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Industry & Technology

Test tube meat

BBC Technology News - 44 min 31 sec ago
The sci-fi food of the future could change the way we eat forever, and it is going to be up to food designers to convince us it's not just an acquired taste.

How to Block Calls and Texts on iPhone in iOS 11

Wired - 49 min 3 sec ago
Unwanted calls and messages arriving on your iPhone? Block 'em all with our guide.

Cambridge Analytica: Facebook row firm boss suspended

BBC Technology News - March 20, 2018 - 11:45pm
Alexander Nix appeared to suggest tactics his company could use to discredit politicians online.

Windows Server 2019 coming later this year, out now in preview

Ars Technica - March 20, 2018 - 11:28pm

Enlarge / Project Honolulu user interface, one of the new features in Windows Server 2019. (credit: Microsoft)

The next version of Windows Server will be branded Windows Server 2019, and it'll be out in the second half of the year.

This isn't tremendously surprising, as it fits with the schedule Microsoft has already committed to that splits Windows between a Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), with 10 years of support and a release every three years, and a Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) with 18 months of support and a release every six months. Windows Server 2019 will be an LTSC release, and it'll also have a corresponding Windows 10 release.

Highlights of the next version will be the new Project Honolulu Web-based interface, the integration the Windows Subsystem for Linux, and greater support for containers.

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AMD promises firmware fixes for security processor bugs

Ars Technica - March 20, 2018 - 11:00pm

Enlarge / AMD's Ryzen die. Threadripper has two of these in a multi-chip module. Epyc has four of them. (credit: AMD)

AMD has responded to the reports last week of a range of security flaws affecting its Platform Security Processor (PSP) and chipset. The company acknowledges the bugs and says that, in coming weeks, it will have new firmware available to resolve the PSP bugs. These firmware fixes will also mitigate the chipset bugs.

Israeli firm CTS identified four separate flaw families, naming them Masterkey (affecting Ryzen and Epyc processors), Ryzenfall (affecting Ryzen, Ryzen Pro, and Ryzen Mobile), Fallout (hitting only Epyc), and Chimera (applying to Ryzen and Ryzen Pro systems using the Promonotory chipset).

Masterkey, Ryzenfall, and Fallout are all problems affecting the Platform Security Processor (PSP), a small ARM core that's integrated into the chips to provide certain additional features such as a firmware-based TPM security module. The PSP has its own firmware and operating system that runs independently of the main x86 CPU. Software running on the x86 CPU can access PSP functionality using a device driver, though this access is restricted to administrator/root-level accounts.

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The OnePlus 6 may look something like this - CNET - News - March 20, 2018 - 10:41pm
It could be latest Android phone to get the iPhone X's notch.

USS Fitzgerald collision deaths ruled negligent homicide by Japanese coast guard

Ars Technica - March 20, 2018 - 10:40pm

Enlarge / The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan in June, 2017. (credit: US Navy)

While the US Navy has already taken administrative action regarding the collision of the USS Fitzgerald, one of the members of the ship's crew now faces possible criminal charges in Japan as the result of a Japanese Coast Guard investigation of the incident. Stars & Stripes reported today that Japanese Coast Guard officials have recommended negligent homicide charges against both the Fitzgerald's Officer of the Deck (OOD) and the second officer of the container ship the Fitzgerald struck—the ACX Crystal.

Japan Coast Guard spokesman Yoshihito Nakamura said that the official recommended charges were "Causing Death and Injury through Negligence in the Pursuit of Social Activities and Endangering Traffic through Negligence in the Pursuit of Social Activities." He said the charges had been recommended because both officers were responsible for the navigation of their ships at the time of the collision. While the ACX Crystal was operating in accordance with Preventing Collisions at Sea regulations—known to sailors as the "Rules of the Road"—the ACX Crystal's 2nd officer failed to take any actions to avoid the collision.

In the Navy's report on the June 2017 collision, issued along with findings from the August 2017 collision of the USS McCain last November, the Navy found:

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These early humans survived a supervolcano eruption 74,000 years ago

Ars Technica - March 20, 2018 - 10:19pm

Scientists analyzed the remains of two Paleolithic human campsites in South Africa (PP5-6 and VBB) to see whether there were dramatic changes after the Toba eruption 74,000 years ago in Sumatra. They found clear evidence that ash and glass from the eruption fell at these sites, and yet human habitation remained uninterrupted. (credit: Nature)

It's one of the biggest mysteries of recent human evolution. Roughly 70,000 years ago, Homo sapiens went through a genetic bottleneck, a period when our genetic diversity shrank dramatically. But why? In the late 1990s, some scientists argued that the culprit was a massive volcanic eruption from what is now Lake Toba, in Sumatra, about 74,000 years ago, whose deadly effects reduced our species to a few thousand hardy individuals. Now, new evidence suggests we were right about the volcano—but wrong about pretty much everything else.

The so-called Toba Catastrophe Theory was first proposed by University of Illinois anthropologist Stanley Ambrose and popularized by University of Utah anthropologist Henry Harpending, who was trying to understand what caused the genetic bottleneck. At the time, mounting evidence suggested that the volcano had had a global effect, because debris from it can be found throughout the world. Many scientists thought it was likely that airborne particles from Toba caused a "volcanic winter" that lowered Earth's temperatures. Harpending and his colleague Gregory Cochran suggested that it ushered in a millennium of frigid temperatures, driving humanity to near-extinction and pushing it out of Africa in search of better habitats.

Once the globe warmed up again, the theory goes, humanity started to recover its ranks. But the population crash meant that we had lost a lot of genetic diversity. This hypothesis sounded reasonable at first, but then scientists began to uncover intriguing new evidence that humans hadn't died out at all.

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Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - March 20, 2018 - 10:17pm
The third-generation smart sprinkler can use an add-on to detect leaks and sports more localized weather info.

Cambridge Analytica CEO boasts in video about role in Trump effort - CNET - News - March 20, 2018 - 10:16pm
British broadcaster Channel 4 shows Alexander Nix telling an undercover reporter about tactics Cambridge Analytica used in last year's US presidential election.

Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO Alexander Nix amid probe - CNET - News - March 20, 2018 - 10:13pm
The company, at the heart of the scandal involving the misuse of data of millions of Facebook users, says Alexander Tayler will be acting CEO.

NBA star: Dinosaurs were pets for very big people - CNET - News - March 20, 2018 - 10:04pm
Commentary: Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson continues his team's tradition of, well, interesting science.

Windows Server 2019 coming next year and the price is going up

The Register - March 20, 2018 - 10:00pm
Azure gets more support and Linux still gets Redmond love

Microsoft has released more information about the new version of Windows Server, including a time-frame for release and a warning on prices.…

'Delete Facebook' hashtag trends as social users fume - CNET - News - March 20, 2018 - 9:59pm
The massive social platform appears to have lost control over user data, leading to a firestorm of red-hot #DeleteFacebook tweets.

FBI raids home of spy sat techie over leak of secret comms source code on Facebook

The Register - March 20, 2018 - 9:58pm
Ex-NRO bod also allegedly swiped $340k of espionage kit plus classified files

The FBI has raided the home of US intelligence contractor John Weed who is suspected of leaking classified blueprints online via a fake Facebook account.…

AMD has fixes coming for its 13 chip vulnerabilities - CNET - News - March 20, 2018 - 9:56pm
The chipmaker says that the patches will arrive within a few weeks and that AMD device owners shouldn’t worry about the reported flaws.

When will the US feel the heat of global warming?

Ars Technica - March 20, 2018 - 9:55pm

Enlarge / Warm, moist air flowing north from the Gulf of Mexico may dominate the Great Plains' response to climate change. (credit: NOAA)

By increasing the energy stored in our atmosphere, climate change is expected to generate more severe storms and heat waves. Severe storms and heat waves, however, also happen naturally. As a result, it's tough to figure out whether any given event is a product of climate change.

A corollary to that is that detecting a signal of climate change using weather events is a serious challenge. Are three nor'easters in quick succession, as the East Coast is now experiencing, a sign of a changing climate? Or is it simply a matter of natural variability?

A team of researchers has now looked at heat waves in the US, trying to determine when a warming-driven signal will stand out above the natural variability. And the answer is that it depends. In the West, the answer is "soon," with climate-driven heat waves becoming the majority in the 2020s. But for the Great Plains, the researchers show that a specific weather pattern will push back the appearance of a warming signal until the 2070s.

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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - March 20, 2018 - 9:46pm
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has arrived on phones. Here's how to keep up with the PC and Xbox crowd.

Mozilla petition asks Facebook to make app private by default - CNET - News - March 20, 2018 - 9:44pm
"Facebook's current app permissions leave billions of its users vulnerable," the nonprofit argues as a privacy crisis engulfs the social network.

Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg reportedly no-shows at Facebook meet - CNET - News - March 20, 2018 - 9:40pm
The CEO and COO reportedly didn't attend a staff meeting about the social network's relationship with Cambridge Analytica.

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