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Industry & Technology

Philips launches a 43-inch HDR monitor that reaches 1,000 nits of brightness

Ars Technica - 22 min 53 sec ago


EPI this week announced a new 4K monitor under the Philips brand called the Philips Momentum 436M6, which will arrive in mid-to-late June for $999.99. At 43 inches, it’s big, but most notably it’s the first PC monitor to gain DisplayHDR 1000 certification from the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), the organization that sets standards for displays and other electronics.

VESA introduced the DisplayHDR spec last December to create a consistent and open standard for high dynamic range (HDR) performance on LCD displays, most prominently PC monitors. There are three tiers to the benchmark: DisplayHDR 400 for low-end HDR panels, DisplayHDR 600 for those in the mid-range, and DisplayHDR 1000 for higher-end screens. We’ve seen a handful of monitors sporting the first two classifications in recent months, but this is the first to officially claim the top-level spec.

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California can look forward to more extreme dry-wet “climate whiplash”

Ars Technica - 33 min 27 sec ago

Enlarge / Don Pedro Reservoir was down to 61 percent of its normal level in 2015 but filled to 134 percent by early 2017 after a very wet winter. (credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

As the last few years have reminded us, California weather means you have to be prepared for anything. From 2012 to 2016, the Golden State saw a historic drought that led to water restrictions—and saw land areas sinking as groundwater use increased to compensate. But the winter of 2016 brought too much rain, producing flooding and evacuations below the Oroville Dam.

Variable rainfall is a natural component of California’s climate, but what will happen as climate change continues to play out? That’s the question a team led by UCLA’s Daniel Swain recently set out to answer.

Sim California

Though climate change projections show a warmer California, total rainfall isn’t expected to change much. But in this case, the researchers used climate model simulations to analyze precipitation variability, specifically, rather than just annual totals. They compared historical weather records, an 1,800-year-long simulation of the climate pre-Industrial-Revolution, and 40 simulations of climate change from 1920 to 2100 (assuming high future greenhouse gas emissions). These long simulations allowed them to accumulate meaningful statistics for different weather patterns.

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Drupal premieres sequel to critical bug fest 'Drupalgeddon2'

The Register - 44 min 12 sec ago
Third flaw fix in a month evokes déjà vu

After scrambling to patch a critical vulnerability late last month, Drupal is at it again.…

Azure Container Instances bring serverless computing to containers

Ars Technica - 46 min 20 sec ago

Enlarge (credit: Ana Ulin)

Azure Container Instances (ACI), which let you create Linux and Windows containers without having to manage the virtual machines they run on, are now generally available.

ACI brings serverless principles to containerized applications. Serverless computing, pioneered by Amazon's Lambda and found on Azure as Functions, is designed to defer all system management (physical and virtual machine deployment and patching) and load-based scaling decisions to the platform provider. Developers just write their application code; they no longer have to care about spinning up virtual machines, updating operating systems, cutting over to new hardware, or anything else.

Traditional container deployments require virtual machines to run on. With ACI's serverless containers, the management of those virtual machines goes away. ACI containers can be deployed using Microsoft's own Azure interface, or with Kubernetes, without needing any VMs to be spun up first. The containers are billed according to how much processor time and memory they use on a per second basis: $0.000012 per CPU-second, $0.000004 per MB of memory-second.

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NSA's new IoT encryption schemes blocked in murky tale of backdoors and bullying

The Register - 59 min 51 sec ago
Experts complain of shoddy tech specs and personal attacks

Two new encryption algorithms developed by the NSA have been rejected by an international standards body amid accusations of threatening behavior.…

Drupal warns of new remote-code bug, the second in four weeks

Ars Technica - 1 hour 9 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Lisa Brewster / Flickr)

For the second time in a month, websites that use the Drupal content management system are confronted with a stark choice: install a critical update or risk having your servers infected with ransomware or other nasties.

Maintainers of the open-source CMS built on the PHP programming language released an update patching critical remote-code vulnerability on Wednesday. The bug, formally indexed as CVE-2018-7602, exists within multiple subsystems of Drupal 7.x and 8.x. Drupal maintainers didn't provide details on how the vulnerability can be exploited other than to say attacks work remotely. The maintainers rated the vulnerability "critical" and urged websites to patch it as soon as possible.

That severity rating is one notch lower than the so-called "Drupalgeddon2" bug maintainers patched late last month. Formally indexed as CVE-2018-7600, that bug also made it possible for attackers to remotely execute code of their choice on vulnerable servers, in that case simply by accessing a URL and injecting exploit code. That issue became public shortly after the patch was released. Since then, multiple attack groups have been actively exploiting the critical flaw to install cryptocurrency miners and malware that performs denial-of-service attacks on other servers.

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Elon Musk building a cyborg dragon, because why not? - CNET - News - 1 hour 18 min ago
When you're Elon, there's no reason stop with electric cars, rockets, flamethrowers and tube transportation.

Artificial intelligence to aid emergency dispatchers in Europe - CNET - News - 1 hour 26 min ago
An AI system called Corti listens in on distress calls for signs of a heart attack and feeds info to human dispatchers. It's headed for wider testing later this year.

YouTube Kids to give parents more control over output

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 33 min ago
The firm has been criticised for using algorithms not human judgment to curate the app.

Enter for chance to win* a Hudly head-up display for your vehicle! - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 33 min ago
Two lucky winners will be able to project their navigation, infotainment and more, all within their line of sight with Hudly Wireless. This promotion ends May 9, 2018.

A fan-made Halo PC patch meets Microsoft’s legal muscle—and apparently survives

Ars Technica - 1 hour 44 min ago

Enlarge / Want to play the canceled Halo Online project on your PC? Go through the right hoops, and you can still do so, even in spite of Microsoft's legal action this week. (credit: Microsoft / El Dewrito)

On Tuesday, Microsoft's Halo development studio 343 Industries posted about a fan-made modification to a PC version of the series—and the studio said that Microsoft would "protect its Halo intellectual property." This, for all intents and purposes, sounded like yet another story of a fan-made game-tribute project facing a swift, legal smackdown.

But the story of the ElDewrito patch, designed for 2015's Russia-only game Halo Online, appears to be a little more nuanced, if not complicated. The ElDewrito version of Halo Online is still online and functioning, with thousands of players matchmaking in its wholly free online multiplayer lobbies as of press time. Its Github repository is still online, which means the open source patch can still be downloaded. And the patch builders' official blog says the team did not receive a formal cease-and-desist order from either Microsoft or 343 Industries.

The result is fascinating: a solid, Windows-compatible version of classic Halo 3 combat is in the wild. Now Microsoft's required legal action is being announced alongside an apparent intent to do what the modders were already doing—to finally get more classic Halo games working for PC gamers.

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Facebook puts ex-FCC Chair in charge of public policy - CNET - News - 1 hour 46 min ago
Former Republican FCC chairman Kevin Martin will take the lead on US lobbying efforts for Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, while chief privacy officer Erin Egan focuses on rebuilding trust in the company.

PC recycler gets 15 months in the clink for whipping up 28,000 bootleg Windows 7, XP recovery discs

The Register - 1 hour 47 min ago
E-waste activist's appeal fails as Redmond scores a win

PC reseller Eric Lundgren will spend the next 15 months behind bars after a US Court of Appeals upheld his sentence on charges of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and criminal copyright infringement.…

Bosch says it can fix diesel if you'll just give it one more chance, baby - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 52 min ago
The German technology supplier believes it has nailed the problem of diesel emissions using artificial intelligence.

Soft and silent eel-like robot can sneak around underwater - CNET - News - 1 hour 53 min ago
A transparent eel-like robot that swims with artificial muscles could one day lurk in the ocean to study the underwater world.

Behind the scenes with the hackers who unlocked the Nintendo Switch

Ars Technica - 1 hour 58 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

For end users, Monday's public disclosure of the Fusée Gelée exploit will make it relatively simple to run arbitrary code on the Nintendo Switch and other Nvidia Tegra X1-based hardware. For Kate Temkin and the hackers at Team ReSwitched, though, discovering and publicizing the exploit was full of technical and ethical difficulties.

ReSwitched's work on the Switch began last year, Temkin tells Ars, with an engineer going by the handle Hedgeberg working on "voltage glitching, a technique where we very, very briefly momentarily deprived the processor of power in order to make it misbehave. On Tegra X1 processors, if you precisely time that power 'glitch,' you can actually bypass the point where the system 'locks' the bootROM—effectively bypassing the mechanism that keeps the bootROM code secret."

By October, the team had used this method to extract a copy of that secretive bootROM, and by January, Temkin says she was spending weeks reverse-engineering and documenting that code. That process "involves comparing views of machine code we'd extracted to Nvidia's technical documentation and gradually inferring what the code was intended to do," Temkin said.

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Fitbit restores Versa connectivity after earlier outage - CNET - News - 2 hours 5 min ago
Apps for the Versa and Ionic smartwatches are working again after a glitch made them unresponsive for several hours.

The iPhone X Plus could copy the Galaxy Note with an 'iPen' - CNET - News - 2 hours 7 min ago
Analysts claim that the premium 2018 iPhone will support Apple Pencil.

Lynk & Co 01 SUV will debut in Europe in 2020 as a PHEV - Roadshow - News - 2 hours 9 min ago
Chinese auto startup Lynk & Co lays out its plan for penetrating the European market and it hinges on the 01 PHEV.

Don't panic! Amazon, Google aren't in a NYSE meltdown - CNET - News - 2 hours 29 min ago
A suspension of trading for key tech companies had people wondering what was going on. It turns out to be a trading bug.

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