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Industry & Technology

EU investigating German automakers, alleging collusion on emissions tech

Ars Technica - 32 min 20 sec ago

Enlarge / A hose for an emission test is fixed in the exhaust pipe of a Volkswagen Golf 2.0 liter diesel car at the Technical Inspection Agency in Ludwigsburg, southwestern Germany, on August 7, 2017. (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP) (credit: Getty Images)

The European Commission said on Tuesday that it is opening an investigation into possible collusion among Volkswagen Group, BMW, and Daimler to avoid competition on developing state-of-the-art emissions control technology.

According to Bloomberg, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told reporters at a press conference that the investigation is not focused on price-fixing as much as it is focused on the allegation that the companies together "agreed not to use the best technology" in order to cut costs together.

The emissions control technology in question applies to both gas and diesel vehicles in the EU. A press release from the European Commission noted that it suspected the companies of agreeing to limit the development and roll-out of two types of emissions-regulating technology. The first is Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems, which are specific to diesel engines and reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted by the vehicle. The second are "Otto" Particulate Filters (OPF), which reduce the particulate emissions from gasoline vehicles. These emissions treatment systems are based on their diesel counterparts and started appearing in Daimler vehicles after 2014.

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Destiny 2 Forsaken review: Hallelujah, Destiny’s back

Ars Technica - 43 min 13 sec ago


When Destiny was released in late 2014, expectations were high. The “looter shooter” genre had shown itself to be a force after the success of Gearbox Software’s Borderlands and Borderlands 2, and developer Bungie—whose pedigree of unmatched gunplay and inventive worldbuilding—had signed a ten-year contract with publisher Activision to build out a deep universe for the franchise. The first mainstream “shared world” FPS/ARPG mashup was set to become a bona fide, capital-T "Thing."

We all know what happened. While Destiny garnered praise for its crisp gameplay and cool setting, it quickly became known as a content-bare shell of a game, strung up on the skeleton of a confusing, half-assed story, with lore that you literally had to go online to explore. The game’s first two DLC drops, The Dark Below and House of Wolves, did little to convince anyone who wasn’t already a fan (even in those dark days, there were fans).

The Taken King expansion, released a year later, changed everything. Suddenly, the game had a coherent, well-produced story. Entire gameplay systems were redesigned and rebalanced, and there was now plenty of content for hardcore loot fiends to grind through. By the time the game’s last expansion, Rise of Iron, came out at the end of 2016, Destiny was generally viewed by fans as a fulfillment of that wide-eyed 2014 promise.

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Judge orders Cody Wilson’s arrest, demands pictures of his “upper legs”

Ars Technica - 47 min 29 sec ago

Enlarge / Cody Wilson, owner of Defense Distributed company, holds a 3D printed gun, called the "Liberator", in his factory in Austin, Texas, on August 1, 2018. (credit: KELLY WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, Texas—On Wednesday morning, a county judge signed the arrest warrant for Cody Wilson, who is accused of sexually assaulting an unnamed underage girl.

Upon Wilson’s arrest, Travis County Magistrate Judge Tamara Needles also ordered that police take photographs of the inside of Wilson’s "upper legs," presumably as a way that he can be identified by the victim. Wilson apparently has a "uniquely identifiable skin condition" according to court documents.

In a five-page affidavit obtained by Ars, Austin Police Department (APD) detective Shaun Donovan outlines what allegedly took place between Wilson and the unnamed victim. The Defense Distributed founder initially met with the girl on August 15 at Bennu Coffee on 515 South Congress Ave.

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Senate passes copyright bill to end 140-year protection for old songs

Ars Technica - 53 min 48 sec ago

Enlarge (credit: Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

For the last decade, the Congressional debate over copyright law has been in a stalemate. Content companies have pushed for stronger protections, but their efforts have been stopped by a coalition of technology companies and digital rights groups.

But on Tuesday, we saw a rare moment of bipartisan and trans-industry harmony on copyright law, as the Senate unanimously passed the Music Modernization Act, a bill that creates a streamlined process for online services to license music and federalizes America's bizarre patchwork of state laws governing music recorded before 1972. That will mean effectively shortening the term of protection of older music published between 1923 and 1954—under current law, these songs may not fall into the public domain until 2067.

The bill managed to get the support of several groups that are normally at each others' throats: music publishers, record labels, songwriters, major technology companies, and digital rights groups.

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Despite data caps and throttling, industry says mobile can replace home Internet

Ars Technica - 1 hour 3 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Jenner Images)

AT&T and Verizon are trying to convince the Federal Communications Commission that mobile broadband is good enough for Internet users who don't have access to fiber or cable services.

The carriers made this claim despite the data usage and speed limitations of mobile services. In the mobile market, even "unlimited" plans can be throttled to unusable speeds after a customer uses just 25GB or so a month. Mobile carriers impose even stricter limits on phone hotspots, making it difficult to use mobile services across multiple devices in the home.

The carriers ignored those limits in filings they submitted for the FCC's annual review of broadband deployment.

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Newegg data breach exposed customer credit card info, says report - CNET - News - 1 hour 57 min ago
The popular online retailer is the latest victim of hacking group Magecart, a security firm says.

Is Amazon about to take on Sonos with a high-end Alexa speaker? (The 3:59, Ep. 460) - CNET - News - 2 hours 5 min ago
Special guest David Katzmaier helps break down the prospect of top-notch audio from Amazon, plus what's new in Apple's TV-system update.

See a satellite play Spider-Man and net space junk in orbit - CNET - News - 2 hours 7 min ago
The RemoveDebris satellite just proved it could snare space junk by shooting a net.

Nintendo Switch Online is officially live: Here's what's included - CNET - News - 2 hours 7 min ago
Nintendo goes pay-to-play online for the first time. Here's what you'll need to pay and what you'll get once you sign up for the service.

I tried Angry Birds in Magic Leap's augmented reality - CNET - News - 2 hours 19 min ago
Commentary: The Angry Birds and Bad Piggies are seriously coming to Magic Leap, and it's exactly what you'd expect.

Heads up: Get ready to tune in live and watch us probe insider threats menacing today's IT

The Register - 2 hours 20 min ago
Your video guide to locking down systems – and then fire questions our way

Promo On September 26 at 10:00 PT / 11:00 MT / 13:00 ET / 18:00 BST we're broadcasting live with an exploration of insider threats to enterprises and other organizations.…

Google shows off 20 Assistant tricks on the company's anniversary - CNET - News - 2 hours 22 min ago
You're not limited to typing in a search box like you were 20 years ago.

IOS 12.1 setup hints at new iPad this fall, report says - CNET - News - 2 hours 22 min ago
A new entry for "iPad2018Fall" in iOS 12.1 has apparently appeared in its onboarding code.

Buy a Minecraft, Fortnite or Jack Black-themed Xbox and support Make-A-Wish - CNET - News - 2 hours 34 min ago
Game developers and celebrities are coming together to help raise money for the kids' charity.

Yet another report shows diversity is slow in coming to tech - CNET - News - 2 hours 45 min ago
An annual report from strikes a familiar note.

Apple iPhone XS review: A slight notch above the iPhone X - CNET - Reviews - 3 hours 1 min ago
This year's iPhone is hard to judge without seeing the iPhone that's not yet here.

Fortnite star Ninja is first gamer to land ESPN cover - CNET - News - 3 hours 4 min ago
The gaming-focused issue will hit newsstands later this month.

3D-printed gun pioneer Cody Wilson accused of having sex with underage girl

Ars Technica - 3 hours 7 min ago

Enlarge / Cody Wilson, owner of Defense Distributed company, holds a 3D-printed gun, called the "Liberator," in his factory in Austin, Texas, on August 1, 2018. (credit: KELLY WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Cody Wilson, the 3D-printed gun rights activist, has a warrant out for his arrest, according to an affidavit partially published Wednesday by an Austin-based reporter, Tony Plohetski.

NOW: This court record describes the allegation against Wilson.

— Tony Plohetski (@tplohetski) September 19, 2018

According to the document, which was also described by KVUE, Wilson is accused of meeting a girl under the age of 17 through a website known as and paying her $500 for sex last month in Austin, where Wilson lives.

Wilson allegedly used the username "Sanjuro," a seeming reference to a 1962 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa. At some point, according to the affidavit, which was described by the Austin American Statesman, Sanjuro identified himself as Cody Wilson and further indicated that he was a "big deal." Wilson also allegedly exchanged nude photos with the girl.

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Jellyfish robots to watch over endangered coral reefs

BBC Technology News - 3 hours 8 min ago
The soft-bodied machines are designed to explore fragile marine ecosystems without causing damage.

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