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Industry & Technology

Linux 4.18 arrives fashionably late while Zorin OS shines up its Windows

The Register - 1 hour 10 min ago
Wanting some Linux love, but just can't let that Windows 10 desktop go? Come this way...

Linux lovers have received a double load of delight this week with the emission of the 4.18 kernel and a refresh of Windows-wannabe Zorin OS.…

Sony's gold-plated music player could cost you over seven grand - CNET - News - 1 hour 19 min ago
A pocket-sized amp with a gold-plated knob costs more than Sony's 85-inch TV.

New law bans US from buying tech from Chinese giants ZTE and Huawei

Ars Technica - 1 hour 27 min ago


President Trump yesterday signed a defense funding bill that included a sweeping ban on the US government using technology supplied by Chinese telecommunications giants ZTE and Huawei. The bill also includes a narrower ban on using surveillance gear provided by Chinese companies Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, or Dahua Technology for national security applications.

The legislation directs federal agencies to stop using the Chinese-made hardware within two years. If that proves impractical, an agency can apply for a waiver to permit a longer phase-out period.

Obviously, being banned from selling to the US government is a significant blow to these companies. But overall the bill actually represents something of a reprieve for ZTE. Back in June, the US Senate passed a version of the bill that would have re-imposed an export ban that would have been a de facto death sentence for ZTE because ZTE is heavily dependent on components like Qualcomm chips and Google's Android operating system.

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Add 4 Wi-Fi smart plugs to your home for $19.39 - CNET - News - 1 hour 28 min ago
That's less than $5 apiece for these app-powered plugs, which can also be controlled via smart speakers. Plus: Get a $200 Epson all-in-one printer for $100.

Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

The Register - 1 hour 37 min ago
280 brassed-off Brits begged ASA to bite Bezos' behemoth

Amazon Prime’s next-day-delivery advertising strapline has been branded misleading by a British advertising watchdog.…

Why you need a better handle on the WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram apps - CNET - News - 1 hour 38 min ago
You might not really understand how encrypted messaging works, and you're not alone.

2019 Ford Ranger configurator launches, starts at $25,395 - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 44 min ago
Just about every configuration of this midsize pickup starts under $30,000.

See what the air-fryer fuss is about for $36 - CNET - News - 1 hour 45 min ago
Cheapskate exclusive! This compact convection oven normally runs at least $50.

Google Pixel XL users say Android 9 Pie causes quick-charging problems

Ars Technica - 1 hour 49 min ago


Despite a lengthy beta period that lasted around fives months, it seems Android 9 Pie managed to ship with a few bugs. As first noticed by Android Police, Pixel XL owners are saying that updating to Google's latest mobile OS is causing problems with quick charging.

Pixels (and many other Android phones) use USB-PD for quick charging. Assuming you have a compatible phone, charger, and cable, users should see greatly increased charging speeds. Android doesn't show the exact power transfer, but it differentiates between normal charging and quick charging with a "charging rapidly" message on the home screen. Some Pixel XL owners on Android Pie say that the "rapidly charging" message never pops up anymore after updating to Pie, while others say that the phone has gotten pickier about what chargers can provide rapid charging. Users are reporting slower charging, too, so it's not just a messaging issue.

A thread on the XDA forums dating all the way back to June and an Android bug report from July show that the issue existed in the Android P betas but was never fixed. Google inexplicably closed the original report with "Status: Won't Fix (Infeasible)" during the beta. After the Android Pie final release, a second bug report was opened and a lot more people started chiming in. Now the bug has now been marked as "Assigned."

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CVE? Nope. NVD? Nope. Serious must-patch type flaws skipping mainstream vuln lists – report

The Register - 2 hours 2 min ago
Infosec firm fingers 'decentralised' reporting

The first half of 2018 saw a record haul of reported software vulnerabilities yet a high proportion of these won’t appear in any mainstream flaw-tracking lists, researcher Risk Based Security (RBS) has claimed.…

SpaceX reveals the controls of its Dragon spacecraft for the first time

Ars Technica - 2 hours 12 min ago

Enlarge / NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins meets with employees at SpaceX on Monday. (credit: SpaceX)

HAWTHORNE, Calif.—Across the cavernous rocket factory, the buzz, whirr, and whine of various machinery never ebbed. Even when the president of SpaceX and four blue-suited astronauts strode confidently onto the factory floor Monday afternoon and took up microphones to address several dozen reporters, the incessant work inside the SpaceX Falcon 9 hatchery continued.

On one side of the factory, technicians produced rolls of carbon fiber and built myriad payload fairings, which cannot yet be reused during a launch. To meet its cadence of a launch every other week, SpaceX must build at least two of these each month. Another section of the factory fabricated the Merlin 1-D rocket engines that power the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage. And in another large white room behind glass, several Dragon spacecraft were in various states of completion.

So when Gwynne Shotwell stopped in front of this Dragon clean room, held a microphone aloft, and welcomed her “extraordinary” astronaut guests to the factory, the noise did not abate. Rather, it seemed to crescendo as Shotwell raised her voice to introduce the crew of SpaceX’s first human mission, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. Likewise, the din continued as she welcomed Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover, crew members for the second flight of the Dragon spacecraft.

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2018 BMW M240i Convertible review: Just-right fun in the sun - Roadshow - Reviews - 2 hours 25 min ago
BMW's most affordable convertible is equal parts premium and fun to drive.

Samsung may suspend production at Chinese phone factory due to sales slump - CNET - News - 2 hours 33 min ago
The company says it's "focused on raising the efficiency" of its Tianjin factory.

Next top iPhone will support Apple Pencil, 512GB storage, analyst says - CNET - News - 2 hours 35 min ago
That sounds rather like the Galaxy Note 9.

Einstein’s equivalence principle updated with a dash of quantum

Ars Technica - 2 hours 36 min ago

Enlarge / From left to right, a time lapse of a Bose-Einstein condensate forming. (credit: NASA/JPL)

At the heart of Einstein’s theory of gravity (general relativity) is the equivalence principle. The equivalence principle says that there is no difference between being stationary and subject to gravity tugging you and accelerating in a vehicle that's free of gravitational pull. 

In practice, this means that there is no difference between inertial mass (the mass a rocket works on) and gravitational mass (the mass the Earth tugs on). This equivalence has been measured time and time again with no violation ever found. But these tests assumed that quantum mechanics didn’t change the equivalent principle: that assumption is partially wrong.

Some quantum in your equivalence

In relativity, mass and energy are two sides of the same coin. For very small objects, we need to think about that in terms of quantum mechanics, where a particle can be in a superposition of energy states. A particle in a superposition of energy states has two energies at the same time until it is measured, whereupon it has a single fixed energy. An object in a superposition of energetic states can have a superposition of inertial masses. But does it have the same superposition of gravitational masses? 

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Marvel Rising: Initiation is a fun team-up that kicks off with a twist - CNET - News - 2 hours 38 min ago
Spoiler-free review: Gwen Stacy's Ghost Spider gets an origin story with a wallop.

Nintendo teases Super Mario Bros. 3 as part of Switch Online service - CNET - News - 2 hours 47 min ago
Raccoon Mario will be hopping on Goombas on Switch soon.

Malware has no trouble hiding and bypassing macOS user warnings

Ars Technica - 2 hours 49 min ago

(credit: Apple)

Apple works hard to make its software secure. Beyond primary protections that prevent malware infections in the first place, company engineers also build a variety of defense-in-depth measures that are designed to lessen the damage that can happen once a Mac is compromised. Now, a former National Security Agency hacker and macOS security expert has exposed a major shortcoming in one such measure.

The measure presents a confirmation window that requires users to click an OK button before an installed app can access geolocation, contacts, or calendar information stored on the Mac. Apple engineers added the requirement to act as a secondary safeguard. Even if a machine was infected by malware, the thinking went, the malicious app wouldn’t be able to copy this sensitive data without the owner’s explicit permission.

In a presentation at the Defcon hacker convention in Las Vegas over the weekend, Wardle said it was trivial for malware to bypass the warnings by using a programming interface built into macOS to simply click the OK button. The bypass requires only a few lines of extra code. This “synthetic click,” as Wardle called it, works almost immediately and can be done in a way that prevents an end user from seeing the warning.

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Reel talk: You know what's safely offline? Tape. Data protection outfit Veeam inks deal with Quantum

The Register - 2 hours 57 min ago
Magnetic strips are ransomware-proof

Data protection firm Veeam has forged an alliance with one of the oldest data protection technologies of all – tape.…

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