posted 14 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | wildpixel) State legislators in Nebraska and California are proposing net neutrality laws to replace the US-wide ones repealed by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC repealed its own net neutrality rules and claims the authority to prevent state and local governments from enacting their own, similar net neutrality rules. But a Nebraska bill, introduced by Democratic Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln, would do just that. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 14 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The enormous Kaby Lake-G package: HBM2 and the AMD GPU are closely coupled, with the Intel CPU a little further away. (credit: Intel) One of the more surprising products announced last year was an Intel CPU with embedded AMD graphics, an unusual collaboration between two competitors. With the full specs now available, it's clear that the companies are taking aim at a common enemy: Nvidia. The result is perhaps one of the most annoyingly named products we've seen in a while: the full branding is "8th generation Intel Core processor with Radeon RX Vega M Graphics." The CPU part is a Kaby Lake-R chip; these are the four-core, eight-thread versions of the 7th generation chips. The CPUs are paired with either a Radeon RX Vega M GH or a Radeon RX Vega M GL GPU, which in turn is connected to 4GB of second generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2). In total, Intel is launching five variants of the Kaby Lake-G platform, with the inclusion of the AMD graphics indicated by the "G" at the end of the chip name. Four are i7 branded, the other i5. While clearly aimed at gamers first and foremost, One i7 part supports vPro management, suggesting that there may be some interest in corporate-oriented systems too. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 14 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Samsung) We noted when LG teased its 88-inch 8K OLED TV last week that CES is a haven for absurd, if not impressive, TV concepts. But Samsung is really taking that experimental spirit to heart. The Korean firm is showcasing a 146-inch 4K TV dubbed The Wall at the annual tech industry trade show, which formally kicked off on Monday. Ars at CES 2018 Alexa to live in new Windows 10 PCs launching later this year Garmin’s first wearable with music storage is the Forerunner 645 Music HP’s Z 3D Camera puts Sprout’s scanning power on your PC Netatmo’s Smart Home Bot uses AI to let you text commands to your devices View more stories Samsung touts The Wall—which is twice as big as me, a 27-year-old man—as using a “module-based” design, though exactly how that will manifest itself isn’t totally clear. A company representative said The Wall’s “modules can be combined to increase the size of the overall TV” and said The Wall “could be sized smaller than 146 inches." Though the 146-inch model at CES comes in 4K, a company blog post suggests that the device isn't restricted to a particular resolution. It can also use DCI-P3 for a wider color gamut. The Wall is a take on Samsung’s projector-replacing Cinema Screen technology. As such, it’s a MicroLED panel, which is notable for display enthusiasts. This is a still-nascent display type that, like OLED, is self-emitting, meaning each pixel doesn’t require a backlight. That means it can ostensibly produce deep black tones and infinite contrast ratios in form factors that are slimmer than the average LCD set. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 14 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) has offered a strongly worded response to a lawsuit brought last month by CryEngine maker Crytek, saying that suit "never should have been filed" and that its "contrived claims... sacrifice legal sufficiency for loud publicity." Crytek's lawsuit alleged that CIG broke a CryEngine licensing agreement and infringed on Crytek's copyrights by switching from CryEngine to Amazon's Lumberyard platform in late 2016. But CIG contends that Crytek's complaint selectively and misleadingly quotes from the full Game License Agreement signed by both parties. While Crytek argued that the license agreement couldn't be extended for use in CIG's spin-off game Squadron 42, for instance, the actual license agreement CIG shared with the court says directly up front that it applies to "the game currently entitled 'Space Citizen' [sic] and its related space fighter game 'Squadron 42.'" Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 14 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: YouTube, GoPro Tutorials) The GoPro woes continue with the release of the company's preliminary Q4 2017 earnings. To little surprise, the company announced it will leave the drone market once it sells off its remaining inventory of $799 Karma drones. "Although Karma reached the #2 market position in its price band in 2017, the product faces margin challenges in an extremely competitive aerial market," the report states. "Furthermore, a hostile regulatory environment in Europe and the United States will likely reduce the total addressable market in the years ahead. These factors make the aerial market untenable and GoPro will exit the market after selling its remaining Karma inventory. GoPro will continue to provide service and support to Karma customers." While the Karma drone was ultimately popular, it had a rocky launch. After debuting in October 2016, GoPro recalled the drone in November 2016 after a number of them "lost power during operation." The Karma was the company's first (and only) drone, made to leverage the company's action cam expertise in an aerial device to challenge DJI. However, technical difficulties for both users and GoPro, in addition to the company's financial woes, seem to have led to the Karma's demise and GoPro's abandonment of other drone aspirations. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 14 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: dogr.io) Nobody was supposed to take Dogecoin seriously. Back in 2013, a couple of guys created a new cryptocurrency inspired by the "doge" meme, which features a Shiba Inu dog making excited but ungrammatical declarations. "The price doesn't even matter," Dogecoin cofounder Billy Markus told Motherboard in 2013. Everyone assumed that people would have some fun playing around with a pretend currency for a year or two and then move on. The currency's value peaked around $90 million in February 2014 and then began a years-long slump. At the start of 2017, the value of all Dogecoins in circulation was around $20 million. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 14 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / HP's Pavilion Wave PC with built-in Alexa. (credit: HP) Unlike Amazon and Google, Amazon and Microsoft have been on decent terms with each other recently. Last year, the two companies announced plans to allow their virtual assistants, Alexa and Cortana, to "talk" to each other on Windows 10 PCs. At CES, a number of Windows 10 PC manufacturers are announcing their own partnerships with Amazon to integrate Alexa into their devices, a separate initiative with the apparent goal of bringing full Alexa features to Windows 10 devices. "Hands-free access to Alexa on PCs can be helpful to customers in many ways, like making it simple to interact with your smart home, get news or weather, set timers, and more," Steve Rabuchin, Vice President of Amazon's Alexa division, said in Acer's press release. "This is a big step toward making Alexa available wherever customers might need her." Acer, Asus, and HP have all announced forthcoming PCs that integrate Alexa: select Acer Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks and some Aspire all-in-one PCs; select Asus ZenBook and VivoBook laptops; and HP's new Pavilion Wave PC, which looks most like an Amazon Echo than any of the other devices. Some of the new devices will use Intel's Smart Sound Technology, an integrated audio DSP, for improved audio, voice, and speech interactions with Alexa. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 14 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The copyright for the first Mickey Mouse film, Steamboat Willie, is scheduled to expire in 2024, though Disney would still hold a trademark for the Mickey Mouse brand. One guaranteed result: lots of work for lawyers. (credit: Aurich Lawson) On January 1, 2019, every book, film, and song published in 1923 will fall out of copyright protection—something that hasn't happened in 40 years. At least, that's what will happen if Congress doesn't retrospectively change copyright law to prevent it—as Congress has done two previous times. Until the 1970s, copyright terms only lasted for 56 years. But Congress retroactively extended the term of older works to 75 years in 1976. Then on October 27, 1998—just weeks before works from 1923 were scheduled to fall into the public domain—President Bill Clinton signed legislation retroactively extending the term of older works to 95 years, locking up works published in 1923 or later for another 20 years. Will Congress do the same thing again this year? To find out, we talked to groups on both sides of the nation's copyright debate—to digital rights advocates at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge and to industry groups like the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. To our surprise, there seemed to be universal agreement that another copyright extension was unlikely to be on the agenda this year. Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 14 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / We've enjoyed Age of Empires so much, we'd probably play this version, too. Not much about Age of Empires isn't epic. Over the last 20 years, these epoch-spanning games have starred more than 50 historical civilizations, sales have surpassed more than 20 million units, and a core fanbase of hundreds of thousands has put hours upon hours into playing one series entry or another on a weekly basis. Age of Empires is one of the most influential strategy games of all time. And far from fading into obscurity, as history is wont to do, Empires is now squarely back in the (games-playing) public consciousness. With a new Age game in development and a "definitive edition" reboot of the original just around the corner—and given our recent foray into the evolution of the entire real-time strategy genre—we thought it'd be interesting to dig into the history of this RTS series. After all, RTS games like Age have introduced millions of impressionable youths to the delights of... well, history. Read 85 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 14 days ago on ars technica
Garmin Garmin's Vivoactive 3 provided a solid alternative to the Fitbit Ionic and the Apple Watch last year, but it lacked one big feature: onboard music storage. At CES, Garmin announced its first wearable with space to save music you could listen to without your smartphone present: the $450 Forerunner 645 Music. The Forerunner 645 Music has 3.5GB of storage that can hold approximately 500 songs, which is more than the Fitbit Ionic's 300 song limit. The 645 Music can pair with Bluetooth earbuds and also supports music transferred from a computer or a music streaming service. According to Garmin, paid subscribers of iHeartRadio's streaming service can download saved playlists to the Forerunner 645 Music (Garmin plans on supporting other music streaming services in the future, but iHeartRadio is the first). Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 14 days ago on ars technica
HP Inc. HP's Sprout all-in-one was a behemoth when it launched, and its second iteration, the Sprout Pro G2, wasn't any different. Both PCs made 3D scanning easier by incorporating a down-facing camera atop the display and a Touch Mat that almost acts as a second display. To match their power, both Sprout PCs are incredibly large and expensive, priced at $3,750 and higher. At CES, HP introduced the $599 Z 3D Camera, which basically takes the 3D camera technology from the original devices and packages it as a PC accessory rather than a full, all-in-one device. The Z 3D Camera looks identical to the top portion of the original Sprout PCs, and even though it's called Z, the camera is shaped more like an L. It sticks to the top of your PC's monitor with its included magnetic badge so it can capture and digitize objects in front of your PC. Since the Z is an accessory, HP scaled the technology down in the sense that the Z 3D Camera doesn't come with the Touch Mat that the Sprout PCs do, nor does it include the original's light projector. Otherwise, it's the same technology and includes a 14.6MP 2D camera and a 3D depth-sensing camera featuring an IR diffractive optical element projector. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 14 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Netatmo) While voice assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant are taking over the home, there are still some users who don't want to talk to their devices. The French company Netatmo, maker of a number of smart home products, wants users to text—not speak—to control their devices no matter where they are. At CES, Netatmo debuted its Smart Home Bot, a digital assistant of sorts that lives within Facebook Messenger that users can text commands to, thereby controlling their smart home devices. The foundation for the Smart Home Bot comes from Netatmo's new "with Netatmo" program. Currently, Netatmo devices are compatible with various virtual assistants including Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. But Netatmo's new program will encourage other companies to partner with Netatmo to make devices that work with the company's software as well as the Smart Home Bot. At CES, Netatmo is showing off a few of the newest "with Netatmo" devices, including smart lights, blinds, and radiators that will debut in 2018. Any of the "with Netatmo" devices, as well as Netatmo's own products, can be controlled through the Smart Home Bot via Facebook Messenger. Essentially, it's a contact that uses artificial intelligence algorithms and natural language processing to decipher text commands you send it to control different smart home devices. You could text the bot, "Who is at home?" when you're out, and it'll reply with photos of the individuals that the Netatmo Welcome recognized in your home. You could also text a command to set your home's temperature to 70 degrees and a "with Netatmo" smart thermostat would be set to your liking shortly thereafter. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 15 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Unit 1 (credit: Nuclear Regulatory Commission) 2017 was undoubtedly a challenging year for nuclear power in the US. But last week, two of the major players in 2017's nuclear power drama may have found a path forward, subject to regulator approval. Westinghouse, the nuclear reactor company owned by Toshiba that went bankrupt in early 2017, may have found a buyer in a Canadian company called Brookfield Business Partners. Similarly Scana, the energy company that owned 55 percent of the VC Summer nuclear buildout in South Carolina, may also be bought up by Virginia-based Dominion Energy. The drama started early last year, when Westinghouse announced its bankruptcy in March. Westinghouse had been contracted to build four Generation III+ AP1000 reactors for two nuclear plants—Summer in South Carolina and Vogtle in Georgia. The new AP1000 reactors were supposed to be safer and more reliable than previous reactors, but constant conflict with contractors left Westinghouse mired in lawsuits and severely behind schedule and over budget. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 15 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The Falcon 9 rocket and its Zuma payload are seen on the launch pad in November. (credit: SpaceX) Originally planned for a November launch, the mysterious Zuma mission may finally go to space on Sunday evening. SpaceX has confirmed that its rocket, and the undisclosed national security payload, are ready for launch, and weather conditions appear to be generally favorable. The two-hour launch window opens at 8pm ET. An undisclosed issue with the Falcon 9 rocket's fairing caused SpaceX to delay the launch for several weeks in November and eventually move the date forward to January 4. Earlier this week additional propellant loading tests contributed to further delays, as did "extreme weather" at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida—mostly gusty winds. But now conditions for the mysterious mission are 80-percent go, weather-wise, in Florida. This is SpaceX's third classified mission, and arguably its most secretive flight for the US military. All that is publicly known about the Zuma payload is that it is a satellite manufactured for the US government by Northrop Grumman, and it is bound for low-Earth orbit. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 15 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Jesper Sehested / Flickr) Welcome to 2018, filled with new newsletters, new launches, and new resolutions. In case "decluttering your digital life" sits among your goals in 2018, we're surfacing a classic Ars guide to achieving inbox zero. This piece originally run on December 14, 2008, and it appears unchanged below. Last week, I posted a message on Facebook about having successfully emptied my inbox. I was surprised by the number of comments I got in return. One friend said that she had "no words to describe the level of my admiration and jealousy." Another bemoaned his inbox tally of 10,545 messages. Back in the day, I used to be fairly diligent about sorting email. After writing for Ars for a while, the volume of email made that a much tougher task. Fortunately for me (and others in my boat), Apple got serious about indexing in 2005 with the inclusion of Spotlight in Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger). With all the contents of Mail.app indexed and readily available with a search, keeping things sorted didn't seem all that urgent. Relying on Spotlight to keep track of one's mail can become inefficient, however, and I recently got disgusted with my inbox and decided to get organized. It took a couple of hours to get from 2,500 to 50, where I happily resided for awhile. Going down to zero took another 15 minutes or so. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / John Young on the surface of the moon during Apollo 16. (credit: NASA) John Young was an astronaut's astronaut—quiet, reticent, and utterly reliable in space. During his long and incomparable career as an astronaut, he flew three different vehicles into space: the Gemini capsule, the Apollo capsule, and the space shuttle. He died Friday night, at the age of 87, from complications of pneumonia. With a tenure that spanned 42 years, Young had the longest career of any astronaut. He piloted the first fight of a Gemini spacecraft, alongside commander Gus Grissom, commanded another Gemini mission, then flew two Apollo missions to the Moon, and finally commanded the first and ninth flights of the space shuttle. During Apollo 16, he spent 71 hours on the surface of the Moon, and also flew the lunar module. With his passing, just five living human beings have walked on the Moon: Buzz Aldrin, 87; Alan Bean, 85; Dave Scott, 85; Charlie Duke, 82; and Harrison Schmitt, 82. After earning a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1952, Young joined the US Navy. He was not eligible for the initial Mercury class of astronauts in 1959, but he was a member of the next nine selected in 1962, a legendary class that included Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and others who flew many of the Gemini and Apollo missions. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Netflix If you thought nothing in this world could make your head explode more than the orcs-as-juggalos weirdness of last month's Will Smith film Bright, its distributor at Netflix had a surprise doozy to announce this week: the movie has already officially become a franchise. The straight-to-Netflix flick, which debuted on December 22, had its sequel confirmed on Wednedsay. Smith didn't even have time to establish a series of "welcome to Earth"-level quotes and memes before an executive decided that we needed more modern-day Tolkien in our lives. After seeing the film, we don't necessarily agree. Still, the sequel's news gives us an opportunity to give the buddy-cops-and-orcs film a post-holiday examination. What was actually decent about Bright? What good stuff might a sequel pull off? And why don't I feel all that optimistic? Read 23 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Aerial view of an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico with a flare of the coast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana's southernmost port, where land loss due to coastal erosion is estimated to be more than the size of footaball field every hour. (Photo by Julie Dermansky/Corbis via Getty Images) (credit: Getty Images) On Thursday, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced a proposal to expand federal offshore drilling areas substantially, which could put more than 90 percent of the federal offshore land known to contain oil and gas up for auction in the five years between 2019 and 2024. The offshore drilling areas include areas off the coast of Alaska, in the Pacific Region, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Atlantic Region. But states like California, Oregon, and Washington, as well as Virginia and Florida, are likely to push back on federal approval to drill off their coasts—even if the state itself doesn't have jurisdiction over the federally-owned ocean floor being sold. This week's announcement comes just a week after the Trump Administration's DOI proposed a rollback of rules promulgated after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010. The Deepwater explosion killed 11 oil rig workers and resulted in millions of gallons of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico, followed by widespread environmental devastation. After the spill, the Obama Administration proposed rules requiring third-party certifications of certain equipment used on oil rigs, expanded failure reporting requirements, and new system design safety requirements among other things. The Trump Administration contends that these requirements are burdensome for oil drillers (PDF). Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Crappuccino, anyone? (credit: Nick Olejniczak) Down the hatch, coffee can jump start a day. But, according to dubious advice from Gwyneth Paltrow’s posh lifestyle and e-commerce site, Goop, the popular brew can also kick off a whole year—when taken up the bum. Yes, Goop suggests that a coffee enema is a “clutch” way to “supercharge” your “annual goop detox” and start the year in tip-top health. In its latest guide for “deep detoxification,” the Goop team recommends a device called an “Implant O’Rama” for squirting coffee up your keister at home. The product, sold by Implant O’Rama LLC for a bargain $135, is merely a glass bottle with silicone tubing attached. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / An Intel CPU. (credit: Mark Walton) Three class action complaints have been filed against Intel over the Meltdown and Spectre CPU security flaws that were discovered by researchers earlier this year and widely publicized earlier this week. The three lawsuits—filed in California, Indiana, and Oregon (PDF)—cite not just the security vulnerabilities and their potential impact, but also Intel's response time to them. Researchers notified Intel about the flaws in June. Now, Intel faces a big headache. The vast majority of its CPUs in use today are impacted, and more class action complaints may be filed beyond these three. The three complaints also cite suggestions that devices using Intel's CPUs will see significant slowdown as a result of addressing the security flaws. However, that point is in some dispute. In the course of its various public efforts to mitigate damage and address concerns, Intel has publicly said in a statement that these concerns are overblown: Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 17 days ago on ars technica
Saber Interactive just updated its NBA Playgrounds game on the Switch, but not via a patch. You'll have to re-download the game after manually searching for it. The result: You can end up with both of these icons on your home screen. (The slightly glowier one is the "updated" one, if you're wondering.) (credit: Saber Interactive) As a modern portable-gaming device, Nintendo Switch has its share of quirks and missing features, but one thing it's good at is serving easily downloaded patches and updates for games and apps. A major exception emerged on Thursday, however, with the bizarre introduction of a "new" game that actually serves as a patch and fix for an existing one. NBA Playgrounds: Enhanced Edition launched on Nintendo's eShop store on Thursday with a promotional price of $10, though owners of the original NBA Playgrounds, which launched last May, see a different price: $0. The game's developers at Saber Interactive confirmed via their official Facebook page that this version of the game is effectively an "upgrade" of the original, complete with the new content and patches that already arrived for the game's other platforms. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 17 days ago on ars technica
Jimmy Iovine announces new Apple Music app. (credit: Megan Geuss) Famed music mogul and Beats Electronics co-founder Jimmy Iovine plans to leave Apple this August, according to multiple reports. Bloomberg, Billboard, and Hits Daily Double all cite sources close to Iovine, who say he is unlikely to change his mind. Some or all of those sources believe that Iovine's departure is timed with the concluding payout to Iovine related to Apple's acquisition of Beats in 2014. Iovine joined Apple with that acquisition and has acted as a creative and business lead for the Apple Music streaming service in partnership of Eddie Cue, who heads up Apple's internet software and services division. Iovine has reportedly been a key figure behind initiatives like exclusive content on Apple Music, like special albums or video series like Carpool Karaoke. However, Bloomberg reports that Iovine and Cue did not always see eye-to-eye. While Apple Music—born out of Iovine and Dr. Dre's own Beats Music streaming service—has been successful, it has not become the market leader. It has 30 million paying subscribers, but Spotify has 70 million. Experiments like Carpool Karaoke have not made a significant impact on the market, though Iovine's efforts to push curated music and other perks are laudable to music obsessives. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 17 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / NASA's version of what a deep space gateway might look like. (credit: NASA) Russia is assembling a new group of engineers who will be responsible for crafting the nation’s lunar exploration strategy. It’s another sign that a highly ambitious human space program is gaining steam in Moscow. The new department was created inside RKK Energia space corporation, Russia’s premier developer of human spacecraft that is responsible for the venerable Soyuz. Officially, Moscow has been on a path to put a human on the Moon since 2013, when President Putin approved a general direction for human space flight in the coming decade. The program had been stalling for several years due to falling prices for oil, the main source of revenue for the Russian budget. Last year, however, the Russian lunar exploration effort was given a new impetus when the Kremlin made a strategic decision to cooperate with NASA on the construction of a habitable outpost in the orbit around the Moon, known as Deep Space Gateway, DSG. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 17 days ago on ars technica
HMD Global HMD is launching a second generation of the Nokia 6. Compared to the old Nokia 6, a lot has changed. There's a bigger-than-you'd-expect spec boost and a more modern design. The good things are still the same, though—it's still made of metal, and it still costs about $230. First, the specs: the Nokia 6 has been upgraded to a full tier higher in Qualcomm's SoC lineup—the 2017 version has a low-end Snapdragon 430, while this 2018 version ships with a more mid-range Snapdragon 630. For the same price, that's a great upgrade. You also get one more gigabyte of RAM in the base version, which is now up to 4GB. The new Nokia 6 is also upgrading from micro USB to the newer, reversible USB-C standard. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 17 days ago on ars technica
The next frontier for Amazon's Alexa may be the devices you keep on your person most of the time. Amazon announced the new Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit today, which will allow manufacturers to more easily integrate the company's voice assistant into headphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other small devices. The kit is currently in developer preview and partner companies including Bose, Jabra, and iHome are already testing it out. The developer kit lessens the development load that manufacturers have to take on when making an Alexa-friendly accessory. Instead of using all of the code necessary to build Alexa into a device like a home speaker, manufacturers rely on only some of the code as well as Bluetooth connectivity to the Alexa mobile app. Headphones, wearables, and other Bluetooth-audio capable devices made with the Mobile Accessory Kit can connect to the Alexa mobile app on the device with which they are paired and access the Alexa Voice Service from the app. That means users can speak to these accessories, asking Alexa to perform various tasks like stream media, control smart home devices, and provide news and weather updates. Amazon also claims users can call upon Alexa "without worrying about Wi-Fi connectivity," but Alexa will require connection to access certain skills and pieces of information. In those cases, the Alexa app would use the device's LTE data. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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