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Don’t buy a Mercedes-AMG GT R unless you plan on taking it to the track

Ars Technica - March 24, 2019 - 3:00pm

As a beginner or even intermediate musician, you do not hop up on stage with jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie (were he still alive). If you're not confident in your ability to keep up with all the chord changes, where you are in the song's form, or the sheer tempo blowing by like a runaway train, it becomes a disaster. But overcoming intimidation and stretching one's self is part of musical growth. The Mercedes-AMG GT R is the automotive Dizzy Gillespie and taking the wheel is the equivalent of sitting in with him. The timid will run away. But then they'd never know how easy it could actually be to sit in with the jazz master.

With aggressive spoilers, a gaping and hungry toothed grille, huge tires and a pounding V8 engine, the AMG GT R glowers as you approach it, much like an imposing Gillespie might at an open jam session... until the music starts. If the GT R could bark or snarl, it would do that, too. Turns out, though, that the big attitude is largely show.

The AMG GT R does not start life as a normal GT or GT S model with additional boost shoveled on top. And you would be a certifiable lunatic to approach anything even half-way near its limits on public roads.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

I played 11 Assassin’s Creed games in 11 years, and Odyssey made them all worth it

Ars Technica - March 24, 2019 - 2:00pm

I've been a dedicated fan of the Assassin's Creed video game franchise for 11 years. It hasn't always been a happy relationship. While the early games captured my imagination and introduced me to whole new modes of gameplay, the series' middle years were laden with misfires, feature bloat, and other serious problems.

I often look at fans raging against the companies that make their favorite franchises—Bethesda or Blizzard are the two most common targets I see—and shake my head in bewilderment. "If you hate their work so much, why don't you just play something else and let everyone else enjoy their games? It's not like there's a shortage of great games to try," I say.

But as I looked back on more than a decade of playing Assassin's Creed games to write this article, I for the first time kind of understood loving something so much that its stumbles make you feel not just disappointed, but a little mad.

Read 73 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Local leaders cooling to Boring Company tunnel promises

Ars Technica - March 24, 2019 - 1:00pm

Enlarge / The Boring Company tunnel entrance with a Telsa on an elevator to lower it down to tunnel-level. (credit: The Boring Company)

Virginia state transit officials are telling The Boring Company "thanks but no thanks," at least for now. The Virginia Mercury reported yesterday that the state's chief of rail transportation, Michael McLaughlin, was not sufficiently impressed by his recent visit to Elon Musk's test tunnel in California to recommend that the state work with the startup.

"It's a car in a very small tunnel," McLaughlin reportedly told the state's Transportation Board public transit subcommittee this week. "If one day we decide it's feasible, we'll obviously come back to you," he added.

Virginia's Transportation Board has been contemplating billion-dollar upgrades to the state's more populated areas, but the promise of The Boring Company is opaque enough that officials are hesitant to engage with the company, even at the cut-rate prices that founder Musk has promised.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Tesla sues Zoox over manufacturing and logistics secrets

Ars Technica - March 24, 2019 - 12:35pm

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

On Wednesday night, Tesla sued four former employees and the self-driving startup Zoox for misappropriation of trade secrets. No, you're not having driverless-car lawsuit déjà vu—you're just remembering the time last year when Waymo and Uber settled their own trade secrets case after four days of trial.

Tesla’s suit, filed in the Northern California federal district court, alleges that four of its former employees took proprietary information related to “warehousing, logistics, and inventory control operations” when they left the electric automaker, and later, while working for Zoox, used that proprietary information to improve its technology and operations.

Tesla says the former employees—Scott Turner, Sydney Cooper, Christian Dement, and Craig Emigh—worked in product distribution and warehouse supervising. It alleges that they forwarded the trade secrets to their own personal email accounts or the accounts of other former Tesla employees. “You sly dog you …” Turner allegedly wrote in the body of an email he sent himself, attaching “confidential and proprietary Tesla receiving and inventory procedures, as well as internal schematics and line drawings of the physical layouts of certain Tesla warehouses,” the company's lawyers write in their complaint.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Liveblog: Apple unveils its TV service and more at the March 25 “It’s show time” event

Ars Technica - March 24, 2019 - 12:00pm

Enlarge / The event invite strongly hints at the upcoming video service. (credit: Apple)

CUPERTINO, Calif.—At 10am Pacific on Monday, March 25, Apple and its partners will take the stage at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Calif., to talk about a new TV-streaming platform, a new magazine-subscription service, and possibly much more. We'll be liveblogging the event as it happens, so join us here a few minutes before the show for all the updates.

Apple has been signaling to investors, partners, and customers for many months that it will increase its focus on services—always-available, ever-growing content and software offerings—more in the future, as that is the part of its business it expects to grow the fastest. Monday's "It's show time" event will be unusual in that it is expected to focus more on those services than any prior Apple event.

Some hardware announcements were strong possibilities due to timing and reports across the Web—namely, new iPads, AirPods, and iMacs, plus a new iPod touch and AirPower charging mat.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

How Pope Francis could shape the future of robotics

BBC Technology News - March 24, 2019 - 1:26am
Pope Francis hosts discussions on the future of robotics and ethics at the Vatican in Rome.

Comic for March 23, 2019

Dilbert - March 24, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Insider Threats Pose the Biggest Security Risk

Slashdot - March 24, 2019 - 12:15am
Categories: Geek, Opinion

US computer science grads outperforming those in other key nations

Ars Technica - March 23, 2019 - 10:30pm

Enlarge (credit: David Goehring / Flickr)

There's a steady flow of reports regarding the failures of the US education system. Read the right things and you'll come away convinced that early grades fail to teach basic skills, later grades fail to prepare students for college, and colleges students fail so much that they can't cope with the world outside the campus walls. But this week brought a bit of good news for one particular area: college-level computer science programs appear to be graduating some very competitive students.

This comes despite the fact that US students enter colleges behind their peers in other countries.

The work, done by an international team of researchers, compares US college seniors to those of three countries where US companies have outsourced some of their work: China, India, and Russia. All of these countries have a reputation for first-rate computing talent, with India and China developing large internal markets as well. Many students from these countries also come to study in the US, while Russia and China have been involved in cyber attacks against the United States and/or companies based here.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments


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