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Blade Shadow tried to slay my PC, but it wasn’t ready - CNET - News - February 21, 2018 - 6:07pm
For $35 a month, the beta version of this game streaming service needs to stop tripping over itself.

Nest Cam IQ gets “OK Google” support, lower monthly fee

Ars Technica - February 21, 2018 - 6:00pm

Enlarge / The Nest Cam IQ. The blue glow means it's recording. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

Google clearly has a goal of putting the Google Assistant just about everywhere. Today you can find it in smartphonestabletslaptopsTVswatchessmart speakersheadphones and soon, smart displays. There's one place you haven't seen the Assistant, though: a camera. Today Google is fixing that by updating the Next Cam IQ with Google Assistant support. The device is now basically a mini Google Home with a camera on top.

The Nest Cam IQ is Nest's top-of-the-line indoor camera, with a 4K sensor and an outrageously powerful (for a camera) six-core processor. All that power is put to work crunching that 4K video feed down to a more reasonable 1080p size, with the 4K sensor used to power the "12x digital zoom" feature available for its app. The Nest Cam IQ has always featured a microphone and speaker for remote communication, and now it will also be put to work to power your usual Google Assistant commands.

With the update, you'll be able to speak the usual "OK Google" commands, and the blue ring around the Nest Cam IQ will light up to show it's listening. Just like every other Google Assistant device, it supports questions, smart home commands, making shopping lists, buying stuff, controlling Chromecasts, and a score of other things.

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Twitter bot purge prompts backlash

BBC Technology News - February 21, 2018 - 5:58pm
Some users claim right-wing beliefs have been discriminated against by the crackdown.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV's 'Viewing Suite' lets you take it all in - Roadshow - News - February 21, 2018 - 5:56pm
It's just a set of chairs built into the cargo area, but I'm surprised nobody's done this before.

Bright idea: Make H when the Sun shines, and H when it doesn't

The Register - February 21, 2018 - 5:54pm
German boffins design solar reactor that, er, works at night

Researchers in Cologne, Germany, have successfully demonstrated a solar reactor known as CONTISOL, which promises to be able make hydrogen day and night while running on little more than air and sunlight.…

Netflix 'Lost in Space' reboot teaser hints at disaster - CNET - News - February 21, 2018 - 5:53pm
"Danger, Will Robinson!" The date-announcement teaser for Netflix's "Lost in Space" remake features a creepy Robot voice.

Bezos-backed 10,000 Year Clock now under construction

BBC Technology News - February 21, 2018 - 5:50pm
The cuckoo only comes out once a millennium.

The FCC’s net neutrality rules will officially expire in late April

Ars Technica - February 21, 2018 - 5:42pm

Enlarge / Rally organizers carry away props following a protest outside the Federal Communication Commission building against the end of net neutrality rules on December 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla )

The Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules will officially come off the books two months from now, as the FCC is set to take the final step necessary to make the repeal official.

The FCC voted to repeal the rules on December 14, but the repeal takes effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register publication is scheduled to happen on Thursday this week.

That means the repeal will take place on or about April 23. But the lawsuits to overturn the repeal can get started this month or in early March.

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Speed, not pothole, kills man in Detroit - Roadshow - News - February 21, 2018 - 5:25pm
That makes a bit more sense, but it doesn't make potholes any less dangerous this time of year.

Smart devices could soon have their own cellular connections - CNET - News - February 21, 2018 - 5:14pm
Arm's Kigen software will allow for SIM cards in IoT devices, meaning they could get online without Wi-Fi, and eventually, maybe, through 5G.

If at first you don't succeed, you're likely Intel: Second Spectre microcode fix emitted

The Register - February 21, 2018 - 5:11pm
Mitigations for chip design vulnerabilities, take two

For the second time of asking, Intel has issued microcode updates to computer makers that it prays says will mitigate the Spectre variant two design flaw impacting generations of x86 CPUs spewed out over previous decades.…

Intel hurls Spectre 2 microcode patch fix at world

The Register - February 21, 2018 - 5:11pm
Mitigation for chip design vuln

For the second time of asking, Intel has issued microcode updates to OEMs that it prays says will mitigate the Spectre variant two design flaw impacting generations of CPUs spewed out over previous decades.…

Tesla's cloud service hacked to mine cryptocurrency - Roadshow - News - February 21, 2018 - 5:03pm
The vulnerability has already been addressed, thankfully.

Review and interview: Brass Tactics finally brings true RTS to VR

Ars Technica - February 21, 2018 - 5:00pm

Enlarge / Boy, the flying units in Brass Tactics sure are pesky—and that's the point. (credit: Hidden Path / Oculus)

BELLEVUE, Washington—Virtual reality has been a thing for years, yet for some reason, it has had a lack of real-time strategy (RTS) games. To this, I can't help but say, what gives? Managing a giant army à la StarCraft seems like a nice fit for VR's mix of hand-tracked controllers and first-person twists—while also minding VR's limits. Stand above a battlefield (or, if your room is cramped, sit without losing the effect). Use your hands to become a war puppeteer. Enjoy a refreshing control and perspective alternative to ancient, mouse-driven menus.

It's a VR no-brainer... that nobody has truly attempted until this week.

Unlike other RTS-ish games in VR, this week's Brass Tactics is the first full-blown take on the genre to see a retail release. It's not perfect—indeed, it has a couple of glaring issues ahead of its Thursday launch—but Brass Tactics is clearly a few steps above "just good enough." It functions as a pure, solid RTS, while it also comes packed with nice VR touches. Best of all, thanks to a free, unlimited, works-online demo version, every single VR owner out there (even outside the Oculus ecosystem) can try it for themselves—and try it they should.

Clear RTS skies

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Sling TV shoots to 2.2 million subscribers, making it king of the streams - CNET - News - February 21, 2018 - 4:51pm
Parent company Dish claims 47 percent growth during 2017.

The 3:59 is celebrating its 359th podcast episode today - CNET - News - February 21, 2018 - 4:49pm
Here are the details on how to watch a super-deluxe edition of the daily podcast on Wednesday.

'The Last Jedi''s User Interfaces Aren't Just Cool-Looking

Wired - February 21, 2018 - 4:49pm
Every display in the latest Star Wars film exists to help tell the story.

Game industry pushes back against efforts to restore gameplay servers

Ars Technica - February 21, 2018 - 4:48pm

(credit: Flickr / craigfinlay)

A group of video game preservationists wants the legal right to replicate "abandoned" servers in order to re-enable defunct online multiplayer gameplay for study. The game industry says those efforts would hurt their business, allow the theft of their copyrighted content, and essentially let researchers "blur the line between preservation and play."

Both sides are arguing their case to the US Copyright Office right now, submitting lengthy comments on the subject as part of the Copyright Register's triennial review of exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Analyzing the arguments on both sides shows how passionate both industry and academia are about the issue, and how mistrust and misunderstanding seem to have infected the debate.

The current state of play

In 2015, the Librarian of Congress issued a limited exemption to the DMCA, allowing gamers and researchers to circumvent technological prevention measures (TPMs) that require Internet authentication servers that have been taken offline. Despite strong pushback from the Entertainment Software Association at the time, the Register of Copyrights argued that the abandonment of those servers "preclude[s] all gameplay, a significant adverse effect."

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Here are the first cities to get AT&T's mobile 5G network - CNET - News - February 21, 2018 - 4:37pm
Dallas, Atlanta and Waco, Texas, are the first of a dozen markets to get 5G later this year.

Brexit to better bumpkin broadband, 4G coverage for farmers – Gove

The Register - February 21, 2018 - 4:35pm
Better mobile coverage in Kenya than parts of Kent

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove has promised to use the cash Blighty no longer has to give to the EU to subsidise rural connectivity.…

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