arstechnica.com
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Ars Technica is a website covering news and opinions in technology, science, politics, and society, created by Ken Fisher and Jon Stokes in 1998. It publishes news, reviews, and guides on issues such as computer hardware and software, science, technology policy, and video games. Many of the site's writers are postgraduates and some work for research institutions. Articles on the website are written in a less-formal tone than those in traditional journals. Ars Technica was privately owned until May 2008, when it was sold to Condé Nast Digital, the online division of Condé Nast Publications.Source
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Justice Department sends its Section 230 rewrite to Congress

Justice Department sends its Section 230 rewrite to Congress

The Department of Justice today dropped a proposed "recalibration" of one of the most important laws governing the US Internet into Congress' lap and urged legislators to act to remove a liability protection on which nearly every website and app currently relies.Attorney General Bill Barr sent the proposed legislation—an extension of —to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence (in his role as president of the Senate) this morning."For too long Section 230 has provided a shield for online platforms to operate with impunity," Barr said in a written statement. "Ensuring...

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Kate Cox
6d ago
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Verizon, AT&T to pay $127M for allegedly overcharging government agencies

Verizon, AT&T to pay $127M for allegedly overcharging government agencies

Verizon and AT&T have agreed to pay a combined $127 million to settle lawsuits alleging that they overcharged California and Nevada government entities for wireless service. The lawsuit was filed in 2012 and resulted in a settlement approved on Thursday last week by Sacramento County Superior Court, the plaintiffs' law firm, Constantine Cannon, ."Verizon will pay $76 million and AT&T $51 million to settle claims that, for more than a decade, they knowingly ignored cost-saving requirements included in multibillion-dollar contracts offering wireless services to state and local government...

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Jon Brodkin
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“Joker”—the malware that signs you up for pricey services—floods Android markets

“Joker”—the malware that signs you up for pricey services—floods Android markets

September has been a busy month for malicious Android apps, with dozens of them from a single malware family alone flooding either Google Play or third-party markets, researchers from security companies said.Known as Joker, this family of malicious apps has been attacking Android users since late 2016 and more recently has become one of the most common Android threats. Once installed, Joker apps secretly subscribe users to pricey subscription services and can also steal SMS messages, contact lists, and device information. Last July, researchers said they found Joker lurking in 11 seemingly...

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Dan Goodin
1d ago
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Trump likely overstepped authority with TikTok ban, judge rules

Trump likely overstepped authority with TikTok ban, judge rules

President Donald Trump's attempt to ban TikTok from operating inside the United States probably exceeds the authority the president has to do such things, a federal judge has ruled.TikTok narrowly avoided being removed from app stores last night when Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for DC late yesterday requiring the government to pause on its ban. TikTok got its reprieve, but the terms of the order () were sealed until midday today.To meet the standard for an injunction, Nichols explained, TikTok basically needed to prove four things to his satisfaction. The first factor,...

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Kate Cox
1d ago
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Ex-eBay employees to plead guilty in “bloody pig mask” cyberstalking case

Ex-eBay employees to plead guilty in “bloody pig mask” cyberstalking case

Four former eBay employees are expected to plead guilty to charges that they led a cyberstalking campaign against an online newsletter's editor and publisher. , federal officials announced charges and said the harassment campaign "included sending the couple anonymous, threatening messages, disturbing deliveries—including a box of live cockroaches, a funeral wreath, and a bloody pig [Halloween] mask—and conducting covert surveillance of the victims."The four people who are scheduled to plead guilty are Stephanie Popp, eBay's former senior manager of global intelligence; Stephanie Stockwell,...

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Jon Brodkin
5d ago
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Seismic sound waves crossing the deep ocean could be a new thermometer

Seismic sound waves crossing the deep ocean could be a new thermometer

Geophysics has shown that precise measurements and a little modeling can perform wonders, like showing us the detailed structure of the Earth’s interior despite the fact that it is inaccessibly buried beneath hundreds of kilometers of rock. This is possible because seismic waves produced by earthquakes subtly change velocity or direction as they pass through different materials. A new paper shows that something similar can actually measure small temperature changes in the deep ocean.An idea to use acoustic waves from man-made sources was actually floated several decades ago but died out...

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Scott K. Johnson
4d ago
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Traders set to don virtual reality headsets in their home offices

Traders set to don virtual reality headsets in their home offices

Spare bedrooms and living rooms could soon become part of vibrant trading floors as one of the world’s biggest investment banks considers providing staff with augmented reality headsets.UBS has experimented with issuing its London-based traders with Microsoft HoloLenses, which would allow staff to recreate the experience of working in a packed trading floor without leaving their homes.Banks have been desperate to bring workers back to the office, especially for regulatory-sensitive roles such as trading, but surges in coronavirus infection rates have meant many staff are wary about using...

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Sep 20
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TikTok’s fate to go down to the wire; judge will rule before midnight

TikTok’s fate to go down to the wire; judge will rule before midnight

TikTok will be gone from app stores tomorrow morning unless a federal judge acts to block the Trump administration's ban on the app before midnight tonight.Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for DC said today that he will determine whether to grant or reject TikTok's request for an injunction on the ban before the deadline hits at the stroke of 12.In a hearing on Thursday, Nichols either to delay or defend the ban. The administration chose to file a response defending the ban but did so under seal, so the filings are not available to the public.The judge set a hearing on the matter...

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Kate Cox
2d ago
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Deep algebra for deep beats: The beautiful sounds of musical programming

Deep algebra for deep beats: The beautiful sounds of musical programming

Musicians have spent centuries flirting with technology to push the boundaries of the art, from the Theremin to mid-century tape experiments. Despite this fascination, only a tiny niche have gone so far as to programmatically generate music via code. In a span of roughly 70 years, the few who’ve done so comprise a Venn diagram of intersecting programmers and avant-garde musicians.The results are unlike anything you've ever heard—and some of the most ambitious music to blend the realms of analog and digital sound.I talked with people who are using code to make a wide variety of music, from...

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4d ago
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Tesla wins key ruling in legal battle against former employee

Tesla wins key ruling in legal battle against former employee

A federal judge in Nevada has thrown out a defamation case by former Tesla employee Martin Tripp against his former employer. At the same time, Judge Miranda Du refused to dismiss Tesla's charge that Tripp had violated Nevada's computer crime law when he provided confidential Tesla information to a reporter.Tripp came to public attention in the spring of 2018 when he told several news organizations——that he had evidence that Tesla was wasting raw materials and exaggerating its progress toward producing 5,000 Model 3 cars per week. When someone claiming to be a friend of Tripp's called Tesla...

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Timothy B. Lee
Sep 18
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One of this year’s most severe Windows bugs is now under active exploit

One of this year’s most severe Windows bugs is now under active exploit

One of the highest-impact Windows vulnerabilities patched this year is now under active exploitation by malicious hackers, Microsoft warned overnight, in a development that puts increasing pressure on laggards to update now.CVE-2020-1472, as the vulnerability is tracked, allows hackers to instantly take control of the Active Directory, a Windows server resource that acts as an all-powerful gatekeeper for all machines connected to a network. Researchers have dubbed the vulnerability Zerologon, because it allows attackers with only minimal access to a vulnerable network to login to the Active...

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Dan Goodin
5d ago
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Epic, Spotify, and others take on Apple with “Coalition for App Fairness”

Epic, Spotify, and others take on Apple with “Coalition for App Fairness”

Exactly how much power app store owners should have over developers has been lately, and now several high-profile app developers are banding together to form the "Coalition for App Fairness." The group describes itself as "an independent nonprofit organization founded by industry-leading companies to advocate for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem."Just about every app developer that has publicly clashed with Apple in the past few months is among the 13 founding members of the coalition. They include Epic Games, which had the Fortnite  for implementing its own...

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Ron Amadeo
5d ago
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Judge gives Trump admin. Friday deadline to delay or defend TikTok ban

Judge gives Trump admin. Friday deadline to delay or defend TikTok ban

A federal judge today gave the Trump administration until Friday to either defend its planned ban of short-form-video app TikTok in court or hold off on it, adding one more wrinkle to the seemingly endless on-again, off-again saga.If the government doesn't voluntarily postpone the planned TikTok ban by 2:30pm (EDT) on Friday, then it will have to show up for a hearing on Sunday morning, where he will rule on TikTok's request for an injunction on the ban, Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for DC said today.Nichols said that the ban, if it takes effect, could prevent potentially...

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Kate Cox
5d ago
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Nikola patented a stolen truck design, Tesla claims in legal response

Nikola patented a stolen truck design, Tesla claims in legal response

Two years ago, hydrogen-truck startup Nikola claiming that the was a knockoff of Nikola's own truck design. On Wednesday, Tesla in the case accusing Nikola of basing its own truck on a 2010 concept by designer Adriano Mudri. Mudri is now director of design at the Croatian automaker Rimac."Adriano Mudri is the designer of the Road Runner concept truck," Tesla writes in its legal filing. "The Road Runner concept truck was entered into the 2010 Michelin Design Challenge, and was selected for display at the 2010 North American International Auto Show."According to Tesla, Nikola founder Trevor...

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Timothy B. Lee
5d ago
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The BeOS file system, an OS geek retrospective

The BeOS file system, an OS geek retrospective

It's the day after Independence Day in the US, and much of our staff is just returning to their preferred work machines. If this was 1997 instead of 2018, that would mean booting up BeOS for some. The future-of-operating-systems-that-never-was arrived just over 20 years ago, so in light of the holiday, we're resurfacing this geek's guide. The piece originally ran on June 2, 2010; it appears unchanged below.The Be operating system file system, known simply as BFS, is the file system for the Haiku, BeOS, and SkyOS operating systems. When it was created in the late '90s as part of the...

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Jul 5
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Former Facebook manager: “We took a page from Big Tobacco’s playbook”

Former Facebook manager: “We took a page from Big Tobacco’s playbook”

Speaking to Congress today, the former Facebook manager first tasked with making the company make money did not mince words about his role. He told lawmakers that the company "took a page from Big Tobacco's playbook, working to make our offering addictive at the outset" and arguing that his former employer has been hugely detrimental to society.Tim Kendall, who served as director of monetization for Facebook from 2006 through 2010, spoke to Congress today as part of a House Commerce subcommittee examining how social media platforms contribute to the mainstreaming of extremist and...

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Kate Cox
5d ago
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Lenovo begins selling OEM Ubuntu PCs to the general public

Lenovo begins selling OEM Ubuntu PCs to the general public

Beginning today, Lenovo is offering a greatly expanded selection of OEM Linux PCs to the general public. Earlier this year, Lenovo began offering Fedora Linux pre-installed on laptop including Thinkpad P1 Gen 2, Thinkpad P53, and Thinkpad X1 Gen 8. Today's announcement makes Ubuntu Linux available on a considerably broader swath of both desktop and laptop PCs.ThinkPad T14 (AMD and Intel)ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5ThinkPad P1 Gen 3ThinkPad T14s (AMD and Intel)ThinkPad L14ThinkStation P340ThinkPad T15pThinkPad L15ThinkStation P340 TinyThinkPad T15ThinkPad P15sThinkStation P520cThinkPad X13 (AMD...

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Jim Salter
7d ago
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Russia offers its untested COVID-19 vaccine for free to UN officials

Russia offers its untested COVID-19 vaccine for free to UN officials

Some United Nations staff are likely brushing up on their Russian—specifically how to say “Thanks, but no thanks” in the nicest way possible.On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered UN staff free doses of the country’s COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, which has not completed clinical trials for efficacy and has not been thoroughly vetted for safety.Still, Putin suggested that his offer was prompted by the desire to give the people what they want: “Some colleagues from the UN have asked about this, and we will not remain indifferent to them,” he said during a speech Tuesday at this...

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Beth Mole
6d ago
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Everything we know about Volkswagen’s $40,000 ID.4 electric crossover

Everything we know about Volkswagen’s $40,000 ID.4 electric crossover

Volkswagen provided a night in a hotel so I could drive from DC to NYC the night before seeing the prototype ID.4. Ars does not accept paid editorial content.On Wednesday, in an Internet livestream, Volkswagen unveiled the ID.4 crossover. Designed from the ground up as a battery-electric vehicle, it's part of that VW embarked on in the wake of  and the first of the new VW BEVs to reach these shores. More than that, it was designed with the US market firmly in mind. No edgy European hatchback or city car here—this is pure crossover.The ID.4 is one of a number of new BEVs that VW is building...

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Jonathan M. Gitlin
6d ago
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“LokiBot,” the malware that steals your most sensitive data, is on the rise

“LokiBot,” the malware that steals your most sensitive data, is on the rise

Federal and state officials are seeing a big uptick in infections coming from LokiBot, an open source DIY malware package for Windows that’s openly sold or traded for free in underground forums. It steals passwords and cryptocurrency wallets, and it can also download and install new malware.In an , the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency and the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center said LokiBot activity has scaled up dramatically in the past two months. The increase was measured by “EINSTEIN,” an automated intrusion-detection system for...

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Dan Goodin
Sep 22
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Facebook vows to restrict users if US election descends into chaos

Facebook vows to restrict users if US election descends into chaos

Facebook has said it will take aggressive and exceptional measures to “restrict the circulation of content” on its platform if November’s presidential election descends into chaos or violent civic unrest.In an interview with the Financial Times, Nick Clegg, the company’s head of global affairs, said it had drawn up plans for how to handle a range of outcomes, including widespread civic unrest or “the political dilemmas” of having in-person votes counted more rapidly than mail-in ballots, which will play a larger role in this election due to the coronavirus pandemic.“There are some...

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Sep 22
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A tip from a kid helps detect iOS and Android scam apps’ 2.4 million downloads

A tip from a kid helps detect iOS and Android scam apps’ 2.4 million downloads

Researchers said that a tip from a child led them to discover aggressive adware and exorbitant prices lurking in iOS and Android smartphone apps with a combined 2.4 million downloads from the App Store and Google Play.Posing as apps for entertainment, wallpaper images, or music downloads, some of the titles served intrusive ads even when an app wasn’t active. To prevent users from uninstalling them, the apps hid their icon, making it hard to identify where the ads were coming from. Other apps charged from $2 to $10 and generated revenue of more than $500,000, according to estimates from...

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Dan Goodin
Sep 22
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A German rocket startup seeks to disrupt the European launch industry

A German rocket startup seeks to disrupt the European launch industry

Some space entrepreneurs in Germany believe that the European launch industry—which principally consists of the state-backed Arianespace corporation—is ripe for disruption.The industry, they say, mirrors that of the United States more than a decade ago, before SpaceX emerged onto the scene and began to disrupt the near-monopoly held by United Launch Alliance. SpaceX successfully launched its first Falcon 1 rocket in 2008, and the company followed that with the Falcon 9 booster less than two years later. Since then, it has forced competitors to innovate and put downward pressure on launch...

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Eric Berger
Sep 21
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Feds issue emergency order for agencies to patch critical Windows flaw

Feds issue emergency order for agencies to patch critical Windows flaw

The US Department of Homeland Security is giving federal agencies until midnight on Tuesday to patch a critical Windows vulnerability that can make it easy for attackers to become all-powerful administrators with free rein to create accounts, infect an entire network with malware, and carry out similarly disastrous actions.Zerologon, as researchers have dubbed the vulnerability, allows malicious hackers to instantly gain unauthorized control of the Active Directory. An Active Directory stores data relating to users and computers that are authorized to use email, file sharing, and other...

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Dan Goodin
Sep 21
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Court blocks Trump’s WeChat ban from taking effect today

Court blocks Trump’s WeChat ban from taking effect today

A federal judge in California put a temporary halt on the White House's efforts to ban WeChat inside the United States, preventing that ban from going into effect at midnight tonight."The plaintiffs have shown serious questions going to the merits of their First Amendment Claim," US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler wrote in her ruling () early this morning.The ruling came in response to a lawsuit inside the US. The group, organized as the US WeChat Users Alliance, argued in their complaint that the ban violated their First and Fifth Amendment rights as well as the Religious Freedom...

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Kate Cox
Sep 20
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