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Report: Nintendo quietly owns up to “Joy-Con drift,” will repair for free

Ars Technica - 8 hours 50 min ago

Enlarge / One guess as to how Nintendo will repair Joy-Con controllers suffering from a widely reported drift issue. (credit: Nintendo / Sam Machkovech)

After months of mounting user complaints and media pressure, Nintendo appears to have finally caved in full to the issue of "Joy-Con drift" on its Nintendo Switch controllers.

Tuesday's news comes courtesy of Vice Games senior reporter Patrick Klepek, one day after a lengthy summary of the issue went live at Kotaku. Klepek's report claims that if Switch owners report incorrect joystick data being fed to their consoles, due to faulty joysticks, Nintendo's customer service reps are authorized to offer a completely free, outside-of-warranty repair of affected controllers (after walking users through a troubleshooting process).

What's more, according to Klepek, if users recently sought such a repair and were charged for the trouble, Nintendo's reps may be able to offer those users a refund. Klepek cites "a source familiar with Nintendo's updated customer support documentation."

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Comic for July 23, 2019

Dilbert - 9 hours 28 min ago
Categories: Geek

Leaks reveal a trio of iPhone 11 releases to come from Apple this fall

Ars Technica - 11 hours 28 min ago

Enlarge / A large, looming Apple logo. (credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Apple often introduces a new wave of hardware at its fall event, and this year the company seems to be preparing a fresh trio of iPhones. The new models will be powered by Apple’s A13 chip and will still be equipped with Lightning ports rather than USB-C.

The news comes from Guilherme Rambo at 9to5Mac, who has produced some reliable Apple scoops in recent months. He cites people who have seen the devices. Paired with the latest claims from Apple’s supply chain, this is looking like a plausible picture of what we can expect from Cook and crew later this fall.

The three models of what would likely be dubbed the iPhone 11 are reportedly intended to replace the three iterations of the iPhone XS that debuted last year. The replacement for the iPhone XS is internally known as the D42, while the D43 will sub in for the iPhone XS Max. The N104 will replace the less expensive iPhone XR.

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Judge allows suit against AT&T after $24 million cryptocurrency theft

Ars Technica - July 23, 2019 - 8:28pm

Enlarge / An AT&T store in New Jersey. (credit: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

When Michael Terpin's smartphone suddenly stopped working in June 2017, he knew it wasn't a good sign. He called his cellular provider, AT&T, and learned that a hacker had gained control of his phone number.

The stakes were high because Terpin is a wealthy and prominent cryptocurrency investor. Terpin says the hackers gained control of his Skype account and tricked a client into sending a cryptocurrency payment to the hackers instead of to Terpin.

After the attack, Terpin asked AT&T to escalate the security protections on his phone number. According to Terpin, AT&T agreed to set up a six-digit passcode that must be entered before anyone could transfer Terpin's phone number.

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When it comes to moral decisions, testosterone doesn’t seem to do much

Ars Technica - July 23, 2019 - 8:15pm

Enlarge / The trolley problem brought to (after) life. (credit: NBC)

The Trolley Problem is a staple of ethics courses and has even made its way into prime-time television. It's a "problem" because it forces people to decide between two options that are both considered highly ethical: not choosing to kill someone and minimizing the total number of deaths. It even has real-world correlates, like whether it's better to shoot down a hijacked airliner filled with innocents or allow it to be used as a weapon that kills even more people.

Some of us would like to think that we'd be able to step back and evaluate the situation dispassionately, but the reality is that our emotions often drive important decisions (and besides, as the clip from The Good Place linked above shows, there isn't always time for careful evaluation). Since testosterone influences both emotions and decision-making, many people had ideas about how it might alter the decisions made by people weighing these moral issues. But when a team of researchers from the University of Texas, Austin, decided to test those ideas, it turned out none of them was right.

That doesn't mean testosterone does nothing, but it certainly indicates we don't understand what it might do.

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Tech firms “can and must” put backdoors in encryption, AG Barr says

Ars Technica - July 23, 2019 - 7:55pm

Enlarge / Graffiti urging people to use Signal, a highly encrypted messaging app, is spray-painted on a wall during a protest on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. (credit: Elijah Nouvelage | Getty Images)

US Attorney General William Barr today launched a new front in the feds' ongoing fight against consumer encryption, railing against the common security practice and lamenting the "victims" in its wake.

"The deployment of warrant-proof encryption is already imposing huge costs on society," Barr claimed in remarks at a cybersecurity conference held at Fordham University Tuesday morning. Barr added that encryption "seriously degrades" law enforcement's ability to "detect and prevent a crime before it occurs," as well as making eventual investigation and prosecution of crime more difficult.

The existence of encryption means "converting the Internet and communications into a law-free zone" that criminals will happily take advantage of to do more crimes, Barr added, likening it to a neighborhood that local cops have abandoned.

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Dropbox irks Mac users with annoying Dock icon, offers clueless support

Ars Technica - July 23, 2019 - 7:18pm

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

This is a story I never had any intention of writing. Dropbox updated its file-sync application for Mac last month, and the new version contains an annoyance that I would like to eliminate.

I figured this wouldn't be difficult, let alone newsworthy: I'd contact Dropbox, explain the problem, and find out if there's any way for me to change the annoying behavior. If there wasn't, I'd recommend that they make a small change to their app, and hopefully my message would be passed along to their development team and they'd eventually make a change.

Instead, I learned something both frustrating and fascinating: there are numerous Dropbox support employees who apparently have never used their company's Mac application and do not understand how it works. As a result, Dropbox's users have to explain to Dropbox employees how Dropbox's application works on the Mac.

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