posted about 10 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / It is nearly time for crewed flights on SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft. (credit: SpaceX) On Friday, key NASA officials gathered in a large meeting room at Kennedy Space Center. Here, for decades, NASA managers reviewed analyses about the next space shuttle mission and, more often than not, cleared the vehicle for launch. But after 2011, there were no more crew vehicles to review. That changed this week when NASA convened a "flight readiness review" for SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft for its initial test flight, without people on board. By Friday evening, the meeting was over and, among the NASA and SpaceX officials, the verdict was in—Dragon was ready for its demonstration mission as part of the commercial crew program on March 2. Launch time for the Falcon 9 rocket is 2:48am ET (07:48 UTC), from Kennedy Space Center. “I’m ready to fly," NASA's commercial crew program manager, Kathy Lueders, said succinctly. The mood was ebullient among NASA leadership as well as SpaceX's top official on the scene, Hans Koenigsmann, the company's vice president of build and flight reliability. He, too, had participated in the flight readiness review in the storied room where so many shuttle meetings had been held.  "It was a really big deal for SpaceX, and me personally," he said. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 13 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Go ahead. Make my day. Russian President Vladimir Putin told members of the Russian media on Wednesday that if the US exits the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and deploys nuclear weapons to Europe, Russia will follow suit—by placing nuclear weapons off the coast of the US. The comments came on the heels of an announcement by Putin that a nuclear powered, nuclear-armed unmanned submersible vehicle (essentially a giant nuclear torpedo) was nearly ready for deployment. The Russian president said the first submarine equipped to carry it would be ready as soon as this spring. "If they create threats to us, they should be aware of the potential consequences, so that they will not accuse us of unnecessary aggressiveness or whatever later," Putin said in comments following his February 20 address to Russia's Federal Assembly. "They have announced their decision," he said, referencing President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the INF treaty. "We know what can follow it. We tell them, 'Do the maths. Can you count? So, do it before making any decisions that would create additional threats to you.'" To make that point clearer, Putin gave some of the numbers for "the maths." First, he would put nuclear-armed missiles on submarines or surface ships. "At a speed of Mach 9, these missiles can strike a target more than 1,000 km away," he explained. "Under the Law of the Sea, the exclusive economic zone is defined at some 400 km or 200 miles. Do the maths. The distance of 1,000 kilometers at Mach 9. How soon, in how many minutes, can these weapons reach their targets? Just compare, the flight time to Moscow is between 10 and 12 minutes. How long would it take to reach the decision-making centers that are creating threats to us? The calculation is not in their favor, at least, not today." Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 14 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The most detailed images of Ultima Thule; obtained just minutes before the spacecraft's closest approach at 12:33 a.m. EST on Jan. 1. (credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/SWRI) Twenty six minutes after the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve in Times Square, the long-range camera aboard the New Horizons spacecraft was hard at work. The probe was just six minutes from its closest approach to Ultima Thule, an object formally named 2014 MU69, which resides in the Kuiper Belt around the outer Solar System. One, two, three—the images ticked through, each with an exposure time of just 0.025 seconds. Four, five, six—and now the spacecraft was less than 7,000km away from its target. Seven, eight, nine—these pictures had to be perfect, because New Horizons was passing Ultima Thule at a speed of more than 50,000km/hour. Only recently were investigators able to download all of these images and cobble together a composite image of the contact binary. With a resolution of 33 meters per pixel, this is probably as good of a view as we're going to get of Ultima Thule. And it still looks something like a snowman, peanut, pancake, or combination thereof. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 15 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Bill Oxford) Frontier Communications reportedly charged a cancellation fee of $4,302.17 to the operator of a one-person business in Wisconsin, even though she switched to a different Internet provider because Frontier's service was frequently unusable. Candace Lestina runs the Pardeeville Area Shopper, a weekly newspaper and family business that she took over when her mother retired. Before retiring, her mother had entered a three-year contract with Frontier to provide Internet service to the one-room office on North Main Street in Pardeeville. Six months into the contract, Candace Lestina decided to switch to the newly available Charter offering "for better service and a cheaper bill," according to a story yesterday by News 3 Now in Wisconsin. The Frontier Internet service "was dropping all the time," Lestina told the news station. This was a big problem for Lestina, who runs the paper on her own in Pardeeville, a town of about 2,000 people. "I actually am everything. I make the paper, I distribute the paper," she said. Because of Frontier's bad service, "I would have times where I need to send my paper—I have very strict deadlines with my printer—and my Internet's out." Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 15 hours ago on ars technica
Unlike this ceramic replica, video game loot boxes are not filled with real candy. (credit: ThinkGeek) In response to a request from Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), the Federal Trade Commission now says it will be convening a "public workshop on loot boxes" later this year. The FTC said it hopes to attract "consumer advocacy organizations, parent groups, and industry members" to take part in the workshop, according to a letter from FTC Chairman Joseph Simons provided to Hassan. The short note suggests such a gathering could "help elicit information to guide subsequent consumer outreach, which could include a consumer alert." Elsewhere in the letter, Simons notes the FTC's previous efforts to gauge the marketing and accessibility of violent video games (and other media) to children. And though the FTC in November revealed publicly that it is investigating the loot box issue, Simons also notes that he can't publicly comment on any potential law enforcement efforts in the space that might be ongoing. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 15 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 25: Families who have lost loved ones to the opioid crisis protest in front of Suffolk Superior Court in Boston as lawyers for Purdue Pharma enter the courthouse for a status update in the Attorney General's suit against Purdue Pharma. (credit: Getty | Boston Globe) Richard Sackler turned to verbal acrobatics and leaps in logic to try to dodge blame in the fraudulent marketing of Purdue’s potent opioid, OxyContin. The contorted explanations—which at points involved creating new definitions of words and claiming an enigmatic level of politeness—were first unveiled Thursday, February 21 from a sealed, 337-page deposition obtained by ProPublica. The deposition was taken in August of 2015 as part of lawsuit brought by the state of Kentucky, which alleged Purdue illegally promoted its potent opioid painkiller. Back in 2007, federal prosecutors made similar allegations against Purdue, resulting in the company and three executives pleading guilty to misleading doctors, regulators, and patients over OxyContin’s addictiveness. Numerous legal complaints have piled up against Purdue in the aftermath. Purdue settled many of them, including Kentucky’s, which it settled for $24 million. Yet in all the court battles, the mega-rich, secretive family behind Purdue, the Sacklers, have largely gone unscathed. In fact, the newly disclosed 2015 deposition is believed to be the only time a member of the Sackler family has been questioned over the fraudulent marketing. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 16 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The Halo Infinite logo, as revealed at E3 2018. (credit: Xbox Studios / 343 Industries) As rumors heat up over what to expect from this summer's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), one Microsoft-focused news site has tossed a few more logs on the next-Xbox fire. In today's case, that specifically means Halo rumors. The news comes from Thurrott's Brad Sams, who's currently the leading resource for hints when it comes to Microsoft's plans for its next wave of Xbox-branded devices. On Friday, Sams pushed forward an unsurprising rumor: that the previously announced game Halo Infinite will be confirmed at E3 2019 as a "launch title" for Microsoft's next console (or consoles, more on that in a moment). What makes this rumor a little more interesting is that Sams offered context we hadn't yet heard about the game: Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 16 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The timeline of the approach and sampling process. (credit: JAXA) Today, in an extended Twitter thread and ensuing press conference, JAXA's Hayabusa2 team announced that everything had gone well in gathering an asteroid sample for eventual return to Earth. While we don't yet know about the material it obtained, the Japanese spacecraft has successfully executed all the commands associated with the sample recovery. Hayabusa2 has been in space since 2014, and it slowly made its way to an orbit 20km above the surface of the asteroid Ryugu. In late 2018, the spacecraft made a close approach to the asteroid and released two small, solar-powered robots that have been hopping on the surface since. This week has seen the first of what are intended to be several sample-gathering attempts. The procedure for this is pretty straightforward: Hayabusa2 snuggles up to the asteroid and shoots it. The probe has a sample-gathering "horn" that it can place up against the asteroid's surface. Once it's in place, Hayabusa2 can fire a bullet into the asteroid's surface, blasting material loose that will be gathered by the horn and stored for return to Earth. JAXA, the Japanese space agency, calls its gun a "projector" but admits that the thing it fires is a bullet. JAXA has a webpage that describes some on-Earth testing of the whole system. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 16 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A Falcon 9 rocket launches the Iridium-8 mission in January, 2019. (credit: SpaceX) Last summer, the Trump administration announced that it was opening negotiations with the European Union to achieve "fairer, more balanced trade" on behalf of US corporations, workers, and consumers. Since then, the talks have proceeded in fits and starts, with the president threatening auto tariffs if he didn't like the deal struck by the current US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer. As part of this process, US companies were apparently asked what grievances they had concerning current barriers to free trade with the European Union. The most prolific US rocket company, SpaceX, was among those that responded, and the company used tis opportunity to complain about foreign subsidies propping up its competitors for commercial satellite launches. Large subsidies On Dec. 10, SpaceX director of commercial sales Stephanie Bednarek wrote to Edward Gresser, chair of the Trade Policy Staff Committee in the Office of the US Trade Representative. The letter was first reported on by a French publication, Les Echos. A copy was then shared in the NASASpaceFlight.com forums. Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 18 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Aurich) Here at Ars, we tend to be skeptical of the regularly recurring rumors that two major video game competitors are going to be merging or teaming up in some way. From the early 2000s whispers that Microsoft would buy a struggling Sega to suggestions that Apple should buy Nintendo, these rumors often reflect wishful thinking at least as much as actual insider knowledge. That said, we're still intrigued by recent rumors that Microsoft could be bringing certain Xbox One games—and a version of its Xbox Game Pass subscription service—to the Nintendo Switch and other consoles. As the current scuttlebutt has it, an Xbox app to be released for the Switch would let players with a Games Pass subscription play a selection of Xbox One games on Nintendo's hardware. High-end games would work on Nintendo's lower-end hardware thanks to streaming via Microsoft's recently announced Project xCloud. Meanwhile, Microsoft would also sell certain low-end first-party Xbox One games, like the Ori series, to the Switch directly, according to the rumors. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 18 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Some Googlers held protest signs during the November 2018 walkout. (credit: Cyrus Farivar) Google is dropping forced arbitration requirements for its employees, the company announced on Thursday. Starting March 21, both existing and new employees will have the option to sue Google in court and to join together in class-action lawsuits. The news is a victory for a group of activist Google employees who have been pressuring Google to make this change since last fall. Thousands of Googlers walked out last November to protest Google's handling of recent sexual harassment controversies. Google quickly agreed to drop forced arbitration requirements in certain sexual harassment cases. But critics kept up the pressure, and Google is now exempting all employees and direct contractors from forced arbitration requirements in a broader range of cases. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 19 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images ) Facebook has pulled its privacy-invading Onavo Protect VPN app off the Google Play store and will reportedly stop gobbling up data from users who still have the app on their devices. Facebook "will immediately cease pulling in data from [Onavo] users for market research though it will continue operating as a Virtual Private Network in the short term to allow users to find a replacement," TechCrunch reported yesterday. Facebook's Onavo website still exists, but links to the Android and iOS apps are both broken. Facebook pulled the app from the iPhone and iPad App Store in August 2018 after Apple determined that Onavo violated its data-collection rules. Facebook purchased Onavo, an Israeli company, in 2013. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 20 hours ago on ars technica
Firefly says it will build a large new rocket manufacturing facility in Exploration Park, Florida. [credit: Firefly ] On Friday, Texas-based rocket company Firefly announced that it has reached an agreement to develop manufacturing facilities and a launch site at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport in Florida. The new facility will support the production of up to 24 Alpha rockets a year, with the ability to scale from there, company officials said. These are sizable plans. Over an unspecified period of time, the company said it will invest $52 million into the facilities. Florida’s spaceport development authority, Space Florida, will also provide an additional $18.9 million in infrastructure investments. The company will build its launch facilities at Space Launch Complex 20, where Space Florida hopes to develop a multiuser facility for small-satellite launch companies like Firefly. It will also build an expansive facility to assemble its Alpha (and eventually the larger Beta) rockets, near the large Blue Origin plant in Florida's Exploration Park area. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 20 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A Falcon 9 rocket launches on Thursday night from Florida. (credit: SpaceX) A mild winter breeze blew along the Florida coast when the final Apollo mission roared into the sky shortly after midnight, on Dec. 7, 1972. More than half a million people turned out to watch Apollo 17 lift off, despite the late hour. Imagine you were lucky enough to be among them. After the rocket disappears, and nighttime closes in, you're musing about when humans might return to deep space when an aging drifter in a Steppenwolf t-shirt interrupts your reverie. Won't see that again in our lifetimes. Huh? A rocket sending a lander to the Moon. Ain't gonna happen again for nearly 50 years. That's impossible. NASA is talking about going to Mars in a decade or so. Well, the next rocket from here that's sending a lander to the Moon won't launch until 2019.  I can't believe that. And how can you know that— And that rocket will already have flown twice. What? Our rockets fall into the ocean. Yeah, well, there will be a boat to catch this one. I think I've got to be going. Oh, and the rocket will be built by a dude from South Africa, and the lander will carry an Israeli flag. You'd probably better call a cab to get home, old-timer. In December, 1972, Elon Musk was one year old, living in South Africa. Israel was just three months removed from the Munich massacre, in which 11 members of its Olympic team were taken hostage, and killed, during the summer games. And yet, nearly five decades later Musk's company, SpaceX, would link up with a private Israeli effort to launch a small lander to the Moon's surface. This really has not happened since Apollo 17. A NASA lunar mission named LCROSS did fly from Florida in 2009 on an Atlas V rocket, but it carried an impactor designed to crash into the Moon, rather than a spacecraft such as SpaceIL's Beresheet vehicle launched Thursday night, built to make a soft landing and return images, video, and scientific data. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 21 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / William Happer, a retired Princeton physicist. (credit: Gage Skidmore) On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that it had obtained a document suggesting that the Trump administration is considering combining two areas where it has consistently dismissed expert conclusions: climate change and intelligence analysis. While the intelligence community has consistently accepted that climate change creates security risks for the United States, the document suggests that Trump will circumvent its advice by setting up an advisory committee in an effort headed by a retired professor noted for not accepting the conclusions of the scientific community. The document is a National Security Council discussion paper, and it suggests using an executive order to set up a Presidential Committee on Climate Security. The committee would provide advice to Trump on the current climate and its future changes and how those affect the national security of the US. Adversarial Normally, these functions are provided by the scientific community and the intelligence community, respectively. But these parties have been giving Trump evidence that he's not interested in accepting. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 23 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The Rocket Report is published weekly. (credit: Arianespace) Welcome to Edition 1.37 of the Rocket Report! Lots of news this week about plans to develop smallsat launchers, from India to Australia to the United Kingdom. We also have some serious shade throwing from Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos, who doesn't think a flight near (but not above) the Karman line will come without an asterisk. 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. India smallsat launcher to fly later this year. Indian space officials have confirmed that their new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle will attempt its first flight in "July or August" of this year, The Economic Times reports. The rocket will carry two Indian defense satellites for the mission, each weighing about 120kg. The rocket has undergone a complete technical review, officials said. Read 28 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Victorgrigas) Millions of sites that run the Drupal content management system run the risk of being hijacked until they're patched against a vulnerability that allows hackers to remotely execute malicious code, managers of the open source project warned Wednesday. CVE-2019-6340, as the flaw is tracked, stems from a failure to sufficiently validate user input, managers said in an advisory. Hackers who exploited the vulnerability could, in some cases, run code of their choice on vulnerable websites. The flaw is rated highly critical. "Some field types do not properly sanitize data from non-form sources," the advisory stated. "This can lead to arbitrary PHP code execution in some cases." Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / If your name is Mario and you work at Nintendo of America, watch out. (credit: Sam Machkovech) After 16 years at Nintendo of America, president, COO, and famed spokesperson Reggie Fils-Aimé will retire from his roles this year. His last day is April 15, at which time he will be replaced by senior VP of sales Doug Bowser, according to a press release. Fils-Aimé joined the company in 2003 as executive VP of sales and marketing before becoming its president and chief operating officer in 2006. For years, he has been the public face of Nintendo in the United States at press conferences and online marketing streams, and he has become the personification of the gaming brand for millions of consumers, players, and onlookers. He became the subject of numerous memes, and he sparked the "my body is ready" meme popular on Internet gaming forums. A new age of gamer memes seems to be upon us, though, because his replacement bears the same name as the primary villain of the company's beloved Mario video game franchise. Doug Bowser has been with Nintendo since 2015, when his title was vice president of sales. He was promoted to senior VP in 2016. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Tesla's new Model 3 car on display is seen on Friday, January 26, 2018, at the Tesla store in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images) Last year, Tesla won a Consumer Reports recommendation for the Model 3 thanks to a last-minute upgrade to its braking software. But on Thursday, the magazine rescinded its endorsement of the vehicle due to poor results in its customer survey. "Model 3 owners in our spring survey sample reported some body hardware and in-car electronics problems, such as the screen freezing, which we have seen with other Tesla models," wrote CR's Patrick Olsen. "The latest survey data also shows complaints about paint and trim issues. In addition, some members reported that the Model 3's sole display screen acted strangely." "The vast majority of these issues have already been corrected through design and manufacturing improvements, and we are already seeing a significant improvement in our field data," a Tesla spokesperson told Consumer Reports in an emailed statement. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / “Hello, operator? Hi, this is the President. I need the best phone you can find. Not 5G, this is America. Let's go with 6G. I want all the Gs, the best Gs.” (credit: Getty Images | Washington Post) US President Donald Trump today urged wireless carriers to deploy 5G and "6G" networks "as soon as possible," seemingly ignoring the small problem that 6G technology doesn't exist yet. "I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible," Trump wrote on Twitter this morning. "It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind." I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on......... — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2019 In a second tweet, Trump said that 5G and 6G are "so obviously the future." Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Did these enormous layered volcanic deposits arise through many big eruptions or a few massive ones? (credit: Courtney Sprain) Modeling what happened after a massive asteroid struck the Yucatan has painted a hellscape capable of causing a mass extinction: choking dust, immense tsunamis, and enough debris leaving and reentering the atmosphere to set off global fires. But questions remain whether the impact alone drove the dinosaurs to extinction or if it merely finished the job started by a massive volcanic outburst happening in India. The Deccan Traps cover an area of roughly a half-million square kilometers, and the eruptions that created them involved over a million cubic kilometers of rock. Immense eruptions like this have been blamed for mass extinctions in the past, as they pump lots of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and cause a rapid seesaw of cooling and warming. And the Deccan Traps are no exception: people have argued that they were already killing the dinosaurs or had stressed ecosystems in a way that set the stage for a mass extinction. But not everyone has bought in to this idea, and some have suggested that the asteroid collision actually drove changes in the Deccan Traps eruptions. Sorting all this out requires a better sense of the timing of the eruptions vs. when the impact and extinctions occurred. In today's issue of Science, two papers attempt to narrow down the timing. Unfortunately, their results don't entirely agree. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
(credit: tredford04 / Flickr) A controversial overhaul of Europe's copyright laws overcame a key hurdle on Wednesday as a majority of European governments signaled support for the deal. That sets the stage for a pivotal vote by the European Parliament that's expected to occur in March or April. Supporters of the legislation portray it as a benign overhaul of copyright that will strengthen anti-piracy efforts. Opponents, on the other hand, warn that its most controversial provision, known as Article 13, could force Internet platforms to adopt draconian filtering technologies. The cost to develop filtering technology could be particularly burdensome for smaller companies, critics say. Online service providers have struggled to balance free speech and piracy for close to two decades. Faced with this difficult tradeoff, the authors of Article 13 have taken a rainbows-and-unicorns approach, promising stricter copyright enforcement, no wrongful takedowns of legitimate content, and minimal burdens on smaller technology platforms. Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The perpetually locked red door is a central mystery of Netflix's adaptation of Haunting of Hill House. (credit: Steve Dietl/Netflix) The Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House was a critical and ratings hit last year, and the streaming giant has announced plans for a second season—or more accurately, a second installment in what is now a horror anthology series. Deadline Hollywood reports that The Haunting of Bly Manor will adapt Henry James' classic ghost story, The Turn of the Screw, which is very much in the same vein of psychological gothic horror as the classic Shirley Jackson tale upon which season one was based. The Haunting of Hill House shared the top spot in Ars' 2018 list of our favorite TV shows with BBC's Killing Eve. We loved Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy's inventive re-imagining of Jackson's novel, at once a Gothic ghost story and a profound examination of family dysfunction. And yet it stayed true to the tone and spirit of the original, aided by dialogue, narration, and other small details from the source material. Small wonder that it garnered award nominations from the Motion Picture Sound Editors, Writers Guild of America, and Art Directors Guild. Rumors of a possible second season began swirling soon after the series started streaming. Flanagan eventually confirmed plans to to turn it into a horror anthology series, with a whole new ghost story and fresh characters. (He opined in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that the Crain family featured in Hill House had suffered enough.) Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images) On Thursday, the White House released a joint statement along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), saying that the executive branch would no longer work with California's air regulator to find a middle ground on vehicle fuel-efficiency rules. The state regulator, called the California Air Resources Board (or CARB), has enjoyed a legal waiver since the 1970s to set more stringent fuel-efficiency standards than those set by the EPA. Generally, automakers find that they must follow CARB's more stringent standards, because the vehicle market in California is so huge. But the Trump administration has been working to weaken vehicle fuel efficiency, and CARB's exemption is preventing the administration from fulfilling that campaign promise. In August, the Trump administration announced the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Act. SAFE proposed to freeze Obama-era fuel-efficiency standards—which would gradually make passenger vehicles more efficient until 2025—at 2020 levels. The Trump EPA claimed that the old rule would kill people, because efficient vehicles are more costly, so people put off buying newer, safer cars. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: TechBargains) Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we have another round of deals to share. Today's list is headlined by a number of bargains on high-profile video games, including a trio of popular games for the Nintendo Switch—Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Splatoon 2 are all down to $45. These titles have dropped to this price a few times in the past, but they're all still good for a $15 discount. To be frank, we'd like to see their prices sink a bit lower considering they all launched in 2017, but more substantial deals from reputable retailers have been few and far between. Nevertheless, each game is still worth owning. You can read our reviews of each game for more details, but Odyssey's inventiveness, Breath of the Wild's sense of wonder, and Splatoon's colorful multiplayer haven't aged badly at all. Many Switch owners have these games already, but if you just grabbed the console, this might be a good excuse to catch up on some of its early essentials. If you aren't hitched to the Switch wagon, though, we also have deals on popular games for the PS4 and Xbox One, including Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Marvel's Spider-Man. And if you don't care about video games at all, one, what is wrong with you, and two, you can catch more discounts on iPads, Amazon devices, ThinkPads, portable batteries, and more below. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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