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Iconic hacker booted from conferences after sexual misconduct claims surface

John Draper , a legendary figure in the world of pre-digital phone hacking known as "phreaking," has been publicly accused of inappropriate sexual behavior going back nearly two decades. According to a new Friday report by BuzzFeed News , Draper, who is also known as "Captain Crunch," acted inappropriately with six adult men and minors between 1999 and 2007 during so-called "energy" exercises, which sometimes resulted in private invitations...
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Apple’s iOS 11.1.2 fixes the cold weather input bug on the iPhone X

Apple released iOS 11.1.2 for iPhones and iPads this afternoon. It's a minor, bug-fix update that benefits iPhone X users who encountered issues after acquiring the new phone just under two weeks ago. iOS 11.1.2's patch notes are short and sweet. The update fixes just two problems. The first is "an issue where the iPhone X screen becomes temporarily unresponsive to touch after a rapid temperature drop." Last week, some iPhone X owners began...
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The 2018 Kia Stinger GT, an affordable sports sedan that deserves the hype

Every year there will be one or two new cars that generate a whole lot of buzz. Cars that generate hype. Cars that people who post on Internet forums salivate over. I'm not talking hand-built exotica with 600 horsepower and six-digit price tags; that kind of unobtanium might make for good desktop wallpaper or bedroom posters but few of us will ever be lucky enough to meet that kind of four-wheeled superstar. No, the kind of machine I'm talk...
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Star Trek: Discovery just broke our brains

A white-knuckle cliffhanger ended the first half of Star Trek: Discovery's first season. Frenetic, fascinating, and sometimes shocking, "Into the Forest I Go" raised more questions than it answered. There are conspiracies wrapped in conspiracies, and we've got the entire mid-season break to mull them over. Spoilers ahead! Yes, I mean it! If you read past these sentences and complain about spoilers in the comments, you will be turned into a ...
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Giving agriculture a global do-over could feed nearly a billion more people

As the human population grows and the human middle class grows in developing countries, we are going to need more. More food, more meat, more energy. And producing more is going to require more resources. Since we are just about tapped out of the resources required for food production—namely water and land—we are going to have to figure out how to use these limited resources as efficiently as possible. A number of suggestions have been made...
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Unusual experiment reveals the power of non-mainstream media

Pundits and activists have long blamed the "mainstream media" for having an outsized effect on public perceptions. Whatever side of the political spectrum you're on, some people say, it seems as if large media outlets like the New York Times or FOX News exert too much power over the national conversation. Ideas from non-mainstream media, according to this logic, get drowned out. But a new long-term study reveals that small media outlets hav...
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EA buys out a game studio after shutting another one down 3 weeks ago

EA confirmed via a press release on Thursday that it had acquired the video game studio Respawn Entertainment. The studio, co-founded by former Infinity Ward chiefs and Call of Duty co-creators in the wake of their departure from Activision, has been bought out in a deal whose total value could reach $455 million. The news by itself may seem odd, considering that EA shut down one of its other wholly owned studios, Visceral Games , only thre...
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In-depth study: Commercial cargo program a bargain for NASA

It has generally been assumed that NASA will save money by spurring the development of services by US companies to supply the International Space Station, but such conclusions have largely been based on estimates. Now, a rigorous new review authored by a NASA analyst, and published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, offers a clear answer to this question. According to the new research paper by Edgar Zapata, who works...
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When Apple soured on Irish tax laws, it turned to a tiny English Channel island

According to newly-leaked documents , in recent years, Apple used a Bermuda-based law firm to take advantage of highly-advantageous (though legal) tax arrangements in Jersey to mitigate its tax burden as much as possible. The so-called Paradise Papers, which were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists , show that as the so-called "Double Irish" tax loophole began to close , Apple began shopping for a new place t...
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Wonder Woman aside, fall’s origin stories include EVs, Dahmer, and Gilbert Gottfried

Update (11/5/17): Two of the films below—My Friend Dahmer and Gilbert—receive limited US releases this weekend. If near a participating theater, the capsules below can definitely help guide viewing decisions. As such, we're resurfacing this piece, which originally ran on October 15, 2017. AUSTIN, Texas—Standard film genres—horror, documentary, sci-fi, et al.—run rampant at Fantastic Fest, but subgenre niches also seem to emerge every outing...
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Critical Tor flaw leaks users’ real IP address—update now

Mac and Linux versions of the Tor anonymity browser just received a temporary fix for a critical vulnerability that leaks users' IP addresses when they visit certain types of addresses. TorMoil, as the flaw has been dubbed by its discoverer, is triggered when users click on links that begin with file:// rather than the more common https:// and http:// address prefixes. When the Tor browser for macOS and Linux is in the process of opening su...
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FDA blasts marijuana companies for fraud that ‘preys on’ cancer patients

Enlarge / CBD All-Natural Hemp Oil by That's Natural! is sold as a supplement but should be regulated as a drug, the FDA says. reader comments 5 The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday publicly scolded and threatened companies claiming that marijuana-based products could treat or cure cancer. In the harshly worded announcement, the agency suggested that the “deceptive marketing” was tantamount to “health fraud” and that the agency was...
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Star Wars: Battlefront II changes its loot box plans… but is it enough?

Enlarge / This shot is from Star Wars: Battlefront II's single-player mode. It's not yet clear whether or how much loot boxes will figure into this mode, so let's focus on what we DO know thanks to Tuesday's announcement. EA/DICE reader comments 75 Ahead of Star Wars: Battlefront II's launch in a few weeks, its publisher EA posted an announcement on Tuesday . "We've listened to your feedback," the post begins, and the rest of the update abo...
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AMD, which lost over $2.8B in 5 years, takes a hit after new report

Enlarge / Texas Governor Greg Abbott (center) tests the Oculus virtual reality device at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in Austin as AMD CEO Lisa T. Su (r) watches following an Abbott bill signing that reduced Texas' franchise tax by 25 percent in June 2015. Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images) reader comments 28 On Monday, AMD’s stock price plunged nearly 9 percent after a report by Morgan Stanley, a major investment ban...
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The end of an era came long before the end of Cassini

Enlarge / Saturn glows as Cassini spies the planet eclipsing the Sun. NASA reader comments 0 I've now been writing about science for nearly a dozen years, which means my career more or less overlaps with that of the Cassini probe. Unlike that spacecraft, fortunately, nobody's directed me to burn up in the atmosphere of Saturn. But, given the overlap between us, you might think I'd be saddened and nostalgic when the last signal arrived from ...
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Assessing the threat the Reaper botnet poses to the Internet—what we know now

reader comments 13 Eight days have passed since researchers first warned of a new, potentially Internet-paralyzing botnet made up of cameras, routers, and other so-called Internet-of-things devices. There are good reasons for concern that Reaper, as the botnet has been dubbed, could pose as big a threat as Mirai, the mass IoT infection that last year caused chaos with record-setting distributed denial-of-service attacks . The more nuanced r...
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Hulu’s Runaways may actually do justice to the brilliant comics

reader comments 4 A preview for the first season of Hulu's The Runaways shows us that our heroes are fighting the scariest bad guys of all: parents. When Marvel debuted Runaways back in 2003, it took the superhero genre in a compelling new direction. Not only did it have teenage characters who were more than sidekicks or mini versions of adults, but it also upped the stakes by pulling a Game of Thrones and killing off major characters. Hulu...
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Worker who snuck NSA malware home had his PC backdoored, Kaspersky says

Kaspersky Lab reader comments 21 An NSA worker who reportedly snuck classified materials out of the agency stored them on a home computer that was later infected by a malicious backdoor that allowed third-parties to remotely access the machine, officials with Moscow-based antivirus provider Kaspersky Lab said. The NSA worker—described in some published reports as a contractor and in others as an employee—installed the backdoor after Kaspers...
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We need to talk about “Lethe,” last night’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery

Enlarge / Ash Tyler is so brave, so hunky, and so nice... but is he actually [redacted in the name of spoilers]? reader comments 6 Star Trek: Discovery has been getting tighter with each episode, but in last night's "Lethe," the show turned a corner into addictively good storytelling. There were a couple of standout moments, plus an evolving conspiracy theory involving Klingon spies. But the best part was that we finally saw one of the show...
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How Jane Goodall became Jane Goodall

reader comments 0 Jane Goodall is an astonishing figure in many ways. Starting with no formal training and using controversial methods, she made astonishing breakthroughs in understanding the social behavior of chimpanzees and thus understanding ourselves. She managed to become an extremely rare species: a scientist who was also a media darling. And, after dedicating many years of her life to her research (at significant personal sacrifice)...
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Report: Twitter CEO took a Russian impostor’s bait in 2016

Enlarge / Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chief executive officer of Twitter. reader comments 23 As the public learns more about confirmed Russian troll accounts on social media platforms  over the past few years, reporters have begun digging into any ties they may have with major political or tech voices. The Daily Beast found a pretty big one on Friday, when it confirmed via Internet archives that Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey unwitt...
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Chronic gastrointestinal problems? Your dirty mouth may be partly to blame

reader comments 3 Chronic intestinal disturbances may in part be handed down from above, according to a study published Thursday in Science. Intestinal pathogens can lurk in the mouth and—at just the right moments— interlope in the gut to help trigger severe, recurring bouts of inflammation , researchers found. The study, based on human and mouse data, suggests that microbes lying low around our choppers may play a role in persistent gastro...
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Microsoft finally pledges to update Halo: Master Chief Collection… next year

Enlarge / We really, really hope 343 pulls off 60 frames-per-second split-screen combat in 4K with this anthology's long-awaited Xbox One X patches. reader comments 8 In 2014, the Halo: Master Chief Collection anthology launched as a much-needed lineup filler for the struggling Xbox One. But fans' hopes of a lovely, 1080p collection of four classic Halo games, including a remastered take on Halo 2, were soon shattered by a litany of matchma...
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More than 4,000 MW of coal power slated for retirement in Texas. But why?

Enlarge / Emissions rise from smokestacks at Pacificorp’s 1000-megawatt coal-fired power plant on October 9, 2017 outside Huntington, Utah. reader comments 32 Late last week, power company Vistra Energy announced that it would close two of its Texas coal plants by early 2018. In a press release, the company blamed "Sustained low wholesale power prices, an oversupplied renewable generation market, and low natural gas prices, along with other...
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Studying human tumors in mice may end up being misleading

reader comments 20 Cancer is, unfortunately, governed by the same evolutionary rules that drive life itself. Cells in tumors are essentially competing to see which can divide the fastest. This competition drives them to pick up new mutations that can help them divide faster, survive immune attack, resist drugs, and expand to new areas of the body. We can tell this by looking at the genetic changes that occur as tumors progress. Over time, w...
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Tom Wheeler to Ajit Pai: “Why the silence” about Trump’s media threats?

Enlarge / Tom Wheeler, when he was Federal Communications Commission Chairman, at left, listens to then-FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai testify before the House Judiciary Committee about Internet regulation on March 25, 2015. President Donald Trump promoted Pai to chairman to succeed Wheeler. Chip Somodvellia/Getty Images reader comments 71 Tom Wheeler, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, implored his successor, Ajit Pai...
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Bitcoin surges above $5,000

reader comments 34 Bitcoin surged on Thursday morning, blowing past $5,000 for the first time and setting a new record price above $5,200. The rise is remarkable because there has been quite a bit of unfavorable news about Bitcoin in recent weeks. China, one of the biggest markets for Bitcoin, is shutting down trading . The Bitcoin community faces ongoing acrimony over how to scale the Bitcoin network. A contentious fork split the Bitcoin n...
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Valve announces the first big SteamVR 2.0 feature: waaay more space

Enlarge / Only two base stations? P'shaw. Next year, SteamVR will let developers do way more with four. Valve reader comments 17 Every major virtual reality platform has its pros and cons at this point, but one of SteamVR's clear leads is space. Right now, owners of the HTC Vive can set up two of its infrared-powered "base stations" and move, dance, shoot, sculpt, and adventure around a maximum of 132 square feet—assuming you have that much...
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New bill would end Native American “sovereign immunity” for patents

Enlarge / US Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) at a hearing earlier this year. reader comments 5 Allergan's move to stop its patents from being reviewed by handing them off to a Native American tribe is winning support from few people outside the drug company. Now one lawmaker is seeking to ban it. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has introduced a bill (PDF) that would head off Allergan’s strategy without waiting to see whether the judges at the P...
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Head, limbs of Kim Wall found, sinking story of suspect in submarine murder

Enlarge / Peter Madsen, inventor and submarine and space enthusiast, after his rescue from the waters off Copenhagen. It appears he sank his sub to destroy evidence of the murder of his passenger. reader comments 195 Danish investigators have announced that divers discovered bags containing the head, arms, legs, and clothing of reporter Kim Wall. She disappeared in August while aboard the crowdfunded submarine UC3 Nautilus with Peter "Rocke...
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