posted about 8 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Reisa Lancaster RN, left, administers the Covid-19 vaccine to 14 month old Ada Hedge, center, being comforted by mom Sarah Close and dad Chinmay Hedge, right at Children's National Research and Innovation Campus, in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty | The Washington Post, Bill O'Leary) The Food and Drug Administration has greenlit updated COVID-19 vaccine doses for children under the age of 5, but the change to the authorized vaccination regimens is far from straightforward. This may further hamstring efforts to vaccinate the youngest Americans, which are already off to an abysmal start. After months of availability, only about 3 percent of infants and toddlers 6 months to 2 years old have completed a primary series. Just 6.5 percent have gotten at least one shot, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For those aged 2 to 4 years, just under 5 percent have completed a primary series, with 9 percent having gotten at least one dose. It was back in June when the FDA authorized—and the CDC endorsed—small doses of both Moderna's and Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months old.Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 10 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto / Contributor | NurPhoto) Today is apparently the day when Twitter Blue is coming back. Reuters reported that subscriptions would be available sometime Friday for purchase in the Apple App Store for $11 and on the web for $7. This was confirmed in an email sent to advertisers Thursday, which Reuters reviewed, announcing some new Twitter Blue security features and advertiser controls. The email informed advertisers that individuals would be able to purchase blue checkmarks, while verified businesses would be distinguished by gold checks and government accounts by gray checks. The purpose of the email was partly to reassure advertisers that the Twitter Blue impersonation scandal is actually over and partly to announce new controls allowing advertisers to prevent branded ads from appearing “above or below tweets containing certain keywords,” Reuters reported.Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 11 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Please don't do this. (credit: Getty Images) Passkeys are here to (try to) kill the password. Following Google's beta rollout of the feature in October, passkeys are now hitting Chrome stable M108. "Passkey" is built on industry standards and backed by all the big platform vendors—Google, Apple, Microsoft—along with the FIDO Alliance. Google's latest blog says: "With the latest version of Chrome, we're enabling passkeys on Windows 11, macOS, and Android." The Google Password Manager on Android is ready to sync all your passkeys to the cloud, and if you can meet all the hardware requirements and find a supporting service, you can now sign-in to something with a passkey. Passkeys are the next step in evolution of password managers. Today password managers are a bit of a hack—the password text box was originally meant for a human to manually type text into, and you were expected to remember your password. Then, password managers started automating that typing and memorization, making it convenient to use longer, more secure passwords. Today, the right way to deal with a password field is to have your password manager generate a string of random, unmemorable junk characters to stick in the password field. The passkey gets rid of that legacy text box interface and instead stores a secret, passes that secret to a website, and if it matches, you're logged in. Instead of passing a randomly generated string of text, passkeys use the "WebAuthn" standard to generate a public-private keypair, just like SSH. The passkey process works a lot like autofill. (credit: Ron Amadeo) If everyone can figure out the compatibility issues, passkeys offer some big advantages over passwords. While passwords can be used insecurely with short text strings shared across many sites, a passkey is always enforced to be unique in content and secure in length. If a server breach happens, the hacker isn't getting your private key, and it's not a security issue the way a leaked password would be. Passkeys are not phishable, and because they require your phone to be physically present (!!) some random hacker from halfway around the world can't log in to your account anyway.Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 12 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / This is John. He doesn't exist. But AI can easily put a photo of him in any situation we want. And the same process can apply to real people with just a few real photos pulled from social media. (credit: Benj Edwards / Ars Technica) If you're one of the billions of people who have posted pictures of themselves on social media over the past decade, it may be time to rethink that behavior. New AI image-generation technology allows anyone to save a handful of photos (or video frames) of you, then train AI to create realistic fake photos that show you doing embarrassing or illegal things. Not everyone may be at risk, but everyone should know about it. Photographs have always been subject to falsifications—first in darkrooms with scissors and paste and then via Adobe Photoshop through pixels. But it took a great deal of skill to pull off convincingly. Today, creating convincing photorealistic fakes has become almost trivial. Once an AI model learns how to render someone, their image becomes a software plaything. The AI can create images of them in infinite quantities. And the AI model can be shared, allowing other people to create images of that person as well.Read 30 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 12 hours ago on ars technica
Schoolhouse Rock! (credit: Kari Rene Hall/Getty Images) Ars readers of a certain age grew up in the 1970s and 1980s watching Saturday morning cartoons and singing along to Schoolhouse Rock!, a series of whimsical animated shorts setting the multiplication tables, grammar, American history, and science to music. We were saddened to learn that George Newall, the last surviving member of the original team that produced this hugely influential series, has died at 88. The cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest, according to The New York Times. The series turns 50 (!) next year. Newall was a creative director at McCaffrey and McCall advertising agency in the early 1970s. One day, agency President David McCall bemoaned the fact that his young sons couldn't multiply, yet somehow they remembered all the lyrics to hit songs by the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. He asked Newall if it was possible to set the multiplication tables to music. Newall happened to know a musician named Ben Tucker who played bass at a venue Newall frequented and mentioned the challenge to him. Tucker said his friend Bob Dorough could "put anything to music"—in fact, he'd once written a song about the mattress tag admonishing new owners not to remove it under penalty of law. Two weeks later, Dorough presented Newall with "Three is a Magic Number," the song featured in the pilot episode of Schoolhouse Rock! Everyone at the agency loved the tune, including art director and cartoonist Tom Yohe, who made a few doodles to accompany the song. That one song—meant to be part of an educational record album—turned into a series of short three-minute videos. (Today we'd just put them on YouTube, and you can indeed find most of the classic fan favorites there.) They pitched the series to ABC's director of children's programming, Michael Eisner (future Disney chairman and CEO). Warner Bros. animator Chuck Jones was also in the meeting and was so impressed he advised Eisner to buy the series in the room.Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 12 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: System76) Prebuilt mechanical keyboards often neglect Linux support. Users frequently report success in getting a mechanical keyboard's basic functions to work, but many of these peripherals don't accommodate software for controlling advanced features, like macros, with Linux. Since last year, System76's Launch keyboard has been trying to address that problem. But number crunchers will be much more interested in the new Launch Heavy. Released this week, the Launch Heavy is a numpad-equipped version of the 84-key Launch. As detailed in our System76 Launch review, the keyboard is one of the most customizable Linux-focused mechanical keyboards one can find. However, an absent numpad made the Launch an immediate 'no' for many. Now, the newly released Launch Heavy is addressing many, but not all, of its smaller counterpart's shortcomings. The full-size Launch Heavy makes up for some of the Launch's (pictured) shortcomings. (credit: Scharon Harding) As you can see, the Launch Heavy's 105 keys aren't a traditional layout. System76 had its way with the keys to the left of the numpad, getting rid of some completely. But compared to the Launch, the Launch Heavy adds keys above the numpad for media control. Unfortunately, there are still no buttons for controlling the volume out of the box.Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 13 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A safety seminar on lithium-ion batteries from May 2022 illustrates what happens when you subject charged batteries to pressure or puncture—or both. (credit: Getty Images) A firm that handles returned Amazon electronics has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine after lithium-ion batteries it threw away caused at least three different garbage truck fires. iDiskk, LLC, based in San Jose, California, agreed to a settlement with the district attorney of Santa Clara County in late November over civil charges regarding improper waste disposal, as noted by E-Scrap News. The company, according to the district attorney's office, "dismantles, recycles, and disposes of consumer computer electronics that are returned through Amazon, some of which contain lithium-ion batteries." On three different dates in 2021—September 22, October 6, and October 13—trucks picked up residential waste from iDiskk's office address in Campbell, California. A Google Street View look at the address shows a home with a driveway and garage on a tree-lined street. Dozens of lithium-ion batteries were included with typical recycling materials, allowing them to be crushed and compressed with other waste. "In each case, the ... garbage truck driver ejected the truck's load," the initial complaint reads, and the cause was found to be batteries.Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 14 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Alex Wong / Staff | Getty Images News) It has been a little more than a week since disgraced FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried was interviewed at a New York Times conference, telling attendees, “I didn't ever try to commit fraud on anyone.” Shortly after that interview, US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Chairman Sherrod Brown sent a letter to Bankman-Fried, requesting that he appear next week at a Senate committee hearing entitled “Crypto Crash: Why the FTX Bubble Burst and the Harm to Consumers.” Brown wrote that “there are still significant unanswered questions about how client funds were misappropriated, how clients were blocked from withdrawing their own money, and how you orchestrated a cover up.” Bankman-Fried missed the deadline yesterday to respond to Brown, but this morning, he finally tweeted to confirm that he is willing to talk to Congress. Now on this upcoming Tuesday, Bankman-Fried appears set to testify to the House Financial Services Committee on the day before Brown's Senate hearing is scheduled. “I still do not have access to much of my data—professional or personal,” Bankman-Fried tweeted. “So, there is a limit to what I will be able to say, and I won't be as helpful as I'd like. But as the committee still thinks it would be useful, I am willing to testify.”Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 15 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Child with a classic four-day rash from measles. (credit: CDC) The measles outbreak in Ohio continues to swell, striking a total of 63 children to date. The tally now includes at least three children who were partially vaccinated against the highly contagious virus and 14 who are typically too young to be vaccinated. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, with the first dose recommended between the ages of 12 months and 15 months and the second between ages 4 and 6. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just one MMR dose is estimated to be 93 percent effective against measles. Two doses are 97 percent effective. People who get their two doses on the recommended schedule are considered protected for life. It's unclear if the three partially vaccinated children were too young to be eligible for their second dose or contracted measles quickly after getting their first dose, potentially before full protection developed. Health officials in the affected areas of Ohio have been promoting vaccination, which may have led some parents to get their eligible children freshly vaccinated amid the heightened awareness. The affected areas in Ohio span at least two counties: Franklin County, which encompasses Columbus, and Ross County to the south.Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 15 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4080. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) Very little about Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4080 is surprising—especially now that the confusing, scrapped 12GB version is being renamed. In pretty much all of our performance tests, it slots in right where you'd expect it to, comfortably ahead of the RTX 3080 Ti but trailing the $1,500 RTX 4090 by enough to justify the $300 price gap. It's usually capable of hitting or exceeding 60 fps at 4K, and games with DLSS support (or some other kind of upscaling tech) can buy you a solid frame rate increase. And its power requirements aren't as stratospheric as the 4090's, either, so most people with an existing xx70 or xx80-class gaming PC shouldn't need to switch out their power supply. The major downsides, as of this writing? As a group, the cards are often just as huge and cumbersome as the RTX 4090 (the Founders Edition is identical, and partner cards largely follow suit). The $1,200 starting price is historically high—the 3080 Ti launched with a GPU-shortage-inflated MSRP of $1,119 GPU, but the 2080 and 3080 were both a mere $699 at launch. And even if you are willing to pay that price—surprise, surprise—it's basically impossible to find in any form anywhere close to MSRP. Which means, hooray: another GPU review that exists mostly as a theoretical exercise! If you could buy this GPU for the amount of money it's supposed to cost, and if its competitors were also available for what they were supposed to cost, then here's how it would stack up. That world doesn't exist right now, but if you're reading this in a few months, circumstances may have changed. In the meantime, imagine with us, won't you?Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 16 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Orion flew by the Moon on Monday as it prepared to return to Earth. (credit: NASA) NASA's Artemis I mission is nearly complete, and so far Orion's daring flight far beyond the Moon has gone about as well as the space agency could hope. However, to get a passing grade, the mission must still ace its final test. This final exam will come on Sunday, when the spacecraft starts to enter Earth's atmosphere at 12:20 pm ET (17:20 UTC). During the course of the next 20 minutes, before Orion splashes down in the Pacific Ocean off of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, it will need to slow down from a velocity of Mach 32 to, essentially, zero before dropping into the water. This is no small feat. Orion has a mass of 9 metric tons, about the same as two or three large elephants. Its base, covered with a heat shield designed to slowly char away during passage through Earth's atmosphere, must withstand temperatures near 3,000 degrees Celsius.Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 19 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A Falcon 9 rocket lands Thursday evening after launching the OneWeb 1 mission. Relativity Space's Terran 1 rocket is in the background, awaiting its debut launch. (credit: Trevor Mahlmann) Welcome to Edition 5.20 of the Rocket Report! I have really enjoyed celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 17 mission this week. While it is bittersweet that humans have not been back to the Moon since, it is comforting to know that we are now following a sure and steady path that will lead us back in the not-too-distant future. 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. Virgin Orbit launch from UK slips into 2023. Earlier this week Virgin Orbit sent out a news release indicating that the launch window for its LauncherOne mission from Cornwall, England, would open on December 14. But on Thursday, the company said its mission had been delayed for at least several weeks, BBC News reports. In a statement, Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart said, "With licenses still outstanding for the launch itself and for the satellites within the payload, additional technical work needed to establish system health and readiness, and a very limited available launch window of only two days, we have determined that it is prudent to retarget launch for the coming weeks to allow ourselves and our stakeholders time to pave the way for full mission success."Read 28 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
If you have over three hours to spare, feel free to watch the entire Game Awards presentation. If not, check out some of the best trailers below. Thursday night's annual presentation of The Game Awards was ostensibly about recognizing the best games that came out in the last year, and titles like God of War: Ragnarok and Elden Ring ended the night as big winners. But anyone who's watched any of the annual Geoff Keighley-led award presentations in the past knows The Game Awards aren't really about the awards. They're all about the countless "World Premiere" trailers and announcements for upcoming games coming in the next year and beyond. In that spirit, we present Ars Technica's first ever "The Game Awards" Awards. The below list comprises our picks for the most exciting, interesting, confusing, or otherwise noteworthy trailers of the night, all presented without the need to sit through over three hours of awards show padding. Best of all, we get to make up the categories as we go, ensuring we can give a prize to any worthy trailer we want. So, without further ado, onto the awards:Read 22 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Glowimages | Glowimages) In a press conference that Ars attended today, Department of Defense officials discussed the benefits of partnering with Google, Oracle, Microsoft, and Amazon to build the Pentagon’s new cloud computing network. The multi-cloud strategy was described as a necessary move to keep military personnel current as technology has progressed and officials’ familiarity with cloud technology has matured. Air Force Lieutenant General Robert Skinner said that this Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract—worth $9 billion—would help quickly expand cloud capabilities across all defense departments. He described new accelerator capabilities like preconfigured templates and infrastructure as code that will make it so that even “people who don’t understand cloud can leverage cloud” technologies. Such capabilities could help troops on the ground easily access data gathered by unmanned aircraft or space communications satellites. “JWCC is a multiple-award contract vehicle that will provide the DOD the opportunity to acquire commercial cloud capabilities and services directly from the commercial Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) at the speed of mission, at all classification levels, from headquarters to the tactical edge,” DOD’s press release said.Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / One of the many "Chrome as a RAM-eating Pac-Man" memes. (credit: GallowBoob) Forget AAA ray-traced video games or mining cryptocurrency—sometimes it feels like just running Chrome is one of the hardest tasks you can throw at PC. Google is apparently aware of Chrome's reputation for being a bit of resource hog, and on Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS, it's introducing two new features—Memory Saver and Energy Saver—which hope to keep your browser running a bit better on more limited machines. Memory Saver is a mode you can toggle on and off at will, and Google says it will use "40 percent less memory" by kicking idle background tabs out of RAM. Google says, "any inactive tabs will be reloaded when you need them," which might mean losing your tab state, but you can turn this feature on and off whenever you want. The Memory Saver UI. [credit: Google ] We haven't seen the stable channel rollout of this feature yet, but in the Canary nightly builds, an "Always keep these sites active" setting lets you protect domains from being hibernated, so there's a lot of control here. (It links to this bare-bones support page, if you're interested)Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / If an AI were asked to come up with an image for this article, would it think of The Matrix? (credit: EThamPhoto) Google's DeepMind AI division has tackled everything from StarCraft to protein folding. So it's probably no surprise that its creators have eventually turned to what is undoubtedly a personal interest: computer programming. In Thursday's edition of Science, the company describes a system it developed that produces code in response to programming typical of those used in human programming contests. On an average challenge, the AI system could score near the top half of participants. But it had a bit of trouble scaling, being less likely to produce a successful program on problems where more code is typically required. Still, the fact that it works at all without having been given any structural information about algorithms or programming languages is a bit of a surprise. Rising to the challenge Computer programming challenges are fairly simple: People are given a task to complete and produce code that should perform the requested task. In an example given in the new paper, programmers are given two strings and asked to determine whether the shorter of the two could be produced by substituting backspaces for some of the keypresses needed to type the larger one. Submitted programs are then checked to see whether they provide a general solution to the problem or fail when additional examples are tested.Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / This photomicrograph depicts a close view of the posterior end of a Wuchereria bancrofti microfilaria, a leading cause for human lymphatic filariasis. (credit: CDC/ Dr. Mae Melvin) When parasitic worms make it into a scrotum, they have a ball—and dance like nobody's watching. But in a hospital in New Delhi, India, doctors were watching. And they caught the dangling disco on film, down to their lymphatic limbo line, according to a short report appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine this week. The parasitic worms in this case were Wuchereria bancrofti, which are spread by mosquitoes in some tropic and subtropical areas of Asia, Africa, the Western Pacific, the Caribbean, and South America. The wriggling ravers stream through the human lymphatic system. Adult worms can live for five to seven years and, when they mate, can produce millions of boogying babies, called microfilariae. Together, they cause a disease called lymphatic filariasis that can lead to tissue swelling (lymphedema), elephantiasis, and, in men, swelling of the scrotum.Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: VIEW press / Contributor | Corbis News) In photos taken before and after Twitter’s mass layoffs, it appeared to many that Musk’s widespread staff cuts severely reduced the number of women on Twitter staff. Now, women laid off by Twitter have filed a class-action lawsuit, alleging that Musk violated employment laws by discharging significantly more women than men. “Women at Twitter never had a decent shot at being treated fairly once Elon Musk decided to buy the company,” the attorney representing women suing, Shannon Liss-Riordan, said in a press statement provided to Ars. “Instead, they had targets on their backs and regardless of their talent and contributions, they were at greater risk of losing their jobs than men.” Lead plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit are Miami-based Carolina Bernal Strifling, who worked at Twitter for seven years, and California-based Willow Wren Turkal, an engineer who joined Twitter in 2021 after four years at Facebook and LinkedIn. They’re suing Twitter “on their own behalf and on behalf of other female Twitter employees across the country who have been discharged or constructively discharged from their jobs during the chaotic weeks since multi-billionaire Elon Musk purchased the company.”Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
No sonic boom: Scientists created a computer simulation showing the tail movement of Apatosaurus. Credit: Simone Conti. Back in 1997, Microsoft's then-CTO, Nathan P. Myhrvold, made headlines when his computer simulations suggested that the enormous tails of sauropods—specifically Apatosaurus—could crack like a bullwhip and break the sound barrier, producing a sonic boom. Paleontologists deemed it an intriguing possibility, although several were skeptical. Now a fresh team of scientists has tackled the issue and built its own simulated model of an Apatosaurus tail. They found no evidence of a sonic boom, according to a new paper published in the journal Scientific Reports. In fact, the maximum speed possible in the new simulations was 10 times slower than the speed of sound in standard air. While still at Microsoft in the 1990s, Myhrvold—a longtime dinosaur enthusiast—stumbled upon a book by zoologist Robert McNeill Alexander speculating about whether the tails of certain sauropods may have been used like a bullwhip to produce a loud noise as a defensive strategy, a mating call, or other purpose. The structure somewhat resembles a bullwhip, in that each successive vertebra in the tail is roughly 6 percent smaller than its predecessor. It was already well-known in physics circles that the crack of a whip is due to a shock wave, or sonic boom, arising from the speed of the thin tip breaking through the sound barrier. Myhrvold wanted to put that speculative suggestion to the test, and struck up an email correspondence with paleontologist Philip J. Currie, now at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. (Fun fact: Currie was one of the inspirations for the Alan Grant character in Jurassic Park.) The two men analyzed fossils, developed computer models, and conducted several computer simulations to test the biomechanics of the sauropod's tail. They also compared those simulations to the mechanics of whips.Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Taking a close look... (credit: Aurich Lawson / Ars Technica) The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit seeking to block the proposed $69 billion merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. By a 3–1 vote, the regulatory commissioners approved the filing of a suit that argues such a merger "would enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business," according to a press release. The FTC's lawsuit specifically calls out Microsoft's previous acquisition of Bethesda Softworks parent company Zenimax as part of a "record of acquiring and using valuable gaming content to suppress competition from rival consoles." The decision to make Bethesda's upcoming Starfield and Redfall exclusive to Microsoft platforms came "despite assurances [Microsoft] had given to European antitrust authorities that it had no incentive to withhold games from rival consoles," according to the FTC. Microsoft has taken pains to suggest that the Activision Blizzard acquisition would be different on this score, promising to ship Activision's best-selling Call of Duty franchise on competing PlayStation platforms "as long as there's a PlayStation to ship to." And just yesterday Microsoft announced it had reached deals with Nintendo and Valve to guarantee Call of Duty on those companies' platforms for at least 10 years.Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
From left to right and largest to smallest: GeForce RTX 4080 (which is the same physical size as the RTX 4090), Radeon RX 7900 XTX, and Radeon RX 7900 XT. [credit: Andrew Cunningham ] AMD's next-generation Radeon RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT graphics cards launch next week on December 13. Powered by the chiplet-based RDNA3 architecture, these $999 and $899 GPUs will compete with Nvidia's $1,200-and-up RTX 4000-series and will attempt to address some of the shortcomings of the outgoing RX 6000-series (lackluster real-time raytracing performance, for one). One thing you'll notice about the cards—and one that may please people building in smaller cases—is that the cards are considerably smaller than current RTX 4080 and 4090 GPUs, and they don't use the 12VHPWR connector that has given Nvidia some trouble. The RX 7900 series still uses 8-pin power connectors, the same as older GPUs. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) We can't say anything about whether the cards' performance is larger or smaller than the RTX 4080's until our review runs next week. But in the meantime, we can show you that the 7900 XTX (and the even smaller 7900 XT) are next-gen GPUs that will fit into most of the same cases as current-gen GPUs.Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The Waze user icons. We feel for ya, little blue Waze icon above the “W. (credit: Waze) Is Waze in trouble at Google? The Wall Street Journal broke the news last night that Google is merging the 500-person Waze team into Google's "Geo" division, aka Google Maps. Waze's current CEO, Neha Parikh—who has only been at the helm since 2021 after the long-term CEO, Noam Bardin, quit Google—will step down after a transition period. Under Maps, Waze won't have a CEO. The Waze merger comes as part of Google CEO Sundar Pichai's cost-cutting mission over the last few months, which has so far killed Google Stadia, Project Loon, half of Area 120, and the Pixel laptop division and might even be coming for the (poorly monetized) Google Assistant. The report says that "Google expects the restructuring to reduce overlapping mapmaking work across the Waze and Maps products." Waze is a mapping application that has miles of overlap with Google Maps. You can view a world map, navigate places, look up points of interest, and see traffic data. Waze's defining feature is crowdsourced reporting of road hazards—things like traffic, speed traps, construction—that will instantly show up for other Waze users. Google bought Waze in 2013, and while it quickly moved to integrate traffic reports, it doesn't show all the Waze reports and doesn't push users to report road hazards the way Waze does.Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge / APT37, a group believed to be backed by the North Korean government, has found success exploiting the bits of Internet Explorer still present in various Windows-based apps. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images) Microsoft's Edge browser has replaced Internet Explorer in almost every regard, but some exceptions remain. One of those, deep inside Microsoft Word, was exploited by a North-Korean-backed group this fall, Google security researchers claim. It's not the first time the government-backed APT37 has utilized Internet Explorer's lingering presence, as Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) notes in a blog post. APT37 has had repeated success targeting South Korean journalists and activists, plus North Korean defectors, through a limited but still successful Internet Explorer pathway. The last exploit targeted those heading to Daily NK, a South Korean site dedicated to North Korean news. This one involved the Halloween crowd crush in Itaewon, which killed at least 151 people. A Microsoft Word .docx document, named as if it were timed and dated less than two days after the incident and labeled "accident response situation," started circulating. South Korean users began submitting the document to the Google-owned VirusTotal, where it was flagged with CVE-2017-0199, a long-known vulnerability in Word and WordPad.Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The Lightning connector's reign on Apple devices looks like it's coming to an end. (credit: Getty) USB-C has won the war on charging in the European Union (EU). As of December 28, 2024, smartphones, tablets, and numerous other consumer devices that charge over a cable will have to support USB-C charging in order to be sold in the region. That means the clock is ticking on Apple's Lightning, the most prominent company resistant to the USB-C takeover. As announced by the European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the Official Journal of the EU's Twitter accounts today and spotted by The Verge, the EU's USB-C legislation is published in the Official Journal. The law goes into effect on December 27 and requires compliance by 2024. The legislation will first affect smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones, headsets, earbuds, portable speakers, handheld video game consoles, e-readers, keyboards, mice, and portable navigation systems. In April 2026 it will apply to laptops.Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 1 day ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto / Contributor | NurPhoto) From week to week, Elon Musk has shifted expectations for his Twitter Blue paid verification subscription service. After a hasty, exclusive rollout and almost immediate retraction from the Apple App Store, the service's relaunch has been delayed, partly to give Musk time to figure out a way to avoid Apple App Store fees. Now, it seems Musk has found a solution that could mean Twitter Blue will be back soon, but its comeback could come at a greater cost to some Twitter users. According to The Information, Musk has told some staff that he plans to offer Twitter Blue for $8 for purchase on the web, but the price will be hiked to $11 per month for anyone who purchases the subscription in the App Store. Neither Twitter nor Apple could be immediately reached to confirm The Information's reporting.Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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