Technology

How old, ambient Japanese music became a smash hit on YouTube

Enlarge / Record collector Mike Porwoll’s selection of vinyl records, fueled largely by YouTubecore discoveries. (credit: Mike Porwoll) One way to track the evolution of popular music is to examine its subgenres. Think of how “rock” begat “punk rock,” which begat “post-punk,” as a simple example. Electronic and ambient music include an even bigger universe …

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What we’re binging: TV, films, and streams that bring comfort in a weird year

Enlarge / A collage of our favorite binge-worthy series and streams in this weird locked-down year. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images / Respective Shows) As 2020 has dragged on, it has become harder to look at our living rooms as an escape. Ars Technica has long been a work-from-home enterprise, but even we no …

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AstraZeneca’s best COVID vaccine result was a fluke. Experts have questions

Enlarge / Vials in front of the AstraZeneca British biopharmaceutical company logo are seen in this creative photo taken on 18 November 2020. (credit: Getty| NurPhoto) Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford made an exciting announcement Monday: the COVID-19 vaccine they developed together appeared up to 90 percent effective at preventing disease. But …

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The Volkswagen ID.4 electric crossover gets its EPA range certification

Enlarge / The ID electric vehicles are the future for Volkswagen. (credit: Volkswagen) On Wednesday, Volkswagen announced that its forthcoming electric vehicle now has an official range. The US Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed that the ID.4 crossover will travel 250 miles (402km) on a single charge. At launch, the ID.4 will only be available …

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How one developer is sneaking emulators through a hole in the Xbox Store

How the RetroArch menu looks on the Xbox Series X. Modern gaming consoles have exploded with indie games and apps, but one category has always proven an exception: emulators. This week, however, Ars has learned of an apparent loophole in Microsoft’s Xbox Store system being used to distribute high-performing emulators on the platform. Microsoft usually …

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We don’t have a COVID vaccine yet, but distribution is already messy

Enlarge / A sign on the entrance to a pharmacy reads “Covid-19 Vaccine Not Yet Available,” November 23, 2020 in Burbank, California. (credit: Getty | Robyn Beck) Individual states will ultimately decide who will get the first 6.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, which will be distributed based on each state’s population rather than the …

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Comcast raising TV and Internet prices, including a big hike to hidden fees

Enlarge / Comcast Xfinity cable television installation truck parked on a street in front of a suburban home, San Ramon, California, May 17, 2018. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images) (credit: Getty Images | Smith Collection | Gado) Comcast is raising prices for cable TV and Internet service on January 1, 2021, with price hikes coming …

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Lord of the Rings, Hobbit 4K Blu-ray sets: Must-own home-theater stunners

In case you haven’t already purchased enough copies of these trilogies, Warner Bros. has you covered. [credit:Warner Bros. / Aurich Lawson ] Ever since its early ’00s conclusion, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy has remained the ultimate collision of nerd scrutiny and filmmaking excellence. It’s the exact kind of series that fans have …

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