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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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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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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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China built the world’s largest telescope, but has no one to run it

Enlarge / This picture taken on September 24, 2016 shows the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope in southwestern China's Guizhou province. STR/AFP/Getty Images reader comments 89 During the second season of The Big Bang Theory, the aspiring actress Penny borrows money from Sheldon. Without a second thought, the theoretical physicist grabs a peanut brittle can in which he stores his extra money, and urges Penny to borrow as...
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Security researcher who neutralized WCry to be released on $30,000 bond

reader comments 61 Marcus Hutchins, the celebrated security professional who was arrested Wednesday on federal charges he helped create and distribute malware that steals banking credentials , will be released from detention pending $30,000 bail, according to Las Vegas reporter Christy Wilcox and other news outlets. Wilcox reported on Twitter that Hutchins will stay in a halfway house until more permanent housing arrangements are made. She ...
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The FCC is full again, with three Republicans and two Democrats

Enlarge / Ajit Pai, Jessica Rosenworcel, and Brendan Carr prepare to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee during a confirmation hearing on July 19, 2017. reader comments 26 The US Senate today confirmed the nominations of Republican Brendan Carr and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to fill the two empty seats on the Federal Communications Commission. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai congratulated the commissioners in a statement. “As I know from w...
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Baltimore police commissioner orders cops not to stage body cam footage

reader comments 73 Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Kevin Davis ordered street officers not to "recreate" body cam footage in a Tuesday memo that follows a turbulent two weeks for the agency in which at least two body cam tapes have come to light showing officers staging crime scenes. "In the event your body worn camera is not activated during the recovery of evidence, under no circumstances shall you attempt to recreate the recover...
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Kitchen sponges are festering germ dens—and sanitizing them doesn’t help

Enlarge / Some germy places in the house include the kitchen faucet and sponges. Typically people wash their hands after handling raw meat in the kitchen and frequently use sponges or cloths to wipe germs from surfaces in the kitchen. (Photo by Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images) reader comments 101 Scientists have long thrown shade at the unassuming kitchen sponge. The household staple skulks in sinks amid dirty dishes and...
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34 criminal cases tossed after body cam footage shows cop planting drugs

reader comments 101 Maryland prosecutors have tossed 34 criminal cases and are re-examining dozens more in the aftermath of recent revelations that a Baltimore police officer accidentally recorded himself planting drugs in a trash-strewn alley. Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said that, in all, 123 cases are under review in the wake of a scandal in which one officer has been suspended and two others put on administrative duty. Body...
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See IndyCar’s bold new look for 2018

reader comments 8 The new 2018-spec IndyCar. Chris Owens/IndyCar IndyCar has gone for a lower, sleeker look that calls back to the heyday of the early '90s, and we think it has succeeded. Chris Owens/IndyCar The redesign process started back in 2016. The following year, IndyCar released these sketches. This graphic should give you an idea of how the new parts compare to the current aero kits. Juan Pablo Montoya slides into a Chevrolet-power...
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AMD Ryzen 3 1300X and 1200: True quad-core CPUs for just $130 and $110

Mark Walton reader comments 0 Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200, AMD's budget-focused quad-core CPUs, launch today for $130 and $110 respectively. UK pricing is yet to be confirmed, but don't expect much change from £120 and £100 respectively. Like the rest of the Ryzen line-up, Ryzen 3 offers more cores compared to a similarly priced Intel chip. The Ryzen 3 1200—which features four cores, four threads, a base clock of 3.1GHz and a boost clock...
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US Energy Secretary takes 22-minute prank call from “Ukrainian Prime Minister”

Enlarge / WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump's choice as Secretary of Energy, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Capitol Hill January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images) Getty Images reader comments 16 Last week, US Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry took a phone call from t...
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Elon Musk’s Mars rocket may be about to lose half of its engines

Enlarge / SpaceX may be dumping the outer ring of 21 engines for its new Mars vehicle. SpaceX reader comments 70 Last year, SpaceX founder Elon Musk shared plans for his transportation system to send humans to Mars in the 2020s. But the fantastically huge rocket, with 42 Raptor engines and enormous technical challenges, seemed more like science fiction than reality. Then there was the small matter of who would pay the tens of billions of do...
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German energy company wants to build flow batteries in old natural gas caverns

reader comments 28 A German energy company recently announced that it’s partnering with a university to build a massive flow battery in underground salt caverns that are currently used to store natural gas. The grid-tied battery, the company says, would be able to power Berlin for an hour. The technology that the project is based on should be familiar to Ars readers. Two years ago, Ars wrote about an academic paper published in Nature that ...
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Paying people to preserve forests really seems to work

reader comments 7 We’re trashing the world not because it’s fun, but because it pays to do so. People respond to financial incentives. So, how do you provide an incentive to stop trashing the world? One idea is to use cold, hard cash. If people earn more by not trashing, the thinking goes, the incentive flips: it suddenly pays to conserve. Based on this idea, a trial program in Uganda paid landowners to preserve the forest on their land and...
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Cop’s body cam films him planting drugs—he obviously didn’t know it was recording

reader comments 160 In May, we published a story about how police body cams can be employed in the worst way—for planting evidence, or staging a crime scene. In what was among the first instances of its kind, we revealed that a Colorado cop had staged the body cam footage of a search of a vehicle in which he is seen finding drugs and cash. Pueblo prosecutors dropped the drug charges, and the Pueblo Police Department said it disciplined the ...
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Distributed energy sources can reduce cost of electricity up to 50%, study says

reader comments 2 Dramatic changes are coming to the old power grid. As infrastructure ages and policy dictates a move away from fossil fuels, utilities and governments are looking at Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) as potential alternatives to continually building out a centralized grid. DERs include all kinds of hardware that the utility may not necessarily own directly— solar panels , natural gas-fired microturbines, stationary batte...
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