. Adapting the book to the screen is a tall order, not so much for the complexity of the narrative but rather for the sheer number of different things for which rights would have to be negotiated. Without giving away any of the plot, staying true to the book would mean needing to show parts of War Games, Month Python and the Holy Grail, and Blade Runner—not to mention assorted songs from dozens of artists (including probably all of Rush’s 2112 album, plus the artwork). And that’s not even getting into the video game licenses or dozens of obscure Japanese TV shows referenced or shown in the book. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
A 12-year security guard for a New Jersey school district will be unemployed as of Friday after posting to Facebook that she was praying for a Philadelphia police officer who was killed by a "black thug" during a GameStop robbery. Mary Czaplinski wants a federal judge to reverse the Vineland School District's decision to fire her over her March 5 post, which said: "Praying hard for the Philly cop shot today by another black thug ... may [be] all white people should start riots and protests and scare the hell out of them." Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Today, NASA held a press conference in which it described the latest developments in its plan to return an asteroid to an orbit close enough to Earth that it could easily be studied by a manned mission. Gone is the idea of returning an entire asteroid. In its place, a robotic probe will pluck a boulder from the surface of an asteroid and return that, testing our ability to redirect similar rocks if they threaten Earth. In fact, the entire mission is generally focused on technology development. Once the asteroid is placed in a cis-lunar orbit (orbiting Earth and closer than the Moon), it will be visited by a crewed Orion capsule that will allow detailed study and a return of samples to Earth. But the focus of this mission will be testing technology that will allow extended manned missions in space. The current timeline involves further studies of potential targets for extracting a boulder in the years leading up to 2019. Right now, three asteroids are on the menu: Itokawa (which was visited by the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa), Bennu (which is planned for a sample return mission called OSIRIS-REx), and 2008 EV5. In each case, the orbit and composition are well-known, making them relatively low risk. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that has been on the cusp of becoming the next big thing for over 20 years. But the technology—the projection of data or digital imagery over real-world objects—has largely remained the stuff of fighter cockpits at the high end, and of mobile games and art projects on the low. The promise of Google Glass—real augmented reality for the masses—failed to materialize. That doesn't mean the technology won't fly at all. While many organizations experimented with Glass, other devices already in the hands—and on the heads—of companies and software developers have been pushing forward augmented reality in multiple industries. Work is being done today to integrate corporate cloud applications and data from intelligent machines connected to the "Internet of Things" into applications for mobile and wearable devices. And all this could help make humans on the factory floor, on the flight line, in hospitals, and in the field more effective and efficient. With Microsoft's HoloLens promising a standard development platform for AR, the cost of building those applications could plummet in the next few years. At the same time, there are alternatives to traditional AR that can be just as effective in some cases—information systems tied to mobile devices by geolocation, proximity to systems, and other triggers that don't require the data to be in your face. As back-end analytics systems begin to drive things like when maintenance is done on systems and matching up the right person to the job, having an augmented view of the world doesn't necessarily mean looking at it through a piece of glass. Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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