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iconic hacker booted from conferences after sexual misconduct claims surface

enlarge/ john draper, seen here in 2011.campuspartycolombiashare this storyjohn 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 to his hotel room. there, draper allegedly made unwanted sexual advances.as a result of the new revelations, draper, 74, is now no longer welcome at defcon. michael farnum, the founder of hou.sec.con, told ars on friday aftern...




black friday 2017: deals on game consoles, google home, and more

enlarge/ get ready for lots of ads like this. best buyshare this storybrace yourself for walmart fights and snarky tweets about capitalism, because black friday is nearly here. once again, the day after thanksgiving—and in many cases the days before that—will see retailers across the country pushing an avalanche of sales to the gift-needy public.and once again, many of those “discounts” won’t be discounts at all. year after year, the corporate holiday isn’t quite the deals bonanza it proclaims to be. many of the devices on sale either won’t be priced significantly lower than they are at other points in the year or just won’t be worth buying to begin with.after sorting through the early ad scans and retailer offers for this ye...




black friday 2017: deals on game consoles, google home, and more

enlarge/ get ready for lots of ads like this. best buyshare this storybrace yourself for walmart fights and snarky tweets about capitalism, because black friday is nearly here. once again, the day after thanksgiving—and in many cases the days before that—will see retailers across the country pushing an avalanche of sales to the gift-needy public.and once again, many of those “discounts” won’t be discounts at all. year after year, the corporate holiday isn’t quite the deals bonanza it proclaims to be. many of the devices on sale either won’t be priced significantly lower than they are at other points in the year or just won’t be worth buying to begin with.after sorting through the early ad scans and retailer offers for this ye...




iconic hacker booted from conferences after sexual misconduct claims surface

enlarge/ john draper, seen here in 2011.campuspartycolombiashare this storyjohn 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 to his hotel room. there, draper allegedly made unwanted sexual advances.as a result of the new revelations, draper, 74, is now no longer welcome at defcon. michael farnum, the founder of hou.sec.con, told ars on friday aftern...




pentagon contractor leaves social media spy archive wide open on amazon

wikipediashare this storya pentagon contractor left a vast archive of social-media posts on a publicly accessible amazon account in what appears to be a military-sponsored intelligence-gathering operation that targeted people in the us and other parts of the world.the three cloud-based storage buckets contained at least 1.8 billion scraped online posts spanning eight years, researchers from security firm upguard's cyber risk team said in a blog post published friday. the cache included many posts that appeared to be benign, and in many cases those involved from people in the us, a finding that raises privacy and civil-liberties questions. facebook was one of the sites that originally hosted the scraped content. other venues included soccer...




pandemic legacy: season 2—the world’s “best board game” gets better

share this storywelcome to ars cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com.how do you follow the most popular board game ever made?in a world where three separate versions of smurfs monopoly exist, pandemic legacy: season one (pl:s1) isn’t the biggest-selling game of all time—but it has topped the popularity charts at board game geek since it was released. it’s as close to “universally loved” as it’s possible to get in this contrarian world.enlargebut because this is a “legacy” game, with permanent changes made to the board and to characters during play, you can only play 24 times before you arrive at the end of the story—and that’s only if you...




how to fix a program without the source code? patch the binary directly

enlargeflickr user: ivan tshare this storywhen a company like microsoft needs to fix a security flaw in one of its products, the process is normally straightforward: determine where the bug lies, change the program's source code to fix the bug, and then recompile the program. but it looks like the company had to step outside this typical process for one of the flaws it patched this tuesday. instead of fixing the source code, it appears that the company's developers made a series of careful changes directly to the buggy program's executable file.bug cve-2017-11882 is a buffer overflow in the ancient equation editor that comes with office. the equation editor allocates a fixed-size piece of memory to hold a font name and then copies the fo...




weekend code warriors prepare to clash in codewarz

enlarge/ obviously a codewarz competitor.alain daussin/getty imagesshare this storyif you didn't have any weekend plans yet—or maybe even if you did—and you're interested in scratching your programming itch, there's something to add to your calendar. codewarz, a programming competition that presents participants with 24 coding challenges, is running its first live event starting at 1pm eastern on november 18 and ending at 9pm on november 20.this is not a hacking competition—it’s strictly coding. participants can use their language of choice as long as it's one of the 15 supported by the event: the various flavors of c, python, node.js, scala, php, go, ruby, and even bash. (sorry, no one has asked them to support ada or eiffel yet...




new tesla roadster sounds impressive, but it’s not the only game in town

enlargeaurich lawsonshare this storyon thursday night, elon musk upstaged his own semi truck launch with the news that tesla is going to build a new performance car, the roadster. the specs certainly have the internet ablaze this morning: a 200kwh battery and 620-mile (1,000km) range, 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds, the standing quarter-mile in 8.9 seconds, and a top speed of 250mph. that's truly impressive—particularly if it costs just $200,000. but musk's claims that it will be the "fastest production car ever made, period" seem more than a little hyperbolic from where i'm sitting.you see, we're entering another one of those automotive arms races, where engineers and designers attempt to outdo each other in the performance stakes with ever-m...




the world of skyrim is thrilling and flawed in vr

enlarge/ the disembodied hand of fate falls on you, tree!share this storysince consumer-grade virtual reality became a thing last year, there has been some criticism over the lack of lengthy, meaty vr experiences that can draw players in an epic story for dozens of hours. as if to answer that criticism, bethesda has released skyrim vr, a playstation vr exclusive version of one of the meatiest rpgs of the last decade.consumer virtual reality was barely even a gleam in palmer luckey's eye when skyrim came out in 2011, though, and that fact comes into stark relief when trying to play the game in a brand new medium. while skyrim's world makes some impressive first impressions in vr, a few hours with the game is enough to show some significant...




argentine navy diesel sub disappears, nasa plane joins in search

share this story nasa's p-3 orion, a former navy patrol plane modified into a "flying lab." nasa the ara san juan (s-42) has been out of contact since wednesday. the us navy and nasa have joined the search for an argentine armada (navy) diesel-electric attack submarine—the ara san juan (s-42)—and its crew of 44 sailors missing in the southern argentine sea. the last contact with the tr-1700 class sub, built in 1983 by the german shipbuilder thyssen nordseewerke, was on november 15.nasa has dispatched a modified p-3 orion patrol plane—previously used by the navy for submarine hunting—to aid in the search. the p-3 is equipped with a magnetic anomaly detector (or magnetometer), a gravimeter for detecting small fluctuations in...




hairy situation: dc’s rail system may be taken down by human shedding

enlarge/ the dc metro, when it's not on fire. getty | bill clarkshare this storyfor residents of our nation’s capital, news of a fire on the city’s rapid transit system—the washington metro—is not surprising. it catches fire and smokes quite regularly. at some points last year, there were reports of more than four fires per week (although there’s some dispute about that rate). there’s even the handy site—ismetroonfire.com—to check the current blaze status.yet, despite the common occurrence, residents may be surprised to learn a potential contributor to the system-wide sizzling: their own hair.according to a safety specialist with the amalgamated transit union (atu), a thick, felt-like layer of human hair, skin, and other deb...




microsoft abandons typical patch tuesday playbook to fix equation editor flaw

enlargeflickr user: ivan tshare this storywhen a company like microsoft needs to fix a security flaw in one of its products, the process is normally straightforward: determine where the bug lies, change the program's source code to fix the bug, and then recompile the program. but it looks like the company had to step outside this typical process for one of the flaws it patched this tuesday. instead of fixing the source code, it appears that the company's developers made a series of careful changes directly to the buggy program's executable file.bug cve-2017-11882 is a buffer overflow in the ancient equation editor that comes with office. the equation editor allocates a fixed-size piece of memory to hold a font name and then copies the fo...




black friday 2017: deals on game consoles, google home, and more

enlarge/ get ready for lots of ads like this. best buyshare this storybrace yourself for walmart fights and snarky tweets about capitalism, because black friday is nearly here. once again, the day after thanksgiving—and in many cases the days before that—will see retailers across the country pushing an avalanche of sales to the gift-needy public.and once again, many of those “discounts” won’t be discounts at all. year after year, the corporate holiday isn’t quite the deals bonanza it proclaims to be. many of the devices on sale either won’t be priced significantly lower than they are at other points in the year or just won’t be worth buying to begin with.after sorting through the early ad scans and retailer offers for this ye...




converting natural gas to hydrogen without any carbon emissions

enlarge/ hard to believe that this stuff could cut carbon emissions.department of energyshare this storythe boom in natural gas production has been essential to the drop in carbon emissions in the us, as methane, the primary component of natural gas, releases more energy for each carbon atom when burned than other fossil fuels. but there's still a carbon atom in each molecule of methane, so switching to natural gas will eventually lead to diminishing returns when it comes to emissions reductions. to keep our climate moderate, we'll eventually need to move off natural gas, as well.but two new papers out this week suggest we could use natural gas without burning it. they detail efficient methods of converting methane to hydrogen in ways that ...




first ever marijuana overdose death? let’s review what “potential link” means

enlarge/ even this baby is annoyed.getty | vw picsshare this storythe us drug enforcement administration plainly reports that no death from an overdose of marijuana has ever been reported—a tidbit often repeated by cannabis enthusiasts when discussing the potential harms of the popular drug. but this week, many news outlets coughed up headlines saying that the famous fact had gone up in smoke.those media reports dubbed the death of an 11-month-old colorado boy as the first marijuana overdose death ever reported. they based that startling stat on a case report published in the august edition of clinical practice and cases in emergency medicine.but that’s not what the case report said—at all. and the doctors behind the report (who likely...




robocalls from spoofed caller ids may soon be blocked by phone companies

enlargegetty images | vladrushare this storyphone companies are now authorized to be more aggressive in blocking robocalls before they reach customers' landlines or mobile phones, but you might have to pay for the new blocking capabilities.the federal communications commission yesterday issued an order to "expressly authorize voice service providers to block robocalls that appear to be from telephone numbers that do not or cannot make outgoing calls, without running afoul of the fcc's call completion rules."carriers will thus have greater ability to block calls in which the caller id has been spoofed or in which the number is invalid. caller id spoofing hides the caller's true identity and is one of the biggest sources of illegal roboca...




bitcoin is hitting new highs—here’s why it might not be a bubble

enlargebullion vaultshare this storyin early september, one bitcoin was worth almost $5,000. then the chinese government cracked down on cryptocurrency investments, and bitcoin's value plunged 40 percent in a matter of days, reaching a low below $3,000.but bitcoin bounced back. by early november, one bitcoin was worth almost $8,000. then last week, a controversial effort to expand the bitcoin network's capacity failed. within days, bitcoin's price had plunged 25 percent, while the value of a rival network called bitcoin cash doubled.today, bitcoin has recovered all of last week's losses—one bitcoin is now worth more than $7,800.bitcoin's recoveries haven't been very surprising to long-time bitcoin watchers. over and over again, bit...




apple’s homepod speaker isn’t coming out this year

enlarge/ look at this happy couple enjoying voice commands and high quality audio in their home!appleshare this storyin a statement to cnbc this morning, apple said its homepod smart speaker will be released in 2018, not by the end of this year as originally announced.here is the company's statement:we can't wait for people to experience homepod, apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers... we'll start shipping in the us, uk and australia in early 2018.the 7''-tall homepod was expected to launch in december. it will cost $349 and bring siri into any room in your house that it wasn't already present, allowing for voice features like answering questions and manag...




new tesla roadster sounds impressive but it’s not the only game in town

enlargeaurich lawsonshare this storyon thursday night, elon musk upstaged his own semi truck launch with the news that tesla is going to build a new performance car, the roadster. the specs certainly have the internet ablaze this morning: a 200kwh battery and 620-mile (1,000km) range, 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds, the standing quarter-mile in 8.9 seconds, and a top speed of 250mph. that's truly impressive—particularly if it costs just $200,000. but musk's claims that it will be the "fastest production car ever made, period" seem more than a little hyperbolic from where i'm sitting.you see, we're entering another one of those automotive arms races, where engineers and designers attempt to outdo each other in the performance stakes with ever-m...