posted 8 days ago on ars technica
The new mobile client. (credit: Microsoft) Microsoft's preview of the new, modern, Universal Windows Platform (UWP) version of the Skype client received a big upgrade today: it's now available for devices running Windows 10 Mobile as well as Windows 10 PCs. In addition to supporting Windows phones, the client has been given a big functional upgrade as Microsoft continues to rebuild all the old Skype client's functionality within the new app. Calls to landlines, voicemails, screen sharing, and integrated translation of audio and video calls are all now available. The company says that the new client is faster, too. Overall, the development of Microsoft's Skype client continues to confuse since the strategy at large remains unclear. The company initially developed a (rather feature deficient) Windows 8-style Skype client, but in June last year Microsoft said that client was to be discontinued. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Today, Google released a new version of the Android N Developer Preview to the world. This is the fifth and final developer preview before the consumer release of Android 7.0 Nougat, which is scheduled for some time in Q3. There doesn't seem to be a ton of changes, but this release offers a "near-final" look at Android 7. Google is encouraging developers to test their apps against this version and stomp out any bugs before the final release. Android N brings a split screen mode, a notification panel redesign, additions to Doze power saving, and a ton of other changes developers need to account for. The Play Store is already able to accept apps targeting Android  N, so once the testing is done, developers are encouraged to publish their Android N apps. As usual, the Developer Preview is available via OTA update for devices in the Android Beta Program or you can flash a system image. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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Lucasarts Doesn't look good, R2. 3 more images in gallery .related-stories { display: none !important; } The nascent world of virtual reality already has its fair share of satisfying sword-fighting games, but let's not kid ourselves: our ideal VR sword would glow and make a cool "whoosh, whoosh" sound with every swing. That's why we're stoked about today's biggest HTC Vive release: Trials on Tatooine, the first official Star Wars VR experience. Even better, it's free—which will make its admittedly tiny amount of content a little bit easier to swallow. If this VR experience sounds familiar, that's because Lucasarts demoed SW:ToT behind closed doors at March's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. There, both Kyle Orland and I got to fake like we had warped to Tatooine to help original-trilogy-era Han Solo in a pinch. During the five-minute demo, we stood right beneath the Millennium Falcon's landing zone—which, wow, there are few words to capture that feeling of nerdy presence—and then helped Solo by patching together parts of a circuit board with our hands. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Fire up your updaters. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) Apple has just released a new round of updates for all of its platforms, including OS X 10.11.6 and iOS 9.3.3. All are minor updates that focus mostly on fixing bugs, as most of Apple's attention has turned to the new major versions of its operating systems that are due in the fall. Both iOS 10 and macOS Sierra are currently available as public betas. OS X 10.11.6 fixes a bug in user accounts with parental controls enabled that could prevent settings from being saved, and it also addresses a problem with SMB network shares that could keep certain kinds of devices from accessing them. The update tackles a handful of business-centric features, too. The OS boots a bit faster when connecting to a NetBoot server, and the release fixes both startup issues with OS X 10.11.4 and 10.11.5 NetBoot images and a problem with Active Directory authentication. iOS 9.3.3 includes nonspecific bug fixes, as do the watchOS 2.2.2 and tvOS 9.2.1 updates for Apple's other iOS-adjacent platforms. iOS 9.3.3 is available for all devices that support iOS 9, including the iPhone 4S and newer; iPad 2 and newer; all iPad Minis and iPad Pros; and the fifth- and sixth-generation iPod Touches. A list of all security holes patched in OS X, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS can be found on Apple's security update page. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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(credit: Jason Farrar) The Federal Communications Commission is trying once again to limit the prices prisoners and their families pay for phone calls, proposing a new, higher set of caps in response to the commission's latest court loss. A March 2016 federal appeals court ruling stayed new rate caps of 11¢ to 22¢ per minute on both interstate and intrastate calls from prisons. The stay remains in place while appeals from prison phone companies are considered, but FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn last week proposed new caps of 13¢ to 31¢ per minute in an apparent attempt to satisfy prison phone companies and the courts. Prison phone companies Global Tel*Link (GTL) and Securus Technologies had argued that the FCC's limits fell short of what the companies are contractually obligated to pay in "site commissions" to correctional facilities. The new Wheeler and Clyburn proposal still wouldn't ban the commissions or limit what prisons can charge companies for site access. However, they say that the caps of 13¢ to 31¢ per minute account "for the possibility that jails and prisons bear legitimate costs in providing access to ICS [inmate calling services]." Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Once a channel is cut into the graphene, a molybdenum disulfide crystal can grow within it. (credit: Berkeley Lab) The features we're making in current semiconductor materials are shrinking to the point where soon, they will be just a handful of atoms thin. Unfortunately, the behavior you get from bulk materials is often different from what you see when there are just a few atoms present, and quantum effects begin to dominate. There is an alternative, however: start with a material that is already incredibly small and has well-defined properties. Graphene, for example, is a sheet of carbon just one atom thick, and it's an excellent conductor; a variety of similar materials have been also developed. It's a big challenge to manipulate these things that are just one atom thick, so it's really hard to put together any sort of circuitry based on these materials. Now, however, researchers have figured out how create a template where single-atom-thick materials will grow to create functional circuitry. As we noted above, graphene is an excellent conductor of electrons, so the authors of the new paper decided to use it to create wiring. But getting sheets of graphene lined up to consistently create the wiring of even simple circuitry has been nearly impossible. The authors didn't even try. Instead, they took a larger sheet of graphene, dropped it onto silicon dioxide, and then etched away any material they didn't want. The etching involved a plasma of oxygen ions, which burned channels in the graphene that were about 15µm wide. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urges supporters to fight the coup attempt in Turkey via a FaceTime session with NTV as he fled to Istanbul. (credit: NTV) A failed coup attempt in Turkey, which began during the evening of July 15, was apparently coordinated using the WhatsApp mobile messaging service, according to reports from Turkish media. And among the apparent plotters was a Turkish Army colonel who was considered an expert in cyber-operations. Ahmet Zeki Gerehan, a Turkish infantry officer, was head of the operation and intelligence department at the Turkish Army War College and co-author of a number of articles on cyber-warfare. According to video reports, officers involved in the coup gave moment-by-moment status reports in a WhatsApp group chat entitled "We are a country of peace" ("yurta suhl b iziz"), as the faction moved to shut down the bridge over the Bosporus connecting the Istanbul region to the rest of Turkey and conceal their operations from official communications channels. Darbecilerin WhatsApp görüşmeleri deşifre edildi pic.twitter.com/9ShCgbm3nf — ÇAPAMAG (@CAPAMAG) July 16, 2016 Gerehan was highly aware of how effective using technology like WhatsApp could be against a centralized command-and-control system. One of the papers he co-authored was presented in 2015 with one of his students at the Turkish Army War College during the Journal of National Security and Military Science's International Leadership Symposium entitled Security and the Environment of Future Military Operations. Speaking of the hybrid nature of conflicts in the 21st Century, he wrote, "Cyber Warfare might be the decisive factor in future wars." In another paper, he and his co-authors noted, "The power of social networks, during elections, street incidents in repressive regimes or during natural disasters, has proved its ability to change traditional one-way media, from news agency to people." Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The incredibly popular Codenames. Every summer, a jury of board game critics from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria announces its pick for Game of the Year, or "Spiel des Jahres" (SdJ). The board game world has its fair share of award ceremonies, but none is quite as prestigious or important as the SdJ. The award assures wide promotion and a healthy sales bump both in Germany and abroad; previous winners have included such undisputed classics as Catan and Qwirkle. Most of the games nominated for the 2016 prize were initially released in 2015; to be considered for the award, they needed to have been released in the German market within the past 12 months. This past weekend, we took an exhaustive, 8,000-word look at all the nominees across two categories, and we waited patiently to hear who would come out on top. The winners were announced today. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the main "Spiel des Jahres" award went to the word-association party game Codenames. Released near the end of last year, Codenames has taken the board game world by storm; Board Game Geek users have quickly voted the title the best party game of all time (for good reason, too). We've never introduced the game to anyone—from kids to gamers to grandparents—who didn't instantly fall in love with it. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Comcast) Comcast is getting ready to bid on spectrum as it prepares a move into the mobile broadband business. Bidding under the name "CC Wireless Investment, LLC," Comcast submitted its application a few months ago and is now one of 62 qualified bidders announced by the Federal Communications Commission on Friday. These bidders have submitted down payments and met all the necessary requirements to participate in the auction, which is shifting 600MHz airwaves from TV broadcasters to wireless carriers. Bidding is scheduled to begin on August 16. Comcast has said it will only buy spectrum if the price is right, but there are ample signs that it is planning a mobile data service. Comcast has activated a Mobile Virtual Network Operator agreement with Verizon Wireless that will let Comcast resell the carrier's service, and it has created a new mobile division, Multichannel News reported. Comcast has also been developing a large network of Wi-Fi hotspots, in part by turning its cable Internet customers' home modems into hotspots. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The launch lights up night-time clouds, and is later followed by the landing. (credit: Elon Musk) Early Monday morning, SpaceX achieved a successful launch and landing of its Falcon main stage, which sent a Dragon capsule loaded with supplies to the International Space Station. Unlike most previous attempts, the Falcon was able to return to Florida rather than dropping onto a barge in the Atlantic. The successful landing adds another item to the company's collection of lightly used boosters, some of which are intended to ultimately make return trips to space. The Dragon capsule is expected to reach the ISS within two days. It contains a typical assortment of supplies and experiments in its pressurized portion. But it also carries a bit of hardware externally: an international docking adaptor, or IDA. The IDA is built to standards that different nations can adopt, allowing their hardware to interact with the system. According to NASA, "the adapter is built so spacecraft systems can automatically perform all the steps of rendezvous and dock with the station without input from the astronauts." This is the second IDA sent to the Station, the first having exploded in one of SpaceX's rare failed launches. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Android users now have another, more convenient option to make use of their Amazon Prime Video subscriptions. Amazon pushed out an update that lets Android users download movies, videos, and other content from its Prime Video service to the SD cards in their handsets. Previously, Amazon only allowed content to be saved to the internal storage on those smartphones. With this update, not only will users be able to save their internal storage for other content, but they could potentially download content to multiple SD cards, switch those cards in and out of their handsets, and watch all of that content offline. In addition to Amazon Prime videos, users can download any videos they've purchased to their SD cards. This feature is something only Android users can take advantage of, since iPhones lack the requisite SD card slot. The feature is rolling out on Android tablets and smartphones starting today in the US, UK, Germany, Austria, and Japan. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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(credit: PG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images) Way back in the autumn of 2004, I may have invented the world's first GPS-based augmented reality game. In light of the stratospheric success of Pokémon Go, I'm wondering whether I should have perhaps attempted to patent my invention. My game was called Augmented Reality Multi-User Dungeon, or ARMUD for short, and it was the topic of my university thesis. The idea seemed quite simple to me: I started with a text-based MUD, and then layered a real-world positional element on top of it. As you walked around the university campus you would move through the MUD's zones. In the real world you might be standing in the student union bar; in the game, reading the zone's description on your mobile device, you were actually inside an uproarious tavern full of stereotypically angry dwarves, behooded humans, and trixy hobbits. If you bumped into another player, you could trade or fight or talk, or send in-game whispers if you didn't want to talk to the person in real life. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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After leaking and then confirming news of the slim, white, Xbox One redesign just over a month ago, Microsoft today announced that its Xbox One S console hardware refresh will hit retailers on August 2. A 2TB system will cost $399 and will be available in "limited quantities" in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and most of Europe on that day. Versions with 1TB and 500GB hard drives will be available for $349 and $299, respectively, at a later date. Besides being 40 percent smaller than the original Xbox One (and sporting an internal power supply rather than that unsightly power brick), the new redesign adds support for 4K Blu-rays and streaming videos, as well as high-dynamic range (HDR) color support in certain upcoming games. The new system also comes with a slightly redesigned controller, featuring a textured rear grip and bluetooth support. The Xbox One S shouldn't be confused with Microsoft's upcoming Scorpio update, also announced last month and promised for a holiday 2017 release. That system will be capable of true 4K gaming, as well as VR support, while being fully compatible with all existing previous Xbox One games, Microsoft says. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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Featuring brand new gameplay footage captured on PC (AMD), Mark takes Adam Jensen on his first mission into the heart of the aug ghetto Golem City. (video link)I've spent the last hour hunting down an elusive black market ID syndicate in the heart of Prague, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's sprawling city hub. In the aftermath of a devastating worldwide attack, for which augmented humans were responsible, security is tight. Perhaps overly so. Manhandled by a prejudiced police department and endlessly scanned and monitored by robotic drones, augs have been shunned by society, forced into ghettos where resentment runs rampant, and violence becomes the answer. And so, even under the employment of Task Force 29 (an Interpol-led anti-terrorist group), super-aug Adam Jensen can't charm his way past a protected police post. He needs that ID, and I'm going to help him. Which, when I stop and think about it, is odd, because that wasn't the reason Jensen was in Prague in the first place. Earlier, he'd fought his way through a sandstorm in Dubai, gunning down augmented terrorists on the hunt for weapons, before being caught out by an unfortunate explosion. The convenient result (for the developers in charge of player progression at least) was that Jensen's augmentations stopped working, and the only man who could fix them was a doctor living in Prague. That's the thing about Deus Ex: no matter how hard you try to stick to the mission, no matter how much you want to reveal the next snippet of the story, it's there, pushing and prodding you into one of its many side quests. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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UK chip designer ARM has agreed to a whopping buyout offer from Japanese telecoms giant SoftBank for £24.3 billion (~$32 billion)—the deal comes just weeks after Brits voted to exit the European Union. SoftBank said it would retain ARM's senior management team, brand, and lucrative partnership-based business model. ARM will remain headquartered in Cambridge, and SoftBank has vowed to double the staff headcount in the UK over the next five years. The smartphone chip designer currently has 4,064 employees on its books worldwide. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Battery research focuses on balancing three competing factors: performance, lifetime, and safety. Typically, you have to sacrifice one of these factors to get gains in the other two. But for applications like electric vehicles, we'd really like to see all three improved. In an investigation recently published in Nature Energy, scientists demonstrated the ability to use a magnetic field to align graphite flakes within electrodes as they're manufactured. The alignment gives lithium ions a clearer path to transit the battery, leading to improved performance. The electrodes of Lithium-ion batteries are often composed of graphite, which balances attributes such as a high energy density with non-toxicity, safety, and low cost. Graphite, composed of stacked sheets of carbon atoms, is often incorporated into these electrodes in the form of flake-like particles. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Angkor Wat today, as viewed across the moat that surrounds the 12th century Hindu temple to Vishnu built under the rule of Suryavarnam II. (credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen) The ornate, pinecone-shaped towers of Angkor Wat in Cambodia float above a vast temple complex of shrines, pools, houses, and a perfectly square moat. Today, only a small number of monks remain within the temple walls. The remaining structures have been reclaimed by trees whose roots wind around the stone like cellulose tentacles. Archaeologists have long wondered what life was like here when Angkor was the cosmopolitan heart of the Khmer Empire in the 12th and 13th centuries. Why did so many people abandon this place in the 15th century, never to return? Unlike a majority of archaeological endeavors, the answers didn't ultimately come from digging up the ground. Instead, our first glimpse of Angkor as it once was came just a few years ago from a sophisticated laser scanning machine mounted on a helicopter. Invisible city For centuries, the Angkor region's wealth of artifacts drew looters, archaeologists, and looter-archaeologists. They focused their attention, both good and ill, on Angkor Wat and a few other nearby moated temple complexes. Based on those ruins, the first European explorers to encounter Angkor in the 19th century assumed Khmer urbanites lived in what were basically moated cities of a few thousand people. These European explorers thought Angkor Wat was something like a medieval walled city in Europe, which typically held fewer than 10,000 people. They explained all the moated complexes in the Angkor area by suggesting that maybe the royal family and their people were moving from one moated city to the next over time. But as archaeologists learned more in the intervening century, something about those population numbers seemed off. Beyond the moated cities were vast canal systems and reservoirs hinting at something bigger. Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Jonathan Gitlin This is Olli. It uses 3D printing and is self-driving at speeds of 12-18mph with a 60-mile range. 7 more images in gallery .related-stories { display: none !important; } Local Motors is not your regular car company. It's been pioneering the use of open source development to design its vehicles, starting with the Rally Fighter off-road sports car and a number of vehicles that have been the result of competitions, including one held in conjunction with the Department of Energy's ARPA-E. Most recently, the company unveiled Olli, its first autonomous vehicle. When we discovered that Olli was just up the road in National Harbor, Maryland, we decided it was time to head over there to find out more. Local Motors has a large retail location at National Harbor (selling merchandise), along with a test lab complete with a gigantic 3D printer for rapid prototyping. Several of the company's designs were also on display—the Strati, which was the first 3D-printed car, as well as the Swim, which was the winning design from its Project Redacted competition. And of course, Olli the autonomous people mover. As we looked at the Swim, David Woessner, general manager at Local Motors, explained the ongoing process that's expanding Local Motors' product line up. "We started in July of 2015. In September of that year, we did the first print and revealed the car in November. It's the next iteration in our path to a highway car." Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Elle Cayabyab Gitlin Ford mechanics and engineers prep the car for the six-hour race ahead. 6 more images in gallery .related-stories { display: none !important; } Just as it was 50 years ago, the battle for sports car supremacy on the world's race tracks this year has been between Ford and Ferrari. At this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, the two marques were head-and-shoulders ahead of their competition in the hotly contested GTE-Pro class (for racing versions of cars that you or I could buy). Ford emerged victorious, but the end of the race was somewhat acrimonious, with protests and counter-protests from both camps. We caught up with both teams at their next match up—the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen in upstate New York—both to check out their machinery and also to find the hatchet well and truly buried. Back in 1966, after Henry Ford's attempt to buy the Italian car company was rebuffed, his company built the legendary GT40, beating Ferrari's V12-powered cars at Le Mans and most everywhere else. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of that match up, Ford decided to build (and race) a new mid-engined supercar, the Ford GT. The road-legal Ford GT won't actually appear until 2017, but Ford's rivals all gave their permission for the Blue Oval to start racing the car this year—the rules insist on a minimum of 500 production cars built in order to be eligible to race. Ford has been running a quartet of GTs on track, a pair in the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship here in the US, and another pair contesting the World Endurance Championship. The cars aren't just racing for glory either; Ford Performance (the division of the company responsible for the GT as well as the Shelby GT350 and Focus RS) is using the experience to develop and improve the road car ahead of production. We met with Mark Rushbrook, motorsports engineering manager at Ford Performance, to find out more. Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Yes, it's an homage to a famous hacker (nice touch). (credit: USA Networks / NBC Universal) Warning: This piece contains minor spoilers for this week's episode of Mr. Robot (S2E1) Near the intermission of Mr. Robot's two-part season two premiere, fsociety hacker Darlene boots her desktop computer and opens up something called the "Social-Engineering Toolkit." She scrolls through a list of options including a "Java Applet Attack" (done through a Remote Administration Tool) then chooses to unleash the "F-Society Cryptowall." Suddenly, tellers and high-level employees at one of the world's most powerful banks all stare at the same screen (above). Ars readers will recognize this as another instance of art imitating life. And as Mr. Robot's premiere played out, the episode relied on a cryptoransomware story arc that could've been ripped from any number of headlines, including those high-profile Maryland hospital hacks. Similar to that real-life outcome, executives at fictitious E-Corp decide they could come up with the requested $5 million in the couch cushions and eventually pay up (or at least intend to). Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Patrik Nygren) An Illinois man has sued Snapchat for alleged violations of a state law that requires users to expressly consent to instances in which their biometric information is used. This is the second time a plaintiff has brought such a case under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Last year, a Chicago man sued Facebook on similar claims. The proposed class-action lawsuit, known as Jose Martinez v. Snapchat, was originally filed in May 2016 in a Los Angeles County court but was transferred to federal court on Thursday at Snapchat’s behest. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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An atomic clock based on a fountain of atoms. (credit: National Science Foundation) Physics, as you may have read before, is based around two wildly successful theories. On the grand scale, galaxies, planets, and all the other big stuff dance to the tune of gravity. But, like your teenage daughter, all the little stuff stares in bewildered embarrassment at gravity's dancing. Quantum mechanics is the only beat the little stuff is willing get down to. Unlike teenage rebellion, though, no one claims to understand what keeps relativity and quantum mechanics from getting along. Because we refuse to believe that these two theories are separate, physicists are constantly trying to find a way to fit them together. Part-in-parcel with creating a unifying model is finding evidence of a connection between the gravity and quantum mechanics. For example, showing that the gravitational force experienced by a particle depended on the particle's internal quantum state would be a great sign of a deeper connection between the two theories. The latest attempt to show this uses a new way to look for coupling between gravity and the quantum property called spin. I'm free, free fallin' One of the cornerstones of general relativity is that objects move in straight lines through a curved spacetime. So, if two objects have identical masses and are in free fall, they should follow identical trajectories. And this is what we have observed since the time of Galileo (although I seem to recall that Galileo's public experiment came to an embarrassing end due to differences in air resistance). Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Josh McDermott) Bobby McFerrin demonstrates how Western music lives in our brains. The notes used in Western music—or, more accurately, the relationships between the notes used in Western music—have a strange power. Bobby McFerrin demonstrated this dramatically by showing that an audience somehow knows what notes to sing when he jumps around the stage. He remarked that “what’s interesting to me about that is, regardless of where I am, anywhere, every audience gets that.” He’s suggesting that something about the relationships between pitches is culturally universal. All people seem to experience them the same way, regardless of where they're from or whether they have musical training. The question of universals in music perception is important because it can help us determine how much of our perception is shaped by culture and how much by biology. A paper in this week’s Nature reports on the surprising finding that a form of musical perception long thought to be common across all humans might not be so universal after all. In music, relationships between notes can be used in two different ways. If pitches are played in sequence, the relationships between them are melodic, like the difference between each successive note in "Mary had a Little Lamb." When notes are played simultaneously, like a single strum of all the strings on a guitar or a choir singing, the relationships are harmonic. Different musical traditions have different rules about which melodic and harmonic relationships are permissible. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Philippe Put) The landline phone may seem an anachronism to many, but if like me you work from home it can still be an essential business tool. Even if you're not a regular home worker, many people still like to have a phone that's separate to their mobile. In a family house or shared house, it can sometimes also be useful for different people to have their own number too. In the past, your choices were fairly stark—either multiple analogue phone lines, which is what I had when I first moved into my flat, or ISDN. While the latter was very popular in parts of Europe, it never really took off in the UK or US. BT's pricing was part of the problem, together with a lack of equipment. Nevertheless, for many years, I used a small German ISDN PBX at home. It made it simple to separate business and work calls, and thanks to the 10 number blocks BT issued as standard with ISDN2 lines, my lodger could have a number too. Pricing was the killer for ISDN in the home, unless you could claim it as a business expense. Now, however, VoIP services make it much easier to provide the same sort of functionality at a fraction of the cost, and it's much easier than you might have thought, too. Here's how I did it. Read 42 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage right here—and let us know what you think. (credit: Thinkstock) While the worldwide board gaming community has plenty of awards ceremonies, arguably the most important is still the "Spiel des Jahres" (Game of the Year) award issued by German-speaking game critics from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Past winners have included everything from Catan to Qwirkle, and winning ensures solid sales and (very occasionally) fame and fortune. Nominees aren't necessarily guaranteed to be everyone's favorite games from the past year. But as far as the influential German board gaming establishment is concerned, these are the best of the best when it comes to games that everyone can enjoy. We decided to put all six nominees to the test by rounding up some past coverage, adding some new reviews, and rolling the whole thing together into a massive one-stop shop for all things SdJ. Read 62 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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