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Gadget Lab Podcast: We’ve Got the Skinny on Motorola’s Slick New Phones

Wired - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 20:17

WIRED products editor Molly McHugh joins Michael and David this week for a wide-ranging discussion.

The post Gadget Lab Podcast: We’ve Got the Skinny on Motorola’s Slick New Phones appeared first on WIRED.

A $4 Billion Renovation Won’t Fix LaGuardia’s Awful Delays

Wired - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 20:09

LaGuardia's new $4 billion renovation will look great, but it won't fix the airport's biggest problem: delayed flights.

The post A $4 Billion Renovation Won’t Fix LaGuardia’s Awful Delays appeared first on WIRED.

Facebook: Our drones will use lasers to deliver 10Gbps Internet access

Ars Technica - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 20:07

Facebook has made significant progress in a project to build solar-powered drones that can deliver Internet connectivity using a mix of lasers and radio signals, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday.

"I'm excited to announce we’ve completed construction of our first full scale aircraft, Aquila, as part of our Internet.org effort," Zuckerberg wrote. "Aquila is a solar powered unmanned plane that beams down Internet connectivity from the sky. It has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, but weighs less than a car and can stay in the air for months at a time. We've also made a breakthrough in laser communications technology. We've successfully tested a new laser that can transmit data at 10 gigabits per second. That's ten times faster than any previous system, and it can accurately connect with a point the size of a dime from more than 10 miles away."Obviously, that 10Gbps would be shared among multiple users, but it could connect a lot of people to the Internet.

The network will operate similarly to Google's Project Loon. While Loon uses balloons instead of drones, the aircraft in both networks distribute signals to each other to increase range.

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Warrantless mobile phone location tracking heads to Supreme Court

Ars Technica - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 20:00

The US Supreme Court is being asked to resolve once and for all whether the authorities need a court warrant under the Fourth Amendment to obtain a suspect's cell-site location data records.

The case the justices were asked to review Friday concerns a Florida man who got a life term for several robberies in a 2012 case built with his mobile phone's location data the police obtained without a warrant.

The case has big privacy implications for anybody who carries a mobile phone. According to the government, that device may be tracked at will without the Fourth Amendment's probable cause standard being met.

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The Angry Comedians on Hulu Trailer: Difficult People

Wired - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 19:47

It's like being showered with comedy confetti--and you never want it to stop raining.

The post The Angry Comedians on Hulu Trailer: Difficult People appeared first on WIRED.

A New Hope for Victims of Data Breaches

Wired - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 19:46

Victims of data breaches have a small reason to rejoice this week.

The post A New Hope for Victims of Data Breaches appeared first on WIRED.

Faster booting, smaller footprint make Windows 10 an easy upgrade for old PCs

Ars Technica - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 19:45

ars.AD.queue.push(["xrailTop", {sz:"300x251", kws:["bottom"], collapse: true}]);A whole bunch of people are going to upgrade to Windows 10. Not everyone. But when you offer free Windows via a nag message delivered to over 80 percent of the user base, you’re going to attract people who wouldn’t have driven to MicroCenter to buy an upgrade DVD.

Especially if you bought an eligible PC in Windows 7’s heyday, you will probably be installing the new OS on five- or six-year-old hardware that has long since been forgotten about by the company that sold it to you. Or maybe you bought something during the post-Chromebook era, where Windows PCs dipped back into netbook territory in their quest for a low price tag.

We installed Windows 10 on a few of these kinds of systems to see what you can expect, at least if you’re comparing a clean install to a clean install. Current users of both Windows 7 and Windows 8 should expect to recover a few gigabytes of drive space, a few megabytes of system RAM, and a few precious seconds of boot time.

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Sling TV Says Comcast Is Blocking Its Anti-Comcast Ads

Wired - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 19:13

Live TV service Sling TV is answering back to the cable giant in a very public way.

The post Sling TV Says Comcast Is Blocking Its Anti-Comcast Ads appeared first on WIRED.

Appeals court: Actually, Newegg did win that case

Ars Technica - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 18:55

Newegg is famous for fighting patent trolls, and the company is currently trying to win fees from several cases where it has won or the troll has given up.

In one of those cases, Newegg fought a non-practicing entity called Pragmatus Telecom, which dropped its case against Newegg before discovery was complete. Newegg asked for attorneys fees but was rejected by the Delaware district court, which found that Newegg wasn't the "prevailing party"—in other words, it hadn't really won the case at all, so it couldn't be granted fees.

Today the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned (PDF) that order, meaning Newegg will get a second shot at collecting fees. While the order is nonprecedential, the chance of defendants being awarded fees is changing the economics of the patent-trolling business.

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Patch Your OnStar iOS App to Avoid Getting Your Car Hacked

Wired - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 18:49

GM admits its fix for a wireless OnStar hack was incomplete and is urging iOS users to update their RemoteLink app.

The post Patch Your OnStar iOS App to Avoid Getting Your Car Hacked appeared first on WIRED.

New attack on Tor can deanonymize hidden services with surprising accuracy

Ars Technica - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 18:42

Computer scientists have devised an attack on the Tor privacy network that in certain cases allows them to deanonymize hidden service websites with 88 percent accuracy.

Such hidden services allow people to host websites without end users or anyone else knowing the true IP address of the service. The deanonymization requires the adversary to control the Tor entry point for the computer hosting the hidden service. It also requires the attacker to have previously collected unique network characteristics that can serve as a fingerprint for that particular service. Tor officials say the requirements reduce the effectiveness of the attack. Still, the new research underscores the limits to anonymity on Tor, which journalists, activists, and criminals alike rely on to evade online surveillance and monitoring.

"Our goal is to show that it is possible for a local passive adversary to deanonymize users with hidden service activities without the need to perform end-to-end traffic analysis," the researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Qatar Computing Research Institute wrote in a research paper. "We assume that the attacker is able to monitor the traffic between the user and the Tor network. The attacker’s goal is to identify that a user is either operating or connected to a hidden service. In addition, the attacker then aims to identify the hidden service associated with the user."

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Follow Us Down the Weekly Instagram Rabbit Hole

Wired - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 18:18

WIRED goes down the rabbit hole to discover the best Instagram has to offer.

The post Follow Us Down the Weekly Instagram Rabbit Hole appeared first on WIRED.

The Drake-Meek Mill Beef, Explained in Game of Thrones GIFs

Wired - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 17:53

What better analogue for a rap beef than everyone's favorite tale of intrigue and backstabbery?

The post The Drake-Meek Mill Beef, Explained in Game of Thrones GIFs appeared first on WIRED.

Mozilla Calls Out Microsoft For Pushing Edge Over Firefox

Wired - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 17:39

A little unfriendly competition.

The post Mozilla Calls Out Microsoft For Pushing Edge Over Firefox appeared first on WIRED.

Clinton Lauds Airbnb for Its Push Into Cuba

Wired - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 17:37

Clinton says Internet companies can play an important role in normalizing relations with Cuba.

The post Clinton Lauds Airbnb for Its Push Into Cuba appeared first on WIRED.

ISPs: Net neutrality rules are illegal because Internet access uses computers

Ars Technica - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 17:25

Internet service providers yesterday filed a 95-page brief outlining their case that the Federal Communications Commission’s new net neutrality rules should be overturned.

One of the central arguments is that the FCC cannot impose common carrier rules on Internet access because it can’t be defined as a “telecommunications” service under Title II of the Communications Act. The ISPs argued that Internet access must be treated as a more lightly regulated “information service” because it involves “computer processing.”

“No matter how many computer-mediated features the FCC may sweep under the rug, the inescapable core of Internet access is a service that uses computer processing to enable consumers to ‘retrieve files from the World Wide Web, and browse their contents’ and, thus, ‘offers the ‘capability for... acquiring,... retrieving [and] utilizing... information.’ Under the straightforward statutory definition, an ‘offering’ of that ‘capability’ is an information service," the ISPs wrote.

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Welcome to Booze Science, Our Drunkest Video Series Ever

Wired - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 17:11

A new video series takes a look at the science behind cocktails---in the bar and at home.

The post Welcome to Booze Science, Our Drunkest Video Series Ever appeared first on WIRED.

King’s Quest: A Knight to Remember is a journey of a thousand quips

Ars Technica - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 17:10

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During the 1980s and ‘90s, Sierra Entertainment’s adventure series King's Quest weaved a momentously important tapestry into the medium of interactive storytelling—one that I am more-or-less entirely unfamiliar with. My whole understanding of the series comes from some brief time with King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride, played when my aunt would bring her computer around to my grandparents' house for Christmas.

What I remember from my brief exposure to those games is more of a general impression than any specific characters or story beats. The first part of Activision's reboot/reimagining/retelling works with that limited recall quite nicely, however. It tells the story of Graham, who Wikipedia explains is a returning protagonist from the first few games, as he first enters the kingdom of Daventry.

A Knight to Remember, the first episode in this reboot’s five-piece season, is immediately striking. A cold open on the shot of our hero's wine-colored, cel-shaded cape gives way to a dip into a dragon-inhabited cave, with zero context for why—or really even what sort of game this is. While the original King's Quest games were point-and-click adventures—much like the LucasArts games that dominated my childhood—Activision's early shots of the game made it appear like something more action-oriented. I expected something like the Ron Gilbert directed effort, The Cave, which wrapped the same sort of irreverence as those old games in a puzzle platforming package.

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Steve McIntyre: Linaro VLANd v0.3

Planet Debian - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 17:04

VLANd is a python program intended to make it easy to manage port-based VLAN setups across multiple switches in a network. It is designed to be vendor-agnostic, with a clean pluggable driver API to allow for a wide range of different switches to be controlled together.

There's more information in the README file. I've just released v0.3, with a lot of changes included since the last release:

  • Massive numbers of bugfixes and code cleanups
  • Added two new switch drivers:
    • TP-Link TL-SG2XXX family (TPLinkTLSG2XXX)
    • Netgear XSM family (NetgearXSM)
  • Added "debug" option to all the switch drivers to log all interactions
  • Added internal caching of port modes within the driver core for a large speed-up in normal use
  • Bug fix to handling of trunk ports in the CiscoCatalyst driver, improving VLAN interop with other switches
  • Huge changes to the test lab, now using 5 switches and 10 hosts
  • Big improvements to the test suite:
    • Match the new test lab layout
    • Move more of the core test code into the test-common utility library
    • Massively improved the check-networks test runner for the test hosts
    • Added parsing of the UP/DOWN results in test-common to give a simple PASS/FAIL result for each test
    • Added more tests
  • All logging now in UTC

VLANd is Free Software, released under the GPL version 2 (or any later version). For now, grab it from git; tarballs will be coming shortly.

Expert electrical analysis: $340 audiophile cables test “marginal”

Ars Technica - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 17:00
Our listening test setup back in Vegas, in the process of being draped out of view of both audience and test participants. Here, the expensive Vodka and not-expensive Cable Matters cables were swapped back and forth between the listening laptop, into which was plugged our Grado RS2e headphones. Lee Hutchinson

Our cable adventure is coming to a close. First we took our two $340 AudioQuest Vodka Ethernet cables to Las Vegas and subjected one of them to a live listening test; listeners were unable to tell it apart from a $2.50 Ethernet cable of the same length. Then we took the cable we didn’t use on stage and gutted it, exposing its innards. We found an interesting mix of high craftsmanship (a thick polyethylene sheath, genuine S/FTP construction) and corner cutting (masking tape, unterminated shields).

But listening tests and exploratory surgery would only get us so far. What we needed to cap things off was some actual, for-real electrical analysis, and for that there was really only one place we could go: Kurt Denke and Blue Jeans Cable.

To be sure, we could have rented a Fluke analyzer and done some tests ourselves, but Denke and his company have a sterling reputation in the (surprisingly deep) world of cables. Perhaps most famous for standing up to Monster Cable’s lawsuit threats by telling the bigger company to go jump in a lake, Denke and his company produce high-quality tested cables of all kinds—and he’ll also test out your cables to see exactly how well they perform.

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