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FCC votes to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules

ZDnet News - December 14, 2017 - 7:49pm
The three Republican members of the commission voted to repeal the net neutrality rules.

Viruses are the antibiotics of the future - CNET - News - December 14, 2017 - 7:45pm
Bacteriophages and the enzymes they produce are being used in Russia to kill bacteria that is resistant to every known type of antibiotic.

Congress spares $7,500 EV tax credit - Roadshow - News - December 14, 2017 - 7:38pm
That Tesla you always wanted may still be within reach.

Brave browser offers to boost your online search privacy - CNET - News - December 14, 2017 - 7:31pm
A partnership with search engine DuckDuckGo means private-mode searches can become more private.

You're probably putting your company's cybersecurity at risk - CNET - News - December 14, 2017 - 7:29pm
Employees' bad habits could make their companies vulnerable to cyber threats.

Goodbye, net neutrality—Ajit Pai’s FCC votes to allow blocking and throttling

Ars Technica - December 14, 2017 - 7:12pm

Enlarge / Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai arrives for his confirmation hearing with the Senate Commerce Committee on July 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla )

The Federal Communications Commission voted today to deregulate the broadband industry and eliminate net neutrality rules that prohibit Internet service providers from blocking and throttling Internet traffic.

The repeal of net neutrality rules became a near-certainty about a year ago when Donald Trump won the presidency and appointed Republican Ajit Pai to the FCC chairmanship. Pai and Republican Commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Brendan Carr provided the three votes necessary to overturn the net neutrality rules and the related "Title II" classification of broadband providers as common carriers.

Democrats Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel provided bitter dissents in today's 3-2 vote. Despite the partisan divide in government, polls show that majorities of both Democratic and Republican voters supported the rules, and net neutrality supporters protested outside the FCC headquarters before the vote.

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Pandora now lets you search-and-play without having to pay - CNET - News - December 14, 2017 - 7:03pm
By agreeing to watch a 15-second ad, you can listen to the specific songs you want to hear on Pandora without paying a $10 monthly subscription.

Bomb threat temporarily disrupts FCC vote to kill net neutrality rules

Ars Technica - December 14, 2017 - 6:58pm

Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai listens during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC, on June 20, 2017. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

Just as the FCC was about to vote on eliminating its net neutrality rules this afternoon, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was interrupted by a staffer and then called for a break in the meeting.

"On advice of security, we need to take a brief recess," Pai said.

Best part of the net neutrality hearing so far is when they let dogs wander all over the room.

— Philip Bump (@pbump) December 14, 2017

A security official then advised attendees to leave all of their belongings in place, and everyone left the meeting room. According to a running camera used by The Washington Post for Facebook Live, police soon swept through the room with dogs.

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'We were promised flying cars': 25 quotes that sum up 2017 - CNET - News - December 14, 2017 - 6:47pm
2017 brought us bitcoin explosions, Uber implosions and "covfefe." Here are the quotes that shaped technology and the world.

Microsoft quietly snuck an ssh client and server into latest Windows 10 update

Ars Technica - December 14, 2017 - 6:38pm

Enlarge (credit: Liz West)

In 2015, Microsoft announced its intent to bring OpenSSH, the widely used implementation of the secure shell (ssh) protocol used for remote system access and administration throughout the UNIX world, natively to Windows. Without too many people noticing, it turns out that the company has now done this. The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update adds a couple of optional features, with both client and server now available for installation (via Serve The Home).

Add the feature from the Optional Features settings page and, well... I think it works, but I'm not entirely sure because I can't make it work. It can't use my RSA key—Microsoft's issues list on GitHub says that only ed25519 keys are supported at present—but my ed25519 key isn't working either. I have seen people successfully use it with password authentication, but I don't have a password-authenticated server to actually test with right now. Both my keys work fine from Windows Subsystem for Linux ssh, so I'm confident that they're fine; the native Win32 program just doesn't like them for reasons that aren't at all obvious at this time.

I'm sure that eventually the wrinkles will be fixed. This is a beta and it's not installed by default, so hiccups aren't a huge surprise. But it's another little sign that Microsoft is continuing to embrace the wider world beyond Windows. I don't expect that ssh will become the main tool for administration of Windows machines any time soon—though with the ssh server and PowerShell, even that isn't impossible to imagine—but when this works, it's going to make connecting to and using other systems from Windows that bit more convenient.

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Atari delays preorders of Ataribox console - CNET - News - December 14, 2017 - 6:29pm
Atari says it needs more time to work on the platform and ecosystem.

Net neutrality vote will go down in internet history (The 3:59, Ep. 333) - CNET - News - December 14, 2017 - 6:13pm
The FCC expects vote on net neutrality on Thursday, potentially changing the way we browse the internet.

Mr. Robot S3: If you abandoned f-society last year, it’s time to come back

Ars Technica - December 14, 2017 - 5:56pm

Enlarge / The holiday season is always stressful, perhaps more so for the Alderson family. (credit: USA Networks)

Warning: This story contains spoilers for S2 and S3 of Mr. Robot.

Early in last night’s S3 finale, Elliot has engineered his way into an FBI mole’s apartment and must search for something. If he can find what the Dark Army has on this guy, he/Mr. Robot thinks, then maybe they can leverage that and take down the Dark Army. Drawers frantically open, paper and pictures toss about, and then…. Irving, the hacker collective’s fixer, calmly appears out of nowhere to flip through books on the FBI agent’s shelf.

“I just finished this book. I got it on tape. I didn’t care much for the ending. Story can have a mediocre beginning, middle, and often times it does. But it’s always gotta have a ‘wow’ ending—otherwise, what’s the point?” he tells Elliot. “And whatever scheme you’re trying to come up with, it’s not going to change the inevitable.”

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MCubed returns to London in 2018, call for papers open

The Register - December 14, 2017 - 5:51pm
Doing AI or ML? Really? Tell us about it

Events The call for papers for MCubed 2018 is open, and we really want to hear how you're putting machine learning, AI and robotics to work in real organisations.…

Polestar 1 launch markets include US, China - Roadshow - News - December 14, 2017 - 5:45pm
Here's where in the world you'll be able to buy the 600-hp super coupe from Volvo's new electrified performance brand.

Google Assistant comes to older Android phones running 5.0 and up

Ars Technica - December 14, 2017 - 5:28pm

Enlarge / The Google Assistant on the LG G6.

Google's push to put the Google Assistant everywhere continues. The company's voice search interface exists on phones, watches, TVs, cars, and in standalone smart speakers, but the company has never done a great job of capturing the entire 2 billion-strong Android market. The Assistant originally launched on a single phone, the Google Pixel, and has slowly been creeping across the Android landscape.

Now the Assistant is coming to even more Android devices. Google announced the voice assistant is coming to older phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop and up. This is a big bump over the old rollout, which only included Android 6.0 Marshmallow and up. According to the Google Play active user stats, Lollipop compatibility will add another 26 percent of Android's install base to the Assistant's reach.

That number doesn't include Android tablets, which until now haven't really had access to the Assistant at all. The lone exceptions were "Google" branded tablets like the Google Pixel C and the Google Pixelbook. Now the Assistant is finally coming to Android tablets too, but only for those with the language set to English.

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Honey, I shrank the company: Tintri's dire third quarter presages a worse final one

The Register - December 14, 2017 - 5:22pm
Firm considers sale and looks to slash expenses

+Comment CEO Ken Klein is having to eat dust after Tintri's poor IPO saw sales staff leave. Third quarter results are dire, the fourth quarter looks even worse, and Tintri is considering selling itself.…

Drone pilot at fault for collision with Black Hawk helicopter - CNET - News - December 14, 2017 - 5:18pm
The National Transportation Safety Board finds the pilot wasn't up to speed on best practices and flew his drone out of sight.

5 small appliances that'll change the way you cook forever - CNET - News - December 14, 2017 - 4:57pm
These budget-friendly kitchen tools make cooking easier -- and a lot more fun.

The Last Jedi has something unusual for a Star Wars movie: Nuance

Ars Technica - December 14, 2017 - 4:50pm

Enlarge / Watch out for giant faces and TIE fighters! (credit: Disney)

Spoiler-free assessment

There are a lot of good things I expected from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but nuance wasn’t one of them. You can usually depend on this franchise to deliver zoomy action steered by easily recognizable good guys and bad guys, their motivations untainted by complexity. The possible exception would be The Empire Strikes Back, and The Last Jedi Writer/Director Rian Johnson is obviously trying to evoke that film here.

Luckily, The Last Jedi is not a reboot or recreation of The Empire Strikes Back, the way The Force Awakens was of A New Hope. Jedi turns our characters into multi-faceted people and takes the series in new and unexpected directions.

Without giving away any of the plot, I can say that The Last Jedi’s greatest strength comes from its characters—and of course the actors who play them. Instead of giving us legendary heroes whose main job is to propel the plot, The Last Jedi focuses on our protagonists’ struggles with the same everyday problems that all sentient creatures face. They are conflicted, disappointed, and unsure what to do. They go on wild goose chases. They do the wrong thing, or the right thing for the wrong reasons. In other words, they feel realistically ordinary. Luke actually makes fun of his mythical reputation when the wide-eyed Rey (Daisy Ridley) begs for his help (Mark Hamill is in fine form here as a sarcastic old dude).

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