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Low levels of simple chemical associated with aging, DNA damage

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 18:05

Enlarge (credit: NIH)

Approximately ten thousand times each day, the DNA in our cells receives some damage, but most of that damage is repaired by our cells' built-in DNA repair systems. The efficiency of these DNA repair systems decline with age, however, and that's thought to lead to age-related health problems and cancer.

A recent paper published in Science shows that a chemical used in the DNA repair process, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), has a concentration that declines with age. This decline may drive the age-associated accumulation of DNA damage—a finding that suggests supplementing NAD+ might offset some of the effects of aging.

The team behind the paper used human embryonic kidney cells (which grow well in the lab) to look at the role of this chemical. The authors found that NAD+ binds to the protein “deleted in breast cancer 1” (DBC1), which—as its name implies—was previously implicated in cancer. DBC1 normally binds to and inhibits another protein that performs DNA repair. But NAD+ blocks this interaction, releasing the inhibition on DNA repair.

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Azure Service Fabric takes first tentative steps toward open source

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 18:00

(credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft's embrace of open source software continues, with Azure Service Fabric making the first tentative foray into the open world. Today, the SDK was (mostly) published to GitHub under the MIT license. The team behind the move described it as the "beginning stages" of a wider use of open source.

Service Fabric, first revealed in 2015, grew out of the infrastructure Microsoft developed to build and run large-scale cloud services, including Azure SQL, Cortana, and Skype for Business. It provides scaling and fault tolerance for services, both stateless and stateful, running in containers across clusters of (virtual) machines. It runs in Azure, naturally, but the runtime is also freely downloadable and can be deployed across on-premises Windows systems, or even onto Windows virtual machines in non-Microsoft clouds. A Linux version of the runtime is currently in development, too.

Microsoft has already been using GitHub for tracking feature requests and bugs within Service Fabric. Users of the runtime have expressed a greater interest in the design and features of Service Fabric, and opening up the SDK is seen as the next step in engaging with the community and helping drive the development direction.

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“Pizzagate” DC shooter pleads guilty, faces years in prison

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 17:37

Enlarge / The Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington, DC., where Edgar Maddison Welch stormed to "self-investigate" Pizzagate. (credit: Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images)

A North Carolina man pleaded guilty Friday to weapons-related charges for a December episode in which he stormed a Washington, DC pizzeria and fired rounds from a Colt AR-15 assault-style rifle. The incident was a bid to "self-investigate" an unfounded conspiracy theory concerning the restaurant's basement being the secret headquarters of a nonexistent child sex-trafficking ring whose (again, nonexistent) members included Hillary Clinton and her inner circle.

(credit: Facebook)

No one was injured, but the episode sent Comet Ping Pong employees and patrons running for their lives when Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, walked in with the assault weapon and a .38-caliber Colt revolver. Later, Welch pointed the AR-15 at a restaurant worker before shooting a computer and a lock on a backroom door.

Welch pleaded guilty to two counts. One charge was the interstate transport of firearms. The other was a local count of assault with a dangerous weapon. Welch remains jailed, and he faces up to a seven-year prison term when sentenced later this year. He faced a substantially longer term had he been convicted at trial.

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Rock Band VR Shreds the Rhythm-Game Paradigm

Wired - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 17:35
A decade after the genre's peak, virtual reality turns out to be the perfect medium for indulging the rock-god fantasy. The post Rock Band VR Shreds the Rhythm-Game Paradigm appeared first on WIRED.

How ISPs can sell your Web history—and how to stop them

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 17:20

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | KrulUA)

The US Senate yesterday voted to eliminate privacy rules that would have forced ISPs to get your consent before selling Web browsing history and app usage history to advertisers. Within a week, the House of Representatives could follow suit, and the rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission last year would be eliminated by Congress.

So what has changed for Internet users? In one sense, nothing changed this week, because the requirement to obtain customer consent before sharing or selling data is not scheduled to take effect until at least December 4, 2017. ISPs didn’t have to follow the rules yesterday or the day before, and they won’t ever have to follow them if the rules are eliminated.

But the Senate vote is nonetheless one big step toward a major victory for ISPs, one that would give them legal certainty if they continue to make aggressive moves into the advertising market. The Senate vote invoked the Congressional Review Act, which lets Congress eliminate regulations it doesn't like and prevent the agency from issuing similar regulations in the future. For ISPs, this is better than the FCC undoing its own rules, because it means a future FCC won't be able to reinstate them.

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How Can You Measure How Much Pain a Baby Feels?

Wired - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 17:00
The FDA is issuing a new warning on anesthesia for infants, and it poses a difficult question for doctors. What's more dangerous: pain or pain treatment? The post How Can You Measure How Much Pain a Baby Feels? appeared first on WIRED.

Judge: eBay can’t be sued over seller accused of patent infringement

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 16:50

eBay headquarters on January 22, 2014 in San Jose, California. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

It's game over for an Alabama man who claims his patent on "Carpenter Bee Traps" is being infringed by competing products on eBay.

Robert Blazer filed his lawsuit in 2015, saying that his US Patent No. 8,375,624 was being infringed by a variety of products being sold on eBay. Blazer believed the online sales platform should have to pay him damages for infringing his patent. A patent can be infringed when someone sells or "offers to sell" a patented invention.

At first, Blazer went through eBay's official channels for reporting infringement, filing a "Notice of Claimed Infringement," or NOCI. At that point, his patent hadn't even been issued yet and was still a pending application, so eBay told him to get back in touch if his patent was granted.

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National Noise Map Charts Americans’ Aural Misery

Wired - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 16:30
Work from government cartograph-ears puts transportation-related noise in perspective. The post National Noise Map Charts Americans' Aural Misery appeared first on WIRED.

Security updates for Friday

LWN.net - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 16:23
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (libpurple), Debian (audiofile, cgiemail, and imagemagick), Fedora (cloud-init, empathy, and mupdf), Mageia (firefox and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (icoutils and openjpeg), Slackware (mcabber and samba), and Ubuntu (eglibc).

Google takes Symantec to the woodshed for mis-issuing 30,000 HTTPS certs [updated]

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 16:22

Enlarge (credit: Nyttend)

In a severe rebuke of one of the biggest suppliers of HTTPS credentials, Google Chrome developers announced plans to drastically restrict transport layer security certificates sold by Symantec-owned issuers following the discovery they have allegedly mis-issued more than 30,000 certificates.

Effective immediately, Chrome plans to stop recognizing the extended validation status of all certificates issued by Symantec-owned certificate authorities, Ryan Sleevi, a software engineer on the Google Chrome team, said Thursday in an online forum. Extended validation certificates are supposed to provide enhanced assurances of a site's authenticity by showing the name of the validated domain name holder in the address bar. Under the move announced by Sleevi, Chrome will immediately stop displaying that information for a period of at least a year. In effect, the certificates will be downgraded to less-secure domain-validated certificates.

More gradually, Google plans to update Chrome to effectively nullify all currently valid certificates issued by Symantec-owned CAs. With Symantec certificates representing more than 30 percent of the Internet's valid certificates by volume in 2015, the move has the potential to prevent millions of Chrome users from being able to access large numbers of sites. What's more, Sleevi cited Firefox data that showed Symantec-issued certificates are responsible for 42 percent of all certificate validations. To minimize the chances of disruption, Chrome will stagger the mass nullification in a way that requires they be replaced over time. To do this, Chrome will gradually decrease the "maximum age" of Symantec-issued certificates over a series of releases. Chrome 59 will limit the expiration to no more than 33 months after they were issued. By Chrome 64, validity would be limited to nine months.

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GameStop expects the Switch to be hard to find through 2017

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 16:10

(credit: JeepersMedia)

The successful launch of the Nintendo Switch earlier this month is already creating retail shortages and steep markups on the secondary market. Now, major retailer GameStop says it expects those kinds of shortages and nearly instant sell-through of shipments to last throughout 2017 in its more than 7,000 retail stores.

"The demand is incredibly strong for this [Switch] column," GameStop COO Tony Bartel said in an earnings call yesterday evening. "As soon as we get into our stores, it's out within hours. We anticipate that we're going to be chasing supply this entire year."

CEO Paul Raines said elsewhere in the call that the retailer's initial shipment of Switch systems sold out in two days and that "multiple replenishments since the launch... have sold out in hours." Bartel added that "there is tremendous demand for this, and we just don't know how high it is because every time we get it out in our stores it's literally gone."

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Google reportedly removing SMS texting from Hangouts on May 22

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 15:05

Welcome to your new Hangout.

Google continues to shake up its messaging tools with the upcoming removal of a popular feature from Hangouts. According to an e-mail sent to GSuite administrators and subsequently posted to Reddit, Google will remove the SMS feature from Hangouts on May 22. Anyone using Hangouts as both a Google messaging app and their primary text messaging app won't be able to send SMS texts after that date.

Hangouts users will be notified of this change via an in-app message starting March 27. You'll be prompted to select a new default messaging app from your list of downloaded apps. If you don't have anything other than Hangouts, you'll be directed to the Google Play Store to download another messaging app. All of your existing SMS messages will not be affected, and they will be available in your new default messaging app.

Google Voice users will also be affected, but not as much as Hangouts-only users. The rule only applies to messages sent and received with your carrier phone number—all SMS messages sent with your Google Voice number will remain unaffected. "For SMS users using Google Voice on Hangouts on Android Google Voice users who also send carrier SMS messages will need to choose another default messaging app. Their Google Voice messages will be unaffected and will still be available in Google Hangouts," the e-mail states. "For Google Voice users on Hangouts on Android Google Voice users who do not use carrier SMS, text messaging will not be affected and no notification will be shown."

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Enough With the Unoriginal Sci-Fi. Looking at You, Life

Wired - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 15:00
Even if you haven't seen this movie, you've seen this movie. The post Enough With the Unoriginal Sci-Fi. Looking at You, Life appeared first on WIRED.

Power Rangers film would’ve been better as a CW series

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 14:45


If you think Marvel and DC superheroes receive too many reboots, you clearly haven't kept tabs on the Power Rangers TV series. What began as an excuse to reuse costumed-battling footage from the Japanese show Super Sentai has spawned 24 incarnations since 1993. Twenty-four! Who knows—if Batman had gotten close to that number, Val Kilmer might have worn the suit a second time.

Despite all of those years and versions, Power Rangers waited until this week for its first motion-picture treatment (well, okay, not really, but the less said about the 1995 film, the better). Weirdly, the results don't feel all that interesting as a film. Instead, viewers get a taste of what could have been the best TV treatment the series has ever seen.

Mighty Friday Night Lights?

The film follows five small-town teens going through various adolescent crises. The town's football hero falls from grace after a prank goes awry. The popular girl burns all bridges with an ill-advised text. One autistic kid misses his dead father in a big way, while two others have very different stressful issues with their own parents.

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The Clever Lindlund Ruler Measures the Digital and Physical Worlds

Wired - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 14:30
The Lindlund ruler closes the gap between analog and digital design. The post The Clever Lindlund Ruler Measures the Digital and Physical Worlds appeared first on WIRED.

Watch Nio’s 1 megawatt EP9 smash the Nürburgring electric vehicle lap record

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 14:30


We're continuing this week's theme of hypercars and electric vehicles with unnecessary amounts of power thanks to a video sent to us by the nice people at Formula E. You may remember late last year that the Nio EP9 set a new EV record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, lapping the 12.9-mile (20.7km) track in 7:05.12. Well, the complete lap has now been uploaded to YouTube for your viewing pleasure:

Peter Dumbreck puts in a very calm but very fast flying lap of the Nordschleife.

The man behind the wheel was Peter Dumbreck, who holds the distinction of being one of two people who have flipped a Mercedes endurance racer at Le Mans (the other is Mark Webber). Dumbreck has a much calmer time in the EP9, which looks to be extremely stable from the onboard video.

The video doesn't feature any telemetry so we don't know what the car's max speed is, but some very rough back of the envelope calculations suggest Dumbreck averages about 140mph on the uphill climb from Bergwerk to Klostertal (3:10-3:45 in the video) and at least that on the long Döttinger Höhe straight (6:15-6:45). That ride down the Ring's longest straight looks extremely bumpy, though.

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Decrypted: The Expanse: “Well, this is off to a good start”

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 14:15

Enlarge / The most badass UN Deputy Undersecretary the solar system has ever seen. Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala.

In this week's episode of The Expanse, our gang wants to get to Ganymede, but the Rocinante is a little too recognizable. Pretending to be a Martian Navy boarding party, Holden and Amos commandeer a Belter freighter, the Weeping Sonambulist, which was transporting relief supplies to the crippled agricultural outpost. Things get worse for the Sonambulist's owners when the local cops on Ganymede decides to alter the terms of their bargain, taking all the relief supplies instead of a smaller cut. It's a tough life out there among the asteroids for the little person.

Bobbie Draper finally gets to ride a dropship down Earth's gravity well, but it isn't the ride she always pictured. The Martians are visiting Manhattan to attend the peace conference. There's obviously little good faith between the two delegations, and there's plenty of posturing from both sides. Much to Gunny Draper's disgust, the Martians accept responsibility for causing the Battle of Ganymede, offering up the late private Travis as a scapegoat. But Avasarala isn't buying it, and even though Draper was told to keep it quiet, she spills the beans about the man without the pressure suit.

The show does a good job this week of conveying just how alien Earth is to the Martians. Bright sunlight, oppressive gravity, and vast horizons would surely be disconcerting to someone used to life in the subterranean tunnels of Mars. It also gives you a good sense of how much contempt the Martians feel for Earth, filled with disgust at a civilization they think has squandered its resources and lies around in idle poverty.

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How to get a Vulcan salute from Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 14:05

This actually happened. (video link)

AUSTIN, Texas—I said I could work an interview with the writers into my piece. Then, the e-mail came: "Nathan, Your TV interviews will begin at 2:45pm. Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal are paired together."

Huh? When Life was announced as the closing film for South by Southwest, I knew I'd be taking the review reins from Senior Space Terror Editor Lee Hutchinson. I didn't know I'd be agreeing to do this. A-list celebrity interviews don't happen often (if at all, sorry Matt Damon) around Ars, and they definitely don't happen in person. They don't happen on camera, either.

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Rogue One’s Director Reveals the Secrets of That Crazy Vader Scene

Wired - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 14:00
According to Gareth Edwards, the scene almost didn't happen. Here's how he pulled it off. The post Rogue One’s Director Reveals the Secrets of That Crazy Vader Scene appeared first on WIRED.

Relicensing OpenSSL

LWN.net - Fri, 24/03/2017 - 12:27
Back in 2015, the OpenSSL project announced its intent to move away from its rather quirky license. Now it has announced that the change is moving forward. "After careful review, consultation with other projects, and input from the Core Infrastructure Initiative and legal counsel from the SFLC, the OpenSSL team decided to relicense the code under the widely-used ASLv2." It is worth noting that this change and the way it is being pursued are not universally popular, in the OpenBSD camp, at least.
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