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Pandemic Legacy: Season 2—The world’s “best board game” gets better

Ars Technica - 47 min 45 sec ago

Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at

How do you follow the most popular board game ever made?

In a world where three separate versions of Smurfs Monopoly exist, Pandemic Legacy: Season One (PL:S1) isn’t the biggest-selling game of all time—but it has topped the popularity charts at Board Game Geek since it was released. It’s as close to “universally loved” as it’s possible to get in this contrarian world.

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Pentagon contractor leaves social media spy archive wide open on Amazon

Ars Technica - 1 hour 17 min ago

(credit: Wikipedia)

A Pentagon contractor left a vast archive of social-media posts on a publicly accessible Amazon account in what appears to be a military-sponsored intelligence-gathering operation that targeted people in the US and other parts of the world.

The three cloud-based storage buckets contained at least 1.8 billion scraped online posts spanning eight years, researchers from security firm UpGuard's Cyber Risk Team said in a blog post published Friday. The cache included many posts that appeared to be benign, and in many cases those involved from people in the US, a finding that raises privacy and civil-liberties questions. Facebook was one of the sites that originally hosted the scraped content. Other venues included soccer discussion groups and video game forums. Topics in the scraped content were extremely wide ranging and included Arabic language posts mocking ISIS and Pashto language comments made on the official Facebook page of Pakistani politician Imran Khan.

The scrapings were left in three Amazon Web Servers S3 cloud storage buckets that were configured to allow access to anyone with a freely available AWS account. It's only the latest trove of sensitive documents left unsecured on Amazon. In recent months, UpGuard has also found private data belonging to Viacom, security firm TigerSwan, and defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton similarly exposed. In Friday's post, UpGuard analyst Dan O'Sullivan wrote:

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Iconic hacker booted from conferences after sexual misconduct claims surface

Ars Technica - 2 hours 17 min ago

Enlarge / John Draper, seen here in 2011. (credit: campuspartycolombia)

John Draper, a legendary figure in the world of pre-digital phone hacking known as "phreaking," has been publicly accused of inappropriate sexual behavior going back nearly two decades.

According to a new Friday report by BuzzFeed News, Draper, who is also known as "Captain Crunch," acted inappropriately with six adult men and minors between 1999 and 2007 during so-called "energy" exercises, which sometimes resulted in private invitations to his hotel room. There, Draper allegedly made unwanted sexual advances.

As a result of the new revelations, Draper, 74, is now no longer welcome at Defcon. Michael Farnum, the founder of HOU.SEC.CON, told Ars on Friday afternoon that Draper, who had been scheduled to speak in April 2018, was disinvited.

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Best Black Friday deals for cord-cutters: Roku, Fire TV and more - CNET - News - 3 hours 47 min ago
Want to stream video or watch free over-the-air TV instead of paying for cable? Black Friday is the perfect time to upgrade your hardware.

Aww: Apple won't be HomePod for Christmas

The Register - 5 hours 44 min ago
Sir Jony's nosey speakers delayed until 2018

Apple will fail to deliver its HomePod internet-connected speakers in time for the Christmas shopping season.…

Why wait for Black Friday? These Xbox One deals rock - CNET - News - 11 hours 59 min ago
We scoured the depths of the internet to find all the best Black Friday deals for all your Xbox needs.

What to play this weekend: Star Wars, Pokemon and Skyrim - CNET - News - 12 hours 17 min ago
There's something for everyone this week. Even PlayStation Vita owners.

Best pre-Black Friday deals you can get right now - CNET - News - 12 hours 43 min ago
Why wait? There are already some great deals out there -- without the need to wait in line at 4 a.m.

Gamer predicts that eSports is going to be 'bigger than soccer'

BBC Technology News - 12 hours 43 min ago
A day in the life of Travis "Castaway" Waters, the South African who gets paid to play video games.

Then there were four: Another draft US law on 'foreign' (aka domestic) mass spying emerges

The Register - 13 hours 5 min ago
And this one is… not in favor of snooping on Americans, whoa

The battle over a controversial US government spying program has intensified – with a fourth piece of legislation tackling the surveillance introduced to Congress on Friday.…

Apple Park: Normal people like you can now visit - CNET - News - 13 hours 14 min ago
Apple's new visitor center opened to the public Friday, complete with special schwag and an AR-enabled model of the spaceship campus.

UK seeks future cyber-security stars

BBC Technology News - 13 hours 14 min ago
UK initiatives aim to get young people choosing a career in cyber-security to close a looming skills gap.

NASA sees a crazy, angry storm swirl across Jupiter - CNET - News - 14 hours 33 sec ago
Jupiter's stormy atmosphere does its best impression of a hellscape in an eye-popping Juno spacecraft image.

Weekend code warriors prepare to clash in Codewarz

Ars Technica - 14 hours 28 min ago

Enlarge / Obviously a Codewarz competitor. (credit: Alain Daussin/Getty Images)

If you didn't have any weekend plans yet—or maybe even if you did—and you're interested in scratching your programming itch, there's something to add to your calendar. Codewarz, a programming competition that presents participants with 24 coding challenges, is running its first live event starting at 1pm Eastern on November 18 and ending at 9pm on November 20.

This is not a hacking competition—it’s strictly coding. Participants can use their language of choice as long as it's one of the 15 supported by the event: the various flavors of C, Python, Node.js, Scala, PHP, Go, Ruby, and even BASH. (Sorry, no one has asked them to support ADA or Eiffel yet.) There's no compiling required, either. Each submitted solution is run in an interpreted sandbox on a Linux machine for evaluation and scoring. And the challenges run the gamut from beginner (things like text parsing, math and basic networking) to advanced (more advanced parsing and math, hashing, cryptography, and forensics challenges).

Scoring is straightforward. Each of the challenges has an expected output (checked through hash-matching), and matching that output equals success for whatever number of points a challenge is worth. The easiest challenges (such as a "Hello World" tutorial challenge) are worth 10 points, while the hardest are worth 250 points.

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This phone carrier is building its own smart speaker - CNET - News - November 17, 2017 - 11:37pm
Republic Wireless' smart speaker appears to take a calls-first mantra.

Motif Mentor review - CNET - Reviews - November 17, 2017 - 11:22pm
The Motif Mentor's pour-over coffee pointers don't come cheap.

Tech to cut young drivers' insurance bills

BBC Technology News - November 17, 2017 - 11:01pm
Which is the best insurance technology for young drivers: Black box or dash cam?

Apple delays HomePod to 2018 - CNET - News - November 17, 2017 - 11:00pm
Apple's smart speaker isn't making it this year after all.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be the longest film in the saga - CNET - News - November 17, 2017 - 10:52pm
Director Rian Johnson confirms audiences will be sitting down to an extra-packed Episode VIII.

Get a dog, it might help you live longer, study says - CNET - News - November 17, 2017 - 10:46pm
Go thank your pooch, then take it for a brisk walk. Swedish research shows that dog owners are less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.

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