posted about 9 hours ago on ars technica
The line of the dash as it rises and falls over the main instrument display is classic 911. But the execution is ultramodern minimalism. [credit: Porsche ] I know, the slow drip of news from Porsche about its forthcoming Taycan electric car is starting to grate. "Just show us the damn car," you're probably thinking. I am, but I don't set the embargoes, and so here we are again. I've just got back from a long day's briefings about the new electric car, but I still can't tell you most of what I learned yet. However, today the company has allowed us to share these images of the interior. It's unmistakably a Porsche to look at; the original 911 was a heavy influence for both the driving position and also the shape of the dashboard. But it's also unmistakably futuristic—the main instrument panel is a single, slightly curved 16.8-inch display. Not only is it the biggest screen I've seen used like this in a production car, it sits naked, without a cowl to shade it from bright sunlight. To combat glare, the screen is coated with a polarized layer, and it is angled slightly off-vertical to minimize reflections. The Taycan's design team has created a radically simple new look for the main instrument panel. The "Classic" mode—seen in these studio shots—is a minimalist take on the traditional horizontal cluster of round dials and gauges. You can replace the center dial with a moving map—also minimalist white-on-black, and oh so tasteful, or go the whole hog and make the entire main display the map. And there's a Pure mode which just gives you your speed, cutting out all the other distractions like you were able to do with a Saab. Around left and right edges of the main instrument display are icons for functions like the headlights, ride height, and so on. (These are also the buttons to control them, but this is not a touchscreen, and those icons never move.) Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 11 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Timothy Brown / Flickr) In an attempt to quell a controversy that has raised the ire of white-hat hackers, the maker of the Steam online game platform said on Thursday it made a mistake when it turned away a researcher who recently reported two separate vulnerabilities. In its statement, Valve Corporation references HackerOne, the reporting service that helps thousands of companies receive and respond to vulnerabilities in their software or hardware. The company also writes: We are also aware that the researcher who discovered the bugs was incorrectly turned away through our HackerOne bug bounty program, where his report was classified as out of scope. This was a mistake. Our HackerOne program rules were intended only to exclude reports of Steam being instructed to launch previously installed malware on a user’s machine as that local user. Instead, misinterpretation of the rules also led to the exclusion of a more serious attack that also performed local privilege escalation through Steam. We have updated our HackerOne program rules to explicitly state that these issues are in scope and should be reported. In the past two years, we have collaborated with and rewarded 263 security researchers in the community helping us identify and correct roughly 500 security issues, paying out over $675,000 in bounties. We look forward to continuing to work with the security community to improve the security of our products through the HackerOne program. In regards to the specific researchers, we are reviewing the details of each situation to determine the appropriate actions. We aren’t going to discuss the details of each situation or the status of their accounts at this time. Valve’s new HackerOne program rules specifically provide that “any case that allows malware or compromised software to perform a privilege escalation through Steam, without providing administrative credentials or confirming a UAC dialog, is in scope. Any unauthorized modification of the privileged Steam Client Service is also in scope.” Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 12 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Ryugu's rubble-pile surface, taken by MASCOT shortly before it hit and started bouncing. (credit: JAXA) For the last few months, Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft has been engaged in various acts of interplanetary aggression, shooting the asteroid Ryugu in order to blast free material for a return to Earth. But Hayabusa2's visit has also featured various less violent activities, as its imaging and characterization of Ryugu has given us a new picture of the body, which is thought to act as a time capsule for material that formed at the earliest stages of our Solar System. As part of these studies, Hayabusa2 dropped off a French-German robot that was meant to hop across the asteroid's surface in order to sample some of its rocks. Despite landing upside-down, the robot eventually hopped into the right orientation, and a paper describing what it found was published in Thursday's edition of Science. Hopping, but not like a bunny If you're like me, then the image of a small robot hopping across the surface of an asteroid brought something adorable and possibly anthropomorphic to mind. You may get rid of those images immediately. MASCOT, the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, is a rectangular box. Its ability to hop is provided by an internal weighted device. By rapidly rotating this weight, the robot could generate enough velocity to overcome Ryugu's tiny gravitational field and launch the box to new locations. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 12 hours ago on ars technica
On Thursday morning, the final Delta IV Medium rocket launched from Florida. [credit: United Launch Alliance ] On Thursday morning, United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Medium rocket took flight for the final time. Beneath clear blue skies at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch site in Florida, the rocket carried the GPS III satellite safely into orbit. This is the second of the Air Force's next-generation global positioning system satellites to reach space. As usual, the single-core Delta IV rocket performed its job well. Since 2002, this rocket (which can fly with or without small, side-mounted solid rocket boosters) has flown 29 missions. All have been successful. But the venerable Delta rocket will fly no more. Put simply, in today's marketplace—in which United Launch Alliance must compete with SpaceX for national security launches and with many other providers for commercial missions—the Delta-IV Medium cannot compete. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 13 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / LOS ANGELES, Calif. - APRIL 14, 2015: Kathleen Miller, 46, right, with her children at a rally of parents and teachers who oppose efforts to end the personal-belief exemption on vaccinations. (credit: Getty / Irfan Khan) The Sacramento Police Department on Wednesday cited a prominent anti-vaccine advocate on suspicion of assault after he shoved state Sen. Richard Pan from behind while livestreaming the interaction on Facebook, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times. Along with the streamed Facebook video (which you can watch here), advocate Kenneth Austin Bennett wrote: “... yes, I pushed Richard Pan for lying, laughing at us, and for treason.” He added in the video that if Pan “got what he deserved, he would be hanged for treason for assaulting children, for misrepresenting the truth.” Bennett had previously accused Pan of treason in a recall petition he filed against Pan earlier this year. In the petition, Bennett cited Pan’s legislation aimed at tightening rules for vaccination exemptions in California. Bennett had also previously challenged Pan in the 2018 primary but did not qualify for the general election. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 13 hours ago on ars technica
This is the new Mac Pro. [credit: Samuel Axon ] Apple has already had a busy year with the launch of the Apple Card and the reveal of the above-pictured Mac Pro, but it's about to get much, much busier. A new report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu—who have reported reliably on Apple's plans in the past—details numerous upcoming product announcements from Apple. Citing people familiar with the situation, the report mentions three iPhones, a MacBook Pro, an Apple Watch, iPad Pros, an entry-level iPad, a higher-end iteration of AirPods, and a more affordable alternative to HomePod. And those are just the as-yet-unannounced products: Apple has already stated its intentions to release a new Mac Pro, an ultra-high-end display for creative professionals, the Apple TV+ streaming service, the Apple Arcade games subscription service, and new versions of its iOS and iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS software—all before the end of the year. Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 14 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Bonilla1879) A new broadband mapping system is starting to show just how inaccurate the Federal Communications Commission's connectivity data is. In Missouri and Virginia, up to 38 percent of rural homes and businesses that the FCC counts as having broadband access actually do not, the new research found. That's more than 445,000 unconnected homes and businesses that the FCC would call "served" with its current system. Given that the new research covered just two states with a combined population of 14.6 million (or 4.5% of the 327.2 million people nationwide), it's likely that millions of homes nationwide have been wrongly counted as served by broadband. A full accounting of how the current data exaggerates access could further undercut FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's claims that repealing net neutrality rules and other consumer protection measures have dramatically expanded broadband access. His claims were already unconvincing for other reasons. Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 15 hours ago on ars technica
Now there's a sight you don't see very often. [credit: Jonathan Gitlin ] CARMEL, Calif.—Quick question: what's the greatest car of all time? If, like me, you got into cars in the 1990s, that's an easy one to answer—it's the McLaren F1, of course. By the late 1980s, the McLaren Formula 1 team had won almost everything there was to win, and its head designer Gordon Murray was getting bored. To keep him on the payroll and entertained, McLaren approved his plan to build a road car without compromise. It would have three seats, with the driver in the middle. There would be a naturally aspirated V12, a six-speed manual transmission, and no driver aids at all. Along the way, Murray and co. created a car that managed to be leagues faster than anything that came before it, and almost everything that has come since. It even proved to be a pretty good racing car, winning Le Mans on its debut in 1995. So you can imagine the size of my grin when I discovered not one but four McLaren F1s were basking in the sun at this year's Quail Motorsports Gathering, which took place last Friday as part of Monterey Car Week. As you'll see from the photos above, I even ran into Murray himself. And as you'll note from the photos immediately below this text, the F1s weren't the only megastars of the mid-90s in attendance. There were also four Bugatti EB110s, a car that were it not for the McLaren would have worn the supercar crown throughout the decade. The EB110 also featured a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, a V12 engine, and a six-speed gearbox, but the V12 was a 3.5L affair with four turbochargers, and the transmission sent power to all four wheels. It's a car that modern Bugatti has shied away from in the past, but as you'll see that's beginning to change. Did I mention there were a ton of photos in this post? You should definitely scroll through all of them because that's where I've hidden the story. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 16 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A person exhales vapor while using an electronic cigarette device in San Francisco, California on Monday, June 24, 2019. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg) Cases of severe lung disease linked to vaping rose from 94 to 153—a jump of over 60%—in just five days, according to an update by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Saturday, August 17, the CDC announced its investigation into the cases, which have puzzled health officials. The cases tend to involve gradual breathing difficulties, coughing, fatigue, chest pain, and weight loss, which leads to hospitalization (no one had died from the condition). Health officials say there’s no evidence pointing to an infectious agent behind the illnesses. The only commonality appears to be recent use of e-cigarettes, aka vaping. As of the August 17, the agency had counted 94 probable cases from 14 states between June 28 and August 15. In an update released late Wednesday, August 21, the CDC said the figures are up to 153 probable cases between June 28 and August 20, spanning 16 states. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 16 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A nearby source of quantum photons. (credit: NOAA) Up until the mid-20th century, light was pretty ordinary. Yes, it was both a particle and a wave, but it didn’t do anything very weird. Then scientists, under-employed after the end of World War II, started paying more attention to the properties of light. This was, in part, driven by the availability of surplus searchlights, which could be turned into cheap arrays of light detectors to measure the properties of stars. That began the photon gold rush, with scientists identifying all sorts of interesting potential behaviors. But actually observing them would require having rather special light sources, which didn’t exist. Now, scientists have shown that our own Sun can be turned into one of these light sources. A herd of identical photons When two photons are indistinguishable, they can be made to play some unexpected tricks. The diagram below shows an example: two identical photons hit a partially reflective mirror at the same time. We cannot predict where they will go, but wherever it is, they go together. If the world was classical, we would expect that each behaves independently, and half the time, they would choose different directions. But we're in a quantum world, so this doesn't happen. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 16 hours ago on ars technica
The new Android logo, complete with a tweaked robot design. [credit: Google ] We usually get a fun codename to go along with each big new Android release. The names are based on sugary snacks that started with the letter C in Android 1.5 and have been working their way down the alphabet. Over the history of Android, we've had 1.5 Cupcake, 1.6 Donut, 2.0 Eclair, 2.2 Froyo, 2.3 Gingerbread, 3.0 Honeycomb, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.1 Jelly Bean, 4.4 KitKat, 5.0 Lollipop, 6.0 Marshmallow, 7.0 Nougat, 8.0 Oreo, and Android 9 Pie (this last one dropped the decimal point!). Usually these names are a big deal. There are jokes and guesses made about them all year, Google often commissions a statue, and sometimes there are media events and huge cross-company, brand-sharing initiatives with companies like Nestle or Nabisco. This year's Android Q is one of the harder letters to come up with a snack codename for, so today Google has announced it's not going to do snack names anymore. Android is getting a branding rework, and in addition to new logos and colors, the snack-based codenames are dead. Android Q is official as "Android 10" and just Android 10, with no extra names whatsoever. Google says the codename system was fun, but it wasn't "always understood by everyone in the global community:" For example, L and R are not distinguishable when spoken in some languages. So when some people heard us say Android Lollipop out loud, it wasn’t intuitively clear that it referred to the version after KitKat. It’s even harder for new Android users, who are unfamiliar with the naming convention, to understand if their phone is running the latest version. We also know that pies are not a dessert in some places, and that marshmallows, while delicious, are not a popular treat in many parts of the world. As a brand, Android is getting new logos and colors. The Android robot is actually part of the logo now, sitting next to or above the newly tweaked wordmark. The robot's green color has been changed significantly, too, moving from a neon green to a more seafoam color. While there is no official word on what will happen to the Android version statues that decorate the Android HQ lawn, Android Police reports the company has commissioned a big number "10" this year. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 16 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / There's also a featureless, very Apple-like physical card that you can order. (credit: Apple) Apple's shiny new credit credit card boasts many features, such as clear statements, a cash-back program, and an extremely Apple aesthetic. The flat, white titanium design echoes a decade's worth of other Apple products, including the iPhone and MacBook. But while the card is compatible with Apple's virtual wallet, it is apparently not compatible with your actual wallet. The Apple Card became available to all US consumers who own compatible iPhones earlier this week. It's primarily intended to be a virtual card running inside the Wallet app, but it is also a fully fledged MasterCard, backed by Goldman Sachs, and cardholders can request a physical card to accompany their virtual one. The digital-first nature of the card becomes clear in the company's support guide for the physical card, which includes handling, care, and cleaning advice that unfortunately runs contrary to the way pretty much everyone uses or stores their credit card. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 19 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Physicists at the BESSY-II synchrotron radiation facility in Germany used multiple methods to reveal hidden text in supposedly blank patches on ancient papyri from Elephantine Island in Egypt. (credit: Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin) A team of German scientists has used a combination of cutting-edge physics techniques to virtually "unfold" an ancient Egyptian papyrus, part of an extensive collection housed in the Berlin Egyptian Museum. Their analysis revealed that a seemingly blank patch on the papyrus actually contained characters written in what had become "invisible ink" after centuries of exposure to light. Most of the papyri in the collection were excavated around 1906 by an archaeologist named Otto Rubensohn, on Elephantine Island, near the city of Aswan. They've been gathering dust in storage for much of the ensuing decades, and because they are so fragile, more than 80% of the text within remains undeciphered. “Today, much of this papyrus has aged considerably, so the valuable texts can easily crumble if we try to unfold or unroll them,” said co-author Heinz-Eberhard Mahnke of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin. That makes noninvasive imaging methods essential to the project. In 2016, an international team of scientists developed a method for "virtually unrolling" a badly damaged ancient scroll found on the western shore of the Dead Sea, revealing the first few verses from the book of Leviticus. The so-called En Gedi scroll was recovered from the ark of an ancient synagogue destroyed by fire around 600 CE. To the naked eye, it resembled a small lump of charcoal, so fragile that there was no safe way to analyze the contents. The team's approach combined digital scanning with micro-computed tomography—a noninvasive technique often used for cancer imaging—with segmentation to digitally create pages, augmented with texturing and flattening techniques. Then they developed software (Volume Cartography) to virtually unroll the scroll. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 19 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Photo Illustration by Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) Welcome to Ars Gaming Week 2019! As a staff full of gamers and game-lovers, we'll be serving up extra reviews, guides, interviews, and other stories all about gaming from August 19 to August 23. While it's exciting (and a bit overwhelming) to think about all the new games we want to play, it's fun to occasionally walk down memory lane and remember the first games we ever played. For the Ars staff, our lists of nostalgic games are exhaustive, but a few titles still stand out as the true gateways to the years of gaming that followed. These might not be the very first games we played, or even the games we played the most during our youth, but they do hold a special place in our hearts for sparking something inside of us that made us continue to seek out games to feed our needs for action, adventure, strategy, escape, and more. Read 36 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 20 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / It's never a bad time to bust out your wheel—here's the T-GT wheel. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin) Welcome to Ars Gaming Week 2019! As a staff full of gamers and game-lovers, we'll be serving up extra reviews, guides, interviews, and other stories all about gaming from August 19 to August 23. Have your gaming tastes changed as you age? Mine have. Back in the early days, before starting an accidental love affair with the car, I'd play anything. In fact, I don't even remember my first racing game, although Outrun is probably a safe guess considering my age and where I grew up. But as I've gotten older and time for gaming has become scarce, that's all gone, and I exist on a diet that's almost exclusively racing. Console racing at that. Blame fear of having to learn something new if you like. So when I was asked to write something for Ars Gaming Week, it seemed like a good opportunity to make a list—in this case, the ten best console racing games of all time. There is no scientific method behind my ranking. We did not assemble a crack panel of industry experts to stank-rank the field. I don't have celebrity anecdotes. And if a particular game was on a platform I never had, it won't be on the list, either. Read 31 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 21 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The "Great White" bot from King of Bots. On Monday, several YouTube users had their videos removed from the service due to YouTube's restrictions on animal fight footage. This was confusing, because the videos in question showed no animals fighting; instead, they showed robots battling. Robot combat has been around ever since Marc Thorpe launched the inaugural Robot Wars in San Francisco back in 1994. It has become popular around the world through shows like BattleBots in the US, Robot Wars in the UK, and the more recent King of Bots in China. The big televised events usually showcase heavy (200lb/80kg+) bots, but those competitions are infrequent, so smaller weight classes have become popular. These classes require less money and less arena space, and some of the more popular events feature small bots in the "insect weight" classes (150 grams for Ant [UK]/Flea [US]), 1 pound for Ant [US], and 3 pounds for Beetle). Naturally, builders like to record and share videos of these robotic tussles. Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Samples of donated blood in Vacutainer test tubes with yellow tops. (credit: Getty | Universal Images Group) If death is in the cards, it may also be in your blood. Measurements of 14 metabolic substances in blood were pretty good at predicting whether people were likely to die in the next five to 10 years. The data was published this week in Nature Communications. A team of researchers led by data scientists in the Netherlands came up with the fateful 14 based on data from 44,168 people, aged 18 to 109. The data included death records and measurements of 226 different substances in blood. Of the 44,168 people, 5,512 died during follow-up periods of nearly 17 years. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / They did. (credit: Hemera Technologies/Getty Images) Few details have emerged about the coordinated ransomware attack that struck 22 local governments in Texas last week. But five local governments affected by the attack have been identified. On August 20, the Texas Department of Information Resources revised its initial report that 23 "entities" had been affected by the ransomware attack, reducing that count by 1. And a Texas DIR spokesperson said in a statement that about a quarter of the local governments affected have been able to at least partially restore normal operations. That includes Lubbock County, which apparently escaped major disruptions. Lubbock County judge Curtis Parrish told Magic 106.5 Radio that the county's IT department "was right on top of it… they were able to get that virus isolated, contained and dealt with in a very quick manner so it did not affect any other computers or computer systems here in Lubbock County." Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Thomas Jackson) Major browser makers are blocking the use of a root certificate that Kazakhstan's government has used to intercept Internet traffic. Mozilla and Google issued a joint announcement today saying that "the companies deployed technical solutions within Firefox and Chrome to block the Kazakhstan government's ability to intercept Internet traffic within the country." Each company is deploying "a technical solution unique to its browser," they said. Apple told Ars that it is also blocking the ability to use the certificate to intercept Internet traffic. Read 23 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Under a NASA contract, Sierra Nevada has built a prototype habitat module for the Lunar Gateway. [credit: Sierra Nevada Corp. ] On Wednesday, Sierra Nevada Corporation—the company that makes aerospace equipment, not beer—showed off its proposed in-space habitat for the first time. The inflatable habitat is, first and foremost, large. It measures more than 8 meters long, and with a diameter of 8 meters has an internal volume of 300 cubic meters, which is about one-third the size of the International Space Station. Sierra Nevada developed this full-scale prototype under a NASA program that funded several companies to develop habitats that could be used for a space station in orbit around the Moon, as well as potentially serving as living quarters for a long-duration transit to and from Mars. As part of the program, NASA astronauts have, or will, spend three days living in and evaluating the prototypes built by Sierra Nevada, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Bigelow Aerospace. The selling point for Sierra Nevada's habitat is its size, which is possible because the multi-layered fabric material can be compressed for launch, then expanded and outfitted as a habitat once in space. It can fit within a standard payload fairing used for launch vehicles such as SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, United Launch Alliance's Vulcan booster, or NASA's Space Launch System. It is light enough for any of those rockets to launch to the Moon. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Samara Weaving delivers a standout performance in the new horror comedy Ready or Not. (credit: Fox Searchlight) An unsuspecting bride finds herself fighting for her life on her wedding night in Ready or Not, a wickedly funny, blood-soaked thriller that made its world premiere last month at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Toronto. I was on board in principle the moment the first trailer dropped in June, but good trailers don't always indicate a good film. Fortunately, Ready or Not lives up to its trailer. (Some spoilers below.) Grace (Samara Weaving, Picnic at Hanging Rock) can't believe her good fortune when she falls in love with Alex Le Domas (Mark O'Brien, Halt and Catch Fire), a member of a wealthy gaming dynasty—although the family prefers the term "dominion." After a picture-perfect wedding on the family estate, Alex informs Grace that there's just one more formality to be observed: "At midnight, you have to play a game. It's just something we do when someone joins the family." The new family member must draw a card from a mysterious box to learn which game they will be playing. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Another Model 3 angle. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin) Elon Musk admitted Tuesday that Tesla is delaying a planned $1,000 price increase for its full self-driving package. The move comes after Tesla failed to release "smart summon" technology for parking lot navigation in mid-August, as Musk predicted Tesla would do in a July tweet. Musk now says that he expects smart summon to be released in "about 4 to 8 weeks." But there's ample reason to doubt this new timeline. "Tesla advanced Summon ready in ~6 weeks," Musk tweeted back on November 1, 2018. "Car will drive to your phone location & follow you like a pet if you hold down summon button on Tesla app," Musk promised. "Also, you’ll be able to drive it from your phone remotely like a big RC car if in line of sight." Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Your local police might like to interest you in this product. (credit: Amazon) Amazon's Ring line of consumer home surveillance products enjoys an extensive partnership with local police departments all over the country. Cops receive free product, extensive coaching, and pre-approved marketing lines, and Amazon gets access to your 911 data and gets to spread its network of security cameras all over the nation. According to a trio of new reports, though, the benefits to police go even further than was previously known—as long as they don't use the word "surveillance," that is. Gizmodo on Monday published an email exchange between the chief of police in one New Jersey town and Ring showing that Ring edited out certain key terms of a draft press release before the town published it, as the company frequently does. The town of Ewing, New Jersey, in March said it would be using Ring's Neighbors app. Neighbors does not require a Ring device to use; consumers who don't have footage to share can still view certain categories of crime reports in their area and contribute reports of their own, sort of like a Nextdoor on steroids. Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
An example of a Half-Truth card. There are three right answers, but you can make progress even if you pick only one. "I think most people's experience playing trivia is just feeling dumb, and that's no way to spend an evening." That sentence probably doesn't describe Ken Jennings, who holds the record for the longest winning streak on TV quiz show Jeopardy after a 74-game winning streak (though he still lost to IBM's Watson in 2011). But Jennings, who actually shared the quote above in a recent interview with Ars, is smart enough to recognize that most people don't find the same joy in "pure" trivia tests that he does. "If trivia is just knowledge retrieval, it's only fun if you get it right," Jennings told Ars. "It shouldn't just be middle-aged dads trading baseball statistics... It can involve deduction and lateral thinking, different kinds of cognition other than, 'Do I remember this thing my 9th grade teacher taught me.' One is fun, the other is fun only to a very, very small group of people." Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino) Greetings, Arsians! The Dealmaster is back with new deals to share today. Topping our list this afternoon are discounted Amazon Fire TV streaming sticks: now you can get the regular Fire TV Stick for $29.99 or the Fire TV Stick 4K for $39.99. Both devices come with an Alexa remote as well. Fire TV sticks are solid streaming devices for those who want something small and portable, and for those who don't want to spend a ton on a set-top box or a smart TV. We particularly like the Fire TV Stick 4K for its faster, quad-core processor and its support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Atmos audio. Fire TV has had its challenges—starting with a software UI that may take some getting used to if you're not familiar with it already. And perhaps most notably, Amazon's ongoing feud with Google meant that YouTube wasn't available on Fire TV devices for a long time. However, those two companies finally settled their feud earlier this year, and now all Fire TV device owners can watch YouTube via the official YouTube app. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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