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four maps show how electricity generation has changed in the us
a natural gas fracking well near shreveport, louisiana.daniel fostershare this storythe us energy information agency (eia) recently published two interesting sets of maps to show how the us energy mix has changed state by state between 2007 and 2017.that decade saw the rise of cheap natural gas that lead many utilities to switch away from coal, but the result is not as clear-cut as one might think: in some states, coal retirements resulted in nuclear power becoming the most-used energy source.it's also important to note that the maps below reflect electricity generation, not necessarily consumption. in some cases, what's generated within state lines will be sold to neighboring states.the first mapbetween 2007 and 2017, the number of states for which coal was the most-used energy source fell from 28 to 18. that change was accompanied by a growth in the number of states that mostly used natural gas from 11 to 16, hydroelectricity from four to six, and nuclear power from six to nine. that's interesting because hydroelectricity and nuclear power power plant additions have been close-to-stagnant for decades. in some states, nuclear power plants benefitted from `uprating,` or changes that increase the plant's capacity. uprating was rarely enough to counteract the whole loss of coal capacity in any given state, which means retired coal is either not being replaced because of electricity efficiency gains, or it's being replaced by more diverse energy sources, like wind and sol...
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newly discovered letter by galileo resolves puzzling historical mystery
enlarge/ the original letter in which galileo argued against the doctrine of the roman catholic church.royal societyshare this storyrenowned astronomer galileo galilei has been lauded for centuries for his courageous principled stance against the catholic church. he argued in favor of the earth moving around the sun, rather than vice versa, in direct contradiction to church teachings at the time. but a long-lost letter has been discovered at the royal society in london indicating that galileo tried to soften his initial claims to avoid the church's wrath.in august, salvatore ricciardo, a postdoc in science history at the university of bergamo in italy, visited london and searched various british libraries for any handwritten comments on galileo's works. he was idly flipping through a catalogue at the royal society when he came across the letter galileo wrote to a friend in 1613, outlining his arguments. according to nature, which first reported the unexpected find, the letter “provides the strongest evidence yet that, at the start of his battle with the religious authorities, galileo actively engaged in damage control and tried to spread a toned-down version of his claims.”“i thought, ‘i can’t believe that i have discovered the letter that virtually all galileo scholars thought to be hopelessly lost,’” ricciardo told nature. “it seemed even more incredible because the letter was not in an obscure library, but in the royal society library.”oh more than moo...
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oneplus takes just 45 days to bring android 9 pie to the oneplus 6
enlargegoogle androidshare this storyoneplus continues its trend of getting better and better at updates. earlier this year, it finally released a formalized update plan for its devices, and now it's releasing one of its fastest device updates in recent memory. the oneplus 6 is being updated to android 9 pie.this release comes just 45 days after google's release of android 9 pie. this might sound pretty slow compared to the millions of users that just got ios 12 on launch day, but for android, anything under three months is pretty good! oneplus' old flagship, the oneplus 5t, took a whopping five months to get updated from android 7.1 nougat to 8.0 oreo, so this is a big improvement.the update speed of android devices is worth paying attention to this release cycle because things are actually different. android 8.0 oreo totally revamped the android update process with project treble, a massive undertaking that modularized the os away from the hardware. with treble in place with oreo, the update from oreo to pie should be faster and easier. so far we've seen a few signs that it might be working.for the first time ever, there was a sizable beta program for android pie before the actual release. besides the expected google phone release, essential, nokia, oneplus, oppo, sony, vivo, and xiaomi all released android p betas for certain models. no one should be surprised that the beta program participants are also the first to release final versions of android pie. so far, we'v...
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solar panels replaced tarmac on a motorway. here are the results.
enlarge/ a road to nowhere?robert b.d. brice/wattwayshare this storyfour years ago a viral campaign wooed the world with a promise of fighting climate change and jump-starting the economy by replacing tarmac on the world’s roads with solar panels. the bold idea has undergone some road testing since then. the first results from preliminary studies have recently come out, and they’re a bit underwhelming.a solar panel lying under a road is at a number of disadvantages. as it’s not at the optimum tilt angle, it’s going to produce less power and it’s going to be more prone to shading, which is a problem as shade over just 5 percent of the surface of a panel can reduce power generation by 50 percent.the panels are also likely to be covered by dirt and dust, and would need far thicker glass than conventional panels to withstand the weight of traffic, which will further limit the light they absorb.unable to benefit from air circulation, its inevitable these panels will heat up more than a rooftop solar panel too. for every 1°c over optimum temperature you lose 0.5 percent of energy efficiency.as a result a significant drop in performance for a solar road, compared to rooftop solar panels, has to be expected. the question is by how much and what is the economic cost?the road test results are inone of the first solar roads to be installed is in tourouvre-au-perche, france. this has a maximum power output of 420 kws, covers 2,800 m² and cost €5 million ($5.8 million) to in...
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low pay, poor prospects, and psychological toll: the perils of microtask work
enlarge/ the amazon mechanical turk, or mturk.com, website is displayed on a computer screen for a photograph in tiskilwa, illinois, u.s., on wednesday, april 23, 2014. photographer: daniel acker/bloomberg via getty imagesgetty imagesshare this storymicrotask platforms recruit humans to do the rating, tagging, review-writing, and poll-taking work that can't quite be automated with an algorithm yet. in the us, the most common such platform is amazon's mechanical turk, but other platforms are prominent in other parts of the world.proponents of this kind of work say that these quick, simple tasks allow people flexible hours to make money, or help `fill in the gaps` for the un- and under-employed.but a new study (pdf) from the united nations' international labor organization (ilo) questions whether these platforms are as good for society as the silicon valley investors and digital evangelists claim. the ilo surveyed 3,500 people across 75 countries who worked for mechanical turk, as well as crowdflower, clickworker, prolific, and microworker.the work on these platforms is often menial and tedious, and the survey found that workers get paid startlingly little on all five platforms, especially when unpaid work is taken into account. the survey counted unpaid work as `time spent looking for tasks, earning qualifications, researching requesters through online forums, communicating with requesters or clients and leaving reviews, as well as unpaid/rejected tasks/tasks ultimately...
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ai learns to decipher images based on spoken words—almost like a toddler
enlarge/ given this picture and audio of the word `airliner,` a neural network identifies the portions of the image where there's an airplane (indicated by the red lines). the software learned to do this entirely by looking at 400,000 pictures, each paired with a brief, free-form spoken description of the scene.david harwath et al.share this storybabies learn words by matching images to sounds. a mother says `dog` and points to a dog. she says `tree` and points to a tree. after repeating this process thousands of times, babies learn to recognize both common objects and the words associated with them.researchers at mit have developed software with the same ability to learn to recognize objects in the world using nothing but raw images and spoken audio. the software examined about 400,000 images, each paired with a brief audio clip describing the scene. by studying these labels, the software was able to correctly label which portions of the picture contained each object mentioned in the audio description.for example, this image comes with the caption `a white and blue jet airliner near trees at the base of a low mountain.`enlargedavid harwath / mita video shows the software labeling the different parts of the image as the audio caption plays—first highlighting the airplane, then the trees, and finally the mountain.what's really remarkable about this software is that it was able to do this without any pre-existing knowledge of either objects in the world or the engli...
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thrustmaster tpr: the best flight sim pedals you can buy in a store like a normal person
enlarge/ this is probably the tpr pedals' best angle—looks almost like a race car engine.lee hutchinsonshare this storyspecs at a glance: thrustmaster pendular rudder pedalsmanufacturerthrustmasterdevice typeflight simulator rudder pedals with toe brakesaxesthreesensor type3d hall effect magneticcontroller precision16-bit (all axis)interfaceusb type-bprice$499.99 at amazonas someone who's gone so far as to put money in a polish bank account for a belarusian man named slaw in exchange for high quality pedals, i was overjoyed when thrustmaster’s pr people reached out recently and offered to send a review sample of their new tpr rudder pedals. as a long-time thrustmaster warthog owner, the key question i had about the company’s new rudder pedals was about build quality: would they be worth the $499 msrp, or would they be like the warthog stick and throttle—beautiful on the outside but stuffed full of crazy wires and hot glue and plastic?let’s answer that question right up front: no, they’re not like the warthog. i took the things apart, and there were no loose wires and no hot glue. it’s all neat and tidy in there (and we’ve got pictures and more details a little further down).overall, the tpr pedals are an impressive freshman effort by thrustmaster in a niche field where they haven’t played before—that is, high-end rudder pedals. the quality is there, but the design itself feels less like a cohesive whole and more like a design-by-committee product. it get...
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cody wilson arrives back in the states, enters us marshals custody
enlarge/ in addition to a press release, usms sent an updated wanted poster to media. usmsshare this storyin a late evening press release on saturday, september 22, us marshals announced they have received and taken custody of cody wilson at the international airport in houston. the 3d printed guns activist is charged in nearby travis county for the alleged sexual assault of a female minor.us marshals shared this image of wilson arriving into custody in houston.usmswilson's arrival marks the end of a multi-day, international search. it started on wednesday, september 19, when a warrant (pdf) was issued for wilson in austin, texas. austin police revealed later that afternoon that the defense distributed founder had flown to taipei, taiwan earlier in the month (on september 6) but skipped his return flight after receiving a tip about the allegations.on thursday, september 20, wilson was spotted trying to rent an apartment in taipei. wilson reportedly tried to pass himself off as an american student living in the city, and he even made an initial downpayment on a rental. but the rental agency ultimately recognized wilson and called the authorities, leading to taiwan's criminal investigation bureau to pick up the search.finally on friday, september 21, wilson was arrested. taiwanese authorities had seen wilson on hotel security monitors earlier in the day, around 3pm local time. they soon sent staff to wait outside the door, and wilson eventually walked out three hours later...
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“rainbow” weevil could hold the secret to generating nature’s colors in the lab
enlarge/ the colorful spots of a rainbow weevil (left) as seen through a bright-field light microscope (right)bodo d. wiltsshare this storythere are many insects that boast one or two bright colors on their cells. but the so-called `rainbow weevil` is unique because it has many different colored spots. now researchers from yale-nus college and the university of fribourg in switzerland have discovered the mechanism behind this rainbow effect, and it is very like the way that squid or cuttlefish shift color for camouflage. they described their results in a recent paper in the journal small.nature produces color in its creatures in various ways. for instance, the bright colors in butterfly wings don't come from any pigment molecules but from how the wings are structured. the scales of chitin (a polysaccharide common to insects) are arranged like roof tiles. essentially they form a diffraction grating, except photonic crystals only produce certain colors, or wavelengths, of light, while a diffraction grating will produce the entire spectrum, much like a prism.this is a naturally occurring example of what physicists call photonic crystals, or photonic bandgap materials. that's because photonic crystals are `tunable,` precisely ordered in such a way as to block certain wavelengths of light while letting others through. alter the structure by changing the size of the tiles, and the crystals become sensitive to a different wavelength. even better (from an applications standpoi...
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oneplus takes just 45 days to bring android 9 pie to the oneplus 6
enlargegoogle androidshare this storyoneplus continues its trend of getting better and better at updates. earlier this year, it finally released a formalized update plan for its devices, and now it's releasing one of its fastest device updates in recent memory. the oneplus 6 is being updated to android 9 pie.this release comes just 45 days after google's release of android 9 pie. this might irritate the millions of users that just got ios 12 on launch day, but for android, anything under three months is pretty good! oneplus' old flagship, the oneplus 5t, took a whopping five months to get updated from android 7.1 nougat to 8.0 oreo, so this is a big improvement.the update speed of android devices is worth paying attention to this release cycle because things are actually different. android 8.0 oreo totally revamped the android update process with project treble, a massive undertaking that modularized the os away from the hardware. with treble in place with oreo, the update from oreo to pie should be faster and easier. so far we've seen a few signs that it might be working.for the first time ever, there was a sizable beta program for android pie before the actual release. besides the expected google phone release, essential, nokia, oneplus, oppo, sony, vivo, and xiaomi all released android p betas for certain models. no one should be surprised that the beta program participants are also the first to release final versions of android pie. so far, we've seen essential rele...
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newly discovered letter by galileo resolves puzzling historical mystery
enlarge/ the original letter in which galileo argued against the doctrine of the roman catholic church.royal societyshare this storyrenowned astronomer galileo galilei has been lauded for centuries for his courageous principled stance against the catholic church. he argued in favor of the earth moving around the sun, rather than vice versa, in direct contradiction to church teachings at the time. but a long-lost letter has been discovered at the royal society in london indicating that galileo tried to soften his initial claims to avoid the church's wrath.in august, salvatore ricciardo, a postdoc in science history at the university of bergamo in italy, visited london and searched various british libraries for any handwritten comments on galileo's works. he was idly flipping through a catalogue at the royal society when he came across the letter galileo wrote to a friend in 1613, outlining his arguments. according to nature, which first reported the unexpected find, the letter “provides the strongest evidence yet that, at the start of his battle with the religious authorities, galileo actively engaged in damage control and tried to spread a toned-down version of his claims.”“i thought, ‘i can’t believe that i have discovered the letter that virtually all galileo scholars thought to be hopelessly lost,’” ricciardo told nature. “it seemed even more incredible because the letter was not in an obscure library, but in the royal society library.”oh more than moo...
Tags : newly discovered letter by galileo resolves puzzling historical mystery - letter ,that ,galileo ,with ,church ,this ,royal society ,catholic church ,1613 letter ,that galileo ,galileo’s 1613 ,newly discovered letter ,chief world systems ,prevailing christian theology newly discovered letter by galileo resolves puzzling historical mystery
newly discovered letter by galileo resolves puzzling historical mystery
enlarge/ the original letter in which galileo argued against the doctrine of the roman catholic church.royal societyshare this storyrenowned astronomer galileo galilei has been lauded for centuries for his courageous principled stance against the catholic church. he argued in favor of the earth moving around the sun, rather than vice versa, in direct contradiction to church teachings at the time. but a long-lost letter has been discovered at the royal society in london indicating that galileo tried to soften his initial claims to avoid the church's wrath.in august, salvatore ricciardo, a postdoc in science history at the university of bergamo in italy, visited london and searched various british libraries for any handwritten comments on galileo's works. he was idly flipping through a catalogue at the royal society when he came across the letter galileo wrote to a friend in 1613, outlining his arguments. according to nature, which first reported the unexpected find, the letter “provides the strongest evidence yet that, at the start of his battle with the religious authorities, galileo actively engaged in damage control and tried to spread a toned-down version of his claims.”“i thought, ‘i can’t believe that i have discovered the letter that virtually all galileo scholars thought to be hopelessly lost,’” ricciardo told nature. “it seemed even more incredible because the letter was not in an obscure library, but in the royal society library.”oh more than moo...
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review: founders of gloomhaven groans beneath its own weight
enlargeshare this storywelcome to ars cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com.“in the age after the demon war, the continent enjoys a period of prosperity. humans have made peace with the valrath and inox. quatryls and orchids arrive from across the misty sea looking to trade. it is decided that a new city will be built on the eastern shores—a hub of trade and a symbol of many races working in harmony. each race brings their own specialty to the city, and each race holds a desire for influence over the city by contributing the most to its construction.”this, the opening paragraph of founders of gloomhaven’s bewilderingly dense manual, might mean something to hardcore board gamers—but to anyone who hasn’t played the original gloomhaven, the current heavyweight champion of board gaming, it’s confusing (to say the least). as you’ll see, confusion and complexity are the order of the day with founders.gloomhaven proper is a colossal package, offering hundreds of hours of dungeon crawling across a persistent campaign that changes the world as players grow. it’s also physically huge, coming in a box with the dimensions of the average london studio apartment and brimming with so much content that most players won’t see a fraction of it. it features an imaginative high fantasy setting that consciously eschews the usual elf/dwarf/orc racial menagerie.founders of gloomhaven, on the othe...
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two japanese robots are now happily hopping on an asteroid [updated]
enlarge/ the hayabusa2 spacecraft spies its shadow thursday night as it descends toward ryugu to deploy two small rovers.jaxashare this storysaturday update: more than 24 hours after they were released by the hayabusa2 spacecraft to fly down to the surface of the asteroid ryugu, the japanese space agency has finally provided an update on the fate of the two tiny robots. and they're doing quite well indeed.`we are sorry we have kept you waiting!` the space agency, jaxa, tweeted. `minerva-ii1 consists of two rovers, 1a & 1b. both rovers are confirmed to have landed on the surface of ryugu. they are in good condition and have transmitted photos & data. we also confirmed they are moving on the surface.`then, the rovers shared some pictures, including these two.just knowing that two tiny robots are now hopping merrily around an asteroid with almost no gravity makes our own world seem a little bit merrier.original post: japan's hayabusa2 spacecraft hasn't garnered much attention in the western world, but on friday night the 609kg vehicle attempted something rather amazing. the spacecraft descended from its station-keeping orbit 20km above a small asteroid down to just 60 meters, and there it deployed two miniature rovers bound for the surface.each weighed only about a kilogram, and after separating from the main spacecraft they approached the asteroid named ryugu. japanese mission scientists think the rovers touched down successfully, but are not completely sure. communicati...
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newly discovered letter by galileo resolves puzzling historical mystery
enlarge/ the original letter in which galileo argued against the doctrine of the roman catholic church.royal societyshare this storyrenowned astronomer galileo has been lauded for centuries for his courageous principled stance against the catholic church. he argued in favor of the earth moving around the sun, rather than vice versa, in direct contradiction to church teachings at the time. but a long-lost letter has been discovered at the royal society in london indicating that galileo tried to soften his initial claims to avoid the church's wrath.in august, salvatore ricciardo, a postdoc in science history at the university of bergamon in italy, visited london, searching various british libraries for any handwritten comments on galileo's works. he was idly flipping through a catalogue at the royal society when he came across the letter galileo wrote to a friend in 1613, outlining his arguments. according to nature, which first reported the unexpected find, the letter `provides the strongest evidence yet that, at the start of his battle with the religious authorities, galileo actively engaged in damage control and tried to spread a toned-down version of his claims.`“i thought, ‘i can’t believe that i have discovered the letter that virtually all galileo scholars thought to be hopelessly lost,’” ricciardo told nature. “it seemed even more incredible because the letter was not in an obscure library, but in the royal society library.”oh more than moonto  fully...
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ecuador wanted to make julian assange a diplomat and send him to moscow
enlarge/ julian assange, the founder of wikileaks, gestures from the balcony of ecuador's embassy in london.jack taylor/getty imagesshare this storylast year, ecuador attempted to deputize wikileaks founder julian assange as one of its own diplomats and send him to russia, according to a friday report by reuters.citing an `ecuadorian government document,` which the news agency did not publish, assange apparently was briefly granted a `special designation` to act as one of its diplomats, a privilege normally granted to the president for political allies. however, that status was then withdrawn when the united kingdom objected.the associated press reported earlier in the week that newly-leaked documents showed that assange sought a russian visa back in 2010. wikileaks has vehemently denied that assange did so.on friday evening, neither wikileaks nor the ecuadorian foreign ministry immediately responded to ars’ request for comment via twitter. however, earlier in the day, wikileaks categorically denied that assange’s proposed diplomatic status had anything to do with russia.on friday, also prior to the reuters report, the russian embassy in london denied being involved with trying to get assange out of the ecuadorian embassy.`the embassy has never engaged either with ecuadorian colleagues, or with anyone else, in discussions on any kind of russia’s participation in ending mr assange’s stay within the diplomatic mission of ecuador,` it wrote.the russian embassy di...
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post-cody wilson’s arrest, few know what’s up with his company or legal efforts
enlarge/ at defense distributed's nondescript space among the north austin business parks, it was business as usual on september 21, 2018.nathan mattiseshare this storyaustin, texas—on the surface, everything appears to be normal at defense distributed, the firearms company founded by 3d printed guns activist cody wilson. employees have been reporting to work as usual. sales of the ghost gunner and the related 3d-printed gun files on a usb stick continue. and the defense distributed team has been working to fulfill those just like any other week.but of course, it hasn't been just any other week for the austin company. on wednesday, september 19, an arrest warrant was issued for wilson related to his alleged sexual assault of an unnamed underage girl. and on friday, september 21, wilson was arrested in taipei, taiwan. he flew to the country roughly two weeks earlier, and the austin police department said that wilson had skipped his return flight to the us after they believe the man received a tip about the allegations.so while business at defense distributed rolls along at the moment, the company founder likely faces criminal charges upon returning to his home city. and that means wilson could be effectively out at defense distributed.`a management restructuring is coming,` stephen sheftall, of defense distributed, said when ars made an unannounced visit to the company’s offices on friday. sheftall noted that was all defense distributed was prepared to say at this t...
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taiwanese authorities arrest cody wilson, intend to deport him
enlarge/ cody wilson speaks at the 2015 sxsw conference for the premiere of the documentary, deep web.amy e. price/getty images for sxswshare this storydefense distributed founder cody wilson was arrested at a hotel in taipei city's wanhua district at around 6pm local time in taipei today, according to reports in taiwanese outlets the liberty times (chinese, google translate) and united daily news (chinese, google translate).authorities had seen wilson on hotel security monitors earlier in the day, around 3pm local time. they soon sent staff to wait outside the door, and wilson eventually walked out three hours later. liberty times notes wilson did not have any contraband on him at the time of the arrest, and he appeared calm when approached by authorities. wilson was arrested for illegally entering taiwan after the us cancelled his passport (google translate).taipei police reportedly handed wilson over to the national immigration agency. though taiwan lacks an extradition agreement with the us, the nia told media (google translate) they are quickly making arrangements to deport him back to the us. details about how that will be coordinated were not reported.on wednesday, september 19, in wilson's hometown of austin, texas, an arrest warrant was issued for the 3d-printed gun rights activist related to his alleged sexual assault of an unnamed underage girl. according to court records, the incident took place the prior month on august 15 after wilson had found the gir...
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get ready for a flood of new exoplanets: tess has already spotted two
enlargenasashare this storynasa's successor to the kepler mission, the transiting exoplanet survey satellite (tess), is already paying dividends. the satellite was only launched in april and spent time undergoing commissioning and calibration. but it has now started its science mission, and researchers have already discovered two new planets.these are expected to be the first of as many as 10,000 planets spotted by tess. so we thought this was a good opportunity to take a careful look at the planet hunter's design, the goals that informed the design, and what its success should mean for our understanding of exoplanets.four eyesthe body of tess is pretty simple, being composed largely of a fuel tank and thrusters. it has reaction wheels for fine control of its orientation and a pair of solar panels for power. the business end of tess consists of a sun shield protecting not one but four telescopes. instead of being able to focus on faint objects, the telescopes (each a stack of seven lenses above ccd imaging hardware) are designed to capture a broad patch of the sky.tess images a single area for roughly a month before moving on to the next. over the course of a year, this will allow it to capture most of the sky in a single hemisphere; it will switch to the other hemisphere for its second year of observations. should the hardware still be operational at the two-year mark, it will have imaged most of the sky, and a similar cycle will likely start again.this cadence creates so...
Tags : get ready for a flood of new exoplanets: tess has already spotted two - that ,tess ,planets ,star ,this ,will ,habitable zone ,host star ,this will ,already knew ,light years get ready for a flood of new exoplanets: tess has already spotted two
taiwanese authorities arrest cody wilson, intend to deport him
enlarge/ cody wilson speaks at the 2015 sxsw conference for the premiere of the documentary, deep web.amy e. price/getty images for sxswshare this storydefense distributed founder cody wilson was arrested at a hotel in taipei city's wanhua district at around 6pm local time in taipei today, according to reports in taiwanese outlets the liberty times (chinese, google translate) and united daily news (chinese, google translate).authorities had seen wilson on hotel security monitors earlier in the day, around 3pm local time. they soon sent staff to wait outside the door, and wilson eventually walked out three hours later. liberty times notes wilson did not have any contraband on him at the time of the arrest, and he appeared calm when approached by authorities. wilson was arrested for illegally entering taiwan after the us cancelled his passport (google translate).taipei police reportedly handed wilson over to the national immigration agency. though taiwan lacks an extradition agreement with the us, the nia told media (google translate) they are quickly making arrangements to deport him back to the us. details about how that will be coordinated were not reported.on wednesday, september 19, in wilson's hometown of austin, texas, an arrest warrant was issued for the 3d-printed gun rights activist related to his alleged sexual assault of an unnamed underage girl. according to court records, the incident took place the prior month on august 15 after wilson had found the gir...
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paypal bans alex jones, saying he “promoted hate”
enlarge/ alex jones in cleveland in 2016.brooks kraft/ getty imagesshare this storypayment processing giant paypal has cut off the account of alex jones—the latest in a long line of technology companies to cut ties with the radio host and online provocateur.`we undertook an extensive review of the infowars sites and found instances that promoted hate or discriminatory intolerance,` a paypal spokesperson told new york times journalist nathaniel popper.paypal has given jones' site, infowars, 10 days to find a new payment processor.alex jones has now been banned from a long list of high-profile technology platforms. twitter, facebook, and youtube all recently removed jones' accounts from their platforms, and apple and spotify have blacklisted jones' podcasts.jones has faced criticism for being a purveyor of fake news—like the baseless `pizzagate` theory that democratic operatives were running a pedophile ring from the basement of a dc pizzeria. he has said that a number of recent mass shootings, including the shooting at sandy hook elementary school in 2012, were hoaxes perpetrated by the government.so far, most technology platforms have insisted that these jones bans are not about fake news but rather about jones' hate speech. however, the platforms have not always been very specific about which of jones' many inflammatory comments have crossed the line into hate speech.
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skype support coming to alexa later this year
enlarge/ skype calling on alexa hardware.microsoftshare this storylater this year you'll be able to say `alexa, call mom on skype` and have amazon's digital assistant do the right thing with microsoft's messaging network.microsoft and amazon have been working to integrate their technology. earlier in the year, cortana and alexa gained the ability to talk to each other (albeit with some limitations), and the skype integration is another sign of cooperation between the two companies.any alexa-enabled device will support voice calls, and hardware with screens and cameras, such as the echo show, will also support video calling. the skype support includes skypeout support calls to phone numbers, and you'll be able to receive incoming calls on alexa hardware, too.in times gone by, skype was integrated into all sorts of platforms, particularly `smart` tvs. as it modernized and upgraded the skype platform, microsoft killed off most of these integrations: many of those devices couldn't use the new skype network, and most offered no convenient path for software updates.but the new, modern skype runs on windows, macos, and linux on the desktop, and ios and android in the mobile space. the alexa integration is the first third party device integration to be added, rather than taken away, in quite some time. of course, alexa integration sidesteps the updating problem, since most of the heavy lifting will be done in the cloud. as such, it should avoid the fate that befell the smart...
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potential buyers for largest coal plant in the western us back out
enlarge/ navajo generating station and navajo mountain. (photo by: education images/uig via getty images)getty imagesshare this storytwo investment companies that had been negotiating a purchase of the navajo generating station (ngs) outside of page, arizona, have decided to end talks without purchasing the coal plant. the 2.25 gigawatt (gw) plant is the biggest coal plant in the western us, and it has been slated for a 2019 shutdown. that decision came in early 2017, when utility owners of the plant voted to shut it down, saying they could find cheaper, cleaner energy elsewhere.the 47-year-old plant employs hundreds of people from the navajo and hopi tribes in the area. it is also served by arizona's only coal mine, the kayenta mine, which is owned by the world's largest private coal firm, peabody energy. after the news of ngs' proposed shutdown, peabody began a search for a potential buyer for the coal plant so as not to lose its only customer.the salt river project, the majority-owner of ngs, published a press release on thursday saying peabody energy retained a consulting firm to identify potential buyers of the massive coal plant. that firm came up with 16 potential buyers who had expressed some interest. salt river project says that it hosted numerous tours for prospective buyers and set up meetings with various regulators as well as the navajo nation. ultimately, a chicago firm called middle river power and a new york city firm called avenue capital group (whic...
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telltale games begins wave of layoffs, cancels stranger things game [updated]
enlarge/ if today's news about telltale games' closure is true, that `final` season description may prove more accurate than telltale originally intended.telltale gamesshare this storyupdate, 5:49 p.m. et: telltale games has issued a statement to ars technica confirming that the game maker has begun taking steps to shut down completely. the full statement, below:today telltale games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges. a majority of the company’s employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners. ceo pete hawley issued the following statement:“it's been an incredibly difficult year for telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. we released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. with a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.”original report:a wave of layoffs has apparently hit the video game studio telltale games, responsible for popular branching-narrative games based on the walking dead franchise. according to online reports, those affected by the layoffs have alleged that the studio is either shutting down entirely or staying afloat as a meager...
Tags : telltale games begins wave of layoffs, cancels stranger things game [updated] - telltale ,games ,that ,studio ,this ,game ,telltale games ,walking dead ,stranger things ,final season ,staffers will telltale games begins wave of layoffs, cancels stranger things game [updated]
get ready for a flood of new exoplanets: tess has already spotted two
enlargenasashare this storynasa's successor to the kepler mission, the transiting exoplanet survey satellite (tess), is already paying dividends. the satellite was only launched in april and spent time undergoing commissioning and calibration. but it has now started its science mission, and researchers have already discovered two new planets.these are expected to be the first of as many as 10,000 planets spotted by tess. so we thought this was a good opportunity to take a careful look at the planet hunter's design, the goals that informed the design, and what its success should mean for our understanding of exoplanets.four eyesthe body of tess is pretty simple, being composed largely of a fuel tank and thrusters. it has reaction wheels for fine control of its orientation and a pair of solar panels for power. the business end of tess consists of a sun shield protecting not one but four telescopes. instead of being able to focus on faint objects, the telescopes (each a stack of seven lenses above ccd imaging hardware) are designed to capture a broad patch of the sky.tess images a single area for roughly a month before moving on to the next. over the course of a year, this will allow it to capture most of the sky in a single hemisphere; it will switch to the other hemisphere for its second year of observations. should the hardware still be operational at the two-year mark, it will have imaged most of the sky, and a similar cycle will likely start again.this cadence creates so...
Tags : get ready for a flood of new exoplanets: tess has already spotted two - that ,tess ,planets ,this ,star ,will ,habitable zone ,host star ,this will ,already knew ,light years get ready for a flood of new exoplanets: tess has already spotted two
valkyria chronicles 4 review: same as it ever was
enlarge/ once you take aim, behind-the-scenes math takes control.share this storyturn-based tactics with an action game twist: that’s the simple, potent blend that made the original valkyria chroniclesso immediately striking back in 2008. now, two psp sequels and one ill-conceived pseudo-spin-off later, that formula returns to consoles in valkyria chronicles 4. it has the same hooks of that original game, including the watercolor-and-pencil graphics and plenty of anime relationships to tease out over 35-ish combat-heavy hours.in fact, despite being the fourth game in the series, vc4 even returns to the series’ original conflict—a sort of norse-flavored, alternate-history world war ii. an evil empire (a fantastical mix of nazi germany and the ussr) is invading the “atlantic federation,” and a plucky crew of volunteers from gallia (basically fantasy holland) signs up to bring the fight back to the fascists, big tank in tow.all of these beats feel so much like that first game that vc4 comes across almost as a soft reboot of the original rather than a side story.the more things don’t changecombat and progression have been simplified compared to the previous sequels. battle begins from an overhead perspective but shifts to an over-the-shoulder view when you select a unit. from there you can move your units in real time, limited only by the soldier’s dwindling “action points.” while you line up shots as in any over-the-shoulder shooter, a weapon’s precise aim i...
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taiwanese authorities arrest cody wilson, intend to deport him
enlarge/ cody wilson speaks at the 2015 sxsw conference for the premiere of the documentary, deep web.amy e. price/getty images for sxswshare this storydefense distributed founder cody wilson was arrested at a hotel in taipei city's wanhua district at around 6pm local time in taipei today, according to reports in taiwanese outlets the liberty times (chinese,  google translate) and united daily news (chinese, google translate).authorities had seen wilson on hotel security monitors earlier in the day, around 3pm local time. they soon sent staff to wait outside the door, and wilson eventually walked out three hours later. liberty times notes wilson did not have any contraband on him at the time of the arrest, and he appeared calm when approached by authorities. wilson was arrested for illegally entering taiwan after the us cancelled his passport (google translate).taipei police reportedly handed wilson over to the national immigration agency. though taiwan lacks an extradition agreement with the us, the nia told media (google translate) they are quickly making arrangements to deport him back to the us. details about how that will be coordinated were not reported.on wednesday, sept. 19 in wilson's hometown of austin, texas, an arrest warrant was issued for the 3d-printed gun rights activist related to his alleged sexual assault of an unnamed underage girl. according to court records, the incident took place the prior month on august 15 after wilson had found the girl t...
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drugged puppies blamed for spreading diarrhea superbugs in multi-state outbreak
enlarge/ i don't feel so good. getty | christopher furlongshare this storypuppies given a startling amount of antibiotics have spurred a multi-state outbreak of diarrhea-causing bacterial infections that are extensively drug resistant, federal and state health officials report this week.the finding, published in the september 21 morbidity and mortality weekly report by the centers for disease control and prevention, suggests that the dog industry is in serious need of training and obedience classes. the “widespread administration of multiple antibiotic classes” to puppies, including all of the classes commonly used to treat diarrhea infections in humans, is an alarming finding, the officials suggested. they called for fairly simple fixes including better hygiene and animal husbandry practices, as well as veterinary oversight of antibiotic use.“implementation of antibiotic stewardship principles and practices in the commercial dog industry is needed,” they concluded bluntly.the criticism caps a multi-state investigation into an ongoing outbreak of campylobacter infections in humans. this gut bacterial infection is estimated to cause more than a million diarrheal diseases in the us each year but is typically not linked to puppies or dogs. instead, it’s usually linked to undercooked meat, unpasteurized milk, or contaminated water.but the latest data fetched a new trend. between january 2016 and february 2018, health officials kept an eye on 118 specific cases in 18 st...
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nyt sues fcc, says it hid evidence of russia meddling in net neutrality repeal
enlarge/ fcc chairman ajit pai speaks to the media after the vote to repeal net neutrality rules on december 14, 2017.getty images | alex wong share this storythe new york times has sued the federal communications commission over the agency's refusal to release records that the times believes might shed light on russian interference in the net neutrality repeal proceeding.the times made a freedom of information act (foia) request in june 2017 for fcc server logs related to the system for accepting public comments on fcc chairman ajit pai's repeal of net neutrality rules. the fcc refused to provide the records, telling the times that doing so would jeopardize the privacy of commenters and the effectiveness of the agency's it security practices and that fulfilling the records request would be overly burdensome.this led to a months-long process in which the times repeatedly narrowed its public records request in order to overcome the fcc's various objections. but the fcc still refuses to release any of the records requested by the times, so the newspaper sued the commission yesterday in us district court for the southern district of new york.the times' complaint said:the request at issue in this litigation involves records that will shed light on the extent to which russian nationals and agents of the russian government have interfered with the agency notice-and-comment process about a topic of extensive public interest: the government's decision to abandon `net neutralit...
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ifixit’s iphone xs and xs max teardown: like the iphone x with a couple surprises
share this story the iphone xs has a different battery design than the iphone xs max, which has the same design as the iphone x. ifixit here, the iphone x stacked on top of the xs and xs max. note that there's a new antenna band. ifixit camera components from the iphone xs and xs max. ifixit one of many shots of the logic board from ifixit's teardown. ifixitwhen we went hands-on with the iphone xs and xs max, we were mainly struck by how similar they felt to the iphone x—particularly the iphone xs. but it turns out that inside, it's the iphone xs that diverges with an unusual new battery design. ifixit tore down both phones and provided analysis and gorgeous pictures as always. be sure to check out their full teardown, but a few highlights stand out.let's be clear: both of these phones are the iphone x in more ways than not. last year brought that quasi-radical redesign of apple's product, but what was quasi-radical in 2017 is standard in 2018. most of the components in both phones are the same, or very close, to what we saw in the iphone x. small changes include an added antenna band on the bottom of each device near the lightning port (which ifixit speculates has to do with gigabit lte), a 32 percent larger wide angle sensor and increased pixel size for the rear camera in both phones, and a larger taptic engine and extended logic board in the iphone xs max.as noted, the really interesting change is in the iphone xs' battery. like the iphone x, both n...
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