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Industry & Technology

Chrome 76 prevents NYT and other news sites from detecting Incognito Mode

Ars Technica - 3 hours 13 min ago

Enlarge / The Boston Globe and some other news sites prevent non-subscribers from viewing articles in a browser's private mode. (credit: Boston Globe)

Google Chrome 76 will close a loophole that websites use to detect when people use the browser's Incognito Mode.

Over the past couple of years, you may have noticed some websites preventing you from reading articles while using a browser's private mode. The Boston Globe began doing this in 2017, requiring people to log in to paid subscriber accounts in order to read in private mode. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and other newspapers impose identical restrictions.

Chrome 76—which is in beta now and is scheduled to hit the stable channel on July 30—prevents these websites from discovering that you're in private mode. Google explained the change yesterday in a blog post titled, "Protecting private browsing in Chrome."

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The Greatest Leap, part 4: Catching Apollo fever as a new NASA employee

Ars Technica - 3 hours 41 min ago

Video shot by Joshua Ballinger, edited and produced by Jing Niu and David Minick. Click here for transcript.

As inevitably happens in August, a sweltering heat with the tactility of dog's breath had come over Houston when Raja Chari reported to the Johnson Space Center. Just shy of his 40th birthday, the decorated combat veteran and test pilot had been born too late to see humans walking on the Moon. No matter, he was in awe of the new office.Apollo: The Greatest Leap

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The son of an immigrant from India, Chari grew up in the heartland of America and grasped onto the American dream. He worked hard in school, and then in the Air Force, to become an astronaut. So when Chari finally got to Johnson Space Center in 2017 as a member of its newest astronaut class, his sense of achievement mingled with reverence. He found himself in the cradle of human spaceflight, where the Mercury 7 and Apollo astronauts had trained. Chari felt a wide-eyed wonderment for the people around him, too. The engineers. The flight controllers. His fellow astronauts.

“Honestly, it’s all about the people,” he told Ars just a few weeks after moving to Houston. “We’re all caught up in this sense of mission. The people here, my colleagues, are what really stand out. I can’t wait to go to work with them every day.”

Read 43 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google tries to reassure gamers it’s behind Stadia for the long haul

Ars Technica - 4 hours 44 min ago

Enlarge / A Google Stadia controller sits behind glass with a mock-up of a retro game store. (credit: Kyle Orland)

In a Reddit AMA yesterday, Google Stadia Director of Product Andrey Doronichev provided a few more tidbits about what features will and will not be available when the streaming game service launches in November. But as he did so, he had to convince some skeptical potential customers that Stadia won't end up in the same corporate graveyard as many other Google service experiments.

Doronichev compared Google's commitment to Stadia to services like Gmail, Docs, Music, Movies and Photos, which have persisted for years with no sign of imminent shutdown. "We’ve been investing a ton in tech, infrastructure, and partnerships [for Stadia] over the past few years," Doronichev said. "Nothing in life is certain, but we’re committed to making Stadia a success... Of course, it’s OK to doubt my words. There's nothing I can say now to make you believe if you don't. But what we can do is to launch the service and continue investing in it for years to come."

Doronichev also compared the transition to streaming gaming to similar transitions that have already largely taken place in the movie and music industries, and with cloud storage of personal files like photos and written documents. While acknowledging that "moving to the cloud is scary," he also insisted that "eventually all of our games will be safely in the cloud, too, and we'll feel great about it."

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Extending the savings: Get 20% off an Ars Pro subscription

Ars Technica - 6 hours 9 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Getty / Aurich Lawson)

As I arrived home from a brief trip Thursday night, I had to navigate a small pile of brown boxes—the results of some Amazon Prime Day shopping. Prime Day 2019 may be in the rearview mirror, but one discount is not: Ars is extending the discount for new Ars Pro and Ars Pro++ subscriptions. If you subscribe in the next few days, you'll receive 20 percent off the regular price.

Here's what you get with the $25 now $20 Ars Pro:

  • No ads: If you're logged into Ars, you'll never see an ad
  • No tracking scripts: Every last one of those scripts disappears for Ars Pro subscribers, with the exception of those from objects embedded in individual stories like videos from YouTube and tweets from Twitter
  • Full-text RSS feeds: See the whole story and never leave your RSS reader
  • Subscriber-only forum access: Sit back, relax, and vent your geek angst in The Lounge
  • Article PDFs: Read our great long-form content offline
  • Classic reading mode: Read Ars in the old-school way

Ars Pro is compelling on its own, but for $50 $40 Ars Pro++ offers all of the great benefits of Ars Pro, plus:

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Cari Watterton gives her tips on how to get into the games industry

BBC Technology News - 6 hours 22 min ago
Young developer Cari Watterton, who works for a games firm located in Dundee, offers her tips for getting into the business

The Corvette goes mid-engined—supercar performance for $60,000

Ars Technica - 6 hours 45 min ago

TUSTIN, Calif.—On Thursday night, in a 1,000-foot-long (300m) hangar packed with hundreds of attendees, the world got its first proper look at the next Chevrolet Corvette. New for model year 2020, it's the eighth version of "America's sportscar" and one that's radically different to any production Corvette of the past. In the quest for even sharper handling, the engineering team realized the engine would have to move behind the cabin.

This change has been an open secret for some years now, probably to prepare the fiercely loyal and just-as-opinionated fanbase that once freaked out just because the shape of the tail lights changed with the debut of the previous generation car. It's an idea Corvette has played with since the early days, when Zora Arkus-Duntov was in charge. Starting with CERV I in 1960, there has been a stream of experimental concepts with the engine between driver and rear wheels, but none ever made the leap to production car. How times change.

The performance bargain of the century?

Although we've known about the impending layout swap, that was pretty much all we knew. Grainy spy shots from places like the Nürburgring and the Milford Proving Ground filtered out, as did rumors of breathtaking performance. But debate raged over the details, particularly the question of whether a supercar layout and supercar speed meant a supercar price. As it turns out, the answer is no, as a brand new C8 Corvette (as the new generation is known) will start at under $60,000 when it goes on sale next year. But the stuff about the breathtaking performance? That was all spot on: Chevrolet promises the car will do the dash to 60mph in under three seconds. That's as fast as the outgoing Z06, a model that has 650hp (485kW) costing $20,000 more.

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BritBox: ITV and BBC set out plans for new streaming service

BBC Technology News - 8 hours 9 min ago
Shows like Love Island, Gavin & Stacey and Victoria will be on ITV and the BBC's streaming service.

YouTube: 'We don't take you down the rabbit hole'

BBC Technology News - 9 hours 27 min ago
In his first interview, YouTube's UK managing director defends the platform's algorithms.

French sci-fi team called on to predict future threats

BBC Technology News - 9 hours 59 min ago
The "red team" will be employed to imagine future military threats – and how how to prevent them.

Half a century after Apollo, why haven’t we been back to the Moon?

Ars Technica - 10 hours 4 min ago

Enlarge / Since Apollo, NASA's human spaceflight plans for deep space have been all hat and no cattle. Unlike this photo of two cattle in Johnson Space Center's Rocket Park. (credit: NASA)

The 50th anniversary of NASA’s historic landing on the Moon—this Saturday, July 20th—provokes a decidedly bittersweet feeling. Certainly, this marks an appropriate time to pause and celebrate a singular moment in our shared history, the first time humans ever set foot on another world. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins really did push back the frontier for all of humanity

And yet, for all that this technological and geopolitical tour de force achieved, there has been a decided lack of follow through by the US spaceflight enterprise since Apollo 11. On such an anniversary, this raises uncomfortable questions. Why have we not gone back? Was the Apollo Program really America’s high water mark in space? And will we actually return in the next half century?

Why we went

Beginning with Sputnik in 1957 and continuing through the flights of Yuri Gagarin and other cosmonauts, the Soviet Union ticked off an impressive succession of “firsts” in space during the middle of the Cold War. As the United States waged a hearts-and-minds campaign against the Soviets around the world, technological superiority represented a key battlefront.

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Rocket Report: Falcon 9 beats Pegasus on price, Vega has its first failure

Ars Technica - 10 hours 19 min ago

Enlarge / A Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base. (credit: Aurich Lawson/SpaceX)

Welcome to Edition 2.07 of the Rocket Report! On this most historic of rocket-launch weeks, we have news about the next mission to the Moon—India's soft lander and small rover—as well as delays with the rocket America hopes to use to get its astronauts to the Moon, and possibly Mars, one day. There's also this Chinese company that apparently likes asteroids...

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

Vega rocket launch fails. The 15th launch of a European Vega rocket ended in failure July 10, resulting in the loss of an imaging satellite for the United Arab Emirates, SpaceNews reports. "About two minutes after liftoff, around the [Zefiro]-23 ignition, a major anomaly occurred, resulting in the loss of the mission," Luce Fabreguettes (Arianespace's executive vice president of Missions, Operations & Purchasing) said during the launch webcast.

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Police will 'struggle' to track criminals via 5G

BBC Technology News - 10 hours 24 min ago
European police forces are scrambling to develop tools that help them track criminals using 5G networks.

Journey creator’s Sky debuts on iPhone and iPad

Ars Technica - 10 hours 34 min ago

This week marks the launch of Sky: Children of Light, a game from famed designer Jenova Chen and beloved studio thatgamecompany, on iOS devices. Intended as an entry point to gaming that upends conventions and seeks new ranges of emotional expression, Sky was revealed during Apple's iPhone keynote in 2017 as a mobile-first game and an iOS exclusive at launch.

The game is expected to arrive on Android, Mac, Apple TV, Windows PC, and consoles sometime in the future, though. Its initial wide launch this week follows a long soft-launch period and a launch-date delay as the game went through some big changes in testing to get its social aspects—a key part of the experience—just right.

In Sky, you play as a nondescript, child-like being who walks and flies through varied 3D environments collecting light, helping beings, solving puzzles, and working with friends to bring light back to your world.

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London Underground to get full 4G coverage

BBC Technology News - 14 hours 12 min ago
Passengers will be able to make calls and go online anywhere on the Tube network by the mid-2020s.

Hovering, gliding drone takes-off and other tech news

BBC Technology News - 22 hours 9 min ago
BBC Click's Paul Carter looks at some of the week's best technology news stories.

Car parts from weeds: The future of green motoring?

BBC Technology News - 22 hours 11 min ago
The motor industry is trying to reduce its carbon footprint in a number of innovative ways.

Microsoft closes fiscal 2019 with revenue spikes driven by cloud services

Ars Technica - 22 hours 19 min ago

Enlarge / Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, speaks at the Microsoft Annual Shareholders Meeting in Bellevue, Washington, on November 30, 2016. (credit: Jason Redmond / Getty Images)

Microsoft has reported its financial results for the final quarter of the 2019 fiscal year. The tech giant saw notable gains in sales for Azure in its Intelligent Cloud division and for Surface in the More Personal Computing unit.

Revenue for the the company reached $33.7 billion, an increase of 12% from the last quarter of 2018. Microsoft’s operating income rose 20% to $12.4 billion while net income jumped 49% to $13.2 billion, with earnings of $1.71 per share.

Each of Microsoft’s three reporting segments saw its revenue grow compared with the fourth quarter of the previous year. The Intelligent Cloud group saw the biggest jump, rising 19% to $11.4 billion.

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Shkreli stays in jail; Infamous ex-pharma CEO quickly loses appeal

Ars Technica - July 18, 2019 - 10:35pm

Enlarge / Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, center, listens while his attorney Benjamin Brafman, right, speaks to members of the media outside federal court in the Brooklyn borough of New York, US, on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

In a swift 3-0 vote Thursday, a panel of judges in a New York federal appeals court upheld the August 2017 conviction of Martin Shkreli. The infamous ex-pharmaceutical CEO is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for fraud stemming from what prosecutors had described as a Ponzi-like scheme.

Shkreli, 36, must continue to serve his sentence and also still forfeit more than $7.3 million in assets, the judges affirmed.

The judges’ ruling came just three weeks after hearing arguments in the appeal—rather than the normal period of months, Bloomberg notes. The ruling was also an unusually short seven pages.

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As Russian “FaceApp” gobbles up user photos, Schumer asks FBI to investigate

Ars Technica - July 18, 2019 - 10:08pm

Enlarge / The FaceApp application displayed on Apple's App Store. (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has called for a federal investigation into FaceApp, saying the Russian-operated mobile application "could pose national security and privacy risks for millions of US citizens."

FaceApp for iOS and Android has been around since 2017 but just recently went viral as celebrities and many other people used it to alter photographs to make themselves look 20 years older. This has raised privacy concerns, as Americans are uploading photographs and device-related data to a service operated by a company based in Russia. The image alterations performed by FaceApp—which calls itself an "AI Face Editor"—are done on the company's servers instead of on user devices.

The app now warns users that "Each photo you select for editing will be uploaded to our servers for image processing and face transformation."

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Facebook is backpedaling from its ambitious vision for Libra

Ars Technica - July 18, 2019 - 9:55pm

Enlarge / David Marcus, head of blockchain at Facebook, speaks at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

David Marcus, the head of Facebook's new Calibra payments division, appeared before two hostile congressional committees this week with a simple message: Facebook knows policymakers are concerned about Libra, and Facebook won't move forward with the project until their concerns are addressed.

While he didn't say so explicitly, Marcus' comments at hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday represented a dramatic shift in Facebook's conception of Libra. In Facebook's original vision, Libra would be an open and largely decentralized network, akin to Bitcoin. The core network would be beyond the reach of regulators. Regulatory compliance would be the responsibility of exchanges, wallets, and other services that are the "on ramps and off ramps" to the Libra ecosystem.

Facebook now seems to recognize its original vision was a non-starter with regulators. So this week Marcus sketched out a new vision for Libra—one in which the Libra Association will shoulder significant responsibility for ensuring compliance with laws relating to money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.

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