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Aww: Apple won't be HomePod for Christmas

The Register - 1 hour 57 min ago
Sir Jony's nosey speakers delayed until 2018

Apple will fail to deliver its HomePod internet-connected speakers in time for the Christmas shopping season.…

Why wait for Black Friday? These Xbox One deals rock - CNET - News - 8 hours 11 min ago
We scoured the depths of the internet to find all the best Black Friday deals for all your Xbox needs.

What to play this weekend: Star Wars, Pokemon and Skyrim - CNET - News - 8 hours 29 min ago
There's something for everyone this week. Even PlayStation Vita owners.

Best pre-Black Friday deals you can get right now - CNET - News - 8 hours 56 min ago
Why wait? There are already some great deals out there -- without the need to wait in line at 4 a.m.

Then there were four: Another draft US law on 'foreign' (aka domestic) mass spying emerges

The Register - 9 hours 18 min ago
And this one is… not in favor of snooping on Americans, whoa

The battle over a controversial US government spying program has intensified – with a fourth piece of legislation tackling the surveillance introduced to Congress on Friday.…

Apple Park: Normal people like you can now visit - CNET - News - 9 hours 26 min ago
Apple's new visitor center opened to the public Friday, complete with special schwag and an AR-enabled model of the spaceship campus.

UK seeks future cyber-security stars

BBC Technology News - 9 hours 27 min ago
UK initiatives aim to get young people choosing a career in cyber-security to close a looming skills gap.

NASA sees a crazy, angry storm swirl across Jupiter - CNET - News - 10 hours 13 min ago
Jupiter's stormy atmosphere does its best impression of a hellscape in an eye-popping Juno spacecraft image.

Weekend code warriors prepare to clash in Codewarz

Ars Technica - 10 hours 40 min ago

Enlarge / Obviously a Codewarz competitor. (credit: Alain Daussin/Getty Images)

If you didn't have any weekend plans yet—or maybe even if you did—and you're interested in scratching your programming itch, there's something to add to your calendar. Codewarz, a programming competition that presents participants with 24 coding challenges, is running its first live event starting at 1pm Eastern on November 18 and ending at 9pm on November 20.

This is not a hacking competition—it’s strictly coding. Participants can use their language of choice as long as it's one of the 15 supported by the event: the various flavors of C, Python, Node.js, Scala, PHP, Go, Ruby, and even BASH. (Sorry, no one has asked them to support ADA or Eiffel yet.) There's no compiling required, either. Each submitted solution is run in an interpreted sandbox on a Linux machine for evaluation and scoring. And the challenges run the gamut from beginner (things like text parsing, math and basic networking) to advanced (more advanced parsing and math, hashing, cryptography, and forensics challenges).

Scoring is straightforward. Each of the challenges has an expected output (checked through hash-matching), and matching that output equals success for whatever number of points a challenge is worth. The easiest challenges (such as a "Hello World" tutorial challenge) are worth 10 points, while the hardest are worth 250 points.

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This phone carrier is building its own smart speaker - CNET - News - November 17, 2017 - 11:37pm
Republic Wireless' smart speaker appears to take a calls-first mantra.

Motif Mentor review - CNET - Reviews - November 17, 2017 - 11:22pm
The Motif Mentor's pour-over coffee pointers don't come cheap.

Tech to cut young drivers' insurance bills

BBC Technology News - November 17, 2017 - 11:01pm
Which is the best insurance technology for young drivers: Black box or dash cam?

Apple delays HomePod to 2018 - CNET - News - November 17, 2017 - 11:00pm
Apple's smart speaker isn't making it this year after all.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be the longest film in the saga - CNET - News - November 17, 2017 - 10:52pm
Director Rian Johnson confirms audiences will be sitting down to an extra-packed Episode VIII.

Get a dog, it might help you live longer, study says - CNET - News - November 17, 2017 - 10:46pm
Go thank your pooch, then take it for a brisk walk. Swedish research shows that dog owners are less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.

Big Cable's pillow talk with FCC to forbid US states from writing own net neutrality rules

The Register - November 17, 2017 - 10:46pm
You've got the authority, big boy, CTIA tells Pai... And such strong arms

The stomach-churning love-fest between the American cable industry and FCC Ajit Pai continues apace with Big Cable now pillow talking the federal regulator into how to prevent individual US states forming their own net neutrality protections.…

Dealmaster: The Black Friday tech deals that might actually be worth buying

Ars Technica - November 17, 2017 - 10:30pm

Enlarge / Get ready for lots of ads like this. (credit: Best Buy)

Brace yourself for Walmart fights and snarky tweets about capitalism, because Black Friday is nearly here. Once again, the day after Thanksgiving—and in many cases the days before that—will see retailers across the country pushing an avalanche of sales to the gift-needy public.

And once again, many of those “discounts” won’t be discounts at all. Year after year, the corporate holiday isn’t quite the deals bonanza it proclaims to be. Many of the devices on sale either won’t be priced significantly lower than they are at other points in the year or just won’t be worth buying to begin with.

After sorting through the early ad scans and retailer offers for this year’s Black Friday, we’re confident this trend will continue. That said, even if just a fraction of the several thousand sales on show are worth getting, that still leaves more than a few diamonds in the rough.

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How to fix a program without the source code? Patch the binary directly

Ars Technica - November 17, 2017 - 10:24pm

Enlarge (credit: Flickr user: Ivan T)

When a company like Microsoft needs to fix a security flaw in one of its products, the process is normally straightforward: determine where the bug lies, change the program's source code to fix the bug, and then recompile the program. But it looks like the company had to step outside this typical process for one of the flaws it patched this Tuesday. Instead of fixing the source code, it appears that the company's developers made a series of careful changes directly to the buggy program's executable file.

Bug CVE-2017-11882 is a buffer overflow in the ancient Equation Editor that comes with Office. The Equation Editor allocates a fixed-size piece of memory to hold a font name and then copies the font name from the equation file into this piece of memory. It doesn't, however, check to ensure that the font name will fit into this piece of memory. When provided with a font name that's too long, the Equation Editor overflows the buffer, corrupting its own memory, and an attacker can use this to execute arbitrary malicious code.

Curious how a buffer overflow works? Previously on Ars we did a deep-dive explanation. (video link)

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Women are better in tech than men, says a report - CNET - News - November 17, 2017 - 10:20pm
The Brookings Institution finds that women have better digital skills than men but are still underrepresented in the industry.

Notion (second generation) review - CNET - Reviews - November 17, 2017 - 10:06pm
Notion's second generation of sensors improve battery life, add Nest integration and extend range -- but customization options are still limited.

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