posted 2 days ago on ars technica
The BlackBerry DTEK50 As the first-ever Android phone from BlackBerry, the BlackBerry Priv was an interesting experiment. BlackBerry tried to go super-premium with a $700 phone, but the design, build quality, and specs couldn't back up the price tag. Now, BlackBerry is back with its second Android smartphone, the BlackBerry DTEK50. Rather than worry about the design and build quality itself, BlackBerry has taken the TCL Alcatel Idol 4 and given it a new back plate. The result is a $299 "BlackBerry" that features Alcatel's hardware and Blackberry's software. The specs are nearly identical to an Alcatel Idol 4. The DTEK50 has a 5.2-inch, 1080p display (424 PPI), an eight-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon 617 (four 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53s and four 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53), 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage with an SD card, and a 2,610 mAh battery. The rear camera has a 13MP sensor with a dual-LED flash, while the front sports an 8MP sensor. The USB port makes the device seem a tad dated: it still has a MicroUSB port instead of the newer, reversible USB Type C port. The one spec difference we see between the Alcatel Idol 4 and the DTEK50 is that the Idol 4 is clocked a little higher: 1.7GHz versus 1.5GHz. The device has no keyboard—it's just your regular cheap slab phone with dual front-facing speakers. The rear has a new back piece with the all-important BlackBerry logo and almost looks like it's made out of rubber. The Idol 4 did ship with an extra side hardware button, which BlackBerry has turned into its trademark programmable "convenience" key. Other than that, the "Blackberryness" is going to come in the software and security side. Blackberry is promising a secure boot process with a hardware root of trust and "rapid" security patching. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on ars technica
It’s drizzling as I roll into the south-west London suburb of Surbiton, and every so often the automatic wipers on the Mini John Cooper Works I'm driving spring into life to sweep drops of water from the screen. It’s early, and the town is barely awake yet. But even as the pavements start to fill with Suburbiton commuters bustling between newsagents, big-chain coffee shops, and railway station, one part of the town remains empty and ignored. Yet that’s the place I’ve come here to see. The new generation Mini JCW is named after the man whose vision and no-nonsense organisation created the Cooper racing cars that changed the face of Formula 1 motor racing in the 1950s, and the Mini Coopers that livened up 1960s circuit racing and rallying. So I’ve come to Surbiton—where the Cooper Car Company was based—to find the building that was the original works. From there I’ll head off in search of the greatest of the JCW’s distant ancestors. First, to find the place where it all started. The Mini’s infotainment controller is on the console between the front seats, where the big rotary control is easy to reach and operate. Navigating the main mode buttons nearby is less easy; until you memorise the position of each one, you have to look down to choose between media, radio, phone, and nav. All set, the Mini navigates me precisely through the thick Surbiton traffic to the junction of Hollyfield Road and Ewell Road where the Cooper works stands. And it’s a bit of a disappointment. Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
(credit: SRU.edu) AT&T has agreed to lead an "industry strike force" to limit robocalls, just a couple of months after its CEO claimed there's just about nothing it can do to block unwanted calls. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in May that his company doesn't have "permission" or "the appropriate authority" to block robocalls, even though the Federal Communications Commission clearly stated last year that carriers have the "green light" to offer robocall-blocking services to cell phone users. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last week urged carriers to "offer call-blocking services to their customers now—at no cost to [consumers]," and AT&T has dropped its previous reluctance in response. In a post titled "Answering the call on robocalling," AT&T Senior VP Bob Quinn yesterday said that Stephenson will chair the new "Robocalling Strike Force, the mission of which will be to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions to abate the proliferation of robocalls and to make recommendations to the FCC on the role government can play in this battle." Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
Screen grab of the resuable rocket panel discussion. From left: Dan Dumbacher, Gary Payton, Doug Bradley, Ben Goldnerg and Tom Markusic. (credit: AIAA/LiveStream) The US government and some of its major aerospace contractors have tried to tackle the problem of reusable rockets and spacecraft for several decades, from the DC-X to the space shuttle, with mixed success. Even after spending hundreds of billions of dollars on these technologies in development and flight costs, neither the government nor its traditional aerospace contractors have mastered the art of flying vehicles to space, recovering them, and turning them around for new missions quickly and at low cost. During the last half year, however, both SpaceX and Blue Origin have begun to demonstrate these capabilities. Although much work remains to be done, Blue Origin has already flown a suborbital rocket four times, in relatively short order, with low turnaround costs. And SpaceX has recovered five orbital rockets at land and sea and expects to refly at least one of them later this year. Monday evening in Salt Lake City, some aerospace industry officials sat down to discuss this new development. The panel at an American Institute Of Aeronautics And Astronautics forum on propulsion had a provocative title, “Launch Vehicle Reusability: Holy Grail, Chasing Our Tail, or Somewhere in Between?" Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
(credit: Getty Images | PRAKASH SINGH) In November of 2014, a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu from Eurasia called H5N2 landed in North America—in a Canadian turkey farm east of Vancouver, to be exact. From there, the virus quickly spread and mutated into new varieties, including H5N1, fanning fears it would vault to humans and cause a deadly pandemic. By March of 2015, it and its kin had swooped into 15 US states, causing 248 outbreaks in domestic birds and $5 billion worth of damages to poultry operations. Then, it vanished. “It’s very good news,” Robert Webster, prominent influenza expert at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, told Ars. He and colleagues published surveillance data in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday that shows the swift and unexpected disappearing act by the noxious germ. But, he added, “it’s a mystery where it went.” Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
A concept illustration shared by Eurogamer's Tom Phillips shows how the NX's reported detachable controllers would work. (credit: Tom Phillips / Twitter) As we approach the planned March 2017 launch of Nintendo's still-mysterious NX, a new report adds weight to some earlier rumors that the system will be a standalone portable with the ability to plug into an HDTV. Eurogamer cites "a number of sources" in reporting that the system will have a built-in screen that is "bookended by two controller sections on either side, which can be attached or detached as required." The brains of the portable system can then reportedly be plugged into "a base unit, or dock station" for display and play on an HDTV. Eurogamer's sources suggest the system will be powered by Nvidia's mobile-focused Tegra line of processors. Development kits are reportedly built around the Tegra X1, which powers tablets like the Google Pixel C and Nvidia's Shield Android TV console. That kind of hardware should be capable of decent 1080p HD graphics, but definitely won't be a match for the kind of performance found on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 (not to mention the upcoming hardware refreshes announced for both of those platforms). On the other hand, the power-sipping Tegra chip should be effective at extending the system's battery life when it's being used as a portable, and should help keep costs for the system relatively low. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
(credit: By Petr Pakandl - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1176962) In southern Italy, a plant pathogen called Xylella fastidiosa has been ushering in an agricultural, environmental, and political crisis. The infection is affecting olive trees, which are a critical part of Italian culture and heritage. Containment of this epidemic would require cutting down trees to prevent the spread of the disease. But that recommendation has been met with resistance by the locals, who have produced various conspiracy theories to explain why people are trying to get rid of their trees. If this crisis is not resolved soon, the infection could spread throughout the region and cause serious plant losses in Europe and the Mediterranean, according to a new perspective in Science Magazine. X. fastidiosa is a bacterial species that feeds on the xylem of plants and is spread by insects. In the past, the most severe economic effects of the X. fastidiosa were felt in the US and Brazil. These countries now have control plans that are deployed to reduce the spread of this disease, including reducing the insect population that spreads the disease and removing infected plants from areas with outbreaks. Currently, France has implemented similar procedures in response to the presence of the disease in Italy, but no such actions have been taken in southern Italy. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
While graphics cards with more than 8GB of memory might seem like overkill to gamers, those in the creative industries like VFX and 3D modelling can't get enough of the stuff. After all, VFX studios like MPC often create scenes that require upwards of 64GB per frame to render. The trouble is, even the most capacious graphics card—AMD's FirePro S9170 server GPU—tops out at 32GB GDDR5, and there are steep cost and design issues with adding more. AMD has come up with another solution. Instead of adding more expensive graphics memory, why not let users add their own in the form of M.2 solid state storage? That's the pitch behind the all new Radeon Pro SSG (solid state graphics), which was revealed at the Siggraph computer graphics conference on Monday. The Radeon Pro SSG features two PCIe 3.0 M.2 slots for adding up to 1TB of NAND flash, massively increasing the available frame buffer for high-end rendering work. The SSG will cost you, though: beta developer kits go on sale immediately for a cool $9999 (probably £8000+). Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
Jack Johnson (right), is one of the singers in the pop-rap duo "Jack & Jack." (credit: genesiating) As a new way to connect with his fans, Jack Johnson—one half of the pop-rap duo Jack & Jack, not to be confused with the laidback Hawaiian singer-songwriter of the same name—has spent the last month soliciting social media passwords. Using the hashtag #HackedByJohnson, the performer has tweeted at his fans to send him their passwords. (Why he didn’t go for the shorter and catchier #JackHack, we’ll never know.) Then, Johnson posts under his fans’ Twitter accounts, leaving a short personalized message, as them. Here's one example: Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
(credit: John W. Iwanski) Illinois has now joined the ever-expanding list of states that require law enforcement officials to explicitly seek court approval before deploying cell-site simulators, which can locate and track a person’s cell phone without their knowledge. On Friday, Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed the “Citizen Privacy Protection Act” into law, which will take effect on January 1, 2017. The application to the court “must include a description of the nature and capabilities of the cell site simulator device to be used and the manner and method of its deployment, including whether the cell site simulator device will obtain data from non-target communications devices.” The law also requires the “immediate deletion” of non-target data obtained via the cell-site simulator. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
This reporter would be happy with a Manos: The Hands of Fate reprise. Mystery Science Theater 3000 will return with 14 new full-length episodes, all of which will be streamed on Netflix, according to the Hollywood Reporter, reporting from San Diego Comic-Con. The new series will feature Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt, playing mad scientist Kinga Forrester and henchman "Son of TV’s Frank," respectively. Mary Jo Pehl and Bill Corbett, who played Pearl Forrester and Crow T. Robot, will also be joining the revival, and former MST3K writer/actor/director/puppeteer Kevin Murphy will also get in on the action. The series is the result of a 2015 Kickstarter from Joel Hodgson—the MST3K creator set a minimum goal of $2 million to make three full-length episodes, but they surpassed that goal handily, raising $5.7 million. Hodgson will stay onboard as an executive producer of the show and as a writer. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
American Gods' Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) just got out of jail and now has to deal with a world full of gods, and he's not exactly happy about it. (credit: Starz) For five crazy days last week, San Diego Comic-Con unleashed the power of fandom on an innocent Southern California city. Along with brilliant cosplay, panels with creators and stars, and zillions of collectibles, Comic-Con is home to trailer launches. Attendees and people watching from home get the first glimpse of upcoming sci-fi movies and TV. You can watch all the trailer launches if you want, but Ars has rounded up the best right here. Wonder Woman trailer from SDCC. Wonder Woman Fans have been waiting for this movie pretty much since the 1970s Lynda Carter series went off the air. We shall never, ever speak of David E. Kelly's depressing attempt to create a Wonder Woman show in 2011, and my guess is that we'll rarely discuss the mediocre Batman v. Superman movie from earlier this summer that introduced this new version of Wonder Woman to the world. But if this trailer is any indication, Director Patty Jenkins (Monster) may pull off a genuinely cool Wonder Woman movie. Wonder Woman will be the first-ever movie featuring one of DC's oldest superheroes, whose adventures began back in the 1930s. A supernaturally strong Amazon from a secret island of warrior women, Wonder Woman fought the Nazis in World War II and always tries to solve conflicts with non-lethal weapons. Writer/producer Zack Snyder, famous for big budget cult flicks like Watchmen and Suckerpunch (and infamous for Batman v. Superman), has made our peace-loving princess into a sword-wielding, armored badass. Which isn't such a bad thing. Gal Gadot plays Wonder Woman with grace and gravitas, and Chris Pine (Star Trek) is perfectly fine as the World War I soldier who washes up on the beach and into Wonder Woman's arms. I like the fact that this movie is set during World War I, which is a conflict our heroine hasn't explored before. If Jenkins can marry the powerful character development of Monster with Snyder's visuals from Suckerpunch, this movie is going to rock. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
(credit: Steven Depolo) Netflix and Comcast will be available on the same cable box later this year, but Netflix video will still count against Comcast data caps. Netflix's deal to get its online video on Comcast's X1 set-top boxes alongside traditional cable TV channels was reported earlier this month by Recode, with the companies saying they "have much work to do before the service will be available to consumers later this year." The deal raised questions about whether Netflix would be exempt from Comcast data caps, but it has already been decided. A Comcast spokesperson answered "yes" when asked if Netflix will continue counting against data caps after being integrated into Comcast cable boxes. "All data that flows over the public Internet (which includes Netflix) counts toward a customer’s monthly data usage," Comcast told Ars today. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
Archaeologists scraped fecal bits off these ancient wipe sticks, discovered in a 2,000-year-old latrine at a pit stop along the Silk Road in Dunhuang, China. (credit: Hui-Yuan Yeh) For almost 1,500 years, the many trade routes known today as the Silk Road joined eastern China with western China, India, the Middle East, Europe, and the Swahili Coast of Africa. These trade routes created their own culture, uniting empires and connecting distant civilizations through trade goods like books, textiles, and precious substances. But the most important use for the Silk Road was immigration. Now, a new analysis of 2,000-year-old toilet wipes found near Dunhuang in western China has revealed that these immigrants traveled vast distances on roads maintained by the Han in 100 CE. Unfortunately, these wanderers brought their diseases with them. In a new paper published this week in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, a group of archaeologists in China and England describe how they found preserved fecal matter on wipe sticks used in a latrine at the Silk Road's Xuanquanzhi rest stop. Archaeologists excavated the rest stop roughly 20 years ago and discovered that it was one of many such oases maintained by the Han government during the early centuries of the Silk Road. Weary travelers with the right documents could stop there to refresh themselves and their pack animals. They could also, apparently, use the bathrooms. What made the Xuanquanzhi rest stop special was its location near the deadly hot Taklamakan Desert. The arid region has preserved countless treasures from the heyday of the Silk Road, including a bundle of sticks wrapped in rags near the Xuanquanzhi latrines. While analyzing a collection of excavated goods from Xuanquanzhi, a group of archaeologists realized that these were no ordinary sticks. "These have been described in ancient Chinese texts of the period as a personal hygiene tool for wiping the anus after going to the toilet. Some of the cloth had a dark solid material still adhered to it after all this time," Cambridge anthropologist Piers Mitchell wrote. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
Bicycle racers—even those on different teams—often cooperate to allow the entire group to go faster. (credit: Flickr user Hans905) Human cooperation is thought to have evolved because it benefits everyone involved. But we also know that cooperation doesn’t always make sense when subjected to a cost-benefit analysis. For example, people will often do favors for others when there is no expectation of a personal reward—or without even bothering to think about whether there might be a reward. A recent study published in PNAS presents evidence that humans may engage in these types of uncalculating cooperative activities because it helps their reputation. By cooperating in the moment, people signal to others that they can be trusted to cooperate in the future. The authors of the paper used a two-stage incentivized economic game to study this phenomenon. The first stage of the game asked participants to decide if they wanted to pay to benefit another player. Players could decide to help without looking at the cost, which was considered to be an uncalculating behavior, or they could check the cost before deciding to assist, which was interpreted as a calculating behavior. This calculating behavior was thought to be analogous to the type of cost-benefit analysis people often do before deciding to be cooperative. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
Solar Impulse on the ground in New York City. (credit: John Timmer) Right now the Solar Impulse aircraft is over the Persian Gulf, approaching Abu Dhabi, its final destination. As Abu Dhabi is also the location that the craft started on its round-the-world flight, its extended journey is near an end. The Solar Impulse flight marks the first circumnavigation of the globe by a piloted solar aircraft. Bertrand Picard is at the controls, having started the flight in Cairo and taken the craft over Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the Persian Gulf. The final flight has taken about a day and a half so far and has suffered a lot of turbulence as the desert below it heated up and cooled off. At the moment, Solar Impulse is making slow loops back and forth offshore, suggesting that the team is waiting for either traffic or weather conditions to improve at its destination. Since it's currently night, it's also possible that the team wants to bring the aircraft down at a time when it will be possible for everyone to see it. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
The suspected hacking of a Democratic National Committee consultant's personal Yahoo Mail account provides new evidence that state-sponsored attackers penetrated deeper than previously thought into the private communications of the political machine attempting to defeat Republican nominee Donald Trump. According to an article published Monday by Yahoo News, the suspicion was raised shortly after DNC consultant Alexandra Chalupa started preparing opposition research on Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort. Upon logging in to her Yahoo Mail account, she received a pop-up notification warning that members of Yahoo's security team "strongly suspect that your account has been the target of state-sponsored actors." After Chalupa started digging into Manafort's political and business dealings in Ukraine and Russia, the warnings had become a "daily occurrence," Yahoo News reported, citing a May 3 e-mail sent to a DNC communications director. (credit: Yahoo News) It was one of more than 19,000 private DNC messages posted to WikiLeaks on Friday. The massive e-mail dump came five weeks after DNC officials said hackers with backing from the Russian government had breached its network and made off with opposition research into Trump and almost a year's worth of private e-mail. The airing on WikiLeaks, which included messages in which DNC officials derided Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, has already led to the resignation of Chair Debra Wasserman Schultz. Now, the revelations about Chalupa's Yahoo account suggest the hack may have gone deeper than previously reported. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
It may be a luxury SUV, but it's still a Land Rover. And that means it can go anywhere. A fuel-sipping uber-luxo SUV? Not quite. A technological marvel? Not exactly. If one definition of luxury is the lack of worry, then this Land Rover Range Rover Td6 achieves it, but for an unexpected reason. Range Rovers have long been the manifold destiny of the modest-yet-moneyed equine set—those who want to slog through unpaved slop to reach the perfect lake or meadow. And nobody driving one has failed to make it anywhere due to shortcomings off-road; Land Rovers and Range Rovers are the virtual poster dogs for exploring the wooded backlands. But until now, no Land Rover has beached itself onto American shores with diesel power, even though diesel has been an option in Europe for more than 30 years. It's been all-gasoline Range Rovering in the US, be it with a V8 or a supercharged V6. However, the upper-crustiest party segment of SUVing has been crashed recently with Bentley's splash into the vat of beluga caviar with the Bentayga. It's another leather-lined and hyper-coiffed dreadnought SUV that won't get out of bed for less than $231,825—the base Range Rover tips the finance scale at just $85,945. The HSE Td6 diesel logs a comparative pittance at a base price of just $94,445, even though the two Brits don’t really compete directly for the same demographic. The uppermost Range Rover—aside from the Holland & Holland Edition, with its outdoor picnic seating and ability to do your taxes—is the V8 Supercharged SV Autobiography long wheelbase model at $200,490. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) addresses a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton on Saturday. Wasserman Schultz has said she'll resign after the Democratic convention. (credit: GASTON DE CARDENAS/AFP/Getty Images) Late Friday, WikiLeaks published 20,000 internal e-mails from the Democratic National Committee acquired in a hacking attack last month. The dumped messages, including some that had a derisive tone toward primary candidate Bernie Sanders, roiled the Democratic Party on the eve of its convention and led to the resignation yesterday of DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The DNC hack was discovered on June 14, and soon after, some evidence of a Russian connection was found. Now, the belief that the hack was sponsored by the Russian government on some level has been explicitly endorsed by Hillary Clinton's campaign. Yesterday on CNN's "State of the Union," Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, said Russian hackers are explicitly trying to get Clinton's opponent, Donald Trump, elected in November. "I don't think it's coincidental that these e-mails were released on the eve of our convention here, and I think that's disturbing," Mook told program host Jake Tapper. The leak took place just after the Republican Party changed its platform "to make it more pro-Russian," Mook added. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
If you're not interested in the upcoming Xbox One S and its 4K and HDR color capabilities, now might be the perfect time to pull the trigger on the standard, bulkier edition of the Xbox One. As part of a limited time "Summer Sale," Microsoft is now offering the console at $249 with a 500GB hard drive and your choice of one of a number of games, including Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Quantum Break, Forza Motorsport 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider, or Rare Replay. This is actually the third time that the Xbox One has seen its price drop in the last two months. Microsoft lowered the asking price to $299 in late May, just weeks before E3 (though that price had been offered a few times before). Then, during E3, the company announced a new "promotional" price of $279 that was supposed to last through October 1. This weekend's additional price drop, coming so soon after E3, could be seen as an indication that the "legacy" consoles aren't selling so well now that the redesigned and slightly more powerful Xbox One S is about to hit stores. That redesigned system will launch August 2 in a $399 edition sporting a 2TB hard drive. Versions with 1TB and 500GB hard drives will be available for $349 and $299, respectively, at a later date. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
Preventable medical error leads to an estimated 200,000 deaths per year in the US, and many of these deaths are caused by mistaken diagnoses. Clearly, making it easier for doctors to avoid errors should be a priority. One promising avenue could be collective decision-making: pooling the diagnoses of various doctors and using their joint wisdom to hit on the most likely answer. According to a paper in this week’s PNAS, though, this method is only likely to work if all the doctors in the group have the same level of skill. Obviously, ethics committees are unlikely to allow a team of researchers to toy with patients’ potentially life-or-death diagnoses. So in order to figure out whether collective decision-making would help with the problem, the team combined real-world data with a computer simulation. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on ars technica
(credit: BBC) Briton Lauri Love is expected to learn on September 16 whether a judge will rule in favour of his extradition to the US to face charges of alleged hacking, Westminster Magistrates' Court has heard. According to his legal representative, Love—who faces charges of hacking as part of the Anonymous collective in 2013—could serve up to 99 years in prison in the US. He is accused of using a security flaw in ColdFusion to gain administrator-level access to servers. Love is alleged to have been involved in the hack known as #OpLastResort, which targeted the US Army, the US Federal Reserve, the FBI, NASA, and the Missile Defense Agency in retaliation over the suicide, while awaiting trial, of Aaron Swartz. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on ars technica
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer at the Fortune Global Forum on November 3, 2015 in San Francisco. (credit: Getty Images | Justin Sullivan) Despite a rocky tenure as Yahoo chief executive that is likely to end in a sale to Verizon, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer today said the company has been transformed under her leadership and that she "couldn't be more proud of the achievements to date." In a call with investors describing the $4.8 billion (£3.7 billion) acquisition of Yahoo's operating business that Verizon announced this morning, Mayer praised the Yahoo staff for "the tremendous accomplishments made over the past few years in our transformation." Without mentioning missteps like the Tumblr acquisition, Mayer said, "We invested in and built our mobile, video, native, and social businesses from nothing in 2011 to $1.6 billion in GAAP revenue in 2015. We tripled our mobile base to over 600 million monthly active users and generated over $1 billion of mobile advertising revenue last year." Yahoo, Mayer said, has also "streamlined and modernized every aspect of our consumer products and dramatically improved our advertiser products. We've laid incredibly solid groundwork and the sale gives us the opportunity to build on that momentum." Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on ars technica
Microsoft's Terry Myerson details the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. (credit: Microsoft) The final build of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is build 14393. The update, which provides a range of new features and improvements, represents Microsoft's last big push to get Windows 7 and 8.1 users to upgrade to Windows 10. The update is available right now to those who have opted in to the Windows Insider program, and it will be pushed out to Windows 10 users on the current branch on August 2. The free upgrade offer from Windows 7 and 8.1 to Windows 10, however, ends on July 29, leaving Microsoft hoping that the promise of the new update will be enough to get people to make the switch. For consumers, the big Anniversary Update improvements are in stylus support and Cortana. For as long as Microsoft has been pushing pen interfaces on Windows—the specs for Windows XP Tablet edition came out about 15 years ago—the company has done so as a mouse alternative, with the only major pen-specific feature being handwriting recognition. This never worked well. Finger-based touch interfaces dominated with the rise of the iPhone, but Windows has always retained its pen support, with devices like the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book shipping with pens. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on ars technica
Transistors will stop shrinking after 2021, but Moore's law will probably continue, according to the final International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The ITRS—which has been produced almost annually by a collaboration of most of the world's major semiconductor companies since 1993—is about as authoritative as it gets when it comes to predicting the future of computing. The 2015 roadmap will however be its last. The most interesting aspect of the ITRS is that it tries to predict what materials and processes we might be using in the next 15 years. The idea is that, by collaborating on such a roadmap, the companies involved can sink their R&D money into the "right" technologies. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...