posted 10 days ago on ars technica
An artist's rendering of the orbital rings of Space Belt—a private data network built on laser-linked satellites set to start launching next year. Cloud service providers frequently tout the physical security of their data centers. But Scott Sobhani's company is getting ready to launch what is perhaps the most physically secure cloud platform ever (literally). Sobhani is CEO and co-founder of Cloud Constellation Corporation, the company behind Space Belt—a network of communication, compute, and data storage satellites that is aiming to provide more than an exabyte of storage in orbit by 2025. Led by a team of satellite industry and cloud computing veterans, Cloud Constellation launched three years ago in "stealth mode" to find a way to provide customers—particularly government and international enterprises—with a really secure and highly available global cloud. "You can clearly see that today's Internet and other systems that are supporting cloud operations and cloud storage are very leaky and very prone to cyber attack at every junction as well as delays," Sobhani told Ars. "The information superhighway is very enabling, but it is also very risky, and IT directors and CIOs are subject to a lot of pressure and loss of sleep at night over all the issues that can happen, because what they buy today to [secure their systems] may not be adequate for the future." Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Shoreline Amphitheatre, the new location of Google I/O 2016. It's right in Google's backyard. (credit: Shoreline Amphitheatre) It's almost time for Google's biggest show of the year, Google I/O. I/O serves not just as a developer conference; it's also the time when Google opens up and shows the world what it has been working on. The show kicks off on Wednesday, May 18 with the keynote, and we'll be there to report on everything as it happens. We've already gone over the possible projects we could see at Google I/O—in short, expect lots of augmented and virtual reality talk. It sounds like we'll get a good look at the first consumer Project Tango phone, built by Lenovo. The schedule says Google is going to talk about virtual reality, hopefully revealing a piece of hardware that isn't made out of cardboard. We should also hear plenty about the already-released Android N Developer Preview, and there might even be some other surprises along the way. For the first time ever, the show is at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, a huge outdoor stadium with a capacity of 22,500 people. We'll be outside pretty much all day, so we'll pack sunscreen and pray for some good California weather. The party starts at 10am PDT (1pm EDT, 5pm GMT) Wednesday. Follow along by clicking the "View liveblog" link below. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Work on the unreleased Happily Ever After got far enough that box art was actually produced. It's not every day that a previously unseen game comes out for the Nintendo Entertainment System (hipsterish modern ports notwithstanding). One of those days occurred late last week, though, as a long-lost playable prototype ROM of Happily Ever After was released on the Internet 25 years after its original creation. Nintendo Player goes into extensive detail on the game's creation, which was based off of a movie of the same name by TV cartoon production company Filmation (creators of He-Man). The Happily Ever After film, a pseudo-sequel to the famous fairy tale, was originally planned for 1991 but didn't come out until 1993 due to legal and financial issues. When the movie promptly flopped (and when its distributor became embroiled in an SEC fraud investigation), the accompanying NES game that had been developed by Japanese studio SOFEL (Wall Street Kid, Casino Kid) was shelved. Though a very different SNES version was released by a different developer in 1994, the NES game was thought lost forever, save for a few stray screenshots in magazines and reports from Consumer Electronics Shows past. That is until Sean McGee (who previously unearthed a long-lost Super Mario Bros. 2 sample cartridge) found and purchased a prototype from an Austin-area private seller. Rather than selling the rare game to the highest bidder, as is common with many discovered NES prototypes, McGee dumped the ROM to allow everyone to play this lost gem free on an emulator. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Lenovo The new Moto G family. 11 more images in gallery .related-stories { display: none !important; } Today Lenovo made the rumors official: the company’s mid-range Moto G lineup has been refreshed with not one but three different phones. The Moto G (hereafter the Moto G4) and the Moto G Plus bring spec bumps inside and out, while the lower-end Moto G Play is more like a redesign of last year’s Moto G. The phones will be available in Brazil and India to start, but all three should come to the US, Europe, and elsewhere later this summer. The Moto G4 is the mainstream option, and for £169 (about $244, though US pricing hasn’t been announced) you get a decent amount for your money. Its larger 5.5-inch display jumps from 720p to 1080p, and it picks up an octa-core Snapdragon 617 SoC. The phone has dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, a nice upgrade over the 2.4GHz-only wireless in previous models, Bluetooth 4.1, 2GB of RAM, and 16 or 32GB of storage that can be expanded by up to 128GB with a microSD card. All three of the Motos G continue to use micro-USB rather than USB Type-C. The phone also includes a 3,000mAh battery, a “water repellent nano-coating,” LTE that should work “on all major carriers,” a 13MP rear camera and 5MP front camera, and a skin-free build of Android 6.0.1. Visually, Lenovo has tweaked the Moto G design to look a bit flatter, and the camera now bulges out slightly from the back. Given the amount of time it takes to develop a smartphone, this is probably the first Moto G designed mostly by Lenovo rather than being a leftover from the Google days, but it doesn’t drastically shake up the formula. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Video shot/edited by Jennifer Hahn. (video link) Playing ping-pong has always been a two-person experience—until now. Trainerbot is a new household robot that is almost guaranteed to be your toughest ping-pong opponent. Brothers Alex and Harrison Chen developed Trainerbot after years of playing ping-pong with each other. While away at college, Harrison developed the first Trainerbot prototype out of a garbage can so he could practice in secret while away from his brother. A dozen or so prototypes later, the newest version of Trainerbot is going up on Kickstarter today. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman speaks to NASA Social attendees at Kennedy Space Center in December. (credit: NASA) On Tuesday, hundreds of Mars enthusiasts are gathering in Washington, DC to celebrate the red planet at the annual Humans to Mars conference. Buzz Aldrin will discuss his “cycler” plan for going to Mars. Andy Weir, author of The Martian, will be on hand to sign books and talk about his vision for Mars exploration. And representing NASA by giving the plenary speech, NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman will update the gathering about the Journey to Mars. Since the conference is more or less a conclave of Mars devotees, there will probably be few hard questions asked about the feasibility of NASA's plans. But those hard questions are coming, and it’s not clear that NASA has the answers. Although space has not been an issue in the presidential election, whether a Republican or Democrat is elected this fall, a transition team will review the panoply of government spending, including NASA’s human exploration programs. Among those questions that will be asked are these: What is the plan for NASA to get to Mars? And can the space agency make it there within a reasonable budget? In late April, Newman was asked these very questions at a meeting of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee. The FAA regulates commercial space launches, and Newman had given the standard speech about NASA’s activities. During a Q&A period, Newman took a question from Jeff Greason, a rocket scientist who founded XCOR and is now a consultant with Agile Aero, about the viability of the Mars plan. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Honda) Modern supercars and hypercars are blazingly fast. Ironically, the sensation of speed they generate is often damped by the fact that you often can't see a bloody thing from the driver's seat. Blame a combo of safety priorities and style. Over the last decade, crash and rollover regulations have dictated more robust cabin structures characterized by ever thicker, vision-blocking A-pillars. The regs coincided with an in-vogue design language which gave us "turret-style" cabins from which to peer out. Therefore, with the new NSX it's refreshing to see Honda put an emphasis on visibility in the design of its halo car rather than cobbling together a few sensors and a backup camera in the name of "safety." It's also not surprising. Cast your mind back to the 1980s/'90s heyday of Honda/Acura and you'll recall the pride Honda took (and the praise it received) in its airy cabins with low beltlines and superior visibility. The first generation NSX was lauded for its performance, dependability and functionality including cockpit visibility. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Sony) Amidst the rumors that it could be killing off some of its smartphone lines, Sony just announced a new Xperia smartphone. The Xperia XA Ultra is being pushed as the "perfect nighttime selfie" phone with its 16-megapixel front-facing camera, low-light sensors, and optical image stabilization for blur-free shots. The "selfie" appeal comes from the powerful front camera, but the rear camera is formidable as well at 21.5MP. The front camera also has a "gesture control" feature which lets you wave your hand in front of the lens to start a shutter timer. Aside from strong cameras, the Xperia XA Ultra is designed with a huge, 6-inch borderless screen and is supposed to last up to two days on a single charge. That's quite a claim since the handset only has a 2,700 mAh battery. A quick charger will be available for the handset, allowing it to get 5.5 hours of battery life with just 10 minutes of charging. While Sony's previously announced Xperia X and X Performance tout top specs, the XA Ultra instead will impress with its cameras and large display. It's powered by an eight-core MediaTek MT6755 processor and comes with just 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which is expandable via microSD card to 200GB. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Specs at a glance: Nvidia GTX 1080 CUDA CORES 2560 TEXTURE UNITS 160 ROPS 64 CORE CLOCK 1607MHz BOOST CLOCK 1733MHz MEMORY BUS WIDTH 256-bit MEMORY SPEED 10,000MHz MEMORY BANDWIDTH 320GB/s MEMORY SIZE 8GB DDR5X PRICE Founders Edition (as reviewed): £619, €789, $699; Partner cards priced at $599 (probably £450 in the UK) The GTX 1080 should be a generational leap, a moment that, like the Titan before it, redefines consumer graphics card performance—and in many ways, it is. Yes, the GTX 1080 is the new world's fastest graphics card, and yes, it's faster than the likes of the now-redundant GTX 980 Ti and Titan X by as much as 35 percent in real-world use. Compared to the 980, it's faster still, by as much as 62 percent. For those that that want the very best graphics card right now, the 1080 is it. But it's hard to shake the feeling that the GTX 1080 could have been so much more. Despite its many innovations—it's the first graphics card based on its new Pascal architecture, the first with GDDR5X memory from Micron, and the first to be manufactured on a smaller, more efficient TSMC 16nm FinFET manufacturing process—the 1080's performance gains aren't entirely unheard of. The 680 was roughly 30 percent faster than the 580, as was the 780 over the 680—and those didn't feature a brand new manufacturing process. Read 55 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: StatCounter) Firefox has gingerly pulled ahead of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Edge browsers for the first time across the globe. Mozilla’s Firefox grabbed 15.6 percent of worldwide desktop browser usage in April, according to the latest numbers from Web analytics outfit StatCounter. However, neither browser threatens the market leader—Google’s Chrome continues to command two thirds of the market. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Bees work with nectar over their wax honey pots in a laboratory colony of Bombus impatiens. University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA. (credit: Alexander Wild) It would seem that almost every possible mating arrangement exists in the animal kingdom, from lions with their prides and ants with their colonies, to cheating birds and monogamous voles. But new research reveals that social animals have only two basic options when it comes to reproduction. They can be monogynous like ants, with only one female who mates; or they can be polygynous like chimps, with many females who mate. Depending on which evolutionary trajectory the animals follow, their population size will either grow into the millions or remain relatively small. How many breeders? A group of zoologists write about this finding in a new paper published in Royal Society Open Science. They analyzed 293 different social species, including reptiles, birds, insects, and mammals, and asked two simple questions about each one: How many females live in each group of these animals; and how many of those females are "breeders," capable of reproduction? Study co-author Eileen Lacey, a biologist at University of California-Berkeley, told Ars by phone that it was surprisingly hard to find this data. "In all the studies of social animals, very few people reported critical information like how many individuals are breeding versus not," she said. Nevertheless, she and her colleagues gathered enough data to perform a statistical analysis of the relationship between number of breeders and female population size. "The proportion of breeders in societies with more than one reproductive female appeared to be dependent upon the total number of females in the group; when societies with multiple breeding females from all taxa (ants, wasps, mammals, birds) were pooled, we found that the proportion of breeders decreased significantly with the total number of females in the group," the researchers wrote in their paper. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Christiaan Colen) Federal prosecutors urged a federal appeals court late Monday to keep a child-porn suspect behind bars—where he already has been for seven months—until he unlocks two hard drives that the government claims contains kid smut. The suspect, a Philadelphia police sergeant relieved of his duties, has refused to unlock two hard drives and has been in jail ever since a judge ordered him to do so seven months ago—and after finding him in contempt of court. The defendant can remain locked up until a judge lifts the contempt order. The government said Monday he should remain jailed indefinitely until he complies. The authorities also said that it's not a violation of the man's Fifth Amendment right against compelled self incrimination because it's a "foregone conclusion" that illegal porn is on the drives, and that he is only being asked to unlock the drives, not divulge their passcodes. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Oracle CEO Safra Catz, speaking at Oracle OpenWorld in 2011. (credit: KIMIHIRO HOSHINO / AFP / Getty Images) SAN FRANCISCO—Oracle CEO Safra Catz took the stand in federal court today as her company makes its case that Google should pay billions of dollars for using 37 Java APIs in its Android operating system. Oracle, which acquired Java when it purchased Sun Microsystems, sued Google over the APIs in 2010. In 2012, a judge ruled that APIs can't be copyrighted at all, but an appeals court disagreed. Now Oracle may seek up to $9 billion in damages, while Google is arguing that its use of the 37 APIs constitutes "fair use." Catz, who is co-CEO together with Mark Hurd, began by running through the basics of her background. Born in Israel, she moved to the US with her parents in 1967 and became an American citizen in 1972. She joined Oracle in 1999 and rose through the ranks to become president, the role she had during the 2012 trial against Google. Questioned by Oracle attorney Annette Hurst, Catz explained how her company reached the decision to purchase Sun Microsystems. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Duke University Prof. Owen Astrachan in his office. Astrachan testified at the Oracle v. Google trial that Android's used of Java APIs is "fair use." (credit: Owen Astrachan / Duke University) SAN FRANCISCO—Today was the sixth day of the Oracle v. Google trial, and Google has finished making its argument that it's not a copyright scofflaw for using 37 Java APIs in the Android operating system. Oracle, which acquired Java when it purchased Sun Microsystems, sued Google over the APIs in 2010. In 2012, a judge ruled that APIs can't be copyrighted at all, but an appeals court disagreed. Now Oracle may seek up to $9 billion in damages, while Google is arguing that its use of the 37 APIs constitutes "fair use." Today's court action began with a kind of mini opening statement, with lead lawyers from each side presenting the jury with a seven-minute update of where their case stands. After opening statements, Android programmer Dan Bornstein offered about 30 minutes of testimony, responding to issues that Oracle raised on Friday about licensing and "scrubbing" source code. Following a succession of Oracle employees that testified by video and deposition, Google's case drew to a close with the presentation of an expert witness. Read 29 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) Last week, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a stern letter to EMVCo—an organization equally owned by six global payment networks that's responsible for providing standards for chip-based credit and debit cards in the US. Durbin took issue with EMVCo's handling of the chip card roll out, accusing the standards organization of stalling retailers' efforts to get certified and putting off a requirement for PIN authorization in order to line card networks' pockets. Durbin also sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), asking it to “examine how flaws and delays in the certification process can be addressed.” Card networks agreed to transition the US from using magnetic stripe credit and debit cards to using chip-based cards years ago. With the backing of the US government, the card networks decided that by October 2015, all retailers in the US would have to have new terminal hardware to accept chip cards, or face liability when fraud occurred on outdated machines. Many other countries in the world have been using chip-based cards for a decade or more. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Flickr user Rachel.) Most modern conflicts are civil wars—wars that tear countries apart, sometimes even pitting friends and family against each other. After the fighting dies down, nations are left with a divided populace and are faced with the difficult task of reconciliation. A study published in Science magazine found that post-war reconciliation efforts can lead to an increase in national social capital, but this benefit comes at the expense of individual citizens’ psychological well being. The researchers examined the consequences of a truth and reconciliation effort in Sierra Leone using a randomized controlled trial approach. The recent civil conflict in Sierra Leone resulted in more than fifty thousand deaths, and more than half of the population was displaced. Violence occurred between neighbors within the same village, and the rebel group frequently recruited and deployed child soldiers. After the war, the new government set up a national truth and reconciliation program, but this program only covered a small fraction of the war-related trauma. To study the effects of these types of programs, the researchers implemented their own truth and reconciliation effort. It was built around forums where victims of the civil war could describe the violence that they had experienced, and the perpetrators of these crimes could seek forgiveness for their actions. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Shawn Campbell) Reports and rumors about changes to Twitter's famous character-count limit became more concrete on Monday thanks to a new report, and the alleged change appears to split the difference between the current model and an unlimited post size. Bloomberg's report credits "a person familiar with the matter" in claiming that Twitter posts will soon begin serving links and images that do not eat into a post's 140-character limit. The report's source indicated that the change could happen "in the next two weeks" but was unable to offer any firmer timeline. Currently, Twitter automatically shortens any URL or uploaded image into a link that takes up approximately 21 characters. Many users, including Ars Technica's official Twitter feed, have begun relying on attached, text-filled images to show longer text passages, pull quotes, and the like. We imagine the tiny boost of 21 characters for image posts will simply encourage more users to follow suit, though it remains to be seen how such links will be served, particularly to any users who rely solely on character-limited SMS access. In January, Ars' Peter Bright argued that such image-posting capabilities, combined with a 140-character limit, would preserve Twitter's best attributes better than a previously rumored plan to open posts up to a much larger 10,000-character limit. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Xbox) Are you the type to dash madly toward any new online service’s sign-up page even if you think you’ll never touch it again, just to lock down your username of choice? As any good geek knows, handles are a precious commodity, especially for free services that don’t have explicitly advertised nickname-recycling policies. One online ecosystem, Xbox Live, may have a respite in store for users who want to remove extraneous numbers or characters from their Gamertag of choice. A Monday announcement from Xbox Live PR chief Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb confirmed that a slew of “nearly one million” dormant Gamertags will be made available for qualified Xbox Live Gold members starting on Wednesday, May 18, at 2pm EDT. Microsoft has apparently been careful about what “dormant” means. This pile of names has been freed from a pool of Gamertags that were created on the original Xbox console and remained unused since that console’s servers went offline in 2010, meaning they were never used to log onto either newer console or through Microsoft’s Web-browser interface. Gamertags have always been free to create, even before Microsoft introduced separate “silver” and “gold” tiers of Xbox Live service on the 360 console, so certain juicy-sounding handles may very well have been created by original Xbox owners who had no intention of remaining longtime Xbox Live gamers. (Microsoft released dormant Xbox Live handles from the original-Xbox era in 2011 as well, but not as many.) Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / iTunes 12.4. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) Apple today released OS X 10.11.5, the fifth major update to OS X El Capitan since it was released last September. The company also released iTunes 12.4, a minor update that tweaks the user interface in an effort to simplify it. The El Capitan update doesn't change much. There are quite a few security fixes and a few tweaks related to enterprise usage, but little by way of user-visible changes. iTunes 12.4 is more noticeable change. It doesn't fix fix the core problem with iTunes—that having one program to handle local music, streamed music from Apple Music, TV and movie purchases, podcasts and iOS device backups and administration makes for lots of clutter and confusion—but it does present a marginally more streamlined version of the app everyone loves to hate. The top navigation bar has had several buttons removed, and the app uses a persistent sidebar instead of multiple drop-down menus to let you view your media. iTunes versions of yore also made heavier use of sidebars for navigation—sometimes the old ways really are best. Finally, the back and forward buttons now let you "navigate between your Library, Apple Music, iTunes Store, and more." Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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NCTA CEO Michael Powell at the cable lobby's annual INTX (Internet & Television Expo) conference. (credit: NCTA ) The cable industry's chief lobbyist today criticized what he called the Federal Communications Commission's "relentless regulatory assault" on the industry, claiming it has been unprovoked by the cable companies themselves. "What has been so distressing is that much of this regulatory ordinance has been launched without provocation," said Michael Powell, CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA). "We increasingly are saddled with heavy rules without any compelling evidence of harm to consumers or competitors." The FCC's recent actions have not been "modest regulatory corrections," he said. Instead, "they have been thundering, tectonic shifts that have crumbled decades of settled law and policy." Powell, who was FCC chairman himself from 2001 to 2005, made his comments today in a keynote speech at the NCTA's annual conference in Boston. Four FCC commissioners are scheduled to speak at the conference tomorrow and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will do so on Wednesday. Wheeler—who was CEO of the NCTA from 1979 to 1984—has been critical of the industry in speeches at the conference in each of the last two years, and he would likely disagree with Powell's assertion that cable companies haven't harmed consumers or competitors. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: squirrel83) Several years ago, nobody would have believed you if you said that a secret US court was ordering the nation's telecoms to forward the metadata for all telephone calls coming to and from the United States to the National Security Agency. It would have sounded like fiction from some deranged person wearing a tinfoil hat. But it was true. Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the NSA, turned over internal government documents in 2013 that illustrated just that reality. Future document releases would underscore that the United States had been spying on its populace and the world at large to a breathtaking extent. Snowden, now living in Russia, handed over the documents to reporter Glenn Greenwald, who published many of the juiciest disclosures at the Guardian. Greenwald left the Guardian and took the documents with him to The Intercept, which announced Monday that it is beginning a public document dump of the goods provided by Snowden. Today, The Intercept is releasing its first batch of many classified documents—166 articles of the NSA's internal newsletter called SIDtoday. The site explained: The Intercept’s first SIDtoday release comprises 166 articles, including all articles published between March 31, 2003, when SIDtoday began, and June 30, 2003, plus installments of all article series begun during this period through the end of the year. Major topics include the National Security Agency’s role in interrogations, the Iraq War, the war on terror, new leadership in the Signals Intelligence Directorate, and new, popular uses of the internet and of mobile computing devices. Greenwald encouraged "journalists, researchers, and interested parties" to sift through these and forthcoming document dumps "to find additional material of interest. Others may well find stories, or clues that lead to stories, that we did not. (To contact us about such finds, see the instructions here.) A primary objective of these batch releases is to make that kind of exploration possible." Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Merge Healthcare) A heart patient undergoing a medical procedure earlier this year was put at risk when misconfigured antivirus software caused a crucial lab device to hang and require a reboot before doctors could continue. The incident, described in an alert issued by the Food and Drug Administration, highlights the darker side of using computers and computer networks in mission-critical environments. While a computer crash is little more than an annoyance for most people at home or in offices, it can have far more serious consequences in hospitals, power generation facilities, or other industrial settings. The computer system at issue in the FDA alert is known under the brand name Merge Hemo and is sold by Hartland, Wisconsin-based Merge Healthcare. It comprises a patient data module and a monitor PC that are connected by a serial cable. It's used to provide doctors with real-time diagnostic information from a patient undergoing a procedure known as a cardiac catheterization, in which doctors insert a tube into a blood vessel to see how well the patient's heart is working. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Andrew Cunningham) Apple has just released iOS 9.3.2, a minor update to iOS 9 that fixes a handful of minor bugs. The most significant fix is related to the iPhone SE, which "could experience audio quality issues" when paired to Bluetooth headsets. The full release notes are below: Fixes an issue where some Bluetooth accessories could experience audio quality issues when paired to the iPhone SE Fixes an issue where looking up dictionary definitions could fail Addresses an issue that prevented typing email addresses when using the Japanese Kana keyboard in Mail and Messages Fixes an issue for VoiceOver users using the Alex voice, where the device switches to a different voice to announce punctuation or spaces Fixes an issue that prevented MDM servers from installing Custom B2B apps All of these fixes are for minor edge cases that affect only small fractions of the iOS userbase—major development on iOS 9 stopped with iOS 9.3, at which point Apple presumably shifted its focus to the new version of iOS that we'll see at WWDC next month. The update is available for all devices that support iOS 9, including the iPhone 4S and newer; iPad 2 and newer; all iPad Minis and iPad Pros; and the fifth- and sixth-generation iPod Touches. Apple also released minor updates for its other iOS-derived platforms, the Apple Watch and the fourth-generation Apple TV. The release notes for watchOS 2.2.1 and tvOS 9.2.1 don't name any specific fixes, but if you want the latest "bug fixes and security updates," you can download both of them now. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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Dan Borstein's Twitter photo before testifying in Oracle v. Google. (credit: @danfuzz) SAN FRANCISCO—Top Android programmer Dan Bornstein returned to the stand today as the Oracle v. Google trial rolled into its sixth day. Oracle, which acquired Java when it purchased Sun Microsystems in 2010, says Google infringed its copyrights by using 37 Java APIs in Android. In 2012, a judge ruled that APIs can't be copyrighted at all, but an appeals court disagreed. Now Oracle may seek up to $9 billion in damages, while Google is arguing that its use of the 37 APIs constitutes "fair use." Bornstein, who wore a silver tie, clear glasses, and his trademark Android lapel pin, was on the stand for less than half an hour today. He answered friendlier "redirect" questions from Google attorney Christa Anderson, who sought to ameliorate any possible damage from Bornstein's cross-examination last week. Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Thomas Manning, the first man in the US to receive a penis transplant. (credit: Massachusetts General Hospital) A Boston man who lost most of his penis in a fight with cancer has become the first US patient to receive a penis transplant. Thomas Manning, 64, a bank courier from Halifax, Massachusetts, received the new organ from a deceased donor in a 15 hour-long operation conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on May 8 and 9. The procedure involves doctors hooking up nerves, veins, and arteries between the recipient and donor organ. So far, Manning's doctors are “cautiously optimistic” that he will recover urinary and sexual function in the coming weeks and months. “It’s uncharted waters for us,” Dr. Curtis L. Cetrulo, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, told the New York Times. Cetrulo was a leader on the team of seven surgeons, 6 fellows, and more than 30 other health care workers who contributed to Manning’s procedure. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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