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Real life 'Iron Throne' may be hidden in Egypt - CNET - News - January 12, 2018 - 9:53pm
A hidden room in the Great Pyramid of Giza may also be home to a relic that's straight out of our pop culture fantasies.

These were the weirdest products at CES - CNET - News - January 12, 2018 - 9:45pm
Mixed among the dreck and the legitimately cool stuff was a whole lot of weird.

Now see that stunning Sahara snowfall from space - CNET - News - January 12, 2018 - 9:06pm
A rare snow in the Sahara Desert made headlines and the satellite views are simply gorgeous.

Lenovo Smart Display Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - January 12, 2018 - 9:05pm
The Lenovo Smart Display fits Google Assistant into an Echo Show competitor.

VMware: New year, new job – you're fired

The Register - January 12, 2018 - 9:02pm
Make like a virtual machine, and migrate out of here, small percentage of staff told

Virtualization kingpin VMware is this month laying off staff again.…

Titan AI Robot Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - January 12, 2018 - 8:57pm
The Titan AI Robot responds to your commands and monitors your mood.

Elon Musk: So-called Valley sex party was just 'nerds on a couch' - CNET - News - January 12, 2018 - 8:05pm
Commentary: Disputing author Emily Chang's characterization of debauchery, Tesla's CEO says he's only seen mild affairs.

'Games of Thrones' spinoff shows won't start until 2020 - CNET - News - January 12, 2018 - 7:54pm
Don't expect the five prequel shows to pop up right after the final season wraps, HBO's president says. Hey, maybe we'll have a new book by then?

GM wants to ditch the manual controls from its test cars in 2019

Ars Technica - January 12, 2018 - 7:40pm

Enlarge / Notice anything wrong with this picture? It's a little disconcerting to see the interior of a Bolt EV without the driver controls. (credit: General Motors)

General Motors is getting ready to ditch the driver for good—at least in its newest R&D vehicles. In 2019, Cruise—the self-driving startup acquired a couple of years ago by GM—wants to begin testing the fourth generation of its autonomous vehicle, the Cruise AV. (This is a modified Chevrolet Bolt EV, no relation to the Chevrolet Cruze.)

The company has filed a safety petition with the US Department of Transportation requesting permission to deploy the fourth-generation Cruise AV, which will be completely driverless, without any steering wheel, pedals, or other form of manual controls.

According to The Verge, part of the request has to do with ensuring passenger safety despite the car not conforming to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard regulations. For instance, it lacks a steering wheel, therefore it lacks a steering wheel-mounted airbag. As GM President Dan Amman explained, "[w]hat we can do is put the equivalent of the passenger side airbag on that side as well. So it's to meet the standards but meet them in a way that’s different than what’s exactly prescribed, and that’s what the petition seeks to get approval for.”

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Microsoft opens the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update floodgates

Ars Technica - January 12, 2018 - 7:25pm

Enlarge / Oddly, Microsoft's Mixed Reality house has no windows. (credit: Microsoft)

After being out for a little under three months, Microsoft has moved the Fall Creators Update to full availability, signaling that the company believes it to be ready for corporate deployments.

Microsoft rolls out the big Windows semi-annual updates on a staggered basis, making the update available to an ever larger range of users as the company builds a clearer picture of any hardware and software incompatibilities. Once it's satisfied that any of these wrinkles have been ironed out, Microsoft offers the update to every machine that's compatible. With the Fall Creators Update on 100 million machines, Microsoft has decided that the update is ready for its full deployment.

This development process has been refined over the last few years; the 2016 Anniversary Update raised a number of problems, causing Microsoft to be more conservative subsequently. The previous update, the Creators Update, took about four months to reach this same stage. The decision to make the Fall Creators Update, version 1709, widely available in less than three months shows that the company is more confident in this release and its wider deployment.

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Games with pornographic ads sneak into the Play Store, get 3 million downloads

Ars Technica - January 12, 2018 - 7:17pm

Enlarge / AdultSwine's operation flow. (credit: Check Point Research )

Sixty games were booted off the Play Store after security firm Check Point discovered that they contained pornographic ads and malicious components. Before their removal, the games were downloaded between 3 million and 7 million times, according to the download metrics on the Play Store.

The malware is dubbed "AdultSwine," and according to Check Point Research, it had three main features:

  1. Displaying ads from the Web that are often highly inappropriate and pornographic
  2. Attempting to trick users into installing fake "security apps"
  3. Inducing users to register to premium services at the user’s expense

The 60 listings in the Play Store were generally knockoff games, like "Five Nights Survival Craft." In some cases, the creator simply stole a real IP, as in "Drawing Lessons Angry Birds." Once installed, the app would phone home, sending information about the user's phone and receiving instructions on how to operate. The app could hide its icon, making removal more difficult. Check Point says the malware could display ads from "the main ad providers" or switch to its own ad server, which provided porn ads, scareware ads, and ads that tricked the user into signing up for premium services. AdultSwine not only displayed ads while users played the game that came with the malware; it could also show pop-up ads on top of other apps.

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Facebook overhauls news feed to focus on friends and family - CNET - News - January 12, 2018 - 7:08pm
Fewer news articles. More baby photos. And continuing angst about Facebook's role in the world.

Jabbawockeez's Vegas hip-hop dance show kicks up the tech - CNET - News - January 12, 2018 - 7:06pm
Using lasers, sensors and more, the dancers work fireballs and spaceships into their intense choreography.

'Lava tube skylights' on the moon call to caving astronauts - CNET - News - January 12, 2018 - 7:03pm
Our next lunar expedition might want to check out a fascinating crater with mysterious pits that could lead underground.

Netflix debuts trailer for cyberpunk series 'Altered Carbon' - CNET - News - January 12, 2018 - 6:41pm
"Altered Carbon" mixes a "Blade Runner" aesthetic with "Matrix" fight scenes for an action-packed, dystopian murder mystery.

All the products from CES 2018 you'll be able to buy this year - CNET - News - January 12, 2018 - 6:37pm
Not everything we saw on the show floor will be something you can buy right away, but these products are all slated to hit the market in 2018.

CNET UK podcast 534: Our picks of CES and Samsung's S9 launch date - CNET - News - January 12, 2018 - 6:13pm
We take a look at the best and weirdest from CES and find out what's in store for the Galaxy S9.

Boffins split on whether Spectre fix needs tweaked hardware

The Register - January 12, 2018 - 6:09pm
It's not like a recall is possible, says chip security expert

Analysis Processor security experts – including one cited in the Meltdown paper – are split on whether the resolution of the Spectre vulnerability may need to involve hardware modifications or the software defences being rolled out are adequate.…

The road to autonomy now has a carpool lane: CES 2018 wrap-up - Roadshow - News - January 12, 2018 - 5:52pm
More than ever, companies at CES are highlighting car technology. As the show winds down, we reflect on the trends we've seen this year.

Netflix, Amazon, and major studios sue maker of “free TV” box

Ars Technica - January 12, 2018 - 5:43pm

Enlarge (credit: The Dragon Box)

Netflix, Amazon, and the major film studios have sued the makers of "The Dragon Box," a device that connects to TVs and lets users watch video without a cable TV or streaming service subscription.

Joining Netflix and Amazon as plaintiffs in the suit are Columbia Pictures, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros. The suit asks for financial damages and an injunction preventing Dragon Media from continuing the alleged copyright infringement.

"Defendants sell illegal access to Plaintiffs' Copyrighted Works," the complaint says. (Hat tip to DSLReports.) "Dragon Box uses software to link its customers to infringing content on the Internet. When used as Defendants intend and instruct, Dragon Box gives Defendants' customers access to multiple sources that stream Plaintiffs' Copyrighted Works without authorization. These streams are illegal public performances of Plaintiffs' Copyrighted Works."

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