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Industry & Technology

Dare to Dream: The organisation getting women into aviation

BBC Technology News - 12 hours 20 min ago
Captain Phatsima founded Dare to Dream, an organisation trying to get women into aviation.

The prize app designed to help deaf children in school

BBC Technology News - December 14, 2019 - 5:33pm
The winning app is being developed by Amazon Web Services and will be released for use in schools.

Ridiculous in the right way: Unmatched: Battle of Legends

Ars Technica - December 14, 2019 - 4:00pm

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Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com.

The full name of this game is Unmatched: Battle of Legends, Volume One. That last bit is important because there is more Unmatched coming. This first set allows us to answer important questions like: who would win in a fight between King Arthur and Sinbad? What if Alice ventured out of Wonderland to carve up Medusa? The matchups in this absurdist fight club are bonkers, and we’re only getting started.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Restoration Games is the noteworthy publisher that has brought us new editions of classic games like Fireball Island and Stop Thief! Those designs were given a few nips and tucks, a couple of injections of Botox, and a new wardrobe. They’re fresh, but they’re also grounded in the past, and they know how to put nostalgia to good use.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

A sobering message about the future at AI’s biggest party

Ars Technica - December 14, 2019 - 3:00pm

Enlarge (credit: EFF)

More than 13,000 artificial intelligence mavens flocked to Vancouver this week for the world’s leading academic AI conference, NeurIPS. The venue included a maze of colorful corporate booths aiming to lure recruits for projects like software that plays doctor. Google handed out free luggage scales and socks depicting the colorful bikes employees ride on its campus while IBM offered hats emblazoned with “I ❤️A

Ars Technica’s ultimate board game gift guide, 2019 edition

Ars Technica - December 14, 2019 - 2:00pm

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It’s that time of year again—time to buy more board games than you possibly have time to play.

To aid you in your quest, we’ve once again updated our massive board game buyer’s guide for the year by adding new entries, pruning some old ones, and bringing things in line with our current thoughts. This isn’t necessarily a list of our favorite games of all time; it’s just a big list of games we’re recommending in 2019. The list is divided into sections that cater to different audiences, and we think there’s something here for just about everyone.

Whether you’re looking to pick up your next cardboard obsession or need a gift idea for your weird cousin who’s always going on about “efficient resource trade routes,” you’re in the right place.

Read 176 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Switching broadband provider 'could save £120'

BBC Technology News - December 14, 2019 - 1:21pm
More than three-quarters of consumers who haggled were offered a better deal, according to Which?

General election 2019: Viral videos about the NHS dominate the digital campaign

BBC Technology News - December 14, 2019 - 2:16am
Videos about the NHS received the highest views and shares on social media platforms.

Boy, 5, given prosthetic arm that lets him hug brother

BBC Technology News - December 14, 2019 - 1:00am
Five-year-old Jacob Scrimshaw was born eight weeks early with most of his left arm missing.

Quadriga: Lawyers for users of bankrupt crypto firm seek exhumation of founder

BBC Technology News - December 13, 2019 - 11:54pm
Lawyers for Quadriga users say there are "questionable circumstances" behind Gerald Cotten's death.

Jumanji: The Next Level is less fresh this time around but still lots of fun

Ars Technica - December 13, 2019 - 10:50pm

Enlarge / Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, and Karen Gillan star in Jumanji: The Next Level. (credit: Sony Pictures)

The intrepid gang of teens who played their way out of a video game two years ago is back and facing a new in-game adventure in Jumanji: The Next Level, the latest installment in the popular franchise that originated with the 1995 film Jumanji. It's a solid sequel, following the same winning formula that made its predecessor such a big success.

(Spoilers for 1995's Jumanji and 2017's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; mild spoilers for Jumanji: The Next Level.)

The franchise has its roots in a 1981 fantasy children's book by Chris van Allsburg, about two children who discover a jungle adventure board game with the ominous warning, "Do not begin unless you intend to finish." The original 1995 film adaption followed the basic premise pretty closely, although it added several characters, most notably Robin Williams as a grown Alan Parrish and his childhood friend Sarah Whittle (Bonnie Hunt). As a young boy in 1969, Alan finds a supernatural board game called Jumanji and begins to play with Sarah.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple’s new Screen Time Communication Limits are easily beaten with a bug

Ars Technica - December 13, 2019 - 10:47pm

Enlarge / iOS 13 on an iPhone 11 Pro. (credit: Samuel Axon)

A bug in iOS 13.3 allows children to easily circumvent the restrictions their parents or guardians set with the Communications Limit feature in Screen Time. Apple has said it plans to fix the problem in a future software update.

The iOS 13.3 update released earlier this week added the ability for parents to whitelist contacts for their kids to communicate with. Kids need the parents to input a passcode to talk to anyone not on the list, with an exception made for emergency services like 911. It was the flagship feature of the update.

Yesterday, CNBC published a report detailing a bug that allowed kids to easily circumvent the restrictions. It turns out that when contacts are not set to sync with iCloud by default, texts or calls from unknown numbers present children with the option to add the number as a new contact. Once that step has been taken, they can communicate freely with the contact.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Feds reap data from 1,500 phones in largest reported reverse-location warrant

Ars Technica - December 13, 2019 - 10:19pm

Enlarge / You're not the only one looking at your phone's location history. (credit: Omar Marques | SOPA Images | Getty Images )

Federal investigators trying to solve arson cases in Wisconsin have scooped up location history data for about 1,500 phones that happened to be in the area, enhancing concerns about privacy in the mobile Internet era.

Four Milwaukee-area arsons since 2018, as yet unsolved, have resulted in more than $50,000 of property damage as well as the deaths of two dogs, Forbes explains. In an attempt to find the person or persons responsible, officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) obtained search warrants to gather data about all the devices in the area at the time.

The two warrants Forbes obtained together covered about nine hours' worth of activity within 29,400 square meters—an area a smidge larger than an average Milwaukee city block. Google found records for 1,494 devices matching the ATF's parameters and sent the data along.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google’s Pixelbook Go now comes in high-end 4K, $1,399 variant

Ars Technica - December 13, 2019 - 9:55pm

Enlarge / The Pixelbook Go. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

The Pixelbook Go is Google's latest swing at a high-end, flagship laptop for Chrome OS. The device was announced and shipped in October, but only the mid- and low-end models. As first spotted by Chrome Unboxed, the laptop's highest-end configuration is now available for $1,399.

The new $1,300 model upgrades the Pixelbook Go to a 13.3-inch, 3840x2160 (331ppi) touchscreen LCD, an Intel Core i7-8500Y, 256GB of eMMC storage, and a 56WH battery. Like the $999 version, you get 16GB of RAM.

Those specs are super-overkill for running a Web browser, but remember, you can run Android and Linux apps on Chromebooks now, so maybe you'll find a way to make use of them. If you're really concerned about non-Web-browser tasks though, for $1,300, you might just want to buy a regular Windows, Mac, or Linux laptop and not deal with the restrictions of Chrome OS. The Pixelbook Go has a nice keyboard and a grippy bottom design, but it mostly earned a firm rating of "average" in our review. There is little that makes it stand out from the competition.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

FCC’s “illogical” claim that broadband isn’t telecommunications faces appeal

Ars Technica - December 13, 2019 - 9:06pm

Enlarge / The Federal Communications Commission seal hangs inside a meeting room at the headquarters ahead of an open commission meeting in Washington, DC, on Thursday, December 14, 2017. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

Mozilla and other organizations today appealed the court ruling that upheld the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules, arguing that the FCC's claim that broadband isn't telecommunications should not have been accepted by judges.

The FCC repeal was upheld in October by a three-judge panel at the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The court had some good news for net neutrality supporters because it vacated the FCC's attempt to preempt all current and future state net neutrality laws. But Mozilla and others aren't giving up hope on reinstating the FCC rules nationwide.

The Mozilla petition filed today asks for an en banc rehearing of the case involving all of the DC Circuit judges. Mozilla is probably facing an uphill battle because the three-judge panel unanimously agreed that the FCC can repeal its own net neutrality rules.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Deep Learning breakthrough made by Rice University scientists

Ars Technica - December 13, 2019 - 7:42pm

Enlarge (credit: pitju / Adobe Stock)

In an earlier deep learning article, we talked about how inference workloads—the use of already-trained neural networks to analyze data—can run on fairly cheap hardware, but running the training workload that the neural network "learns" on is orders of magnitude more expensive.

In particular, the more potential inputs you have to an algorithm, the more out of control your scaling problem gets when analyzing its problem space. This is where MACH, a research project authored by Rice University's Tharun Medini and Anshumali Shrivastava, comes in. MACH is an acronym for Merged Average Classifiers via Hashing, and according to lead researcher Shrivastava, "[its] training times are about 7-10 times faster, and... memory footprints are 2-4 times smaller" than those of previous large-scale deep learning techniques.

In describing the scale of extreme classification problems, Medini refers to online shopping search queries, noting that "there are easily more than 100 million products online." This is, if anything, conservative—one data company claimed Amazon US alone sold 606 million separate products, with the entire company offering more than three billion products worldwide. Another company reckons the US product count at 353 million. Medini continues, "a neural network that takes search input and predicts from 100 million outputs, or products, will typically end up with about 2,000 parameters per product. So you multiply those, and the final layer of the neural network is 200 billion parameters ... [and] I'm talking about a very, very dead simple neural network model."

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

AT&T doesn’t want you to see its slow Internet speed-test results

Ars Technica - December 13, 2019 - 6:49pm

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Steven Puetzer)

AT&T doesn't want its home Internet speeds to be measured by the Federal Communications Commission anymore, and it already convinced the FCC to exclude its worst speed-test results from an annual government report.

"AT&T this year told the commission it will no longer cooperate with the FCC's SamKnows speed test," The Wall Street Journal wrote in an investigative report titled "Your Internet provider likely juiced its official speed scores."

AT&T already convinced the FCC to exclude certain DSL test results from last year's Measuring Broadband America report. The reports are based on the SamKnows testing equipment installed in thousands of homes across the US.

Read 21 remaining paragraphs | Comments

General Election 2019: How computers wrote BBC election result stories

BBC Technology News - December 13, 2019 - 1:31pm
The BBC carried out its biggest test of machine-generated journalism to cover the general election.

Guidemaster: Nine gift ideas for the tech enthusiast in your life

Ars Technica - December 13, 2019 - 1:30pm

Enlarge / Everyone has someone in their life who demands the latest and greatest. This is the tech we think qualifies. (credit: Flashpop / Getty Images)

The last installment in our five-part holiday gift guide series this year is tailored for power users—those who know their way around technology and feel uneasy settling for gear that doesn’t provide high performance.

The nine gadgets we’ve rounded up below may be overkill for most of the people in your life, but they should satisfy those who consider themselves enthusiasts in some way. Per usual, we’ve curated these recommendations based on hands-on testing we’ve done over the course of 2019. If none of these items fit your shopping list’s needs, though, take a look at our previous gift guides for the home, the office, the road, and affordable gadgets for additional inspiration. For now, though, let’s indulge a little in the latest and greatest tech.

Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

Read 31 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The Game Awards 2019: All the winners and big reveals

BBC Technology News - December 13, 2019 - 10:59am
Sekiro takes home game of the year as Xbox confirm new console for 2020 and big titles get a new trailers.

Modelling breakthrough for soft robots and other news

BBC Technology News - December 13, 2019 - 9:19am
BBC Click's Paul Carter looks at some of the week's best technology stories.

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