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Comic for November 22, 2019

Dilbert - November 23, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Review: Frozen II is fun family fare with stunning visuals and so-so soundtrack

Ars Technica - 23 min 9 sec ago

Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell reprise their voice roles as sisters Elsa and Anna in Walt Disney Animation’s Frozen II.

Let it go, let it goooo.... Just when that tune was starting to fade from our collective brain, Elsa, Anna and the gang are back with another mystical adventure in Frozen II, the sequel to Disney's blockbuster 2013 hit, Frozen. It's well-made, fun family fare with gorgeous visuals—we'd expect nothing less from the Mouse House—but somehow never quite achieves the same emotional resonance of the original.

(Spoilers for original Frozen below; mild spoilers for Frozen II.)

The first film told the story of two princesses of Arendelle. The elder, Elsa (Idina Menzel), has the power to control and create ice and snow, but she struggles to control it. When she accidentally injures her young sister Anna (Kristen Bell), local trolls heal Anna but caution that Elsa must learn to control her magic. In response, their parents lock them both away. When Elsa turns 21, she's crowned queen, but a spat with Anna after the coronation reveals her magic. She's exiled from the kingdom, flees to the mountains, and builds a gorgeous castle of ice and snow in which to live out her days in isolation. But she doesn't realize Arendelle has also frozen over, endangering the people.

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At launch, AT&T’s real 5G will only be as fast as its fake 5G

Ars Technica - 37 min 27 sec ago

Enlarge / An AT&T sign outside a company office in New York City. (credit: Getty Images | Roberto Machado Noa )

AT&T will soon offer 5G mobile service on its 850MHz spectrum, which will enable wider coverage than existing 5G networks but offer only 4G-like speeds at launch. Significant speed increases will arrive in 2020, AT&T says.

The 5G networks already deployed by carriers use millimeter-wave signals that don't travel far and are easily blocked by walls and other obstacles. This has resulted in coverage maps with small pockets of 5G, and 4G just about everywhere else.

But 5G can work on all frequencies, such as the lower-band frequencies used by 4G. There isn't as much spectrum available on these bands, so you won't see anything like the huge speed increases available on millimeter-wave spectrum. But 5G on low-band spectrum will cover wider areas and indoor spaces and hopefully bring some speed increases—Verizon says 5G on the lower bands will be like "good 4G."

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The hidden gems of Apple Arcade

Ars Technica - 47 min 9 sec ago

The biggest problem facing games on the App Store has always been one of discovery. If a game doesn’t make it to the Featured section, or if it isn’t a massive hit, you’re probably not going to find it just by casually browsing.

Apple Arcade, with its smaller, more carefully curated library, helps remedy that problem a bit. But with dozens of games included in an Apple Arcade subscription, it’s still hard to find the hidden gems languishing behind those few hyped in the spotlight. In between the Sayonara Wild Hearts (which is beautiful) and Grindstone (oh, is it 2am already?) are games that you absolutely should be playing, if only you knew to take the time.

Well, friend, I'm here for you with my own tasting menu of hidden Apple Arcade delights. Here’s a sampler of some of the best entries on offer, chosen for their quality, inventiveness, and suitability for playing on a phone. (Though, if you have an Apple TV, I definitely recommend using it for more than Netflix).

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DOD joins fight against 5G spectrum proposal, citing risks to GPS

Ars Technica - 1 hour 8 min ago

Enlarge / How did we get here again? (credit: US Marine Corps / DVIDS)

The Department of Defense has weighed in against a proposal before the Federal Communications Commission to open the 1 to 2 Gigahertz frequency range—the L band—for use in 5G cellular networks. The reason: segments of that range of radio spectrum are already used by Global Positioning System signals and other military systems.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper pressed for the rejection of the proposal by Ligado Networks (formerly known as Lightspeed), saying, "There are too many unknowns and the risks are far too great to federal operations to allow Ligado’s proposed system to proceed... This could have a significant negative impact on military operations, both in peacetime and war."

The FCC has already largely brushed aside similar opposition from NASA, the US Navy, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, among others, over another spectrum block in the 24GHz range—which is used by weather satellites for remote monitoring of water vapor. But comments are still being collected on the Ligado plan for sharing the 1675 to 1680MHz block of the L Band. Pai has been supportive of the plan because that range is adjacent to the existing 1670 to 1675MHz block already in use for wireless services.

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