Ars Technica UK
15 minutes
Enlarge / "Is it still raining? I hadn't noticed." (credit: Four Weddings and a Funeral) New measures are planned to allow cops and spooks in the European Union to crack open encrypted apps and services, according to the bloc's justice commissioner. Věra Jourová's comments came a few days after the UK's home secretary Amber Rudd lumbered onto Andrew Marr’s BBC TV set to denounce the use of end-to-end encryption as "completely unacceptable," before then appearing to suggest that its use by the likes of WhatsApp should be banned. Rudd was in Brussels this week speaking with other national ministers and the EU's justice and home affairs council. And the long-running political debate over encrypted services was high on the agenda. In a press conference following the meeting, Jourová said: Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments
Ars Technica UK
39 minutes
Enlarge / I guess I should be grateful that my packets only travel across seven NSA traffic interception sites, right? A couple of years ago, when I was investigating the UK's safest ISP , a high-ranking employee at Virgin Media told me there were was no NSA or GCHQ Internet traffic interception equipment hiding within Virgin's network. He also said that, in his opinion, not much traffic interception actually occurs in the UK. I asked him why. "Because they don't need to. They'll get your data when lands in the US." While it's not true that all Internet traffic flows through the US, the addition of a few listening posts at key Internet exchanges in Europe (London, Paris) and some in Asia (Hong Kong, Tokyo) ensure that the NSA and its Five Eyes partners can analyse and ingest the majority of international Internet traffic. To visualise the extent of the NSA's surveillance network, IXmaps has created a tool that shows you the location of suspected Internet traffic interception points.
Ars Technica
an hour
Enlarge / The lakes of Titan may have highly charged dunes on their shores. (credit: NASA ) Granular flows are, not to put too fine a point on it, horrible. In some situations, they flow like a normal fluid, but a minuscule change will cause the flow to jam. In the right situation, the particles will experience enough friction to pick up charge. Then, if the particles are fine enough, the static discharge decorates the landscape with bits of your grain silo . It's not all bad, though: the movement of sand dunes and their singing in the wind is also part of granular flow. We all love it when inanimate bits of rock serenade us as we die of thirst. And that's just the Earth. Titan also has dunes that seem to be oriented in the wrong direction relative to the prevailing winds, and scientists may have found the corner piece that helps them solve this puzzle: static electricity .
Ars Technica UK
3 hours
Enlarge It's not easy to craft a 100-hour-plus space opera epic on the scale of Mass Effect: Andromeda , even with five years and over $40 million to blow on it. But, as anyone who's tried to cut the queue at a PAX book signing can attest to, hell hath no fury like a fanboy scorned. You'll be unsurprised to hear, then, that since Mass Effect: Andromeda hit retail last week, an Internet mob has formed to give developer Bioware a good kicking—and with good reason. It's safe to say that Andromeda has its fair share of problems, including clunky user interface issues, ropy dialogue, and some lacklustre writing. The critical response has been mixed at best (and the less said about the user Metacritic reviews the better) although our Lee Hutchinson was a tad more positive in his early review . Still, Lee was quick to point out Andromeda 's most significant and visible failing: some seriously dodgy facial and character animations.
Ars Technica
12 hours
Enlarge (credit: MGM ) Open-source developers who use Github are in the cross-hairs of advanced malware that has steal passwords, download sensitive files, take screenshots, and self-destruct when necessary. Dimnie, as the reconnaissance and espionage trojan is known, has largely flown under the radar for the past three years. It mostly targeted Russians until early this year, when a new campaign took aim at multiple owners of Github repositories. One commenter in this thread reported the initial infection e-mail was sent to an address that was used solely for Github, and researchers with Palo Alto Networks, the firm that reported the campaign on Tuesday , told Ars they have no evidence it targeted anyone other than Github developers. "Both messages appearing to be hand-crafted, and the reference to today's data in the attachment file name IMHO hint at a focused campaign explicitly targeting targets perceived as 'high return investments,' such as developers (possibly working on popular/open-source projects,)" someone who received two separate infection e-mails reported in the thread.
MacRumors
12 hours
According to Verto, which gathers its data from 20,000 users in the UK and US and then pairs it with analytics information, Apple Music has the most monthly unique users due to the three-month free trial the company offers, which doubles the number of people that are using the Apple Music app in the United States. Click to enlarge Apple has long offered three months of free music streaming when a user first signs up for Apple Music, two months longer than the trial period offered by Spotify. As of December 2016, Apple Music has more than 20 million paid subscribers , a number that's been growing steadily since the service launched in 2015. Spotify, meanwhile, reached 50 million paying subscribers earlier this month. Despite its lead over Apple Music, Spotify is taking cues from Apple. Earlier today, Spotify announced plans to debut an original show called "Traffic Jams," a copy of the " Carpool Karaoke " show Apple plans to launch on Apple Music.
Ars Technica UK
16 hours
Ars Technica
17 hours
Enlarge / Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. (credit: Bill Clark / Getty Images Contributor) Illinois Representative Bill Foster summed up today's hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology as "a very strange mixture of science and not." Entitled "Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method," the hearing provided a platform for Committee Chairman Lamar Smith to pursue his latest attack on climate science. He says researchers in the area have left behind the scientific method. Smith went after climate scientists right in the statement he used to open the hearing, saying, "Far too often, alarmist theories on climate science originate with scientists who operate outside the principles of the scientific method." He went on to say that "all too often, scientists ignore the basic tenets of science." Smith singled out climate projections such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), saying that any predictions made to the end of this century are simply not credible.
Ars Technica UK
19 hours
Enlarge As part of today's Samsung Galaxy S8 event, the Korean megacorp announced its intention to launch the new Samsung Connect service. Centred around a small Google Wi-Fi-like home router (called the "Samsung Connect Home"), the company's fact sheet explains that Samsung Connect "delivers on the vision of an integrated, cohesive, easy-to-use IoT ecosystem." Connect is able to automatically identify Samsung-branded smart devices on your home's LAN, along with any other devices compatible with Samsung's SmartThings platform. SmartThings came under fire last May for numerous flaws and security vulnerabilities , though the company claims that it has since fixed its problems. According to Samsung, the Connect app and service will eventually be available for all Android smartphones, rather than being restricted to Samsung devices. This is great news for folks who desperately want to see how much milk they have in their Samsung smart fridge, but who don't own a Samsung Android phone.
Ars Technica
19 hours
Ars Technica
19 hours
Enlarge (credit: NASA ) Jupiter is widely credited with providing Earth with a bit of protection. The immense gravity of the gas giant typically either sucks in asteroids and comets or flings them out into orbits where they pose our planet little danger. But astronomers have now identified an asteroid that's in a stable orbital interaction with Jupiter. That interaction sends the asteroid around our Solar System backward and causes it to shift between two radically different orbits without ever settling into either. The planets and other bodies in the Solar System mostly orbit in a single direction, inherited from the spinning disk of material from which they formed. A few bodies orbit in the opposite directioncalled retrograde—but these tend to have odd, highly elliptical orbits. They're also very rare; only 0.01 percent of the known asteroids have retrograde orbits.
Ars Technica
20 hours
Ars Technica
20 hours
Enlarge / Every blue dot represents a thing that can be hacked into and broken by malicious actors or used to spy on you by unscrupulous OEMs. But hey, at least you'll be able to control them all from one app. As part of today's Samsung event , the Korean megacorp announced its intention to launch the new "Samsung Connect" service. Centered around a small Google Wi-Fi-like home router (called the "Samsung Connect Home"), the company's fact sheet explains that Samsung Connect "delivers on the vision of an integrated, cohesive, easy-to-use IoT ecosystem." Connect is able to automatically identify Samsung-branded smart devices on your home's LAN, along with any other devices compatible with Samsung's SmartThings platform. SmartThings came under fire last May for numerous flaws and security vulnerabilities , though the company claims that it has since fixed its problems.
Ars Technica
20 hours
Enlarge / Every blue dot represents a thing that can be hacked into and broken by malicious actors or used to spy on you by unscrupulous OEMs. But hey, at least you'll be able to control them all from one app. As part of today's Samsung event , the Korean megacorp announced its intention to launch the new "Samsung Connect" service. Centered around a small Google Wi-Fi-like home router (called the "Samsung Connect Home"), the company's fact sheet explains that Samsung Connect "delivers on the vision of an integrated, cohesive, easy-to-use IoT ecosystem." Connect is able to automatically identify Samsung-branded smart devices on your home's LAN, along with any other devices compatible with Samsung's SmartThings platform. SmartThings came under fire last May for numerous flaws and security vulnerabilities , though the company claims that it has since fixed its problems.
Ars Technica UK
20 hours
Enlarge Note: Light spoilers for Persona 5 follow. You should know exactly how you feel about Persona 5 's style and tone within the first 10 minutes. I certainly did—although it has taken me well over 100 hours to see all the incredible and consistent ways developer Atlus' high-school heist RPG bends, breaks, and leans into its look, feel, and message. Persona 5 took basically no time at all to knock me against the wild and woolly world of "shadows"—supernatural monsters born from the human psyche—in a frenetic opening scene set atop chandeliers hanging above a casino. Seemingly human guards hot on the protagonist's trail suddenly melted and morphed into mythical monsters. Just as the first creature showed its true form, the game's open environment smoothly twisted into turn-based combat. I took a while to realize the game even changes scenery when flipping into fights; the transitions are just that seamless.
Ars Technica
20 hours
Enlarge / The Phantom Thieves love leather. Note: Light spoilers for Persona 5 follow. You should know exactly how you feel about Persona 5 's style and tone within the first 10 minutes. I certainly did—although it has taken me well over 100 hours to see all the incredible and consistent ways developer Atlus' high-school heist RPG bends, breaks, and leans into its look, feel, and message. Persona 5 took basically no time at all to knock me against the wild and woolly world of "shadows"—supernatural monsters born from the human psyche—in a frenetic opening scene set atop chandeliers hanging above a casino. Seemingly human guards hot on the protagonist's trail suddenly melted and morphed into mythical monsters. Just as the first creature showed its true form, the game's open environment smoothly twisted into turn-based combat. I took a while to realize the game even changes scenery when flipping into fights; the transitions are just that seamless.
Ars Technica
21 hours
Ars Technica
21 hours
Enlarge NEW YORK CITY—After months of speculation and leaks, Samsung has finally made the Galaxy S8 official. It's everything we were expecting based on weeks of leaks : a major redesign of Samsung's flagship smartphone, and a departure from the design language of the Galaxy S6 and S7. This launch is an especially important one for Samsung. Its normal mid-year flagship, the Galaxy Note 7 , went down in flames late last year. The company attempted to compensate with a new color option and a renewed advertising push for the Galaxy S7 , but it still left a gap in Samsung's lineup, and we still don't know how much damage the recall, re-release, and re-recall of a major phone is going to affect the Galaxy brand. Samsung's Unpacked announcement event is ongoing, and we'll continue to update this post with new details as we have them. Read on Ars Technica | Comments
Ars Technica UK
a day
Enlarge (credit: Samsung) Samsung is back! After a rough stretch thanks to the recall of the Galaxy Note 7 and the arrest of Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong , Samsung is dusting itself off and jumping back into the smartphone game. Galaxy Unpacked 2017 starts on March 29 at 4pm UK time (5pm CEST, 8am PST, 11am EST), where we expect Samsung to finally take the wraps off its newest flagship, the Galaxy S8 . The Galaxy S8 promises to be a major revamp of Samsung's flagship, expected to get its most drastic redesign ever, with super-slim bezels and an extra-tall 18.5:9 display. As its first major smartphone launch since the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, we're also expecting a lot of reassurances from Samsung that this phone has gone through a battery of battery tests, which should be fun to watch. We'll be there to cover all the twists and turns live, with a live blog of the festivities and a hands-on after the event is over.
Ars Technica
a day
Enlarge / The Galaxy Unpacked 2017 invite. (credit: Samsung) Liveblog starts in: View Liveblog Samsung is back! After a rough stretch thanks to the recall of the Galaxy Note 7 and the arrest of Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong, Samsung is dusting itself off and jumping back into the smartphone game. "Galaxy Unpacked 2017" starts on March 29th at 11am ET (8am PT, 4pm BST, convert to your time zone here ). We expect Samsung to finally take the wraps off its newest flagship, the Galaxy S8. The Galaxy S8 promises to be a major revamp of Samsung's flagship, expected to get its most drastic redesign ever , with super-slim bezels and an extra-tall 18.5:9 display. As its first major smartphone launch since the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, we're also expecting a lot of reassurances from Samsung that this phone has gone through a battery of battery tests, which should be fun to watch.
Ars Technica UK
a day
Enlarge (credit: Peter Bright) Note: After a rather long wait, the Surface Book with Performance Base is finally coming to the UK (and France and Germany). Pricing starts at £2250 for a Core i7, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD, scaling up to £3150 for 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD. You can pre-order now, but deliveries don't start until April 20. The review below was originally published on November 10, 2016. Note that the original Surface Book is being heavily discounted right now (between 10 and 20% off), so the price difference between the two models is much larger than in November last year. Most of the PC OEMs have refreshed their Skylake systems to include Intel's new Kaby Lake chips. Kaby Lake parts are for the most part drop-in replacements for Skylake parts—same chipsets, same power envelopes and cooling requirements—and some manufacturers have taken advantage of this fact.
Ars Technica
a day
Enlarge (credit: Dunkin' Donuts) Google wants to make your morning commute as easy as possible with a new feature in its navigation app Waze. The company added a "order ahead" feature to Waze and teamed up with Dunkin' Donuts to let users order coffee and breakfast from within the Waze app. Now you can place an order with Dunkin' Donuts on your way to work and pick it up immediately, skipping the regularly long and tedious drive-through line. The caveat is that you need to have the Dunkin' Donuts mobile app installed on your device as well, and you need to be a Dunkin' Donuts Perks member. If that's you, all you need to do is connect the Dunkin' Donuts app with your Perks account information to the Waze app, and then you'll be able to place an order with one tap in Waze. Dunkin' Donuts already has an order-ahead feature in its own mobile app, and requiring both apps to have this feature work in Waze is disappointing.
Ars Technica
a day
Enlarge / The announcement of the Creators Update in October 2016. The next big update to Windows 10 is nearly upon us: Windows 10 version 1703, known as the Creators Update, will be published to Windows Update next Patch Tuesday, on April 11th. The final build is—probably15063. That build is already available to insiders and should soon become available for the Windows 10 Media Creation tool, but we also know that there are going to be some patches materializing some time between now and then. There's a small chance those patches will bump the build number; more likely, they will instead bump the patch number, which is currently a pristine and perfect 0 on the desktop. The mobile build has already been bumped, to 15063.2, to handle an installation problem when upgrading from version 1607. Version 1703 has been branded the Creators Update. Frankly, this made more sense in the context of its grand unveiling than it does now; when the Creators Update was revealed, Microsoft also introduced its new Surface Studio desktop computer , and promised that a range of affordable virtual reality headsets would be developed for Windows 10.
Ars Technica UK
a day
Enlarge The next big update to Windows 10 is nearly upon us: Windows 10 version 1703, known as the Creators Update, will be published to Windows Update next Patch Tuesday, on April 11th. The final build is—probably15063. That build is already available to insiders and should soon become available for the Windows 10 Media Creation tool, but we also know that there are going to be some patches materialising some time between now and then. There's a small chance those patches will bump the build number; more likely, they will instead bump the patch number, which is currently a pristine and perfect 0 on the desktop. The mobile build has already been bumped, to 15063.2, to handle an installation problem when upgrading from version 1607. Version 1703 has been branded the Creators Update. Frankly, this made more sense in the context of its grand unveiling than it does now; when the Creators Update was revealed, Microsoft also introduced its new Surface Studio desktop computer, and promised that a range of affordable virtual reality headsets would be developed for Windows 10.