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Hands-on with the BlackBerry Key2: The good and bad so far - CNET - News - June 20, 2018 - 5:57pm
Using a physical keyboard again is going to be harder than I remembered.

Vivint Smart Home review: Vivint Smart Home has a lot to offer for a fee - CNET - Reviews - June 20, 2018 - 5:53pm
Vivint Smart Home offers a wide range of smart products, but $40 monthly monitoring is mandatory if you want smart assistant integration or app control.

Tesla sues former employee for allegedly stealing data - Roadshow - News - June 20, 2018 - 5:40pm
Martin Tripp is accused of hacking into systems to steal "several gigabytes of Tesla data."

Oppo Find X is an all-screen phone with slide-out cameras - CNET - News - June 20, 2018 - 5:37pm
You won't find a notch on this phone.

Microsoft News aims to take on Apple News and Google News - CNET - News - June 20, 2018 - 5:34pm
Microsoft's new news engine will power and the Microsoft News app.

Microsoft CEO wades into ICE outcry: Cool it, we only do legacy mail

The Register - June 20, 2018 - 5:33pm
Ethics! Principles! But no talk of scrapping federal contract either

Microsoft's continued efforts to distance itself from a clumsily worded blog post continued today with the publishing of an email from CEO Satya Nadella.…

Watch as a Borg-like satellite zips by the ISS - CNET - News - June 20, 2018 - 5:31pm
The space station will not be assimilated.

Microsoft staff call on company to end ICE contract

Ars Technica - June 20, 2018 - 5:29pm

Enlarge / Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, speaks at the Microsoft Annual Shareholders Meeting in Bellevue, Washington, on November 30, 2016. (credit: Jason Redmond, Getty Images)

Microsoft staff members are calling on CEO Satya Nadella to terminate the company's contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In an open letter published by The New York Times, employees say that they "refuse to be complicit" in ICE's policy of breaking apart migrant families that come to the US without legal documentation.

Since May, the agency has been systematically separating children from their parents, and the kids have been housed in former warehouses and camps around the country. Microsoft's involvement comes from the company's Azure Government cloud computing platform: a segregated set of government-only data centers and cloud services operated exclusively by US citizens, with certifications and approval to fulfill certain government needs. In January, the company announced in a blog post that it was proud to support ICE's "IT modernization" using Azure Government. This language was briefly removed "by mistake" from the blog post but has subsequently been reinstated.

In the view of the open letter's signatories—and no small number of Microsoft employees on Twitter and the company's internal social media—this cooperation is unacceptable, and the company should take an "ethical stand, and put children and families above profits." They're calling on the company to cancel its contract with ICE (claimed to be worth $19.4 million), create a public policy that neither Microsoft nor its contractors will work with clients violating international human rights law, and show greater transparency over contracts with government agencies.

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Tesla sues former worker for hacking

BBC Technology News - June 20, 2018 - 5:24pm
Tesla says it has suffered "significant" damages as a result of the alleged theft.

History of the Chevy Blazer - Roadshow - News - June 20, 2018 - 5:24pm
The story so far of Chevrolet's legendary Blazer SUV.

Europe advances copyright law that could filter the Internet

Ars Technica - June 20, 2018 - 5:19pm

Enlarge / European Union flags. (credit: Getty Images | Walter Zerla)

A European Parliament committee today approved a copyright law that could have wide-ranging effects on Internet platforms that host user-generated content.

The Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs voted 15-10 "to approve the controversial Article 13, which critics warn could put an end to memes, remixes and other user-generated content," the BBC reported. The full parliament is expected to vote on the measure in July.

"The vote by the Legal Affairs Committee is likely to be the Parliament's official stance as it heads into negotiations with EU countries on a common position, unless dissenting lawmakers force a vote at the general assembly next month," Reuters wrote.

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The Oppo Find X kills the smartphone notch with a motorized pop-up camera

Ars Technica - June 20, 2018 - 5:13pm


Will pop-up cameras be the next big thing in smartphones? After the announcement of the Vivo Nex, we've got another mostly screen device with a hidden front camera: the Oppo Find X. The good news is that this one is coming to North America, so some day we might have a chance to try out this crazy idea in person.

As smartphones dedicate more and more of the front of the device to screen pixels, the normal front-of-phone components like the camera, earpiece, and brightness sensors are starting to feel the squeeze. The big trend for 2018 is to copy Apple and go with a notched design, which pushes the display all the way up to the corners of the device, but then cuts a chunk out of the display for the components. It's hard to see these non-rectangular screens as anything other than a temporary solution, and OEMs are already coming up with ways to work around a notch design.

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Ars on your lunch break, part one: Rodney Brooks and robot ethics

Ars Technica - June 20, 2018 - 5:01pm

Enlarge / Robots doing robot things.

Today is the second week of our experiment connecting a podcast to the written pages here at Ars. Specifically, we're running episodes of my tech- and science-heavy podcast (called After On) in installments. You can access these episodes via an embedded audio player or by reading accompanying transcripts (both of which are below). The podcast is built around deep-dive interviews with world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists. Episodes generally run 60 to 120 minutes, which we carve up into two to four daily segments for Ars. (The first part of last week's episode is available here.)

This week, my guest is the world-renowned roboticist and AI pioneer Rodney Brooks. Rodney co-founded iRobot. Best known for its Roomba vacuum cleaner, the company makes many other product as well—such as robots that defuse IEDs and other deadly contraptions in war zones. Rodney later founded Rethink Robotics, makers of the dexterous and creepily human-ish Sawyer and Baxter robots. Rodney’s celebrated academic career spanned decades, including many years running the AI and robotics lab at MIT. He was even the subject of a major documentary by legendary filmmaker Errol Morris.

Click here for a transcript and click here for an MP3 direct download.

I first posted the full episode to my podcast’s feed on March 19th, and we’ll run the show in three installments here on Ars. In our opening installment today, Rodney talks about getting tech news by steamship as a kid (yes, really)—living on the southern fringe of the inhabited world, with nothing on the (very) far side of the water but Antarctica. From there, we trace his journey to Stanford, then MIT, and through his creation of three companies—one of which had fourteen failed business models before finally hitting paydirt.

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Did you have locking down AI and blockchain as possible Intel SGX uses? If so, congrats...

The Register - June 20, 2018 - 5:00pm
Bias-enabling algorithms and smart contract tech no one quite trusts now easier to secure

Israel Cyber Week At the Cyber Week security conference in Israel on Tuesday, chip giant Intel plans to discuss how it is addressing threats to the overexposed tech celebrities known as AI and blockchain.…

Facebook tests monthly subscriptions for some Groups - CNET - News - June 20, 2018 - 5:00pm
The prices range from $4.99 to $29.99 in exchange for exclusive content.

Scientists use caffeine to control genes—and treat diabetic mice with coffee

Ars Technica - June 20, 2018 - 4:56pm

Enlarge / Therapeutic coffee? (credit: Getty | Steve Christo - Corbis)

In the distant future, your morning cup of joe may not just perk up your brain—it may perk up your genes, too. At least, that’s the optimistic outlook of some synthetic biologists in Switzerland.

A team led by Martin Fussenegger of ETH Zurich in Basel has shown that caffeine can be used as a trigger for synthetic genetic circuitry, which can then in turn do useful things for us—even correct or treat medical conditions. For a buzz-worthy proof of concept, the team engineered a system to treat type 2 diabetes in mice with sips of coffee, specifically Nespresso Volluto coffee. Essentially, when the animals drink the coffee (or any other caffeinated beverage), a synthetic genetic system in cells implanted in their abdomens switches on. This leads to the production of a hormone that increases insulin production and lowers blood sugar levels—thus successfully treating their diabetes after a simple morning brew.

The system, published Tuesday in Nature Communications, is just the start, Fussenegger and his colleagues suggest enthusiastically. “We think caffeine is a promising candidate in the quest for the most suitable inducer of gene expression,” they write. They note that synthetic biologists like themselves have long been in pursuit of such inducers that can jolt artificial genetics. But earlier options had problems. These included antibiotics that can spur drug-resistance in bacteria and food additives that can have side effects. Caffeine, on the other hand, is non-toxic, cheap to produce, and only present in specific beverages, such as coffee and tea, they write. It’s also wildly popular, with more than two billion cups of coffee poured each day worldwide.

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Atari VCS campaign almost at $3 million, adds 'Tribute Edition' option - CNET - News - June 20, 2018 - 4:50pm
How do you sell more of a limited edition? Remove the numbering.

AMC channels MoviePass, adds $20 monthly movie ticket plan - CNET - News - June 20, 2018 - 4:46pm
The movie chain's new Stubs A-List is a lot more expensive than MoviePass but has some premium perks for AMC moviegoers.

Facebook Ordered To Explain Deleted Profile

Slashdot - June 20, 2018 - 4:45pm
Categories: Geek, Opinion

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