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Industry & Technology

Human rights expert to keep Zuckerberg in check

BBC Technology News - 37 min 12 sec ago
Freedom of speech campaigner Thomas Hughes joins Facebook to lead its new oversight board.

Huawei set for limited role in UK 5G networks

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 37 min ago
The US failed to convince the prime minister to ban the Chinese firm from any involvement.

Bethesda restores characters who lost their clothes in Fallout 76 hack

Ars Technica - 2 hours 27 min ago

A now-infamous video shows dozens of players having the clothes literally stolen off their backs as the result of a Fallout 76 hack last month.

Last month, Fallout 76 saw the emergence of a damaging new hack that let attackers literally steal the clothes off other players' backs. Now, Bethesda is making affected players whole (and clothed) again via a roundabout method that involves clones of their past selves.

The inventory theft hack, which targeted the PC version of the game, was widely popularized in a December 22 video showing a player stealing gear from dozens of fellow players, who go from fully clothed to standing in their underwear in the blink of an eye. Players quickly threw up warnings and evidence of the hack's spread on Reddit and looked for answers from the game's developer.

By December 23, Bethesda had acknowledged the hack and said it "may have resulted in a few players losing items that their characters had equipped," in a Reddit post. A patch soon followed to prevent further in-game thievery, but players that had their items stolen were still left without even the shirt on their virtual backs.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

5G explained in 45 seconds

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 40 min ago
How are 5G, or fifth generation, mobile networks different to what's come before?

Huawei: How the UK's decision affects the rest of the world

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 45 min ago
Germany and India are among the countries still weighing up use of the Chinese firm's 5G kit.

Ring doorbell 'gives Facebook and Google user data'

BBC Technology News - 3 hours 2 min ago
The Ring app sends a range of personal information to marketing companies, a study suggests.

Video: How Myst’s designers stuffed an entire universe onto a single CD-ROM

Ars Technica - 3 hours 32 min ago

Video shot and directed by Justin Wolfson. Edited by Aulistar Mark. Click here for transcript.

Although the passage of time serves to make the past seem sweeter in recollection than it might have been in the moment, it's impossible to deny that there was something special about the gaming landscape of the 1990s. Every year in that decade brought a torrent of titles that were destined to become classics—including the often-imitated-but-ultimately-inimitible Myst.

Myst came to market in 1993, which was a banner year in PC gaming—1993 also brought us X-Wing, Doom, Syndicate, and Day of the Tentacle, among others. It's fascinating that Myst happened the same year that Doom launched, too—both games attempted to simulate reality, but with vastly different approaches. Doom was a hard and fast shotgun blast to the face, visceral and intense, aiming to capture the feeling of hunting (and being hunted by) demons in close sci-fi corridors; Myst was a love letter to mystery and exploration at its purest.

A few months back, Ars caught up with Myst developer Rand Miller (who co-created the game with his brother Robyn Miller) at the Cyan offices in Washington state to ask about the process of bringing the haunting island world to life. Myst's visuals lived at the cutting edge of what interactive CD-ROM technology could deliver at the beginning of the multimedia age, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, fitting the breadth of the Millers' vision onto CD-ROM didn't happen without some challenges.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The tools and tricks that let Ars Technica function without a physical office

Ars Technica - 4 hours 3 min ago

Enlarge / Stepping outside the Ars Orbiting HQ for a brief moment to take a space selfie. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

We're running a new series on Ars over the next few weeks about “the future of work,” which will involve (among other things) some predictions about how folks in and out of offices will do their future officing. To start, let's take a tour of the fabled Ars Orbiting HQ—because we've learned a lot about how work works in the future, and we'd love to share some details about how we do what we do.

Ars bucks the trend of most digital newsrooms in that we truly are an all-digital newsroom. While we have mail stops at the Condé Nast mothership in New York, there is no physical Ars Technica editorial office. Instead, Ars Technica's 30-ish editorial staff work from their homes in locations scattered across the country. We’ve got folks in all US time zones and even a few contributors in far-flung locations across the Atlantic.

Marshaling this many remote staffers into a news-and-feature-writing machine can have its challenges, but Ars has operated this way for more than twenty years. We’ve gotten pretty good at it, all things considered. The main way to make it work is to hire self-sufficient, knowledge-hungry people, but another major part of our remote work philosophy is flexibility. Not everyone works the same way, and remote work should never be treated like a one-size-fits-all, time-clocked job. Also, tools matter—you can’t expect people to do collaborative jobs like writing and editing without giving them the right hardware and software.

Read 66 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Grubhub defends adding restaurants without telling them

BBC Technology News - 4 hours 36 min ago
The practice is angering some restaurant owners.

Cadillac enhances Super Cruise, adds lane change on demand

Ars Technica - 5 hours 37 min ago

Enlarge / The updated Super Cruise has a new UI. (credit: Cadillac)

General Motors' Super Cruise is widely recognized to be the best of the so-called "Level 2+" driver assists. It combines adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping with a geofence—so it only operates on divided-lane highways—plus an infrared driver monitoring system that only allows for hands-free operation when it knows the person behind the wheel has their eyes on the road ahead. On Tuesday morning, Cadillac announced that it's rolling out an enhanced version this year that includes the ability to change lanes on demand.

"This is our most extensive update we’ve made to Super Cruise since its debut," said Mario Maiorana, Super Cruise chief engineer. "We have made a number of improvements to make Super Cruise more intuitive, better performing and more accessible for our customers. In addition to the automated lane change functionality, we’ve made improvements to the user interface and hands-free driving dynamics."

Currently, if you're Super Cruising along one of the 200,000 miles (321,868km) of lidar-mapped highways in a Cadillac CT6 and you want to change lanes, it's all down to you to execute the maneuver. You check there's a gap, indicate (please remember to use your turn signal), and as you begin applying torque to the wheel the system temporarily disengages, giving you full control. You know you're in charge because the strip of LEDs in the steering wheel go from green to blue. Once you're traveling straight and true again, the system can re-engage, the LEDs turn green, and you can go back to vogueing, doing 'big fish little fish cardboard box," or even jazz hands, while all around you everyone else has to keep their mitts on the rim.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

How a $300 projector can fool Tesla’s Autopilot

Ars Technica - 6 hours 37 min ago

Enlarge / This image, taken from the interior of a Tesla Model X, shows a projected image of a car in front of the Model X. The inset in the bottom right, created by Nassi from the Model X's logs, shows the Model X detecting the projection as a real car. (credit: Ben Nassi)

Six months ago, Ben Nassi, a PhD student at Ben-Gurion University advised by Professor Yuval Elovici, carried off a set of successful spoofing attacks against a Mobileye 630 Pro Driver Assist System using inexpensive drones and battery-powered projectors. Since then, he has expanded the technique to experiment—also successfully—with confusing a Tesla Model X and will be presenting his findings at the Cybertech Israel conference in Tel Aviv.

The spoofing attacks largely rely on the difference between human and AI image recognition. For the most part, the images Nassi and his team projected to troll the Tesla would not fool a typical human driver—in fact, some of the spoofing attacks were nearly steganographic, relying on the differences in perception not only to make spoofing attempts successful but also to hide them from human observers.

Nassi created a video outlining what he sees as the danger of these spoofing attacks, which he called "Phantom of the ADAS," and a small website offering the video, an abstract outlining his work, and the full reference paper itself. We don't necessarily agree with the spin Nassi puts on his work—for the most part, it looks to us like the Tesla responds pretty reasonably and well to these deliberate attempts to confuse its sensors. We do think this kind of work is important, however, as it demonstrates the need for defensive design of semi-autonomous driving systems.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Huawei: Is it a security threat and what will be its role in UK 5G?

BBC Technology News - 7 hours 8 min ago
Is Chinese tech giant Huawei really a security risk, and what will be its role in the UK's 5G network?

Huawei: What is 5G's core and why protect it?

BBC Technology News - 7 hours 18 min ago
The UK has confirmed Huawei will be allowed to be part of its 5G networks - but with restrictions.

Keeping your phone safe from prying eyes

BBC Technology News - 9 hours 23 min ago
A hack which stops people going through your phone when you want to show them something.

Huawei 5G verdict is a decision 'with few good options'

BBC Technology News - 17 hours 9 min ago
The government is due to decide later whether to ban Huawei from the UK's 5G networks.

Twitter and Facebook accounts for 15 NFL teams hacked

BBC Technology News - 18 hours 11 min ago
The American football teams were targeted by a group that said the accounts had lax security.

How microwaves and electricity are killing weeds

BBC Technology News - 18 hours 30 min ago
Electricity and microwaves are being used to kill weeds as alternatives are sought to chemicals.

Meadowhall facial recognition scheme troubles watchdog

BBC Technology News - 18 hours 39 min ago
Regulator calls for inspections after details of police tie-up with Meadowhall scheme emerge.

Planned nuclear storage material could decay faster than expected

Ars Technica - 19 hours 20 min ago

Enlarge / Waste in a temporary storage facility. (credit: Scott Peters, US House)

A number of countries, including the United States, have been planning for long-term storage of nuclear wastes. While many of these nations plan to keep the waste isolated from water, that's not something that can be guaranteed over the extremely long lifespans of the waste. If water reaches the radioactive isotopes, there's the chance that the isotopes could contaminate the groundwater in the area and spread well beyond the site of the storage repository.

To prevent that, plans are to have multiple layers of defense. The waste itself will be incorporated into a chemically inert, insoluble glass. And the glass itself will be placed in a stainless steel flask that will keep it from mixing with the surroundings.

Each of those materials seems to work well in tests. But now, a large team of researchers has found that, in combination, the materials aren't as robust as we'd like them to be. The problems only occur if water somehow gets into the container, but if it does, the interface between the glass and stainless steel actually accelerates chemical reactions that degrade both.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The silenced YouTube stars of Indian-administered Kashmir

BBC Technology News - 19 hours 20 min ago
Kashmiri Kalkharabs, a popular Kashmiri YouTube channel, has been forced into silence since August.

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