Scottish space upstart's rocket crashes into the drink

The Register - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 19:21
Never mind, still plenty of time to that 2023 orbital test

Scottish space startup Skyrora's first attempt to launch its Skylark L rocket ended in failure after it unexpectedly came crashing down into the Norwegian sea.…

Categories: Tech News

'Baby Al Capone' to pay $22m to SIM-swap crypto-heist victim

The Register - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 18:07
Too young to drive, old enough to bribe AT&T staff, apparently

A man who lost $24 million in cryptocurrency in an elaborate SIM swapping scam has won a multi-million-dollar judgment against the thief, who was 15 at the time of the hustle.…

Categories: Tech News

US Veterans Affairs extends delay of $10b Oracle Cerner health record system

The Register - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 16:16
Nothing like medical orders routed into /dev/null

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) this week announced it is delaying pending deployments of the Oracle Cerner electronic health record (EHR) system until June 2023 because of ongoing problems with the system.…

Categories: Tech News

Nvidia admits mistake, 'unlaunches' 12GB RTX 4080

The Register - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 15:31
The cheapest 40-series card now starts at [checks notes] $1,199

Just weeks after unveiling its 40-series cards powered by the all-new Ada Lovelace architecture, Nvidia said Friday it was pulling the plug on the RTX 4080 12GB before the card had even hit store shelves.…

Categories: Tech News

Removing notes from Mendelssohn overture shows plight of humpback whales

ARS Technica - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 15:19

Hebrides Overture’s disappearing notes highlight the plight of humpback whales.

Felix Mendelssohn's The Hebrides was inspired by the composer's 1829 trip to the British Isles. His overture has now inspired collaboration between a Cambridge economist and a composer, using sound to call attention to the loss of biodiversity on Earth. Hebrides Redacted successively removes notes from the 10- to 11-minute overture in proportion to the decline in humpback whale populations over many decades. A short film about the project (embedded above) was released today as part of the Cambridge Zero Climate Change Festival.

“Over the past century we have seen nearly a million species pushed to the brink of extinction—nature is going quiet,” said Matthew Agarwala, an economist at the University of Cambridge. “Researchers—including me—have been sounding the alarm about the consequences of biodiversity loss for a long time, but the message isn’t landing. Music is visceral and emotional, and grabs people’s attention in ways that scientific papers just can’t.”

Mendelssohn visited England and Scotland at the invitation of the Philharmonic Society. It was during his tour of Fingal's Cave on the Scottish island of Staffa that inspiration struck, and he quickly wrote down the opening theme that came to him. The opening notes feature violas, cellos, and bassoons to evoke the cave's beauty, while a secondary theme is meant to convey the rolling waves of the sea.

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Categories: Tech News

The Spookiest Places to Rent Airbnbs for Halloween

Motherboard (Vice) - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 15:12

We go all out for Halloween. Haven’t you seen the pumpkin butt plug on our nightstand? We did not come here to play, even if we did come for some serious spooky season shenanigans and intricate group costumes. We will go to any lengths, sexual metaphorical and literal, to soak up our favorite holiday’s immaculate vibes, which is why we’re scoping out the spookiest places and haunted hotels to rent from Airbnb.

When it comes to haunted hotel-chasers, there’s something for everyone; you can be the converted-mental-hospital-American-Horror-Story stan, or the kind of vacationer who mostly just wants a luxury escape in a famously spooky town such as New Orleans. We’ve whittled down a list of some of the most haunted stays in America, from the hotel that inspired The Shining to a cottage in a real, working village of psychic mediums just a stone’s throw from New York City.

Assemble your goblincore bros and heaux, and let’s get ready to hang with some ghosties.

This (entire) Salem haunted house Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.10.35 PM.pngPhoto Courtesy of Airbnb

This wouldn’t be a spooky haus breakdown without a listing in Salem, Massachusetts, where the 17th-century witch trials infamously took place (except now there’s a Bewitched statue, and everyone is chill??). This Greek Revival home can host up to a dozen people, and is supposedly haunted by a maid named Sarah who probably just wants her overtime paychecks. As one Airbnb guest wrote, “We did not have any ghostly encounters, but there were some unusual occurrences!”

Henry Durby House; sleeps up to 12, $688/night at Airbnb

This village of psychic mediums in New York Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.12.13 PM.pngPhoto Courtesy of Airbnb

Welcome to Lily Dale, the sleepy Victorian Spiritualist town in New York that has inspired investigations and features from the likes of The New York Times. This rural Airbnb is a stone’s throw from the veritable Vegas Strip of psychics, and is perfect for the more cottagecore witch-bent travelers who want to escape from the big city by posting-up at a cottage on 10 acres of land surrounded by hiking trails, swimming spots, and some the lovingly eccentric Lily Dale residents.

Rural Studio; sleeps up to 4, $99/night at Airbnb

Lana, is that you? Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.13.36 PM.pngPhoto Courtesy of Airbnb

“Don’t worry, our ghost (a young girl in a yellow dress from the 1890s) is very shy,” write the hosts of this New Orleans Airbnb, “you probably won’t see her, although some people swear she exists!” How Lana Del Rey-core. There are a few different rooms available for rent in the historic mansion, but the most haunted by far—and the favorite of the yellow dress girly—is this bedroom.

Parks-Bowman Mansion; sleeps up to 2, $132/night at Airbnb.

This sweet New Orleans French Quarter mansion Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.14.38 PM.pngPhoto Courtesy of Airbnb

When it comes to spooky tourism, there are the folks who dream of posting up at a semi-crumbling roadside motel, and then there are those who would prefer glamping or an Airbnb with a little more luxury than your average hotel. This New Orleans Airbnb speaks to the latter with its decadent furnishings and prime placement in the haunted French Quarter; the home itself may not be haunted, but it’s filled with Corinthian columns, marble fireplaces, and a hidden library door for inevitably pulling a spooky prank on your friends.

Grand Mansion with Courtyard; sleeps up to 4, $239/night at Airbnb

This Airbnb modeled after Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.15.47 PM.pngPhoto Courtesy of Airbnb

While we can’t confirm (or deny) that ghosts prowl the premises of this Haunted Mansion-themed Airbnb in Fullerton, California, the painstakingly-curated decor is more than enough to get us in the mood for Halloween. Here’s hoping the Alexa device is that floating head-in-a-crystal-ball- lady from the Disney ride.

Haunted Mansion Inspired Ghostly Retreat; sleeps up to 8, $744/night at Airbnb

You wanna honky tonk with your ghosts Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.17.31 PM.pngPhoto Courtesy of Airbnb

“We are NOT your normal bed and breakfast,” writes the host of this Senguin, Texas Airbnb, which has been featured on Ghost Adventures, Ghost Brothers, and Paranormal Caught on Camera, and is just an hour drive from downtown Austin. The former brothel was built in 1850, and is rumored to have many paranormal happenings. “Such a diamond,” one Airbnb reviewer writes, “[It’s] so cool to have an entire floor of a haunted hotel completely to yourself! Very spooky and the ghost hunting tools [they provide] really came in handy.”

Haunted Magnolia B&B; sleeps up to 4, $246/night at Airbnb

A haunted hospital Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.18.25 PM.pngPhoto Courtesy of Airbnb

The Traverse City State Hospital in Traverse City, Michigan was established over a hundred years ago, and has since been converted into apartments with some purportedly otherworldly residents. Blogs abound on the web about what it’s like to stay the night (spoiler: spooky), and Airbnb reviewers praise everything from the host’s welcoming vibes to the lore. “[There’s] great architecture, and a lot of character to the building and unit,” one Airbnb fan writes.

The Village; sleeps up to 2, $211/night at Airbnb

This Montauk manor is giving spooky Tudor vibes Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.19.29 PM.pngPhoto Courtesy of Airbnb

Built in 1927, this timbersil manor in Montauk, New York is close to the city but feels worlds (and centuries) away from Manhattan. Internet peeps love to debate whether or not it’s haunted, but they all agree that it’s always decorated on-point for Halloween.

Deluxe Studio at Montauk Manor; sleeps up to 2, $132/night at Airbnb

A haunted Victorian brothel Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.21.01 PM.pngPhoto Courtesy of Airbnb

The Black Monarch brothel and saloon in Victor, Colorado was rebuilt after a fire in 1899, and wired by none other than Nikola Tesla (eat your heart out, Elon) and has been restored to its Victorian-era Americana glory for your pleasure. According to the hosts, it’s haunted by the ghost of a local miner who died in a gunfight.

The Black Monarch; sleeps up to 16, $1,010/night at Airbnb

You’re a ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ stan Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.22.24 PM.pngPhoto: Courtesy of Airbnb

… Who isn’t?? Savannah, Georgia has always been known as a sleepy town with a lot of spooky secrets, but the 1994 blockbuster book by John Berendt (and the John Cusack film adaptation that followed) truly put it on the map as a destination for ghost hunters. This 18th-century cottage is in the heart of Savannah’s Landmark Historic District, and the perfect place to hole-up for Halloween in-between local ghost tours. In the words of one reviewer, “It is charming, spotless, quiet, and very comfortable.”

Laura’s Cottage; sleeps up to 4, $225/night at Airbnb

San Francisco’s most haunted hotel Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.23.51 PM.pngPhoto: Courtesy of Airbnb

The Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco, California has a long, juicy history of scaring the hell out of its guests. As a college student in the Bay Area, I remember hearing stories from friends whose parents spent the night at the hotel only to feel totally spooked by the Victorian mansion, “I believe the hotel is haunted,” one Tripadvisor reviewer writes, “I half awoke one night to experience a feeling like someone was tucking me in and gently pushing on my collarbone.” The next day, the reviewer found out that the hotel, which was a former girls’ boarding school, is supposedly haunted by its former headmistress.

Room in the Queen Anne Hotel; sleeps up to 2, $239/night at Airbnb

A haunted mini-castle Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.25.07 PM.pngPhoto Courtesy of Airbnb

Voted as the most mysterious house in Saint Paul, Minnesota by Pioneer Press, this miniature castle was built in 1883 and abuts a woodland cemetery worthy of your spooky season seances. “They are makers of special sort of magic,” one Airbnb reviewer writes about the home’s hosts; another reviewer writes, “[The host] has put so many hours meticulously creating a space that gives off the perfect spooky vibe […] There are interesting details around every corner, and with every look you can find something else that will catch your eye.” Who knows, maybe you’ll even get to chatting with one of the ghosts in the Whirlpool tub.

The Manor Master Chamber; sleeps up to 4, $90/night at Airbnb

The IRL hotel from ‘The Shining’ Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.26.40 PM.pngPhoto Courtesy of the Stanley Hotel

While it’s not on Airbnb, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, is too big of a classic to pass up. The 119-year-old hotel is just a few miles from Rocky Mountain National Park, and famously inspired Stephen King to write The Shining after a stay at the hotel gave him freaky-ass dreams.  There’s no A/C, but who needs it during fall? Plus, the hotel really leans into its connection with both the horror classic and the real-life purported hauntings on site from the hotel’s founder and his wife, whose ghostly piano playing can apparently be heard during the night.

Book the Stanley Hotel at Tripadvisor.

Happy Halloween, and good luck falling asleep.

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

Qualcomm: Arm lawsuit motivated by greed, 'payback' for opposing Nvidia takeover

The Register - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 15:10
A contract is a contract, says Brit CPU designer

Qualcomm has painted Arm as a greedy, capricious bully that's fixated on extracting more and more licensing fees for its designs.…

Categories: Tech News

This Birkenstock Boston Dupe Is My Fave Fall Shoe (TikTok Loves It, Too)

Motherboard (Vice) - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 15:08

The Birkenstock Boston has been busting moves all over street style roundups and TikTok, and I, for one, want to slide into (get it?) the action—aka the versatile, 90s-throwback, crunchy-cool clog—myself. Slotted into the “granola chic” section of my personal style, Birkenstock Bostons are surprisingly comfy AF and sit right on the line between a sidewalk-ready slipper and gorpcore vibes (love).

One thing I don’t love, though, is the price tag. The OG Birkenstock Boston model clocks in at $155—yikes. I can buy about eight dirty martinis for that kind of money. Would I rather own one pair of shoes or rage with my crew all weekend long?  I think we all know the answer to that one.

Thriftiness in mind, I don’t simply give up on purchasing my want du jour; I simply find a way around it like the sneaky bish I am. Sometimes you have to think outside the box to find that which you seek (aka a jawn that scratches the same itch, and/or a convincing dupe), and that’s how I ended up with this viral lookalike from your local boomer’s favorite department store: Kohl’s.

Kohl’s in-house brand Sonoma Goods for Life makes a near-twin of the Boston clog for one-third of the price compared to Birkenstock’s original; we’re talking about the Waterford Suede Clog to be exact. You don’t even have to take my word for it: Kohl's take on the iconic Boston is practically TikTok-famous, Garnering some rave reviews with users actually preferring the alternative over the OG. ”I actually prefer the Kohl’s ones. They’re my fav!!,” one TikTok user commented on a video with 181,000 views. Just seeing them may also spark spontaneous fits of joy; “WHEN I TELL YOU I RAN” another user commented. That’s the shopping energy we need.

Sure, the Boston has a soft foam footbed that will keep your soles (and, let’s be honest, *inner soul*) comfy all day long as you waltz around town, but so does this doppelgänger. The Waterford Suede Clog has crazy-good reviews—a grade of 4.6 stars out of five on Kohl’s website—and almost 200 happy buyers have taken to the site to sing its praises.; given the buzz surrounding the style on social media, there’s no shocker there. One reviewer said they’re “perfect potato shoes”—I’m assuming they’re referring to the color, because that’s spot on. The taupe color (basically the OG and most desirable colorway) is so popular that that iteration is unfortunately sold out at Kohl’s at the moment. Still, you can snag a pair in a sensible and classic black colorway that should match just about everything in your closet anyways.

I managed to cop the taupe color before they sold out and have been pairing them with my beloved Nike crew socks and jeans, while also just wearing them around the house. If you’re just dying for the au natural color, I also spotted an iconic twin on Amazon.

I can’t directly compare the Birkenstock model to the Sonoma Goods for Life version since I never owned a true pair of Bostons, but given their aesthetic similarities and killer retail price, I have a very strong shopping editor’s intuition that  the Waterford Suede Clogs have enough comfort and style to  live up to the TikTok-induced hype.

Sonoma’s Waterford Suede Clogs are available for purchase at Kohl’s.

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

This Tailgate Cheesesteak Recipe Is More Exciting Than Football

Motherboard (Vice) - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 15:06

Fine dining and tailgating may not seem like adjacent concepts — but here’s the thing: For all a football stadium parking lot typically lacks in decorative tea candles and wall-to-wall carpeting, it provides in ambiance of its own. Think about it: There’s a dress code of sorts, a soundtrack, a particular etiquette. The vibes may not call for market-priced oysters, but nonetheless, you can still arrange for some excellent food. That’s why, in this episode of VICE TV’s The Cooking Show, our host Farideh Sadeghin teams up with former NFL player (and Super Bowl champion) Jason McCourty to craft the perfect, low-maintenance, parking lot-friendly Philly cheesesteak sandwich.

Servings: 2 Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 1 (1-pound|450 gram) boneless ribeye 
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds
  • 6 tablespoons|90 ml olive oil
  • ½ cup|70 grams seeded and roughly chopped hot cherry peppers
  • 2 sesame seed hoagie rolls
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup|125 ml whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons beer, preferably IPA
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 ounces|88 grams sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 ounces|88 grams low-moisture mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 3 ounces|88 grams sliced provolone cheese (about 4 slices), torn into small pieces
  • mayonnaise, for serving


  1. Light a charcoal grill. Season the ribeye aggressively all over with salt. Let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes while the grill heats up.
  1. Grill the steak, flipping once, until medium-rare, about 8 minutes depending on the thickness of your ribeye. Alternatively, cook in a large cast-iron skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Transfer to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.
  1. Cut the sides off of the bell pepper, discarding the stems and seeds. Brush the pepper and onion with 2 tablespoons of the oil and grill, flipping, until the bell pepper and onion are charred and soft, about 11 minutes for the bell pepper and 9 minutes for the onion. Transfer to a cutting board and thinly slice.
  1. Throw a cast-iron skillet on the grill with 2 tablespoons oil. Add the sliced beef, pepper, onion, and cherry peppers and cook, tossing, until heated through and combined. Keep warm while you toast the bread.
  1. Brush the remaining oil on the inside of both rolls (protip: use mayo instead of oil) and grill until charred, 1 to 2 minutes. 
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium or on the grill. Add the flour and garlic powder and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the milk, beer, and mustard, whisking until smooth and thick. Stir in the cheeses and remove from the heat. Whisk until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. 
  1. To serve, slather the insides of the bread with the mayo, then top with the steak, pepper, and onion mixture. Drizzle some cheese sauce all over, then dig in before you make a huge fucking mess of yourself.

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Categories: Tech News

Since Crew Dragon’s debut SpaceX has flown more astronauts than anyone

ARS Technica - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 14:57
Crew Dragon splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday afternoon.

Enlarge / Crew Dragon splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday afternoon. (credit: NASA)

After 170 days in space, four astronauts splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, bringing an end to a successful NASA-SpaceX mission to the International Space Station.

Following two days of weather delays, SpaceX's Crew Dragon Freedom returned to Earth off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, beneath clear blue skies and into mild seas. The spacecraft's descent through Earth's atmosphere appeared to be nominal, with two drogue parachutes deploying on schedule, followed by four clean main parachutes, allowing Dragon to splash down at about 25 km/s.

"SpaceX, from Freedom, thank you for an incredible ride up to orbit and an incredible ride home," Kjell Lindgren, the NASA commander of the spacecraft, said after landing.

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Categories: Tech News

Daily Horoscope: October 15, 2022

Motherboard (Vice) - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 14:00

The moon in Gemini meets Mars, also in Gemini, at 12:11 AM, inspiring courage and strength! Things move at a quick pace. The moon enters Cancer at 12:11 PM, creating a cozy, caring atmosphere. The moon in Cancer calls us to nourish ourselves and our loved ones with delicious food, warm hugs, and laughter! The moon squares off with Jupiter in Aries at 2:44 PM, urging generosity and growth… just be careful not to over-indulge!

All times ET.

Read your monthly horoscope for October!

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

The moon enters Cancer today, illuminating the home and family sector of your chart. You could be handling paperwork regarding your living situation or feeling inspired to cook a big meal for everyone you love! With the moon squaring off with Jupiter in your sign, Aries, you can feel like you have a lot to share with the world!

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

The moon enters Cancer today, which can find you connecting with neighbors or siblings, if you have them. Your attention may be on your local neighborhood or you could be switching up your commute. It’s a busy time for communication!

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

The moon and Mars meet in your sign, Gemini, bringing you a big boost of energy. The moon enters Cancer, activating the sector of your chart that rules wealth and security. The generosity you share with your friends can be highlighted as the moon squares off with Jupiter in Aries.

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

The moon enters your sign today, Cancer, so make time to focus on your emotional and physical needs. Put yourself first! The moon squares off with Jupiter in Aries, too, which could bring some excitement to your career.

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

The moon enters sensitive water sign Cancer today, encouraging you to slow down, connect with your feelings, catch up on quality time alone, and get some rest! Your imagination is especially creative as the moon squares off with Jupiter in fellow fire sign Aries. Connecting with your inner voice during mediation could be especially powerful at this time.

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

Your focus turns to your social life today as the moon enters Cancer. Make time for your favorite hobbies; this can also be a great opportunity to explore a new interest. A new wish or dream for the future enters your heart! Your intuition is sharp today, and a new perspective could help you take a logical look at things.

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

The moon enters Cancer, illuminating the sector of your chart that rules your career and life in the public eye. Exciting meetings may take place as the moon squares off with lucky Jupiter in Aries! This can be an exciting time to show the world what you can do.

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

The moon enters fellow water sign Cancer today, which can find you making travel plans, focused on school, or publishing your ideas. Don’t overbook your schedule as the moon squares off with Jupiter in Aries.

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

You may be focused on taking care of your bills as the moon enters Cancer. A creative collaboration or romantic partnership can deepen in its connection as the moon squares off with Jupiter in fellow fire sign Aries.

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

Your focus is on your relationships as the moon enters Cancer. It’s a lovely time to make introductions or learn more about your partners. A feeling of growth arises in your personal and home life as the moon squares off with Jupiter in Aries.

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

You might be busy organizing your schedule or workspace as the moon enters Cancer. Communication is bustling as the moon squares off with Jupiter in Aries, so make sure to take a break if you find yourself spending all day on the phone! It’s a lovely moment to connect with the earth: perhaps go see the water, spend time in the woods, or lay on the grass and look up at the night sky.

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

The moon enters fellow water sign Cancer today, illuminating the romance and creativity sector of your chart! Sweet gifts may be exchanged as the moon squares off with Jupiter in Aries, but it would be wise to keep your spending in check!

Categories: Tech News

Apple’s AR/VR headset will scan your iris when you put it on

ARS Technica - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 13:50
The report discusses how Apple's upcoming headset will be different from the Meta Quest Pro pictured here.

Enlarge / The report discusses how Apple's upcoming headset will be different from the Meta Quest Pro pictured here. (credit: Kyle Orland)

A new report in The Information revealed some new tidbits about Apple's upcoming augmented and virtual reality headset.

Among other things, the report details features that differentiate Apple's headset from Meta's just-announced Quest Pro, which is likely to be the biggest competitor to Apple's device.

Matching prior reports, The Information's article says that the headset will look like a pair of ski goggles. It will be made of "mesh fabrics, aluminum, and glass" and it will be thinner and weigh less than the Quest Pro. The Information's sources didn't specify a weight, but the Quest Pro weighs 722 grams.

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AT&T to pay $23M fine for bribing powerful lawmaker’s ally in exchange for vote

ARS Technica - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 13:24
AT&T's logo pictured on a wall at its headquarters.

Enlarge / AT&T's logo at its corporate headquarters in Dallas, Texas. (credit: Getty Images | Ronald Martinez )

AT&T agreed to pay a $23 million fine "to resolve a federal criminal investigation into alleged misconduct involving the company's efforts to unlawfully influence former Illinois Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan," a Department of Justice press release said today.

"The investigation of AT&T Illinois is being resolved with a deferred prosecution agreement under which the company admitted it arranged for payments to be made to an ally of Madigan to influence and reward Madigan's efforts to assist AT&T Illinois with respect to legislation sought by the company," the announcement said. AT&T "admitted that in 2017 it arranged for an ally of Madigan to indirectly receive $22,500 in payments from the company."

AT&T "made no effort to ensure any work was performed" in exchange for the payment, the Justice Department said, adding that AT&T acknowledged that the payment was made "in exchange for Madigan's vote and influence over a bill." The bill ended AT&T's obligation to provide landline phone service to all state residents.

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Categories: Tech News

FYI: Microsoft Office 365 Message Encryption relies on insecure block cipher

The Register - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 13:11
Redmond says OME is really for content misuse rather than security

Microsoft Office 365 Message Encryption claims to offer a way "to send and receive encrypted email messages between people inside and outside your organization."…

Categories: Tech News

The Best Camcorders for Beginners, Pros, and Film School Nerds

Motherboard (Vice) - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 13:03

When you see a camcorder, you may think you’ve been transported back to the era B.I.: Before iPhones. Cringe-tinged visions of your well-meaning grandmother recording your youth soccer games on clunky equipment swirl through your head. However, if (like me) you thought camcorders were anachronistic relics of the early aughts, doomed to some forgotten corner of the family garage, then you’d be mistaken. A lot of today’s popular influencers, YouTubers, and TikTokers aren’t actually recording all those sweet, sweet vids on their smartphones like us common folk. Instead, many of them are using camcorders and video cameras to capture superior quality content (and stoke our jealousy). 

Whether you too want to skyrocket yourself to TikTok stardom or you have feature film ambitions a la The Blair Witch Project, camcorders can offer more durability and advanced features than smartphones to help unleash your creative freedom. Many of them are water-resistant for all-weather content-creating, while others are completely waterproof so they can capture your best karaoke pool parties or trips to Icelandic waterfalls.

Choosing a camcorder is a bit more challenging than mindlessly upgrading to the latest iPhone, though. There’s an overwhelming number of brands on the market for hobbyists and professionals alike, and you’ve got to know where to start or you might just end up opening and closing a thousand tabs with a sigh (we know the feeling). So, we’ve taken care of the hard part for you and rounded up the best camcorders and video cameras for all your cinematographic needs, so you can take it from here and finally shoot your pilot, sex tape, DIY demo, or home cooking show. 

The best camcorders for beginners 

The most beginner-friendly camcorder

A Canon camcorder is an investment, but it’s a worthwhile one. The IXIA model is a natural fit for beginners thanks to its user-friendly design and settings. The good news is that as your skill level grows, you won’t need to upgrade to a more advanced model; it’s already got the goods. This camcorder has 4K video, a built-in stabilizer, 20x zoom, and a CMOS sensor that will give you super clear videos even if your beginner camera skills are still a little wobbly. This baby can capture everything from landscapes, to action shots. 

Best budget pick

Don’t want to drop a grand on a camera? I feel you deeply. For under a hundred bucks, this Kimire camcorder gives you 24 megapixels, 16x digital zoom, and 270-degree rotation. It has anti-shake features, so it’s not too difficult to get clear, smooth shots. Your quality videos won’t betray the camera’s true price point. 

The action-adventure “Pro”

Need a camcorder that will keep up with your outdoor adventures? The GoPro Hero10 can follow all your action whether you’re skiing, surfing, climbing, or scuba diving. It’s the brand’s most impressive camera yet, with  5.3K video (which has 91% more resolution than 4K) and 23 megapixels. Your videos will be so sharp and stunning that your friends may actually want to look through all 1,000 of the clips you shot on your Joshua Tree spirit quest. 

For the explorer who likes a bargain 

The Kodak PIXPRO Action Cam fulfills a lot of the same needs as a GoPro—for about $400 less. It’s not as compact, but it’s still a true outdoorsman’s camera: This bad boi is water, shock, freeze, and dust-proof. Plus, it captures 1080p full-HD video at 10 frames per second. For seriously cool time-lapse videos (perfect for capturing those sweet sunsets), the camera’s high-speed video setting—which captures 120 frames per second— offers an impressive level of detail. 

A bit of kitsch

This cute Polaroid action camera has a lot more going for it than its retro look. For starters, it’s waterproof and weatherproof, so no impromptu photo shoot is off-limits, and there’s an easy-to-use touchscreen, too. It’s not a professional camcorder by any means, but it’s the perfect one to use if you’re just trying to have some fun and level up your ‘gram game.

Night vision

If you’re crazy-serious about making your own version of Blair Witch or if your directorial aspirations tend toward the more X-rated, this model can make those dreams a reality. It has an infrared night-vision mode where the camcorder can shoot vivid black and white shots of nightscapes (or other nocturnal activities, wink wink), and it works even when there’s low light or no visible light at all.  It’s the perfect cam for your next camping trip (or graveyard seance). 

Join the pros

If you want to splurge

Sony’s professional-grade PXW-Z90V 4K camcorder is fit for production pros, cinematographers, and documentarians alike. It’s got a slew of features to nerd out over, like highly accurate focusing and tracking, livestreaming compatibility, frame rate flexibility, and touch-screen-enabled subject switching. This camcorder takes impeccable videos, and you can take all the credit. 

For the next-level vlogger

Whether you’re an established vlogger or you’re just starting out, upgrading your video equipment is the lazy way to give your content some extra polish without too much extra effort. This 4K video camcorder has a wide angle lens, a microphone, and a video light to make you look and sound like an absolute pro. Plus, you can use the camcorder to stream directly to YouTube, FaceBook, and Instagram. 

Go panoramic

This one’s for the aspiring YouTuber in your life. Kodak’s PIXPRO S360 takes 360-degree panoramic videos in 4K resolution, so you can share that golden sunrise from your #vanlyfe diary, or capture the full view before cannonballing into your sick Airbnb pool. This model also comes with PIXPRO 360 Stitch Software for post-production editing for Mac or PC, so you can start your influencer empire immediately.  

See you at the film festival.

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

NYC Congressional Candidate Releases and Stars in Porn Video For Some Reason

Motherboard (Vice) - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 12:53

A third-party candidate running for Manhattan's 12th Congressional District fucks, and wants everyone to know it—to the point that he’s uploaded a 13-minute video of him having sex with an adult performer to Pornhub, in what he claims is part of his campaign strategy. 

Mike Itkis, a 53-year-old Army cyber operations officer who is running on a “sex positive” platform, can be seen in several positions and two different locations with performer Nicole Sage. Neither Itkis or Sage immediately responded to requests for comment. 

The video, titled “Bucket List Bonanza,” was uploaded to Pornhub under Itkis’ name, three months before New York news outlet City & State first reported on the stunt on Friday. In the video, Itkis doesn’t mention anything about his run for office or his politics. It’s been viewed on Pornhub more than 4,000 times, and has been uploaded to other free porn sites.

“If I would just talk about it, it wouldn’t demonstrate my commitment to the issue. And the fact I actually did it was a huge learning experience, and it actually influenced items on my platform,” Itkis told City & State. “I’m very much an introvert. I’m kind of a nerd who doesn’t like to be the center of attention if I can avoid it. But I thought the issues I’m trying to address are so important… I wanted to have my issues talked about in some way.”

According to his website, Itkis wants to decriminalize and legalize sex work (workers in the industry overwhelming want, and are already working toward, decriminalization), “define consent,” and “Make sexual rights explicit – do NOT rely on privacy or free speech rights.” He also believes “men should not be required to support biological children without prior agreement,” a fairly clear-cut and regressive attack on child support alongside relatively progressive stances on abortion.

We’re in an era where politicians will, and have already, had videos released and strucinitzed of them from their pasts that might not have been for public eyes. We’ve also seen more politicians, especially in New York, take up the cause of supporting sex workers’ rights. It’s unclear whether Itkis’ attention-grab falls into either of these categories, and is anything more than a political stunt. 

Categories: Tech News

Store credit card numbers in a debug log, lose millions of accounts. Cost? $1.9m

The Register - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 12:37
That's roughly 300,000 Shein crop tops

Online retailer Zoetop will fork out $1.9 million after account data belonging to 46 million customers was stolen in 2018.…

Categories: Tech News

Equifax surveilled 1,000 remote workers, fired 24 found juggling two jobs

ARS Technica - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 12:06
Equifax surveilled 1,000 remote workers, fired 24 found juggling two jobs


Hundreds of thousands of Americans juggled two full-time jobs in September, and nearly 4 million more mixed full-time with part-time work, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. This “overemployment” trend has become so popular through the pandemic that Wired reported that some workers described holding down two jobs as the cure to burnout experienced from having just one job. For remote workers, in particular, the ability to generate extra income by doing two jobs at once became so normalized, The Washington Post reported last week, that some remote workers considered it “fair” to hide a second job from their primary employers.

Some remote workers learned the hard way that not all employers consider it fair, though. This week it was reported that the credit-reporting service Equifax proved unwilling to sit idly by as its employees attempted to keep second jobs on the sly. According to Business Insider, Equifax “used one of its own products, The Work Number, to help it suss out who was holding down multiple jobs simultaneously” and then fired 24 out of 25 remote workers that its investigation uncovered. Some Equifax remote workers were juggling as many as three jobs.

For its investigation, Business Insider reviewed company emails, spoke to current and fired Equifax employees, and reviewed internal Equifax documents. Insider found that Equifax used The Work Number to comb through “work histories and activity records for more than 1,000 employees and contractors" and see any overlapping payment periods reported by other companies. This information, Insider reported, is usually only provided to individuals seeking their own reports, while third parties would typically receive a different version that doesn't provide such granular information. In addition to dozens of workers Equifax then fired, the company reportedly flagged 283 contractors also suspected to be dually employed, but Business Insider was unable to verify if those contractors were also fired.

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Categories: Tech News

SpaceX reportedly fed up with providing free Starlink to Ukraine

The Register - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 12:00
How can Elon mess up geopolitics today?

The Starlink-Ukraine honeymoon period appears to be at an end: SpaceX reportedly wants the US to begin picking up the tab for more of its war-zone services, while CEO Musk's tweets have only served to upset the situation.…

Categories: Tech News

BA.5 is finally fading—sublineages BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 rise from variant stew

ARS Technica - Fri, 10/14/2022 - 11:50
Transmission electron micrograph of a variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (UK B.1.1.7), isolated from a patient sample and cultivated in cell culture. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Enlarge / Transmission electron micrograph of a variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (UK B.1.1.7), isolated from a patient sample and cultivated in cell culture. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (credit: Getty | BSIP)

New omicron coronavirus sublineages are finally threatening BA.5's dominance, as many experts fear the US is on the cusp of a winter wave.

For months, BA.5 has reigned in the US and worldwide. The hypertransmissible omicron subvariant rose up early in the summer to elbow out previous subvariants BA.2 and BA.2.12.1, which had themselves displaced the original omicron strain, BA.1, that swept the world at the start of the year.

But amid BA.5's months-long rule, hundreds of other sublineages have been stewing in the background, gaining new mutations. Of the legions of new viruses, the most concerning stem from BA.5 and BA.2. Many have seemed to independently converge on similar sets of mutations that allow the virus to better skirt strengthening immune responses, generated as more people get infections, vaccinations, and boosters.

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Categories: Tech News