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Star Trek: Discovery season 2 starts off faster and funnier - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 19, 2019 - 7:51pm
Action, wit and color are the latest additions to the crew as Discovery returns to CBS All Access and Netflix.

How Buke and Gase built a huge indie rock career—and its own guitars, software

Ars Technica - January 19, 2019 - 7:50pm

NEW YORK CITY—The band brings to the stage: two stringed instruments, neither of which look exactly like a bass or a guitar; two grids of foot-triggered effects pedals and switches; two music stands, covered with a smattering of synthesizers, touchscreens, and touch-sensitive pads; two laptops, connected to this variety of inputs in a center console; and two foot-triggered pieces of percussion.

One of those is a compact kick-drum rig, connected to the laptops. The other is a bicycling shoe with tambourine parts welded onto its sides and sole.

This pre-show array of gear usually elicits curious looks from crowds who wonder what kind of noise is about to emerge. But the band Buke and Gase are here for a homecoming show of sorts. They're fresh off a nationwide tour with Shellac, among the esteemed post-punk bands to have ties to the genre's original DIY movement. They've just put the final touches on their new album, titled Scholars, set to launch two months later (as in, January 18). People are here to celebrate.

Read 51 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Hermit crabs evolved longer penises to keep their shells from being stolen

Ars Technica - January 19, 2019 - 7:06pm

Enlarge / An adult male hermit crab of the species Coenobita compressus ambling along on a leisurely stroll. (credit: Mark Laidre)

Hermit crabs protect their soft, curved abdomens from harm by scavenging seashells and turning them into portable homes. That poses a challenge when it comes time to mate, since a rival can steal the shell while its occupant is, shall we say, otherwise occupied. A new paper in the journal Royal Society Interface poses an intriguing new hypothesis: some species of male hermit crabs evolved substantially longer penises so they could mate without having to venture too far outside their shells.

Mark Laidre, a biologist at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, dubbed his hypothesis "private parts for private property." He's been studying the behavior of a particular species of hermit crab, Coenobita compressus, for the last decade.

Seashells are a valuable, limited resource—a kind of private property for hermit crabs and their most prized possession. This is particularly true for Coenobita compressus. This species engages in elaborate remodeling of scavenged shells to tailor them precisely to their liking, tearing out hard material inside the shell over several months to make more room for their bodies. Because the shells are so valuable, there is stiff competition to attain a really nice shell. Fights break out, crabs will kill another crab for their shells, and sometimes the beasts will just outright steal them. Since the remodeled shells prevent the creatures from drying out (which can happen within 24 hours), they are crucial to the crabs' survival.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Cassette Album Sales in the US Grew By 23% in 2018

Slashdot - January 19, 2019 - 6:15pm
Categories: Geek, Opinion

How to make your audio system sound better for free - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 19, 2019 - 5:47pm
Move your speakers into the middle of the room, and listen to them from 4 or 5 feet away.

Euro style and high-end sound in an apartment-friendly speaker - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 19, 2019 - 4:00pm
Trenner & Friedl's Osiris speakers produce amazing sound without taking over the room.

Even with the Google/Fossil deal, Wear OS is doomed

Ars Technica - January 19, 2019 - 3:00pm

Enlarge / Wear OS seems nice, but it lacks apps and decent hardware. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

Google and Fossil Group were involved in some kind of acquisition deal yesterday. Despite being a fashion brand, Fossil is probably the biggest remaining seller of Android Wear OS hardware. Brands like Fossil, Michael Kors, Diesel, Emporio Armani, and Misfit are all part of Fossil Group, and all produce Wear OS devices. Fossil sold Google some IP and "a portion of Fossil Group's research and development team currently supporting the transferring IP" for $40 million.

Fossil's stock jumped 8 percent on the news, which was probably "mission accomplished" as far as this announcement was concerned. The press release sent the tech community into a tizzy, though.

"Google cares about Android Wear?" "This will fix everything!" "When is the Pixel Watch coming out?"

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Here's every iPhone ever made from 2007 to today - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 19, 2019 - 3:00pm
Apple's 21 iPhones never looked this good.

DDoS sueball, felonious fonts, leaky Android file manager, blundering building security, etc etc

The Register - January 19, 2019 - 2:37pm
Plus, Safari security foiled by… a finger swipe?

Roundup This week we wrangled with alleged Russian election meddling, hundreds of millions of username-password combos spilled online, Oracle mega-patches, and claims of RICO swap-gangs.…

Chevy's full-scale Lego Silverado opens Detroit Auto Show public days - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - January 19, 2019 - 2:30pm
Even though it has 334,544 bricks, it weighs less than the real truck.

Damning court docs show just how far Sacklers went to push OxyContin

Ars Technica - January 19, 2019 - 2:00pm

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

With the opioid epidemic raging, you may at this point be familiar with Purdue Pharma. It makes the powerful painkiller OxyContin and has been widely blamed for igniting the current crisis.

After debuting OxyContin in 1996, Purdue raked in billions using aggressive and deceptive sales tactics, including ratcheting up dosages of the addictive opioid while lying about its addictiveness. As OxyContin prescriptions soared, opioid overdose deaths increased six-fold in the US, killing more than 400,000 people between 1999 and 2017. Of those deaths, around 200,000 involved prescription opioids specifically.

In 2007, Purdue and three of its executives pleaded guilty in federal court to misleading doctors, regulators, and patients about the addictiveness of OxyContin. The company has seen a flurry of lawsuits making similar allegations since then.

Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Whirlpool, GE and the dozens of cooking apps crowding the smart kitchen - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 19, 2019 - 2:00pm
Commentary: The connected kitchen is getting complicated. And this is just the beginning.

Review: Toyota Sienna minivan mixes the solid with the subpar

Ars Technica - January 19, 2019 - 1:00pm

Enlarge / The Sienna resplendent in an elementary school parking lot.

In the early 2000s, I was in the market for a big car. We needed something that could ferry our daughter and stuff around, carry drywall and other home-improvement stuff, and feel comfortable on cross-country trips to visit my family. Neither our Ford Taurus nor Saturn SL1 fit the bill, and we weren't feeling the SUV love. As we started looking into minivans, it became clear that there were three models to look at seriously: the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town & Country, and Toyota Sienna.

Nearly 20 years later, not much has changed. Honda, Chrysler, and Toyota still rule the minivan market in terms of sales. We drove the Town & Country's successor, the Pacifica, last year and came away very impressed. So when I found out there was a 2019 Toyota Sienna on the local press fleet, reviewing it was a no-brainer.

The Sienna got a new powertrain in 2017, and last year's model saw some safety and ride quality improvements. Toyota Safety Sense, its suite of driver-assist technology, became standard on the Sienna. Toyota also tackled ride quality by making the cabin quieter. For 2019, support for CarPlay and Amazon Alexa has been added, and the all-wheel-drive powertrain is now available on the SE trim.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments


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