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Industry & Technology

EU hits Google with record $5 billion fine over Android antitrust practices - CNET - News - 1 hour 29 min ago
Big changes to Android could be on the way.

Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

The Register - 1 hour 31 min ago
Vows to appeal as Euro competition commissioner says: Stop it now

Analysis What convinced the European Commission that it had a Microsoft-scale competition problem on its hands with Google isn't a mystery. Google engaged in a carbon copy of '90s Microsoft-style tactics.…

Watch live: Blue Origin subjects its rocket to high-altitude escape test

Ars Technica - 1 hour 33 min ago

Enlarge / New Shepard on the launch pad the morning of Mission 8, April 29, 2018. (credit: Blue Origin)

As it continues to progress toward human flights, Blue Origin will perform another potentially dangerous, uncrewed test today of its New Shepard rocket and spacecraft. Although it has not yet provided details, the company says it will fly "a high altitude escape motor test—pushing the rocket to its limits." The test is scheduled to begin at 10 am EDT (14:00 UTC) at the company's West Texas launch site.

This is the ninth test of the reusable New Shepard system, and the third in which it has included commercial payloads on it short suborbital flights. This time, the company is also flying a suite of materials from Blue Origin employees as a part of its internal “Fly My Stuff” program. (It's unclear at this point exactly how "abort test" and "payload" fit together in the same mission—presumably the high altitude abort will be followed by the New Shepard spacecraft pressing to orbit, but we're not exactly sure. Blue Origin will have more details about exactly what's going on when its webcast starts.)

This is not the first high-energy test of New Shepard. In October, 2016, the company conducted a lower altitude in-flight escape test when engineers intentionally triggered the spacecraft's launch abort system at about 45 seconds after launch, and an altitude of 16,000 feet. Such systems are designed to fire quickly and separate the crew capsule from the booster during an emergency.

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Microsoft's 'room-scale' Ginormonitor probably not as big as a room

The Register - 1 hour 56 min ago
Inspire attendees paw at not-quite-a-Surface-Hub kit

Lovers of big screens in boardrooms, rejoice! The first of Microsoft's Ginormonitors (aka Windows Collaboration Displays) has arrived at Redmond's partner shindig in Las Vegas.…

Nest CEO's exit could be just what the Google smart home needs - CNET - News - 2 hours 9 min ago
Commentary: Marwan Fawaz's departure from Nest leaves Google's smart home exposed, but it won't matter much.

Galaxy S10 to go ultrasonic? Here's an early look at its likely fingerprint reader - CNET - News - 2 hours 9 min ago
Qualcomm shows off a prototype fingerprint reader that's tucked underneath the display and potentially headed to Samsung's early 2019 flagship smartphone.

The best Prime Day deals of 2018: The Cheapskate's picks - CNET - News - 2 hours 9 min ago
Amazon had zillions of items on sale. A few are still available!

Elon Musk apologizes for calling Thai cave rescue diver 'pedo guy' - CNET - News - 2 hours 17 min ago
"My words were spoken in anger," Musk tweeted.

Google hit with €4.3bn Android fine from EU

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 28 min ago
The European Commission has claimed Android unfairly cemented Google's dominance of search.

Google is buying a trans-Atlantic cable, names projects after innovators - CNET - News - 2 hours 34 min ago
Future Google cables will be named after innovators alphabetically.

A $225 GPS spoofer can send autonomous vehicles into oncoming traffic *

Ars Technica - 2 hours 39 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Zeng et al.)

Billions of people—and a growing number of autonomous vehicles—rely on mobile navigation services from Google, Uber, and others to provide real-time driving directions. A new proof-of-concept attack demonstrates how hackers could inconspicuously steer a targeted automobile to the wrong destination or, worse, endanger passengers by sending them down the wrong way of a one-way road.

The attack starts with a $225 piece of hardware that’s planted in or underneath the targeted vehicle that spoofs the radio signals used by civilian GPS services. It then uses algorithms to plot a fake “ghost route” that mimics the turn-by-turn navigation directions contained in the original route. Depending on the hackers’ ultimate motivations, the attack can be used to divert an emergency vehicle or a specific passenger to an unintended location or to follow an unsafe route. The attack works best in urban areas the driver doesn’t know well and assumes hackers have a general idea of the vehicle’s intended destination.

“Our study demonstrated the initial feasibility of manipulating the road navigation system through targeted GPS spoofing,” the researchers, from Virginia Tech, China’s University of Electronic Sciences and Technology, and Microsoft Research, wrote in an 18-page paper. “The threat becomes more realistic as car makers are adding autopilot features so that human drivers can be less involved (or completely disengaged).”

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Call records breach let users feel like Movistars: With everyone watching who they're talking to

The Register - 2 hours 48 min ago
Enumeration bug potentially allowed users to peek at each others' details

Telefonica Spain has inadvertently exposed the personal details of customers of its Movistar division.…

Using a virus to kill what antibiotics can’t

Ars Technica - 2 hours 54 min ago

Enlarge / Phages on the surface of a bacterial cell. (credit: Dr. Graham Beards )

Due largely to overuse, we're at risk of seeing many of our antibiotics lose effectiveness, leaving us without a defense against a number of potentially fatal infections. People are taking a variety of approaches to dealing with this, like looking for combinations of drugs that remain effective, developing entirely new drugs, and trying to reform how we dispense these critical drugs. (Although the latter may be an impossible dream).

There's another option that was under consideration even before antibiotic resistance had hit crisis levels: use something that makes killing bacteria part of its life cycle. Like other cells, bacteria often find themselves victims of viral infections, dying as new viruses burst out to infect their neighbors. If this happens out in regular ecosystems, people reasoned that maybe bacteria-killing viruses would also work in a pneumonic lung. But those maybes had always been accompanied by a long list of reasons why a virus wouldn't work. Now, a group of researchers has tested it on mice with pneumonia, and none of those reasons seems to be an issue.

Meet the phages

Viruses that specialize in infecting bacteria are often called bacteriophages, or simply phages. We've known of some of them from shortly after we started studying bacteria, since their spontaneous infections would leave open holes of what would otherwise be an even lawn of bacteria. We've studied a number of them in detail, and some of the proteins they encode have become key tools in our genetic-engineering efforts. And they're not simply oddities that strike when bacteria are forced to live in artificial lab conditions. Surveys of DNA obtained in environments from the deep ocean to the subways show that, wherever you find bacteria, you also find viruses that prey on them.

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Silence in the deep: Inside the HMS Ocelot stealth submarine - CNET - News - 2 hours 55 min ago
The Ocelot is a British sub named after a rare species of wild feline. The cat photos from this tour are light on cute, heavy on cool military tech.

Formula E ends its season—and an era—in Brooklyn

Ars Technica - 3 hours 8 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Elle Cayabyab Gitlin)

NEW YORK—Racing cars came to Red Hook this past weekend as Formula E held its season four finale, the NYC ePrix. Although the event is only in its second year, the Big Apple is fast feeling like home for these all-electric race cars, and once again we saw championship-deciding races play out against the Manhattan skyline.

But this event also marked a different sort of finale—the end of Formula E's first chapter as the series prepares to retire the cars it has been using for these last four seasons. When season five gets underway in Saudi Arabia this December, Formula E will have a new vehicle in the spotlight: one with more power, wild looks, and enough battery to make mid-race vehicle swaps a thing of the past.

Formula E's current reality

Unlike other racing series, Formula E exclusively races on temporary street tracks in city centers, because city centers are where electric vehicles make the most sense. (Yes, the Mexico round is the exception that proves the rule, but that permanent circuit is in a pretty urban part of Mexico City.) Not all of those city centers have proved welcoming; races in Miami and Montreal were one-offs, and the London ePrix lasted but two years. But the series signed a 10-year deal with New York City, and, by building the course around the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the impact on local residents from road closures and the like are minimal. (The course itself is slightly modified from last year, including longer straights that increase the track length to 1.5 miles, or 2.4km.)

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Phones with facial recognition (roundup) - CNET - News - 3 hours 9 min ago
A look at the most popular phones that let you unlock the screen (and sometimes even pay for stuff) with your face.

Google Assistant will now give you a snapshot of your day - CNET - News - 3 hours 9 min ago
In one consolidated overview, Assistant can pull together info like commute times and scheduled meetings so you can plan your day.

Deep cat: A tour through the submarine HMS Ocelot - CNET - News - 3 hours 9 min ago
Launched from Chatham, England in 1962, Her Majesty's Submarine Ocelot served for 29 years, and is now a museum ship. Here’s what it looks like inside.

I spy Lego's James Bond Aston Martin DB5 with working ejector seat - CNET - News - 3 hours 10 min ago
No, Mister Bond, I expect you to build.

Hands on with the Lego Aston Martin DB5 -- and its ejector seat - CNET - News - 3 hours 30 min ago
Famous for its role in James Bond Goldfinger, the new Lego set comes complete with machine guns, bullet screen and working ejector seat.

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