Drone home delivery company Wing will start deliveries in rural Virginia "within months".
Organisers of walkouts in protest at Google's treatment of women say they are facing backlash at work.
The UK's information commissioner has strong words on the need for reform of political ads online.
The social media platform reports better-than-expected results as it plans to minimise "outrage".
Late last week, a retro computer developer going by the handle ZeroPaige culminated what he said was seven years of development on Super Mario Bros. 64, a complete and highly authentic port of the original NES side-scroller for the original Commodore 64 computer. The 109KB file is an incredible achievement, coded for a computer with a clock speed of around 1Mhz (about 55 percent of the NES' speed) that wasn't really designed to handle smooth full-screen scrolling at all.
Last night, though, Nintendo reportedly issued a DMCA notice for the game, leading to its removal from many hobbyist sites and upload services. "Due to a DMCA takedown notice we had to remove the Super Mario Bros. 64 download from our website blog post from 4 days ago," the Vancouver-based hobbyist group Commodore Computer Club tweeted last night. "Hopefully everyone enjoys the Commodore 64 game who was able to snag it."
The ROM file, which can be run on emulators and real C64 hardware, is still floating around online, if you know where to look. But the takedown notice continues Nintendo's long history of using legal muscle to stifle everything from ROM distribution sites and fangames to online emulators and even certain game mods based on its properties.
AT&T will reportedly get to keep using its misleading "5G E" marketing for its 4G network after settling a false advertising lawsuit filed by Sprint.
AT&T and Sprint met with US District Judge Vernon Broderick yesterday and informed him "that they had reached settlement in principle," Broderick wrote in an order paving the way for the case to be dismissed. Broderick ordered the carriers to "submit a stipulation of voluntary dismissal no later than April 24, 2019" or a joint letter on the status of their settlement talks if they aren't ready to dismiss the case yet.
For consumers, the key question is whether AT&T will keep using the misleading 5G E designation to describe large portions of its 4G LTE network. Multiple reports say that AT&T will be allowed to continue doing so.
A man is suing Apple after claiming its in-store AI led to his arrest.
Site no. 1 in dusty Baikonur, Kazakhstan, is where it all began. In October 1957, an R-7 missile launched the first satellite, Sputnik, into space. Less than four years later, Yuri Gagarin reached orbit from this launch pad, and the first woman, Valentina Tereshkova, followed two years later.
Even today, all Russian, American, Canadian, European, and Japanese astronauts launch into space from Site no. 1—which is also known as Gagarin's Start—as it has been reconfigured for launches of the Soyuz FG rocket. But soon, that will change.
Russia has already moved its Progress cargo launches to the new Soyuz 2 rocket, and now, according to reports in that country, it will move crew launches as well to the newer rocket. In its most powerful configuration, the Soyuz 2.1b has a payload capacity of 8.2 tons to low-Earth orbit, in comparison to 6.9 tons with the Soyuz FG booster.
Is the ban a sign of things to come for social media firms unable to halt the spread of misinformation?
The electric carmaker entrepreneur makes a new promise on driverless vehicles.
Annual study of more than 6,000 mobile customers names most and least popular UK network providers.
For two periods last year, those using preview builds of Windows 10 could access a feature called Sets: a tabbed interface that was eventually to allow tabs to be put in the titlebar of just about any window. These tabs would allow both multiple copies of the same application to be combined—a tabbed Explorer or Command Prompt, say—and multiple disparate windows to be grouped—combining, say, a browser window containing research with the Word window. However, both times the feature was enabled only for a few weeks, so Microsoft could gather data before disabling it. Sets aren't in the Windows 10 May 2019 update.
The Shell-provided tab experience is no more, but adding tabs is high on our to do list.
— Rich Turner (@richturn_ms) April 20, 2019
It seems now that Sets are unlikely to ever materialize. Rich Turner, who oversees Microsoft's revamping of the Windows command-line infrastructure and the Windows Subsystem for Linux tweeted that the interface "is no more." Having everything tabbed everywhere isn't going to happen. Adding tabs specifically for command-line windows is, however, "high on [Microsoft's] to do list."
There was initially some confusion that the tweet might have meant that some other system-wide approach to tabs was going to be used. But Turner clarified today that the command-line tabs will be purpose-built for command-line windows, not a general feature for the entire operating system.
Music, films and works of art are increasingly made using AI. But can machines ever be truly creative?
Drivers will find it harder to break speed limits, thanks to "intelligent speed assistance" systems.
On April 17, the French government introduced an Android application meant to be used by government employees as an internal secure channel for communications. Called Tchap, it was touted as a replacement for WhatsApp and Telegram, providing (in theory) both group and private messaging channels to which only people with government email addresses could join.
Tchap is not intended to be a classified communications system—it runs on regular Android phones and uses the public Internet. But as the DINSIC, the French inter-ministry directorate for information systems that runs Tchap put it, Tchap "is an instant messenger allowing government employees to exchange real-time information on everyday professional issues, ensuring that the conversations remain hosted on the national territory." In other words, it's to keep official government business off of Facebook's and Telegram's servers outside France.
Based on the Riot.im chat application from the open source project Matrix, Tchap is officially still in "beta," according to DINSIC. And that beta test is getting off to a rough start. Within two days, French security researcher Baptiste Robert—who goes by the Twitter handle @fs0c131y (aka Elliot Alderson)—had tapped into Tchap and subsequently viewed all of the internal "public" discussion channels hosted by the service.
Security researchers gave mixed grades to a recently discovered hacking campaign targeting government finance authorities and embassies. On the one hand, the attacks used carefully crafted decoy documents to trick carefully selected targets into installing malware that could gain full control of computers. On the other, a developer involved in the operation sometimes discussed the work in public forums.
The campaign has been active since at least 2018 when it sent Excel documents claiming to contain top-secret US data to people inside governments and embassies in Europe, security firm Check Point reported in a post published Monday. Macros in the documents would send a screenshot and user details of the target’s PC to a control server and then install a malicious version of TeamViewer that claimed to offer additional functionality. The trojan would then gain complete control over the infected computer.
A poorly secured control server allowed Check Point researchers to periodically see screenshots that were uploaded from infected computers, at least until the server was locked down. Most of the targets had a connection to public finance and government officials from revenue authorities. Using the intercepted images and telemetry data, Check Point researchers compiled a partial list of countries where targets were located. It included:
While all four major nationwide carriers in the United States have overhyped 5G to varying degrees, T-Mobile today made a notable admission about 5G's key limitation. T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray wrote in a blog post that millimeter-wave spectrum used for 5G "will never materially scale beyond small pockets of 5G hotspots in dense urban environments." That would seem to rule out the possibility of 5G's fastest speeds reaching rural areas or perhaps even suburbs.
Ray made his point with this GIF, apparently showing that millimeter-wave frequencies are immediately blocked by a door closing halfway while the lower 600MHz signal is unaffected:
Two teenaged science nerds in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn build a makeshift time machine to right a tragic wrong in See You Yesterday, a new film from Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks. It's director Stefon Bristol's first feature film, based on a 2017 short film co-written by Fredrica Bailey and featured at the American Black Film Festival.
Here's the official synopsis:
High school best friends and science prodigies C.J. and Sebastian spend every spare minute working on their latest homemade invention: backpacks that enable time travel. But when C.J.'s older brother Calvin dies after an encounter with police officers, the young duo decide to put their unfinished tech to use in a desperate bid to save Calvin. From director Stefon Bristol and producer Spike Lee comes See You Yesterday, a sci-fi adventure grounded in familial love, cultural divides, and the universal urge to change the wrongs of the past.
The trailer is equally straightforward. We see C.J. (Eden Duncan-Smith) and Sebastian (Dante Crichlow) geeking out over their science experiment, excited about what it would mean for their college prospects should they actually get their time travel device to work. There's the obligatory shout-out to Einstein, whose general theory of relativity at least offers the (highly improbable) possibility of traveling back in time. Even if that were somehow possible, and with a portable device that fits in a backpack, there's still the question of whether it's possible to change the past. (Lost had it right: "Whatever happened, happened.")
In honor of Earth Day, the folks at Turo got in touch to tell me about the rising popularity of electric vehicles on the car sharing platform. For the uninitiated, Turo is a site that lets people rent out their vehicles when they're not using them—and yes, it includes insurance in case the renter does something they're not supposed to. Increasingly, the vehicles that people are looking for, and the vehicles they're sharing, are electric. In fact, the supply of EVs on Turo grew by 1.5 times the rate of hybrids or conventionally powered vehicles in 2017 and 1.6 times in 2018. The growth in demand is lagging a little, but demand for EVs still grew at 1.4 times the rate of hybrids and conventionally powered vehicles in 2017 and 1.5 times in 2018.
There are no prizes for guessing that much of this growth was from people adding Teslas to the platform and people correspondingly looking to rent Teslas. In 2014, there were just 67 Teslas for rent on Turo. At the time of writing, the company tells me that there are now 6,000 Teslas on the site.
As we discovered in January, the most popular car to rent on Turo last year was the Jeep Wrangler, and for 2018, none of the top five most-rented cars were battery EVs. But the Model S was in sixth place back then, with the Model X in tenth and the new Model 3 just one spot behind. "It's fascinating to see how popular EVs have become over the last year," explained Andre Haddad, Turo's CEO. "The Model 3 only showed up last spring, then started to take off in the summer as more people got their cars. And in Q4 2018, the Model 3 had overtaken the Model X." (Haddad also owns a Model S, Model X, and Model 3, all of which he rents out on the platform.)
MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas has forced out three senior researchers with ties to China. The move comes amid nationwide investigations by federal officials into whether researchers are pilfering intellectual property from US research institutions and running “shadow laboratories” abroad, according to a joint report by Science magazine and the Houston Chronicle.
The National Institutes of Health began sending letters to the elite cancer center last August regarding the conduct of five researchers there. The letters discussed “serious violations” of NIH policies, including leaking confidential NIH grant proposals under peer review to individuals in China, failing to disclose financial ties in China, and other conflicts of interest. MD Anderson moved to terminate three of those researchers, two of whom resigned during the termination process. The center cleared the fourth and is still investigation the fifth.
The move follows years of probing from the FBI, which first contacted MD Anderson back in 2015 with such concerns, according to MD Anderson President Dr. Peter Pisters. In December 2017, MD Anderson handed over hard drives containing employee emails to FBI investigators. That same year, a report by the US Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property used some rough calculations to estimate that IP theft by all parties cost the country upward of $225 billion, potentially as high as $600 billion, each year. The report called China the “world’s principal IP infringer.”