Computers & Linux News

Best Cordless Impact Wrench for 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-09-23 03:01
These cordless impact wrench picks won't let stubborn nuts and bolts derail your next car maintenance project.

Best Spark Plugs for 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-09-23 03:01
Spark plugs are a mission-critical part of a gasoline engine's ignition system. Without them, there's nothing to ignite the air-fuel mixture in each cylinder.

Best Gel Mattress for 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-09-23 03:01
Gel brings a springy, cool feel to traditional foam mattresses. Here are eight of the best gel mattresses you can find this year.

Best Oil Drain Pan for 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-09-23 03:01
Changing your own oil? Don't be messy! Buy yourself an oil drain pan.

Best Convertible for 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-09-23 03:00
You won't regret buying a convertible, and these are the best ones available.

Best Midsize Car for 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-09-23 03:00
The segment filled with some of the car industry's biggest names still provides plenty of value in an era of crossovers.

Best Racing Wheel and Pedals for iRacing and Your Budget - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-09-23 03:00
Before you dive into the wild world of sim racing, you're going to need a wheel and pedals. Skip the cross-shopping and check out these favorites.

20 Viral TikTok Products to Add to Your Shopping List - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-09-23 03:00
All the items you never knew you needed.

12 Gifts Any High School Graduate Will Truly Appreciate - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-09-23 03:00
Whether they're moving into a dorm or heading out into the world, these thoughtful gifts will prepare your grad for their next adventure.

Maarten Schmidt, First Astronomer to Identify a Quasar, Dies at 92

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-09-23 03:00
Maarten Schmidt, who in 1963 became the first astronomer to identify a quasar, a small, intensely bright object several billion light years away, and in the process upended standard descriptions of the universe and revolutionized ideas about its evolution, died on Sept. 17 at his home in Fresno, Calif. He was 92. The New York Times reports: Dr. Schmidt's discovery of what was then among the farthest known objects in the universe answered one of the great conundrums of postwar astronomy, and like all great breakthroughs it opened the door to a whole host of new questions. Advances in radio technology during World War II allowed scientists in the 1950s to probe deeper into the universe than they could with traditional optical telescopes. But in doing so they picked up radio signals from a plethora of faint or even invisible, but intensely energetic, objects that did not fit with any conventional category of celestial body. Researchers called them "quasi-stellar radio sources," or quasars, for short -- even though no one could figure out what a quasar was. Many thought they were small, dense stars nearby, within the Milky Way. In 1962, two scientists in Australia, Cyril Hazard and John Bolton, finally managed to pinpoint the precise position of one of these, called 3C 273. They shared the data with several researchers, including Dr. Schmidt, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology. Using the enormous 200-inch telescope at the Palomar Observatory, in rural San Diego County, Dr. Schmidt was able to hone in on what appeared to be a faint blue star. He then plotted its light signature on a graph, showing where its constituent elements appeared in the spectrum from ultraviolet to infrared. What he found was, at first, puzzling. The signatures, or spectral lines, did not resemble those of any known elements. He stared at the graphs for weeks, pacing his living room floor, until he realized: The expected elements were all there, but they had shifted toward the red end of the spectrum -- an indication that the object was moving away from Earth, and fast. And once he knew the speed -- 30,000 miles a second -- Dr. Schmidt could calculate the object's distance. His jaw dropped. At about 2.4 billion light years away, 3C 273 was one of the most distant objects in the universe from Earth. That distance meant that it was also unbelievably luminous: If it were placed at the position of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to Earth, it would outshine the sun. Dr. Schmidt shared his results with his colleagues, and then in a paper in the journal Nature -- and not without trepidation, knowing how disruptive his findings would be. [...] The revelation shocked the astronomy world, and for a time made Dr. Schmidt something of a celebrity. Time magazine put him on its cover in 1966, with a fawning profile that compared him to Galileo. "The 17th century Italian startled scientists and theologians alike; the 20th century Dutchman has had an equally jarring effect on his own contemporaries," Time wrote, a bit breathlessly but not inaccurately. [...] For their work on quasars, in 2008 Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Lynden-Bell shared the prestigious Kavli Prize in Astrophysics.

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Apple Scores NFL Deal as Super Bowl Halftime Show Partner - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-09-23 00:31
Multi-year deal will allow Apple to showcase artists available on its music-streaming service.

Magnus Carlsen Finally Speaks On Chess Cheating Scandal, Sows Even More Chaos

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-09-22 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Chess's top-ranked player, Magnus Carlsen, has finally spoken about the ongoing alleged cheating scandal that has rocked the chess world for the last several weeks and was reignited when Carlsen resigned in protest after making one move against Hans Niemann. Niemann, of course, was accused of cheating against Carlsen earlier this month, but no one has been able to prove this, nor has a mechanism for the supposed cheating been proven. "I think the whole world is wondering, what is the reason you withdrew [against Niemann]?" a newscaster with Chess24 asked. "Unfortunately I cannot particularly speak on that," Carlsen said. "But, you know, people can draw their own conclusion and they certainly have. I have to say I'm very impressed by Niemann's play, and I think his mentor Maxine Dlugy must be doing a great job." "I will not comment on that," he added when asked if he was accusing Niemann of cheating. He was then asked if he was accusing Dlugy, who is a chess grandmaster, of helping Niemann cheat: "No, I will not say more about that subject ... I hope to say a little bit more after the tournament." Carlsen was then asked if he thought cheating was a problem in chess. "I think individual people will answer the question differently depending on their own experiences. Regardless of whether it's a massive problem or not, it's, I think, fairly easy to cheat. On a general basis, cheaters in the future, it should not be taken lightly neither online nor over the board." Chess watchers believe that by namedropping Maxine Dlugy, Carlsen is putting down more breadcrumbs. Dlugy is is a Russian-born, American chess grandmaster who currently operates the Chess Max Academy in Manhattan. In July, Dlugy posted a photo with "my student Hans Niemann," congratulating him on "becoming a top 50 player in the world! Go Hans!" After Niemann beat Carlsen earlier this month, Dlugy posted a congratulatory message: "Just 16 months ago or so, I recommended to Hans to really focus on endings. He devoted a lot of time to this pivotal part of the game and today I am proud to say that his endgame play is sufficient to beat the reigning World Champion from a better position. That's powerful! Hans Niemann -- Chess speaks for itself!" Redditors were quick to point out, however, that Dlugy has his own controversy. Dlugy has been removed twice from a weekly tournament called Titled Tuesday, in 2017 and 2020. Benjamin Bok, a chess grandmaster and Twitch streamer, for example, made a whole segment delving into some of Dlugy's old matches and pointing out that Dlugy was suddenly removed from with no explanation: "Generally that only means one thing," Bok said, not elaborating on what it means, but heavily implying that it means he was caught cheating. "Draw your own conclusions. Draw your own conclusions. That's all I'm going to say." "Question becomes: Is perhaps Dlugy Hans' accomplice, in case Hans is cheating? We'll have to wait and see," Bok says. "But the fact that Magnus makes that statement and drops his name, it means that he knows something we don't know. You can't just drop someone's name in there without really knowing stuff. I feel like he knows something really big."

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Japan To Allow Visa-Free Travel After 2 1/2 Years of Mostly Closed Borders

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-09-22 21:25
Japan will allow visa-free, independent tourism and abolish a daily arrival cap as of Oct. 11, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday, marking a major policy shift after nearly 2 1/2 years of strict COVID-19 restrictions. The government will also launch a nationwide travel discount program, which had been shelved due to the spread of COVID-19 infections. The Japan Times reports: Kishida made the long-awaited announcement during his visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly. "I hope many people will utilize it," Kishida said at a news conference. "I want to support the travel, entertainment and other industries that have been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic." Japan has been allowing tourists since June, starting with people on guided tours. On Sept. 7, the government allowed those on nonguided tours who had booked their flights and hotels through registered travel agencies. But those measures have been unpopular with many foreign tourists who want greater freedom during their trips. Tourists will need to be vaccinated three times or submit a negative COVID-19 test result ahead of their trip, Kyodo News reported, citing government sources. A nationwide domestic travel program offering discounts for travel, entry to theme parks, and for sporting events and concerts is also set to start on Oct. 11. People who have been vaccinated three times or submit a negative test result will be eligible for the discounts, according to the report. The program offers financial assistance of up to $77 per person for a one-night stay. The moves will be welcomed by the nation's tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. "In 2019, a record 31.88 million foreign travelers visited Japan, but the figure plummeted to about 250,000 in 2021 due to the closed borders," notes the report. "The daily arrival cap has been raised gradually over the past six months, first to 5,000 on March 1 and eventually to the current 50,000."

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23-Year-Old 'Crypto King' Has Luxury Cars Seized After $35 Million of Investor Money Vanishes

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-09-22 20:45
Five luxury cars, including two BMWs, two McLarens, and a Lamborghini, have been seized from 23-year-old Aiden Pleterski, the self-described "crypto king" of Canada, during bankruptcy proceedings according to a new report from the CBC. But those cars are only worth a fraction of the $35 million that Pleterski allegedly took from investors who thought he'd make them rich in the cryptocurrency market, and it's not clear whether they'll ever see their money again. Gizmodo reports: Pleterski and his company AP Private Equity Limited are facing at least two civil lawsuits after 140 people have come forward to say they invested a combined $35 million with Pleterski. Those people believed they were investing in cryptocurrency, and Pleterski's online presence -- including photos of the 23-year-old on private jets and next to luxury cars-- helped create the image that he knew what he was doing. Pleterski's YouTube channel and Instagram account have been deleted but it appears he purchased articles on websites like (the top level domain for Monaco) and the far-right news outlet Daily Caller to get his name associated with success in crypto investment. The Daily Caller article from December 2021 includes a photo of Pleterski looking at his phone in what appears to be a private jet. Notably, December 2021 was a time when cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum were trading near all-time highs. The headline reads, "Aiden Pleterski: Meet the Young Canadian Investor Who Is Taking the World of Crypto By Storm." The question remains whether Pleterski actually invested any of the money in crypto to begin with, and speaks to just how strange the crypto market has been over the past year. For all anyone knows, Pleterski may have actually invested the money and lost it like so many others since the peak of November 2021. Bitcoin is down 56% since its price a year ago, while ethereum is down 57%. Pleterski insists he invested the money but that he's just bad with record-keeping. But some investors suspect Pleterski didn't even bother investing the money, instead pocketing it for himself, according to people who spoke with the CBC. Investors are trying to get their money back through the bankruptcy court and two civil lawsuits, but criminal charges haven't been pursued, even though some have reported their incidents to Toronto police, according to the CBC.

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Google Wants To Take On Dolby With New Open Media Formats

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-09-22 20:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Protocol: Google is gunning for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision: The company is looking to introduce two new media formats to offer HDR video and 3D audio under a new consumer-recognizable brand without the licensing fees hardware manufacturers currently have to pay Dolby. Google shared plans for the media formats, which are internally known as Project Caviar, at a closed-door event with hardware manufacturers earlier this year. In a video of the presentation that was leaked to Protocol, group product manager Roshan Baliga describes the goal of the project as building "a healthier, broader ecosystem" for premium media experiences. The company's primary focus for Project Caviar is YouTube, which does not currently support Dolby Atmos or Dolby Vision. However, Google also aims to bring other industry players on board, including device manufacturers and service providers. This makes Project Caviar one of Google's most ambitious pushes for open media formats since the company began working on royalty-free video codecs over a decade ago. Google's open media efforts have until now primarily focused on the development of codecs. The company acquired video codec maker On2 in 2009 to open source some of its technology; it has also played a significant role in the foundation of the Alliance for Open Media, an industry consortium that is overseeing the royalty-free AV1 video codec. Project Caviar is different from those efforts in that it is not another codec. Instead, the project focuses on 3D audio and HDR video formats that make use of existing codecs but allow for more rich and immersive media playback experiences, much like Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision do. Baliga didn't mention Dolby by name during his presentation, but he still made it abundantly clear that the company was looking to establish alternatives to the Atmos and Vision formats. "We realized that there are premium media experiences where there aren't any great royalty-free solutions," he said, adding that the licensing costs for premium HDR video and 3D audio "can hurt manufacturers and consumers." Dolby makes most of its money through licensing fees from hardware manufacturers. The company charges TV manufacturers $2 to $3 to license Dolby Vision, according to its Cloud Media Solutions SVP Giles Baker. Dolby hasn't publicly disclosed licensing fees for Atmos; it charges consumers who want to add immersive audio to their Xbox consoles $15 per license, but the fee hardware manufacturers have to pay is said to be significantly lower. Still, in an industry that long has struggled with razor-thin margins, every extra dollar matters. That's especially true because Dolby already charges virtually all device makers a licensing fee for its legacy audio codecs. A manufacturer of streaming boxes that wholesale for $50 has to pay around $2 per unit for Dolby Vision and Dolby Digital, according to a document an industry insider shared with Protocol. "For lower-cost living room devices, the cost may be prohibitive," Baliga said during his presentation.

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China Claims NSA Infiltrated Country's Telecommunications Networks

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-09-22 19:20
A U.S. intelligence agency gained access to China's telecommunications network after hacking a university, Chinese state media claimed Thursday. CNBC reports: The U.S. National Security Agency used phishing -- a hacking technique where a malicious link is included in an email -- to gain access to the government funded Northwestern Polytechnical University, the Global Times alleged, citing an unnamed source. American hackers stole "core technology data including key network equipment configuration, network management data, and core operational data," and other files, according to the Global Times. As part of the NSA's hack, the agency infiltrated Chinese telecommunications operators so that the U.S. could "control the country's infrastructure," the Global Times alleged. The Global Times, citing its unnamed source, reported that more details about the attack on Northwestern Polytechnical University will be released soon. China first disclosed the alleged attack on the Northwestern Polytechnical University earlier this month. "The agency also accused the U.S. of engaging in 'tens of thousands' of cyberattacks on Chinese targets," adds CNBC.

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How to Curb the Sunday Scaries for Better Sleep - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-09-22 19:00
Dreading the start to your week? Here's how to address your anxieties when you have a case of the Sunday scaries.

Boeing Will Pay $200M to Settle Charges of Misleading Investors On 737 Max Plane Crashes - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-09-22 18:57
The SEC alleges Boeing made "materially misleading public statements" after two fatal plane crashes.

As Unrest Grows, Iran Restricts Access To Instagram, WhatsApp

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-09-22 18:40
Iran curbed access on Wednesday to Instagram and WhatsApp, two of the last remaining social networks in the country, amid protests over the death of a woman in police custody, residents and internet watchdog NetBlocks said. Reuters reports: Last week's death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police in Tehran for "unsuitable attire," has unleashed anger over issues including freedom in the Islamic Republic and an economy reeling from sanctions. NetBlocks also reported a "nation-scale loss of connectivity" on Iran's mail mobile telephone provider and another company's network. WhatsApp's servers have been disrupted on multiple internet providers, hours after Instagram's services were blocked, London-based NetBlocks said. The group's data shows a near-total disruption to internet service in parts of Kurdistan province in west Iran since Monday, while the capital city of Tehran and other parts of the country have also faced disruptions since Friday when protests first broke out. Two residents in Tehran and southern Iran said they could only send text and not pictures on WhatsApp and that Instagram appeared to be completely blocked.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.