arstechnica.com
arstechnica.com
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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Target of first human gene editing cuts life expectancy short

Target of first human gene editing cuts life expectancy short

Late last year, a Chinese researcher shocked the scientific community when he announced that the first gene-edited humans had already been born. He Jiankui barreled past that the technology and, once it was, should be reserved for otherwise untreatable diseases. Instead of respecting those boundaries, He did much of his work without any clear institutional oversight.Rather than target an incurable genetic disorder, He Jiankui focused on something for which we have both preventative measures and treatments: HIV infection. He did so by using CRISPR gene editing to damage a gene that encodes a...

June 5, 2019
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Coinbase doubles down on anti-politics stance with exit package offer

Coinbase doubles down on anti-politics stance with exit package offer

In the last few years, big technology companies have faced growing pressure from employees to become involved in social justice issues. This pressure intensified this summer with the George Floyd protests. But this week, CEO Brian Armstrong of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase staked out a contrarian stance. "While I think these efforts are well-intentioned, they have the potential to destroy a lot of value at most companies, both by being a distraction, and by creating internal division,"  in a blog post. "We've seen what internal strife at companies like Google and Facebook can do to...

September 30, 2020
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Cisco: Avoid coronavirus, stay home, use Webex

Cisco: Avoid coronavirus, stay home, use Webex

Networking giant Cisco is getting into the coronavirus monitoring and mitigation game with its Webex remote meeting property. The company that in the wake of mandates issued to employees to halt travel plans and/or work from home, traffic across its Webex backbone has increased significantly.Webex meeting traffic connecting Chinese users to global workplaces has increased by a factor of 22 since the outbreak began; traffic in other Asian countries is up by 400 percent or more, and free signup rates in impacted countries have increased 700 percent or more.In response, Cisco is offering...

March 5, 2020
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Proposed bill would ban microtargeting of political advertisements

Proposed bill would ban microtargeting of political advertisements

Internet-based advertising has been a boon for both political campaigns and , which love to take advantage of the ability to slice and dice the electorate into incredibly tiny and carefully targeted segments for their messaging. These ads—which may or may not be truthful and are designed to play very specifically on tiny groups—are incredibly difficult for regulators, researchers, and anyone else not in the targeted group to see, identify, analyze, and rebut.Google this kind of microtargeting for political ads, while Twitter any political advertising. Facebook, on the other hand, is happy...

May 26, 2020
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Walmart employees are out to show its anti-shoplifting AI doesn’t work

Walmart employees are out to show its anti-shoplifting AI doesn’t work

In January, my coworker received a peculiar email. The message, which she forwarded to me, was from a handful of corporate Walmart employees calling themselves the “Concerned Home Office Associates.” (Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, is often referred to as the Home Office.) While it’s not unusual for journalists to receive anonymous tips, they don’t usually come with their own slickly produced videos.The employees said they were “past their breaking point” with Everseen, a small artificial intelligence firm based in Cork, Ireland, whose technology Walmart began using in...

May 31, 2020
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Why one email app went to war with Apple—and why neither one is right

Why one email app went to war with Apple—and why neither one is right

Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson launched a firestorm of public criticism of Apple after Apple rejected an update to Basecamp's new email app. Hansson's and the ensuing controversy surfaced days before Apple's annual developer conference and amidst news that the European Commission has opened an of Apple and the App Store.The app in question is Hey, an email tool that eschews tradition to offer a better experience for a certain type of user. It requires users to pay a $99 annual subscription fee to access its features and services but offers a free trial period.Hey's 1.0 version was...

June 18, 2020
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Why movie theaters are in trouble after DOJ nixes 70-year-old case

Why movie theaters are in trouble after DOJ nixes 70-year-old case

If you went to the movies in 2019, you probably saw a Disney movie. Seven of the top 10 highest-grossing films released in the United States last year were distributed by the House of Mouse, and hundreds of millions of people went to see them on thousands of screens. Some weeks it felt like the entire film industry was Disney: and the rest of the Avengers () competed for your attention for a while, as Aladdin, , and Toy Story 4 kept up a steady drumbeat of animation until Elsa dropped back onto hapless households in . In amongst that morass, though, there were still other movies shown, many...

August 11, 2020
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The Internet’s most important—and misunderstood—law, explained

The Internet’s most important—and misunderstood—law, explained

There's at least one thing that Joe Biden and Donald Trump seem to agree on: that federal law gives unfair legal immunity to technology giants.In an interview with The New York Times , Biden argued that "we should be worried about" Facebook "being exempt" from lawsuits. The Times, he noted, "can’t write something you know to be false and be exempt from being sued." But under a 1996 law known as Section 230, Biden claimed, Facebook can do just that."Section 230 should be revoked immediately," Biden said.Just last month, Trump very publicly expressed a similar view."Social media giants like...

June 10, 2020
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Russia’s replacement for the Proton rocket costs way too much

Russia’s replacement for the Proton rocket costs way too much

In recent months, the Russian space industry has talked a good game about its plans for developing new rockets to compete on the international stage.One of the country's storied rocket engine manufacturers, NPO Energomash, it was working on developing a large, methane-fueled rocket engine, named the RD-0177. This engine was part of an overall plan for a "new generation" of rockets. The work comes as three US rocket companies, SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and Blue Origin, are building their next-generation rockets around methane engines.Additionally, Russian officials have continued to...

June 29, 2020
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OpenSignal compares 5G experiences across ten major carriers

OpenSignal compares 5G experiences across ten major carriers

Telecomm analytics firm OpenSignal released a last week analyzing the connection experience of 5G users across the world, on ten different providers. Unfortunately—and typically for 5G—the source data is so muddled that it's difficult to draw meaningful conclusions from the results.In the USA, Verizon is the only carrier to have deployed a significant millimeter-wave (5G FR2, various bands from 24GHz to 40GHz) network—and in fact, at the moment Verizon is only deploying 5G FR2, which is why its average 5G download speed bar leaps off the chart, at 506Mbps. 5G is a protocol, not a...

May 25, 2020
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