posted 9 days ago on ars technica
The "Shield Portable" (left) is now joined by the more conventional 8-inch Shield tablet. Nvidia After it was spotted in FCC documents earlier this month and then leaked late last week, Nvidia has officially announced the latest member of its Shield family of Android gaming tablets. Where the first Shield was a 5-inch screen bolted onto the top of an Xbox 360-esque game controller, the new Shield is a standard 8-inch tablet that pairs with a standalone Shield controller via Wi-Fi Direct. Nvidia claims that using Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth for the controller connection will reduce the latency that often affects Bluetooth controllers. In our hands-on time with the tablet last week, Nvidia told us that its goal with the new Shield tablet (the previous Shield has been renamed the "Shield Portable" and is still available for sale) was to make it a good standard tablet as well as a good gaming tablet. To that end, the device is pretty unassuming when not connected to a controller or to your TV—the 8-inch 1920×1200 display is flanked by two front-facing speakers, and the tablet is narrow enough that holding it in one hand to read or browse isn't difficult. The tablet's body is a hard matte plastic that looks nice in person and feels fairly sturdy. The Shield runs a near-stock version of Android 4.4 with a handful of Nvidia apps pre-installed, including a copy of Trine 2 and Nvidia's "Shield Hub" (also known as Tegra Zone), which lists Shield-compatible games available from the Google Play store. The tablet is among the first to use the 32-bit version of Nvidia's next-generation Tegra K1 SoC, which it announced at CES earlier this year. This chip's claim to fame is the "Kepler" GPU architecture, which supports the full range of desktop OpenGL, OpenCL, DirectX, and CUDA APIs where most mobile GPUs still support just a subset of those features. Nvidia claims that this API support makes it easier for developers to port their games from the desktop and was showing off enhanced versions of the Half-Life 2 and Portal Shield ports as well as a port of the upcoming War Thunder multiplayer game that will be compatible with the standard PC version. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Apple's newly split stock price has been on the rise lately. Let's see if this quarter's earnings make it move one way or the other. Andrew Cunningham Apple will be announcing its Q3 2014 financial results on Tuesday, July 22 at 5pm Eastern time (2pm Pacific), and the standard earnings call with press and analysts will follow shortly afterward. As we usually do, we'll be following along with the call to liveblog and provide charts and other contextual information—Apple rarely makes major announcements on these calls, but it does give more information on how particular Apple products are doing both in the US and other markets. Apple's third fiscal quarter runs from the beginning of April to the end of June, and while WWDC was full of new software announcements, those updates (and the new hardware that will accompany them) won't actually be available until the fall, late in Q4 2014 or early in Q1 2015. Beyond a new, slightly cheaper iMac and a security lock for the Mac Pro, we just haven't gotten many new gadgets lately, and the majority of Apple's money is made by selling hardware. That said, Apple's products tend to sell well even when they're in the middle of a refresh cycle. One stat in particular to keep an eye on: will iPad sales continue to be down as they were last quarter, or will they bounce back up? Analysts believe that tablet sales are beginning to level off, and the iPad's sales numbers will be a major data point in that discussion. Apple's guidance for the quarter predicted revenue between $36 billion and $38 billion with profit margins between 37 and 38 percent. Other predictions for this quarter can be found in the Q2 2014 announcement. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
There hasn't been a strong El Niño in over a decade, which causes problems for some climate models. NOAA Spend any amount of time reading climate arguments on the Internet, and you'll undoubtedly hear some version of the following argument: the Earth hasn't warmed in 17 years, and none of the climate models predicted that. Although there are a lot of problems with that statement (including the fact that it has warmed a bit), it's probably safe to say that the warming hasn't been as intense as many scientists expected. Of course, to a scientist, unmet expectations are an opportunity, so a variety of papers have looked into why this has happened. They've found that, while volcanic eruptions seem to have contributed to the relatively slow rise in temperatures, a major player has been the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which has been stuck in a cool, La Niña state for most of the last decade. And, since climate models aren't expected to accurately forecast each El Niño, there would be no reason to expect that they would match the actual atmospheric record. At least not intentionally. But some researchers have found that, simply by chance, a few of the models do produce an accurate ENSO pattern. And when those models are examined in detail, it turns out they match the existing temperature record pretty well. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Diliff A startup has told Los Angeles city officials that it wants to build a citywide fiber-to-the-home broadband network and that it also hopes to build nationwide Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The proposal sounds unlikely to succeed, but it's certainly ambitious. It comes in response to a Los Angeles city government request for information (RFI) regarding a plan to build a fiber and Wi-Fi network. The Los Angeles request itself struck telecom experts as unrealistic. The city wants a vendor to build a fiber network at an estimated cost of $3 billion to $5 billion, offer free Internet to all residents (while charging for faster speeds), and make the infrastructure available to any other service provider on a wholesale basis. The RFI deadline passed Friday, and only one company has made its full response to the city public. It's a Dutch company called Angie Communications, which claims it will build fiber and mobile networks in the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, France, and the US. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Smartphone gamers don't have a wealth of quality first-person shooter options, but in spite of its unoriginal name, Gameloft's Modern Combat games have been solid enough to lead the mobile sales charts. Ahead of the series' fifth release, Gameloft celebrated Modern Combat 5: Blackout's upcoming launch by awarding early free downloads to fans via social network contests. As reported by Polygon, that move backfired when one of the contest winners cracked the iOS version and uploaded its IPA file over the weekend, allowing the game to be pirated in droves ahead of its launch. The news began to spread once Touch Arcade editor Eli Hodapp—the kind of gamer who would have early access to a mobile shooter—noticed thousands of players pop up in Modern Combat 5 multiplayer sessions during the pre-release period. In a Facebook post on the game's official community page, Gameloft representative Florian Weber confirmed that this activity was due to the game's pirated leak, and he didn't mince words. "As you can imagine I am really pissed off," Weber said. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
The Air Force's failed ECSS logistics system cost more than putting a few GPS satellites in orbit. United States Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mike Meares A full two years after its cancellation, Congress is still taking the Air Force to task for the failure of an eight-year logistics system project that was intended to consolidate somewhere between 175 and over 900 legacy software systems—depending on who you asked and when. In a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs investigative report (PDF) completed on July 7 and publicly released last week, Senate investigators called the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS) “a cautionary tale” of poor management practices and horrific technology choices. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects in government and business over the past decade, especially since the software the Air Force attempted to use to solve its problems was an off-the-shelf package that was supposed to be only superficially modified to meet the needs of the Air Force. But ERP systems aren’t just software projects—they often require a total restructuring of organizational processes to make them fit the software rather than just making existing processes more efficient. “The Air Force failed in its procurement of [ECSS]… because it lacked a clear objective and the organizational will to implement changes to its internal business processes vital to integrating ECSS into the organization,” the Senate investigators wrote in the report. “In doing so, the Air Force violated many crucial guidelines and best practices for information technology acquisition.” Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Whitney Last year, the website Extortion Letter Info (ELI) was slapped with an extraordinary "gag order" forcing it to remove more than 2,000 posts related to Linda Ellis, a writer who has a long record of sending copyright demand letters over "The Dash," a poem Ellis claims she composed in 1996. The broad order got the attention of other activists—bloggers like the author of Fight Copyright Trolls, as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which called the Georgia order "overbroad and dangerous." Now it looks like the Georgia Supreme Court has recognized that the 2,000-post takedown is actually a big deal. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Mark Stevens The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has sued the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in an attempt to compel the government agency to hand over documents relating to a relatively new comprehensive intelligence database of people and cargo crossing the US border. EPIC’s lawsuit, which was filed last Friday, seeks a trove of documents concerning the “Analytical Framework for Intelligence” (AFI) as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. EPIC’s April 2014 FOIA request went unanswered after the 20 days that the law requires, and the group waited an additional 49 days before filing suit. The AFI, which was formally announced in June 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), consists of “a single platform for research, analysis, and visualization of large amounts of data from disparate sources and maintaining the final analysis or products in a single, searchable location for later use as well as appropriate dissemination.” Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
"I can't breathe! I can't breathe! I can't breathe! I can't breathe!" Those were the last words captured on amateur video of an African-American man who died after New York Police Department officers subdued him during an arrest. The death of Eric Garner, who appeared to be wrestled to the ground with a chokehold (a move that is banned by the NYPD), is the latest example of the surveillance society turned on its head. In the Digital Age, no longer is it just the watchers watching the watched. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Satya Nadella and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop in a photo-op. Last week, Microsoft announced that it would be making the largest set of staff cuts in the company’s history, axing as many as 18,000 jobs over the next fiscal year. This week, CEO Satya Nadella will be delivering Microsoft’s fourth-quarter earnings results, and according to his corporate-speak-filled layoff e-mail, Nadella will take the opportunity to "share further specifics on where we [Microsoft] are focusing our innovation investments." This likely means elaboration on both the specific nature of the cuts (which Microsoft EVP and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop discussed at length in his own e-mail last week) and some details on where and how Microsoft plans to expend effort to improve itself. There will also likely be a barrage of questions from analysts wanting to know about how the cuts will affect Microsoft’s business strategy, since Nadella’s e-mail contained language indicating that he wanted to (among other things) flatten the organization’s notoriously thick management layer cake. Shares of MSFT actually jumped a few points when trading commenced after the layoff announcements on the morning of July 17; revenues are expected to be up from last fiscal year’s fourth quarter, and analyst expectations are that Microsoft’s Q414 performance will come in at about $0.60 per share, down from $0.66 last year. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Pre-production concept art from the film... I really thought Hollywood was scraping the bottom of the barrel when it announced a movie based on the tabletop game Battleship a few years ago. Then that film went on to make over $300 million internationally, seemingly proving there is no gaming license dumb enough that it can't be turned into a successful big-budget blockbuster. Thus, the recent news that Warner Bros. has apparently purchased the film rights to Space Invaders is somehow unsurprising. Never mind that the 1978 arcade classic is not exactly known for its deep plot or rich character development, or that the concept of aliens invading Earth from space is not exactly a brilliant new film concept that requires a video game license. No, this business deal is obviously more about trying to hit the nostalgia-zone of the 40- and 50-somethings who remember wasting endless quarters on the game in their youth and hopefully translating those warm memories to box office sales. The Wrap reports that heavy-hitter producers Akiva Goldsmith (Winter's Tale), Joby Harold (Edge of Tomorrow), and Tory Tunnell (Awake) are already attached to the project, which might increase its chances of actually reaching theaters at some point. Then again, films based on classic gaming franchises seem to have a habit of getting caught in development hell indefinitely; there's no hint of progress on previously announced Asteroids and Spy Hunter film adaptations, not to mention the J.J. Abrams Portal and Half-Life film project plans that seem to have been immediately pushed aside for more Star Wars. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Zdziarski Apple has endowed iPhones with undocumented functions that allow unauthorized people in privileged positions to wirelessly connect and harvest pictures, text messages, and other sensitive data without entering a password or PIN, a forensic scientist warned over the weekend. Jonathan Zdziarski, an iOS jailbreaker and forensic expert, told attendees of the Hope X conference that he can't be sure Apple engineers enabled the mechanisms with the intention of accommodating surveillance by the National Security Agency and law enforcement groups. Still, he said some of the services serve little or no purpose other than to make huge amounts of data available to anyone who has access to a computer, alarm clock, or other device that has ever been paired with a targeted device. Zdziarski said the service that raises the most concern is known as com.apple.mobile.file_relay. It dishes out a staggering amount of data—including account data for e-mail, Twitter, iCloud, and other services, a full copy of the address book including deleted entries, the user cache folder, logs of geographic positions, and a complete dump of the user photo album—all without requiring a backup password to be entered. He said two other services dubbed com.apple.pcapd and com.apple.mobile.house_arrest may have legitimate uses for app developers or support people but can also be used to spy on users by government agencies or even jilted ex lovers. The Pcapd service, for instance, allows people to wirelessly monitor all network traffic traveling into and out of the device, even when it's not running in a special developer or support mode. House_arrest, meanwhile, allows the copying of sensitive files and documents from Twitter, Facebook, and many other applications. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
A comparison of the graphical differences between the PS3 and PS4 versions of the Destiny beta. Console gamers are used to being unable to play online against others on competing platforms, thanks more to business arrangements than any underlying technical issues. But with Bungie's MMO shooter Destiny launching across two overlapping console generations, one might think that PlayStation 4 users could expect to be able to play against their friends using the PlayStation 3 through the PlayStation Network (or across the Xbox One/Xbox 360 divide using Xbox Live). Even that kind of cross-platform play is not available in Destiny, though, a state of affairs that Bungie attributes to a sense of fair play across different gameplay resolutions. “I’ll speak for the hypothetical player. I have a disadvantage sniping across the map because [my opponent with a next-gen console] is only two pixels on my screen and I’m four pixels on his," Bungie engineer Roger Wolfson told Digital Trends. "You see that in the world of PC gaming, where people are always racing to the best video card to give themselves the advantage." Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Verizon has boosted FiOS upload speeds to make them match download speeds, the company announced today. Both existing customers and new subscribers will get the speed upgrade. The increase is "free to current customers," Verizon said. For example, the 15/5Mbps tier (15Mbps downstream and 5Mbps upstream) will now be 15Mbps in both directions. Other tiers before the upgrade were 50/25, 75/35, 150/65, 300/65, and 500/100. In all cases, the second number will be increased to match the first. Additionally, a new 25/25 tier will be the entry level package for new customers, starting at $64.99 a month standalone, the "same pricing as current levels for 15/5," a Verizon spokesperson told Ars. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Continuity changes how your iPhones, iPads, and Macs interact with one another. Let's look at the technology underneath all these features. Apple Apple wants you to buy Apple devices. It insists, mostly successfully, that computers, tablets, and phones are fully separate product categories with separate use cases and that “you should be able to use the right device for the moment.” The company brags on its earnings calls that first-time iPhone buyers are more likely to pick up additional Apple devices in the future. It’s selling a vision in which everything works best if you own an iPhone and an iPad and a Mac rather than mixing and matching. If you subscribe to Apple’s philosophy, iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite will reward your faith. While iOS and OS X have shared certain services and features since 2011 or so, this year’s releases will take that interoperability to the next level under the “Continuity” banner. Yes, for those of us who prefer to live in between ecosystems, Continuity takes today’s vendor lock-in problems and makes them even worse. For the large number of people who own and use multiple Apple products, though, it promises to make your devices work together in ways beyond simple data synchronization. Read 42 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 11 days ago on ars technica
CN.dart.call("xrailTop", {sz:"300x250", kws:["top"], collapse: true}); On July 20 1969, at about four minutes before 10:00 pm Central Daylight Time, former naval aviator and test pilot Neil Armstrong became the first human being to stand on the surface of the Moon. About 20 minutes later, he was followed by Buzz Aldrin, an Air Force colonel with a PhD in astronautics from MIT (Aldrin had, quite literally, written the book on orbital rendezvous techniques). Armstrong and Aldrin’s landing was the culmination of almost a decade of scientific and engineering work by hundreds of thousands of people across the United States. Even though the lunar program’s goals were ultimately political, the Apollo project ranks as one of the greatest engineering achievements in human history. The six successful Apollo landings between 1969 and 1972 still inspire awe today, almost half a century later. A big part of that awe comes from the fact that those voyages from the Earth to the Moon were accomplished with only the most basic of computing assistance. There were no supercomputers as we’d understand them today; although the computers that eventually powered the Apollo spacecraft were almost unbelievably advanced at the time, they are alarmingly primitive when viewed through the lens of 21st century computing. Fortunately for amateur and professional historians wondering how the effort succeeded despite its comparatively primitive computing, NASA has extensive historical resources about project Apollo available in the public domain to study, including the outstanding Apollo Lunar Surface Journal (along with its companion site, the Apollo Flight Journal). We’ve combed through gigabytes of documents and images to bring you this brief retrospective of some lesser-known interesting historical tidbits around Apollo 11 and that one small step nearly a half-century ago. Read 26 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 11 days ago on ars technica
NIH In Type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system destroys the cells that produce insulin, leaving your body unable to make it. In Type 2 diabetes, the body continues to produce insulin, but organs don't respond to it efficiently. As a result, insulin injections, which effectively treat Type 1, don't do much to help people with Type 2 diabetes. There is a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones that help restore the body's ability to respond to insulin. Unfortunately, these drugs also cause a variety of side effects, including weight gain, bone density loss, and heart problems, so the search for a less problematic treatment has continued. Now, working with mice, researchers have found that a well-known growth factor also restores the body's sensitivity to insulin and does so without any of the side effects associated with existing drugs. And they show that a modified form of the growth factor can still work effectively while reducing the risk of unforeseen consequences. This doesn't mean that using this method as a treatment will be free of side effects, but it does provide a promising avenue for further experiments. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Earlier this week, the US Department of Energy announced that work has started on what when finished will be the world's largest carbon capture facility. Located in Thompsons, Texas, the project will capture a portion of the emissions from the coal-fired W.A. Parish Generating Station. The CO2 will then be compressed and piped to the West Ranch oil field, where it will be injected under ground. This will help liberate oil that's otherwise difficult to extract, but has the added benefit that the carbon dioxide typically stays underground, sequestered. The project was originally planned as a small pilot that would only extract CO2 from the equivalent of 60 megawatts of the plant's 3,500MW of generating capacity. When it was realized that the amount of CO2 from 60MW of would be too little CO2 to supply the oil field's needs, the project scope was expanded to 240MW. At that scale, the facility would become the largest of its type in the world. The exhaust gas will have its sulfates removed before being bubbled through a solution of amines, which will bind the CO2. Once separated from the rest of the gasses, the carbon dioxide will be released by heating the amine solution, which can be recycled. The CO2 is then sent under pressure via a pipeline. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Melanie Gonick / MIT Four fingers and a thumb on each hand is pretty useful. Humans have gone from caves to sprawling cities in part because of our dexterous digits. But researchers at MIT think we could do even better if we had an upgrade. They have developed a glove with two extra robotic fingers that respond intelligently to your movements, allowing you to perform two-handed tasks with just one robot-enhanced hand. "You do not need to command the robot, but simply move your fingers naturally. Then the robotic fingers react and assist your fingers," said the glove's creator Harry Asada, of MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 12 days ago on ars technica
The FAA had barred search-and-rescue volunteer Gene Robinson from flying this five-pound Spectra styrofoam drone to find the missing. Courtesy ofTexas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team A Texas volunteer search-and-rescue outfit that uses five-pound drones to find missing persons is resuming operations following its Friday courthouse victory against US flight regulators. Federal Aviation Administration officials in February grounded Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team, which deployed the unmanned aircraft to search for the missing for free. EquuSearch, which does not charge for its services, says it has found more than 300 persons alive in some 42 states and eight countries. It challenged the FAA's order and, indirectly, prevailed. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found [PDF] that the e-mail from the FAA to EquuSearch was not the official method for a cease-and-desist order. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 12 days ago on ars technica
The Internet's Own Boy Every element of Aaron Swartz’s brief, remarkable life exemplifies the stuff we cover all the time on Ars. His tech-filled upbringing, his teenage rise to geek royalty, his hand in reddit’s genesis, and his online political activism made him a worthy subject of Ars conversation well before he became a household name. Sadly, Swartz’s story didn’t reach critical mass until he took his own life nearly two years after being indicted by a federal court on twelve felony charges. The case hinged on allegations that he had downloaded 4.8 million documents from JSTOR, an online academic research archive, which he accessed from within MIT’s campus without permission. In the weeks after his suicide, the Internet saw both a massive outpouring of grief and a comprehensive examination of what made his case so outrageous. The latter makes the new feature-length documentary about his life, The Internet’s Own Boy, less than indispensable in telling Swartz’s story, but considering the fact that he spent his final years trying to make information free and open, that’s fitting. Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 12 days ago on ars technica
Timothy Tolle Despite court-governed blocks and its founders being jailed, The Pirate Bay's traffic has doubled since 2011. The world's most infamous peer-to-peer file-sharing site shared these stats with Torrent Freak, adding that nine percent of all visitors use a proxy to access the site and that the US continues to be its biggest source of traffic (last year it was revealed that the US was responsible for a third of traffic to the site). That's despite the majority of copyright complaints about content shared on The Pirate Bay coming from US record labels and Hollywood studios. An increasing number of countries around the globe block the site by forcing Internet service providers to directly block access. In 2011, Advocate General Cruz Villalón of the European Court of Justice said that forcing an ISP to filter Web traffic would infringe upon its fundamental rights. The installation of such a filter would be "a restriction on the right to respect for the privacy of communications and the right to protection of personal data." In addition, "such a system would restrict freedom of information, which is also protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights." Essentially, forcing ISPs to block Web content by their own expense and indefinitely breaches rights of citizens and companies. This view was upheld by the court. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 12 days ago on ars technica
You can check out any time you'd like, but you can never... well, you know the song. Aurich Lawson AOL VP Ryan Block’s cancellation nightmare phone call with Comcast’s customer service went insanely viral this week, drawing a contrite canned response from Comcast’s public relations group and likely resulting in the firing of the overly zealous customer service employee who badgered Block for 10 solid minutes about his request to terminate service. Unfortunately, Block’s experience is far from unique. Putting aside the Comcast representative’s hilariously insensitive tenacity ("This phone call is a really, actually amazing example of why I don't want to stay with Comcast," Block said at one point), terrible phone-based customer service is standard operating procedure for most companies. There is some delicious irony in the fact that Block is an AOL employee, since AOL’s ludicrous and borderline-abusive customer retention tactics are the stuff of legends. However, in this instance, Block's affiliation with AOL was immaterial: he was just another customer being forced to fight a war to cancel his Internet service. Why do companies like Comcast and AOL make it so hard to pull the plug? Do customer service representatives get some kind of incentive for keeping customers from canceling? Is there anything you can do to power through their garbage and get what you want without having to verbally fight it out, Block-style? Read 31 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 12 days ago on ars technica
Jonathan Ryan In May 2014, I reported on my efforts to learn what the feds know about me whenever I enter and exit the country. In particular, I wanted my Passenger Name Records (PNR), data created by airlines, hotels, and cruise ships whenever travel is booked. But instead of providing what I had requested, the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) turned over only basic information about my travel going back to 1994. So I appealed—and without explanation, the government recently turned over the actual PNRs I had requested the first time. The 76 new pages of data, covering 2005 through 2013, show that CBP retains massive amounts of data on us when we travel internationally. My own PNRs include not just every mailing address, e-mail, and phone number I've ever used; some of them also contain: Read 24 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 13 days ago on ars technica
The Chrome OS "Athena" UI is obviously a work-in-progress. Francois Beaufort Google-watchers may have already head about "Project Athena," a Chrome OS-related experiment of Google's that has appeared in the Chromium source code a few times in the past. Today we got our first official look at the new interface via Francois Beaufort, a Chrome enthusiast who was hired by Google last year after leaking several high-profile Chrome features. The new UI, pictured above, displays a cascading stack of cards, each of which appears to represent an individual browser tab. At the bottom of the screen, an app drawer full of dummy icons and a Search field will allow the user to jump quickly into other applications. The battery indicator and network status are in the upper-right corner of the screen. Putting aside the rough, obviously-a-work-in-progress aesthetic of the interface, it bears a strong resemblance to the new multitasking UI in the Android L release, which shows apps and individual browser tabs as a similar stack of cards. The Android L developer preview's multitasking UI on a 2013 Nexus 7. Andrew Cunningham The current Chrome user interface, codenamed "Aura," hews much closer to Windows 7 than to Android, and it works better with a traditional keyboard and mouse combo than with fingers. The Athena UI looks like a more touch-friendly take on Chrome OS—touchscreens are gradually beginning to show up on Chromebooks like the Pixel and one of Acer's C720 models, but as we pointed out in our Chromebook Pixel review the operating system isn't particularly touch-friendly. It's possible that Google is looking to give touchscreen Chromebooks a boost by developing an interface for them that's easier to use. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...