News & Updates

Lenovo is all set to unleash its first smartphone for the year 2017 in India, the Lenovo P2.  The smartphone is scheduled for an announcement this week, January 11 to be precise. It was revealed via the Lenovo India twitter handle. For the uninitiated, Lenovo P2 was launched in September last year and went on […]

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Enlarge / In 2002 the Hubble Space Telescope observed V838 Monocerotis, a suspected red nova. (credit: NASA)

Astronomers studying a binary star system about 1,800 light years from the Sun say they are increasingly confident that the two stars will merge into a luminous red nova in about five years. At its brightest, the spectacular explosion produced by this nova could reach an apparent magnitude of about 2.0, akin to a bright star in the night sky, making it visible even from most urban areas.

The team of astronomers, led by Calvin College’s Lawrence Molnar, presented their findings late last week at the American Astronomical Society’s annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas. The researchers have been studying the binary star system, KIC 9832227, since the year 2013, after they noticed the stars getting closer and closer together.

Based upon earlier observations of another binary star system that merged, V1309 Scorpii, the astronomers made predictions about the timing and distance between the two stars in the KIC 9832227 system as they spiraled in toward one another. Then, in 2015, the astronomers made observations that matched their exponential plot of light curves and orbital velocities. “The merger hypothesis has had predictive power and we currently have no alternative explanation for its timing behavior,” the authors state.

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Source: http://feeds.arstechnica.com/arstechnica/index/

VR guarantees to be a uber slant that overturns how we utilize PCs and out and out get along. So why’s it such a rest at the world’s greatest tech expo? We’re clearly alluding to CES 2017. Why did VR neglect to inspire at CES 2017? It’s a bummer. Be that as it may, we […]

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Apple is going through a rough patch. The Cupertino company fell short of its own projections and missed its annual sales and profit goals for the first time since 8 years. CEO Tim Cook’s total annual compensation has been reduced by 15%. iPhone sales hit a setback in fiscal 2016, forcing Apple to post its […]

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Under two months after the overall introduction, Mini NES Classic Edition gets hacked so as to include some more Nintendo Entertainment System games. These were the ones that are not highlighted in the Plug-and-Play default lineup console. Mini NES Classic Edition now has a far greater number of games than initially expected The programmers from […]

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Enlarge

Inside the heaving halls of the Las Vegas convention centre, which run thick with the smell of tired feet and one too many late nights spent at a roulette table, a familiar voice can be heard. In any booth, whether it’s LG’s sprawling temple to tech or one of the tiny makeshift stands from CES‘ smaller attendees, Amazon’s Alexa is ever present, taking commands from smart alec tech press desperate to spot a crack in her capabilities.

If, as its organisers would have you believe, CES remains the great predictor of tech trends for the year, then 2017 is when Amazon’s AI aide goes from humble home assistant to all-encompassing presence built into every gadget we own. From fridges, to cars, to smartwatches, and even robots, Alexa has quickly become the voice assistant du jour. For an online retailer with a spotty track record in tech (see: the Amazon Fire Phone), it’s an impressive and surprising achievement.

How useful Alexa will ultimately be inside the numerous devices she’s been unceremoniously shoved into remains to be seen. But as someone that’s very much on-board with Amazon’s assistant (every room in my house has an Echo or Dot that controls the lights, TV, and heating), I can see the benefits. LG’s new smart fridge, for instance, is an ideal home for Alexa. Fridges are always on, have a natural spot in one of the busiest rooms in the home, and—if you subscribe to Amazon Fresh at least—you can place an order the moment you discover month-old milk hiding at the back.

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Source: http://feeds.arstechnica.com/arstechnica/index/

Zak Mauger/LAT

With a total prize purse of $1 million, the Visa Vegas eRace, which took place on Saturday in Las Vegas, was the most lucrative sim racing competition yet. As well as big cash prizes—including $200,000 for first place in the final—it had plenty of support from the owners, teams, and sponsors of the Formula E racing series. And the event delivered racing excitement, with stiff competition between professional drivers and some of the world’s best sim racers. But the result wasn’t without controversy, and the sim of choice—rFactor 2—drew plenty of complaints from spectators.

All 20 professional Formula E drivers took part, along with 10 leading sim racers, one assigned to each of the 10 race teams. They raced on a virtual 3.13-mile (5km) circuit that snaked through the sights of the Las Vegas Strip. No one got to see the 20-turn track until the day before the race, and each would use an identically set-up Formula E car, identical PlaySeats and Thrustmaster wheels, and rFactor 2 as the platform. Broadcast live on Twitch, the racers put on an entertaining show, even if it wasn’t entirely trouble-free.

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Enlarge (credit: Techno Fishy)

When Mike Tigas first created the Onion Browser app for iOS in 2012, he never expected it to become popular. He was working as a newsroom Web developer at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, at the time, and wanted a Tor browser app for himself and his colleagues. Expecting little interest, he then put Onion Browser on the Apple App Store at just $0.99/£0.69, the lowest non-zero price that Apple allows.

Fast forward to 2016, and Tigas found himself living in New York City, working as a developer and investigative journalist at ProPublica, while earning upwards of $2,000 a month from the app—and worrying that charging for it was keeping anonymous browsing out of the hands of people who needed it.

So a few weeks ago, he made the app free. Since then, its popularity has exploded, with thousands of downloads recorded every day. The results of the recent US presidential election might have had something to do with this decision, and its impressive results, Tigas told Ars.

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Source: http://feeds.arstechnica.com/arstechnica/index/

Enlarge / We’re digging the cartoony poster made for this year’s Awesome Games Done Quick event. (credit: Kevin Fagaragan / Games Done Quick)

In the world of classic video games, bragging rights (and unforgettable documentaries) used to go to world-record high-score battles. That has shifted somewhat in recent years due to the world of speedrunning, in which gamers combine incredible skills and glitch trickery to squeeze short completion times out of their favorite old games.

While anybody new to the speedrunning world can pick through gaming-video archives on Twitch and YouTube to learn more, I personally recommend something with more excitement and fanfare: Awesome Games Done Quick. The annual, live-streamed gaming marathon launched on Sunday, and this seventh iteration will operate at pretty much all hours for the next six days, complete with a live studio audience in Herndon, Virginia, watching along the whole time.

That means you could be watching an amazing speedrun right now. Your work day may have just begun, but if AGDQ is running on time when this article publishes, a game streamer with the handle DevilSquirrel should have just begun playing a clever, little-known puzzle game from late 2014 called Kalimba. This game is a particularly good candidate for speedrunning, since it requires that its solo players manage two characters (and their very precise jumps and maneuvers) simultaneously.

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Source: http://feeds.arstechnica.com/arstechnica/index/

The ransomware attacks on poorly secured MongoDB installations have doubled in just a day.

A hacker going by the handle Harak1r1 is accessing, copying and deleting unpatched or badly-configured MongoDB databases and then threatening administrators to ransom in exchange of the lost data.

It all started on Monday when security researcher Victor Gevers identified nearly 200 instances of a


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