posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge Rice is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population. Rice yields depend on numerous factors, such as agricultural practices, but they also depend on the temperature at which the crop is grown. Previous studies have shown that temperatures above rice's optimum physiological temperature can reduce crop yield. As a result, the International Food Policy Research Institute has stated that the effects of rising temperatures from climate change would likely reduce rice yield by 10 percent by 2050. This could have dramatic impacts across the world, as hunger and malnutrition are already significant problems. But little is known about the physiological mechanisms through which rice plants respond and adapt to climate change. Previous investigations have left a lot of uncertainty, as they've used different methods to develop crop models. To address this, an international team of scientists has explored how rising temperatures affect the sensitivity of rice yields using a new compilation of data from 83 field warming experiments at 13 sites across the globe. The team also evaluated three modeling approaches (statistical models, local crop models, and global gridded crop models) to understand one of the sources of uncertainty. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Edge in all its Windows 10 build 15002 glory. (credit: Microsoft) Microsoft has released Windows 10 build 15002 to Windows Insiders on the fast update ring. The new build comes to most of us more than a month since the last build was released back on December 7, and it includes a substantial number of changes and new features. The company wanted to avoid pushing out new builds around the holiday period, but with that now a distant memory, it's back to work for the Windows developers. A few people even got their hands on the build early as Microsoft published it to its servers over the weekend, albeit without release notes. There's no Mobile update this time around, nor any indication of when a Mobile update will ship. Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Guess we'll never get to play this. (credit: Microsoft Studios) Microsoft's Xbox-exclusive lineup grew one game smaller on Monday. The company had long teased the launch of action-adventure game Scalebound, made by esteemed Japanese developer Platinum Games, but after repeated delays and a noticeable absence on game expo show floors, the game received a formal cancellation today. "After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for Scalebound," the company said in a statement. "We're working hard to deliver an amazing lineup of games to our fans this year, including Halo Wars 2, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves, and other great experiences." Scalebound would have allowed players to control, at alternating times, a sword-wielding warrior and a fire-breathing dragon on a giant quest. Exactly how the game would have played out was never clear. Microsoft never allowed press or the public to test the in-progress game at expo events, leaving us with little more than three-minute video snippets during game expo keynotes. As Ars' Mark Walton wrote last year, "Microsoft hasn't so much shown off Scalebound as it has demonstrated a bunch of neat but disparate gameplay systems without actually showing anyone the game." (The same can be said for two more "2017" games that Microsoft mentioned in its Monday statement, Crackdown 3 and State of Decay 2. We haven't seen playable versions of either game in the wild to date.) Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A number of us watching this huge Snorlax walk the halls wondered how he got into elevators or through doors. Of all the gaming conventions I go to every year, MAGFest (the Music and Gaming festival) might be my favorite. Now in its 15th year, MAGFest knows how to draw a crowd of tens of thousands of nerdy party people for a wild weekend. For nearly four whole days, the Gaylord National Hotel in the Washington-area National Harbor resort becomes a 24-hour celebration of gaming, music, gaming music, and the somewhat nerdy culture surrounding all of it. While E3, GDC, PAX, and the like all have their charms (and their business uses), MAGFest has a passionate energy and socially focused atmosphere that other gaming conventions struggle to match. The Japanese import-packed freeplay arcade is definitely the biggest draw for me, but board games, newer indie titles, and console classics are waiting to be played at literally all hours of the day and especially the night. And that's not even counting the countless concerts—both on official stages and from unofficial jam bands in the hall—an extensive merchandise area and panels where gamers offer everything from earnest industry advice to hot takes on gaming history. This being a festival, naturally there are excellent cosplayers wandering the hall throughout. To commemorate our most recent trip, here's a quick look at the most memorable bits of this year's MAGFest show, including an interesting computer history exhibit tucked away in one corner of the resort. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: ullstein bild / Getty Images News) Rather than disclose the source code that the FBI used to target a child porn suspect, federal prosecutors in Tacoma, Washington recently dropped their appeal in United States v. Michaud. The case is just one of 135 federal prosecutions nationwide involving the Tor-hidden child porn website Playpen. The vast effort to bust Playpen has raised significant questions about the ethics, oversight, capabilities, and limitations of the government’s ability to hack criminal suspects. In United States v. Michaud, Jay Michaud of Vancouver, Washington allegedly logged on to Playpen in 2015. But unbeknownst to him at that point, federal investigators were temporarily operating the site for 13 days before shutting it down. As authorities controlled Playpen, the FBI deployed a sneaky piece of software (a "network investigative technique (NIT)," dubbed by many security experts as malware), which allowed them to reveal Playpen users’ true IP addresses. With that information in hand, identifying those suspects became trivial. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Flickr user Erica Zabowski) A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy that illegally accessed the e-mail and social media accounts of Central Intelligence Director John Brennan and other senior government officials and then used that access to leak sensitive information and make personal threats. Justin Gray Liverman, 24, of Morehead City, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, commit identity theft, and make harassing, anonymous phone calls, federal prosecutors said Friday. Among the 10 people targeted in the conspiracy were Brennan; then-Deputy FBI Director Mark Giuliano; National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper; Greg Mecher, the husband of White House Communication Director Jen Psaki; and other government officials. The group called itself Crackas with Attitude, and it was led by a co-conspirator going by the name of Cracka. "She talks mad shit abt snowden," Liverman said on December 10, 2015 in an online chat with Cracka, referring to a target who is believed to be Psaki, according to a statement of facts signed by Liverman and filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. (The document refers to Mecher and Psaki as Victim 3 and the spouse of Victim 3 respectively.) "If you come across anything related to [Victim 3's spouse] let me know. If you find her cell or home number omg gimme." Liverman went on to say he wanted to "phonebomb the shitt [sic] outta" Psaki. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Spencer Platt) Verizon Wireless customers with unlimited data plans who use more than 200GB a month will have to switch to limited plans next month or be disconnected, a company spokesperson confirmed today. Since Verizon stopped offering unlimited data to new smartphone customers in 2011, this change affects only longtime customers who were allowed to hang on to the old plans. Verizon could simply force all customers who aren't under contract to switch to new plans, but instead it has periodically made moves that reduce the numbers of unlimited data subscribers. "Because our network is a shared resource and we need to ensure all customers have a great mobile experience with Verizon, we are notifying a small group of customers on unlimited plans who use more than 200GB a month that they must move to a Verizon Plan by February 16, 2017," Verizon spokesperson Kelly Crummey told Ars today. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Things have changed over the years, but every iPhone is unmistakably an iPhone. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) Ten years ago today, Steve Jobs hopped onstage at the 2007 MacWorld conference and announced a much-anticipated product that would come to totally eclipse the Mac. It was an iPod, a phone, and an Internet device. It was the first iPhone, and whether you like Apple and its products or not, it drastically altered the face of computing. Apple stopped attending MacWorld in 2009 (the conference ended entirely in 2015) and Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, but the iPhone is still here and so are we. We've reviewed every single iPhone that Apple has released, and as we did when the iPad turned five, we'll walk down memory lane with both the benefit of hindsight and the stuff we thought at the time. The iPhone: It begins We're still talking about one of these gadgets; guess which one! (credit: Jacqui Cheng) Our original iPhone review was written by four people and was nearly 20,000 words long—even in the pre-App Store days, there was a ton to cover. We take pretty much everything about that first phone for granted these days. It's driven almost entirely by its touchscreen, eschewing any sort of hardware keyboard. It had a mini version of the desktop Safari browser that could actually display accurate versions of sites instead of barely formatted piles of text and unsupported HTML and CSS. And it served as such an effective iPod replacement that it eventually cannibalized sales and reduced the iconic music player to a rounding error on Apple's balance sheets. Read 30 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
(credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images) Verizon Wireless is now charging a $30 upgrade fee when customers switch to a new phone, up from the previous fee of $20. The $30 upgrade fee must be paid "if you purchase a new device at retail price or through [Verizon's] device payment program," Verizon notes. The fee increase went into effect on January 5. In another change last week, Verizon stopped offering two-year contract renewals and device subsidies to existing customers (Verizon had already stopped offering contracts and subsidies to new customers). When asked why the upgrade fee was raised, a Verizon spokesperson told Ars, "These fees help cover increased cost to provide customers with America’s largest and fastest 4G LTE network." Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Nokia Nokia is getting back into the smartphone business. A company called "HMD," which includes a number of old-guard Nokia employees, has emerged to resurrect the brand from the ashes of the Microsoft acquisition. Recently the company announced its new phone: the "Nokia 6." It runs "the latest version" of Android Nougat (so 7.1.1?), it's milled out of a single block of aluminum, and it has a 5.5-inch "HD" screen. The bad news is that is has a Snapdragon 430 SoC and is exclusive to China. But hey, this looks like a good first step and serves as a peek into the future of the new Nokia. According to the press release, the Nokia 6 is launching in "early 2017" for 1,699 CNY ($245, £200). It has a Snapdragon 430 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 16MP rear camera, and an 8MP front camera. There is lots of talk about the aluminum unibody design, which HMD promises is part of the "Nokia phone hallmarks of quality, superior craftsmanship and relentless focus on the consumer experience." Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
The Awesome Games Done Quick crowd reacts with glee as the Super Mario World "total control" exploit is demonstrated live for the first time at AGDQ 2014, the kind of moment that's best experienced live. (credit: TASVideos / AGDQ) As my colleague Sam already highlighted, this year's Awesome Games Done Quick charity marathon is now in full swing with a full week of live video game speedruns from a ballroom in Herndon, Virginia. The correct course of action, in light of this information, is to take the entire week off from work and sit in front of a Twitch-enabled screen for hundreds of hours straight, watching a stream of players talk their way through some extremely quick video game play-throughs. If you can't stay glued to the screen for the entire week, though, you might still want to make time to check out a few of the most interesting runs scheduled for the charity marathon. We've combed through the schedule and picked out a few highlights that we think you should watch, either live or via the AGDQ archives. Though we could have listed practically the entire schedule in a list like this, we forced ourselves to a limit of at most two runs per day, so as not to inundate your busy schedule. We've included some example video from previous speedruns below, but the real fun of AGDQ comes from watching the games performed live, with running commentary and the excitement of not knowing what will happen. Read 21 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Ron Amadeo) Google has shut down a "high-severity" exploit in its Nexus 6 and 6P phones which gave attackers with USB access the opportunity to take over the onboard modem during boot-up—allowing them to listen in on phonecalls, or intercept mobile data packets. The vulnerability was part of a cluster of security holes found by security researchers at IBM's X-Force all related to a flaw—tagged CVE-2016-8467—in the phones' bootmode, which uses malware-infected PCs and malicious power chargers to access hidden USB interfaces. Patches were rolled out before the vulnerabilities were made public, in November for the Nexus 6, and January for the 6P. The waveform from a successfully intercepted phone call. (credit: IBM) The exploit also allowed access to find the phone's "exact GPS coordinates with detailed satellite information, place phone calls, steal call information, and access or change nonvolatile items or the EFS partition." Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Mark Walton) All the news from Las Vegas' CES 2017 has been revealed and discussed now, but the show continues to shock—and not in a good way. Razer's CEO Min-Liang Tan disclosed in a Facebook post that two of the company's prototypes were stolen from its CES booth. While Tan did not say which prototypes were taken, Razer built its CES presence around its Project Valerie triple-display laptop prototype and its Project Ariana Chrome-lighting smart projector prototype. According to Tan's post, Razer has already filed the necessary paperwork to report stolen property, and the company is working with CES officials and law enforcement to address this crime. While Tan didn't say if they already had any leads, he did address the possibility of this theft being industry-related. "We treat theft/larceny, and if relevant to this case, industrial espionage, very seriously," Tan wrote. "It is cheating, and cheating doesn’t sit well with us. Penalties for such crimes are grievous and anyone who would do this clearly isn’t very smart." Razer has been the victim of theft before. In 2011, two laptop prototypes were stolen from a Razer office in San Francisco—those ended up being early prototypes of the Razer Blade. Project Valerie is a larger-than-life laptop with three built-in displays, two of which fan out from the central panel. Project Ariana is a 4K projector that, when pointed at a TV or gaming monitor, can sense the edges of that display and use room's light to extend the game's field of view onto the walls. Since these are prototypes, there's no guarantee Project Valerie or Project Ariana will ever hit shelves. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / In 2002 the Hubble Space Telescope observed V838 Monocerotis, a suspected red nova. (credit: NASA) Astronomers studying a binary star system about 1,800 light years from the Sun say they are increasingly confident that the two stars will merge into a luminous red nova in about five years. At its brightest, the spectacular explosion produced by this nova could reach an apparent magnitude of about 2.0, akin to a bright star in the night sky, making it visible even from most urban areas. The team of astronomers, led by Calvin College's Lawrence Molnar, presented their findings late last week at the American Astronomical Society’s annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas. The researchers have been studying the binary star system, KIC 9832227, since the year 2013, after they noticed the stars getting closer and closer together. Based upon earlier observations of another binary star system that merged, V1309 Scorpii, the astronomers made predictions about the timing and distance between the two stars in the KIC 9832227 system as they spiraled in toward one another. Then, in 2015, the astronomers made observations that matched their exponential plot of light curves and orbital velocities. "The merger hypothesis has had predictive power and we currently have no alternative explanation for its timing behavior," the authors state. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge Inside the heaving halls of the Las Vegas convention centre, which run thick with the smell of tired feet and one too many late nights spent at a roulette table, a familiar voice can be heard. In any booth, whether it's LG's sprawling temple to tech or one of the tiny makeshift stands from CES' smaller attendees, Amazon's Alexa is ever present, taking commands from smart alec tech press desperate to spot a crack in her capabilities. If, as its organisers would have you believe, CES remains the great predictor of tech trends for the year, then 2017 is when Amazon's AI aide goes from humble home assistant to all-encompassing presence built into every gadget we own. From fridges, to cars, to smartwatches, and even robots, Alexa has quickly become the voice assistant du jour. For an online retailer with a spotty track record in tech (see: the Amazon Fire Phone), it's an impressive and surprising achievement. How useful Alexa will ultimately be inside the numerous devices she's been unceremoniously shoved into remains to be seen. But as someone that's very much on-board with Amazon's assistant (every room in my house has an Echo or Dot that controls the lights, TV, and heating), I can see the benefits. LG's new smart fridge, for instance, is an ideal home for Alexa. Fridges are always on, have a natural spot in one of the busiest rooms in the home, and—if you subscribe to Amazon Fresh at least—you can place an order the moment you discover month-old milk hiding at the back. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Zak Mauger/LAT With a a total prize purse of $1 million, the Visa Vegas eRace that took place on Saturday in Las Vegas was the most lucrative sim racing competition yet. As well as big cash prizes—including $200,000 for first place in the final—It had plenty of support from the owners, teams, and sponsors of the Formula E racing series. And the event delivered racing excitement, with stiff competition between professional drivers and some of the world's best sim racers. But the result wasn't without controversy, and the sim of choice—rFactor 2—drew plenty of complaints from spectators. All 20 professional Formula E drivers took part, along with 10 leading sim racers, one assigned to each of the 10 race teams. They raced on a virtual 3.13-mile (5km) circuit that snaked through the sights of the Las Vegas Strip. No one got to see the 20-turn track until the day before the race, and each would use a identically set-up Formula E car, identical PlaySeats and Thrustmaster wheels, and rFactor 2 as the platform. Broadcast live on Twitch, the racers put on an entertaining show, even if it wasn't entirely trouble-free. Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Techno Fishy) When Mike Tigas first created the Onion Browser app for iOS in 2012, he never expected it to become popular. He was working as a newsroom Web developer at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, at the time, and wanted a Tor browser app for himself and his colleagues. Expecting little interest, he then put Onion Browser on the Apple App Store at just $0.99/£0.69, the lowest non-zero price that Apple allows. Fast forward to 2016, and Tigas found himself living in New York City, working as a developer and investigative journalist at ProPublica, while earning upwards of $2,000 a month from the app—and worrying that charging for it was keeping anonymous browsing out of the hands of people who needed it. So a few weeks ago, he made the app free. Since then, its popularity has exploded, with thousands of downloads recorded every day. The results of the recent US presidential election might have had something to do with this decision, and its impressive results, Tigas told Ars. Read 26 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / We're digging the cartoony poster made for this year's Awesome Games Done Quick event. (credit: Kevin Fagaragan / Games Done Quick) In the world of classic video games, bragging rights (and unforgettable documentaries) used to go to world-record high-score battles. That has shifted somewhat in recent years due to the world of speedrunning, in which gamers combine incredible skills and glitch trickery to squeeze short completion times out of their favorite old games. While anybody new to the speedrunning world can pick through gaming-video archives on Twitch and YouTube to learn more, I personally recommend something with more excitement and fanfare: Awesome Games Done Quick. The annual, live-streamed gaming marathon launched on Sunday, and this seventh iteration will operate at pretty much all hours for the next six days, complete with a live studio audience in Herndon, Virginia, watching along the whole time. That means you could be watching an amazing speedrun right now. Your work day may have just begun, but if AGDQ is running on time when this article publishes, a game streamer with the handle DevilSquirrel should have just begun playing a clever, little-known puzzle game from late 2014 called Kalimba. This game is a particularly good candidate for speedrunning, since it requires that its solo players manage two characters (and their very precise jumps and maneuvers) simultaneously. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 12 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Shkreli's apparent shrine to Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca after trying, and failing, to invite her to Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony. (credit: Twitter) Martin Shkreli's Twitter account was temporarily suspended on Sunday morning. Ars has confirmed that Twitter suspended the account after the reviled pharmaceutical executive targeted Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca on the social media platform. Shkreli's posts about and to Duca apparently began on Thursday in the form of a private, direct message sent by Shkreli, inviting her to be his date for president-elect Donald Trump's impending inauguration ceremony. Shkreli, a professed Trump supporter, may have specifically targeted Duca due to her articles about Trump at Teen Vogue, including her December editorial titled "Donald Trump is gaslighting America." Shkreli followed Duca's public decline of the invite ("I would rather eat my own organs") by turning his Twitter profile into an apparent Duca shrine. His "header" image became a collage of various photos of Duca, covered with apparently romantic lyrics from the ballad "I Swear" ("For better or worse / 'til death do us part / I'll love you with every beat of my heart"), while his profile image was changed to a photo of Duca with her husband, only with Shkreli's face digitally inserted where the husband's should be. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 12 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Behold, Dell's seventh edition of the XPS 13 DE. (credit: Scott Gilbertson) Over the course of its four-year lifespan, Dell's extremely popular XPS 13 Developer Edition line has become known for one thing—bringing a "just works" Linux experience to the company's Ultrabooks. Of course, today Dell is just one of many manufacturers producing great Linux machines. System76 makes the Oryx Pro (still my top pick for anyone who needs massive power), and companies like Purism and ZaReason produce solid offerings that also work with Linux out of the box. Even hardware not explicitly made for Linux tends to work out of the box these days. I recently installed Fedora on a Sony Vaio and was shocked that the only problem I encountered was that the default trackpad configuration was terribly slow. Admittedly, the Vaio is a few years old, which means there has been time for hardware issues to be addressed. Getting Linux to run on bleeding edge hardware in 2017 remains tricky—or it requires running a bleeding edge distro like Arch. That's where efforts like Dell's Project Sputnik, led by developer Barton George, come in handy. With the XPS 13 Developers Edition, the hardware is already vetted. Drivers are pre-installed and configured for a great out-of-the-box experience. Read 30 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 12 days ago on ars technica
An example of the wonderful renderings you can expect in Viva Amiga. (credit: Zach Weddington) Many years ago when I began writing the History of the Amiga, I was surprised there were so few accounts of what was truly a remarkable computing platform. Fortunately, time, nostalgia, and Kickstarter have combined to make many more recollections possible. Case in point: director Zach Weddington was able to raise funds in 2011 to make a documentary called Viva Amiga, and it’s now available to watch in 12 languages and several streaming formats. The movie premiered at this week's MAGfest, an annual games and music celebration outside of DC. Viva Amiga is a wonderful look at the the history of the platform, the people who built it, and the users who loved it. The opening title says it all: "One Amazing Computer. One chance to save the company. One chance to win the PC wars." This message sets the stage nicely for a dramatic and passionate tale. Viva Amiga starts with the dramatic launch party for the Amiga 1000 at Lincoln Center in 1985, next jumping back in time to cover how Jay Miner and his colleagues started the Amiga project. It highlights the Amiga’s strengths in graphics and video, saving a special mention for the Video Toaster. The excitement of Amiga developers and users at the time comes through clearly in the documentary. One of them describes the most passionate users as "people who weren’t striving to be millionaires. [They were] people who were striving to express themselves in new and creative ways." Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 12 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The Core i7-7700K. Underwhelming? Maybe. Harbinger of death for the desktop CPU? Probably not. Our review of Intel’s new flagship consumer desktop CPU, the Kaby Lake-based Core i7-7700K, was less-than-favorable. Out of the box, the chip runs faster than the i7-6700K that preceded it, but that’s just because it ships at a higher default clock speed. When running at the same clock speed—something easily achievable because these chips are specifically intended for overclocking—CPU and GPU performance is identical. This feeds into a growing perception that, after several years of modest-at-best performance improvements, Intel is having trouble making its processors faster. Granted, that's not a problem for many casual-to-moderate PC users, and it's not like Intel's chips haven't improved in other big ways in the last half-decade. Power consumption is down, battery life is up, and integrated graphics performance isn't nearly as laughable as it was ten years ago. But for high-end pro users who don't want to spend $1,000 or more on a processor, the lack of performance improvements in Intel's mainstream quad-core desktop processors in particular has been frustrating. This is an unfortunate reality brought on by the difficulties Intel is having switching to new process architectures. Moving from the 22nm process to the 14nm process in 2013 and 2014 caused several delays that pushed back the launch of the Broadwell architecture and protracted its rollout. The move from 14nm to 10nm is proving even more difficult, breaking Intel's longstanding “tick-tock” development model in which it changed manufacturing processes every two years. If leaked roadmaps are correct, “Cannonlake” laptop chips may move to the 10nm process at the tail end of 2017. But the “Coffee Lake” desktop chips will remain on the 14nm process until well into 2018. Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 13 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: LAM Mozambique Airlines) LAM Mozambique Airlines has told Portuguese-language media that one of its aircraft was struck Thursday, possibly by a drone. In a Facebook post, the airline said that the crew of the Boeing 737 heard a bang, suggesting that some sort of “external body” hit the aircraft. The 737 was flying from Maputo and on approach to Tete airport when the incident occurred. The Aviation Herald wrote that “a post flight examination revealed a drone had impacted the right hand side of the radome.” The website Mozambicano also reported the drone strike. The aircraft apparently landed safely with 80 passengers and six crew members on board. In April 2016, British Airways reported that one of its aircraft may have hit a drone while landing at London Heathrow Airport. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 13 days ago on ars technica
LAS VEGAS—At CES this year, BMW showed off a concept car as part of its "i Inside Future" exhibit, which was built upon the idea that car interiors could be more friendly and inviting. With its rich textures and light wooden accents, the concept car feels more like an artisanal nook than a cold vessel of technology. But arguably more interesting than its holistically-designed frame is the new HoloActive Touch system, which builds on BMW's earlier AirTouch dashboard system. AirTouch debuted at CES 2016 and uses sensors on the dash to pick up hand gestures. It allows you to control parts of the information system without pressing any physical buttons. HoloActive Touch adds a new layer by placing holographic action buttons near the center console. The buttons provide haptic feedback when "pressed" using a hand gesture. BMW told Ars that this concept car was mostly designed with autonomous vehicles in mind and likely wouldn't be a reality for another 15 years. Nevertheless, it was exciting to play with now. Check out the video below to see a demo of HoloActive and BMW's concept car. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 13 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A complete cityscape filled with painted minis. It takes lots of work to get your game to look like this—but it certainly looks good when it's done. (credit: Mantic Games) Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games. Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com—and let us know what you think. I’ve always found something perversely appealing about the prospect of an undead apocalypse. From an early age, I stayed awake to catch Living Dead reruns on late-night TV and kept a mental map of escape routes around our neighborhood, just in case they were ever needed. My other childhood obsession was the Warhammer line of miniature battle games. That’s why The Walking Dead: All Out War seems like it could have been custom-made for me. Set in the world of writer Robert Kirkman’s original horror comics, it’s a skirmish-scale miniatures game where rival bands of survivors clash in a world overrun by ravenous reanimated corpses. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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