Ars Technica UK
2 hours
Ars Technica UK
3 hours
Enlarge / The Galaxy Note 7 was a financial disaster for Samsung. Update, February 23: The Samsung Galaxy S8 will go on sale April 21, following an official unveil in New York on March 29, the latest leaks indicate. Intriguingly, we might actually see two new Samsung phones on March 29: the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, with the latter sporting a larger screen (6.2 inches vs. 5.8 for the S8) and potentially an iris scanner. Otherwise, it sounds like the key selling point of both the S8 and S8+ is slim bezels, rounded corners, a top-of-the-line SoC, and IP68 dust and water protection. Update, January 23 : The Samsung Galaxy S8 will not launch at Mobile World Congress, Samsung has confirmed. With a couple of exceptions, the company has typically used the trade show—which runs from February 27 to March 2 in 2017—to launch its flagship Android smartphones. The current Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge made their debut at the show in 2016. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments
Ars Technica UK
4 hours
Enlarge / UK government wants self-driving cars to be held accountable for accidents, rather than their owners. (credit: Sebastian Anthony) Electric charging points at all major motorway services and petrol stations, and the occupants of a self-driving car aren't liable in the case of an accident—those are two of the measures proposed by a new law that the UK government hopes will let us reap the rewards of improved transport technology over the next few years. These changes are part of the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill (VTAB), a draft law that is basically a shopping list of governmental desires. The details of the bill will change as it goes through parliament, though hopefully most of it will survive scrutiny—there's some good stuff in there. The first item on the bill involves automated vehicles, and how to ensure that the vehicle's owner (which may or may not be a driver) and potential accident victims are protected.
Ars Technica
7 hours
Ars Technica
8 hours
Enlarge / This is what every Tesla driver wants to see upon arrival at a Supercharger station. (credit: Tesla) On Wednesday, Tesla posted a Q4 2016 loss of $121.3 million, but the loss was narrower than the $320 million net loss from the year earlier. The company said it made $2.28 billion in revenue in the quarter, up from $1.24 billion in Q4 the year before. Tesla reported $7 billion in annual gross revenue in 2016. All that comes on the heels of a Q3 in which the company posted a rare profitable quarter that CEO Elon Musk called Tesla’s “best quarter ever.” The company said its gross margin fell between the third and fourth quarters of 2016 due to lower Zero Emissions Vehicle credit sales in Q4 compared to the quarter before. In the last three months of the year, Tesla completed its acquisition of SolarCity as well as Grohmann Engineering , which will become Tesla Advanced Automation Germany. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments
Ars Technica
18 hours
Enlarge / Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan says he thinks they did a good job capturing the feel of this very early concept art for Overwatch in the final product. We have to agree. (credit: Kyle Orland) LAS VEGAS—May of 2013 was not a very fun time to be at Blizzard if you hear Game Director and Vice President Jeff Kaplan tell it. After years of work on Project Titan, the massive MMO that was to be Blizzard's big follow-up to World of Warcraft , the game had been unceremoniously cancelled (though official confirmation of that cancellation wouldn't come for another year). "For various reasons, we ran into a lot of trouble on the project," as Kaplan put it on stage at Las Vegas' DICE Summit today. In the wake of the cancellation, most of the 140-person Project Titan team were forced to relocate with Blizzard's existing projects or put on "long-term loan" with those franchises.
Ars Technica
19 hours
Ars Technica
20 hours
Enlarge If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it 1,000 times: these so-called "anonymous" messaging apps simply arent anonymous. To put it another way, if you’re dumb enough to make violent threats on them, you’ll get caught . According to a newly released federal criminal complaint , Garrett Grimsley of Cary, North Carolina, allegedly used the Whisper app to make such remarks on February 19. Hours later, local police and the FBI arrived at his door to search his apartment. As per an FBI affidavit, Grimsley (under the name "Spark_Pure") wrote in a public post: "Salam, some of you are alright, don't go to Cary tomorrow." Another Whisper user, who was not named in the affidavit but is referred to as an unnamed "cooperating witness (CW)," responded: "Why—what's happening in Cary tomorrow?" Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments
Ars Technica
20 hours
Enlarge (credit: Gage Skidmore ) Former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was confirmed to be administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week in a 52-46 Senate vote. His narrow confirmation is securePruitt addressed EPA employees as their new boss just yesterday—but a trove of e-mails sent from Pruitt's office during his tenure as Oklahoma attorney general was released yesterday evening. Collectively, they could shed light on how closely Pruitt may be willing to work with the industries he’s now in charge of regulating. On Tuesday evening, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) received 2,500 e-mails from the Oklahoma AG’s office that had been sent during Pruitt’s tenure. The CMD had asked for the e-mails in an open records request made in 2015, but the AG’s office only turned over 411 of 3,000 e-mails initially. This month, with Pruitt's confirmation vote just days away, the CMD requested that a judge order the missing documents finally be turned over.
Ars Technica
21 hours
Enlarge “One person’s trash is another’s treasure” is pretty much the organizing principle of the recycling industry. But what about the refuse that fails to even make it into a trash bin? A shocking amount of plastic ends up in waterways and, ultimately, the ocean. Contrary to some depictions of “the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” the problem is not so much a floating landfill of toys and bottles, rather it's an abundance of tiny degraded bits of plastic that a variety of organisms ingest. Plastic undergoes chemical reactions and a physical beating in the ocean that reduces it to specks. Combine that small particle size with the fact that the ocean is rather large, and it should be obvious that it would be virtually impossible to clean up the plastic at this stage of the process. To make a real difference, you have to attack the problem closer to the source—when the plastic is still largely intact and before it reaches the ocean.
Ars Technica
a day
Enlarge (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) Less than a year ago, an international team of astronomers put the star TRAPPIST-1 in the news. TRAPPIST-1 itself is unremarkable, belonging to the class of small, dim stars known as "ultracool dwarfs." Rather, it was the presence of three planets orbiting the star that made the news. While they probably orbit too close to support liquid water, TRAPPIST-1's proximity to Earth—it's less than 40 light years away—makes detailed observations of any planetary atmospheres a realistic possibility. But the orbit of the outermost planet, TRAPPIST-1d, wasn't well defined by the initial observations, causing its discoverers to go back for some followup observations. Those turned up four more planets , three of which are likely to be in the habitable zone of their host star. As the orbit of the outer one is, once again, certain, more observations will undoubtedly be in the works.
Ars Technica
a day
Enlarge If you've been putting off grabbing a few useful things from Amazon, today might be a good day to stock up, as Amazon has announced a one-day promotion: an $8.63 coupon , applicable to many orders over $50. The coupon expires at midnight Pacific on Wednesday, February 22, and it has that funny number because Amazon is using the coupon to brag. The online retailer topped the national Harris Corporate Reputation Poll in rank this week with a score of 86.27, which Amazon is rounding up for its coupon. The Harris poll measures large American corporations over a number of metrics, including "social responsibility," "emotional appeal," and "workplace environment"—and Jeff Bezos is probably stoked to score high in that last category, all things considered . Amazon's 2017 score is the top out of 100 American companies, beating tech companies such as Apple (82.
Ars Technica UK
a day
Enlarge Want to play your purchased Nintendo Switch downloads on multiple separate consoles? You'd better be prepared to buy more than one copy of each game. We recently learned that the Nintendo Switch will finally link eShop purchases to a portable online account (unlike the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS, which locked purchases to a specific piece of hardware). But we're now discovering that this feature apparently does not extend to downloading games to multiple Switch systems at the same time. The news comes via a recent preview event for 1-2-Switch at the Nintendo World NYC store, which included a question-and-answer session captured by YouTuber CrazyDopetastic . A questioner talks about the potential for getting a second Switch for his children and asks, "if I want to take my system with me... if I were to buy a digital game, could I buy it once, or would I have to buy it multiple times so they can use those games?" Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments
Ars Technica
a day
Ars Technica
a day
Enlarge / That copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe you download won't be playable on another console, even if you log in. Want to play your purchased Nintendo Switch downloads on multiple separate consoles? You'd better be prepared to buy more than one copy of each game. We recently learned that the Nintendo Switch will finally link eShop purchases to a portable online account (unlike the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS, which locked purchases to a specific piece of hardware). But we're now discovering that this feature apparently does not extend to downloading games to multiple Switch systems at the same time. The news comes via a recent preview event for 1-2-Switch at the Nintendo World NYC store, which included a question-and-answer session captured by YouTuber CrazyDopetastic . A questioner talks about the potential for getting a second Switch for his children and asks, "if I want to take my system with me.
Ars Technica
a day
Ars Technica
a day
Enlarge / Detective Joe Miller and the nuke he has to babysit. The clip is taken from the episode that airs on Wednesday evening on Syfy, so consider this a warning about mild spoilers. Here at Ars we unapologetically love science fiction. Books , movies , comics—all of it. In fact, it needn't even be very good to earn our affection—who among us doesn't have a soft spot for Robot Jox or Dark Star ? Of late, there has been a wave of fiction that has taken a closer look at what life would be like once humanity starts to colonize the Solar System and beyond: Neal Stephenson's Seveneves and Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora for example, as well as the miniseries Ascension . But none of those has given us something that's quite as well fleshed out as James SA Corey's The Expanse. While it feels lazy to compare the series to Game of Thrones , it's understandable how that has happened.
Ars Technica
a day
Enlarge / Detective Joe Miller and the nuke he has to babysit. The clip is taken from the episode that airs on Wednesday evening on Syfy, so consider this a warning about mild spoilers. Here at Ars we unapologetically love science fiction. Books , movies , comics—all of it. In fact, it needn't even be very good to earn our affection—who among us doesn't have a soft spot for Robot Jox or Dark Star ? Of late, there has been a wave of fiction that has taken a closer look at what life would be like once humanity starts to colonize the Solar System and beyond: Neal Stephenson's Seveneves and Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora for example, as well as the miniseries Ascension . But none of those has given us something that's quite as well fleshed out as James SA Corey's The Expanse. While it feels lazy to compare the series to Game of Thrones , it's understandable how that has happened.
Open Culture
a day
Image via Christiaan Tonnis Americans can be quite ignorant of the richness of our country’s cultural history. Part of this ignorance, I suspect, comes down to prejudice. Innovative American artists throughout history have come from groups often demonized and marginalized by the wider society. The dominance of corporate commerce also impoverishes the cultural landscape. Poetry and experimental art dont sell much, so some people think they have little value. Imagine if we were to invert these attitudes in public opinion: American poetry and art allow us to gain new perspectives from people and parts of the country we dont know well; to enlarge and challenge our religious and political understanding; to experience a very different kind of economy, built on aesthetic invention and free intellectual enterprise rather than supply, demand, and profit.
Ars Technica
a day
Ars Technica
a day
Enlarge / AMD CEO Lisa Su holding a Ryzen chip. (credit: AMD) SAN FRANCISCOOasis' smash hit Wonderwall was playing as the throng of journalists assembled in the ballroom of a Grand Hyatt hotel in San Francisco at AMD's Ryzen Tech Day. I don't know why the song was pickednormally these events prefer something a little more current and upbeat—but it sure seemed apt. As CEO Lisa Su and others were preparing to speak, one of the Gallagher brothers (who knows which one) drearily droned the question, "You're gonna be the one that saves me?" AMD is a company that needs saving. Although there have been occasional high spots, such as the design wins for both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, the last few years have been heavy going for the chip designer,. Its main productsdesktop and server processorshaven't been very good at all, forcing it to sell only to the very lowest of the low-end customers.
Ars Technica UK
a day
Enlarge AMD's Ryzen high-end Summit Ridge CPUs have been priced—and it looks like Intel better batten down the hatches, or be ready to slash its prices to compete. At the top end the Ryzen 1800X will cost $500 (~£500), versus $1,100 (~£1,050) for the Intel Core i7-6900K that AMD is putatively pitching it against. Further down the stack there's the Ryzen 1700X for $400, which AMD is comparing against the $450 Core i7-6800K, and the $330 Ryzen 1700 versus the $350 Core i7-7700K. UK pricing is unconfirmed on the Ryzen parts, but you should probably brace yourself for £500450330. Notably, all of the Ryzen parts feature 8 cores and 16 threads (8c16t), which can only currently be matched by the Haswell-E i7-5960X (~$1,100), Broadwell-E i7-6900K (~$1,100), and a number of even more expensive Xeon chips. The 6800K has 6 cores and 12 threads, while the 7700K is your standard 4c/8t desktop chip. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments
Ars Technica UK
a day
Open Culture
a day
From this prediction, De Tocqueville foresaw “two tendencies; one leading the mind of every man to untried thoughts, the other prohibiting him from thinking at all.” De Botton goes on to discuss two closely related critiques: democracy’s suspicion of all authority and its undermining of free thought. Rather than encountering the kind of marketplace of ideas the country prides itself on fostering, he found in few places “less independence of mind, and true freedom of discussion, than in America.” The criticism is harsh, and De Tocqueville did not flatter his hosts often, and yet for all of its “inherent drawbacks,” De Botton writes at the School of Life, the Frenchmanisnt anti-democratic.” His aim is “to get us to be realistic” about democratic society and its tendencies to inhibit rather than enlarge many freedoms. As Arthur Goldhammer observes at The Nation , De Tocqueville believed that “True freedom lay not in the pursuit of individualistic aims, but “in ‘slow and tranquilaction in concert with others sharing some collective purpose.