Technology

The fight over fuel economy rules is getting messy

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images) Legal wrangling among the federal government, the state of California, and four automakers who—oddly—are asking for more stringent regulations got even more knotty this month, when the Department of Justice reportedly launched an antitrust probe into companies that struck a deal with California climate regulators. Now some members of Congress are …

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How a basement hacker transformed Donkey Kong for the Atari 2600

Enlarge / If you’re unfamiliar with the name, “Atari 2600,” fellow kids, have a gander at this piece of hardware. (It actually worked, promise.) (credit: Wahyu Ichwandardi / Getty Images) The following excerpt comes from Arcade Perfect: How Pac-Man, Mortal Kombat, and Other Coin-Op Classics Invaded the Living Room by David L. Craddock. Sickly green …

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Trampoline mirror may push laser pulse through fabric of the Universe 

Enlarge / Pictured: Definitely not a possible universe-altering fancy trampoline. (credit: Nazar Abbas Photography / Getty Images) Scientists want to rip the Universe apart. At least that is what a Daily Mail headline might read. Lasers can now reach power in the petawatt range. And, when you focus a laser beam that powerful, nothing survives: …

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New clues show how Russia’s grid hackers aimed for physical destruction

Enlarge (credit: Joshua Lott/Bloomberg via Getty Images) For nearly three years, the December 2016 cyberattack on the Ukrainian power grid has presented a menacing puzzle. Two days before Christmas that year, Russian hackers planted a unique specimen of malware in the network of Ukraine’s national grid operator, Ukrenergo. Just before midnight, they used it to …

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XDA-developers’ first look at Google Camera 7, leaked from the Pixel 4

Camera 7.0 looks to have a much-improved and more accessible way to manage shot settings. Camera 6.x obscured these settings in several separate menus behind a bunch of tiny, unintuitive icons at the top of the viewfinder. [credit: xda-developers.com ] Android developer site xda-developers got its hands on a pre-release copy of the Camera app designed …

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Meet the three North Korean hacking groups funding the country’s weapons programs

Enlarge / Hacking for their home country, we guess. The Trump administration is sanctioning three North Korean hacking groups widely accused of carrying out attacks that targeted critical infrastructure and stole millions of dollars from banks in cryptocurrency exchanges, in part so the country could finance its weapons and missiles programs. All three of the …

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CDC refines definition of vaping-linked illnesses, lowers case count

Enlarge / A man smokes an e-cigarette. (credit: Getty | Picture alliance) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated and revised the national tally of illnesses linked to the use of e-cigarettes, aka vaping, dropping the count from 450 possible cases to 380 confirmed and probable cases, the agency announced late Thursday. The …

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Volkswagen’s bold plan to create a new car operating system

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson) FRANKFURT, GERMANY—The cars we drive are increasingly defined as much by the software they run as their engines or chassis. It started slowly. Discrete electronic control units started to appear under the hood, controlling fuel management or anti-lock brakes. New functions required new code, run on new little black boxes, metastasizing …

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