Daily Horoscope: October 13, 2022

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 14:00

The moon enters quick-witted Gemini at 1:08 AM, and we’re asking big questions and exploring new opportunities as the moon mingles with Jupiter in Aries at 4:08 AM. The moon connects with chatty Mercury in relationship-oriented Libra at 7:29 AM, encouraging connection and understanding.

All times ET.

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

The moon enters Gemini today, illuminating the communication sector of your chart. You can feel inspired to share big news or ask big questions as the moon connects with Jupiter in Aries. The moon mingles with Mercury in Libra, boosting communication between you and your partners.

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

Your focus can turn to money today as the moon enters Gemini. The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and Mercury in Libra, which could find you feeling ready to let go of something you’ve held been holding on to.

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

The moon enters your sign today, Gemini, and it’s a wonderful time to connect with your emotions! The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and Mercury in Libra, inspiring an exciting energy in your love life and social life.

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

The moon enters Gemini today, encouraging you to slow down and rest. The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and Mercury in Libra, and you may be fantasizing about success. Dreaming up ideas are the first steps to making them happen!

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

Your attention is on your social life today as the moon enters Gemini. The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and Mercury in Libra, which could find you having a particularly inspiring discussion. Helpful information may arrive.

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

The moon enters Gemini today, which can find you reflecting on your career or your life in the public eye. The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and your ruling planet Mercury in Libra, boding well for discussions regarding your finances.

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

New opportunities can arise as the moon enters Gemini! The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and with Mercury in your sign, Libra, which may find you having deep, meaningful discussions with your partners.

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

Your focus can turn to taking care of your bills as the moon enters Gemini. The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and Mercury in Libra, helping you strike a better balance between productivity and rest.

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

The moon enters your opposite sign Gemini, illuminating the relationship sector of your chart, and encouraging connection and collaboration. The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and with Mercury in Libra, bringing a fun atmosphere to your social life!

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

The moon enters Gemini, which can find you reorganizing your workspace or schedule. An expansive, warm energy flows at home as the moon connects with Jupiter in Aries. The moon also mingles with Mercury in Libra, inspiring exciting discussions about your career.

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

The moon enters fellow air sign Gemini, which can find you in a creatively inspired and romantic mood! The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and with Mercury in Libra, perhaps bringing exciting conversations your way. New opportunities can be explored!

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

The moon enters Gemini today, which can find you focused on your home and family life. The moon connects with your ruling planet Jupiter, now in Aries, and Mercury in Libra, and you’re reflecting on themes like wealth and abundance.

Categories: Tech News

Hospital giant's IT still poorly a week after suspected ransomware infection

The Register - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 13:43
Insiders tell of struggle to access patient info, meds without working computers

Computer systems are still down at CommonSpirit Health – America's second-largest nonprofit hospital network – more than a week after it was hit by a somewhat mystery cyberattack.…

Categories: Tech News

The Best Last-Chance Deals from Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 13:14

Stay locked in: It's the second day of Prime’s Early Access Sale. If you’ve been following closely, we’ve been highlighting and spotlighting all the best deals on this Prime Day-like slate, spanning everything from Apple tech and Vitamix blenders to brand-name skincare and sex toys. Amazon’s in-house villain Jeff Bezos is good for something, and that's Prime Day 2.0.

Say what you will about Amazon (and trust us, there’s plenty of things to say), but it’s hard to top the sheer volume of deals that you can find on Amazon alone. Yesterday we came, saw, and consumed materialism at its best by saving big bucks on headphones, cookware, and more. Today, we’re back for round two because we can't get enough of the dopamine hit. (No, we’re not addicts, we're shopping *experts*.) The clock is ticking, so here are the best last-chance deals for Prime’s Early Access Sale across tech, health, and home categories. Whatcha waiting for? Get to it.

Apple iPad

Take it from our personal experience, you never think you need a tablet—until you absolutely do. It’s no secret that trucking a hefty laptop to grind out some work at a coffee shop (pun very much intended) is a pain in the ass. Or, sometimes you just want to keep things compact on a flight while you watch Netflix or read The Notebook via Kindle (no judgment). It may be the 2021 edition, but this model has a near-perfect rating, over 27,800 reviews on Amazon, and is 18% off. Features include up to 10 hours of battery life, Apple Pencil compatibility, retina display, and ultra wide camera lenses.

iHealth COVID Test

It’s practically a no-brainer: As we slide into the fall and winter months, stock up on two-packs of these at-home COVID tests (it’s called “flu season” for a reason guys). Sometimes it’s impossible to differentiate the flu from COVID-19, so having a few of these on FDA-authorized tests on-hand when you start to feel under the weather is one of the best ways to know if it’s a seasonal bug or something that requires some time in quarantine.  Like the tests you might receive at a formal testing location or at the doctor’s office, all you need to do is swab your nose,  informing you of the results within 15 minutes. While our editors also swear by the accuracy of this test, you don’t have to take our word for it; this test boasts a4.5-star rating, 32% off discount, and over 185,000 customer reviews on Amazon.

Vitamix Professional Blender

Smoothies are not just for men whose definition of “peak physical fitness” is Chris Evans’ take on Captain America or (god forbid) Mike “The Situation” from The Jersey Shore. Blend up some insane smoothies with this workhorse for 37% off. It has five pre-programmed settings, stainless-steel blades (so you can enjoy the animalistic catharsis of watching all sorts of foods be torn to a pulp in front of your eyes), and manual speed control. Not a smoothie zaddy? You can also use it to whip up soups, purees, or some faux ice cream.

AirPods Pro

While there’s plenty of solid options in the Bluetooth earbud market, it’s hard to deny that Apple’s AirPods Pro are the headphones that helped shift the market (as they say “often imitated, never duplicated”).. You can’t go wrong with a pair of AirPod Pros—known for their noise-canceling tech, customizable fit, Bluetooth connectivity, touch control, and water-resistance for when you wear them during a particularly gnarly workout or accidentally drop one in a glass of pinot grigio (don’t ask). You also get easy access to our homegirl Siri—all for 10% off.

Garmin Vivoactive

Why wear a watch when you can wear a smartwatch—specifically this one for 43% off. Unlike the hand-me-down Timex you’re currently rocking, this Garmin timepiece keeps track of your energy levels, pulse, respiration, menstrual cycle, stress, sleep, heart rate, hydration, all while being able to play music and track GPS. If you need some guidance on workouts, simple animated workouts are featured on Vivoactive’s screen—including strength, yoga, and Pilates exercises.

Olsky Massage Gun

This muscle tenderizer (aka: our post-workout pride and joy)  is still on sale for 20% off. Sure, a Theragun sounds good on paper, but this one *saves you money* with all the same massaging oomph. This massager comes with 12 attachments to target different muscle groups, has adjustable speeds, and is nearly silent when in use, so you won’t disturb your disgruntled roommate (those uncontrollable groans resulting from Olsky-induced muscle relief however—those are on you).

Casper Sleep Original Pillow

Listen, we love a solid mattress and a cool set of sheets as much as the next guy, but don’t sleep (get it) on the fact you’ll need an equally top-class pillow to round out your bedroom’s holy trinity.Our suggestion? This plush Casper pillow for 30% off. It’s clump-resistant, which means more lucious fluff, is breathable for a cool snooze, and has a 100% cotton cover.

Bose SoundLink Headphones

We really don’t want to hear a peep from the outside world. Sure, you could broadcast that vibe with any pair of over-ear headphones, but why do that when you can pick up a pair that’s been designed by iconic audio brand Bose?  These cans make that “tune-out-the-world”-magic happen with its “deep, immersive sound” and 15 hours of playtime—beautiful. What’s even more gorgeous is that they’re 35% off.

Audio Technica Turntable

Being a record hoarder is only fun and games when you have a good-quality gadget to play that first pressing of Static Age on. This automatic record player has high-fidelity audio, is wireless, and is anti-resonance for no vibration. Set the mood and do the stanky leg—all for 20% off.

Just gonna leave this 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

Beats Headphones Are a Steal During Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 13:13

If you’re anything like me, you have been putting off buying a nice new pair of headphones because you have gone through three pairs of AirPods in the last 18 months and just don't trust yourself anymore; they’re too damn loseable! But there’s truly no better time than the present to indulge in a new pair of earbuds, considering Beats are highly discounted for Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale. Yes, all Beats styles are on sale, including the very chic, earth-toned Beats Fit Pro x Kim Kardashian line, if you’ve been struggling to find a pair that really resonates with your “wannabe nudist” lifestyle.

Personally, I’ve already added the Beats Studio3 wireless, noise-canceling headphones to my cart, because they’re a ridiculous 51% off, and in addition to making a “you’re in a bathroom at a party mix” sound great, they are going to keep my ears warm and toasty as soon as the thermostat dips below 50. I’m partial to the murdered-out matte black color, but for people not afraid of color, there’s also red, white, and some bedazzled pairs.

Ayy, lovers of more on-the-go, compact earbuds—don’t fret. Beats Fits Pro and Studio Pods are also on sale. Go with the classic sweat-resistant Studio Pods, for just $99, if you’re always on the go. They feature two listening modes—Active Noise Canceling, for getting in the zone, and Transparency mode, if you’re exercising outdoors and need to be aware of your surroundings. For an even higher quality sound experience, and up to six hours of listening time, the Fits Pros are also compatible with “Hey Siri” functions on Apple devices, as well as Android.

For the sleekest, most “I belong in the Centurion Lounge” pair, look no further than that limited-edition collab with none other than Kim K. Available in the colors Moon, Earth, and Dune, these dreamy earbuds not only match your closet’s expensive sweatsuit; they also send out “too important to disturb” energy to everyone on the subway platform.

Now go out there and headbang to your heart’s desire.

Check out the full selection of Beats on sale for Prime Early Access over at 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

New Apple services and apps are rolling out on Windows 11 and Xbox

ARS Technica - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 13:05
Apple Music on the Xbox.

Enlarge / Apple Music on the Xbox. (credit: Microsoft)

Today, Microsoft and Apple announced a number of deeper integrations of Apple services on both Windows PCs and Xbox game consoles, including Music and TV apps for both platforms and the ability to browse your iCloud Photo Library within the Windows 11 Photos app.

The Apple Music app for Xbox is already available. Existing users can download the app and start listening to their playlists and stations, while new users can sign up for a one-month trial. The user interface for Apple Music on the Xbox is almost exactly the same as the one we've used before on Apple TV hardware. It doesn't add any new features we haven't seen before, but it's nice to see parity between the platforms.

The Music and TV apps for Windows aren't available yet, but the companies say they'll both be available next year. It was already possible to access both Apple Music and Apple TV+ through web interfaces on Windows. Further, the iTunes app currently lives on in Windows. (It was previously sunset on the Mac in favor of the Apple Music app.)

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Categories: Tech News

Connecticut Jury Orders Alex Jones and Infowars to Pay $965 Million to Sandy Hook Families

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 12:51

A civil jury in Connecticut has ruled that Alex Jones and his company Infowars should pay a total of $965 million to the families of several children killed at Sandy Hook, as well as an FBI agent who responded to the scene of the attack, for defaming them on-air. This amount combines the damages awarded for defamation, slander, and emotional distress that the jury ruled Jones and Infowars caused against each of the 15 plaintiffs.

This is the second large judgment that Jones has recently been ordered to pay to Sandy Hook families; in August, a Texas jury ruled that he and Infowars should pay a combined total of $49.3 million in punitive and compensatory damages to Scarlett Lewis and Heil Heslin, whose son Jesse also died in the attack . 

Jones spent years calling the Sandy Hook killings a “total hoax,” a position he has insisted he no longer holds. But as recently as last week, Jones referred to Sandy Hook on air as “synthetic,” and has repeatedly said that the trial is “rigged.” (His comments about the event being “synthetic” were first unearthed by Knowledge Fight, a podcast that has made a microscopic study of Jones’ whole deal.)

Jones and Infowars lost a series of civil lawsuits by default in both Texas and Connecticut after judges in both states ruled that the company failed to meaningfully respond to discovery. Jones’ attorney, Norm Pattis, attempted to make much of the fact that the plaintiffs didn’t have information and documents they were entitled to and that his side simply refused to give them, to little avail.

In the Connecticut trial, the Sandy Hook families spent hours on the stand describing their loved ones, often in tears, and the continued hell that was wrought on them when the conspiracy theories about their deaths began. One family, for example, described their daughter discovering a letter that had been sent in which a hoaxer described desecrating her brother’s grave, and one parent described being told her child had never existed at a conference for mothers who’d lost their children to gun violence. 

The families’ attorneys, using internal Infowars data and testimony from employees, convincingly drew a direct line between Jones’ lies and his profit, demonstrating his audience spiked when he talked about Sandy Hook and that these spikes directly correlated to increases in the sales of various products that are Infowars’ real business.

Pattis, Jones’ attorney, argued throughout the trial that the families were exaggerating the extent of their injury for political gain, claiming that several of them had become vocal anti-gun activists. His broader argument that the suit was an attack on free speech, while consonant with Jones’ attempts to brand himself a martyr targeted by shadowy global elites intent on enslaving humanity, evidently did not find much purchase with the jury.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Categories: Tech News

Streetwear for Dogs Is Out of Control and We Love It

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 12:45

Streetwear is for the streets (at least, it started that way), so, by proxy and tradition, why shouldn’t streetwear be for our dogs—those who hit the streets the hardest? Such is the logic we’re using to justify our intrigue of Pupreme hoodies and prêt-à-porter “Cartiarf” dog bones, which all seem bananas, because they definitely are—but then again, that full-throttle energy and unleashed joy is what we loved about streetwear in the first place. This is a corner of fashion where there is room to play… so why not go fetch?

These days, "streetwear" isn't limited to Supreme bags or Rick Owens athleisurewear; The Brands have expanded to all kinds of new lines outside the walk-in closet. There are even streetwear candles, beckoning us to burn effigies of Air Force 1s in honor of Nelly, who will continue to sell us Lay’s Flamin’ Hot Chips, all while our furry friends nap in their four-legged jumpsuits atop high-design, mid-century mod pet furniture. This is where we are.

And after two or so high-key shitty pandemic-adjacent years where we've been kept emotionally afloat by our pets, damn right we’re smashing that “buy now” button for an Bark-White raincoat for our terrier, and a flame leash that looks like it was designed by Guy Fieri. Dabbling thine paws in dog streetwear doesn’t have to feel like full A$AP Rocky cosplay (although, go for it). Some of the following pieces are more statement-making than others; a steel, Cuban chain leash and a Death Row bandana add a subtle touch of flair, while an Adidog jumpsuit says, “My other other chew toy is your JUUL. Now walk me to Aimé Leon Dore for a poo.”

“DOG” c/o Fresh Pawz

For our streetwear layfolk and Virgil Abloh (RIP) lovers alike, this Off-Off White raincoat is one of the chicest and more understated fits of the bunch for your pup. This is the rainy season, after all, and Fresh Pawz is one of thee coolest dog streetwear companies out there; the Black-owned pet accessories company (there are many!) is constantly doing cool collaborations we wish we could wear (TBH, nothing is stopping us from wearing its Spongebob Squarepants collab leashes).

For a workwear look

Alas, Carhartt WIP (Work In Pup) does not exist yet. But the long-loved brand of workers, rappers, and skaters alike does *see* you, and humbly offers up this “chore coat” for your dog whilst it walks or saws lumber. Pair it with a hunter orange Carhartt leash for a subtle pop of color.

Because your dog is an Adonis

…and should glitter thusly, under the springtime sun. Aside from being practical (this chain leash will, ideally, last you forever), this most necessary accessory adds a touch of bling that’s perfect for dogs, cats, lizards, whatever.

Ska kids, rejoice

This Fresh Pawz staple is usually sold out for obvious reasons: It has us feeling like it’s 1990-something, Tragic Kingdom just came out, AOL is on dial-up, and that we have multiple suspender options in our closets for matching this leash.

Stroll to Flavortown

First, we turned our home into Flavortown with a selection of totally awesome Camaro-esque beds and frosted tip hair dye kits. Now, we’re taking Guy Fieri-core to the streets with this harness.

If your dog can also skate

Here’s the plan: Learn a tandem skate routine with your Bichon Frise to some Diana Ross. Wear matching streetwear hoodies in homage to the OG-skate streetwear lords at Supreme. Bring the act to Venice Beach. Go viral. Die happy (or, hopefully, at least rich).

…Or is a fuckboi

When you go out of town, your dog is without a doubt ordering bottle service at the club. They’ll look fully dripped-out in a “Pawlenciaga” hoodie with a bottle of Clase Azul to match.

Throw ‘em a bone

Specifically, a Chewy Vuitton. Or perhaps a Cartiarf plushy bone, if you really want to sweep your Labrador off its paws.

Literal hype beasts

You love to get a fit off, and so does your furry friend. Make sure they are on your level with designer dog-wear. They can match whatever style and vibe you’re going for. Are you thinking something ”bad n’ boujee” in a Versace robe, perhaps? Maybe you’ll be hitting the streets of Harajuku in Bape or Moschino? Hell, there’s even options perfect for a pet-friendly rave—if that’s your their type of dog park.

Add a little knitwear

We have never been this jealous of a dog before. Why the hell do these designer sweaters look better on our four-legged friends than us? From Ashley Williams’ patchwork piece to the classic Thom Browne stripes, it’s hard to deny these fashionable pieces hit just as hard on a pet-sized scale. As far as sweaters are concerned, you don’t need to curate your own dog-sized iteration of Dover Street Market to know that keeping a great selection of knitwear in rotation is a must, regardless of breed. That said, if you’re locking in a sophisticated “uptown” look for your pooch, might we suggest a classic cashmere cardigan from noted dog-lover Thom Browne?

This is your movie

Really stupid, and really perfect for the Gene Kelly-esque, light drizzle dance number we’ve been practicing with our greyhound in our favorite lucid dreams. Pair this one with the Off-White-inspired raincoat, and make it a reality.

Wishing you and your hypebeast a happy spring.

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

Microsoft fights to save Activision merger, says Sony protest is “self-serving”

ARS Technica - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 12:42
An Xbox controller sitting on top of an Xbox Series S console.

Enlarge / An Xbox Series S console. (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images )

Microsoft slammed Sony and UK regulators amid a challenge to its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, saying the UK has relied too much on Sony's "self-serving" arguments.

The UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) last month referred the $68.7 billion deal to a Phase 2 investigation, which could result in the merger being prohibited or a requirement to sell some parts of the business. The CMA today released the full text of its referral decision, and Microsoft provided Ars with the executive summary of its latest response to the regulatory agency.

Sony has argued that Microsoft could pull Call of Duty from PlayStation, saying Microsoft's offer to keep the Activision Blizzard game series on PlayStation for at least another three years beyond the current agreement is inadequate.

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Categories: Tech News

Paris Hilton Says She Was Sexually Abused in ‘Troubled Teen’ Industry

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 12:34

Paris Hilton has come out with new details about the sexual assaults she says she endured as a youth while enrolled in what’s known as the “troubled teen industry.”

Hilton alleges that during her time at Utah’s Provo Canyon School, which refers to itself as an “intensive, psychiatric youth residential treatment center,” male staff—not doctors—woke her up in the middle of the night and led her to a private room, where they forced her to submit to “cervical exams.” 

“Sleep-deprived & heavily medicated, I didn’t understand what was happening,” Hilton tweeted. “I was forced to lie on a padded table, spread my legs & submit to cervical exams. I cried while they held me down & said, ‘No!’”

The staff then told her to “shut up” and “be quiet,” she said, adding that she was assaulted this way multiple times.  

Hilton first opened up about the assault to the New York Times. 

“I don’t know what they were doing but it was definitely not a doctor and it was really scary,” Hilton told the Times. “Now looking back as an adult, that was definitely sexual abuse.”

Hilton said she blocked out the memories, but they’ve come back now. 

It’s not the first time Hilton has spoken out about her time in the troubled teen industry. In fact, she’s spent the last few years advocating for an overhaul of the policies that make the industry possible. 

The troubled teen industry, which receives billions of dollars in public funding every year, is made up of treatment centers, boarding schools, wilderness programs, bootcamps, and religious institutions that claim to rehabilitate youth with mental health struggles and behavioral issues. The billion-dollar industry continues to operate despite being marred with abuse allegations, including reports of abuse, and conversion therapy. Often, experts compare the institutions to prisons, and point out the industry’s frequent use of strict and outdated strategies for dealing with kids. 

California Rep. Adam Schiff previously estimated that between 2000 and 2015, more than 80 children died in troubled teen facilities, due to causes like strangulation, starvation, and suicide, VICE News reported.

Hilton was sent to Provo Canyon by her parents in the 1990s. 

“My parents were promised that tough love would fix me and that sending me across the country was the only way,” Hilton told reporters last year when she visited the U.S. Capitol to support legislation targeting the industry. 

“I was strangled, slapped across the face, watched in the shower by male staff, called vulgar names, forced to take medication without a diagnosis, not given a proper education, thrown into solitary confinement in a room covered in scratch marks and smeared in blood, and so much more.”

Universal Health Services, which owns Provo Canyon, didn’t respond to a VICE News request for comment by the time of publication, but a spokesperson told the Times it can’t comment on individual cases, citing privacy laws. The organization denied several allegations, including use of solitary confinement or medication when doling out discipline, and maintained that corrective action is taken when staff act inappropriately, including via job termination.

Today, Hilton refers to herself and others who’ve gone through similar experiences as “survivors.”

“I was violated & I am crying as I type this because no one, especially a child, should be sexually abused,” Hilton said. “My childhood was stolen from me & it kills me this is still happening to other innocent children.”

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Categories: Tech News

GM races after Tesla with battery pack tech and solar deal

The Register - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 12:29
Gah, for a few milliseconds there, we were willing a cold, faceless corporation to succeed

General Motors' newest endeavor is a business unit dedicated to producing energy storage systems – and the automaker left no doubts about who it sees as its top competitor in the space: Tesla. …

Categories: Tech News

Microsoft attempts to eat Oracle's database lunch with Azure migration service

The Register - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 11:45
Redmond hopes move will lure more to its PostgreSQL managed service

Microsoft is launching a database migration tool to help Oracle users shift to a PostgreSQL managed service on Azure.…

Categories: Tech News

'We Don't Have Much Time Left': Co-Author of UN Climate Report Detained at Climate Protest

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 11:42

On Tuesday morning, an IPCC report author and climate scientist was taken into police custody while protesting  alongside activists blocking traffic in Bern, Switzerland. 

The scientist, Julia Steinberger, is a professor of ecological economics at the University of Lausanne and contributed to the 6th Assessment Report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, specifically its third chapter on emissions mitigation pathways that are still possible this century. 

The protest was organized by Renovate Switzerland group, and advocated for improved energy efficiency in buildings. Activists glued themselves to the road as part of a blockade; it was the fifth action by the group in the last week, according to local news reports. In a video of the protest, Steinberger was carried off by police and placed in a van as she said in French, "non-violent civil action is important. We don't have much time left."

On its website, Renovate Switzerland paints a dire picture of the climate crisis. Its page on explaining the urgency behind climate protests opens up with a dark quote from the United Nations Secretary general, Antonio Guterres, who said in April that the IPCC report "is a litany of climate policies. It's a record of shame, cataloging the empty promises that set us firmly on the path to an unlivable world." 

Renovate Switzerland also points to multiple IPCC reports, as well as a study that suggests that by 2070 some 3.5 billion people will be forced to migrate because of inhospitable living conditions thanks to climate change. 

“This summer, Switzerland recorded the second hottest summer since measurements began in 1864. Record-breaking heat wave summers such as we have experienced this year will be the norm for an average summer by 2035,” the group's website states. “Such heat brings its share of disasters and suffering. In Switzerland, glaciers are disappearing at a breakneck pace, forests are burning or dying, agricultural land is drying up, harvests are failing, lakes and rivers are evaporating. Elsewhere in the world, millions of people are losing their place of residence or are already suffering from famine.”

In response to the Swiss government’s energy conservation plan in the face of gas and power shortages, Renovate Switzerland announced it will commit to protests to pressure Switzerland’s government to carry out an extensive housing renovation plan that would improve insulation and energy efficiency. “With regard to energy savings, [the government] discharges its responsibilities by counting on the small voluntary gestures of the population and businesses,” the group told local news.

"The thermal renovation of buildings… is logical, socially progressive… it creates jobs," Steinberger said at the protest in a video shared by Renovate Switzerland. "But the government does not do it. So we see that we are at an impasse."

The IPCC report, and the chapter worked on by Steinberger specifically, offer gloomy outlooks for the future beyond Switzerland. In it, scientists find that humanity will likely exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius within the next two decades unless steep cuts are made. By 2050, we can expect famines, droughts, and mass migrations as extreme weather events become more common. 

Heatwaves, to take one example, already kill thousands and will only become deadlier as we surpass 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. One recent UN and Red Cross report suggests that "projected future death rates from extreme heat are staggeringly high—comparable in magnitude by the end of the century to all cancers or infections diseases—and staggeringly unequal, with people in poorer countries seeing far greater levels of increase."

Over the years, IPCC reports have painted an increasingly grim picture for what needs to be done. Earlier this year, an author of the IPCC’s synthesis report—a compilation of what we’ve learned about climate change thus far—told The Atlantic that there are three broad buckets of scenarios to anticipate. One is that a third of Earth's total energy production goes towards removing carbon from the atmosphere while decarbonizing everything, a situation deemed nearly impossible. A second envisions that energy demand nearly collapses, decarbonization and carbon removal continue, and energy efficiency outpaces its historical rate of progress—all at the same time. The most likely one is that we fail to limit global temperature growth to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In the face of all this, then, it makes sense that Steinberger decided to join protests to block traffic. There’s a growing debate over the best way to pressure governments and corporate actors to act, from civil disobedience to destruction of fossil fuel infrastructure, but what is clear is that something needs to be done to mobilize more action lest we find ourselves in some of the worst climate scenarios.

A photo posted by Renovate Switzerland later showed Steinberger standing alongside fellow activists outside a police building. "Today's 7 sympathizers are free again, they're fine and will do it again as long as BR doesn't have a plan to #RenovateSwitzerland," the group said. 

Steinberger did not respond to Motherboard’s request for comment.

Categories: Tech News

Scientists Taught Brain Cells in a Dish to Play Video Games and It's Pretty Wild

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 11:42

The brain is often compared to a computer––after all, both use electrical signals to send messages—and recent research has sought to combine them. This is the basis behind DishBrain, the first real-time synthetic biological intelligence system that can harness the inherent adaptive computation of the neuron to perform goal-oriented tasks such as playing the legendary arcade game Pong

In a study that was published on Wednesday in Neuron, researchers wired up in vitro biological neuronal networks (BNNs) made from embryonic rodent and human-induced pluripotent stem cells to create the DishBrain. According to the study, the DishBrain system “can leverage the inherent property of neurons to share a 'language'’ of electrical activity to link silicon and BNN systems through electrophysiological stimulation and recording.” This system was then essentially plugged into a virtual recreation of the beloved table tennis-inspired video game Pong

“We chose Pong due to its simplicity and familiarity, but, also, it was one of the first games used in machine learning, so we wanted to recognize that,” Brett Kagan, Chief Scientific Officer of Melbourne-based biotech start-up Cortical Labs and one of the study’s authors, said in a press release

It’s not the first time brain-computer interfaces have been used, nor is it the first time they’ve been applied to video games. However, this study wanted to see if the jumbles of neurons could be induced to display signs of what the paper deems "sentience,” or “responsive to sensory impressions through adaptive internal processes." 

When provided with simple electrical sensory input and feedback, the neurons in the DishBrain system were able to adjust their firing activity and improve performance over time, demonstrating learning, according to the authors. In comparison, systems with a stimulus but no feedback showed no learning. Specifically, the study relies on the free energy principle or the idea that the brain (or in this case, groups of neurons) needs to change its actions to adapt to its environment to be more efficient. 

As the first of its kind, the DishBrain system is a promising demonstration of a synthetic-biological system that can learn over time. It also paves the way for future research on the brain, learning, and intelligence. 

Dr. Hon Weng Chong, Chief Executive Officer of Cortical Labs and study co-author, also noted that it could provide insight into debilitating conditions such as epilepsy and dementia. 

“This is brand new, virgin territory,” Chong said in a press release. “We want more people to come on board and collaborate with this, to use the system that we’ve built to further explore this new area of science.” 

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TikTok wants to be Amazon, plans US fullfillment centers and poaches staff

ARS Technica - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 11:33
TikTok wants to be Amazon, plans US fullfillment centers and poaches staff

Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto / Contributor | NurPhoto)

When Jeff Bezos started Amazon, his motto was “get big fast,” and apparently, ByteDance is applying the same ethos to set its meteorically popular social media platform, TikTok, hot on Amazon's heels. In the past few weeks, TikTok has posted a series of job listings that, as Axios reported, mark TikTok’s first major move into US e-commerce—unpredictably, by building Amazon-like fulfillment centers.

Job listings for "Fulfillment By TikTok Shop" seek to staff key roles like logistics solutions managers or operations research engineers to assist TikTok in building “international warehousing, customs clearings, and supply chain systems that support domestic e-commerce efforts in the US and cross-border e-commerce efforts,” Axios reported.

It looks like TikTok is building a US-based workforce capable of warehousing, delivering, and processing returns.

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Trump Will Finally Have To Face Questions About Alleged Rape, Judge Rules

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 11:28

Former President Donald Trump must sit for a deposition as part of a defamation lawsuit over his alleged rape of columnist E. Jean Carroll, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled Wednesday. 

And that deposition is coming up fast. The date is now set for Wednesday, Oct. 19—in just one week.

The ruling, delivered by U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan, means Trump is now all but certain to actually have to sit down and answer questions about the incident. 

Carroll accused Trump in 2019 of raping her in a New York department-store dressing room in the the mid-1990s. Trump denied the claim, and accused Carroll of inventing the accusation to help sell a book. Trump’s denial prompted Carroll to launch her lawsuit accusing Trump of defaming her with his denial. 

Trump attempted to delay the deposition, and Kaplan’s decision formally denied that request. Kaplan said he believed Trump’s appeal, which is still pending in federal court in Washington D.C., would not succeed. And in the meantime, forcing Trump to sit for the already-delayed deposition wouldn’t create an undue hardship for Trump, Kaplan said. 

Kaplan’s decision also included a reprimand for Trump’s legal team, which had described Carroll’s legal position as “asinine.” 

“The Court will not tolerate by counsel such inappropriate language again,” Kaplan said. 

Carroll is scheduled to be deposed this Friday. 

Trump, who once infamously boasted of grabbing women by their genitalia, has repeatedly denied allegations from over a dozen women who accused him of sexual misconduct. 

Trump’s failure to delay his deposition adds to his already towering tsunami of legal trouble. Trump faces a criminal investigation in Georgia over his alleged attempt to reverse his 2020 electoral defeat, and another from the Department of Justice over whether he improperly stored highly-sensitive classified information at his Palm Beach club. 

Trump has denied all wrongdoing and insisted that the swirl of accusations are all part of a Democratic “witch hunt.” 

Trump invoked his Constitutional Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during a recent deposition in New York, which took place as part of a sweeping investigation into potential fraud at his private company. Trump declined to answer questions even though he had previously said the Fifth Amendment was only for guilty people and “the mob.”

A defendant’s decision to invoke the Fifth Amendment cannot be used against them in a criminal trial. But it can be used to draw an adverse inference in a civil lawsuit. In other words, in a civil case, lawyers are allowed to infer that a defendant refused to answer questions because the truth made them look bad.

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Kids 5-11 can now get the bivalent, BA.5-targeting COVID booster

ARS Technica - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 11:17
Avery, 6, and Aidan, 11, got their second Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center on Friday, June 25, 2021, as part of the KidCOVE study evaluating the safety and efficacy of the Moderna vaccine in young children.

Enlarge / Avery, 6, and Aidan, 11, got their second Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center on Friday, June 25, 2021, as part of the KidCOVE study evaluating the safety and efficacy of the Moderna vaccine in young children. (credit: Getty | MediaNews Group)

The US on Wednesday expanded access to the "updated" bivalent COVID-19 boosters targeting the omicron subvariant BA.5, now allowing children ages 5 to 11 to get a fall booster shot. Previously only adults and kids no younger than 12 were eligible.

In quick succession, the Food and Drug Administration this morning announced the expanded authorization of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna bivalent COVID-19 boosters, with the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, endorsing that authorization—officially making the vaccines available to little arms—just a few hours later.

"This is a critical step in our fight against COVID-19," Walensky wrote in a tweet announcing her recommendation. "An updated vaccine can help bolster protection for our children this winter."

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Google wants to copy-paste your mainframe applications into its cloud

The Register - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 11:00
Preview service claims to eliminate risks of migrating mission-critical workloads

Google is preparing a mainframe modernization service that intends to simplify and lessen the risk of migrating mainframe workloads to the cloud - a complex process that can be frought with pitfalls.…

Categories: Tech News

Death to passwords: Beta passkey support comes to Chrome and Android

ARS Technica - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 10:38
Please don't do this.

Enlarge / Please don't do this. (credit: Getty Images)

Big Tech wants to kill the password, with "Passkeys" being the hot, new password replacement standard on the block. Passkeys are backed by Google, Apple, Microsoft, and the FIDO Alliance, so expect to see them everywhere soon. iOS picked up the standard in version 16, and now Google is launching passkey betas on Chrome and Android.

The passkey argument is that passwords are old and insecure. Computer passwords were originally conceived as an easy-to-remember secret for humans to type into a text box. As the need for greater security arose, password managers arrived, making it easy to save and recall your passwords. Now, instead of some human-memorable phrase, the ideal way to use a password is to have a computer generate some wild string of characters and never reuse that password anywhere else. The password manager revolution is all a hack, though, built on top of that original text box. We don't really need the text box anymore, and that's where the Passkey standard comes in.

The Passkey standard just trades cryptographic keys with the website directly. There's no need for a human to tell a password manager to generate, store, and recall a secret—that will all happen automatically, with way better secrets than what the old text box supported, and with uniqueness enforced. The downside is that, while every browser in the world supports showing that old text box, passkey support will need to be added to every web browser, every password manager, and every website. It's going to be a long journey.

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Fleshlight Now Lets You Customize Your Own Masturbator

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 10:32

Our top tier interests include thinking about Willem Dafoe’s penis, high-tech vibrators, and The Sims, so it was only natural that we would fall bum-over-noggin for the latest customizable sex toy experience from Fleshlight. The sexual wellness brand has become so iconic since its founding in Austin, Texas in 1995 that the name alone has become shorthand for all class-act male masturbators. As far as strokers go, Fleshlight’s are some of the easiest-to-clean male sex toys with designs ranging from what we like to call futuristic icy tube to the more classic, anatomically correct-ish toys such as the Stamina Training Unit, which has earned a 4-star average rating from over 1,800 reviews on Amazon. In the words of one customer, “I am absolutely hooked now. I will probably never use my hand again after today”; another fan writes that “[IT’S] THE BEST MASTUBATOR IN THE WORLD HANDS DOWN. AND YOU'LL LAST MUCH LONGER IN THE SACK.” Yeehaw.

There are clearly Fleshlights for every aesthetic, but did you know that you can also design your own? It won’t be a homemade Fleshlight per se, but you can design one from the ground up right from the comfort of your home. There’s an entire DIY section on the brand’s site that is dedicated to guiding you through the process of building a custom stroker. First, you select your color and your orifice, the latter of which rolls out two tantalizing options, “lady” or “butt.” Next, you get to have some real fun with the internal texture options; good luck trying to pick just one of the intricate, penis-tickling textures dubbed Original, Destroya, Heavenly, and Mini Lotus:

Screen Shot 2022-10-10 at 4.15.27 PM.pngPhoto courtesy of Fleshlight

You’re also given the option of topping off your order with some handy Fleshlight accessories, including drying machines, shower mounts, sleeve warmers, and more at the checkout line, where you get one final peep at your creation. Behold, my electric blue lady Destroya:

I haven’t felt such a powerful sense of satisfaction and pride since the days of my Giga Pet (RIP). Will I be taking my Build-A-Bear stroker on Tinder dates? Absolutely. Will I use it as a spyglass once the salvia hits? You bet. The sky's the limit for this $69 Destroya, because it strokes your pride and your [redacted].

Build your own Fleshlight 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

Nasal COVID vaccine blows clinical trial, flinging researchers back to the lab

ARS Technica - Wed, 10/12/2022 - 10:17
A man receives an H1N1 nasal flu spray vaccine at an urgent care center on October 16, 2009, in Lake Worth, Florida.

Enlarge / A man receives an H1N1 nasal flu spray vaccine at an urgent care center on October 16, 2009, in Lake Worth, Florida. (credit: Getty | Joe Raedle)

The nasal version of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine failed an early-stage clinical trial, dashing hopes for better infection prevention and forcing researchers to re-think the design.

Many experts have hyped the potential of nasal COVID-19 vaccines. They argue that snorting the shots could encrust the nasal mucous membranes with snotty antibodies—namely IgA—and other immune defenses that could blow away SARS-CoV-2 virus particles before they have the chance to cause an infection. Currently, the shots given intramuscularly in arms provide robust systemic immune responses that prevent severe disease and death but spur relatively weak antibody levels on mucous membranes and, relatedly, don't always prevent infection.

Researchers at the University of Oxford hoped to easily adapt their existing COVID-19 vaccine for such an infection-blasting schnoz spritz. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is a viral vector-based design, using a weakened, benign virus to carry the genetic code of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to human cells. The benign virus, in this case, is an adenovirus, a type best known for causing mild cold-like illnesses in humans, though the specific virus used in the vaccine was isolated from chimpanzees. (This vaccine has not been authorized in the US but is used in dozens of countries worldwide.)

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