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'Professor Marston and the Wonder Women': Love, with ropes - CNET - News - 22 hours 26 min ago
It may be light on comic book history, but the hot and heavy exploration of sexual freedom in the early 20th century will lasso you in.

Federal watchdog tells Equifax—no $7.25 million IRS contract for you

Ars Technica - 22 hours 28 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg/Getty Images)

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Monday rejected Equifax's bid to retain its $7.25 million "taxpayer identity" contract—the one awarded days after Equifax announced it had exposed the Social Security numbers and other personal data of some 145 million people.

At its core, the Equifax-IRS ordeal reveals the strangeness of the government contacting system. That's because Equifax wasn't even originally chosen to continue its contract with the IRS's Secure Access online program, which enables taxpayers to store and retrieve online tax records. But because Equifax protested when the agency gave the contract to rival Experian for a fraction of the cost, the IRS said contracting rules demanded that it offer a "bridge" contact to Equifax until the GAO sorts out the protest.

The GAO sorted everything out on Monday. It set aside the challenge from Equifax which contended that Experian, whose bid was worth up to $795,000 annually, didn't have the technological wherewithal to verify taxpayers signing up for the Secure Access program.

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Analogue's Super Nt retro console wants to be the perfect SNES - CNET - News - October 16, 2017 - 10:36pm
Think of it as an SNES Classic that can play your old cartridges.

Daimler recalls 400,000 Mercedes-Benz cars in the UK

BBC Technology News - October 16, 2017 - 10:35pm
More than a million vehicles worldwide are being recalled over a potential airbag safety issue.

Neutron stars shower gold on universe in big bang, felt on Earth as 100-second grav wave

The Register - October 16, 2017 - 10:00pm
LIGO boffins pinpoint space prang 130m light years away

Barely two years after it came online, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has scored a double success. Last week, the instrument earned its creators a Nobel Prize – and this week we're told it helped spot the first neutron star collision from both its gravitational wave and radiation emissions.…

More than 4,000MW of coal power slated for retirement in Texas. But why?

Ars Technica - October 16, 2017 - 9:45pm

Enlarge / Emissions rise from smokestacks at Pacificorp’s 1,000MW coal-fired power plant on October 9, 2017 outside Huntington, Utah. (credit: George Frey/Getty Images)

Late last week, power company Vistra Energy announced that it would close two of its Texas coal plants by early 2018. In a press release, the company blamed "Sustained low wholesale power prices, an oversupplied renewable generation market, and low natural gas prices, along with other factors."

Just the week before, Vistra subsidiary Luminant had announced another Texas plant closure, according to Reuters. The three Texas coal plants reflect more than 4GW of capacity. The plants are only the latest in a string of announced retirements from power companies that find their coal units offline more and more often due to low electricity prices.

But these closures came at a surprising time: the Trump administration has been pushing some of the most aggressive policies aimed at helping out coal plants that we've seen yet. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) moved to roll back the Clean Power Plan just last week, and, in late September, the Department of Energy proposed a rule that would increase compensation for facilities that can store 90 days of fuel onsite (i.e., coal and nuclear energy). Industry watchers expected the proposed lifelines would forestall exits from coal generation. (In Texas, the Clean Power Plan repeal is expected to help coal out considerably, although the Department of Energy proposed rule won't have too much of an effect because Texas' grid operator is exempt from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rules.)

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FCC’s DDoS claims will be investigated by government

Ars Technica - October 16, 2017 - 9:25pm

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Bill Hinton)

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) will investigate DDoS attacks that allegedly targeted the Federal Communications Commission's system for accepting public comments on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to roll back net neutrality rules.

Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) requested the investigation in August, and the GAO recently confirmed that it accepted the Schatz/Pallone request.

Among other things, Schatz and Pallone are looking for evidence that the attacks actually happened. The FCC has not "released any records or documentation that would allow for confirmation that an attack occurred," they said in their letter to the GAO.

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Google isn't saying Microsoft security sucks but Chrome for Windows has its own antivirus

The Register - October 16, 2017 - 9:09pm
ESET scanning engine now built in – plus other defenses

In its ongoing effort to improve browser security, school Microsoft on security, and retain its search audience, Google is today rolling out several Chrome for Windows fortifications.…

Argo AI CEO says to look past the self-driving hype - Roadshow - News - October 16, 2017 - 9:02pm
The company's chief believes we're still a long ways from introducing autonomous cars to the public.

Fall Update for Xbox One aims to look better, be more customizable, and faster

Ars Technica - October 16, 2017 - 8:42pm

The Fall Update for the Xbox One system software is now rolling out. It brings a redesigned and more customizable Home tab, a quicker and more convenient Guide, and new Community features that make keeping tabs on what your friends are up to easier.


The Home tab is built around a new concept called a "block." Each block—which can be a game, friend, Xbox Live Gold, or Xbox Game Pass—gives access to a range of related content. Friend blocks, for example, show recent achievements or Game DVR captures from your friends; Game blocks will give you info about game updates, your GameDVR captures, and so on. Regular pinned games and apps are still there, too, with up to 40 pins.

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Super Cali goes ballistic, small-cell law is bogus. School IT outsourcing is also... quite atrocious

The Register - October 16, 2017 - 8:31pm
So much for only one Super Cali headline per month

California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a state bill that would have allowed telcos to put up loads of small-cell antennas, and thus boost phone coverage, against city officials' wishes.…

Bay Area: Join us 10/18 to talk to co-writer of Star Wars: Rogue One

Ars Technica - October 16, 2017 - 8:30pm

Gary Whitta co-wrote Rogue One and has written screenplays for movies starring Will Smith and Denzel Washington. Plus he writes comics and novels! (credit: Gary Whitta)

What’s it like to work as a professional geek in Hollywood? Find out from Gary Whitta, who started as a humble gamer and became the co-writer of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Along the way, he worked on movies with Will Smith and Denzel Washington and helped create a Walking Dead game. He’ll discuss his experiences writing movies, as well as what it's like to tell new stories set in a beloved fan-favorite franchise.

Join Ars Technica editors Cyrus Farivar and Annalee Newitz in conversation with Gary Whitta at the next Ars Technica Live on October 18 at Eli's Mile High Club in Oakland.

Gary is the former Editor-in-Chief of PC Gamer magazine and now an award-winning screenwriter and author, best known as the co-writer of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He also wrote the post-apocalyptic thriller The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington, co-wrote the Will Smith sci-fi adventure After Earth, and served as writer and story consultant on Telltale Games’ adaptation of The Walking Dead, for which he was the co-recipient of a BAFTA award for Best Story. Gary has written multiple episodes of Disney XD’s animated series Star Wars Rebels. Most recently, he wrote the feature film adaptation of the Eisner award-winning comic-book series Mouse Guard for 20th Century Fox. His first novel, Abomination, was recently published to critical acclaim.

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Yes, Google Photos can tell your pets apart - CNET - News - October 16, 2017 - 8:28pm
Thanks to advanced machine learning, Google knows the difference between your calico cat, your orange tabby and your Chihuahua.

The iPhone 7 is reportedly outselling the iPhone 8 - CNET - News - October 16, 2017 - 8:14pm
It's likely Apple fans are holding out for the iPhone X instead.

Here's a timeless headline: Adobe rushes out emergency Flash fix after hacker exploits bug

The Register - October 16, 2017 - 7:39pm
So much for that security-patch-free October

Adobe today issued an emergency security patch for Flash, which squashes a bug being used in the wild right now by hackers to infect Windows PCs with spyware.…

US Supreme Court to review Microsoft email privacy case - CNET - News - October 16, 2017 - 7:29pm
The court will examine whether US tech firms have to provide data to law enforcement conducting a criminal investigation, even if that data is held overseas.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - October 16, 2017 - 7:23pm
Leica did it first, but it's telling that no one else has tried in the four-year interim.

Samsung WA52M7750AW review - CNET - Reviews - October 16, 2017 - 7:19pm
Samsung's WA52M7750AW top-load washer has a handy built-in sink, but still struggles to clean.

This Samsung washing machine does the bare minimum - CNET - News - October 16, 2017 - 7:19pm
Samsung's $899 WA52M7750AW top-load washing machine has a sink, but little else of note.

Desktop Outlook will get a redesign with the biggest changes happening on Macs

Ars Technica - October 16, 2017 - 7:05pm

Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has big design changes planned for Outlook on both the Windows and Mac platforms—but especially the Mac. In both cases, the new design direction borrows from Outlook for iOS. Microsoft gave a brief look at the coming updates during the Ignite conference a couple of weeks ago, and both The Verge and MSPoweruser dug into the changes.

Microsoft spent the most time talking about the Mac in terms of visual and UX changes, but the biggest change coming to the Windows version (pictured above) is a streamlined ribbon that is now just one line of commands, with a button right on the ribbon for adding or removing buttons and commands. You’ll still be able to use the older, three-line ribbon if you prefer. Compared to some other mail applications, Outlook has a tendency to expose a lot of features right up front, which can make the interface seem cluttered to some sensibilities. Additionally, the Windows version adds an account-switcher sidebar on the far left that's lifted straight out of the iOS Outlook app.

For the Mac, we'll see a significant visual overhaul. While we liked the Office 365 version of Outlook for Mac, Microsoft acknowledged in the Ignite presentation that Mac users have complained that Outlook for Mac doesn't always follow common Mac software design principles. Some of those ideas have been applied here. But mostly, it looks like Outlook for iOS with features added that weren't available on Macs previously.

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