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Industry & Technology

Collapse of ancient city’s water system may have led to its demise

Ars Technica - 15 min 37 sec ago

Enlarge / The Cambodian city of Angkor was once the largest in the world until vast swathes of the population decamped in the 15th century. Its famous temple, Angkor Wat (above), survived. (credit: Stefan Irvine/LightRocket/Getty Images)

The Cambodian city of Angkor was once the largest in the world... then the vast majority of its inhabitants suddenly decamped in the 15th century to a region near the modern city of Phnom Penh. Historians have put forth several theories about why this mass exodus occurred. A new paper in Science Advances argues that one major contributing factor was an overloaded water distribution system, exacerbated by extreme swings in the climate.

Angkor dates back to around 802 CE. Its vast network of canals, moats, embankments, and reservoirs developed over the next 600 years, helping distribute vital water resources for such uses as irrigation and to help control occasional flooding. By the end of the 11th century, the system bore all the features of a complex network, with thousands of interconnected individual components heavily dependent on each other.

Such a configuration, hovering at or near the so-called critical point, is ideal for the effective flow of resources, whether we're talking about water, electricity (power grids), traffic, the spread of disease, or information (the stock market and the Internet). The tradeoff is that it can become much more sensitive to even tiny perturbations—so much so that a small outage in one part of the network can trigger a sudden network-wide cascading failure.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

A DeepMind library to help build reinforcement learning bots, and how Google's Pixel 3 cameras handle zoom

The Register - 43 min 54 sec ago
Also applications are now open for OpenAI's Scholars programme

Roundup Hello, here's a quick roundup of interesting or useful bits of AI news that happened this week.…

Yamaha RX-V485 review: Affordable hub for an entry-level home-theater system - CNET

cNET.com - Reviews - 45 min 58 sec ago
The Yamaha RX-V483 offers high-quality sound at an affordable price, but some users may crave better connectivity options and Dolby Atmos capability.

iPhone XS specs vs. XS Max, XR, X: What's new and different - CNET

cNET.com - News - 55 min 44 sec ago
See how Apple's new 2018 iPhones compare spec-by-spec with last year's iPhone X.

This $33 Bluetooth speaker sounds better than it has any right to be - CNET

cNET.com - News - 58 min 47 sec ago
Incredibly enough, the Audiophiliac is smitten with the Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth speaker!

iPhone XR camera: Here’s how good we think it'll be - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 25 min ago
It's only got one lens, while the iPhone XS has two. But what else is different?

iPhone XR early presale demand and the next Apple event is October 30th - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 45 min ago
Which iPhone XR models are showing shipment delays and what we're expecting at Apple's next launch event. Catch up on all your iPhone news for the week.

Lynk & Co is partnering with Cyan to go racing - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 45 min ago
The Chinese mobility startup will enter the 2019 World Touring Car Championship with the racing version of its 03 sedan.

9 great reads from CNET this week - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 45 min ago
We look at how superfast 5G could rock your world; consider how your DNA will sell you out; and preview Netflix's new witch series.

Review: Istanbul: The Dice Game rules the bazaar

Ars Technica - 1 hour 45 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Nate Anderson)

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

When it comes to gaming, I am a man of simple pleasures. I need no boxes of sculpted minis, no hour-long setup, no manuals the size of novels. Let me chuck huge handfuls of dice, collect colorful goods, earn chunky gems, and I am content. Wrap the whole package in elegant artwork with a clear ruleset and a low price, and I am ready to play, anytime, anywhere.

That's why I love Istanbul: The Dice Game, the (inevitable) dice-driven implementation of 2014's award-winning board game, Istanbul. In that earlier big-box game, players moved their "merchants" around the "bazaar" to collect and trade goods, or to gamble in the tea shop, or to spring a relative from jail and send him on an errand for you. (Don't ask.) The goal was to collect enough shiny acrylic rubies to retire rich.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Best mobile games of 2018 - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 49 sec ago
Looking for a new game to play on your phone or tablet? Here are our picks of the best mobile games.

iPhone XR hands-on: Colorful phones make a great first impression - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 25 min ago
We take an early look at what sets the iPhone XR apart from the XS.

Mixing John Lennon's Imagine: We meet engineer Rob Stevens - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 28 min ago
It’s a dream job for an engineer. Rob Stevens tells us how he brings out the best in John Lennon's solo work.

The 50 best iPhone games - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 30 min ago
If you're all about the iPhone, these are some of the best games you can play.

OnePlus 6T: Every detail and rumor so far - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 45 min ago
It'll definitely have an in-display fingerprint scanner -- and we know lots more.

The 44 best Android games of 2018 - CNET

cNET.com - News - 3 hours 48 sec ago
These are unequivocally the best Android games on the planet.

Apple boss demands Bloomberg Super Micro U-turn, Russian troll charged, NSA hands out cash, and more

The Register - 4 hours 44 min ago
Plus, hackers find a safe haven in West Haven

Roundup After we encountered a libssh security blunder, a leaky Tea Party, and a dodgy Redmond sports marketer, another week is in the book.…

Another Defender bites the dust as Netflix cancels Luke Cage

Ars Technica - 8 hours 37 min ago

Enlarge / Luke Cage (Mike Colter) will have to put another dollar in the swear jar when he hears the news. (credit: Netflix)

Just one week ago, Netflix surprised us all by canceling Iron Fist after a much-improved second season. Now we can add Luke Cage to the casualties. Netflix unexpectedly pulled the plug on a third season today. This reduces the original Defenders to Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and Daredevil, whose third season just made its debut.

This is frankly a huge disappointment to fans of the Defenders series. Luke Cage had a strong first two seasons, with a terrific supporting cast—most notably Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard, and her right hand, Hernan "Shades" Alzarez (Theo Rossi). While season 2 was a bit uneven, it ended with the dearly departed Mariah turning the tables on Luke, deeding him the Harlem's Paradise nightclub. We were looking forward to seeing what kind of corrupting influence that kind of power might have had on Harlem's hero.

Here's the joint statement from Marvel and Netflix:

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Luke Cage cancelled by Netflix and Marvel - CNET

cNET.com - News - 10 hours 39 min ago
Sweet Christmas! First Iron Fist is gone, now Luke Cage. Are Jessica Jones, Daredevil and the Punisher next on the chopping block?

iPhone XR: Why the cheapest 2018 iPhone might be the one you want - CNET

cNET.com - Reviews - 12 hours 45 min ago
Apple's most colorful iPhone X is also its most affordable 2018 model.

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