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Uber: We don’t have to pay drivers based on rider fares

reader comments 97 Uber is fighting a proposed class-action lawsuit that says it secretly over charges riders and under pays drivers. In its defense, the ride-hailing service claims that nobody is being defrauded in its "upfront" rider fare pricing model. The fares charged to riders don't have to match up with the fares paid to drivers, Uber said, because that's what a driver's "agreement" allows. "Plaintiff's allegations are premised on th...
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Feds in California are aggressively going after Silk Road, AlphaBay vendors

Enlarge / A stack of bitcoins sits among twisted copper wiring inside a communications room at an office in this arranged photograph in London on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. reader comments 31 Next month, a California drug dealer who recently pleaded guilty to selling on Silk Road, AlphaBay, and other sites is scheduled to be sentenced. According to federal authorities, David Ryan Burchard was one of the largest online merchants of marijuan...
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Equifax CIO, CSO “retire” in wake of huge security breach

Enlarge / A monitor displays Equifax Inc. signage on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images reader comments 107 On Friday, Equifax announced that two top executives would be retiring in the aftermath of the company’s massive security breach that affected 143 million Americans. According to a press release, the company said that its Chief Informatio...
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Feds: Google stops challenging most US warrants for data on overseas servers

reader comments 5 Google has quietly stopped challenging most search warrants from US judges in which the data requested is stored on oversees servers, according to the Justice Department. The revelation, contained in a new court filing to the Supreme Court, comes as the administration of President Donald Trump is pressing the justices to declare that US search warrants served on the US tech sector extend to data stored on foreign servers. ...
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Can a tattoo on human flesh be copyrighted? We’ll soon find out

Getty / Aurich reader comments 1 There's a tattoo as a design, and then there's that same tattoo after it's inked on the human body. Tattoo artists often copyright their tattoos. But does that copyright stick once the image is inked on the human body? So far, no US court has ruled that it does, despite several lawsuits on the topic that have settled out of court or have been dropped. But barring a settlement, we might soon get our first rul...
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PETA drops lawsuit demanding animals the right to own property

reader comments 25 We brought word last month that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was in the works of dropping its federal lawsuit that sought to win the right for animals to own property. That case involved the intellectual property rights of an Indonesian macaque monkey named Naruto who took pictures of himself in the wild with a nature photographer's camera. PETA officially dropped the Naruto case on Monday. We can all rest ...
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The dye whisperer: Meet the chemist giving biologists worldwide new colors

Enlarge / Cells in metaphase, dyed by rhodamines reader comments 8 You can never have enough photons. Biologists, they always want more, says Luke Lavis , a dye chemist with Howard Hughes Medical Institute. And, he lets slip under a smile, they’re “super picky.” Still, biologists appreciate his work. While Lavis’ fellow chemists might be inclined to see his latest series of molecular dyes as “incremental” advances, biologists are jumping at...
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HTC Vive gets its first permanent price cut, now down 25 percent

Take heed: the newly discounted HTC Vive bundle, pictured here, includes the old head strap without either embedded headphones or a more comfortable fit. From HTC The HTC Vive has finally received its first major, and permanent, price drop since launching in April of last year. Starting today, the complete HTC Vive virtual reality kit , which includes a headset, two Vive wand controllers, and two tracking boxes, now costs $599 (and £599 in ...
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US forecast models have been pretty terrible during Hurricane Irma

Weather Bell reader comments 114 Hurricane Season 2017 View more stories We have written a fair amount at Ars recently about the superiority of the European forecast model, suggesting to readers that they focus on the ensemble runs of this system to get a good handle on track forecasts for Hurricane Irma. Then we checked out some of the preliminary data on model performance during this major hurricane, and it was truly eye-opening. Brian Ta...
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Dear Ford: When you bring back the Ranger, don’t forget this Raptor version

Enlarge / The way the suspension and dampers work on these off-road trucks really is something else. Ford reader comments 3 Trucks have been no more immune than cars when it comes to suffering from automotive bloat. The F-150 of today is a beast of a thing compared to the ones I rode around in at the turn of the century, and that's the smallest truck Ford will sell us here in the US. Life is better for the small truck fan living in Australi...
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Lucasfilm fires the director of Star Wars Episode IX

reader comments 26 Lucasfilm has fired Colin Trevorrow as director of Star Wars: Episode IX. The final installment of the nine-part Star Wars saga is slated for release in 2019. "Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ," says a statement on the Star Wars website . Lucasfilm hasn't announced a replacement for Trevorrow. Trevorrow...
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The Ends of the World is page-turner about mass extinction

Ecco reader comments 14 The Ends of the World, Peter Brannen’s masterful non-fiction debut, might be just the book to give to that uncle of yours who still wants to argue about climate change (or even, to your US Representative). But first, read it yourself. It's a page turner. The book’s premise is mind-bendingly vast: a geological history of Earth’s past extinctions. It succeeds because of bold and lyrical writing—a rare occurrence in a s...
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Review: Dominate the solar system in The Expanse board game

It's cubes on a map! reader comments 14 Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com —and let us know what you think. The Expanse just has it. George R.R. Martin can't stop professing his love, and the franchise is fresh off a Hugo award nomination in the new TV category. Now, the sci-fi series is flaring its engines and painting a target on your tabl...
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America’s new ironman is headed home from space—it’s Peggy Whitson

reader comments 4 America's new "ironman" astronaut. Peggy Whitson is NASA's most experienced female astronaut. Here, at the Kremlin Wall in Moscow’s Red Square, she lays flowers at the marker for legendary engineer Sergei Korolev. NASA Astronauts Peggy Whitson, left, and Thomas Pesquet, inside Bigelow's expandable module. NASA NASA held an in-flight event earlier this year when Whitson surpassed Jeff Williams for the most time in space by ...
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Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact: Sony can do better than this

reader comments 8 View more stories The Sony XZ1. Behold all the colours! The The Sony XZ1 Compact. Continuing Sony's baffling strategy of producing new smartphones every six months, Sony has launched the Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact. While technically positioned under the Xperia XZ Premium , both phones feature high-end specs including the same Snapdragon 835 SoC, staid design, and unique—if questionably useful—imaging features. Unfor...
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Sonic Mania PC version launches with Denuvo, online requirement

Enlarge / Maybe Sonic and his friends are looking at an incoming, Denuvo-related crapstorm headed their way. reader comments 50 I had high hopes of returning to Sonic Mania and slapping an Ars Approved sticker on my early-August review  once its PC version launched. I figured, by then, the console editions would have received patches to a few noticeable glitches and a tidy PC port would seal the deal on an easy game recommendation. Then I t...
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Tropical Storm Harvey takes out 911 centers, cell towers, and cable networks

Enlarge / Flooding in Houston's theater district on Sunday, August 27, 2017 as the city battles with tropical storm Harvey and resulting floods. Getty Images | AFP | Thomas B. Shea reader comments 35 Tropical Storm Harvey has disrupted at least 17 emergency call centers and 320 cellular sites, and it has caused outages for more than 148,000 Internet, TV, and phone customers. The numbers come from the Federal Communications Commission, which...
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Mayweather-McGregor piracy sites on the ropes: Are they down for the count?

Enlarge / Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. , left, and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor face off during a news conference at the KA Theatre at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on Wednesday. The two will meet in a super welterweight boxing match at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday. A judge has ordered piracy sites not to stream the mega-event, but whether they'll abide is anybody's guess. reader comments 77 The Mayweather-McGregor fight is almost her...
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Ferrari says goodbye California T, hello Portofino

reader comments 8 Ferrari is done with its California dreaming: this is the all-new Portofino GT. It's more powerful than the outgoing model and is based on an all-new chassis that saves plenty of weight, we're told. Ferrari It's a more aggressively styled car that shows plenty of influence from the Ferrari aerodynamics department. Ferrari There's still a folding hardtop roof, but it's lighter than before, which should help handling. Ferrar...
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Rick Perry’s “baseload” study released, offers a lifeline to coal, nuclear

Enlarge / DUNKIRK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2016/10/09: A NRG owned coal fired energy facility that plans to convert to a natural gas facility. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images) reader comments 16 The US Department of Energy (DOE)  released a report late Wednesday night recommending that power markets revise how they value coal and nuclear power. The report also admits that low natural gas prices are a primary cause of rec...
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New Godzilla movie promises a radically different direction for the original kaiju

reader comments 7 The first trailer for the anime Godzilla: Monster Planet, coming to you on Netflix later this year. A new Godzilla flick from Toho Studios is always cause for celebration, but Godzilla: Monster Planet is a next-level treat for kaiju and science fiction fans. The first in a planned three-movie anime series, Monster Planet takes the Big G in a bold new direction: the deep future. The tireless fans at Tokusatsu Network have p...
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Four book series that are shaping the future of science fiction on television

reader comments 69 If recent Hollywood deals are any indication, science fiction on TV is about to get even more interesting and complex. The trend started with the surprising announcement in late 2016 that Lin Manuel-Miranda's next project—after completing his run on Hamilton and writing the music for Moana—would be to adapt Patrick Rothfuss' cult fantasy series The Kingkiller Chronicle for TV and film . Just in the past two months, three ...
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Now you can post videos directly to Reddit, no third-party service required

reader comments 0 Reddit announced a big, and likely welcome, change coming to its site: native video uploads. After testing the feature out in about 200 communities, native video hosting will now roll out for all Reddit communities, giving every user the ability to upload and share videos on Reddit without the use of a third-party service. Until now, users had to upload videos to another site and then post the video's link to Reddit in ord...
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CloudFlare CEO says his Daily Stormer takedown was “arbitrary” and “dangerous”

Enlarge / Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince at a 2014 TechCrunch Disrupt conference in London. reader comments 149 Until recently, CloudFlare prided itself on its unwavering commitment to free speech. Even when he was criticized for providing service to alleged terrorist groups in 2013, CEO Matthew Prince stood firm, insisting  that "a website is speech. It is not a bomb." So a lot of people were surprised on Wednesday when the company abruptly...
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Powerful backdoor found in software used by >100 banks and energy cos.

reader comments 0 For 17 days starting last month, an advanced backdoor that gave attackers complete control over networks lurked in digitally signed software used by hundreds of banks, energy companies, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, researchers warned Tuesday. The backdoor, dubbed ShadowPad, was added to five server- or network-management products sold by NetSarang , a software developer with offices in South Korea and the US. The mali...
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After a month-long break, SpaceX aims to return to flight Monday

reader comments 24 Weather conditions Sunday were mixed at Kennedy Space Center, a day before the scheduled launch of a Falcon 9 rocket. During better weather, SpaceX's Falcon 9 is prepared Sunday for a launch Monday. The rocket's cargo is a Dragon spacecraft, carrying, food, water, supplies, and scientific experiments to the International Space Station. Weather conditions are forecast to be 70 percent "go." This is the final flight of a "n...
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Rise of the Empire expands Star Wars: Rebellion in all the right ways

Enlarge / There’s plenty of “more” in the box. reader comments 4 Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com —and let us know what you think. 2016’s Star Wars: Rebellion was—ahem—a force to be reckoned with. Presenting the original film trilogy within the scope of a three-hour board game is a monumental challenge. But Rebellion succeeded. If the tabl...
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Google cancels all-hands diversity meeting over safety concerns

reader comments 213 According to the Wall Street Journal , Google has abruptly canceled a company-wide meeting, scheduled for Thursday afternoon, that was intended to address employee questions about the company's diversity policies. Questions submitted by employees on the company's internal network "appeared externally this afternoon, and on some websites Googlers are now being named personally," Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in an email ...
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The BMW i3 revisited: A better battery solves half its problems

reader comments 43 The BMW i3 uses a clever lightweight design and drives well for an EV, but it was handicapped by a small battery and hefty price tag back in 2014. BMW has bumped the battery size, so we've taken a fresh look. Jonathan Gitlin The i3's cabin looks best in the Giga World trim and its pale eucalyptus bits. Jonathan Gitlin The i3's shape is a bit like Marmite: either you like it or you don't. Jonathan Gitlin The not-quite suic...
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Google fires engineer who “crossed the line” with diversity memo

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. reader comments 510 Google has fired James Damore, an engineer who wrote a controversial essay arguing that the company has gone overboard in its attempts to promote diversity. Damore confirmed the firing in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “At Google, we’re regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership,” Damore wrote in an internal posting that went viral withi...
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