Applied Materials wants Uncle Sam's help with $4B chip R&D nerve center

The Register - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 14:39
Step right up and let us help you become dependent on us

Applied Materials, a maker of semiconductor fabrication equipment, plans to plow $4 billion into a collaborative research and development facility in Silicon Valley over the next seven years — if Uncle Sam is willing to chip in, so to speak.…

Categories: Tech News

TikTok sues Montana over ban, claims national security concerns “unfounded”

ARS Technica - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 14:38
TikTok sues Montana over ban, claims national security concerns “unfounded”

Enlarge (credit: PATRICK T. FALLON / Contributor | AFP)

Days after TikTok users sued to block Montana's TikTok ban, TikTok has followed through on its promise to fight the ban and filed its own lawsuit in a United States district court in Montana.

"We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana," Brooke Oberwetter, TikTok's spokesperson, told Ars. "We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts."

TikTok's complaint hits all the same points that TikTok users' lawsuit does.

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Categories: Tech News

Aspiring LinkedIn Influencer Praises Hitler As ‘Action Taker,’ Then Apologizes, Deletes Account

Motherboard (Vice) - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 14:30

An aspiring India-based LinkedIn influencer who worked for the consulting giant Deloitte apologized over the weekend for a recent post in which he fulsomely praised Adolf Hitler. In the post, he wrote that, like everyone, the German leader had “some good and some not so good qualities,” in service of a point about what could be learned from his domestic popularity.

The apology was quickly deleted, as was the original post. Deloitte’s media relations staff, as well as the office of its chief executive officer, proved unavailable and did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Motherboard confirmed through a source that Neerabh Mehrotra, the influencer, worked for Deloitte; it is unclear if he still works at the company.

All of this comes back to a LinkedIn post titled “Friday Inspiration,” in which Mehrotra, who represented himself as an associate director in Deloitte’s risk advisory department, wrote that he had recently learned that for all of Hitler’s negative qualities, the leader of the Third Reich had some characteristics from which people could learn, including being “extremely confident,” “very intellectual,” and a “massive action taker.” Hitler was of course famously decisive when he started World War II and systematically murdered millions of Jews, homosexuals, critics, people with disabilities, and members of other groups he disliked.

“People used to enjoy his energetic and patriotic speeches and his pure intention for great Germany,” wrote Mehrotra on LinkedIn, where he frequently posted in the energetic style associated with those who have built successful careers on the resume site. “As the Nazi salute says,” he ended his post, “‘Heil Hitler!’” He then asked his followers to sound off in the comments. 

The post was soon screenshotted and circulated online, leading Mehrotra to write an apology, saying he “had no intention” of hurting anyone’s feelings, “should have been more careful,” and would not “write anything about such personalities in the future.” He also asked for forgiveness and for the broader LinkedIn community to “continue our growth journey with full force.” 

Mehrotra’s own LinkedIn journey appeared to end shortly thereafter, with him deleting both the original post and apology, and, after Motherboard reached out to Mehrotra for comment on Monday morning, his LinkedIn account as well. 

Categories: Tech News

Rubber Clogs Are Taking Over the Shoe World (From Vans to Merrell)

Motherboard (Vice) - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 14:18

You may be seeing foam and rubber shoes everywhere lately, “and you may ask yourself, ‘Well, how did I get here?’” Well, the answer (according to David Byrne) is  simple: “Letting the days go by, water flowing underground / Water dissolving and water removing.” Exactly—inclement weather. Water leads to mud, which leads to ruined leather shoes. Thus, we find ourselves suddenly inundated with rad rubber clogs and shoes. It’s like we blinked and Crocs went from being just for toddlers and line cooks to the top of the footwear pyramid.  

It’s easy to point to the pandemic as the reason for the upswing in comfort over anything else, but you can’t knock clogs—they’re comfortable, good for your back, and easy to slip into. Seriously, why do you think chefs and the Dutch have been wearing them for so long? But over the last couple of years, rubber clogs and shoes have been slowly sneaking into the mainstream. Bolstered by hypebeasts' love for Yeezy’s Foam Runners and gorpcore’s embrace of the Merrell’s Hydro Moc, Crocs’ pop culture renaissance was practically predestined by the time the brand started collaborating with Salehe Bembury on the Pollex Clog (which has since sold out many times over). Last summer, Gear Patrol declared that “rubber shoes are having a renaissance,” and now the wave is fully cresting—Aimé Leon Dore debuted garden clogs in its latest drop and JW Anderson has teamed up with Wellipets on wacky frog clogs. While you’ve probably seen the many fashion-adjacent iterations on the once-humble rubber clog (even luxury brand Bottega Veneta has a rubber clog at this point), you’re probably unfamiliar with the brands actual chefs are wearing (more on that later), and that so many of your favorite non-designer brands (including wardrobe stalwarts like Vans) now make a rubber jawn. 

We’re ecstatic that so many brands have jumped on the foam-injected kick bandwagon because they’re (mostly) affordable, waterproof, easy to clean, and we’ll be conducting all our summer shenanigans in a pair. From designer mules for leveling up your yacht attire for this summer’s Euro trip to Realtree camo Crocs for riding ATVs and hitting the local lazy river with your friends, these are our favorite rubber clogs for every lifestyle and budget, because there’s nothing more annoying than lacing up sneakers when you could be outside enjoying the weather already. 


Without a doubt, the Hydro Moc has been a major player in the rubber clog game. It’s basically a #gorpcore Croc that goes into hyper sport mode, with a supportive back that gives more freedom of movement than a classic slip-on style. We’re also digging the new Hydro Mules for kicking around the neighborhood. 


No one needs convincing about how comfortable a pair of Birkenstocks are, but if you’ve only tried its classic leather sandals, take a gander at the Super-Birki. These polyurethane baddies come in dozens of colors to suit your every mood, and are water-repellant—as well as dirt and oil-resistant—so you can wear them from work to the function without showing up looking sloppy. Plus, they have a removable cork-latex footbed for extra comfort and easy washing. 


Remember when we mentioned that we know the clogs that chefs are wearing? These are it. Calzuro’s got the Italian rubber cult-classic chef clogs with just enough of a heel to support good posture, offered in super-saturated color options that just scream cool. Let’s face it: When isn’t the Italian version better?


Considering the highly coveted rubber Prada mules are nearly sold out (and are $625), you can just cop AdidasAdicane clogs for a much less expensive version with a very similar vibe. 

Merry People

For the classic “going to my country house” vibes, Merry People makes traditional Wellington clogs in unexpected colors that just scream “quiet luxury”


Camper always knows how to turn the volume up to the absolute max without going overboard, which is what makes the Traktori style so aesthetically pleasing. This unisex style is the perfect clodhopper for pavement stomping through the rest of these late spring showers. 


Did you know Vans makes a rubber version of its iconic checkerboard slip-ons? Now you can literally skate directly into the pool. Oh, and of course they made a backless version so you don’t have to walk to 7-Eleven barefoot. 


It’s probably obvious after reading this list but, if you don’t already own a pair of Crocs, what are you waiting for? Whatever vibe you’re going for, the brand comes out with insane collaborations constantly—so often, in fact, that we didn’t even know there was a new Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville collab! If wastin’ away ain’t your jam, no worries, mate. You can’t go wrong with a classic style in Realtree camo, or upgrade to the Velcro-adorned Echo clog, which is a rad style to snag if you can't get your hands on the Salehe Bembury Pollex.  

Shoelaces are for losers. 

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

The best Mac client for Gmail users is now a 1.0 release with nifty new features

ARS Technica - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 14:13
Mimestream's got a lot of direct Gmail integrations, but its own Profiles separation is quite useful.

Enlarge / Mimestream's got a lot of direct Gmail integrations, but its own Profiles separation is quite useful. (credit: Mimestream)

When I searched for the best Mac email clients for Gmail/Google Apps users in September, I was surprised to find that there was an app built specifically for this purpose. You didn't need to customize it, change its settings, or bolt on a bunch of extensions to make it work and feel right; Mimestream was both deeply hooked into Gmail and very much a Mac app.

Mimestream spent more than three years in a free beta period, releasing more than 220 updates for 167,000 users and adding more than 100 features. Now that a 1.0 release is out—and the company has grown from a solo developer to a five-person team—there's a price for the product.

Mimestream is $30 per year if you buy during this launch period, then $50 per year after that (if you were a beta user, check your inbox for a bigger discount code). There's still a 14-day, no-credit-card-required trial period. Individual users can install it on up to five devices, and there's Family Sharing across iCloud accounts.

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Categories: Tech News

Daily Horoscope: May 23, 2023

Motherboard (Vice) - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 14:00

Mars in Leo squares off with Jupiter in Taurus at 1:13 AM, and though tempers might be short today, there could also be a passionate energy in the air, and exciting changes may take place. Being patient can feel hard at this time, but the moon’s meeting with Venus in caring water sign Cancer at 8:45 AM helps us all get along. The moon connects with Uranus in Taurus at 2:07 PM, which might find us sharing surprising news…

All times ET.

Read your monthly horoscope for May!

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, 2023 - April 20, 2023

Your ruling planet Mars is currently in fellow fire sign Leo, inspiring a passionate and creative atmosphere! Mars squares off with Jupiter in Taurus today, which could find you making a big investment into a project or relationship. The moon in Cancer creates a gentle atmosphere at home.

Taurus glyphs Taurus: April 20, 2023 - May 21, 2023

Mars in Leo squares off with Jupiter in your sign, Taurus, perhaps finding you making big changes at home. The moon meets your ruling planet Venus in Cancer, inspiring an easygoing and romantic atmosphere. The moon also meets Uranus in your zodiac sign, which can find you inspired to take a risk!

Gemini glyph Gemini: May 21, 2023 - June 21, 2023

Mars in Leo lights up the communication sector of your chart, and a deep philosophical breakthrough can take place as the moon squares off with Jupiter in Taurus. Your focus may also be on themes like security and wealth as the moon moves through Cancer.

Cancer glyph Cancer: June 21, 2023 - July 22, 2023

Mars in Leo squares off with Jupiter in Taurus, which could find you making great strides toward a goal. Perhaps you’re achieving success with a group or taking action in your finances. The moon is in your sign, too, encouraging you to focus on self care.

Leo glyph Leo: July 22, 2023 - August 23, 2023

Mars is in your sign, Leo, which could be boosting your courage and willpower! Mars squares off with Jupiter in Taurus, which can find you making a bold move in your career—but make time for rest and relaxation, too, as the moon moves through Cancer.

Virgo glyph Virgo: August 23, 2023 - September 23, 2023

Mars in Leo squares off with Jupiter in fellow earth sign Taurus, which could find you having a big breakthrough. New opportunities may arise. The moon in Cancer can also inspire excitement in your social life today!

Libra glyph Libra: September 23, 2023 - October 23, 2023

Mars in Leo squares off with Jupiter in Taurus today, which could find you and a group you’re working with making great strides toward your goals. Your focus can be on your career as the moon moves through Cancer, and the moon’s meeting with Venus finds you feeling especially popular!

Scorpio glyph Scorpio: October 23, 2023 - November 22, 2023

Your ruling planet Mars is in Leo and today it clashes with Jupiter in Taurus, which can find you and a partner in love or business making an exciting change! A great achievement could take place. The moon in fellow water sign Cancer encourages adventure, and your partners may be especially excited to take a risk as the moon mingles with Uranus in Taurus.

Sagittarius glyph Sagittarius: November 22, 2023 - December 21, 2023

Mars in fellow fire sign Leo inspires an adventurous spirit today! Mars clashes with Jupiter in Taurus, which could find you reworking your routine in a major way. The moon in Cancer can also mean you’re tying up loose ends.

Capricorn glyph Capricorn: December 21, 2023 - January 20, 2024

Mars in Leo squares off with Jupiter in fellow earth sign Taurus, inspiring passion and productivity—but watch out for short tempers, too! The moon meets sweet Venus in Cancer, which can bode well for your love life.

Aquarius glyphs Aquarius: January 20, 2023 - February 18, 2023

Mars in your opposite sign Leo squares off with Jupiter in Taurus, and if you’ve been stuck in a rut, you might finally be into trying something new! A change at home or in your personal life may take place. Your partners in love or business can bring a dynamic energy and inspire you to make changes.

Pisces glyph Pisces:  February 18, 2023 - March 20, 2023

Mars in Leo clashes with Jupiter in Taurus, which could find you making an important change in your schedule. You might be kicking an old habit or feeling especially productive, tackling a project. Romance may also be in the air as the moon meets Venus in Cancer!

Categories: Tech News

I Tried Ghost Pepper Toothpaste (and Now I Taste Like Guy Fieri)

Motherboard (Vice) - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 13:42

Not to sound like an old, but sometimes I feel like I’ve seen it all. All the weird energy drinks, the ranch dressing ice cream, the dumb, viral pasta dishes… it eventually desensitizes you into a daze, where you just kind of become ambivalent towards all the new, “weird” products you see online. As a food writer, I’m one of the first in line for news about all of these drops. A “clean” tequila from bored moms? Great. Another plant-based meat substitute that claims to be the best one yet? Sure, whatever. New pasta shapes? OK.

These days, you have to wake up pretty early in the morning to send me a pitch that legitimately grips me. Such was the case when I got an email from Rainer Agles, founder and CEO of Chilly Mouth, heralding a new toothpaste that uses menthol and… well, ghost pepper flakes. Yes, I thought, sitting up in my chair. A chance to feel alive again. I will try the toothpaste. Responding to his email and sourcing the product for myself, I felt like I was Rambo or Rocky, an old dog being pulled back in for one more horrible battle; the ghost of VICE’s food page MUNCHIES had awakened to haunt my taste buds once again.

You might be wondering whether ghost pepper toothpaste is an actual, serious product. Indeed it is, and it’s not a gimmick… at least not completely. We’ve long been told by health experts and dietitians that spicy food is good for you, but Chilly Mouth takes it a step further. “Capsicums from ghost pepper flakes in Chilly are antimicrobial, killing 75% of bad breath-causing bacteria,” the website claims; thus, an actual raison d’être emerges, and one that goes beyond simply using spicy food to cause us pain (since we can’t feel anything else anymore). The website goes on to add that Chilly Mouth contains no “SLS, parabens, artificial flavors, artificial dyes, fluoride, and microbeads,” making it a more “natural” option than conventional big-brand toothpastes.

OK, you’re probably reading this to find out what it’s like to try this toothpaste. I’ll start by saying that I live in a very spicy household. Like, last night—since I clearly forgot I was doing this today—we ordered Indian food that was so spicy that my girlfriend finished our bottle of Tums. Like, we have an entire shelf in the pantry for hot sauces. I once wrote a whole article investigating whether chile-packed food could actually destroy your taste buds (it can’t). So the idea of a ghost pepper toothpaste didn’t really faze me (though I must admit that the prospect of maybe having diarrhea this afternoon wasn’t especially exciting, but this is the life I chose). 

Because of my high tolerance for spiciness, I calmly mentally prepared for my mouth to feel like it was erupting in flames. “It seems intuitive, but one thing I tell people is the amount of toothpaste you put on your toothbrush makes a big difference in the level of heat,” Agles said in an email. “If you want to crank up the heat, add some more to the toothbrush. If it was too hot the first time, dial it down by putting less on.” I started by taking a dab of the toothpaste on my finger and licking it, just to see if it was immediately insanely hot. It wasn’t, so I swabbed my tongue with it. Surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad. The interesting thing about the flavor combo, and what’s smart about it, is that spearmint is inherently “spicy” in its own way, so it was honestly a little difficult to distinguish which ingredient was actually feeling tingly on my tongue. Confident that it wasn’t too powerful, I put a pretty decent pea-sized amount of it on my toothbrush, because why not? 

When I began brushing, I almost didn’t notice the spiciness—it was sort of pleasant. That, however, was the front of my teeth; when I switched to the back, I began to feel it, alright. My mouth was filled with a strange, spicy mint fog, which nearly activated my gag reflex—not because it was gross (it’s actually pretty tasty), but just because my palate was so confused that my body just assumed I was doing something pernicious to it. All in all, it was a zesty experience, but nowhere near on par with some hella hot wings or Thai food.

When I finished brushing my teeth, I had the distinct aftertaste of having eaten something distinctly peppery, but there was also a significant minty vibe. I liked it, TBH. It was the kind of intense, clean feeling that makes you not want to drink orange juice after you finish brushing. For digestion’s sake I maybe shouldn’t have had two cups of coffee immediately following it, but let’s just call that part of the experiment. Ultimately, the toothpaste had the same cleaning-awakening effect as using Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap (my choice for years) in the shower does—it’s aggressive and sharp, but in a nice way.

TL;DR: Chilly Mouth toothpaste is a unique and surprisingly pleasant experience that’s definitely worth trying. I’m not a dentist, so I can’t recommend it on a medical or hygienic level, but the flavor combination of spearmint and ghost pepper actually works, and the general “bit” (toothpaste + spicy = LOL) is strong. As for the question of whether the toothpaste is actually super spicy, the answer is a resounding… not really. It doesn’t do justice to the punishing promise of “ghost pepper,” but that’s not really the point here—if you want a serious ghost pepper experience, get some of those Paqui chips (be careful, they almost took out one of our Desus & Mero production staffers) or go to Popeyes. However, if you just want some spicy-fresh breath (and to spend your morning wondering whether you’ll have a bathroom emergency later), Chilly Mouth is the ticket.

Pick up Chilly Mouth toothpaste on Amazon.

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

Python Package Index had one person on-call to hold back weekend malware rush

The Register - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 13:35
We speak to infra direct after project temporarily freezes new user accounts

The Python Package Index (PyPI), home to more than 455,000 Python code repositories, caged itself to new users and their projects over the weekend because it could not deal with a rush of efforts to create malicious accounts and code libraries.…

Categories: Tech News

Biden picks new FCC nominee to fill seat that’s been empty for over two years

ARS Technica - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 13:17
Joe Biden speaking into a microphone

Enlarge / US President Joe Biden on March 13, 2023, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. (credit: Getty Images | Saul Loeb)

President Biden today announced his new choice to fill the empty seat on the Federal Communications Commission, which has been deadlocked with two Democrats and two Republicans for his entire presidency.

Biden nominated Democrat Anna Gomez, who has worked in both government and the telecom industry. Gomez has been at the US State Department since January 2023 as senior adviser for International Information and Communications Policy and was a deputy assistant secretary at the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) from 2009 to 2023.

A lawyer, Gomez was also vice president of government affairs at Sprint Nextel from 2006 to 2009. Before working for Sprint, she spent about 12 years in several roles at the FCC, including deputy chief of the International Bureau and senior legal adviser to then-Chairman William Kennard.

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Categories: Tech News

FBI abused spy law but only like 280,000 times in a year

The Register - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 12:59
Well, well, well, if it isn't the Leaning Tower of FISA again

The FBI misused controversial surveillance powers more than 278,000 times between 2020 and early 2021 to conduct warrantless searches on George Floyd protesters, January 6 rioters who stormed the Capitol, and donors to a Congressional campaign, according to a newly unclassified court opinion.…

Categories: Tech News

Good News: A 1987 Treaty Has Successfully Preserved Arctic Ice, Scientists Say

Motherboard (Vice) - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 12:10

Right now, in some alternate universe, we might be mourning the loss of summer ice over the Arctic Ocean, a grim climate milestone that is expected by midcentury. We’re not, though, and it’s thanks to the Montreal Protocol, a major treaty ratified in 1989, reports a new study.

More than 30 years ago, nations from all across the globe joined forces to ratify the protocol, which bans chemical pollutants that are harmful to Earth’s ozone layer, a region of our atmosphere that is critical to our survival. Decades later, the Montreal Protocol has delivered on its main aim of healing the “ozone hole” over Antarctica, while also producing a host of other environmental benefits, earning it a reputation as one of the greatest environmental success stories in history.

Now, a pair of scientists have concluded that the Montreal Protocol also singlehandedly delayed the onset of the first ice-free summer in the Arctic by about 15 years by slowing the rapid loss of sea ice as a result of human-driven climate change. At some point in the coming decades, a September will arrive in which there is no sea ice cover over the Arctic Ocean, marking the beginning of the first iceless Arctic summers in millions of years. But it will not be this September, or any September for many years, thanks to the Montreal Protocol.

The new findings “reveal an important, largely unforeseen, benefit from the implementation of the Montreal Protocol” that provide “new evidence that the Montreal Protocol, in addition to saving the ozone layer, has proven to be a very important mitigation treaty for Arctic climate,” according to a study published on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“I don't think people were thinking about the Arctic really at all when they were drafting this protocol,” said Mark England, a senior research fellow at the University of Exeter who co-authored the study, in a call with Motherboard. “They were firmly in the other hemisphere and pole, in the Antarctic, so there are good unintended consequences of some of these climate actions.” 

Ozone-depleting substances (ODS) were once common in products such as aerosol sprays or refrigerants, but they were prohibited by the Montreal Protocol due to their erosive effect on the ozone layer, particularly around the South Pole. Because ODS are also extremely potent greenhouse gasses, the treaty has also had many serendipitous climate and ecological benefits.

 England and study co-author Lorenzo Polvani, a climate scientist at Columbia University, previously found that ODS had played a huge role in Arctic warming during the 20th century.  

To follow up on that research, the pair ran a range of climate models to hone in on the specific effect that the treaty may have had on the timeline of the first icefree summer, a turning point that will have significant societal and ecological ramifications for the region. 

The results revealed that the Montreal Protocol has helped to preserve sea ice in the Arctic, just as it helped preserve the ozone over the Antarctic. But though the ozone layer is expected to continue healing, there is unfortunately no way to avoid the loss of Arctic summer sea ice. 

“What’s useful was putting a number on it for the wider public to quantify from these comprehensive climate models exactly how much we've managed to delay it,” England said. “It is positive news that we've delayed it, but we are just delayed. That's part of the negative news. This is not the only solution we can rely on.”

“Ozone-depleting substances are important but they're not [carbon dioxide], which is the main contributor to climate change,” he noted. “All the action we can do on those is helping to delay the worst impacts of climate change, but it takes a large reduction in emissions of CO2, for example, to actually kind of stop the planet from warming.”

To that end, the Montreal Protocol can serve as a positive roadmap for current and future efforts to prevent some of the worst disasters that are expected in a warming world, including extreme weather and sea level rise. The barrage of bad news about the climate crisis can make it seem as if we’re in one of the darkest timelines, but this celebrated treaty is a light from the past that proves dramatic change is possible—though time is of the essence.

“We took very early action on the Montreal Protocol, considering when we first understood about the potential ozone hole, and that was really key for the benefits that are happening today,” England said. 

“I think it’s also important to take stock of what we’ve managed to achieve, because if we keep looking forward, we don't understand how much success we've had in the past,” he concluded.

Categories: Tech News

AT&T warns T-Mobile US, Starlink may disrupt terrestrial cellphones

The Register - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 11:58
Certain people don't have to jump through the same hoops that SpaceMobile did, opines analyst

The race to deliver mobile phone services via satellite may have turned nasty, with AT&T filing a petition with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to block rival T-Mobile US from operating its planned service in partnership with satellite company Starlink.…

Categories: Tech News

Life on Earth might have gotten a boost from the Sun’s mega-tantrums

ARS Technica - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 11:55
Image of eruptions on the surface of the Sun.

Enlarge (credit: NASA/SDO)

How, exactly, living things emerged on Earth remains a mystery. Now a new experiment has revealed that blasts of solar particles could have kickstarted the process by creating some of the basic components of life. 

Time in the sun

Before so much as the first microbe existed, there had to be amino acids thought to have formed in one of the primordial oozes of early Earth. It was previously thought that lightning might have supercharged the formation of amino acids. However, Kensei Kobayashi of Yokohama National University in Japan, along with astrophysicist Vladimir Airapetian of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and a team of researchers from both institutions, have found another possibility: The young Sun’s superflares probably helped give rise to the stuff of life.

“[Galactic cosmic rays] and [solar energetic particle] events from the young Sun represent the most effective energy sources for the prebiotic formation of biologically important organic compounds,” the researchers said in a study recently published in Life

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Categories: Tech News

Judge refuses gamers’ attempts to immediately halt Microsoft/Activision merger

ARS Technica - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 11:37
A group of PlayStation owners worries that an image like this is coming in their near future...

Enlarge / A group of PlayStation owners worries that an image like this is coming in their near future...

A federal judge has refused to grant a requested preliminary injunction that would have stopped Microsoft's continuing effort to buy Activision Blizzard. But as the private case moves forward, the judge in the case writes that the plaintiffs have "plausibly" argued that they might be adversely affected by the deal's anti-competitive effects.

The so-called "gamers' lawsuit" against the Microsoft/Activision deal was initially filed by a group of 10 PlayStation Call of Duty players in December, alleging that the deal could lead to increased prices and/or decreased quality or availability for the franchise on their console of choice. While the case was dismissed in March, the plaintiffs offered an amended complaint last month, laying out more precisely the harm they believe they could suffer after a merger.

Regarding those amended claims, District Court Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley said in a Friday ruling that, while it was too early to fully rule on the merits of the case, the plaintiffs "plausibly attest to their loyalty to the Call of Duty franchise and thus that each will purchase a different console or subscription service, or pay an inflated price, if needed to continue to play Call of Duty, especially if needed to play with their friends." That's a turnaround from the initial March dismissal, where Corley wrote that the plaintiffs didn't "plausibly allege" that the merger "creates a reasonable probability of anticompetitive effects in any relevant market."

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Categories: Tech News

HP breaks its own printers (again) with firmware update

ARS Technica - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 11:28
HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e printer

HP's OfficeJet Pro 9025e printer is affected. (credit: HP)

A firmware update has rendered several models of HP OfficeJet printers useless for weeks. As reported by Bleeping Computer on Saturday, a recent firmware update inadvertently left many users with devices that won't print and will only display a dreaded blue screen.

HP's support forums are currently littered with users complaining that their printer is no longer functioning and that its screen has turned blue with the error code "83C0000B " displayed. The issue goes back as early as May 8. According to Bleeping Computer, the issue is impacting owners of OfficeJet 902x printers.

At least one HP rep on the forum had previously suggested that the error came from "a problem with the printer's head." However, Bleeping Computer has reported that the issue is due to a firmware update released in May.

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Categories: Tech News

This AI Male Sex Toy Is Designed to Extend Your Orgasm Time

Motherboard (Vice) - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 11:00

It’s time to put the master in masturbation, king. Too long have you spanked your saucisson to little or no avail, when your fine wrist work should have been rewarded with Bellagio-level waterworks. That’s where MYHIXEL’s latest AI men’s sex toy comes in, ready to train your dragon with a rigorously enjoyable, Marvel-movie-style eight-week-long penis boot camp for extending your orgasm—or so it claims.

MYHIXEL’s Control vibrator package, which is the latest offering from the male-focused sex tech startup of the same name, combines all the trappings of an “anatomically realistic” penis stroker with the MYHIXEL II vibrator and “Play,” a Bluetooth-enabled application. The app provides access to an eight-week-long training course of activities that are designed to help folks gain control over their ejaculation experience through customizable stroking patterns and verbal coaching.

As the MYHIXEL team explains, “For many men, [ejaculation] occurs in less than three minutes, which is commonly defined as premature ejaculation. However, some men may experience occasional lack of control or want to improve their time to climax.” That’s why the aptly named Control vibe takes its job, and yours, so seriously; the device was successfully tested on over 500 men in a clinical trial before launching, and found that the majority of users achieved extended ejaculation periods without any medication or loss of penile sensitivity.

So far, the stroker has earned a 4.5-star average rating on the site, with many users singing the praises of its ability to help with their ED. Granted, it’s expensive at nearly $300, but fans say it’s worth the price tag for the bells and whistles. “[It’s] easy to follow, simple [and] effective,” one fan writes, while another explains that the app is especially fun to use with a partner; “I have been practicing some of [the] activities in the app with my girlfriend, and the results are mind-blowing. Definitely recommend [it] even just for the app.”

Screen Shot 2023-05-22 at 11.58.56 AM.pngPhoto Courtesy of MYHIXEL

I can’t tell you how many times penis-endowed pals ask me why men’s vibrators suck so much.There are some excellent men’s vibes out there, but it can be a real process to find a stroker that’s high-tech and easy to clean. And while I can’t plop you down on an antique wood milking stool and tell you that MYHIXEL’s vibe will make you cum for the entirety of the The Lords of the Rings movie trilogy (extended edition), it is pretty cool to see a men’s sex toy that has been given so much attention to detail in its design and clinical trial.

Whether you experience ED or just want to go to boot camp with your BFF, MYHIXEL’s latest has caught our attention (and our libido).

Purchase the MYHIXEL Control package here.

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

New EV tire for Teslas, Mustang Mach-E promises better durability

ARS Technica - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 10:51
New EV tire for Teslas, Mustang Mach-E promises better durability

(credit: Juli Hilovsky)

There's a new aftermarket tire option for Tesla's electric vehicles, as well as the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Bridgestone has developed a new EV-specific tire, at first available for all four Tesla models as well as the Ford EV crossover, with 13 more sizes coming next year. The tire maker says that the new Turanza EV all-season tire should offer EV drivers greater durability than current rubber.

"With the accelerated progress toward an electrified vehicle fleet, we’re thrilled to launch a tire that is designed to help drivers get the best overall experience from their electric vehicles, including ride comfort, all-season driving performance and excellent wear life," said Riccardo Cichi, Bridgestone's US president.

The new tire uses what it's calling "Enliten" technology, "which marks a major pivot in how we approach tire technology and design to deliver both exceptional dynamic performance and increased use of renewable and recycled materials," Cichi said.

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Categories: Tech News

That Meta GDPR fine is €1.2B. Plus biz must stop sending EU data to US

The Register - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 10:46
Zuckercorp says the EU-US Data Privacy Framework will pass before its penalties enacted, so why worry?

Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) has levied a new record GDPR fine against Facebook parent company Meta for 'systematic, repetitive and continuous' transfer to the US of data belonging to EU residents.…

Categories: Tech News

Lawsuit accuses DoorDash of charging iPhone users more for identical orders

ARS Technica - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 10:29
Bike rider delivery DoorDash in Manhattan

Enlarge / A class-action lawsuit claims that DoorDash makes it seem to customers like the distance and effort of a delivery change its fees, when the company's algorithm—and their phone choice—allegedly have more of an impact. (credit: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty)

A class-action lawsuit claims that DoorDash uses hard-to-pin-down delivery fees to systematically charge the delivery service's iPhone users more than others.

The lawsuit (PDF), filed May 5 in the District of Maryland, came in hot. Plaintiff Ross Hecox, in addition to his two children and a presumptive class of similarly situated iPhones, briefly defines DoorDash as an online marketplace with 32 million users and billions of dollars in annual revenue.

"Yet, DoorDash generates its revenues not only through heavy-handed tactics that take advantage of struggling merchants and a significant immigrant driver workforce, but also through deceptive, misleading, and fraudulent practices that illegally deprive consumers of millions, if not billions, of dollars annually," the suit adds. "This lawsuit details DoorDash’s illegal pricing scheme and seeks to hold DoorDash accountable for its massive fraud on consumers, including one of the most vulnerable segments of society, minor children."

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Categories: Tech News

Motorola’s fourth swing at a foldable Razr launches June 1

ARS Technica - Mon, 05/22/2023 - 10:20

Motorola is still not giving up on the whole idea of a flexible-display Razr phone, and the company actually has a fourth generation of the device coming up. The launch date is already official, set for June 1. The new Razr line comprises all new-school flip phones that are about the size of a normal smartphone when open, but when you're done with them, the whole device, including the screen, can fold in half, giving you a smaller square to fit into your pocket.

There are two models of the upcoming device, called either the "Razr 40 Ultra" or "Razr+, and a cheaper model that might end up being called the Razr 40. Legendary leaker Evan Blass has been all over the release of this phone, sharing press images and other details, while MySmartPrice has leaks of the cheaper model. We don't necessarily know every tiny difference between the two models, but the big difference will be the cover display.

These foldable devices are closed a lot of the time, so an outer display is very useful for the 100-plus times a day you check your phone—it's nice to just quickly look at it without needing to open up the phone. The Ultra model is going for about as big of a front display as possible, including wrapping around the two primary cameras that live in the bottom-right corner of the front of the phone. Working around all that dead space is going to make for some interesting software design decisions. The cheaper model, meanwhile, has a much smaller display, similar to the first-generation Galaxy Flip. It's a tiny little thing to the left of the camera array and can only show smartwatch-style widgets.

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Categories: Tech News