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Articles related to "ars-technica"


Mars’ underground brine could be a good source of oxygen

  • The device can split the water in that brine, producing pure oxygen and hydrogen.
  • To test whether we could tap this resource, the researchers built an electrolysis device that they ran in Mars-like conditions.
  • They mixed up a plausible concentration of magnesium perchlorate brine and filled the headspace in that container with pure CO2 for a Mars-like atmosphere.
  • When powered up, brine flowed through the device, splitting into pure oxygen gas captured on the anode side and pure hydrogen gas on the cathode side.
  • The device worked quite well, producing about 25 times as much oxygen as its MOXIE counterpart can manage.
  • A device like this would need to go through long-term stress testing, of course, to ensure that performance doesn't degrade over time and it is generally robust.

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Does Tor provide more benefit or harm? New paper says it depends

  • Our results narrowly suggest, however, users of Tor in more repressive “not free” regimes tend to be far more likely to venture via the Tor network to Clear Web content and so are comparatively less likely to be engaged in activities that would be widely deemed malicious.
  • Conversely, simply working to shut down Tor would cause harm to dissidents and human rights activists, particularly, our results suggest, in more repressive, less politically free regimes where technological protections are often needed the most.
  • Our results showing the uneven distribution of likely licit and illicit users of Tor across countries also suggest that there may be a looming public policy conflagration on the horizon.
  • Linking this trend with a strict interpretation of our current results suggests that the harms from the Tor anonymity network cluster in free countries hosting the infrastructure of Tor and that the benefits cluster in disproportionately highly repressive regimes.

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The best Cyber Monday 2020 deals for working from home

  • Whatever the case, we've found deals on some of our top picks for work-from-home gear, as well as a few high-value deals on Macs, Surface devices, iPads, noise-canceling headphones, and much more.
  • We put Fully at the top of our picks for standing desks thanks to the desk's solid build, wide-ranging customizability, and dearth of accessories that make working from home easier.
  • The MacBook Air and Surface Book 3, discounted by $100 and $300, respectively, both earned our recommendations for working from home in our home office setup guide.
  • We rated a number of Dell monitors highly in our home office setup guide thanks to their ease of use, solid detail and color representation, and wide-ranging adjustability for different lighting situations and visual needs.

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The Supreme Court will finally rule on controversial US hacking law

  • Prosecutors argued that Van Buren "exceeded authorized access" when he looked up information about the woman from the strip club.
  • Offering confidential information in exchange for a bribe may have been contrary to department policy and state law, they argued, but it didn't "exceed authorized access" as far as the CFAA goes.
  • Last year, the 9th Circuit Appeals Court rejected the lawsuit, holding that the CFAA was intended to address computer hacking, not conduct that merely violated a site's terms of service.
  • Much of Monday's argument focused on whether the government's position would open the floodgates to federal prosecutions in these kinds of cases.
  • Power Ventures ultimately lost that case, but it seems like under Feigin's logic the CFAA shouldn't have applied at all, since Facebook offers accounts to anyone who wants one (aside from young children).

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DeepMind AI handles protein folding, which humbled previous software

  • So figuring out which ones actually do interact in the folded protein, and how that interaction minimizes the free energy of the final configuration, becomes an intractable computational challenge once the number of amino acids gets too large.
  • For their new algorithm, called AlphaFold, the DeepMind team treated the protein as a spatial network graph, with each amino acid as a node and the connections between them mediated by their proximity in the folded protein.
  • The key question now is how quickly the system will be made available to the biological research community so that its limitations can be defined and we can start putting it to use on cases where it's likely to work well and have significant value, like the structure of proteins from pathogens or the mutated forms found in cancerous cells.

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AR Mario Kart anchors Universal’s Super Nintendo World in February

  • Mario Kart: Koopa's Challenge is one of the highlights of the new Nintendo-themed area of Universal Studios Japan.
  • Universal Studios Japan originally planned to open Super Nintendo World in the summer of 2020, to coincide with the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
  • Universal Studios Japan is still operating at a reduced capacity due to those pandemic restrictions, with policies that "ensure ample personal space and wait times for popular attractions are comparatively short," according to the company.
  • The first teaser attraction for the Japanese Super Nintendo World, a themed Mario Cafe & Store, opened last month, complete with the requisite exclusive merchandise and themed food items.
  • Construction of a similar Super Nintendo World section for Universal Studios Hollywood began in August, ahead of an opening expected sometime in the next few years.

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Verizon wiring up 500K homes with FiOS to settle years-long fight with NYC

  • Verizon has agreed to bring FiOS fiber-to-the-home service to another 500,000 households in New York City by July 2023, settling a lawsuit over Verizon's failure to wire up the entire city as required in a franchise agreement.
  • "Under the settlement, Verizon is compelled to prioritize the least-connected Community Districts and ensure connectivity for every NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) residential building," the NYC announcement said.
  • When NYC officials accused the company of failing to meet that requirement in 2015, Verizon argued that its fiber doesn't actually have to pass in front of buildings in order for the buildings to be "passed." Verizon also blamed landlords for not providing access to buildings, but a city audit found evidence that Verizon demanded exclusive agreements from landlords despite a Federal Communications Commission rule banning exclusive video service deals in multiple-dwelling units.

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Cases against Facebook are reportedly coming... when FTC decides how

  • After well over a year spent investigating Facebook, state and federal regulators are more than ready to start launching a slate of cases against Facebook, new reports say—that is, as soon as the agencies can agree on how they actually want to do it.
  • Those can also be antitrust concerns, as New York Attorney General Letitia James said when she launched the probe, because the company's actions might have "endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers' choices, or increased the price of advertising," all of which could potentially be considered anticompetitive.
  • It can file a suit in federal district court, as any other agency (or a group of state attorneys general) would—or it can file the case internally, before an FTC administrative law judge, or ALJ.

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Growl, once a staple of the Mac desktop experience, has been retired

  • Growl, once a key part of the Mac desktop experience, is being retired after 17 years.
  • Christopher Forsythe, who acted as the lead developer for the project for years, announced the retirement in a blog post on Friday.
  • Notification Center was added to macOS (then styled Mac OS X) in the Mountain Lion update in 2012, but it first debuted on iOS a year earlier.
  • With the announcement of Apple's new hardware platform, a general shift of developers to Apple's notification system, and a lack of obvious ways to improve Growl beyond what it is and has been, we're announcing the retirement of Growl as of today.
  • This is the WWDC where Notification Center was announced.
  • He went on to recall that Growl was developed in part because popular messaging app Adium and IRC client Colloquy needed different types of notifications than were available at the time.

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How Romain Grosjean walked away from F1’s scariest crash in decades

  • After hitting the guardrail at about 137mph (220km/h), Grosjean's car ripped in half and then burst into flames—something that hasn't happened for over 30 years.
  • That style of guardrail, also known as Armco, has been superseded by much more modern circuit protection like Tecpro (commonly seen in Formula E and at other F1 tracks) or the SAFER barrier, which is widely used in IndyCar and NASCAR here in the US.
  • Within thirty seconds of the crash, a slightly smoky Grosjean was being helped over the guardrail by F1's traveling medic, Dr Ian Roberts, with the medical car driver Alan van der Merwe spraying them both down with a fire extinguisher.
  • Perhaps the most important safety device in yesterday's crash was the halo device, which was introduced to the sport in 2017 after a number of serious head injuries and fatal crashes among drivers in open-cockpit cars.

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