Electrical explosion at Google datacenter injures three, disrupts services

The Register - 42 min 47 sec ago
Search, Maps and YouTube suffer brief outages - nothing as concerning as the injuries suffered by workers

Google's consumer-facing and advertising services have faltered after an incident at one of its major datacenters.…

Categories: Tech News

Digital Ocean customers back away from blockchains

The Register - 1 hour 12 min ago
Junior cloud growing nicely, but calls out customers' easing ardor for distributed ledgers

Junior cloud Digital Ocean has reported a marked dip in customers using its IaaS services to run blockchains.…

Categories: Tech News

Chinese scammers target kids with promise of extra gaming hours

The Register - 2 hours 12 min ago
Cyberspace regulator's fraud report finds all is not well behind the Great Firewall

Fraudsters in China have targeted a child with promises of allowing them to get around the nation's time limits on playing computer games – for a mere $560, according to the nation's cyberspace administration. Yesterday the CAC detailed some of the 12,000 acts of online fraud perpetrated against minors it handled this year.…

Categories: Tech News

Intel challenges Nvidia, AMD with trio of workstation GPUs

The Register - 3 hours 43 min ago
For those that just can't wait for AV1 encoding

Intel unveiled its answer to the AMD's FirePro and what used to be Nvidia's Quadro workstation GPUs this week with the launch of a trio of new graphics cards aimed at professional applications like architectural design, engineering, and content creation.…

Categories: Tech News

China-linked spies used six backdoors to steal info from defense, industrial enterprise orgs

The Register - 4 hours 34 min ago
We're 'highly likely' to see similar attacks, Kaspersky warned

Beijing-backed cyberspies used specially crafted phishing emails and six different backdoors to break into and then steal confidential data from military and industrial groups, government agencies and other public institutions, according to Kaspersky researchers.…

Categories: Tech News

Google sues Sonos yet again, claiming it stole IP and infringed patents

The Register - 4 hours 59 min ago
Patent lawsuits, the next saga

Google hit Sonos with two lawsuits on Monday, claiming patent infringement on seven different technologies associated with smart speakers, as part of its ongoing battle with the audio hardware biz over intellectual property.…

Categories: Tech News

The FBI Just Raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Home

Motherboard (Vice) - 5 hours 18 min ago

The Federal Bureau of Investigation searched former President Donald Trump’s home on Monday, the former president confirmed in a statement. 

“My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach Florida is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” said Trump. “After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.” 

The FBI and Department of Justice, which oversees the FBI, both declined to comment on the raid to VICE News. 

It’s not yet clear why the FBI searched Trump’s home. In January, the National Archives and Records Administration collected 15 boxes of classified documents Trump had allegedly brought with him from the White House to his home in Florida, a violation of federal law governing presidential records. 

The Justice Department subpoenaed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and deputy counsel Patrick Philbin as part of its investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot, the New York Times and CNN reported last week.

In his statement, Trump went on to compare the raid to the Watergate scandal. 

“They even broke into my safe!” Trump said in his statement. “What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat (sic) National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States.”

One thing he noted is true, however: “Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,” Trump said. 

Keegan Hamilton and Cameron Joseph contributed reporting. 

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Categories: Tech News

US treasury whips up sanctions for crypto mixer Tornado Cash

The Register - 5 hours 57 min ago
Being the money launderer for North Korea’s Lazarus Group comes at a price

The US Treasury Department is levying sanctions against Tornado Cash, a notorious cryptocurrency mixer that it says has been used by threat groups like ransomware gang Lazarus to launder stolen digital assets.…

Categories: Tech News

Jumping spiders may experience something like REM sleep

ARS Technica - 6 hours 15 min ago
This little guy looks too perky to need a nap.

Enlarge / This little guy looks too perky to need a nap. (credit: Tony Liu)

Our sleep is marked by cycles of distinct brain activity. The most well-known of these is probably rapid eye movement, or REM sleep, which is characterized by loss of muscle control leading to twitching and paralysis, along with its eponymous eye movements. REM sleep is widespread in vertebrates, appearing in many mammals and birds; similar periods have also been observed in lizards.

Figuring out what might be going on beyond vertebrates can get a bit challenging, however, as identifying what constitutes sleep isn't always clear, and many animals don't have eyes that move in the same way as those of vertebrates. (Flies, for example, must move their entire head to reorient their eyes.) But an international team of researchers identified a group of jumping spiders that can reorient internal portions of their eyes during what appears to be sleep.

And according to this team, the spiders experience all the hallmarks of REM sleep, with periods of rapid eye movements associated with muscle twitching.

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It’s possible no electric vehicles will qualify for the new tax credit

ARS Technica - 6 hours 46 min ago
Volkswagen is one of several automakers that are already assembling their EV battery packs locally. But the value of the materials that go into the pack will determine whether it qualifies for the revised clean vehicle tax credit.

Enlarge / Volkswagen is one of several automakers that are already assembling their EV battery packs locally. But the value of the materials that go into the pack will determine whether it qualifies for the revised clean vehicle tax credit. (credit: Volkswagen)

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 passed the United States Senate on Sunday and heads to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass easily. It contains numerous changes to the tax code, meant in large part to prevent the worst effects of climate change.

Among these is a revision to the existing tax credit for new plug-in electric vehicles. As we detailed last week, the IRA introduces income caps for the tax credit, and it will only apply to sedans that cost less than $55,000 and other EVs that cost less than $80,000. The bill also drops the 200,000 vehicle-per-OEM cap on the tax credit, which would benefit both General Motors and Tesla.

At least it will if their EV batteries are mostly made within North America, with at least 40 percent of the materials used having been extracted and processed within North America or a country with a free trade agreement. Now, instead of being based on battery capacity, half the credit ($3,750) is tied to where the pack is made, and the other half its supply chain. And that will be a problem if you're looking to buy an EV in 2023.

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Scientists hid encryption key for Wizard of Oz text in plastic molecules

ARS Technica - 7 hours 11 min ago
Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin encrypted the key to decode text of the <em>The Wizard of Oz</em> in polymers.

Enlarge / Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin encrypted the key to decode text of the The Wizard of Oz in polymers. (credit: S.D. Dahlhauser et al., 2022)

Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin sent a letter to colleagues in Massachusetts with a secret message: an encryption key to unlock a text file of L. Frank Baum's classic novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The twist: The encryption key was hidden in a special ink laced with polymers, They described their work in a recent paper published in the journal ACS Central Science.

When it comes to alternative means for data storage and retrieval, the goal is to store data in the smallest amount of space in a durable and readable format. Among polymers, DNA has long been the front runner in that regard. As we've reported previously, DNA has four chemical building blocks—adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C)—which constitute a type of code. Information can be stored in DNA by converting the data from binary code to a base-4 code and assigning it one of the four letters. A single gram of DNA can represent nearly 1 billion terabytes (1 zettabyte) of data. And the stored data can be preserved for long periods—decades, or even centuries.

There have been some inventive twists on the basic method for DNA storage in recent years. For instance, in 2019, scientists successfully fabricated a 3D-printed version of the Stanford bunny—a common test model in 3D computer graphics—that stored the printing instructions to reproduce the bunny. The bunny holds about 100 kilobytes of data, thanks to the addition of DNA-containing nanobeads to the plastic used to 3D print it. And scientists at the University of Washington recently recorded K-Pop lyrics directly onto living cells using a "DNA typewriter."

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Real-time deepfakes can be beaten by a sideways glance

The Register - 7 hours 27 min ago
For now at least, until data catches up

Real-time deepfake videos, heralded as the bringers of a new age of internet uncertainty, appear to have a fundamental flaw: They can't handle side profiles.…

Categories: Tech News

28 years later, Super Punch-Out!!’s 2-player mode has been discovered

ARS Technica - 7 hours 41 min ago
Up until today, Nintendo had never announced a two-player mode in a <em>Punch-Out!!</em> video game. As it turns out, one has hidden in plain sight for nearly 30 years.

Enlarge / Up until today, Nintendo had never announced a two-player mode in a Punch-Out!! video game. As it turns out, one has hidden in plain sight for nearly 30 years. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Nintendo)

While Punch-Out!! has been one of Nintendo's most beloved "fighting" series since its 1984 debut in arcades, it has rarely featured something common in the genre: a two-player mode.

On Monday, however, that changed. The resulting discovery has been hiding in plain sight on the series' Super Nintendo edition for nearly 30 years.

Should you own 1994's Super Punch-Out!! in any capacity—an original SNES cartridge, a dumped ROM parsed by an emulator, on the Super Nintendo Classic Edition, or even as part of the paid Nintendo Switch Online collection of retro games—you can immediately access the feature, no hacking or ROM editing required. All you need is a pair of gamepads.

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Daily Horoscope: August 9, 2022

Motherboard (Vice) - 7 hours 57 min ago

Venus in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn at 1:18 AM, which can stir up intense emotions. Drama that has been brewing may come to a head. There might be a reckoning regarding controlling relationships or uneven power dynamics. Jealousy may arise. For healthy relationships, this can be a powerful time for transformation. The moon in Capricorn connects with Mercury in Virgo at 3:51 AM, encouraging communication. Try not to over-indulge as the moon squares off with Jupiter in Aries at 4:24 AM. The moon connects with Uranus in Taurus at 8:58 PM, boosting creativity and finding us craving novelty.

All times ET.

Stay in the cosmic loop with the VICE horoscopes newsletter. Get horoscopes straight to your inbox when you sign up here!

Aries glyph Aries: March 20, 2022 - April 19, 2022

Venus in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn, which can find you making important decisions regarding your personal life. Boundaries between your personal and professional lives are reevaluated at this time. Aries are famously fantastic leaders, and your vulnerability and heart are what make you so successful.

Taurus glyphs Taurus: April 19, 2022 - May 20, 2022

Your ruling planet Venus is currently in Cancer, and today it opposes Pluto in fellow earth sign Capricorn, which can find you having a particularly intense conversation. You may be setting important boundaries regarding communication. A big declaration could be made.

Gemini glyph Gemini: May 20, 2022 - June 21, 2022

Venus in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn, which may find a situation regarding money, values, or power coming to a head. Geminis are famously flexible, but at this time, you’re standing your ground, as you feel very clear about what’s most important to you.

Cancer glyph Cancer: June 21, 2022 - July 22, 2022

Sweet Venus is currently in your sign, finding you feeling particularly attractive and affectionate—but Venus opposes Pluto today, which could bring a heavy and intense atmosphere. This may be a powerful time for connection! But drama with a partner may arise if issues like jealousy or greed haven’t been resolved.

Leo glyph Leo: July 22, 2022 - August 22, 2022

Venus in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn, inspiring deep, intense emotions today. The best way to work with this alignment is to release the past. This could be a powerful time to end an old habit, if you’re ready to let go of the way things have been!

Virgo glyph Virgo: August 22, 2022 - September 22, 2022

Venus in Cancer opposes Pluto in fellow earth sign Capricorn, which can bring some drama in your social life or your love life to a head. A passionate, romantic connection can take place, but rocky relationships with possessive or jealous types may reach a breaking point at this time.

Libra glyph Libra: September 22, 2022 - October 23, 2022

Your ruling planet Venus, currently in Cancer, opposes Pluto in Capricorn, which can find you making important decisions about your future and where you want to call home. You’re eager to break free from the past, ready to break cycles!

Scorpio glyph Scorpio: October 23, 2022 - November 22, 2022

Venus in fellow water sign Cancer opposes your ruling planet Pluto, currently in Capricorn, inspiring an intense and passionate energy. Relationships built on shaky ground may be tested at this time. Control issues might pop up.

Sagittarius glyph Sagittarius: November 22, 2022 - December 21, 2022

Venus in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn, which can find you making important decisions regarding money, and generally about how you spend your time and energy. Issues like greed or envy may be addressed at this time.

Capricorn glyph Capricorn: December 21, 2021 - January 19, 2022

Venus is currently in your opposite sign Cancer and today it opposes Pluto, which is in your sign, inspiring a huge shift in your relationships. Deep bonds can be formed, but partnerships may be tested, especially if an uneven power dynamic is at play.

Aquarius glyphs Aquarius: January 19, 2022 - February 18, 2022

Aquarius is a zodiac sign that’s all about progress, but as open as you are to change, anyone can get stuck in a rut from time to time. Venus in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn, creating a powerful atmosphere for change. Old power dynamics are challenged and habits may be dropped.

Pisces glyph Pisces: February 18, 2022 - March 20, 2022

Venus in fellow water sign Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn, which could find you addressing a complicated power dynamic. You may be dealing with themes like control, jealousy, or manipulation, and it’s time to set boundaries. Pisces are famously sympathetic and caring—while you have the reputation of being a softy, the truth is you have an oceanic strength and you’re a force to be reckoned with!

Categories: Tech News

California accuses Tesla of false advertising over Autopilot

The Register - 8 hours 12 min ago
DMV goes after manufacturer and dealer licenses

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) last month filed two complaints against Tesla alleging that the car marker violated state law by misrepresenting that its vehicles can drive autonomously.…

Categories: Tech News

Big Tech just got one step closer to squashing key US antitrust bill

ARS Technica - 8 hours 20 min ago
Big Tech just got one step closer to squashing key US antitrust bill

Enlarge (credit: jimfeng | iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Sponsors of a key bipartisan antitrust bill have tried for months to secure a Senate vote and potentially pass “the first major bill on technology competition” to come before the Senate “since the dawn of the Internet.”

Now, The Wall Street Journal reports, that bill will remain “in limbo” as Congress has failed to schedule a vote before its recess. This could signify that Big Tech companies will prevail—through intense lobbying and criticism—and prevent the bill from passing a Senate floor vote. In just one week this summer, one industry group reportedly spent $22 million in ads against the bill.

The bill is controversial because it targets large companies like Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, and Apple. It stops them from self-preferencing business practices, like promoting their products above others or forcing smaller businesses to buy ad space to compete. Critics, like Google, say the law could threaten everything from the quality of online services to national security, but supporters, like bill co-sponsor Representative David Cicilline (D-RI), say much of the criticism boils down to “lies coming from Big Tech.”

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Qualcomm, GlobalFoundries double down on US chip production

The Register - 8 hours 50 min ago
The line for chip susidies and tax breaks is getting longer by the minute

Qualcomm says it is doubling investments in US chip manufacturer GlobalFoundries in a bid to secure additional wafer capacity with government money on the table.…

Categories: Tech News

Get 20% Off Sex Toys for Female Orgasm Day, Which Is a Thing

Motherboard (Vice) - 9 hours 33 min ago

Happy August 8! Not only does today mark the 48th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, and the 60th birthday of Poison drummer Rikki Rockett, but it also rings in our favorite holiday: Female Orgasm Day. Out of all the fake non-bank holidays we cherish, this one cums and goes the hardest in our hearts. Traditionally, it’s a day filled with smiles, maypoles, squirting, and celebrating the orgasms of women and people with female sexual organs. And this year, the sexual wellness brand Hot Octopuss is celebrating by offering 20% off its vulva-centric sex toys with the code ORGASM20 at checkout, and by hosting open conversations with various vulva owners about their own climactic sexual journeys.

"I've faked thousands of orgasms, particularly when I was younger, and I was too shy or embarrassed to know, or to ask for what I wanted," says Hot Octopuss’ COO Julia Margo in a short film series that the brand launched in tandem with the holiday. By inviting vulva-owners to share their own candid stories and tips for orgasming in the film series, the brand’s hope is to help undo the taboo around female masturbation and pleasure. “Start simple, get down to the basics you know, [and] get to know your body,” says one participant, Helen Scott. “Start getting to know what you like, read, look at the internet, find paid for porn sites that are interesting to you. It doesn't have to be this big dive in, but the more you start to get to know you, the more you can take control of your pleasure."

And, to paraphrase Ratatouille, while not everyone might be seeking a sex toy for exploring their body, there is a sex toy out there made for all kinds of bodies and pleasurable kinks. If you dig vaginal or G-spot orgasms, Hot Octopuss is offering over $25 off its grithy Kurve dildo, which has garnered a 4.5-star average rating on the site and packs “dynamite vibrations at both the treble and bass settings,” according to one fan.

If you’re into targeted clitoral sensations, the brand is also slinging 15% off with the code ORGASM15 on its vibrating cock ring, whose bulbous form is designed to bring extra stimulation to the clitoris during sex, and 20% off its slick bullet vibrator, which one reviewer describes as having “comfortable and sensuous [silicone]” that’s a pro at applying the right amount of pressure with the code ORGASM20.

Wishing you a happy, horny Female Orgasm Day today (and every day).

Learn more about Hot Octopuss’ sex toys on the official website.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

Categories: Tech News

Malcom Gladwell Says Working From Home Is Bad, Unless It's Him Doing It

Motherboard (Vice) - 9 hours 43 min ago

On Friday, comments made by writer Malcolm Gladwell about the supposed pointlessness of remote work went viral. “It’s very hard to feel necessary when you’re physically disconnected,” Gladwell said in an interview for the Diary of a CEO podcast, at points going so far as to cry in protest of working from home.

“As we face the battle that all organizations are facing now in getting people back into the office, it’s really hard to explain this core psychological truth, which is we want you to have a feeling of belonging and to feel necessary,” Gladwell explained, adding that it's not in workers' "best interest" to work at home.

“If we don’t feel like we’re part of something important, what’s the point?” Gladwell continues. “If it’s just a paycheck, then it’s like what have you reduced your life to?”

This is—somewhat out of character—actually interesting coming from Gladwell. For the past twenty years, he appears to have worked from home or otherwise remotely quite a lot. As far back as 2005, Gladwell bragged in an interview with The Guardian about his disdain for office work. "I hate desks, Desks are now banished," Gladwell told the Guardian. "I work better when I'm comfortable." From there, he laid out a system of "rotating" where he cycled between restaurants and spots in the Lower East Side and SoHo. In a 2010 op-ed for The Washington Post, he described himself as someone who "works in coffee shops for a living." 

To be clear, Gladwell did have an office at The New Yorker, which is where he has been a staff writer since 1996. Gladwell admits in that article, however, to have "slowly kind of weaned myself away" despite a "fabulous view." He goes on to add that it felt horrible to work inside, thanks in part to an office layout anathema to socializing. "I felt like I was in exile when I was in the New Yorker offices. I missed being connected."

This seems to have remained his attitude for years thereafter. Michael Donohoe, who worked at The New Yorker from 2014 to 2016 as Director of Product Engineering, tweeted about Gladwell that "I didn't once see him at his desk or in the office." In fact, if you go to Gladwell’s Instagram right now you can find pictures of him seemingly working at home (or, at least, definitely not in an office) as he has insisted is his preferred method for years.

In 2020, Gladwell even wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal affirming this, though he doubled down and insisted it should be done with hypocrisy in mind. “You don't want to be the laptop cowboy who signals to other laptop cowboys that this is the place to be. You want the club that won't have you as a member,” Gladwell writes.

For years, Gladwell has presented himself and his work as sober looks into the contours of human behavior and routine, but he’s always been criticized for either oversimplifying or mischaracterizing the substance of his claims and observations. For example, there's The Bomber Mafia, his ahistorical and amoral history of American aerial warfare, and his first Substack post—sponcon for driverless cars that did not disclose that he was a paid spokesperson for General Motors, which owns Cruise, a self-driving artificial intelligence company.

Is it any surprise that he would then lend their energy to side with bosses and management to bravely say that working in an office is virtuous—while at the same time collecting as many checks as possible by seemingly rarely showing up in one?

Categories: Tech News

The Best Mini-Fridges to Make Your Room Feel Like a Five-Star Hotel

Motherboard (Vice) - 9 hours 46 min ago

As with vanity skylights and smartphone PopSockets, you probably won’t die if you don’t own a bedroom mini-fridge… but will you really be living? 

Maybe you want the power of cracking open a frosty brewski from a hybrid fridge and Marshall amp, or to coddle your ‘spensi retinol products and sheet masks in Matterhorn temps that will make your pores dance a jig before they shrink. Or maybe you just want to break the fourth wall of those hyper-satisfying, ASMR-inducing restock videos that you find on TikTok at 3 AM:

The spectrum of mini-fridges on the market has broadened in recent years, from the dorm- and garage-sized mini-fridge—for your personal stash of Babybel cheese, White Claw, and Red Bull—to the bite-sized beauty fridges that have popped up on social media in shades of millennial pink. The general consensus on the latter? If you own a lot of skincare products that include retinol, vitamin C, and benzoyl peroxide formulas, their shelf-life could potentially be extended in le frigo. Ultimately, getting a mini-fridge is the skincare equivalent of getting a spoiler for your Camaro, and only then will you know the level of Guy Fieri sheet-mask enlightenment you need in the goal of transforming your home into a veritable Flavortown

Mini-fridges are just damn delightful, and the following models make us feel like eccentric MTV Cribs (THE DREAM) celebs.  Let’s indulge our luxuriating Taurus instincts—after all, ever since we were teens, the dream has been to lock eyes with our snacks and face creams from our bed. Now that we’ve got that big adult daddy money, we’re making it happen.  

No frills, just chills

You read the classics. You’re a straight shooter seeking a bb fridge that can hold up to eight cans of herbal spritzer, or else a smorgasbord of face creams and small butter sculptures that can be chilled down to about 35.6°F, or warmed up to approximately 140°F. Peep the handles on these frigos, too. 

Cosplaying as a 1950s homeowner… 

… Because I will never be able to afford a Home Alone-level cul-de-sac house, nor a Full Adult Person-sized frigidaire. Which is fine. But sometimes, I wonder what it would’ve been like, and these retro-bent mini-fridges indulge that daydream with vintage-inspired hardware and a general “Shucks, Charlie” energy. The ADT model comes in our favorite shade of mid-century, mossy green, the (aptly named) Nostalgia fridge has its own Googie peek-a-boo window, and the Frigidaire has a bottle opener on the side so pops can crack a frosty while Fantasy Island plays. 

“Hey, MTV! Welcome to my crib.”

This is where it’s at for me, personally. If I am mini-fridging, I am bringing you the full Berlin discotheque with blue light features, a novelty can-within-a-can situation to get hyphy meta, and semi-transparent door fridge that David Blaine definitely owns; don’t even get me started on the hot chaos of keeping your Caudalie face mask in a Mountain Dew-themed fridge.

You’re an anthropomorphic fairy tale teapot

There aren’t as many novelty mini-fridges out there as you’d expect/God intended, which is disappointing. Thank heifer Cooluli pulls its personality weight in cow print.    

You run on Jerry Time

Are you a headlight on a northbound train? Do you own several pairs of elite patchwork pants? Allow this groovy, portable cooler to accompany you wherever your trips may take you.

It’s a mini-fridge and an amp

Our white whale fridge, for sure. This is not just a fridge, but a functioning Marshall amplifier. Link in bio for the Kickstarter to get it in our jam-band basement. 

HAGS, and stay cold out there

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

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