Amazon Chooses 20 Finalists for Second Headquarters

The selection process for Amazon’s new HQ is winding down, as the winner is expected to be announced later this year. The majority of favored cities are in the Midwest and the South and East Coasts: these include Indianapolis, Miami, and Philadelphia. Detroit, Phoenix, and San Diego have been rejected.



“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough — all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” Ms. Sullivan, Amazon’s head of economic development, said in a statement. “Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Amazon Chooses 20 Finalists for Second Headquarters

Twitter Alerts Nearly 680,000 Users They May Have Been Duped by Russian Accounts

Twitter admitted on Friday evening that its investigation into suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections had turned up what it believes were over 50,000 automated accounts linked to the Kremlin—and that it had identified 677,775 other accounts that “followed one of these accounts or retweeted or…

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Source: Gizmodo – Twitter Alerts Nearly 680,000 Users They May Have Been Duped by Russian Accounts

'New California' Movement Wants To Create a 51st State

PolygamousRanchKid, Ayano, and an anonymous reader all shared the same story. Tribune Media reports:
A group has launched a campaign to divide California into two states. It isn’t the first attempt to split California, but unlike a failed campaign in 2016 to divide California into six states, the campaign to create New California would split the state into one made up of rural counties and another made up of coastal counties.
USA Today provides some context:
Breaking up California remains no easy task: A formal secession means getting approval from both Congress and California’s legislature itself. But that hasn’t stopped folks from trying. Hundreds of times… Monday’s declaration of “the State of New California” marked the latest in more than 200 long-shot efforts to split the Golden State. All so far have failed.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – ‘New California’ Movement Wants To Create a 51st State

Boeing Unveils "Son of Blackbird" Hypersonic Spy Plane Concept

Boeing has offered another peek at the successor to its legendary Blackbird SR-71 spy plane, which could achieve speeds of over 2,000 MPH and outrun surface-to-air missiles. The SR-72 will be even faster, capable of reaching Mach 6, or 4,600 MPH.



“Although I can’t go into specifics, let us just say the Skunk Works team in Palmdale, California, is doubling down on our commitment to speed,” Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of aeronautics at Lockheed Martin, told the SAE International Aerotech Congress and Exhibition. “Simply put, I believe the United States is on the verge of a hypersonics revolution.”

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Boeing Unveils “Son of Blackbird” Hypersonic Spy Plane Concept

New Antifungal Provides Hope in the Fight Against Superbugs

dryriver shares news about the ongoing war against drug-resistant fungus. ScienceDaily reports:
Microscopic yeast have been wreaking havoc in hospitals around the world — creeping into catheters, ventilator tubes, and IV lines — and causing deadly invasive infection. C. auris is particularly problematic because it loves hospitals, has developed resistance to a wide range of antifungals, and once it infects a patient doctors have limited treatment options.
But in a recent Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy study, researchers confirmed a new drug compound kills drug-resistant C. auris, both in the laboratory and in a mouse model that mimics human infection. The drug works through a novel mechanism. Unlike other antifungals that poke holes in yeast cell membranes or inhibit sterol synthesis, the new drug blocks how necessary proteins attach to the yeast cell wall. This means C. auris yeast can’t grow properly and have a harder time forming drug-resistant communities that are a stubborn source of hospital outbreaks… The drug is first in a new class of antifungals, which could help stave off drug resistance.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – New Antifungal Provides Hope in the Fight Against Superbugs

'Destiny 2' has another problem with diminishing rewards

Bungie previously promised to both tackle complaints about diminishing rewards in Destiny 2 and to be more transparent going forward, but it’s apparent the studio still has some work to do. Players have discovered that the game is throttling the num…

Source: Engadget – ‘Destiny 2’ has another problem with diminishing rewards

This Discounted Switch Carrying Case Can Hold Your Dock and Cables Too

While most Nintendo Switch carrying cases are designed for people using the console in portable mode, this AmazonBasics case is large enough to carry the dock and cables as well, so you could set it up at your friend’s house, or in a hotel room. It’s been as low as $16 in the past, but $20 is $10 less than usual.

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Source: Gizmodo – This Discounted Switch Carrying Case Can Hold Your Dock and Cables Too

Ubisoft: Why We Love PC

Ubisoft has rounded up its staff for a video touting the benefits of the PC platform. One point stressed is that the PC leads in innovation and offers the most diversity, whether it be genre or community input, such as mods. Commenters say that Ubisoft should try proving their love with better-optimized ports and losing DRM that is no longer warranted.



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Source: [H]ardOCP – Ubisoft: Why We Love PC

Virtual Reality Users Watch Helplessly as Another User Has In-Game Seizure

VR is typically about having fun, but the technology can also be a window into the unnerving. Case in point: a number of VRChat users witnessed someone having a seizure this week, and none of them could do anything about it. Due to full body-tracking tech, the player’s avatar could be seen on the floor convulsing.



A handful of users thought it was funny and kept goofing off, but the majority seemed genuinely concerned for this person’s well-being. They ask if he’s okay, they ask players with flashing avatars to step back, and when the person is finally able to respond they give them good advice: call for help immediately and take a break.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Virtual Reality Users Watch Helplessly as Another User Has In-Game Seizure

The Latest Images From Krypton Spotlight The Visual Design of The Doomed Planet

Krypton is often depicted as either a lavish, ornate world at the pinnacle of its opulence, or as a utilitarian utopia. But rarely, if ever, is it considered as a place where people actually live their lives—eat, drink, work, maybe even have a family. Syfy’s new drama, Krypton, has put a lot of thought into how to…

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Source: Gizmodo – The Latest Images From Krypton Spotlight The Visual Design of The Doomed Planet

Red Hat Reverts Spectre Patches to Address Boot Issues

An anonymous reader quotes BleepingComputer:
Red Hat is releasing updates for reverting previous patches for the Spectre vulnerability (Variant 2, aka CVE-2017-5715) after customers complained that some systems were failing to boot. “Red Hat is no longer providing microcode to address Spectre, variant 2, due to instabilities introduced that are causing customer systems to not boot,” the company said yesterday. “The latest microcode_ctl and linux-firmware packages are reverting these unstable microprocessor firmware changes to versions that were known to be stable and well tested, released prior to the Spectre/Meltdown embargo lift date on Jan 3rd,” Red Had added.
Instead, Red Hat is recommending that each customer contact their OEM hardware provider and inquire about mitigations for CVE-2017-5715 on a per-system basis. Besides Red Hat Enterprise Linux, other RHEL-based distros like CentOS and Scientific Linux are also expected to be affected by Red Hat’s decision to revert previous Spectre Variant 2 updates, so these users will also have to contact CPU/OEM vendors.
At least one site “characterized the move as Red Hat washing its hands of the responsibility to provide customers with firmware patches,” writes Data Center Knowledge, arguing instead that Red Hat “isn’t actually involved in writing the firmware updates. It passes the microcode created by chipmakers to its users ‘as a customer convenience.'”
“What I would have said if they’d asked us ahead of time is that microcode is something that CPU vendors develop,” Jon Masters, chief ARM architect at Red Hat, told Data Center Knowledge in a phone interview Thursday. “It’s actually an encrypted, signed binary image, so we don’t have the capability, even if we wanted to produce microcode. It’s a binary blob that we cannot generate. The only people who can actually generate that are the CPU vendors.”

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Source: Slashdot – Red Hat Reverts Spectre Patches to Address Boot Issues

The Controversy Around This YouTuber's Request for a Free Hotel Room Will Make Your Head Hurt

YouTubers, Instagram devotees and other vaguely influential social media “influencers” don’t have the greatest reputation as of late. That’s with fairly good reason, because whenever one of their controversies explodes into the real world it’s usually some kind of horrifying thing like Logan Paul’s Aokigahara forest…

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Source: Gizmodo – The Controversy Around This YouTuber’s Request for a Free Hotel Room Will Make Your Head Hurt

EXT4 vs. XFS vs. Btrfs vs. F2FS With Linux 4.15 Comparing KPTI/Retpoline

The latest in our benchmarking with KPTI and Retpoline for Meltdown and Spectre mitigation is comparing the performance of the EXT4, XFS, Btrfs and F2FS file-systems with and without these features enabled while using the Linux 4.15 development kernel.

Source: Phoronix – EXT4 vs. XFS vs. Btrfs vs. F2FS With Linux 4.15 Comparing KPTI/Retpoline

iPhone X May Be "End of Life" When Replacements Ship

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that the iPhone X will be terminated as early as this summer due to waning interest. Older models are typically retained at a lower price point, but this may be the first time that Apple moves forward with a reduced range. Despite the poor reception, the X line is expected to continue with a revised “Plus” model.



KGI securities believes that Apple will ship around 18 million of the iPhone X in the first calendar quarter of 2018. Contrary to other predictions based on the supply chain, KGI says that the iPhone X has not been as impactful in China as predicted because of the notch holding the sensors for the device, giving consumers the impression that there is less usable space than on the iPhone 8 Plus.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – iPhone X May Be “End of Life” When Replacements Ship

Apple Might Discontinue the iPhone X This Summer

BGR shares a startling prediction from Ming-Chi Kuo, the Apple analyst at KGI securities:
Kuo — who we should note has an exemplary track record with respect to iPhone rumors — adds that Apple may opt to discontinue the current iPhone X entirely if sales are underwhelming. “KGI also expects a trio of iPhone models in the fall of 2018,” AppleInsider notes. “He predicts the iPhone X will be ‘end of life’ in the summer of 2018, instead of being retained as a lower-cost option in the following year.” If Kuo’s projection pans out, this would represent a marked shift in Apple’s iPhone sales strategy. Going back nearly a decade, Apple has always positioned older iPhone models around as a wallet-friendly alternative for users who weren’t keen on paying a premium for Apple’s latest and greatest.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Apple Might Discontinue the iPhone X This Summer