posted about 1 hour ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica) Today's Dealmaster is headlined by a suite of deals on Amazon's Fire TV streamers. The offers include the 1080p Fire TV Stick for $25, the brawnier Fire TV Stick 4K for $35, the smart speaker-like Fire TV Cube for $100, and the Fire TV Recast over-the-air DVR for $145. Those discounts range from $15 to $80 off. Of these, we'd say the Fire TV Stick 4K is the best buy for most people. We've recommended it in multiple gift guides in the past, but it remains a powerful way to get 4K HDR content to your TV without putting too much of a dent in your wallet. It supports all the major streaming apps and HDR formats, consistently performs smoothly, and has more robust voice search capabilities than its closest analogue, the Roku Streaming Stick+. That Roku streamer has a far tidier, if somewhat boring, interface than the Fire TV Stick 4K, but generally speaking, the best choice between the two is whichever one is on sale at the time. Amazon will usually discount its Fire TV Sticks at various points throughout the year, but this current deal is as low as we typically see it outside of major sales events like Prime Day and Black Friday. If you aren't buying it for a 4K TV, just make sure to save some cash and get the standard Fire TV Stick instead. If you have no interest in a new media streamer, we also have deals on Google's Pixel 3a smartphone, AMD Ryzen processors, Eero mesh Wi-Fi routers, and more. Have a look at our full deals rundown below.Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 2 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Comcast Xfinity van in Santa Clara, California, August 17, 2017. (credit: Getty Images | Smith Collection/Gado) Comcast reduced capital spending on its cable division in 2019, devoting less money to network extensions and improvements despite a series of government favors that were supposed to accelerate broadband expansions. "For the twelve months ended December 31, 2019, Cable capital expenditures decreased 10.5 percent to $6.9 billion," down from $7.7 billion in 2018, Comcast, the nation's largest home Internet provider, said in its earnings announcement last week. "Cable capital expenditures represented 11.9 percent of Cable revenue compared to 13.8 percent in 2018." Comcast cable revenue rose 3.7 percent, from $56 billion in 2018 to $58.1 billion in 2019. Cable-division EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) rose 7.3 percent, from $21.7 billion to $23.3 billion in 2019.Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 2 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / If one of the Zafar communications satellites makes it into space, maybe it will look like this? (credit: Islamic Republic News Agency) Iran is preparing for the launch of two small communications satellites, Zafar 1 and Zafar 2, from the Imam Khomeini Space Center in northern Iran. The country's communication's minister, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, confirmed the launch after NPR editor Geoff Brumfiel first reported on the likelihood of the upcoming mission. Iran has even created a website for the satellites, called "Zafar and me," for people to upload messages for the spacecraft to transmit back to Earth. The satellites will likely launch on the Safir-1 or Safir-2 rocket, which reportedly have capacities of 65kg and 350kg to low-Earth orbit. Combined, the vehicles have a checkered history, with four known successes and four known failures during the last 12 years.Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 3 hours ago on ars technica
A now-infamous video shows dozens of players having the clothes literally stolen off their backs as the result of a Fallout 76 hack last month. Last month, Fallout 76 saw the emergence of a damaging new hack that let attackers literally steal the clothes off other players' backs. Now, Bethesda is making affected players whole (and clothed) again via a roundabout method that involves clones of their past selves. The inventory theft hack, which targeted the PC version of the game, was widely popularized in a December 22 video showing a player stealing gear from dozens of fellow players, who go from fully clothed to standing in their underwear in the blink of an eye. Players quickly threw up warnings and evidence of the hack's spread on Reddit and looked for answers from the game's developer. By December 23, Bethesda had acknowledged the hack and said it "may have resulted in a few players losing items that their characters had equipped," in a Reddit post. A patch soon followed to prevent further in-game thievery, but players that had their items stolen were still left without even the shirt on their virtual backs.Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 4 hours ago on ars technica
Video shot and directed by Justin Wolfson. Edited by Aulistar Mark. Click here for transcript. Although the passage of time serves to make the past seem sweeter in recollection than it might have been in the moment, it's impossible to deny that there was something special about the gaming landscape of the 1990s. Every year in that decade brought a torrent of titles that were destined to become classics—including the often-imitated-but-ultimately-inimitible Myst. Myst came to market in 1993, which was a banner year in PC gaming—1993 also brought us X-Wing, Doom, Syndicate, and Day of the Tentacle, among others. It's fascinating that Myst happened the same year that Doom launched, too—both games attempted to simulate reality, but with vastly different approaches. Doom was a hard and fast shotgun blast to the face, visceral and intense, aiming to capture the feeling of hunting (and being hunted by) demons in close sci-fi corridors; Myst was a love letter to mystery and exploration at its purest. A few months back, Ars caught up with Myst developer Rand Miller (who co-created the game with his brother Robyn Miller) at the Cyan offices in Washington state to ask about the process of bringing the haunting island world to life. Myst's visuals lived at the cutting edge of what interactive CD-ROM technology could deliver at the beginning of the multimedia age, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, fitting the breadth of the Millers' vision onto CD-ROM didn't happen without some challenges.Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 5 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Stepping outside the Ars Orbiting HQ for a brief moment to take a space selfie. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty) We're running a new series on Ars over the next few weeks about “the future of work,” which will involve (among other things) some predictions about how folks in and out of offices will do their future officing. To start, let's take a tour of the fabled Ars Orbiting HQ—because we've learned a lot about how work works in the future, and we'd love to share some details about how we do what we do. Ars bucks the trend of most digital newsrooms in that we truly are an all-digital newsroom. While we have mail stops at the Condé Nast mothership in New York, there is no physical Ars Technica editorial office. Instead, Ars Technica's 30-ish editorial staff work from their homes in locations scattered across the country. We’ve got folks in all US time zones and even a few contributors in far-flung locations across the Atlantic. Marshaling this many remote staffers into a news-and-feature-writing machine can have its challenges, but Ars has operated this way for more than twenty years. We’ve gotten pretty good at it, all things considered. The main way to make it work is to hire self-sufficient, knowledge-hungry people, but another major part of our remote work philosophy is flexibility. Not everyone works the same way, and remote work should never be treated like a one-size-fits-all, time-clocked job. Also, tools matter—you can’t expect people to do collaborative jobs like writing and editing without giving them the right hardware and software.Read 66 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 7 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The updated Super Cruise has a new UI. (credit: Cadillac) General Motors' Super Cruise is widely recognized to be the best of the so-called "Level 2+" driver assists. It combines adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping with a geofence—so it only operates on divided-lane highways—plus an infrared driver monitoring system that only allows for hands-free operation when it knows the person behind the wheel has their eyes on the road ahead. On Tuesday morning, Cadillac announced that it's rolling out an enhanced version this year that includes the ability to change lanes on demand. "This is our most extensive update we’ve made to Super Cruise since its debut," said Mario Maiorana, Super Cruise chief engineer. "We have made a number of improvements to make Super Cruise more intuitive, better performing and more accessible for our customers. In addition to the automated lane change functionality, we’ve made improvements to the user interface and hands-free driving dynamics." Currently, if you're Super Cruising along one of the 200,000 miles (321,868km) of lidar-mapped highways in a Cadillac CT6 and you want to change lanes, it's all down to you to execute the maneuver. You check there's a gap, indicate (please remember to use your turn signal), and as you begin applying torque to the wheel the system temporarily disengages, giving you full control. You know you're in charge because the strip of LEDs in the steering wheel go from green to blue. Once you're traveling straight and true again, the system can re-engage, the LEDs turn green, and you can go back to vogueing, doing 'big fish little fish cardboard box," or even jazz hands, while all around you everyone else has to keep their mitts on the rim.Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 8 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / This image, taken from the interior of a Tesla Model X, shows a projected image of a car in front of the Model X. The inset in the bottom right, created by Nassi from the Model X's logs, shows the Model X detecting the projection as a real car. (credit: Ben Nassi) Six months ago, Ben Nassi, a PhD student at Ben-Gurion University advised by Professor Yuval Elovici, carried off a set of successful spoofing attacks against a Mobileye 630 Pro Driver Assist System using inexpensive drones and battery-powered projectors. Since then, he has expanded the technique to experiment—also successfully—with confusing a Tesla Model X and will be presenting his findings at the Cybertech Israel conference in Tel Aviv. The spoofing attacks largely rely on the difference between human and AI image recognition. For the most part, the images Nassi and his team projected to troll the Tesla would not fool a typical human driver—in fact, some of the spoofing attacks were nearly steganographic, relying on the differences in perception not only to make spoofing attempts successful but also to hide them from human observers. This is a frame from an ad you might see on a digital billboard, with a fake speed-limit sign inserted. It's only present for an eighth of a second, and most drivers would miss it—but AI image recognition recognizes it. [credit: Ben Nassi ] Nassi created a video outlining what he sees as the danger of these spoofing attacks, which he called "Phantom of the ADAS," and a small website offering the video, an abstract outlining his work, and the full reference paper itself. We don't necessarily agree with the spin Nassi puts on his work—for the most part, it looks to us like the Tesla responds pretty reasonably and well to these deliberate attempts to confuse its sensors. We do think this kind of work is important, however, as it demonstrates the need for defensive design of semi-autonomous driving systems.Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 20 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Waste in a temporary storage facility. (credit: Scott Peters, US House) A number of countries, including the United States, has been planning for long-term storage of nuclear wastes. While many of these nations plan to keep the waste isolated from water, that's not something that can be guaranteed over the extremely long lifespans of the waste. If water reaches the radioactive isotopes, there's the chance that the isotopes could contaminate the groundwater in the area and spread well beyond the site of the storage repository. To prevent that, plans are to have multiple layers of defense. The waste itself will be incorporated into a chemically inert, insoluble glass. And the glass itself will be placed in a stainless steel flask that will keep it from mixing with the surroundings. Each of those materials seems to work well in tests. But now, a large team of researchers has found that, in combination, the materials aren't as robust as we'd like them to be. The problems only occur if water somehow gets into the container, but if it does, the interface between the glass and stainless steel actually accelerates chemical reactions that degrade both.Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 22 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Sure, this will work. (credit: onathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images) Remember last May, when Baltimore City was brought to a standstill by ransomware? Hot on the heels of that—in fact, the same day that the ransomware attack was reported—Maryland legislators started working on a bill to fight the threat of ransomware. The results could use a little more work. A proposed law introduced in Maryland's state senate last week would criminalize the possession of ransomware and other criminal activities with a computer. But while it makes an attempt to protect actual researchers from prosecution, the language of the bill doesn't exactly do much to protect the general public from ransomware or make it easier for researchers to prevent attacks. The bill, Senate Bill 3, covers a lot of ground already covered by US Federal law. But it classifies the mere possession of ransomware as a misdemeanor punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. The bill also states (in all capital letters in the draft) that "THIS PARAGRAPH DOES NOT APPLY TO THE USE OF RANSOMWARE FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES."Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 22 hours ago on ars technica
Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 trailer Netflix has released the first full trailer for its new 3DCG anime series Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, the latest in multiple decades of media releases based on the beloved manga by Shirow Masamune. The trailer was shared by the official Netflix Japan Twitter account and posted to the Netflix Japan YouTube channel. It's in Japanese, obviously, and so far Netflix has not made a version of the trailer with English subtitles available. Update: A subtitled version is now available.Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 24 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A scene from Plague Inc. that should not serve as a model for the spread of coronavirus. (credit: Ndemic Creations) Interest in the continued spread of the coronavirus has had an unintended side effect for UK-based Ndemic Creations, makers of Plague Inc. The 8-year-old game—which asks players to shepherd a worldwide pandemic the destroys all of humanity—has seen a spike in popularity in recent weeks, becoming the most-downloaded iPhone app in China on January 21 and in the United State on January 23, according to tracking firm App Annie. The surge in interest has led Ndemic to issue a statement urging players not to rely on the app for information on staying safe from the coronavirus' current spread. "Please remember that Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model and that the current coronavirus outbreak is a very real situation which is impacting a huge number of people," the statement reads, in part. "We would always recommend that players get their information directly from local and global health authorities." At the same time, Ndemic notes that Plague Inc. was "specifically designed... to be realistic and informative, while not sensationalising serious real-world issues." The company points to a 2013 CDC interview which highlights the online research that went into the game, as well as its use as "an educational tool—teachers and professors often get in touch to let me know how they used Plague Inc. to illustrate biological and economical concepts to their students."Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Kiernan Shipka stars in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, back with another macabre season on Netflix. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is back, delivering another bewitching brew of horror, magic, and the occasional high school hijinks. After a slightly uneven second season, season 3 is an expertly paced thrill ride, as Sabrina grapples with romantic entanglements, daddy issues, and an infernal challenge to her hellish birthright. In the process, Sabrina reveals that it is ultimately a show about power: specifically, who gets to have it, and the consequences of not wielding one's power responsibly. (Spoilers for first two seasons below; only minor spoilers for S3. But there is one major S3 spoiler below the embedded video; we'll give you a heads-up when we get there.) The series is based on the comic book series of the same name, part of the Archie Horror imprint, and it's much, much darker in tone than the original Sabrina the Teenaged Witch comics. Originally intended as a companion series to the CW's Riverdale—a gleefully Gothic take on the original Archie comic books—Sabrina ended up on Netflix instead. Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (who also worked on Riverdale) has cited classic Satanic horror films like Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist among his influences. As I wrote in 2018:Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Nearby Sharing in action. Google is working on a wireless local file sharing feature for Android along the same lines as Apple's Airdrop. While it isn't out yet, XDA's Mishaal Rahman got an early version of it up and running on a few devices, as it's currently dormant in versions of Google Play Services that are out in the wild. It works about how you would expect a Google version of Airdrop to work. The first user taps Android's Share menu and picks the new "Nearby Sharing" option. Other users in earshot of the feature get a notification pop-up saying that a file is waiting to be received, and then both the sender and receiver confirm they want to start the transfer. The setup happens over Bluetooth, and then the heavy lifting of the data transfer happens over Wi-Fi. There's some confusion as to what this feature will actually be called. XDA's version of Google Play Services calls the feature "Nearby Sharing," but other builds call it "Fast Share." Whatever it's called, being tied to Play Services means it should work on nearly all versions of Android, since Play Services is not dependent on the OS version and is distributed by Google through the Play Store.Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant used to build the Volt PHEV; soon, it will build BEV pickups. (credit: General Motors) On Monday morning, General Motors President Mark Reuss announced that GM will renovate its Detroit-Hamtramck facility in Michigan at the cost of $2.2 billion to become a factory just for battery electric vehicles. The factory will begin building a BEV pickup truck starting in late 2021 and will also produce the electric autonomous taxi pods to be used by Cruise. GM says it will also invest $800 million in supplier tooling and related startup costs for BEV production, and when the revamped factory is fully operational, it will create "more than 2,200 good-paying US manufacturing jobs." Additionally, in Ohio, GM's Lordstown factory will be the site of a joint venture with LG Chem—which is putting in $2.3 billion—that will churn out lithium-ion cells to power the Detroit-Hamtramck-built BEVs.Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Google logo seen during Google Developer Days (GDD) in Shanghai, China, September 2019. (credit: Lyu Liang | VCG | Getty Images) Officials from the Department of Justice will reportedly be meeting this week with representatives of a 50-state coalition of state attorneys general to discuss tag-teaming their efforts to determine if Google's parent company, Alphabet, is in violation of antitrust laws. At least seven of the state attorneys general, including Texas AG Ken Paxton, who is spearheading the state effort, are expected to attend. The Wall Street Journal, citing the ever-popular "people familiar with the matter," was the first to report on the meeting. The Department of Justice confirmed in July that it was launching an antitrust probe into "market-leading online platforms." Google confirmed in September that it is indeed among those platforms being investigated.Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A sign near the Fox Sports South Beach studio compound prior to Super Bowl LIV in Miami Beach, Florida. (credit: Getty Images | Cliff Hawkins) Verizon's 5G hype train is heading to the Super Bowl, but the carrier won't tell us whether its new network will cover all the seats in the stadium. With Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami scheduled for February 2, Verizon emailed a media alert to Ars and other news outlets on Wednesday last week, bragging that it will "power the first Super Bowl featuring 5G." Notably missing from the news alert was any indication of how many fans will be able to use the 5G network from their seats during the game. We asked Verizon if all the seats and other parts of the stadium will have 5G access and got a vague answer from the company spokesperson who sent out the media alert: "Fans can access 5G UWB [Ultra Wideband] in the bowl seating area, parts of the concourse, ticketing areas, and parking lot."Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Mars or the Moon? It’s a debate that has bedeviled NASA for decades. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images) On Friday evening, a US House of Representatives committee released H.R. 5666, an authorization act for NASA. Such bills are not required for an agency to function, and they do not directly provide funding—that comes from the appropriations committees in the House and Senate. Authorization bills provide a "sense" of Congress, however and indicate what legislators will be willing to fund in the coming years. The big-picture takeaway from the bipartisan legislation is that it rejects the Artemis Program put forth by the Trump White House, which established the Moon as a cornerstone of human exploration for the next decade or two and as a place for NASA astronauts to learn the skills needed to expand toward Mars in the late 2030s and 2040s. Instead, the House advocates for a "flags-and-footprints" strategy whereby astronauts make a few short visits to the Moon beginning in 2028 and then depart for a Mars orbit mission by 2033. Space policy Whatever one might think about NASA's Artemis Program to land humans on the Moon by 2024, it attempted to learn from decades of space policy failure. Artemis set a near-term target, 2024, for a human return to the Moon that provided some urgency for NASA to get moving. It also sought to develop a "sustainable" path with meaningful activities on the surface of the Moon, including polar landings, efforts to tap lunar resources (the House bill specifically prohibits this), and establishment of a base.Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Starlink-3 mission on the pad, ready for launch. (credit: SpaceX) 9:30am ET Monday Update: SpaceX scrubbed Monday's launch attempt due to strong upper level winds. The company will now target a back-up launch opportunity on 9:28am ET (14:28 UTC) Tuesday, when weather conditions are expected to be more favorable. Original post: Weather-permitting, SpaceX will attempt to launch its third batch of operational Starlink satellites on Monday morning. Liftoff is scheduled for 9:49am ET (14:49 UTC) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. However, weather is a legitimate concern. The forecast calls for a 50-percent chance of acceptable conditions at the surface, and there are also concerns about strong upper-level winds that may also preclude a launch. Weather conditions appear to be more favorable for a back-up launch attempt on Tuesday morning.Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS didn't work out so well, because the Wi-Fi adapter didn't have an in-kernel driver. But the latest interim release—October 2019's Eoan Ermine—worked swimmingly. [credit: Jim Salter ] Last month, Ars Associate Reviewer Valentina Palladino treated us to a thorough hands-on review of HP's ultra-sleek, ultra-chic Dragonfly Elite G1. Shortly afterward at CES, HP announced a second-generation Dragonfly Elite, the G2, with Ice Lake CPU, optional LTE modem, and more. We haven't had a chance to get our hands on the G2 yet—but while we wait, we wanted to evaluate the Elite G1 not only with the OEM Windows it ships with, but with a fresh Linux installation. We can't evaluate a laptop with every possible Linux distribution, but in the case of noteworthy designs like the Dragonfly Elite, we want to at least see if one of the more popular distros installs cleanly, detects all the hardware, and is a good daily driver. Our first try was Ubuntu 18.04.3, "Bionic Badger," the most recent Long Term Support release of Ubuntu. For the most part, the installation went well—the keyboard and touchpad were responsive, the screen looked fine, and so forth—but unfortunately, the Intel Wi-Fi chipset used in the Dragonfly Elite is new enough that 18.04.3 doesn't have an in-kernel driver. If you're a hardcore Linux type, that might not be enough to stop you—you have many possible options, such as installing a backported newer version of the Linux kernel—but we wanted to see if we could get a "just works" experience rather than a "percussive maintenance required" experience, so we regretfully shelved Ubuntu 18.04.3 and went to the newest interim Ubuntu release—October 2019's 19.10 "Eoan Ermine." Again, the actual installation went fine—but this time, we have Wi-Fi as well without touching a thing. Success!Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / What might have happened to Nintendo's iconic logo had executives such as Reggie Fils-Aimé not stepped in? (credit: Aurich Lawson) Reggie FIls-Aimé, Nintendo of America's popular former president, has begun making the rounds in interviews following his April 2019 retirement. And while he's still speaking fondly of his former gaming employer, his post-retirement position appears to be letting him spill more beans about his 15 years of leadership. This month, that includes a reveal of how he "put a stop" to at least one major change to the company: its logo. Present Value, a podcast about business leadership recorded by Cornell University graduate students, interviewed Fils-Aimé on December 28 of last year. That episode was resurfaced by gaming video channel GameXplain on Sunday due to the executive's comment on the iconic, "racetrack" Nintendo logo, which has remained consistent since the company's rise as an arcade and console game producer in the 1970s. The below comment from Fils-Aimé is transcribed from the December 28 episode:Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The early 2000s were a much different visual time, but trust me—Warcraft III was a banger that has cast a bit of an industry legacy. Few game worlds have made a mark as big as that of Warcraft. It has birthed three best-selling strategy games, a blockbuster Hollywood movie, a bunch of novels and comics, a mega-popular (digital) collectible card game (Hearthstone), and an epic, genre-defining MMO that, 15 years on from launch, is soon to get its eighth expansion. And while most of its cultural impact and fame (and infamy) stems from that MMO, World of Warcraft, there's something to be said for the quiet legacy of Blizzard's 2002 real-time strategy game Warcraft III. Despite a long and troubled development—a development that included a name change and major shift in direction along the way—Warcraft III cemented the world of Azeroth in gaming culture. It paved the way for WoW's success, kicked off the trend of bringing RPG elements into non-RPG genres, triggered a revival in tower defense games, and spawned the uber-popular MOBA genre, which was invented out of its modding tools. (Warcraft III also happened to be a great game, too.) With Blizzard's official remaster of the game, Warcraft III: Reforged, out tomorrow, it's high time to take a look back at Warcraft III's history. I spoke to eight of the roughly three dozen core development staff from the original Warcraft III team about how it was made and how it helped shape the future (which is now the present) of the games industry. This is a compressed retelling of their many stories and anecdotes.Read 67 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 2 days ago on ars technica
Trailer for The Wave. An ethically challenged insurance lawyer finds himself on a bad hallucinogenic trip that makes him question the nature of his reality, in first-time Director Gille Klabin's psychedelic sci-fi thriller, The Wave. (Some spoilers below.) Frank (Justin Long, Galaxy Quest, New Girl) is a lawyer for an insurance company who finds an error in a life insurance claim form for a deceased firefighter that will allow his firm to deny the claim outright. The company will save $4 million, which would put Frank on the fast-track for a promotion. And he seems untroubled by any hardship this denial of claim will cause the fireman's widow and children. His co-worker Jeff (Donald Faison, Scrubs, Ray Donovan) talks him into a night on the town to celebrate ("It's Tuesday, Booze Day!"). And that's where things start to go horribly wrong for Frank.Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 2 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: NOAA) The United States is rich enough, industrialized enough, and far enough from the tropics that the rising temperatures of our changing climate aren't going to make any place uninhabitable. But a side effect of those rising temperatures—rising oceans—most certainly will. Already, an ever-growing list of places are facing what's called "nuisance flooding," in which even a high tide can leave streets underwater. Major storms just make matters worse. And, by the end of this century, the expected rise of the oceans may be over five times what we saw last century. As a result of this, many areas of the country will simply become uninhabitable, lost to the sea. Well over a third of the United States' population lives in counties that are currently on the coast, and over 10 million currently live on land that will be lost to a sea-level rise of 1.8 meters. They'll have to go somewhere—and people who might otherwise move to the coast will have to find some place else to relocate. All of which will change the dynamics of the typical relocation of people within the US. A new study released in PLOS ONE tries to estimate what that will mean for the rest of the country. Their results suggest that coastal regions will be far from the only ones affected by sea-level rise. A huge number of counties far from the coast—some deep in the US interior—will see dramatic changes in the number of people relocating there.Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 2 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty) Last fall, a prolific photographer who asked not to be named noticed a sharp, unexplained drop-off in earnings on his Patreon page, where fans shell out cash for tiered subscriptions to his photos of well-lit nude models. Then, in December, he received an anonymous email with a link to a website called Yiff.Party. When he clicked, he balked. Thousands of his photos were laid out on the open web for free. For five years, the libidinous pirates of Yiff.Party have siphoned masses of paywalled Patreon porn off of the platform and shared it for free. Two years ago, Patreon was determined to shut them down. Instead, the platform has effectively given up, despite desperate protests from affected creators. Yiff.Party doesn’t look like much: a basic, blocky, white and lavender website with a changelog documenting the latest free art dumps and their respective creators. There might be eight new posts an hour, as well as calls for patrons to help fill out incomplete collections. A lot of it is furry porn—“yiff” is a term in the furry community referencing sexual activity—but Yiff.Party hosts anything that falls under the category of “lewds.” That includes smutty cosplays, vanilla softcore, hentai comics, 3-D sci-fi sex stills, plus whatever Patreon-hosted artstuff pirates dump there. (Patreon’s guidelines on adult content prohibit “real people engaging in sexual acts such as masturbation or sexual intercourse on camera.”)Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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