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Industry & Technology

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

Ars Technica - 57 min 30 sec ago

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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Security problem disrupts FCC vote to kill net neutrality rules

Ars Technica - 1 hour 11 min ago

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, 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.

A security official then advised attendees to leave all of their belongings in place, and everyone left the meeting room. There was no word on when the meeting will continue. But as long as the meeting resumes today, the repeal vote should proceed as expected.

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

Ars Technica - 1 hour 31 min ago

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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Blix Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - 1 hour 44 min ago
You insert recyclable cups prefilled with ingredients into the $150 Blix, and it automatically blends smoothies, soups and dips.

Lenovo Star Wars Jedi Challenges review - CNET - Reviews - 1 hour 48 min ago
Yes, there's a way to use a lightsaber and play Holochess at home. It just requires a phone and $200.

Atari delays launch of Ataribox console - CNET - News - 2 hours 10 min ago
Atari says it needs more time to work on the platform and ecosystem.

Disney to buy Fox as Hollywood girds for digital showdown - CNET - News - 2 hours 11 min ago
The world's largest traditional-media company will buy swaths of 21st Century Fox as it preps for battle with streaming media giants like Netflix and Amazon.

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

Ars Technica - 2 hours 13 min ago

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 - 2 hours 18 min ago
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 - 2 hours 24 min ago
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 - 2 hours 41 min ago

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 - 2 hours 47 min ago
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.…

Jeep Wrangler: Take a deep dive into the history of this iconic 4x4 - Roadshow - News - 2 hours 50 min ago
An in-depth crash course in the history of Jeep's off-road hero.

Drone pilot at fault for collision with Black Hawk helicopter - CNET - News - 2 hours 51 min ago
The National Transportation Safety Board finds the pilot wasn't up to speed on best practices and flew his drone out of sight.

The 37 best holiday shopping deals right now: Dec. 14 update - CNET - News - 3 hours 7 min ago
With less than two weeks until Christmas, some better-than-Black Friday deals are still available.

Brave browser offers to boost your online search privacy - CNET - News - 3 hours 9 min ago
A partnership with search engine DuckDuckGo means private-mode searches can become more private.

5 small appliances that'll change the way you cook forever - CNET - News - 3 hours 12 min ago
These budget-friendly kitchen tools make cooking easier -- and a lot more fun.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Release Date, Price and Specs - Roadshow - Reviews - 3 hours 17 min ago
The Wrangler crawls to the top with more powertrain options, improved efficiency and better off-road prowess.

Apple iMac Pro Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - 3 hours 18 min ago
The iMac Pro is everything we thought it would be -- good and bad.

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

Ars Technica - 3 hours 19 min ago

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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