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Twitter shuts down 5,000 pro-Trump bots retweeting anti-Mueller report invective

Ars Technica - April 23, 2019 - 10:10pm

Enlarge / The since-suspended account for the empty "news site" The Globus was at the center of a 5,000 bot Twitter army denouncing the Mueller campaign and posting pro-Trump (and pro-Saudi) messages. (credit: Twitter.com via Internet Archive)

Twitter has suspended over 5,000 accounts tied to a network amplifying a message denouncing the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a "RussiaGate hoax." According to a researcher, the accounts—most of which had only posted three or four times in the past—were connected to other accounts previously used to post pro-Saudi messages.

In response to an inquiry by Ars, a Twitter spokeswoman said, "We suspended a network of accounts and others associated with it for engaging in platform manipulation—a violation of the Twitter Rules." An investigation into the network is still ongoing, the spokeswoman said, but no determination has yet been made about who was behind the campaign.

"In cases such as this, attribution is difficult," the spokeswoman noted. "If we do have reasonable evidence to support state-backed activity, we will disclose the accounts as part of our information operations archive." (This archive is the data repository used to reveal operations of networks previously tied to election manipulation and other state-backed information operations.)

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Intel puts 8 cores, 16 threads, and a 5GHz turbo option in a laptop processor

Ars Technica - April 23, 2019 - 9:30pm

Enlarge / An eight-core/16-thread Coffee Lake die. (credit: Intel)

The first processors to include Intel's ninth-generation Core branding came out last year with a limited line-up: just a handful of high-end desktop processors in the Coffee Lake family. Today, the company has unveiled a bumper crop of new ninth-gen chips. There's a set of H-series processors for laptops and a complete range of desktop processors across the Celeron, Pentium, and Core brands, from i3 all the way to i9.

The most exciting of these are the mobile H-series parts and in particular the top-of-the-line Core i9-9980HK. This is a 45W processor with eight cores, 16 threads, and 16MB of cache, with a base clock speed of 2.4GHz and a turbo speed of 5GHz. The "K" on the name also indicates that the chip is overclockable: for those truly monstrous gaming laptops with high-powered cooling systems, you'll be able to go beyond the default speeds. This chip, along with its close partner, the i9-9880H (8C/16T, 2.3-4.8GHz), has a new feature called "Thermal Velocity Boost," too. TVB allows the chip to run 100MHz quicker if it detects that the system still has thermal headroom to do so; as long as case temperatures are below 50°C, it'll give you some extra speed. In fact, TVB is the only way to hit 5GHz; without it, the maximum turbo speed drops to 4.9GHz.

The chip will be good for powerhouse mobile workstations, too; it supports up to 128GB RAM when used with the latest 32GB DDR4 modules, and it can be paired with a discrete GPU using its 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Intel has dubbed these powerhouse laptops as "musclebooks;" they'll be hefty desktop replacements and are likely to be outfitted with oversized cooling systems in order to more consistently reach the high clock speeds their processors are capable of. They won't come cheap, though; the i9-9980HK has a recommended price of $583 for the processor.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Listen up: We’ve detected our first marsquake

Ars Technica - April 23, 2019 - 9:06pm

Enlarge / An artist's rendition of the InSight lander operating on the surface of Mars. The seismometer is in the foreground. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

After landing on Mars last November, the InSight probe first deployed a suite of meteorological equipment and then began to check the health of its science instruments. Following this, the NASA lander extended its French-made seismometer to the red planet's surface in December, then commissioned the instrument in early February.

InSight began listening. Finally, on April 6, the seismometer detected a weak but distinct seismic signal. It was, scientists concluded, a shaking of the ground coming from the interior of the world, not due to some external factor such as wind.

"We've been waiting months for our first marsquake," said Philippe Lognonné, the principal investigator for the seismometer mission, which was developed by the French space agency CNES. "It's so exciting to finally have proof that Mars is still seismically active. We're looking forward to sharing detailed results once we've studied it more and modeled our data."

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The OnePlus 7 (and 7 Pro) are launching May 14

Ars Technica - April 23, 2019 - 7:24pm

OnePlus is gearing up to release a new smartphone, the OnePlus 7, and it has reached the point in its hype cycle where the company has started a slow drip of information every few days. The latest news is the launch date itself. OnePlus is holding a launch event May 14 in several cities, and the company is even selling tickets to the event to the general public.

For this year's flagship release, OnePlus is actually announcing two phones: the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro. While a lot of companies release two phones with identical designs in two different sizes, that is not the case here. OnePlus is shipping two different phones with different designs.

We've already seen a bit of the OnePlus 7 Pro. We posted renders in March showing an all-screen OnePlus phone with a pop-up camera and three cameras. At the time, we called it the OnePlus 7, but this is actually the OnePlus 7 Pro.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Check out Batman’s and Marty McFly’s rides at the Petersen Museum

Ars Technica - April 23, 2019 - 6:55pm

A new exhibition will open shortly at Los Angeles' wonderful Petersen Automotive Museum. It's called "Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy," and as the name suggests, it features the two- and four-wheel stars of movies and video games, most of which will be very familiar to anyone with a passing interest in depictions of dystopian futures or speculative fiction.

"'Hollywood Dream Machines’ will be the biggest exhibit of our 25th anniversary," said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. "With more than 40 vehicles from the silver screen spread across the museum, the exhibit is an ode to the industry that Los Angeles was built upon. We can’t wait to explore the fantasy and fictional concepts behind these extraordinary vehicles with the world."

Some of the featured vehicles will be more instantly recognizable than others. I'm sure everyone is familiar with Batmobiles and the time machine from Back to the Future. Others might be a little more obscure, like the Weyland Industries RT01 Group Transport from Prometheus, or Frankenstein's Corvette from Death Race 2000. And they aren't all from films, either. Halo's iconic Warthog will be on display, and along with the BTTF DeLorean, you can don a HoloLens to check it out in augmented reality.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Dealmaster: Save on a bunch of PC accessories in Amazon’s Gold Box sale

Ars Technica - April 23, 2019 - 6:23pm

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

Greetings, Arsians! The Dealmaster is back with another round of deals to share. Today's list is headlined by a number of deals on PC gear and accessories over at Amazon, which has them all rounded up in its latest one-day Gold Box sale.

These aren't the highest-profile devices around, but the sale includes discounts on a number of storage solutions, gaming mice, PC building equipment, and networking gear. Highlights include $10 off the 2TB variant of Seagate's Backup Plus Slim portable hard drive, $70 off the 10TB version of WD's Elements desktop hard drive, the Destiny 2 version of Razer's DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse for $40, a version of Netgear's Orbi mesh Wi-Fi system for $200, and, if you want to splurge, a new low on AMD's high-end Ryzen Threadripper 2950X processor.

There's plenty more to peruse beyond that, with most items at or at least close to their cheapest prices on Amazon. If you're not interested in new PC gear, we also have deals on Dell's newest XPS 13 laptop (which we really liked), the acclaimed board game Gloomhaven (ditto), Anker's MFi-certified USB-C to Lightning cables, and much more. Have a look for yourself below.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google Wing drones approved for US home deliveries

BBC Technology News - April 23, 2019 - 6:18pm
Drone home delivery company Wing will start deliveries in rural Virginia "within months".

Google 'retaliating against harassment protest organisers'

BBC Technology News - April 23, 2019 - 6:01pm
Organisers of walkouts in protest at Google's treatment of women say they are facing backlash at work.

Election interference is 'online harm', MPs hear

BBC Technology News - April 23, 2019 - 5:58pm
The UK's information commissioner has strong words on the need for reform of political ads online.

Twitter shares surge 17% as users rise

BBC Technology News - April 23, 2019 - 5:20pm
The social media platform reports better-than-expected results as it plans to minimise "outrage".

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