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Doctor Who: The Pyramid at the End of the World review

Simon Ridgway/Des Willie/Ray Burmiston/BBC reader comments 8 This is a post-UK broadcast review of Doctor Who: The Pyramid at the End of the World. River Song always warned the Doctor against spoilers, so be sure to watch the episode first. Doctor Who, season 10, airs on Saturdays at 7:45pm UK time on BBC One, and 9pm EDT on BBC America. A hungover and reckless scientist, the Monks demanding consent to take over Earth, bio-hazard alerts, a ...
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Far Cry 5 takes series to deadliest land of all: Disenfranchised America

Enlarge / Next-to-last supper? Ubisoft Montreal reader comments 0 LOS ANGELES—I leaned back in a hotel-suite chair and took in a bonkers video-game pitch from an Ubisoft producer while folding and unfolding the tiny American flag I'd been given moments before. The 13-year-old Far Cry gaming series returns once more in February 2018, and, at least conceptually, this might be its most intense entry yet. While Far Cry games traditionally drop ...
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A wormable code-execution bug has lurked in Samba for 7 years. Patch now!

reader comments 10 Maintainers of the Samba networking utility just patched a critical code-execution vulnerability that could pose a severe threat to users until the fix is widely installed. The seven-year-old flaw, indexed as CVE-2017-7494, can be reliably exploited with just one line of code to execute malicious code, as long as a few conditions are met. Those requirements include vulnerable computers that (a) make file- and printer-shar...
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There’s new evidence tying WCry ransomware worm to prolific hacking group

Health Service Journal reader comments 30 Researchers have found more digital fingerprints tying this month's WCry ransomware worm to the same prolific hacking group that attacked Sony Pictures in 2014 and the Bangladesh Central Bank last year. Last week, a researcher at Google identified identical code found in a WCry sample from February and an early 2015 version of Contopee , a malicious backdoor used by Lazarus Group, a hacking team tha...
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Moon Express chairman believes his team’s “ready to go for the end of this year”

reader comments 27 Chatting up MoonExpress co-founder and chairman Naveen Jain Nathan Mattise / Jennifer Hahn NEW ORLEANS—The day before we talked with Moon Express co-founder and chairman Naveen Jain, he sat on the Collision Conference mainstage next to a HoloLens -clad Robert Scoble. The successful investor Jain and the enthusiastic tech-evangelist Scoble chatted about “Startups as a Superpower,” exploring what it means if a private busin...
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The Arctic seed vault had to deal with melting permafrost last winter

reader comments 31 In Arctic Svalbard, there is a vault that might sound like a sci-fi plot device. Completed in 2008, the Global Seed Vault is a remote archive for safeguarding seeds for thousands of crop varieties. If anything dramatic should happen elsewhere around the world, we want these seeds to be there. The vault consists of a giant freezer room bored into a mountain, protected by the bedrock around it and the permafrost above it. B...
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Dealmaster: Get a Dell Inspiron 15 5000 laptop with Kaby Lake CPU for just $469

Staff — Ars Staff - May 18, 2017 7:56 pm UTC reader comments 0 Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our partners at TechBargains , we've got a new batch of deals to share. Today, you can get a Dell Inspiron 15 5000 notebook, complete with a Core i7 Kaby Lake CPU, 1TB SATA hard drive, 8GB of RAM, and Windows 10 Pro, for just $469. That's a great price compared to its original $799 price, so take advantage of the deal now while you can. Check out ...
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“Genericide” assault to nullify the Google trademark fails

David Kravets/Arstechnica reader comments 54 What do a teleprompter, thermos, hoover, aspirin, and videotape have in common? They were once trademarked but lost their legally protected status because their names became too generic. Google won't be joining that  list  any time soon. Google defeated a "genericide" lawsuit Tuesday that claimed Google should no longer be trademarked because the word "google" is synonymous to the public with the...
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How I accidentally stopped a global Wanna Decryptor ransomware attack

reader comments 5 I’ve finally found enough time between e-mails and Skype calls to write up the crazy events that occurred over Friday, which was supposed to be part of my week off. You’ve probably read about the Wanna Decryptor (aka WannaCrypt or WCry) fiasco on several news sites, but I figured I’d tell my story. I woke up at around 10am and checked onto the UK cyber threat sharing platform where I had been following the spread of the Em...
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Top SpaceX employee throws shade at just about all of his competitors

Enlarge / On March 31 SpaceX made the world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket. reader comments 8 About 10 days ago, a founding employee of SpaceX, Tom Mueller, made a Skype call to a group of "fans" of the company  with  the New York University Astronomy Society. The call was recorded and posted to Twitch.tv. It garnered little attention until Saturday, when a user on the SpaceX subreddit called attention to it . Although the prov...
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NASA pays the price of being subjected to a massive, expensive rocket

reader comments 159 It's not easy to build the world's largest rocket. Here are some views of the process of constructing the Space Launch System at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana. NASA A liquid oxygen tank being manufactured for weld confidence testing shows how domes are added to make tanks in the Vertical Assembly Center. NASA The intertank to be flown on the first integrated flight of the Space Launch System and Orion is ...
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The Air Force’s secretive spy plane returns after 718 days in space

reader comments 0 The US Air Force's X-37B returned to Earth from space on Sunday morning. US Air Force It was the space plane's longest mission yet, 718 days. US Air Force The plane also made its first landing at Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. US Air Force The X-37B resembles the space shuttle, but is just 8.9 meters in length. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle after it landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in 2012. It had conducted on-orbit...
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Newly-signed federal spending bill spares energy research for 4 months

reader comments 40 On Friday afternoon, President Trump signed a bipartisan spending bill negotiated in the House to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017. The bill contained funding for energy-related programs and offices that the president has called to be defunded. And, late this week, the Department of Energy (DOE) internally announced a cancellation of its grant freeze. The omnibus spending bill was put together by Hou...
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New device can harvest indoor light to power electronics

Enlarge / This probably isn't the first lightbulb you've ever seen. reader comments 16 We spend a fair bit of energy creating stray electromagnetic fields in order to make sure our cellular and WiFi devices are constantly fed with data. Every now and again, someone suggests that there must be a way to harvest these fields in order to charge our devices wirelessly. Now, a team of researchers (a Swiss-Chinese-Swedish collaboration) has sugges...
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Microsoft takes aim at Chrome OS with a new, and very necessary, education push

reader comments 51 Hands-on with some of the cheap education systems. Video shot and edited by Jennifer Hahn. Microsoft's New York City event to launch Windows 10 S and the Surface Laptop appears to have confused many people. The larger theme of the event was "education," but this is a broad topic, and judging by many of the reactions, Microsoft didn't do a very good job of distinguishing between its offerings and ambitions for K-12 educati...
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Liveblog: Apple’s Q2 2017 earnings call happens May 2 at 5pm ET

Enlarge / The fifth-generation iPad. Andrew Cunningham reader comments 2 Liveblog starts in: View Liveblog Apple will host its earnings call for the second quarter of its fiscal 2017 this afternoon at 5pm Eastern (10pm UK), and we'll be liveblogging the call and the analyst Q&A session to give you all the information, along with our insights and charts. Apple's numbers were down year over year for most of 2016, the first time that has h...
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Public defender lambastes judicial ruling to not fix flawed court software

Enlarge / The René C. Davidson Courthouse, at 1225 Fallon Street, in Oakland, hosts the Alameda County Superior Court. reader comments 7 The public defender’s office in Alameda County, California, has recently appealed a local judge’s recent rejection of its demands to fix an upgraded court software. That software led to the unconstitutional and erroneous jailing of some of its clients. “These delays and errors violate Government Code § 698...
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Microsoft 3Q17: Cloud, Office, Windows strong, Surface slumps

reader comments 70 In its third quarter of its 2017 financial year, Microsoft posted revenue of $22.1 billion, up 8 percent year-on-year, with an operating income of $5.6 billion, up 6 percent on a year ago, net income of $5.7 billion, up 28 percent, and earnings per share of $0.61, an increase of 30 percent over the same quarter a year ago. As ever, Microsoft also offered alternative figures that book Windows 10 revenue up front instead of...
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Tech demo shows Scorpio’s superior graphics at both 4K and 1080p

Enlarge / This scientist in her steampunk laboratory and time machine in the background brings to mind BioShock Infinite's Elizabeth. It's a shame this is just a tech demo and not a real game. reader comments 0 While Microsoft's initial reveal of Project Scorpio placed heavy emphasis on 4K gaming, the huge GPU upgrade relative to the Xbox One is going to bring a big visual upgrade for the majority of us still using 1080p, too. Windows Centr...
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Silicon Valley season 4 starts by teetering on the edge of repetition

Enlarge / A white board for a potential blank-slate restart. reader comments 7 Stop me if you've heard this one before: On Silicon Valley, the show's main character, Richard Hendriks (Thomas Middleditch) is actually facing some small degree of success. But he panics in the face of it, then runs headlong into an awkward confrontation with his peers at tech start-up Pied Piper, before drastically changing gears. That's exactly the quandary th...
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“Science Keeps America Great,” and the March for Science reminded us

reader comments 5 In Austin, presumably like all participating cities, anti-Trump iconography certainly had its place... Nathan Mattise ...as did pretty great families with coordinated signs. #Toddlers4Science Nathan Mattise The great part about science is it doesn't discriminate whether you spell it Sience (bonus points for perhaps our favorite cinematic quote of the last five years). Nathan Mattise Dual Magic School Bus and Ars readers  ...
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Russian man gets longest-ever US hacking sentence, 27 years in prison

Images of Seleznev with stacks of cash were found on his laptop following his 2014 arrest in the Maldives. reader comments 32 Russian hacker Roman Seleznev was sentenced to 27 years in prison today. He was convicted of causing more than $169 million in damage by hacking into point-of-sale computers. Seleznev, aka "Track2," would hack into computers belonging to both small businesses and large financial institutions, according to prosecutors...
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Verizon lost 400,000 customers in the 6 weeks before it launched unlimited data

Verizon reader comments 14 Verizon Wireless lost 398,000 retail postpaid phone subscribers in the first six weeks of 2017. That's when the company launched unlimited smartphone data plans  and immediately turned things around. Verizon still ended up losing customers for the quarter ending March 31, the company said in earnings results released today. But a gain of 109,000 retail postpaid phone connections after the launch of unlimited data ...
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Vigilante botnet infects IoT devices before blackhats can hijack them

reader comments 21 Mirai, the botnet that threatened the Internet as we knew it last year with record-setting denial-of-service attacks , is facing an existential threat of its own: A competing botnet known as Hajime has infected at least 10,000 home routers, network-connected cameras, and other so-called Internet of Things devices. Hajime uses a decentralized peer-to-peer network to issue commands and updates to infected devices. This desi...
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Patent troll with an “Internet Drink Mixer” and a nonexistent office could be in trouble

USPTO reader comments 34 This February, Garmin International got  sued (PDF)  by inventor Leigh Rothschild and his patent-holding company, Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations LLC (RCDI). RCDI had already sued 68 other companies. A few weeks later, Rothschild's lawyer got in touch. He wasn't interested in discussing the technology behind his client's two patents, which describe making customized mixed beverages. Instead, he asked Garmin...
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Mysterious Microsoft patch killed 0days released by NSA-leaking Shadow Brokers

Contrary to what Ars and the rest of the world reported Friday , none of the published exploits stolen from the National Security Agency work against currently supported Microsoft products. This is according to a Microsoft blog post published late Friday night . That's because the critical vulnerabilities for four exploits previously believed to be zerodays were patched in March, exactly one month before a group called Shadow Brokers publis...
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Solar energy has plunged in price—where does it go from here?

Enlarge / LONG ISLAND SOLAR FARM reader comments 65 In the year 2000, the entire world had roughly four Gigawatts of solar power capacity installed, and it didn't seem to be going anywhere fast. In 2002, the International Energy Agency forecast suggested that, by 2020, global solar capacity would still be hovering at around 10GW, and still barely register on the global energy markets. How things change. Over the 15 years that followed, sola...
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Google deprecates Octane JavaScript benchmark, because everyone is basically cheating

reader comments 27 Google has announced that its widely used Octane JavaScript benchmark is being retired, with Google saying that it's no longer a useful way for browser developers to determine how best to optimize their JavaScript engines. Octane was developed for and by the developers of V8, the JavaScript engine used in Chrome. It was intended to address flaws in the earlier SunSpider benchmark, developed by Apple's Safari team. SunSpid...
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Squid, eyes, and blood, oh my! 2017’s best biology images

reader comments 12 The Wellcome Trust is a major funder of biomedical research in the UK. But part of its remit is improving the public's understanding of health and medical research. This mostly means educational and public outreach efforts. But each year, the Trust also runs a contest that recognizes the best images of all things biological. The winners run from the microscopic to the every day. Many of the winning images aren't clearly m...
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Lawyer films his traffic stop, even after cop says to stop, citing made-up law

reader comments 20 The police chief in Wilmington, North Carolina, has publicly lambasted one of his officers. The officer recently pulled over a local attorney moonlighting as an Uber driver and told the driver that he could not film the traffic stop. "Taking photographs and videos of people that are in plain sight, including the police, is your legal right," Chief Ralph Evangelous said in a Wednesday statement published on the department’...
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