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Apple plans to add 20,000 jobs, new campus in the US

Engadget - 1 hour 9 min ago
Apple is determined to show that it's investing in the US economy despite its tax moves and foreign manufacturing. The company has announced a slew of investments it claims will pump a total of $350 billion into the US economy, highlighted by its fo...
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YouTube snags the rights to Eminem-produced satirical film ‘Bodied’

Engadget - 1 hour 12 min ago
YouTube has acquired the rights to Eminem-produced Bodied, a satirical film that takes place within the Oakland hip-hop scene. It's co-written and directed by Joseph Kahn -- director of 2004's Torque as well as music videos for everyone from Taylor S...
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Delays to NASA’s commercial crew program may be worse than feared

Ars Technica - 1 hour 17 min ago

Enlarge / Despite her smiles here, NASA's commercial crew program manager has concerns about schedules for Boeing and SpaceX. (credit: NASA)

Publicly, both Boeing and SpaceX maintain that they will fly demonstration missions by the end of this year that carry astronauts to the International Space Station. This would put them on course to become certified for "operational" missions to the station in early 2019, to ensure NASA's access to the orbiting laboratory.

On Wednesday, during a congressional hearing, representatives from both companies reiterated this position. "We have high confidence in our plan," Boeing's commercial crew program manager John Mulholland said. SpaceX Vice President Hans Koenigsmann said his company would be ready, too.

However their testimony before the US House Subcommittee on Space was undercut by the release of a report Wednesday by the US Government Accountability Office. The lead author of that report, Christina Chaplain, told Congress during the same hearing that she anticipated these certification dates would be much later. For SpaceX, operational flights to the station were unlikely before December, 2019, and Boeing unlikely before February, 2020, Chaplain said.

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Meteor lights up southern Michigan

Ars Technica - 1 hour 30 min ago

Enlarge / That's no moon!

Early last night local time, a meteor rocketed through the skies of southern Michigan, giving local residents a dramatic (if brief) light show. It also generated an imperceptible thump, as the US Geological Survey confirmed that there was a coincident magnitude 2.0 earthquake.

The American Meteor Society has collected more than 350 eyewitness accounts, which ranged from western Pennsylvania out to Illinois and Wisconsin. They were heavily concentrated over southern Michigan, notably around the Detroit area. A number of people have also posted videos of the fireball online; one of the better compilations is below.

A compilation of several videos from Syracuse.com.

The American Meteor Society estimates that the rock was relatively slow-moving at a sedate 45,000km an hour. Combined with its production of a large fireball, the researchers conclude it was probably a big rock. NASA's meteorwatch Facebook page largely agrees and suggests that this probably means that pieces of the rock made it to Earth. If you were on the flight path, you might want to check your yard.

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Google says fix for WiFi bug on Cast devices is coming tomorrow

Engadget - 1 hour 33 min ago
Just a day after reports of users losing WiFi connections due to Google devices with the "Cast" feature, the company has responded. According to an entry on Google's support page, the company has identified the issue and will release a fix to roll ou...
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Xfinity customers will get a ton of Winter Olympics content next month

Engadget - 1 hour 39 min ago
The Olympics offer a unique technical challenge for TV broadcasters and cable companies every few years. With the 2018 Winter Olympics just a few weeks away, Comcast has announced its plans to offer a pretty huge variety of coverage for its Xfinity T...
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Selling used PC games through the blockchain? We’re not buying it

Ars Technica - 2 hours 4 min ago

Enlarge / A foolproof plan! (credit: Aurich / Getty)

Companies in industries ranging from iced tea to image processing to fast-casual dining are jumping on the recent blockchain-mania as a way to try to revolutionize often-moribund businesses. Now, startup Robot Cache wants to bring that same technology to bear in revolutionizing the way we buy and sell PC game downloads, with the backing of game industry luminaries like InXile's Brian Fargo and Atari founder Nolan Bushnell.

Robot Cache CEO Lee Jacobson said in a press release that "expertly leveraging the power, flexibility, safety, and transparency of blockchain technology" will bring benefits like lower fees for game publishers and the ability to resell digital purchases for gamers. But despite the buzzword-heavy promise, there are a lot of risks involved that have us skeptical of whether Robot Cache can actually deliver on its vision.

How it works

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Facebook adds livestream features to old videos

Engadget - 2 hours 9 min ago
Facebook says its Live videos are wildly popular and generate around six times the interaction other videos do. That's why it's testing a new feature that adds the elements responsible for making Live a more engaging, interactive experience to non-Li...
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'chaiOS' bug can cause iMessage to crash with a text message

Engadget - 2 hours 31 min ago
There's a new bug floating around called "chaiOS" that appears to be a basic GitHub link. However, when you text it to a person via the iMessage app (whether on iOS or MacOS), it will crash the app and possibly cause the device to freeze and restart....
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How gold nanoparticles may make killing tumors easier

Ars Technica - 2 hours 43 min ago

Enlarge / Nanoparticles (black dots) sit in the remains of a cell they've helped kill. (credit: University of Michigan)

One of the ways to kill a cancer is to cook it, since heat can kill cells. The trick, of course, is to only cook the cancer and not the surrounding tissue. To do this, you need to have an accurate idea of the extent of a tumor, a precise mechanism for delivering heat, and a damn good thermometer. It may surprise you to learn that gold nanoparticles do a pretty good job of achieving the first two. The third—a good thermometer—has eluded researchers for quite some time. But, now it seems that gold nanoparticles may provide the full trifecta.

Drowning a tumor in molten gold

Some cancers—the ones most people imagine when they think of cancer—form lumps of tissue. At some point, these lumps require a blood supply. Once supplied with blood vessels, the tumor can not only grow, but it has a readily available transport system to deliver the cells that can spread the cancer throughout the body. For the patient, this is not good news.

The development of a blood supply opens up new imaging and treatment options, though. Cancer tumors are not well-organized tissues compared to healthy tissue like muscle or kidney tissue. So there are lots of nooks and crannies in a tumor that can trap small particles. And this disorganization is exactly what researchers hope to take advantage of. Gold nanoparticles are injected into the blood stream; these exit the blood supply, but, in most of the body, they get rapidly cleaned out. Except that, inside tumors, the nanoparticles lodge all over the place.

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GAO expects delays in SpaceX and Boeing astronaut flight certification

Engadget - 2 hours 50 min ago
It's no secret that NASA is pretty far behind schedule when it comes to returning to human spaceflight. Currently it's working with two contractors, Boeing and SpaceX, for eventual crewed flights. Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Tec...
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Google's Project Fi now offers unlimited data (with a catch)

Engadget - 3 hours 9 min ago
Google's Project Fi can make sense if you only use a smattering of data and want to save money, but it hasn't been an especially good deal if you consume gigabytes like they're going out of style. Thankfully, there's now an unlimited option... of sor...
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Google tool lets you train AI without writing code

Engadget - 3 hours 34 min ago
In many ways, the biggest challenge in widening the adoption of AI isn't making it better -- it's making the tech accessible to more companies. You typically need at least some programming to train a machine learning system, which rules it out for co...
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If you can’t beat them… Lamborghini joins the SUV set

Ars Technica - 4 hours 5 min ago

Jim Resnick

Let me pre-empt you.

"Why?" you ask. "You're Lamborghini, not Range Rover!"

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Lyft and Aptiv will partner on self-driving cars beyond CES

Engadget - 4 hours 8 min ago
This year at CES, ride-hailing app company Lyft partnered with Aptiv, an autonomous tech company, for a pilot program involving self-driving cars. Modified BMWs were available for on-demand rides to up to 20 destinations within Las Vegas as part of t...
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Bitcoin tumbles below $10,000, half of its peak value

Engadget - 4 hours 28 min ago
Bitcoin has crashed to as low as $9,500, falling below $10,000 for the first time since November and neatly halving its December 19th peak of $19,000, according to Coinbase. It has declined steadily since CES 2018 started, thanks to reports that Sou...
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Cryptocurrency bloodbath continues as bitcoin falls below $10,000

Ars Technica - 4 hours 30 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Oliver Mallich)

Bitcoin fell below the psychologically significant level of $10,000 on Wednesday morning, marking a second day of double-digit declines for the virtual currency. One bitcoin is now worth $9,700, less than half its peak value of $19,500 achieved just last month.

Bitcoin's fall is part of a broader cryptocurrency sell-off. For the second day in a row, every major cryptocurrency has suffered double-digit declines over the previous 24 hours.

Ethereum is now worth $810, down 42 percent from its peak above $1,400 just four days ago. Litecoin has fallen to $150—down 58 percent from its peak of $360 on December 19. Bitcoin Cash, a rival version of bitcoin, was worth more than $4,000 on December 20. It's now down to $1,500, a 65 percent decline.

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Amazon renews ‘The Tick’ for a second season

Engadget - 4 hours 46 min ago
Amazon decided to take on the quirky superhero spoof The Tick in 2016 despite the fact that the last live-action version of the comic was cancelled before it could complete a single season. But that risk seems to be paying off because Amazon has now...
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YouTube taps Kevin Durant for more sports-focused video

Engadget - 5 hours 5 min ago
Kevin Durant's YouTube channel is extremely popular; it's a place his fans can go to learn more about the basketball star through fan Q&As and take a peek inside his workout sessions. That's why it's not a huge surprise that, as CNET reports, You...
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YouTube raises subscriber, view threshold for Partner Program monetization

Ars Technica - 5 hours 15 min ago

(credit: Flickr: Rego Korosi )

After a tumultuous 2017, YouTube is making yet another change to its guidelines surrounding channel monetization and advertiser approval. In posts to its Advertiser and Creator blogs, YouTube details how it's changing the threshold for monetization through its YouTube Partner Program (YPP), from 10,000 lifetime views to 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months. That means that small creators who already passed the previous 10,000 lifetime view milestone, but not the new goals, will be removed from the YouTube Partner Program starting February 20 and will be unable to monetize their videos in that manner,

As of yesterday, any channels that newly apply for YPP will have to pass this new threshold of success in order to monetize videos. On its Creators blog, YouTube explains the new required milestones "will allow us to significantly improve our ability to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to them (and away from bad actors). These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone."

The company made a point of noting the types of channels that will be affected by the new rules. "Though these changes will affect a significant number of channels, 99 percent of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90 percent earning less than $2.50 in the last month. Any of the channels who no longer meet this threshold will be paid what they’ve already earned based on our AdSense policies."

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