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Industry & Technology

5G networks: Trump says US shouldn't block technology

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 15 min ago
The comments come as the US has pressured its allies to exclude China's Huawei from their 5G networks.

Millions of websites threatened by highly critical code-execution bug in Drupal

Ars Technica - 3 hours 54 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Victorgrigas)

Millions of sites that run the Drupal content management system run the risk of being hijacked until they're patched against a vulnerability that allows hackers to remotely execute malicious code, managers of the open source project warned Wednesday.

CVE-2019-6340, as the flaw is tracked, stems from a failure to sufficiently validate user input, managers said in an advisory. Hackers who exploited the vulnerability could, in some cases, run code of their choice on vulnerable websites. The flaw is rated highly critical.

"Some field types do not properly sanitize data from non-form sources," the advisory stated. "This can lead to arbitrary PHP code execution in some cases."

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Bowser will replace Reggie Fils-Aimé as Nintendo of America president

Ars Technica - 5 hours 15 min ago

Enlarge / If your name is Mario and you work at Nintendo of America, watch out. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

After 16 years at Nintendo of America, president, COO, and famed spokesperson Reggie Fils-Aimé will retire from his roles this year. His last day is April 15, at which time he will be replaced by senior VP of sales Doug Bowser, according to a press release.

Fils-Aimé joined the company in 2003 as executive VP of sales and marketing before becoming its president and chief operating officer in 2006. For years, he has been the public face of Nintendo in the United States at press conferences and online marketing streams, and he has become the personification of the gaming brand for millions of consumers, players, and onlookers. He became the subject of numerous memes, and he sparked the "my body is ready" meme popular on Internet gaming forums.

A new age of gamer memes seems to be upon us, though, because his replacement bears the same name as the primary villain of the company's beloved Mario video game franchise. Doug Bowser has been with Nintendo since 2015, when his title was vice president of sales. He was promoted to senior VP in 2016.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

First Man: How we made the special effects

BBC Technology News - 5 hours 29 min ago
The film First Man has been Oscar nominated in the best visual effects category.

Tesla's 'dog mode' keeps pets cool and other tech news

BBC Technology News - 5 hours 31 min ago
BBC Click’s Paul Carter looks at some of the best tech news stories of the week.

Anthem video game set for tough debut

BBC Technology News - 5 hours 32 min ago
The futuristic squad-based shooter faces stiff competition from lots of established titles, say experts.

Web watchdog warns over knee-jerk regulation of social networks

BBC Technology News - 5 hours 33 min ago
Internet Watch Foundation says regulation of social networks could have "unintended consequences".

The snow patrol drones saving skiiers from an icy death

BBC Technology News - 5 hours 43 min ago
For people buried in an avalanche, it's a race against time. Could a drone find you sooner?

AT&T and Hasbro pull YouTube ads over abuse claims

BBC Technology News - 6 hours 2 min ago
Hasbro and Nestle also cut ties over fears paedophiles are leaving comments next to videos of children.

Tesla’s Model 3 loses coveted Consumer Reports recommendation

Ars Technica - February 21, 2019 - 11:23pm

Enlarge / Tesla's new Model 3 car on display is seen on Friday, January 26, 2018, at the Tesla store in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images)

Last year, Tesla won a Consumer Reports recommendation for the Model 3 thanks to a last-minute upgrade to its braking software. But on Thursday, the magazine rescinded its endorsement of the vehicle due to poor results in its customer survey.

"Model 3 owners in our spring survey sample reported some body hardware and in-car electronics problems, such as the screen freezing, which we have seen with other Tesla models," wrote CR's Patrick Olsen. "The latest survey data also shows complaints about paint and trim issues. In addition, some members reported that the Model 3's sole display screen acted strangely."

"The vast majority of these issues have already been corrected through design and manufacturing improvements, and we are already seeing a significant improvement in our field data," a Tesla spokesperson told Consumer Reports in an emailed statement.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Trump demands quick rollout of “6G” wireless tech, which doesn’t exist

Ars Technica - February 21, 2019 - 11:07pm

Enlarge / “Hello, operator? Hi, this is the President. I need the best phone you can find. Not 5G, this is America. Let's go with 6G. I want all the Gs, the best Gs.” (credit: Getty Images | Washington Post)

US President Donald Trump today urged wireless carriers to deploy 5G and "6G" networks "as soon as possible," seemingly ignoring the small problem that 6G technology doesn't exist yet.

"I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible," Trump wrote on Twitter this morning. "It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind."

I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on.........

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2019

In a second tweet, Trump said that 5G and 6G are "so obviously the future."

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

New dates show massive volcanic eruptions overlapped with dinosaurs’ death

Ars Technica - February 21, 2019 - 10:46pm

Enlarge / Did these enormous layered volcanic deposits arise through many big eruptions or a few massive ones? (credit: Courtney Sprain)

Modeling what happened after a massive asteroid struck the Yucatan has painted a hellscape capable of causing a mass extinction: choking dust, immense tsunamis, and enough debris leaving and reentering the atmosphere to set off global fires. But questions remain whether the impact alone drove the dinosaurs to extinction or if it merely finished the job started by a massive volcanic outburst happening in India.

The Deccan Traps cover an area of roughly a half-million square kilometers, and the eruptions that created them involved over a million cubic kilometers of rock. Immense eruptions like this have been blamed for mass extinctions in the past, as they pump lots of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and cause a rapid seesaw of cooling and warming. And the Deccan Traps are no exception: people have argued that they were already killing the dinosaurs or had stressed ecosystems in a way that set the stage for a mass extinction. But not everyone has bought in to this idea, and some have suggested that the asteroid collision actually drove changes in the Deccan Traps eruptions.

Sorting all this out requires a better sense of the timing of the eruptions vs. when the impact and extinctions occurred. In today's issue of Science, two papers attempt to narrow down the timing. Unfortunately, their results don't entirely agree.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

European governments approve controversial new copyright law

Ars Technica - February 21, 2019 - 10:06pm

(credit: tredford04 / Flickr)

A controversial overhaul of Europe's copyright laws overcame a key hurdle on Wednesday as a majority of European governments signaled support for the deal. That sets the stage for a pivotal vote by the European Parliament that's expected to occur in March or April.

Supporters of the legislation portray it as a benign overhaul of copyright that will strengthen anti-piracy efforts. Opponents, on the other hand, warn that its most controversial provision, known as Article 13, could force Internet platforms to adopt draconian filtering technologies. The cost to develop filtering technology could be particularly burdensome for smaller companies, critics say.

Online service providers have struggled to balance free speech and piracy for close to two decades. Faced with this difficult tradeoff, the authors of Article 13 have taken a rainbows-and-unicorns approach, promising stricter copyright enforcement, no wrongful takedowns of legitimate content, and minimal burdens on smaller technology platforms.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Follow-up to Haunting of Hill House will reimagine The Turn of the Screw

Ars Technica - February 21, 2019 - 9:41pm

Enlarge / The perpetually locked red door is a central mystery of Netflix's adaptation of Haunting of Hill House. (credit: Steve Dietl/Netflix)

The Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House was a critical and ratings hit last year, and the streaming giant has announced plans for a second season—or more accurately, a second installment in what is now a horror anthology series. Deadline Hollywood reports that The Haunting of Bly Manor will adapt Henry James' classic ghost story, The Turn of the Screw, which is very much in the same vein of psychological gothic horror as the classic Shirley Jackson tale upon which season one was based.

The Haunting of Hill House shared the top spot in Ars' 2018 list of our favorite TV shows with BBC's Killing Eve. We loved Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy's inventive re-imagining of Jackson's novel, at once a Gothic ghost story and a profound examination of family dysfunction. And yet it stayed true to the tone and spirit of the original, aided by dialogue, narration, and other small details from the source material. Small wonder that it garnered award nominations from the Motion Picture Sound Editors, Writers Guild of America, and Art Directors Guild.

Rumors of a possible second season began swirling soon after the series started streaming. Flanagan eventually confirmed plans to to turn it into a horror anthology series, with a whole new ghost story and fresh characters. (He opined in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that the Crain family featured in Hill House had suffered enough.)

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Trump admin ends talks with California to find fuel-efficiency middle ground [Updated]

Ars Technica - February 21, 2019 - 9:28pm

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

On Thursday, the White House released a joint statement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), saying that the executive branch would no longer work with California's air regulator to find a middle ground on vehicle fuel-efficiency rules.

The state regulator, called the California Air Resources Board (or CARB), has enjoyed a legal waiver since the 1970s to set more stringent fuel-efficiency standards than those set by the EPA. Generally, automakers find that they must follow CARB's more stringent standards because the vehicle market in California is so huge. But the Trump administration has been working to weaken vehicle fuel efficiency, and CARB's exemption is preventing the administration from fulfilling that campaign promise.

In August, the Trump administration announced the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Act. SAFE proposed to freeze Obama-era fuel-efficiency standards—which would gradually make passenger vehicles more efficient until 2025—at 2020 levels. The Trump EPA claimed that the old rule would kill people, because efficient vehicles are more costly, so people put off buying newer, safer cars.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Dealmaster: Take $15 off a trio of popular Nintendo Switch games

Ars Technica - February 21, 2019 - 8:59pm

Enlarge (credit: TechBargains)

Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we have another round of deals to share. Today's list is headlined by a number of bargains on high-profile video games, including a trio of popular games for the Nintendo Switch—Super Mario OdysseyThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Splatoon 2 are all down to $45.

These titles have dropped to this price a few times in the past, but they're all still good for a $15 discount. To be frank, we'd like to see their prices sink a bit lower considering they all launched in 2017, but more substantial deals from reputable retailers have been few and far between. Nevertheless, each game is still worth owning. You can read our reviews of each game for more details, but Odyssey's inventivenessBreath of the Wild's sense of wonder, and Splatoon's colorful multiplayer haven't aged badly at all. Many Switch owners have these games already, but if you just grabbed the console, this might be a good excuse to catch up on some of its early essentials.

If you aren't hitched to the Switch wagon, though, we also have deals on popular games for the PS4 and Xbox One, including Red Dead Redemption 2Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Marvel's Spider-Man. And if you don't care about video games at all, one, what is wrong with you, and two, you can catch more discounts on iPads, Amazon devices, ThinkPads, portable batteries, and more below.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Nike’s self-lacing sneakers turn into bricks after faulty firmware update

Ars Technica - February 21, 2019 - 7:06pm

Enlarge / A pair of Nike Adapt BBs next to an iPhone, which was clearly the primary development platform.

Nike users are experiencing some technical difficulties in the wild world of connected footwear. Nike's $350 "Adapt BB" sneakers are the latest in the company's line of self-lacing shoes, and they come with the "Nike Adapt" app for Android and iOS. The app pairs with the shoes and lets you adjust the tightness of the laces, customize the lights (yeah, there are lights), and see, uh, how much battery life your shoes have left. The only problem: Nike's Android app doesn't work.

Android users report that their new kicks aren't pairing with the app properly, and some customers report failed firmware updates for the shoes, which render them unable to pair with the app at all. Nike's app on Google Play has been flooded with 1-star reviews in response to the faulty update.

One user writes, "The first software update for the shoe threw an error while updating, bricking the right shoe." Another says, "App will only sync with left shoe and then fails every time. Also, app says left shoe is already connected to another device whenever I try to reinstall and start over."

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10e hands-on: Samsung is slowly getting better

Ars Technica - February 21, 2019 - 6:55pm

SAN FRANCISCO—Samsung presented not one, not two, not three, but four new phones at its Unpacked event in San Francisco yesterday. The devices included three variants of the conglomerate's S-series flagship phones—the Galaxy S10 as the default model, the S10 Plus as a larger variant, and the S10e as an iPhone XR-like lower-priced alternative, though in this case, the more affordable one is smaller than both of the other two. Samsung also introduced the radical (and extremely pricy) Galaxy Fold.

After the public briefing, we were hurried to a crowded demo room to see three of those phones, as well as some wearables and a tablet that Samsung also presented.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to do a whole lot with the devices on a crowded show floor. For example, there was no time to set up a fingerprint to see if the reader is fast enough, and the Adobe Premiere Rush CC app announced during the presentation was not installed on any of the phones. Also, Samsung did not offer hands-on opportunities with the 5G Galaxy S10 or its new folding phone. We were told more information about the folding phone will be released at Mobile World Congress later this month.

Read 27 remaining paragraphs | Comments

YouTube loses advertisers over “wormhole into pedophilia ring”

Ars Technica - February 21, 2019 - 6:36pm

Enlarge (credit: Aurich / Getty)

YouTube is losing advertising from Fortnite maker Epic Games, Disney, and other companies because of ads appearing alongside videos shared by pedophiles.

YouTube told Ars that it has taken action against users violating its policies this week, including by terminating more than 400 channels, deleting accounts, and disabling comments on tens of millions of videos. YouTube said it has also reported illegal content to authorities, but the company admitted it has more to do. We asked YouTube if it has identified any problems in its algorithms that helped cause the problem but received no answer to that question.

"All Nestle companies in the US have paused advertising on YouTube, a spokeswoman for the company said Wednesday in an email," Bloomberg reported yesterday. "Video game maker Epic Games Inc. and German packaged food giant Dr. August Oetker KG also said they had postponed YouTube spending after their ads were shown to play before the videos. Disney has also withheld its spending, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the decision hasn't been made public."

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Beyond HoloLens: Microsoft expands its augmented-reality vision with iOS, Android apps

Ars Technica - February 21, 2019 - 6:21pm

Enlarge / Remote Assist, with its green augmented reality arrow pointing out something of interest, on an Android phone. (credit: Microsoft)

With HoloLens 2's big reveal just around the corner, Microsoft has broadened its augmented-reality (AR) ambitions with new apps for Android and iOS.

Remote Assist is an app designed for service engineers operating in the field, letting them show what they can see to a remote expert, who can then use a mixture of voice and AR drawing and annotation on what they see to provide guidance, troubleshooting, and instruction. This feature is already available for HoloLens and is being used by real service engineers. A preview of Remote Assist is coming to Android; while it won't offer the same hands-free convenience as the HoloLens, it also won't require the $5,000 headsets, instead running on a smartphone.

Product Visualize should make it easier to visualize products. (credit: Microsoft)

Product Visualize is a sales app that salespeople can use to show customers the products that they're buying in context, letting them see how big machinery and equipment is, check if it will fit in the space they want to use it, and so on. It's similar to, but simpler than, a HoloLens app called Layout, which similarly allows 3D models to be placed and laid out in the real world. A preview of Visualize is being released for iOS; an Android version may follow, depending on customer demand.

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