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Stealth turns 40: Looking back at the first flight of Have Blue

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Enlarge / One of the two Have Blue prototypes sits in a hangar at Lockheed's Skunk Works in Burbank, California in this 1978 photo. The aircraft was the first real "stealth" aircraft, designed to have a radar cross section the size of "an eagle's eyeball".Lockheed Martin On December 1, 1977, a truly strange bird took flight for the first time in the skies over a desolate corner of Nevada. Looking more like a giant faceted gemstone than something designed to lift-off, the aircraft (nicknamed the "Hopeless Diamond") had been flown ou... Read More
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ISS astronauts will get their own Star Wars premiere—in space

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Enlarge / In space, no one can hear you stream. Because the latency would kill you.NASA When you're orbiting 400 kilometers above the Earth, getting to the movie-plex to watch the latest science fiction blockbuster is a bit of a drag. But the current crew of the International Space Station will still be able to watch ... Read More
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Microsoft is forcing users to install a critically flawed password manager

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EnlargeMicrosoft Microsoft is quietly forcing some Windows 10 computers to install a password manager that contains a critical vulnerability disclosed 16 months ago that allows websites to steal passwords, a researcher said Friday. Google Project Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy said in a blog post that the Keeper Password Manager came pre-installed on a newly built Windows 10 syst... Read More
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Residential, utility solar installation falls due to investment trends, Tesla

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The third quarter of 2017 has been an unusually slow one for the solar industry, according to a report from GTM Research released on Thursday. US solar installations fell to their lowest overall level since 2015, and residential and utility-scale solar projects fell quarter over quarter. The only silver lining has been non-residential (largely commercial and community) solar installations, driven by developers in California, New York, and Massachusetts rushing to take advantage of state-level incentives, as well as installations in Minnesota boosted by Xcel Energy's ... Read More
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Bitcoin beyond the basics: How the $250 billion network really works

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EnlargeThe Matrix / Aurich The soaring price of bitcoin—the virtual currency is now worth more than $250 billion—has gotten a lot of attention in recent weeks. But the real significance of bitcoin isn't just its rising value. It's the technological breakthrough that allowed the network to exist in the first place. Bitcoin's still anonymous inventor, who went by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, figured out a completely new way for a decentralized network to reach a consensus about a shared transaction ledger. This innovation made possible the... Read More
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The 2017 Ars Technica gadget gift guide: Power-user edition

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Enlarge / What many Arsians have on their wishlists this holiday season...Mark Walton It’s the holidays, which means it’s once again time to rack your brain in search of the right gifts for the right people. If someone on your list is into tech, though, we’ve got your back. For this year’s edition of the Ars Technica holiday gift guide, we’re breaking down our recommendations into themes. Our fourth and final crop of recommendations are for power users, or people who immerse t... Read More
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DOD shows components proving Iran provided missiles fired at Saudi Arabia

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks about evidence of Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East and Iran’s effort to cover up continued violations of UN resolutions at a press conference at Joint Base Anacostia-Boling. Department of Defense An Iranian unmanned aerial attack vehicle on display at Joint Base Anacostia-Boling. Serial numbers and markings were noted as evidence of the origin of the drone. The ballistic missile components on display at the ... Read More
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Game-changing attack on critical infrastructure site causes outage

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Power grid in Gowkthrapple, UK.geograph.org.uk Hackers who may have been working on behalf of a nation recently caused an operational outage at a critical-infrastructure site, researchers said Thursday. The attackers did so by using a novel piece of malware to target the system that prevents health- and life-threatening accidents. The malware was most likely designed to cause physical damage inside the unnamed site, researchers from the Mandiant division of security firm FireEye ... Read More
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Goodbye, net neutrality—Ajit Pai’s FCC votes to allow blocking and throttling

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Enlarge / Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai arrives for his confirmation hearing with the Senate Commerce Committee on July 19, 2017 in Washington, DC.Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla The Federal Communications Commission voted today to deregulate the broadband industry and elimi... Read More
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Target acquires Shipt, will roll out $99/year, same-day delivery

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EnlargeShipt The battle between Amazon and Walmart is widely known, but Target is now entering the space in a new way. Target announced its plans to buy Shipt, a grocery delivery startup, in a $550 million all-cash deal. Born in 2014, Shipt lets members order groceries online from various supermarkets and then sends a shopper to pick... Read More
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Disney to buy part of 21st Century Fox for $52 billion

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Enlarge20th Century Fox Disney announced today that it will acquire a huge portion of 21st Century Fox in an all-stock deal valued at $52.4 billion. As part of the deal, Disney will own 21st Century Fox's film and television studios, some of its cable networks, and international TV businesses, as well as popular titles including The Simpsons, X-Men, and Avatar. The deal represents a huge shift in conten... Read More
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Dead people among millions impersonated in fake net neutrality comments

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Enlarge / An analysis from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.New York Attorney General's office An analysis of public comments on the FCC's plan to repeal net neutrality rules found that 2 million of them were filed using stolen identities. That's according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. "Millions of fake comments have corrupted the FCC public process—including two million that stole the identities of real people, a crime under New York law,"... Read More
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“Suspicious” event routes traffic for big-name sites through Russia

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EnlargeBGPMon Traffic sent to and from Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft was briefly routed through a previously unknown Russian Internet provider Wednesday under circumstances researchers said was suspicious and intentional. The unexplained incident involving the Internet's Border Gateway Protocol is the latest to raise troubling questions about the trust... Read More
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Any lawful device: Nearly 50 years after the Carterfone decision

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Enlarge / Ever hear of this classic tech? As tomorrow's FCC net neutrality vote looms, Ars has been sharing as much of our reporting on the topic as possible. And this week, a longtime reader nudged us about this classic on the FCC's Carterfone decision from nearly 50 years ago. "This story is extremely relevant to the current Net Neutrality debate in that it provides a historical precedent to debunk arguments a... Read More
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Even some Republican congresspeople oppose full net neutrality repeal

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EnlargeGetty Images | Linda Braucht A few Republican lawmakers are breaking with the party in order to oppose or express skepticism about tomorrow's Federal Communications Commission vote to eliminate net neutrality rules. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) yesterday ... Read More
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1998 attack that messes with sites’ secret crypto keys is back in a big way

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Yuri Samoilov/FlickrA surprisingly big number of top-name websites—Facebook and PayPal among them—recently tested positive for a critical, 19-year-old vulnerability that allowed attackers to decrypt encrypted data and sign communications using the si... Read More
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Net neutrality supporters “break the Internet” in latest protest

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The pro-net neutrality message on Reddit's technology subreddit was impossible to miss and linked visitors to Battleforthenet.com. Reddit was just one of many websites pointing visitors to Battleforthenet, a joint project by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press Action Fund. Battle for the Net ... Read More
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Ajit Pai claims net neutrality hurt small ISPs, but data says otherwise

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EnlargeGetty Images | olm26250 With days to go before his repeal of net neutrality rules, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a press release about five small ISPs that he says were harmed by the rules. Pai "held a series of telephone calls with small Internet service providers across the country—from Oklahoma to Ohio, from Montana to Minnesota," his press release said. On these calls, "one constant the... Read More
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Apollo 8 and the 50/50 bet that won the Space Race for America

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Video shot by Joshua Ballinger, edited and produced by Jing Niu and David Minick. Click here for transcript. By the summer of 1968, a sense of deep unease had engulfed the American republic. Early in the year, the Tet Offensive smashed any lingering illusions of a quick victory in the increasingly bloody Vietnam conflict. Race relations boiled over in April when a single rifle bullet took the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Two months later, as Bobby Kennedy walked through a hotel kitchen, he was shot in the head. The red, white, and bl... Read More
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Nope, this isn’t the HTTPS-validated Stripe website you think it is

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EnlargeIan Carroll For a decade, some security professionals have held out extended validation certificates as an innovation in website authentication because they require the person applying for the credential to undergo legal vetting. That's a step up from less stringent domain validation that requires applicants to merely demonstrate co... Read More
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FCC explains how net neutrality will be protected without net neutrality rules

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Enlarge / Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai arrives for his confirmation hearing with the Senate Commerce Committee on July 19, 2017 in Washington, DC.Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla The Federal Communications Commission is still on track to eliminate net neutrality rules this Thursday, but said today t... Read More
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Hackers hit key ATM network in crime spree that clears $10 million

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Enlarge / A timeline of MoneyTaker hacking group.Group-IB A previously undetected hacker group has netted around $10 million in heists on at least 20 companies, in some cases by targeting the transfer networks banks use to transfer money, a Moscow-based security firm said Monday. Members of the MoneyTaker group, named after a piece of custom malware it uses, started its heist spree no later than May 2016. That's when it penetrated an unname... Read More
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Net neutrality repeal based on false description of Internet, inventors say

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EnlargeGetty Images | Yagi Studio The Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality repeal "is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology," a group of inventors and technologists told members of Congress and the FCC in a letter today. The letter's 21 signers include Internet Protocol co-inventor Vint Cerf; World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee; Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, public-key cryptography inventors Whitfield Diffie and... Read More
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Laptop touchpad driver included extra feature: a keylogger

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Valentina Palladino Flaws in software often offer a potential path for attackers to install malicious software, but you wouldn't necessarily expect a hardware vendor to include potentially malicious software built right into its device drivers. But that's exactly what a security researcher found while poking around the internals of a driver for a touchpad commonly used on HP notebook computers—a keystroke logger that could be turned on with a simple change to its configuration in the Windows registry. The logger, which could potentially be leveraged by an attacker or malware to harvest login credentials and other data, ... Read More
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FCC chair still refuses to help investigate net neutrality comment fraud

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EnlargeGetty Images | Peter Dazeley The Federal Communications Commission has again refused to help New York's attorney general investigate impersonation and other fraud in public comments on the FCC's net neutrality repeal. For the past six months, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been "investigating who perpetrated a massive scheme to corrupt the FCC's notice and comment process" by filing fraudulent comments under real people's names. But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's office has "refused ... Read More
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Top-selling handgun safe can be remotely opened in seconds—no PIN needed

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EnlargeTwo Sixes Labs One of Amazon's top-selling electronic gun safes contains a critical vulnerability that allows it to be opened by virtually anyone, even when they don't know the password. The Vaultek VT20i handgun safe, ranked fourth in Amazon's gun safes and cabinets category, allows owners to electronically open the door using a B... Read More
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Ajit Pai jokes about being a brainwashed Verizon puppet leading the FCC

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at Fox Studios on November 10, 2017 in New York City.Getty Images | John Lamparski On Thursday night in Washington, DC, net neutrality advocates gathered outside the annual Federal Communications Commission Chairman's Dinner to protest Chairman Ajit Pai's impending rollback of net neutrality rules. Inside the dinner (also known as the "telecom prom") at the Washington Hilton, Pai entertained the audience with jokes about him being a puppet installed by Verizon to lead the FCC. Pai was a Verizon associate gen... Read More
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Ars Technica’s ultimate board game buyer’s guide

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Enlarge The holiday gift-buying season is upon us, and that can mean only one thing: it's time to buy way too many board games. For this year's board game buyer's guide, we went big—close to 10,000 words big. We split the guide into categories for easy reading, with around five solid choices for each type of gamer. We couldn't include all of our favorite recommendations, of course (we have a lot of opinions about board games), but we love all the games on this list. Whether your giftee is a new gamer, a grizzled veteran, or someone who doesn't know the f... Read More
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Dubious claim of week: Air Force’s “EMP missile” could disable N. Korean ICBMs

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Frying computers like a CHAMP?Boeing On Monday, NBC Nightly News broadcast a report claiming that White House officials had discussed using an experimental weapon to disrupt or disable a North Korean missile launch. The weapon in question, the product of the US Air Force's Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP), uses bursts of microwave energy to disable electronic devices such as computers, communications and air defens... Read More
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How the net neutrality repeal helps ISPs keep their hidden fees hidden

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EnlargeGetty Images | Nicholas Rigg Hidden fees that show up on broadband bills after customers sign up for service have long been a source of frustration for Internet users. Because advertised prices often don't reflect the full cost of service, the Federal Communications Commission in 2015 forced ISPs to be more transparent with customers about hidden fees and the consequences of exceeding data caps. The new requirements were p... Read More
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Tom Wheeler slams Ajit Pai’s plan to kill net neutrality rules

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Enlarge / Then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler with current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai testify before the House Judiciary Committee about Internet regulation on March 25, 2015 in Washington, DC.Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla Former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler took aim at his successor's plan to eliminate net neutrality rules today, saying that FCC Chairman ... Read More
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Exposed: Ethiopia’s nefarious, comically bungled spyware campaign

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EnlargeCitizen Lab Researchers have uncovered a nefarious but comically incompetent spyware campaign that's targeting Ethiopian dissidents in the US, UK, and other countries. A report published Wednesday morning by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab said the campaign, which has operate... Read More
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“Malware-free” attacks mount in big breaches, CrowdStrike finds

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No file-based malware—or balaclava—was required for most of the attacks CrowdStrike investigated in the past year.Despite the rise of massive crypto-ransomware attacks, an even more troubling trend emerged in data gathered by the security firm CrowdStrike this past year and published in the company's 2017 "Intrusion Services Casebook." The majority of attacks the company responded to did not leverage file-based malware but instead exploited a combination of the native software of victims' systems, memory-only malware, and stolen credentials to gain access and persist on the targeted networks. ... Read More
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Net neutrality protests start Thursday—how to find one near you

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Enlarge / Supporters of net neutrality protest outside a Federal Building in Los Angeles, California on November 28, 2017.Getty Images | NurPhoto Net neutrality supporters plan a nationwide series of protests starting Thursday outside Verizon stores, where they will express their opposition to the pending repeal of net neutrality rules. You can find local protests by going to this webpage and... Read More
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Mastermind behind sophisticated, massive botnet outs himself

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EnlargeInvestigative Committee of Belarus The mastermind behind some of the world's biggest and longest-running botnets has been jailed and his vast criminal infrastructure has been taken down, in part because of a careless operational security blunder that allowed authorities to identify his anonymous online persona. Officials from the Republic of Be... Read More
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100,000-strong botnet built on router 0-day could strike at any time

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Attackers have used an advanced new strain of the Mirai Internet-of-things malware to quietly amass an army of 100,000 home routers that could be used at any moment to wage Internet-paralyzing attacks, a researcher warned Monday. Botnet operators have been regularly releasing new versions of Mirai since the source code was openly published 14 months ago. Usually, the new versions contain minor tweaks, many of which contain amateur mistakes that prevent the new releases from having the punch of the original Mirai, which played a key role in a series of distributed denial-of-se... Read More
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The Greatest Leap, Part 1: How the Apollo fire propelled NASA to the Moon

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Video shot and edited by Conde Nast Entertainment in cooperation with Ars Technica.Click here for transcript. Seated in Mission Control, Chris Kraft neared the end of a tedious Friday afternoon as he monitored a seemingly interminable ground test of the Apollo 1 spacecraft. It was January 1967, and communications between frustrated astronauts inside the capsule on its Florida launch pad and the test conductors in Houston sputtered periodically through his headset. His mind drifted. Sudden shouts snapped him to attention. In frantic cal... Read More
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Democrat asks why FCC is hiding ISPs’ answers to net neutrality complaints

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EnlargeGetty Images | Nicholas Rigg With a vote to eliminate net neutrality rules scheduled for December 14, the Federal Communications Commission apparently still hasn't released thousands of documents containing the responses ISPs made to net neutrality complaints. The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request in May of this year for tens of thousands of net neutrality complaints... Read More
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Charter brags about big speed boost—after saying Title II stalled investment

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EnlargeGetty Images | Oppenheim Bernhard Charter Communications is really excited to tell you about all its new broadband network investments. "Increasing Flagship Broadband Speeds; Giving Customers More For Less," is the title of the company's latest announcement on this topic. The second-largest cable company in the US has increased its standard download speed from 60Mbps to 100Mbps—"at no extra cost to our customers"—whil... Read More
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The 2017 Ars Technica gadget gift guide: Office and desk tech edition

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EnlargeMark Walton It’s the holidays, which means it’s once again time to rack your brain in search of the right gifts for the right people. If someone on your list is into tech, though, we’ve got your back. For this year’s edition of the Ars Technica holiday gift guide, we’re breaking down our recommendations into themes. The following crop of devices is centered on the office—be it at home or at work, the following gadgets are the kind of upgrade we’d welcome at our desk. Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for... Read More
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Sonnen, Pura Energía build solar systems in Puerto Rico as utility woes continue

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Enlarge / Solar panels visible over the roof of a community kitchen in Humacao, PR.Sonnen German battery company Sonnen and its Puerto Rican solar-installing partner, Pura Energía, announced that they've installed six solar-plus-storage systems around Puerto Rico, and have plans for nine more. The initial six systems were donated, according to... Read More
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Roku Ultra and Streaming Stick+ review: High-end streaming with low-end frills

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EnlargeSamuel Axon Roku players are the most popular dedicated TV streaming devices. That’s thanks in part to Roku’s commitment to serving the low end of the market with cheap streaming boxes made for 1080p TVs that don't have built-in smart TV features or apps. But can Roku compete with other devices at the high end, too? This year, Roku announced five... Read More
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Updating macOS can bring back the nasty “root” security bug

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EnlargeAndrew Cunningham The serious and surprising root security bug in macOS High Sierra is back for some users, shortly after Apple declared it fixed. Users who had not installed macOS 10.13.1 and thus were running a prior version of the OS when they rec... Read More
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AT&T says it never blocked apps, fails to mention how it blocked FaceTime

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Aurich LawsonAT&T's push to end net neutrality rules continued yesterday in a blog post that says the company has never blocked third-party applications and that it won't do so even after the rules are gone. Just one problem: the blog post fails to mention that AT&T blocked Apple's FaceTime video chat application on iPhones in 2012 and 2013. Policy Director Matt Wood of advocacy group Free Press pointed out the omission in a tweet: I guess you can credit Bob Quinn & ... Read More
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Comcast to customers: Just trust us about changed net neutrality pledges

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ComcastComcast is defending its changed net neutrality pledges in the face of criticism from Internet users. The deletion of a net neutrality promise immediately after the Federal Communications Commission started repealing its net neutrality rules is just a "language" change, the company says. Comcast is telling customers that it still has no plans to institute paid prioritization—while avoiding a promise that it won't do so in the future. We wrote a story Monday... Read More
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Latest North Korean ICBM capable of reaching US. So now what?

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Enlarge / Deal with it.Korean Central News Service / Sean Gallagher North Korea's latest intercontinental ballistic missile test demonstrates a number of things that are not good news for anyone hoping to prevent the country from becoming a global nuclear power. The missile, called the Hwasong-15, flew high enough (more than 4,400 kilometers, or 2,700 miles—more than 10 times the altitude of the International Space Station) and long enough (54 minutes) to demonstrate that it was capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to anywh... Read More
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The race to human-powered robot athletes is already underway

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Enlarge / Meet Prosthesis, just your ho-hum giant mech racing thing.Jonathan Tippett / Furrion If Jonathan Tippett had his way, the Olympics of the future would showcase more than mere humans—he foresees human-powered robot athletes, too. And at a Toronto tech event this July, the Canadian mechanical engineer asked us to imagine racing events where pilots would embed themselves in massive exo-bionic mechs. Think of it as a pimped-out version of the dual-arm power loader Ripley donned in ... Read More
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Charter is using net neutrality repeal to fight lawsuit over slow speeds

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Aurich LawsonThe impending repeal of net neutrality rules is being used by Charter Communications to fight a lawsuit that alleges the company made false promises of fast Internet service. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in February filed the lawsuit against Charter and its Time Warner Cable (TWC) subsidiary. Meanwhile, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai this month submitted a proposal to roll back the FCC's net neutrality rules ... Read More
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Sneakier, more persistent drive-by cryptomining comes to a browser near you

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Researchers have discovered a new technique that lets hackers and unscrupulous websites perform in-browser, drive-by cryptomining even after a user has closed the window for the offending site. Over the past month or two, drive-by cryptomining has emerged as a way to generate the cryptocurrency known as Monero. Hackers harness the electricity and CPU resources of millions of unsuspecting people as they visit hacked or deceitful websites. One researcher recently documented ... Read More
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Australian man uses snack bags as Faraday cage to block tracking by employer

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Dump out your snacks, block your boss' tracker.Doctorhawkes - camera, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53235787 A 60-year-old electrician in Perth, Western Australia had his termination upheld by a labor grievance commission when it was determined he had been abusing his position and technical knowledge to squeeze in some recreation during working hours. Tom Colella used mylar snack bags to block GPS tracking via his employer-assigned personal digi... Read More
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Comcast deleted net neutrality pledge the same day FCC announced repeal

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EnlargeMike Mozart We wrote earlier this week about how Comcast has changed its promises to uphold net neutrality by pulling back from previous statements that it won't charge websites or other online applications for fast lanes. Comcast spokesperson Sena Fitzmaurice has been ... Read More
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New security update fixes macOS root bug

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EnlargeSamuel Axon Yesterday we learned that Apple had made a serious security error in macOS—a bug that, under certain conditions, allowed anyone to log in as a system administrator on a Mac running High Sierra by simply typing in "root" as the username and leaving the password field blank. Apple says that vulnerability has now been fixed with a security update that became available for download this morning on the Mac App Store. Further, the update will automatically be applied to Macs running High Sierra 10.1... Read More
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Internet-paralyzing Mirai botnet comes roaring back with new strain

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Enlarge / One of the modems targeted by a newly discovered strain of Mirai.CenturyLink Mirai, the Internet-of-things malware that turns cameras, routers, and other household devices into potent distributed denial-of-service platforms, may be lying low, but it's certainly not dead. Last week, researchers identified a new outbreak that infected almost 100,000 devices in a matter of days. In September of last year, Mirai emerged as a force to be reckoned with when it played a key role in ... Read More
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macOS bug lets you log in as admin with no password required

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EnlargePatrick Wardle In one of Apple's biggest security blunders in years, a bug in macOS High Sierra allows untrusted users to gain unfettered administrative control without any password. The bypass works by putting the word "root" (without the quotes) in the user name field of a login window, moving the cursor into the password field, and then hitting enter button with the password field empty. With that—after a few tries in some cases—the latest version of Apple's operating system logs the user in with root privileges. Ars reporters were a... Read More
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Comcast throttling BitTorrent was no big deal, FCC says

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EnlargeAurich Lawson / Getty Images Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has consistently argued that FCC regulation of net neutrality is "a solution in search of a problem." Pai's claim is frequently countered with the actual history of Internet service providers blocking or throttling Internet traffic or applications. The m... Read More
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Army “Red Disk” intel sharing system left exposed in open AWS data store

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"Let me just pull all that TS/NOFORN stuff out of that public AWS bucket..."US Army After uncovering a massive trove of social media-based intelligence left on multiple Amazon Web Services S3 storage buckets by a Defense Department contractor, the cloud security firm UpGuard has disclosed yet another major cloud storage breach of sensitive intelligence information. This time, the data exposed includes highly classifie... Read More
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The 2017 Ars Technica gadget gift guide: On-the-go and travel tech edition

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EnlargeBose It’s the holidays, which means it’s once again time to rack your brain in search of the right gifts for the right people. If someone on your list is into tech, though, we’ve got your back. For this year’s edition of the Ars Technica holiday gift guide, we’re breaking down our favorites into themes. The following crop of recommendations is centered on travel—from smartphones to headphones to portable batteries, these are the gadgets we’d take with us on our next road trip. Feel ... Read More
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Security firm was front for advanced Chinese hacking operation, Feds say

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Renato GanozaThree men who worked for an Internet security firm in China have been indicted on federal charges for hacking into at least three multinational corporations. The malware they used has been tied to the Chinese government. Wu Yingzhuo, Dong Hao, and Xia Lei face federal charges that they conspired to steal hundreds of gigabytes of data belonging to Siemens AG, Moody’s Analytics, and the GPS technology company Trimble. The indictment, which was filed in September and unsealed on Monday, said the ... Read More
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Federal student aid site offers one-stop shopping for ID thieves

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Enlarge / Former First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a FAFSA workshop in 2014. Identity theft was not the kind of "getting schooled" the First Lady had in mind.Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon The arrival of the holidays heralds another season soon to arrive: the tax season and, with it, the ... Read More
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Expensify acknowledges potential privacy problem by calling it a feature

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Enlarge / Would you let this guy handle your benefit and business expenses?The "machine learning" behind that application you've been using to scan your receipts for business expenses and company benefit filings may not have been entirely machine-based—and that could have some privacy implications, despite what the company has advertised. Expensify, the paperless business expense management service with over 4.5 million users, has been using humans to transcribe at least some of the expense and benefit documents the company's software processes—and over t... Read More
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Comcast quietly drops promise not to charge tolls for Internet fast lanes

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EnlargeS Lowe For years, Comcast has been promising that it won't violate the principles of net neutrality, regardless of whether the government imposes any net neutrality rules. That meant that Comcast wouldn't block or throttle lawful Internet traffic and that it wouldn't create fast lanes in order to collect tolls from Web companies that want priority access over the Comcast network. This was one of the... Read More
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Ubuntu 17.10: Return of the GNOME

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[embedded content] Canonical's video introduction to Ubuntu 17.10 If you've been following the Linux world at all, you know this has been an entire year for spring cleaning. Early in 2017, Canonical stopped work on its homegrown Unity desktop, Mir display server, and its larger vision of "convergence"—a unified interface for Ubuntu for phones, tablets, and desktops. And now almost exactly six years after Ubuntu first switched from GNOME 2 to the Unity desktop, that has been dropped, too. The distro is back to GNOME, and C... Read More
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How devs updated their apps for the iPhone X’s screen—and the notch

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EnlargeApple The heart of the iPhone X's pitch is third-party apps. From augmented reality features to the TrueDepth sensor, the new features are meant to stir creativity and action in the developer community, bringing innovative new app experiences to iPhone X users. But even as Apple gives developers new toy... Read More
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I’m a nuclear armageddon survivor: Ask me anything

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It's Thanksgiving week in the US, and most of our staff is recovering from food and family rather than a Friday at the office. As such, we're resurfacing this story of visiting old nuclear bunkers in the UK (you know, in case you need a break from family this weekend). This story originally ran on November 19, 2015, and it appears unchanged below.Press events are usually decadent affairs of food, drink, and well-dressed executives in up-market hotels. Not this one. A small number of journalists including your correspondent were dumped at dusk in a wet field in the Essex countryside, given blue boilersuits and a small knapsack containing bottle-tops and leaflets, and told to await developments. As most pre... Read More
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AT&T and Comcast win lawsuit they filed to stall Google Fiber in Nashville

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EnlargeGoogle Fiber AT&T and Comcast have convinced a federal judge to nullify an ordinance that was designed to bring more broadband competition to Nashville, Tennessee. The Nashville Metro Council last year passed a "One Touch Make Ready" rule that gives Google Fiber or other new ISPs faster access to utility poles. The ordinance lets a single company make all of the necessary wire adjustme... Read More
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How four Microsoft engineers proved that the “darknet” would defeat DRM

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Peter Biddle speaks at the ETech conference in 2007.Scott Beale It's Thanksgiving week in the US, and most of our staff is focused on a morning coffee or Black Friday list rather than office work. As such, we're resurfacing this story of four Microsoft engineers who predicted... Read More
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Guidemaster: Want an Alexa device? Here’s every Amazon Echo, compared

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EnlargeValentina Palladino Amazon debuted the original Echo a few years ago, and it raised eyebrows in the tech industry. The Echo is a smart home speaker that houses Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant, an AI helper that helps you complete daily tasks using only your voice. Since its debut, users of all levels of tech prowess have embraced Echo and Alexa, finding practicality in a voice-controlled assistant and all the things it can do. Both Alexa and the Echo have evolved since then to meet the needs of an ever-g... Read More
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FCC explains why public support for net neutrality won’t stop repeal

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Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research on May 5, 2017 in Washington, DC.Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla Net neutrality rules are popular with Americans who use the Internet. When the Federal Communications Commission deliberated on possible net neutralit... Read More
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Thirty years later, “Max Headroom” TV pirate remains at large

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Enlarge / Not creepy at all.Thirty years ago today, a person or persons unknown briefly hijacked the signal of two Chicago television stations, broadcasting a bizarre taped message from a man wearing a Max Headroom mask. The "broadcast intrusion" interrupted a primetime news broadcast from Chicago's WGN, and then (more successfully) the 11:00pm broadcast of Dr. Who on the Chicago public television station WTTW. To this day, the perpetrators of the television hack remain unknown. The hack was made possible by the analog television broadcast techno... Read More
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FCC stonewalled investigation of net neutrality comment fraud, NY AG says

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EnlargeGetty Images | Nicholas Rigg New York's attorney general has been trying to investigate fraud in public comments on the Federal Communications Commission's anti-net neutrality plan but alleges that the FCC has refused to cooperate with the investigation. NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says that "hundreds of thousands of Americans" were likely impersonated in fake comments on the net neutrality docket. But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's office would not provide information needed for New York's... Read More
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Aston Martin’s DB11 looks like a million bucks, only costs a quarter of that

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Video shot and edited by Justin Wolfson. Click here for transcript. To the casual observer, Aston Martin cars might all look the same. A long hood. Voluptuous curves over the wheels. That iconic grille. It's a design language that you can trace back through the decades to the 1950s. Sixty years later that formula is still being obeyed, but it would be a mistake to think that makes this car—the DB11—an anachronism. Underneath its gorgeous aluminum and composite body panels is the most technologically advanced machine ye... Read More
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FCC will also order states to scrap plans for their own net neutrality laws

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Enlarge / Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai arrives for his confirmation hearing with the Senate Commerce Committee on July 19, 2017 in Washington, DC.Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla In addition to ... Read More
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RIP net neutrality: FCC chair releases plan to deregulate ISPs

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Free PressThe Federal Communications Commission today released its plan to deregulate the broadband industry and eliminate net neutrality rules, setting up a December 14 vote to finalize the repeal. As expected, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing to reverse the commission's classification of home and mobile ISPs as common carriers, eliminating the legal justification for the net neutrality rules and numerous other consumer protections. The Republi... Read More
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Trump administration files suit to block AT&T/Time Warner merger

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Enlarge / AT&T will own a bunch of new media properties if it is allowed to buy Time Warner.Aurich Lawson The Trump administration's Department of Justice (DOJ) today filed a lawsuit to block AT&T's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Inc. AT&T has been the nation's largest pay-TV company since it acquired DirecTV in 2015. Acquiring Time Warner and its stable of popular TV programming would g... Read More
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An alarming number of sites employ privacy-invading session replay scripts

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EnlargeSteven Englehardt If you have the uncomfortable sense someone is looking over your shoulder as you surf the Web, you're not being paranoid. A new study finds hundreds of sites—including microsoft.com, adobe.com, and godaddy.com—employ scripts that record visitors' keystrokes, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior in real time, even before the input is submitted or is la... Read More
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US Navy sends underwater robots to assist in search for Argentine sub

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An Iver Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), here being used as part of Exercise Eager Lion with the Royal Jordanian Navy in 2015 in a mine countermeasures role. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Arthurgwain L. Marquez ... Read More
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Marvell Technology strikes deal to buy chipmaker Cavium for $6 billion

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EnlargeGoogle In another consolidation move in the semiconductor industry, chipmaker Marvell Technology announced it will acquire competitor Cavium Inc. for approximately $6 billion. It's estimated that the combined company will generate about $3.4 billion in annual revenue. Bermuda-based Marvell makes semiconductors for data-storage devices while California-base... Read More
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Pandemic Legacy: Season 2—The world’s “best board game” gets better

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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. How do you follow the most popular board game ever made? In a world where three separate versions of Enlarge But because this is a “legacy” game, with permanent changes made to... Read More
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Pentagon contractor leaves social media spy archive wide open on Amazon

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WikipediaA Pentagon contractor left a vast archive of social-media posts on a publicly accessible Amazon account in what appears to be a military-sponsored intelligence-gathering operation that targeted people in the US and other parts of the world. The three cloud-based storage buckets contained at least 1.8 billion scraped online posts spanning eight years, researchers from security firm UpGuard's Cyber Risk Team said in a blog post published Friday. The cache included many posts that appeared to be benign, and in many cases those involved from people in the US, a finding that raises privacy and civil-liberties ques... Read More
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Weekend code warriors prepare to clash in Codewarz

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Enlarge / Obviously a Codewarz competitor.Alain Daussin/Getty Images If you didn't have any weekend plans yet—or maybe even if you did—and you're interested in scratching your programming itch, there's something to add to your calendar. Codewarz, a programming competition that presents participants with 24 coding challenges, is running its first live event starting at 1pm Eastern on November 18 and ending at 9pm on Novembe... Read More
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NASA IceBridge “flying lab” aids in search for missing Argentine Navy sub

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NASA's P-3 Orion, a former Navy patrol plane modified into a "flying lab." NASA The ARA San Juan (S-42) has been out of contact since Wednesday. The US Navy and NASA have joined the search for an Argentine Armada (navy) diesel-electric attack submarine—the ARA San Juan (S-42)—and its crew of 44 sailors missing in the Southern Argentine Sea. The last contact with the TR-1700 class sub, built in 1983 by the German shipbuilder Thyssen Nordseewerke, was on November 15. NASA has dispatched a modified P-3 Orion patrol ... Read More
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Man gets threats—not bug bounty—after finding DJI customer data in public view

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Enlarge / A security researcher says he was trying to play fair with DJI's bug bounty program. DJI calls him a hacker who exposed customer data.DJI, the Chinese company that manufactures the popular Phantom brand of consumer quadcopter drones, was informed in September that developers had left the private keys for both the "wildcard" certificate for all the company's Web domains and the keys to cloud storage accounts on Amazon Web Services exposed publicly in code posted to GitHub. Using the data, researcher Kevin Finisterre was able to access flight log data and ... Read More
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Robocalls from spoofed Caller IDs may soon be blocked by phone companies

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EnlargeGetty Images | vladru Phone companies are now authorized to be more aggressive in blocking robocalls before they reach customers' landlines or mobile phones, but you might have to pay for the new blocking capabilities. The Federal Communications Commission yesterday issued an order to "expressly authorize voice service providers to block robocalls that appear to be from telephone numbers ... Read More
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Apple reportedly working with Intel to put 5G modem in future iPhones

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EnlargeSamuel Axon While it will be some time before 5G LTE becomes standard, Apple is thinking ahead about how to best incorporate 5G technology into its iPhones. According to a Fast Company report, Apple has been working with Intel to incorporate the chipmaker's 5G modems in future iPhones while talks with Qualcomm, the world's biggest modem supplier, have been "limited." Qualcomm current... Read More
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A first look at Tesla’s promised electric semi

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This is a placeholder image provided by Tesla—more photos will be uploaded shortly. Tesla ... Read More
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New “Quad9” DNS service blocks malicious domains for everyone

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Enlarge / All you really have to do is set your DNS to 9.9.9.9.GCA/ Quad9 The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA)—an organization founded by law enforcement and research organizations to help reduce cyber-crime—has partnered with IBM and Packet Clearing House to launch a free public Domain Name Service system. That system... Read More
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Senator urges ad blocking by feds as possible remedy to malvertising scourge

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Enlarge / It's a federal style.Ron Cogswell A US Senator trying to eradicate the Internet scourge known as malvertising is proposing that all federal agencies block ads delivered to worker computers unless advertisers can ensure their networks are free of content that contains malicious code. In a ... Read More
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Surface Book 2 review: Monster performance, but lightning hasn’t struck twice

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Enlarge / The 15-inch Surface Book 2.Peter Bright Introduced a little over two years ago, Microsoft's Surface Book was the hybrid laptop that I had long hoped the company would build. Like the Surface Pro, it worked as a true standalone tablet, but it had the all-important stiff hinge, making it suitable for use on your lap in a way that the Surface Pro's kickstand ... Read More
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Oracle rushes out 5 patches for huge vulnerabilities in PeopleSoft app server

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EnlargeLiftarn (Public Domain) Oracle issued a set of urgent security fixes on Tuesday that repair vulnerabilities revealed today by researchers from the managed security provider ERPScan at the DeepSec security conference in Vienna, Austria. The five vulnerabilities include one dubbed "JoltandBleed" by the researchers because of its similarity to ... Read More
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All signs point to December vote to kill net neutrality rules, reports say

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Enlarge / Protestors object to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to eliminate net neutrality rules before Pai's appearance at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC on May 5, 2017.Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote on whether to overturn its own net neutrality ... Read More
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Kaspersky: Yes, we obtained NSA secrets. No, we didn’t help steal them

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EnlargeMikhail Deynekin For almost two months in 2014, servers belonging to Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab received confidential National Security Agency materials from a poorly secured computer located in the United States that stored the files, most likely in violation of US laws, company officials said. The classified source code, documents, and executable binaries were stored on a computer that used an IP ... Read More
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Twitter: Our blue check marks aren’t just about “verification”

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Twitter / Sam MachkovechA Twitter rules update rolled out on Wednesday to address the site's "verification" system, and it attached a new set of standards to any user whose account receives a "blue check mark." Twitter's "verification" system is used to confirm accounts of celebrities and other accounts of "public interest." However, the feature has long straddled a blurry line between identity confirmation and "elite" user status, especially since verified accounts receive heightened visibility and perks such as content filters. That issue returned to the headlines last week when Twitter ... Read More
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The Internet of lightbulbs: Lunera turns lighting into “ambient cloud” for IoT

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Enlarge / We'll keep the cloud on for you.Lunera The Internet of Things is a powerful concept, especially in the industrial world—but it's also full of potential security disasters and hidden computing and networking costs. But what if all you had to do to create a secure network of distributed Linux systems—complete with location awareness and custom application support capable of supporting location-based appl... Read More
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Google Fiber now sells $55-per-month gigabit Internet (in one city)

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Enlarge / A Google Fiber installation box in Kansas City, Kansas.Julie Denesha/Bloomberg via Getty Images Google Fiber's gigabit Internet service has consistently been priced at $70 a month since it launched in 2012, but it's now available for just $55 in the ISP's latest city. Google Fiber in San Antonio, Texas comes in ... Read More
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Broadband lobby steps up attack on state privacy and net neutrality laws

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EnlargeGetty Images | Andrew Brookes The broadband industry is stepping up its attack on states that dare to impose privacy or net neutrality rules on Internet service providers. Mobile industry lobby group CTIA urged the Federal Communications Commission to preempt state laws on privacy and net neutrality in a recent meeting and filing. ... Read More