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is the alt-right’s use of pepe the frog “fair use?”

enlarge/ a supporter holds a campaign sign for republican presidential nominee donald trump with 'pepe the frog' drawn on it during a rally in minneapolis in november 2016. chip somodevilla/getty imagesshare this storywhat can you do when your favorite frog gets away from you?when matt furie drew pepe the frog for a short-lived magazine in 2005, he had no way of knowing the character would become a mascot for the so-called "alt-right," a loose coalition of far-right groups that veer towards white nationalism.but during the 2016 election cycle, that's exactly what happened—and that's what furie is now trying to undo. furie has undertaken a campaign to restore pepe's image as the gentle, stoner frog he intended, rather than a symbo...




volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal had a long, complicated history

2010 volkswagen jetta tdi sportwagen photographed in washington, dc, usa.ifcarshare this storythis story originally ran october 8, 2015, just a few weeks after it was discovered that new diesel volkswagens and audis ran undisclosed software that allowed the cars to cheat on their us federal emissions tests. this week was the two-year anniversary of the explosive news, and we're resurfacing this story to take another look at the history of automakers gaming regulations. since this story ran in 2015, volkswagen agreed to a multi-billion dollar settlement with 2.0l diesel vehicle customers in 2016, and in 2017, researchers were able to get a more detailed look at the code that made the diesels' driving so dirty.in mid-september, the us environ...




is beaming down in star trek a death sentence?

enlargeshare this storyin the 2009 movie star trek, captain kirk and sulu plummeted down toward the planet vulcan without a parachute. “beam us up, beam us up!” kirk shouted in desperation. then at the last second, after a tense scene of chekov running top speed to the transporter room, their lives were saved moments before they hit the doomed planet’s rocky surface.enlarge/ is trek's transporter a bit like futurama's suicide booth? 20th century fox but can beaming out save someone’s life? some would argue that having one’s “molecules scrambled," as dr. mccoy would put it, is actually the surest way to die. sure, after you’ve been taken apart by the transporter, you’re put back together somewhere else, good as new. but is i...




justice department goes nuclear on google in search warrant fight

enlarge/ close-up of cables and led lights in the data center of t-systems, a subsidiary of deutsche telekom ag.thomas trutschel/getty imagesshare this storythe justice department is demanding that a federal judge sanction google for failing to abide by court orders to turn over data tied to 22 e-mail accounts. "google's conduct here amounts to a willful and contemptuous disregard of various court orders," the government wrote (pdf) in a legal filing to us district judge richard seeborg of california.the government added in its wednesday brief:google is entitled to have its own view of the law and to press that view before a court of competent jurisdiction. however, when faced with a valid court order, google, like any other person or ...




in shift towards electric vehicles, volkswagen looking for cobalt contracts

enlarge/ this photo, taken on may 31, 2015 near a mine between lubumbashi and kolwezi, shows a man carrying a bag of minerals as people separate cobalt from sand and rock in a lake. afp photo / federico scoppa getty imagesshare this storyvolkswagen is looking for serious, long-term contracts with cobalt producers, according to a reuters report on friday. cobalt is a common component in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, and it's projected to command more and more demand as electric vehicles are adopted in greater numbers. currently cobalt is trading at about $26 per pound.securing reserves of the kinds of materials used in batteries will be key to volkswagen’s future growth. after the so-called “dieselgate” scandal of 2015, volkswagen...




spettacolo: tension between tradition and the future take center stage in italy

enlarge/ in spettacolo, literally this town's whole world is a stage.jeff malmberg, chris shellenshare this storythe early moments of spettacolo, the latest documentary from the team behind the acclaimed 2010 work marwencol, may cause travel lust. as the film gets underway, old brick buildings serve as a backdrop for european architecture and vistas, practically begging viewers to hop on airbnb, homeaway, or some similar service just to survey the current options.but like the unflinching marwencol—a critically adored film that details the work of artist mark hogancamp, who suffered brain damage after being jumped in a bar and then created a 1/6th-scale backyard model of a wwii town as a form of self-therapy—spettacolo wants to take its ...




pubg vs. fortnite: a game-genre copycat face-off heats up

enlarge/ fortnite's new battle royale mode includes this explosive splash screen.epic gamesshare this storyit's inevitable: every time a wildly successful video game comes along, imitators quickly follow in its footsteps. the tradition began with pong and pac-man clones, and that practice has continued on pcs, consoles, and smartphones ever since. "homages" at best and "blatant ripoffs" at worst have always been a part of the game industry.i couldn't help but think of this after my first thrilling time playing playerunknown's battlegrounds in may of this year. you may have heard about this pc game: it's a somewhat familiar-looking military shooter, albeit with clever rules that gradually force dozens of players to a giant ...




justice department goes nuclear on google in search warrant fight

enlarge/ close-up of cables and led lights in the data center of t-systems, a subsidiary of deutsche telekom ag.thomas trutschel/getty imagesshare this storythe justice department is demanding that a federal judge sanction google for failing to abide by court orders to turn over data tied to 22 e-mail accounts. "google's conduct here amounts to a willful and contemptuous disregard of various court orders," the government wrote (pdf) in a legal filing to us district judge richard seeborg of california.the government added in its wednesday brief:google is entitled to have its own view of the law and to press that view before a court of competent jurisdiction. however, when faced with a valid court order, google, like any other person or ...




microscopic and in motion | ars technica

share this storynikon, one of the leading manufacturers of microscopes, also hosts an annual microscopy competition (and you can use any company's microscopes to enter). we've shared some of our favorite images with you in years past, since they've been every bit as artistic as good photography and, in many cases, reveal important details about the natural world—details that we'd otherwise never be able to appreciate.most people will only get exposed to microscopy during high school biology, which is typically the realm of static slices of long-dead organisms, permanently pressed onto a glass side. but history's first use of a microscope back in the 1600s involved watching living microbes flitting across the field of view. microscopy d...




is beaming down in star trek a death sentence?

enlargeshare this storyin the 2009 movie star trek, captain kirk and sulu plummeted down toward the planet vulcan without a parachute. “beam us up, beam us up!” kirk shouted in desperation. then at the last second, after a tense scene of chekov running top speed to the transporter room, their lives were saved moments before they hit the doomed planet’s rocky surface.enlarge/ is trek's transporter a bit like futurama's suicide booth? 20th century fox but can beaming out save someone’s life? some would argue that having one’s “molecules scrambled," as dr. mccoy would put it, is actually the surest way to die. sure, after you’ve been taken apart by the transporter, you’re put back together somewhere else, good as new. but is i...




spettacolo: tension between tradition and the future take center stage in italy

enlarge/ in spettacolo, literally this town's whole world is a stage.jeff malmberg, chris shellenshare this storythe early moments of spettacolo, the latest documentary from the team behind the acclaimed 2010 work marwencol, may cause travel lust. as the film gets underway, old brick buildings serve as a backdrop for european architecture and vistas, practically begging viewers to hop on airbnb, homeaway, or some similar service just to survey the current options.but like the unflinching marwencol—a critically adored film that details the work of artist mark hogancamp, who suffered brain damage after being jumped in a bar and then created a 1/6th-scale backyard model of a wwii town as a form of self-therapy—spettacolo wants to take its a...




after debut, star trek: discovery will only be available on cbs all access

enlarge/ nichelle nichols (left, who played lt. uhura in the original series) and sonequa martin-green (first officer michael burnham) attend the premiere of cbs’s star trek: discovery at the cinerama dome on september 19, 2017 in los angeles, california. todd williamson / getty images newsshare this storyget yourself to a viewscreen: sunday, september 24, 8:30pm et is the moment that star trek fans have spent years waiting for.the first episode of star trek: discovery will broadcast on traditional television (your local cbs station) as a way to kickstart the series before it moves over entirely to cbs all access, the company’s nearly-three-year-old paid online video service.according to cbs, after the first broadcast of episode 1 airs ...




pubg vs. fortnite: a game-genre copycat face-off heats up

enlarge/ fortnite's new battle royale mode includes this explosive splash screen.epic gamesshare this storyit's inevitable: every time a wildly successful video game comes along, imitators quickly follow in its footsteps. the tradition began with pong and pac-man clones, and that practice has continued on pcs, consoles, and smartphones ever since. "homages" at best and "blatant ripoffs" at worst have always been a part of the game industry.i couldn't help but think of this after my first thrilling time playing playerunknown's battlegrounds in may of this year. you may have heard about this pc game: it's a somewhat familiar-looking military shooter, albeit with clever rules that gradually force dozens of players to a giant ...




iceland authorities weighing options after neo-nazi site registers there

enlarge/ clouds hover above the surrounding geothermal waters at the blue lagoon near reykjavik, iceland in 2008.matt cardy / getty imagesshare this storyfor the last six weeks, the neo-nazi site the daily stormer has struggled to find a permanent domain name. the site lost its original .com address last month after site editor andrew anglin wrote a post mocking heather heyer, victim of the deadly hit-and-run attack in charlottesville. the site bounced around from domain to domain, with each registrar canceling the site's service within a few hours or days of registration.but for the last week, the site has been available at an address at iceland's .is domain. isnic, iceland's domain authority, is pondering how to handle the situation...




shareholders force zuckerberg to give up plan for non-voting shares

enlarge/ ceo mark zuckerberg speaks at facebook's 2016 "f8" conference.facebookshare this storymark zuckerberg is giving up on an audacious plan to sell most of his facebook shares without diminishing his total control over the company. the plan, which facebook announced last year, would have given shareholders two new non-voting shares for each voting share they owned. zuckerberg hoped to sell these shares to finance his charitable ambitions.but shareholders sued, arguing that the plan would further consolidate power in zuckerberg's hands with no benefits to other shareholders. zuckerberg was scheduled to testify in court in the case on tuesday. abandoning the plan saves zuckerberg from having to do that.most companies operat...




fitbit ionic review: meet the $300 fitness-focused smartwatch

share this storyvideo shot by justin wolfsonfitbit has a lot riding on its new $300 ionic smartwatch. analyst reports suggest the smartwatch category will continue to grow over the next few years, and apple and google already have well-established devices and operating systems. being one of the top players in the wearables game, fitbit is unlikely to build a device that runs android wear (much less watchos), so it designs its own devices from the ground up. the ionic is fitbit's serious attempt at a smartwatch, far more so than the $200 blaze that came out last year. running fitbit os, the ionic combines the most crucial fitness features with what fitbit believes to be the most crucial smartwatch features.while testing the ionic, i aske...




verizon backtracks—but only slightly—in plan to kick customers off network

enlargeverizonshare this storyverizon wireless is giving a reprieve to some rural customers who are scheduled to be booted off their service plans, but only in cases when customers have no other options for cellular service.verizon recently notified 8,500 customers in 13 states that they will be disconnected on october 17 because they used roaming data on another network. but these customers weren't doing anything wrong—they are being served by rural networks that were set up for the purpose of extending verizon's reach into rural areas.as verizon explained in 2015, the company set up its lte in rural america (lra) program to provide technical support and resources to 21 rural wireless carriers. that support would help the carrier...




7up gets a new ingredient in mexico—meth

enlargegetty | bloombergshare this story7up—the lemon-lime soda sometimes thought to be named for its original seven main ingredients—now has a troubling eighth ingredient in mexico: methamphetamine.health professionals in arizona are warning travelers to the mexicali area to be aware of possibly contaminated sodas there. the warning comes days after medical toxicologists and emergency doctors received reports of soda tampering in the area.according to the attorney general of the state of baja california, seven people were sickened and one died from the spiked soft drinks. officials requested that merchants there suspend sales of 7up and clear the product from their shelves. and an investigation is now in progress to figure out how the i...




in spectacular fail, adobe security team posts private pgp key on blog

enlarge/ um, yes, that was adobe psirt's private pgp key on their website. best get their new public key.share this storyhaving some transparency about security problems with software is great, but adobe's product security incident response team (psirt) took that transparency a little too far today when a member of the team posted the pgp keys for psirt's e-mail account—both the public and the private keys. the keys have since been taken down, and a new public key has been posted in its stead.the faux pas was spotted at 1:49pm et by security researcher juho nurminen:nurminen was able to confirm that the key was associated with the [email protected] e-mail account.to be fair to adobe, pgp security is harder than it should be. what obvi...




shareholders force zuckerberg to give up plan for non-voting shares

enlarge/ ceo mark zuckerberg speaks at facebook's 2016 "f8" conference.facebookshare this storymark zuckerberg is giving up on an audacious plan to sell most of his facebook shares without diminishing his total control over the company. the plan, which facebook announced last year, would have given shareholders two new non-voting shares for each voting share they owned. zuckerberg hoped to sell these shares to finance his charitable ambitions.but shareholders sued, arguing that the plan would further consolidate power in zuckerberg's hands with no benefits to other shareholders. zuckerberg was scheduled to testify in court in the case on tuesday. abandoning the plan saves zuckerberg from having to do that.most companies operat...