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OUKITEL K10000 Max would be the third 10,000mAh battery driven smartphone after K10000 and K10000 Pro. From this month, the company began teasing the upcoming K10000 Max smartphone. Today, we have the entire specifications of the smartphone. The OUKITEL K10000 Max will be arriving with a 5.5-inch display that will deliver a full HD resolution […]

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Enlarge / The Denver Broncos’ offensive line collides with the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense November 27, 2016. (credit: Getty | Steve Nehf )

Signs of a degenerative brain disease were widespread among a sample of donated brains of former football players, researchers reported Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The finding bolsters the connection between playing American football and developing Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is linked to repeated blows to the head and was first described in boxers. However, the large study provides little new information about the disease, its progression, or prevalence.

The bank of 202 former football players’ brains is a “convenience sample,” meaning it’s a biased sampling not representative of football players overall. Instead, players and their families donated the brains after players experienced symptoms connected with CTE during life or the players were suspected or considered at risk of developing CTE. The athletes represented in the sample reported much higher rates of CTE symptoms in life than those found in surveys of living, retired National Football League (NFL) players. Also, the study only had pathology data from one time point—after death—so progression of the disease couldn’t be examined. And, last, the study did not include a sampling of brains from people who were not exposed to football—a control group.

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

Ars Technica Live #15, produced by Jennifer Hahn and filmed by Chris Schodt.
(video link)

Lisa Ling served almost two decades in the Air National Guard, working on communications technology and drones. After an honorable discharge, she discovered her work had led to the deaths of hundreds of people. On our latest episode of Ars Technica Live, she tells Ars editors Annalee Newitz and Cyrus Farivar how that experience turned her into a whistleblower.

Civilians know almost nothing about military drone programs, and Lisa told us that it wasn’t much better on the inside. She joined the National Guard to be a nurse, but her technical skills quickly got her moved into a role working with computers and comms equipment. After a few years of that, she was reassigned to work on drones. But she didn’t realize, at first, what she was building.

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

NASA

Scott Parazynski has chased extremes all of his life. Not in a reckless way, perhaps, but rather because his life’s goal seems to have been to experience just about as much crazy stuff that one human possibly could. As a result, it seems plausible that Parazynski has experienced more extreme environments than any human ever has—and he has written a new book that brings the reader along for the ride: The Sky Below.

Consider the following places he has visited in his lifetime:

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

Chinese authorities have recently initiated a crackdown on the operators of a massive adware campaign that infected around 250 Million computers, including Windows and Mac OS, across the world earlier this year.

The adware campaign was uncovered by security researchers at Check Point last month after it already infected over 25 million computers in India, 24 million in Brazil, 16 million in


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Finally, Adobe is Killing FLASH — the software that helped make the Internet a better place with slick graphics, animation, games and applications and bring online video to the masses, but it has been hated for years by people and developers over its buggy nature.

But the end of an era for Adobe Flash is near. Adobe announced Tuesday that the company would stop providing updates and stop


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Enlarge / WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 19: Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice as Secretary of Energy, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Capitol Hill January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images) (credit: Getty Images)

Last week, US Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry took a phone call from two men he thought were the Ukrainian Prime Minister and his translator. But the 22-minute-long phone call was actually two Russian pranksters, Vladimir “Vovan” Kuznetsov and Alexei “Lexus” Stolyarov, otherwise known as the “Jerky Boys of Russia,” in the style of an American prank call duo from the 1990s, according to Bloomberg.

The Washington Post confirmed the conversation with the Department of Energy. In audio originally posted on a Russian website and reposted elsewhere, the dialogue touched on a Baltic Sea pipeline that would pump Russian gas, as well as an expansion of coal and oil and gas interests in Ukraine. Early in the conversation, Secretary Perry tells the pranksters that “the [Trump] administration is broadly supportive of sanctions against Russia at this particular point in time,” and later he offers that “negotiation is always possible” on coal exports to Ukraine.

The Secretary also advised the “Prime Minister” that, without transparency about regulations and geological data about where wells have been or could be drilled, it would be hard for the US to help oil and gas companies expand exploration in Ukraine.

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A blog post by EFF attorney Daniel Nazer about his selection for the “Stupid Patent of the Month” resulted in an Australian lawsuit and a $750,000 damage demand. EFF has challenged the Australian order in US federal court. (credit: EFF)

An Australian patent-holding company that’s filed dozens of federal lawsuits can’t seem to find its way into court, now that it’s facing off with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Global Equity Management SA, or GEMSA, spent much of 2016 filing lawsuits against big companies in the Eastern District of Texas. It claimed various major websites—including Expedia, Zillow, and Airbnb—infringe its patents on “virtual cabinets.”

The company’s intensive campaign of lawsuits won it a special place in the pantheon of patent-holders, when GEMSA became the subject of EFF’s long-running series, “Stupid Patent of the Month.”

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

Enlarge / Texas’ Eddie Bernice Johnson. (credit: Getty Images/Tom Williams)

Lamar Smith, head of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, has a penchant for releasing letters in which he complains about issues related to climate change. He has targeted everyone from state attorneys general who are investigating fossil fuel companies to NOAA scientists (and their e-mails).

But Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), the ranking Democrat on the committee, has released a letter or two herself, including one in which she sharply questioned whether Smith was appropriately overseeing scientific research. Now, Johnson and two other Democrats on the committee have turned their attention to Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The subject? Pruitt’s plan to have the EPA engage in a show debate over our understanding of climate science.

For the letter, Johnson was joined by Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), fellow members of the Science Committee. The letter cites a Reuters report about Pruitt’s idea of creating a “red team” with the goal of poking holes in our current scientific understanding of climate change. The letter notes that Pruitt has claimed that “there are lots of questions that have not been asked and answered” about climate change, though he hasn’t clearly specified what those are.

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Enlarge / Enjoy your little squabbles. You foolish men know nothing about AI. (credit: Universal Pictures)

Back in 2015, a group of business leaders and scientists published an “open letter” about how controlling artificial superintelligence might be the most urgent task of the twenty-first century. Signed by luminaries like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, the letter has defined debates over AI in the years since. Bill Gates said in a Reddit AMA that he agrees with the letter. But, at last, there is a high-profile skeptic: Facebook giant Mark Zuckerberg, who has just come out strongly against the idea that AI is a threat to humanity.

At a backyard barbecue over the weekend, Zuckerberg fielded questions from Facebook Live. One asked about AI, and the social media mogul launched into a passionate rant:

I have pretty strong opinions on this. I am optimistic. I think you can build things and the world gets better. But with AI especially, I am really optimistic. And I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios—I just, I don’t understand it. It’s really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible

In the next five to 10 years, AI is going to deliver so many improvements in the quality of our lives… Whenever I hear people saying AI is going to hurt people in the future, I think, “yeah, you know, technology can generally always be used for good and bad, and you need to be careful about how you build it, and you need to be careful about what you build and how it is going to be used.”

But people who are arguing for slowing down the process of building AI, I just find that really questionable. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that.

Zuckerberg was clearly referring to Musk and Gates here, and he is trying to set himself up in the reasonable alternative position. He mentioned that AI is right on the cusp of improving healthcare with disease diagnosis and saving lives with self-driving cars that get into fewer accidents. Musk has already replied dismissively on Twitter, saying that Zuckerberg has little understanding of AI.

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