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Ars Technica

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Updated 2018-12-16 07:15
22 apps with 2 million+ Google Play downloads had a malicious backdoor
Device-draining downloader used for ad fraud could have recovered other malicious files.
YouTube tells impersonation victim: No, you’re not being impersonated
TOS enforcement only came after public shaming, pressure from author's publisher.
Amazon “automated machine” punctures bear spray can, 24 employees hospitalized
One employee is in critical condition.
NASA’s next Mars rover will use AI to be a better science partner
Experience gleaned from EO-1 satellite will help JPL build science smarts into next rover.
Move over AlphaGo: AlphaZero taught itself to play three different games
DeepMind's new AI is worthy successor to the first program to beat a human at Go.
AT&T/Verizon lobby misunderstands arrow of time, makes impossible claim
USTelecom claims the 2018 net neutrality repeal boosted investment in 2017.
Apple’s anticipated ECG app rolls out today in watchOS 5.1.2
Irregular heart rhythm alerts are also now available on many Apple Watches.
Edge dies a death of a thousand cuts as Microsoft switches to Chromium
An unnecessary coupling between browser and operating system made compatibility too hard.
Rapper sues Epic Games over “unauthorized” Fortnite dance use
But 2 Milly's "Milly Rock" may not actually be copyrightable.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 is official, coming to Android flagships in 2019
Qualcomm is promising a 45-percent faster CPU and a 20-percent faster GPU.
Geckos’ new superpower is running on water; now we know how they do it
The mouse-sized lizards use a combination of surface tension and slapping motion.
Researchers 3D print a wormhole… for sound waves
Bent plastic in 3D world creates 2D worm hole for sound waves.
Ethereum falls below $100—down 93 percent from its January high
The blockchain world has yet to find a killer app to drive mainstream adoption.
Google to simplify messaging strategy, will support only five messaging apps
Quintuple-app strategy offers "a simpler and more unified communications experience."
Medieval skeleton’s boots reveal harsh realities of life on the Thames
Archaeologists in London made a grim discovery on the bank of the River Thames.
Artificial Intelligence and the coming of the self-designing machine
AI and generative design are set to change everything we know about manufacturing.
Smash Bros. Ultimate review: The best fighting game on any Nintendo system
Insane scope and depth, but more importantly, Smash Ultimate brings the joy.
Inflation theories must dig deeper to avoid collision with data
BICEP and Keck combine data, but primordial gravitational waves remain hidden.
Bethesda’s attempt to fix a Fallout 76 blunder leaks angry shoppers’ PID [Updated]
Bethesda confirms leak of users' messages, photos; will notify affected users.
As US coal use drops to 1979 levels, EPA may ease rules on new coal plants
New plants not expected to be built, but move sends a signal.
Iranians indicted in Atlanta city government ransomware attack
Samsam ransomware attack that took down Atlanta is connected to another attack in New Jersey.
Single-beam laser becomes multi-beam laser by kicking electrons
Kick expanding electrons down bent undulator to make multi-beam FEL.
Ajit Pai buries 2-year-old speed test data in appendix of 762-page report
Long-delayed report shows DSL ISPs are still bad at providing advertised speeds.
Giuliani can’t figure out how URLs work, blames Twitter for liberal bias
"Twitter allowed someone to invade my text," Giuliani tweeted.
Where we’re going, we won’t need windows: How autonomy will change cars
Autonomous vehicle technology will change the ground rules, and not just for car design.
After 26 straight successes, SpaceX fails to land Falcon 9 it wanted back
"Some landing systems are not redundant."
Apple releases iOS 12.1.1, macOS Mojave 10.14.2, and tvOS 12.1.1
Quality-of-life improvements for FaceTime headline a small set of updates.
Dealmaster: Take 20% off a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ starter kit
Plus $100 off the Xbox One X, $40 off a new iPad, and a big Amazon PC sale.
Facebook also let dating apps have further access to Graph API back in 2015
UK MP releases 250 pages of materials obtained as part of Six4Three debacle.
Bacteria engage in chemical warfare against viruses
Bacteria anti-virus armaments include chemicals that stop DNA from being copied.
Tom Cruise finally takes a stand… on your parents’ terrible TV settings
The "soap opera effect" is a common default setting on most high-definition TVs.
Dozens of hidden game names found in PlayStation Classic source files
Crash Bandicoot, Gran Turismo, Tony Hawk, Tomb Raider among games seemingly tested.
Why, in 2018, is Microsoft adding security questions to Windows 10?
Attackers with admin control can abuse the feature to create a persistent backdoor.
Tumblr’s porn ban is going about as badly as expected
Trusting an algorithm to distinguish porn from art isn't going well.
Samsung Galaxy S10 renders feature a big hole in the display
It's got six cameras, a headphone jack, and an in-screen fingerprint reader.
Video: Why our rising oceans aren’t causing problems everywhere
Ars looks at why sea level rise is more complicated than filling a bath tub.
More than an auto-pilot, AI charts its course in aviation
Artificial intelligence steps up on the flight deck and in the back office.
A hectic week of orbital flights continues with a SpaceX launch Wednesday
So far, there have been 101 orbital launches this year, with more to come.
Waymo One, the groundbreaking self-driving taxi service, explained
Waymo finally begins commercial operations—albeit with safety drivers.
Medieval European plague genomes hint at Black Death’s travels
A more complete phylogeny of plague bacteria yields a clearer pandemic picture.
The old guard may be turning against the Russian space program
"In recent years, the leaders are blowing more smoke than doing anything substantive."
Microsoft continues its quest to embrace every developer with Visual Studio 2019
More Linux and more cloud services, too.
Thousands of sensitive emails stolen in intrusion of Republican campaign arm
Email accounts of four senior NRCC aides monitored for months.
Players find secret emulation menu hidden in PlayStation Classic
Certain USB keyboards can unlock display options, extra save states, and more.
The Razer Blade Stealth gets an overhaul with a 4K display and better graphics
Better performance and a subtly smarter design improve the ultraportable.
NYC votes to set minimum pay for Uber, Lyft drivers
"All workers deserve the protection of a fair, livable wage," drivers' advocate says.
Verizon/AOL helped advertisers track kids online, must now pay $5M fine
AOL knowingly violated children's privacy law with billions of targeted ads.
Report: Microsoft is scrapping Edge, switching to just another Chrome clone
The move would further cement the desktop browser monoculture.
Google bridges Android and iOS development with Flutter 1.0
Google's other mobile SDK is deemed ready for prime time.
Review: Helm Personal Server gets email self-hosting (almost) exactly right
Normal folks and long-time email sysadmins alike will find a lot to love here.