posted 15 days ago on ars technica
Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we have another round of deals to share. Every now and then, Amazon will drop the price on a collection of its Fire TV media streamers, Fire tablets, and Kindle e-readers, and today is one of those days. Many of these discounts require you to be a Prime subscriber, but if you're one of the millions who already pays Amazon for expedited shipping, you can grab a Fire HD 8, the cheap tablet to beat these days, for $55. Or pick up a Kindle Paperwhite—generally considered the best e-reader for most—for $80. That's good for $25 and $40 off, respectively. All is not lost if you're not a Prime member, though, as deals on Amazon's Fire TV Stick and 4K Fire TV streamer aren't locked behind a subscription. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 15 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge One of the things you have to accept as a tech writer is being on the receiving end of a never-ending stream of PR pitches. Generally, they're ill-targeted or irrelevant to the topics I actually write about—for instance, anything with "blockchain" gets deleted immediately. Sometimes, though, a pitch email will be intriguing enough to warrant a reply other than "sorry, this isn't for Ars." Those replies usually lead to an interesting conversation with an expert in a particular field, which is useful for informing our reporting. But the email that sparked this article was about a new navigation app, called Live Roads, that promises to be the first to feature an HD map and much greater accuracy than we're accustomed to in our cellphones. Smartphone GPS is usually only accurate to about 4m (13 feet), so the idea of a smartphone navigation app capable of much more accurate spatial resolution piqued my interest enough to try it out. Then it got me wondering how the whole thing works. Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 15 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty | SOPA Images ) The Federal Communications Commission's proposed ban on Huawei and ZTE gear in government-funded projects will hurt small Internet providers' efforts to deploy broadband, according to a lobby group for rural ISPs. As previously reported, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal would prevent Universal Service Fund (USF) money from being used to buy equipment or services from companies that "pos[e] a national security risk." If the FCC approves the proposal, the ban is most likely to prevent the purchase of equipment from Chinese technology vendors Huawei and ZTE. But it could also affect other companies and technology from other countries, depending on how the FCC determines which companies pose national security threats. ISPs who use federal money to build or expand broadband service would end up with fewer options for buying network gear. This would "irreparably damage broadband networks (and limit future deployment) in many rural and remote areas throughout the country," the Rural Wireless Association (RWA) told the FCC in a filing yesterday. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 15 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Swatting suspect Tyler Barriss depicted in a 2015 mug shot released by Glendale police. (credit: Glendale Police Department) Tyler Barriss stands accused of making a fake emergency call, a crime known as "swatting," that led to the death of a Kansas man. He has been held in a Sedgewick County Jail since January. He is not supposed to have Internet access there, but on Friday the Wichita Eagle noticed Barriss tweeting. "How am I on the Internet if I'm in jail?" Barriss wrote. "Oh, because I'm an eGod, that's how." "All right, now who was talking shit?" he added in a tweet 19 minutes later. "Your ass is about to get swatted." Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 15 days ago on ars technica
Android Headlines LG has finally picked a time for its next flagship smartphone launch. The company issued a press release today saying the LG G7 will launch May 2 in New York City. This year the LG flagship isn't just called the "LG G7." LG is slapping its "artificial intelligence" sub-brand onto the end and calling it the "LG G7 ThinQ." (Technically it's styled in the press release with superscript, as "LG G7 ThinQ.") Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 15 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / An artist's impression of the view of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri. (credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser) Amid much excitement in 2016, astronomers revealed the discovery of an Earth-sized planet around the star closest to our Sun, Proxima Centauri. This exoplanet, just 4.2 light years from Earth, was close enough to its red dwarf star that water might well exist on its surface. Alas, now we know that life probably does not live on the planet, at least not on the surface. In March 2016, astronomers using an array of telescopes known as Evryscope observed a "superflare" 10 times larger than any previous one detected from the red dwarf star. Based upon these observations, and those of other other instruments with spectrographs, the astronomers determined that about five of these superflares occur in a given year. In an unpublished paper that describes their use of a model for interactions between the flares and a planetary atmosphere, the astronomers suggest such extreme solar activity would reduce the ozone of an Earth-like atmosphere by 90 percent within just five years, with complete depletion occurring within a few hundred thousand years. This means that ultraviolet light observed in the recent superflare reached the surface with 100 times the intensity needed to kill even microbic life that is resistant to UV light. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 15 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty) Last month, an Uber self-driving car struck and killed pedestrian Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona. The tragedy highlights the need for a fundamental rethink of the way the federal government regulates car safety. The key issue is this: the current system is built around an assumption that cars will be purchased and owned by customers. But the pioneers of the driverless world—including Waymo, Cruise, and Uber—are not planning to sell cars to the public. Instead, they're planning to build driverless taxi services that customers will buy one ride at a time. This has big implications for the way regulators approach their jobs. Federal car regulations focus on ensuring that a car is safe at the moment it rolls off the assembly line. But as last month's crash makes clear, the safety of a driverless taxi service depends on a lot more than just the physical features of the cars themselves. Read 51 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 15 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino) Last year's Matebook X pushed Huawei further into the PC market than it ever had been before. While it had a design that allowed it to masquerade as a trendy ultrabook, it demanded quite a few compromises from users. Its sub-par battery life and too-little memory, among other shortcomings, made the Matebook X less attractive than its shiny exterior suggested. Huawei zeroed-in on the shortcomings of the Matebook X with its successor: the new Matebook X Pro. On paper, the new laptop appears leaps and bounds better than the original: an 8th-gen CPU, a 3K touchscreen, an estimated 15-hour battery life, and even a discrete graphics card. But beefing up the Matebook X Pro forced Huawei to make a few sacrifices. Thankfully, those sacrifices do not overshadow the well-executed improvements that make this device a more capable laptop than the original. Read 30 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 15 days ago on ars technica
(credit: Cyan Worlds) Myst and Obduction developer Cyan Worlds launched a Kickstarter on Monday for a complete collection of every Myst title ready to run on Windows 10. The Kickstarter will also cover some extras like original, hand-drawn artwork from the development of Myst's first sequel, Riven, a replica of Ghen's pen and inkwell, and a real-life, working Myst linking book—sans actual teleportation, of course. It's labeled the "Myst 25th Anniversary Collection," because September will mark 25 years since Myst's debut. The team at Cyan says it has worked with the team at GOG to update all the games to run in Windows 10. The collection will include Myst, Riven, Myst III: Exiles, Myst IV: Revelation, Myst V: End of Ages, Uru: The Complete Chronicles, and the fully 3D Myst remake realMyst. Cyan says that, to make this happen, it had to acquire the rights to the games in the series that it previously didn't own: Behind the scenes, we’ve been working to procure the legal rights to make all of the Myst games available. As an indie developer, resources are limited for development, and acquiring these rights isn’t always an option. But we’ve finally managed to talk with all the right people in all the right places to garner funds to make it happen! Myst, Riven, Myst V, Uru, and realMyst are all available on GOG and Steam already—and they all work just fine on modern systems. These are the games Cyan already owned the rights to. The other two games—Myst III and IV—have previously been the property of game publisher Ubisoft, which has not made them available digitally. These appear to be the two games that Cyan has managed to secure the rights to. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 15 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: fuzecard.com) The makers of the programmable Fuze smart card say it's powerful enough to be your wallet in one card yet secure enough to be used the same way as traditional payment cards—including trusting it to restaurant servers when paying the bill. But it turns out that convenience comes with a major catch. A flaw makes it possible for anyone with even brief physical control of the card to surreptitiously siphon all data stored on the device. Fuze representatives said they're aware of the vulnerability and plan to fix it in an update scheduled for April 19. They also thanked the two researchers who, independent of one another, discovered the vulnerability and privately reported it. So far, however, Fuze officials have yet to fully inform users of the extent of the risk so they can prevent private data stored on the cards from being stolen or tampered with until the critical flaw is repaired. Faulty assumptions Mike Ryan, one of the two researchers, said he created attack code that impersonated the Android app that uses a Bluetooth connection to load credit card data onto the smart cards. While the official Fuze app takes care to prevent pairing with cards that have already been set up with another device, Ryan's rogue app had no such restrictions. As a result, it allowed him to take complete control of a card, including reading, changing, or adding payment card numbers, expiration dates, and card-verification values. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The towering Ravenii are impressive to look at, less so to fight. (credit: Iron Galaxy Studios) At my most reductive, I’d call Extinction one long string of escort missions. The game struggles and claws to add more variety, in small ways, but it never shakes up or fleshes out its core rhythm enough to justify a full game. Instead, it feels like a frustrating proof of concept, unworthy of its evocative title. Backing up a bit, Extinction is an action-platformer clearly influenced by Shadow of the Colossus, Devil May Cry, and especially the anime Attack on Titan. A medieval-fantasy world—of which we only catch shallow glimpses—is under siege by towering, teleporting ogres called “Ravenii” who can topple whole cities with ease. You play as a bland meatbrain who, as we learn through a handful of barely animated 2D cutscenes, is also a magical warrior called a Sentinel. The title grants him enough parkour powers to run up the speechless invaders and lop their heads off. And lop heads he does. Constantly. Head lopping is pretty much Extinction’s only neat trick, though even that novelty crumbles faster than the settlements you’re meant to protect. It doesn’t take long at all to figure out how sloppy the process really is. Off with their heads You can’t just kill one of the Ravenii, for instance. First, you need to charge up a decapitating strike. That means bounding around the city, killing largely meaningless lesser monsters by mashing the square button, or standing next to large crystals long enough to teleport handfuls of civilians to safety. This is where the “escort” elements kick in. Besides needing to complete a given objective before the ogres destroy too much of each city, you want to protect civilians from the man-sized goblins. That way you can bank them for killing blows later on. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Mature Carolina Reaper. (credit: Magnolia677) Extremely hot peppers don’t just blister your mouth and bum—they can also spark fiery havoc in your brain, according to a report published Monday in BMJ Case Reports. An otherwise healthy 34-year-old man developed a blood-flow disorder in his brain and suffered several debilitating “thunderclap” headaches after entering a hot pepper eating contest, US doctors reported. The man had managed to get down a Carolina Reaper pepper, which in 2013 earned the title of the world’s hottest chili by Guinness World Records. In 2013, the Carolina Reaper—a cross between Sweet Habanero and Naga Viper chilies—clocked in at 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), a unit of measure for a chili’s spiciness. For comparison, jalapeños fall in the range of 2,500 and 8,000 SHUs, while ghost peppers (Bhut Jolokia) register at just over 800,000. In 2017, the Carolina Reaper took the title again, with a pepper grown in South Carolina that measured 1,641,183 SHUs. (Though there have been reports of a “Pepper X” measuring 3.18 million SHUs, it has yet to be confirmed by Guinness World Records.) Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Backpage.com CEO Carl Ferrer, left, former owner James Larkin, former owner Michael Lacey, and COO Andrew Padilla sit in Sacramento Superior Court on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. (credit: Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images) Federal prosecutors in Arizona unsealed a 61-page, 93-count criminal indictment of seven men accused of running an online prostitution ring through the website Backpage, which was seized and shuttered last week by authorities. The seven suspects, who have all been arrested, were charged with conspiracy, facilitating prostitution, and money laundering, among other accusations. "For far too long, Backpage.com existed as the dominant marketplace for illicit commercial sex, a place where sex traffickers frequently advertised children and adults alike," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. "But this illegality stops right now." Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: HBO) Westworld executive producers and co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy continued beating the hype drum for the TV series' second season with a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread on Monday. Ahead of the season's April 22 premiere on HBO, however, Nolan isn't just dropping hints of what to expect. He's suggesting that HBO is fully prepared to spoil the season before a minute of Westworld airs. Nolan closed the AMA by thanking fans for their questions—and pointing out his ongoing interest in their theories. He also pointed out that fans' theories, once reported by outside parties and news outlets, often function more like full-on content spoilers for what's to come on the show. This sparked internal HBO discussions, Nolan noted, which led him to post what he's calling a "potentially highly controversial" question: If you guys agree, we're going to post a video that lays out the plot (and twists and turns) of season 2. Everything. The whole sordid thing. Up front. That way, the members of the community here who want the season spoiled for them can watch ahead and then protect the rest of the community and help to distinguish between what's 'theory' and what's spoiler. How will HBO determine whether this video should be posted? By waiting for the total upvote count attached to Nolan's question to exceed 1,000 points. As of press time, the question has a 173-point score (which adds up its collective upvotes and downvotes) and rising. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Still from a promotional video on The Erotic Review website. (credit: The Erotic Review) A website that hosts customer reviews of sex workers has started blocking Internet users in the United States because of forthcoming changes in US law. Congress recently passed the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act bill (SESTA), and President Trump is expected to sign it into law. SESTA will make it easier to prosecute websites that host third-party content that promotes or facilitates prostitution, even in cases when the sex workers aren't victims of trafficking. After Congress approved the bill, Craigslist removed its "Personals" section and Reddit removed some sex-related subreddits. The Erotic Review (TER) has followed suit by blocking any user who appears to be visiting the website from the United States. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
In a livestream event today, Blizzard revealed the final handful of unrevealed cards from its upcoming Hearthstone expansion, The Witchwood, which launches April 12 with 135 new cards. Over the weekend, we got a sneak peek at 20 of those cards and discussed their design and potential with the game's ever-genial director, Ben Brode. Click through the gallery above to see the newly revealed cards and read about Brode's thoughts on where new abilities like Rush and Echo fit into the current state of the ultra-popular card game (with a little bit of our own analysis thrown in for good measure). Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Four of the bundle's 18 books from MIT Press. (credit: MIT Press) You'd be forgiven for letting a Humble Bundle pay-what-you-want sale whiz by without thinking about it. The shop has been bundling software and ebooks for eight years at this point, so while the discounts are still quite solid, the novelty has worn off. But Monday's sale stands out for what appears to be a first for Humble: an entire ebook sale dedicated to video game history. MIT Press, which has been publishing game-studies essays and books since 1998, has packed 18 of its gaming-specific ebooks into a single $15 bundle. (Should you elect to pay less, you can pick up fewer books at the $1 and $8 tiers.) It's not a comprehensive collection from the publisher, but as an entry point to the highly analytical and tech-heavy collection, this Humble Game Studies Bundle is particularly good at offering more of MIT Press's timeless titles, particularly analyses of various game consoles during their active lifespans. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Porsche For a few glorious years, the "P1" prototype class in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) was the coolest thing in racing. Audi, Toyota, and Porsche built all-wheel drive hybrid racecars, each with over 1,000 horsepower, each capable of running flat-out for 24 hours or longer over distances it would take an F1 car an entire season of races to rack up. But Audi and then Porsche both withdrew from the sport, their highly successful—but very expensive—racing programs casualties of Dieselgate. Porsche pulled out at the end of 2017 after winning almost everything there was to win with its 919 Hybrid. But before the company puts the cars into the museum, it has some unfinished business: proving just how insanely fast the 919 Hybrid really is. Porsche is taking the 919 Hybrid on tour, but the plan is to do more than just show it off to the fans—it's going for records. The first of these has already fallen. On Sunday April 9, Neel Jani set a new track record at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgian, home to that country's annual F1 race. Jani lapped the 4.4-mile (7km) track in 1 minute 41.770 seconds, 12 seconds faster than the 919 Hybrid's previous best time at the track. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / I can't believe we actually used to use software like this. Back in the early prehistory of desktop computing, we didn't have Explorer for managing our files in Windows. We had File Manager. Explorer scatters windows liberally across our desktops—we're still waiting for the tabs to organize the clutter—but File Manager never had that problem. File Manager came from an older time, the era of the Multiple Document Interface (MDI) wherein one File Manager window contained multiple separate panes for actually browsing your files. File Manager continued to ship with Windows long after it was replaced by Explorer just in case somebody needed it, but for the last decade or more, Windows hasn't included it. To remedy this, Microsoft has released the source code of its venerable file management application under the MIT open source license. With this, you can build and run File Manager even on your brand new Windows 10 machine. The code has been very slightly updated; as well as the original 32-bit version, you can now build it as a 64-bit program (though there are some errors in the project files; I have created a fork that builds correctly in 64-bit mode). Whichever mode you prefer, this release brings a taste of the 1990s to 2018. Microsoft's source repository in fact has two versions of File Manager; the original version, and a slightly updated version with some extra features to support, for example, ctrl-c and ctrl-v to copy and paste files, and handle some file system capabilities that were introduced after File Manager's heyday. I don't believe that either version has much in the way of high-DPI awareness, so it may not be tremendously usable on high resolution screens. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Hot off the launch of the Galaxy S9 last month, Samsung is about to release one of the device's main accessories, the Samsung Dex Pad. Plug your flagship Samsung smartphone into this little dock, then plug in a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, and you'll have a full-blown desktop OS interface powered just by your phone. Preorders are open today on Samsung.com, and the device ships May 13. Starting today, Samsung is also offering a free Dex Pad to anyone who buys a Galaxy S9 or S9+ from Samsung.com. Samsung Dex runs the Android OS you know and love but reworked into a desktop form factor with a windowed multitasking interface. The Dex Pad requires a USB-C equipped Samsung device (so a Galaxy S8, Note 8, or S9) with Android 8.0. The dock has two USB A ports (typically for a mouse and keyboard), HDMI for the monitor, and USB-C for power. Running a desktop interface can be tough on a phone's processor, so the Dex Pad also has a fan to help everything run a bit cooler and faster. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Oregon State Capitol building in Salem, Oregon. (credit: Getty Images | KingWu) Oregon Governor Kate Brown today will sign a net neutrality bill into law, making Oregon the second state to pass a net neutrality law since the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal nationwide rules. Brown announced on Friday that she would sign the bill Monday during an event at a middle school. The bill was previously approved by the state House and Senate. The new law was written narrowly in an attempt to survive lawsuits from ISPs. Instead of imposing prohibitions on all Internet providers, the law forbids state agencies from purchasing fixed or mobile Internet service from ISPs that violate the core net neutrality principles laid out in the soon-to-be-dead FCC rules. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / palaeodeserts project, human bone, phalanx. (credit: Ian Cartwright) Paleontologist Iyad Zalmout of the Saudi Geological Survey was walking through the Al-Wusta dig site in 2016 when he spotted a tiny bone eroding out of a layer of sediment. The 87,000-year-old fossil turned out to be a human intermediate phalanx—the middle section of your finger—from what was probably a middle finger. It's the earliest directly dated human fossil that has been found so far outside Africa or the Levant, and archaeologists say it's evidence that once humans ventured beyond Africa, they spread farther and faster than previously thought. A green Arabia According to uranium-series dating, the fossil is between 85.1 and 90.1 thousand years old. At that time, the Nefud Desert wasn't the 40,000-square-mile sea of sand that now stretches across the Northern Arabian Peninsula. Around 84,000 years ago, a shift in the climate brought stronger summer monsoons to Arabia. Based on evidence from layers of sediment at the site and hundreds of animal bones, Al-Wusta was the shore of a shallow lake, one of hundreds in an arid Pleistocene grassland. African antelope grazed here, and hippos wallowed in the muddy waters of the lake. And the site was home to a few dozen hunter-gatherers, according to Oxford University archaeologist Huw Groucutt, who directed the fieldwork at the site. The people who dwelled here 87,000 years ago lived in a fairly densely populated landscape by the standards of the late Pleistocene. Groucutt and his colleagues have identified several other ancient lakes over the course of a decade of survey and excavation in the region, and many of them have their own stone tool assemblages, a sign that several hunter-gatherer bands roamed the lake-dotted landscape at around the same time. But Al-Wusta is the first site where archaeologists have found actual remains of those early settlers. Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF71H leads Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Scuderia Ferrari SF71H, Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes WO9 and the rest of the field at the start during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 8, 2018 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images) A couple weeks ago, I laid into ESPN for the way it handled its first Formula 1 race broadcast. I know I struck a chord with some of you because that article continues to generate emails from the readership. So it is only fair that I again put fingers to keyboard this morning because the network did a bang-up job showing us the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend. The big change? Uninterrupted coverage from the warm-up lap right through to the post-race interview on the podium. Those of you who suggested that the solution was finding a single sponsor for the entire broadcast? Good thinking—it seems that's exactly what happened. Mothers' Polish stepped up and bought the advertising for the entire race, sparing us the jarring experience of commercial breaks that cut in and out with no warning or recap. And what a difference it made! Well done ESPN, and keep it up. A strategic race, but a good one Unlike many other series, F1 races are often a complex game of strategy that take time to play out. And this weekend in Bahrain, we actually got a gripping battle. The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen had the raw speed to stake out the front row of the grid in qualifying, with the added comfort of knowing that Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes-AMG would start with a five-place penalty due to a gearbox change on Friday. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak addresses the audience during Science Channel's "Silicon Valley: The Untold Story" Screening at Computer History Museum on January 17, 2018 in Mountain View, California. (credit: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images for Discovery) Steve Wozniak, the cofounder of Apple, has formally deactivated his Facebook account. Wozniak, who has not been involved with day-to-day operations at Apple in decades, nonetheless has a legendary status in Silicon Valley. He is an active user of social media: his Twitter account regularly sends out automated messages of where he is traveling and what he is eating. In an email interview with USA Today, Wozniak wrote that he was no longer satisfied with Facebook, knowing that it makes money off of user data. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 16 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Lucasfilm) If you're one of those people who must not know a single detail about the Solo movie before seeing it, DO NOT READ THIS POST. It briefly discusses the trailer, and you may learn something about the plot or casting of the film you did not wish to know. Then again, if you are that sensitive to spoilers ruining your cinematic experience, you should not even have clicked this post to watch the trailer in the first place. On Sunday night, Disney dropped a new trailer for the forthcoming Han Solo biopic Solo. Set years before we meet the galaxy's most irrepressible smuggler in A New Hope, it will be the second non-trilogy (or non-nonology, if we're being accurate) movie set in the Star Wars* universe, following the smash hit Rogue One from 2016. Free of the restraining bolt that is the main franchise and the main plot thread it drags along, these (sort of) standalone movies give Disney the chance to tell slightly different stories in the Star Wars universe. Rogue One mixed elements of espionage thrillers and gritty war movies; Solo looks set to mix up westerns and the good old heist caper. The new trailer gives us a better look at how Han Solo is played by Alden Ehrenreich, who managed to hold his own in the Coen Brother's red scare Hail, Caesar! The journey from bright-eyed pilot to scruffy looking nerf-herder looks like it happens on a number of different worlds, and I'm pretty sure it involves a robbery on the kind of weird-looking train that only makes practical sense in the Star Wars universe. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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