Tech News Feed

Loved 'No Time to Die'? This James Bond Movie Is the One You Should Watch Right Now - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 17:00
Daniel Craig has bowed out. As we await the next James Bond, here's your guide to all the 007 movies in order, by actor and beyond.

Diving into Digital Ephemera: Identifying Defunct URLs in the Web Archives

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-08-05 16:40
Olivia Meehan, who worked on the web archiving team at the US Library of Congress, evaluates how well online archives of the Papal Transition 2005 Collection from 2005 have survived: Based on the results I have so far and conversations I've had with other web archivists, the lifecycle of websites is unpredictable to the extent that accurately tracking the status of a site inherently requires nuance, time, and attention -- which is difficult to maintain at scale. This data is valuable, however, and is worth pursuing when possibleÂ. Using a sample selection of URLs from larger collections could make this more manageable than comprehensive reviews. Of the content originally captured in the Papal Transition 2005 Collection, 41% is now offline. Without the archived pages, the information, perspectives, and experiences expressed on those websites would potentially be lost forever. They include blogs, personal websites, individually-maintained web portals, and annotated bibliographies. They frequently represent small voices and unique perspectives that may be overlooked or under-represented by large online publications with the resources to maintain legacy pages and articles. The internet is impermanent in a way that is difficult to quantify. The constant creation of new information obscures what is routinely deleted, overwritten, and lost. While the scope of this project is small within the context of the wider internet, and even within the context of the Library's Web Archive collections as a whole, I hope that it effectively demonstrates the value of web archives in preserving snapshots of the online world as it moves and changes at a record pace.

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Toyota will buy back your recalled bZ4X EV

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 16:21

Toyota recalled the bZ4X in June over concerns the electric crossover's wheels could fall off at speed, and now it's taking extra steps to satisfy upset customers and keep vehicles off the road. Electrek has learned (and Engadget has confirmed) that Toyota's US branch is offering to buy back the bZ4X. The terms will vary based on your state and "particular circumstances," according to a letter to customers.

The automaker outlined compensation for those who still want the EV. You can continue to drive a loaner at no cost, complete with free fuel for the temporary car and storage for the bZ4X. You'll also get $5,000 credit towards your loan, lease or full purchase price. There will also be extensions to your warranty and free EVgo charging time.

Toyota is offering the buybacks and other perks "until a remedy is available." The recall also covers pre-orders for Subaru's sibling model, the Solterra, although that SUV hasn't yet reached American buyers.

There's no mention of just when or how Toyota will fix the bZ4X wheel fault. That makes the situation difficult for owners. The buyback gives them a chance to purchase another vehicle rather than wait indefinitely for a fix, but auto industry supply shortages could leave them either waiting months for a replacement or settling for a less-than-ideal alternative.

How a Crypto Developer Faked a DeFi Ecosystem

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-08-05 16:00
The chief architect of Solana's once mighty stablecoin exchange Saber hid behind anonymous developer accounts to pump billions of dollars into his DeFi empire, a CoinDesk investigation has found. From the story: Something about Sunny Aggregator felt off-kilter to the cryptocurrency user known as Saint Eclectic. Sunny was the newest decentralized finance (DeFi) app to hit Solana during that blockchain's scorching bull run last summer, when its native token jumped fivefold. Sunny was barely two weeks old by early September, but billions of dollars in crypto were flooding this yield farm. Still, Saint and others had questions: Who was behind Sunny? Why was its developer, one "Surya Khosla," pseudonymous? Was its codebase audited? Would users' cash be safe? "There was no indication of who Surya was," Saint recalled recently, "so many users didn't feel comfortable" putting their crypto in. Their suspicions proved prescient. CoinDesk has learned who Surya was: Ian Macalinao, the chief architect of Saber, a stablecoin exchange built on top of Solana. In turn, he built Sunny Aggregator on top of Saber. And that's just the top of the pile. Coding as 11 purportedly independent developers, Ian, a 20-something computer wiz from Texas, created a vast web of interlocking DeFi protocols that projected billions of dollars of double-counted value onto the Saber ecosystem. That temporarily inflated the total value locked (TVL) on Solana, as the network was racing toward its zenith last November. The DeFi faithful regard TVL as a barometer for on-chain activity. "I devised a scheme to maximize Solana's TVL: I would build protocols that stack on top of each other, such that a dollar could be counted several times," Ian wrote in a never-published blog post reviewed by CoinDesk. The blog post was prepared on March 26, three days after Cashio, one of Ian's secretly built protocols, lost $52 million in a hack. People close to the matter confirmed the draft's authenticity.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

FCC Votes To Boost Manufacturing in Space

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-08-05 15:20
The FCC may have just advanced the industrialization of space. Commissioners have voted in favor of an inquiry that will explore in-space servicing, assembly and manufacturing (ISAM). The move would both help officials understand the demands and risks of current in-space production technology while facilitating new projects. This could help companies build satellites and stations in orbit, for instance, while finding new ways to deal with growing volumes of space debris. From a report: The vote helps open a new "Space Innovation" docket at the FCC. It also comes two days after the regulator updated its rules to create more breathing room for satellite broadband frequencies. Expect considerably more space-related developments going forward, then. Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel saw the inquiry as vital. Existing rules were made for "another era" where space programs were exclusively government-run, she said. The support ISAM will ideally help the FCC adapt to space tourism, huge private satellite constellations and a larger general shift toward commercial spaceflight.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

DreamWorks Animation will open source its MoonRay renderer later this year

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 15:13

DreamWorks has been open sourcing some of its technology in recent years, and now its animation division is preparing to make more tools freely available. DreamWorks Animation said it will release its MoonRay ray-tracing renderer as open-source software later this year. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, DreamWorks will offer up its Arras cloud rendering framework in the code base too.

“We are thrilled to share with the industry over 10 years of innovation and development on MoonRay’s vectorized, threaded, parallel and distributed code base,” Andrew Pearce, DreamWorks vice president of global technology said in a statement. “The appetite for rendering at scale grows each year, and MoonRay is set to meet that need. We expect to see the code base grow stronger with community involvement as DreamWorks continues to demonstrate our commitment to open source."

DreamWorks used MoonRay in movies including How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Croods: A New Age and The Bad Guys, as well as the upcoming Puss In Boots: The Last Wish. It's always welcome to see proprietary software being opened up for anyone to use. Whether dedicated hobbyists can create animation on par with the quality of visuals DreamWorks knocks out remains to be seen, but at least they'll have another helpful tool to add to their belt. If you're interested, you can ask to be considered for early access to MoonRay or sign up for updates.

Stephen Merchant's Porn Star Name Is Tabby King - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 15:00
The co-creator behind The Office preps us for the second season of The Outlaws on Prime Video.

Microsoft helps game devs pull more performance from the Xbox Series S

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 14:49

Frustrated that games don't run as well on the Xbox Series S as you'd expect given the 1440p-capable hardware? Microsoft might have a fix. The Verge has learned the company's recently highlighted June Game Development Kit gives programmers more access to memory, freeing up "hundreds of additional megabytes" of RAM for their games. That can improve graphics performance in titles where limited memory is a problem, Microsoft said.

This move won't put the entry-level console on par with the Xbox Series X, which uses the same CPU but packs a more powerful graphics processor. However, it might reduce bottlenecks that sometimes force developers to run games on Series S at lower resolutions and frame rates. While the Series X has 16GB of RAM (about 13.5GB of it usable), its lower-end counterpart has just 10GB — in practice, devs have just 8GB to themselves. Creators talking to Digital Foundry have complained about the limitations.

If this sounds like a familiar strategy, it should. Microsoft gave more power to Xbox One coders in 2014 when it let them disable Kinect features in games that didn't need the motion controller. In both cases, Microsoft is tweaking available system resources in response to gripes.

It will take time for developers to optimize games, and there's no guarantee this will affect many titles. Don't expect patches that improve the graphics on all your favorite releases. Still, this is a welcome move that could make the Xbox Series S a more viable option if you'd rather not splurge on its pricier counterpart.

House Democrats Want US To Jointly Build New EV, Broadband Infrastructure

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-08-05 14:40
A group of 10 U.S. House Democrats asked the Biden administration on Friday to use funding to build out broadband internet and electric vehicle charging infrastructure simultaneously. From a report: Congress as part of the $1 trillion infrastructure law approved in November 2021 set aside $42.45 billion in grants to expand broadband, including building fiber or other networks and $5 billion for EV charging. The lawmakers led by Representatives Doris Matsui and Anna Eshoo urged officials to coordinate broadband and EV charging infrastructure efforts to encourage "co-location" of EV and broadband, especially in underserved areas "This approach can address multiple national priorities simultaneously and avoid duplicative efforts," the lawmakers wrote.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Wonky Mars Crater Sure Looks Like an Ear - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 14:29
"Once you see it, it's almost impossible to un-see."

Galaxy Z Fold 4 Pops Up in Amazon Listing Ahead of Samsung Unpacked - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 14:20
The listing offers details on the expected foldable's size and shows off a new S Pen case.

Blood Protein Levels May Flag Risk of Diabetes and Death By Cancer, Shows Study

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-08-05 14:05
Doctors have identified a protein in the blood they believe could serve as an early warning sign for patients who are at risk of diabetes and death from cancer. From a report: Researchers in Sweden and China analysed two decades of health records from more than 4,500 middle-aged adults on the Malmo diet and cancer study. They found that those with the highest levels of prostasin, a protein that circulates in the blood, were almost twice as likely to have diabetes than those with the lowest levels. Some of those enrolled on the study already had diabetes, so the scientists looked at who among those without the disease went on to be diagnosed later. People in the top quarter for prostasin levels turned out to be 76% more likely to develop diabetes than those in the bottom quarter. Dr Xue Bao, the first author on the study at the Affiliated hospital of Nanjing University medical school in China, said prostasin was a potential new "risk marker" for diabetes, but also death from cancer, particularly in people who have high blood sugar. Prostasin plays several roles in the body, such as regulating blood pressure and blood volume, and it also suppresses the growth of tumours that are fuelled by high blood sugar. While type 2 diabetes is known to raise the risk of certain cancers, including pancreatic, liver, bowel and endometrial tumours, the biological mechanisms are far from clear.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

DuckDuckGo Browser's Stricter Privacy Protection Will Also Apply To Microsoft Scripts Now

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-08-05 13:25
After a revelation in May that DuckDuckGo's (DDG) privacy-focused web browser allows Microsoft tracking scripts on third-party websites, the company now says it will start blocking those too. From a report: DuckDuckGo's browser had third-party tracker loading protection by default that already blocked scripts embedded on websites from Facebook, Google, and others, but until now Microsoft's scripts from the Bing and LinkedIn domains (but not its third-party cookies) had a pass. A security researcher named Zach Edwards pointed out the exclusion that he apparently uncovered while auditing the browser's privacy claims, and noted it is especially curious because Microsoft is the partner that delivers ads in DDG's search engine (while promising not to use that data to create a monitored profile of users to target ads, instead relying on context to decide which ones it should show). DuckDuckGo CEO Gabe Weinberg said at the time that the reason for it was a search syndication agreement with Microsoft, and that more updates on third-party tracker preventions were coming. A backlash ensued, with some seizing on DuckDuckGo's own words that "tracking is tracking," a phrase the company used against Google's cookie-replacing "privacy sandbox" ad technology. Now Weinberg writes in a blog post, "I've heard from a number of users and understand that we didn't meet their expectations around one of our browser's web tracking protections." DuckDuckGo is vowing to be more transparent about what trackers its browser and extensions are protecting users from, making its tracker blocklists available and offering users more information on how its tracking protections with a new help page.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

What to Do if You Get Monkeypox: Isolation, Treatment and More - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 13:00
These are the steps to take if you've tested positive, been exposed or are developing symptoms.

Binance Says It Doesn't Own Indian Exchange WazirX, Years After Acquisition Announcement

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-08-05 12:50
Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange by trading volume, said on Friday it doesn't own India-based platform WazirX despite disclosing the acquisition two and a half years ago. From a report: Changpeng Zhao, founder and chief executive of Binance, said in a series of tweets that the company has been "trying to conclude the deal for the past few years," but hasn't completed the transaction yet citing "a few issues" that he declined to elaborate. Binance announced the acquisition of WazirX in late 2019 in a blog post. The official blog post, which carried a picture of Zhao and WazirX founders, also featured the Binance executive's enthusiasm about the deal. "The acquisition of WazirX shows our commitment and dedication to the Indian people and strengthen the blockchain ecosystem in India as well as another step forward in achieving the freedom of money," the 2019 post cited him as saying. WazirX also reported that it had been "successfully acquired by Binance" in a separate blog post.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Netflix to pay $42 million in dispute over screenwriter compensation

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 12:33

Netflix will have to shell out a hefty sum in a fight over screenwriter pay. As Deadlinereports, the Writers Guild of America has won an arbitration ruling that will have Netflix pay 216 theatrical movie writers an extra $42 million in unpaid residuals. The WGA is also seeking another $13.5 million in interest for late payment.

The WGA accused Netflix of "self-dealing" that helped it skimp on writer pay. Residuals for theatrical releases are supposed to be paid on revenues earned in a given market, according to the guild, and licenses like Netflix's (where it's both the producer and distributor) demand fees based on more conventional relationships — a Sony movie licensed to Netflix, for example. Netflix, however, reportedly negotiated deals with the Directors Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) that let it pay residuals on its own movies for "significantly less" than the cost of the film.

The win was helped by an earlier victory over the Sandra Bullock movie Bird Box, the WGA claimed. An arbitrator found that Netflix significantly underpaid a screenwriter using a formula like that from the most recent dispute. The officiator told Netflix to pay the writer $1.2 million in residuals and interest.

We've asked Netflix for comment. The WGA wasn't shy about its criticism, however. It characterized Netflix as one of the "worst violators" of the guild's basic agreements for residuals, and saw the arbitration as a pushback against media companies trying to "depress" pay through streaming services. Don't be surprised if there are more battles like this across the industry.

Amazing Bomberman Is a Dose of Nostalgic Gaming on Apple Arcade - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 12:20
Apple Arcade subscribers can check out this game from Konami today.

FCC votes to boost manufacturing in space

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 12:17

The FCC may have just advanced the industrialization of space. Commissioners have voted in favor of an inquiry that will explore in-space servicing, assembly and manufacturing (ISAM). The move would both help officials understand the demands and risks of current in-space production technology while facilitating new projects. This could help companies build satellites and stations in orbit, for instance, while finding new ways to deal with growing volumes of space debris.

The vote helps open a new "Space Innovation" docket at the FCC. It also comes two days after the regulator updated its rules to create more breathing room for satellite broadband frequencies. Expect considerably more space-related developments going forward, then. 

Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel saw the inquiry as vital. Existing rules were made for "another era" where space programs were exclusively government-run, she said. The support ISAM will ideally help the FCC adapt to space tourism, huge private satellite constellations and a larger general shift toward commercial spaceflight.

There's plenty of pressure to act. Blue Origin, Axiom and other companies are building commercial space stations, and even NASA is preparing for a time when it might lease space aboard corporate facilities. In-orbit satellite repairs might also prove crucial in minimizing space junk from a wave of privately-operated satellites. While the FCC is only just starting its efforts, the benefits might last for decades.

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