News & Updates

Enlarge / Parking information shown in Google Maps v9.44 beta.

You can already find out a lot about your commute before you even leave using Google Maps, and you soon may be able to find out how hard it will be to find a parking place once you arrive at your destination. Android Police is reporting a new feature present for some users in the Google Maps v9.44 beta that details parking information near your destination when you set driving directions.

When you first set a destination, a parking availability indicator appears next to your estimated driving time in the form of a “P” symbol. There appear to be three levels of parking availability: “easy,” “medium,” and “limited” for areas where parking is typically hard to come by. During your drive, you can expand the turn-by-turn directions to see a more detailed explanation of your destination’s parking situation. While the descriptions are not real-time indicators of the parking situation you’re driving into, they do tell you how easy it “usually” is to find a parking spot near your destination.

According to Android Police’s report, parking information currently shows up for public places like shopping centers and airports. There’s no telling how many users have access to the parking information feature yet, or where it’s being rolled out to first. We downloaded the v9.44 beta in the New York City/Long Island area to a Samsung Galaxy S7, and parking information did show up. Give it some more time if you’re using the v9.44 beta and don’t see parking information yet.

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Enlarge (credit: Mark Walton)

In 2016, just 10 Wii U games were released at retail. Of those, two were Lego games, one was Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the other was downright terrible (not to mention cross platform). Of the three Nintendo-made games released, only Twilight Princess HD—a slick port of 10-year-old game—impressed. That left just Atlus’ crossover RPG Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE to pick up the slack. And while it’s an excellent game, it’s also only of niche appeal to Atlus fans and Nintendo collectors that can spot a limited end-of-life pressing a mile off.

Which is all to say that the Wii U didn’t have a great year in 2016—and sadly, neither did Nintendo.

Losses, once unthinkable at a company that practically printed money with the colossal success of the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii, became common in 2016, kicking off with a £37 million first-quarter loss in July. For those that took a leap of faith with the Wii U (myself included), the lack of games and Nintendo’s increasingly shaky financial situation raised questions about its future. Alongside it all, of course, was the impending release of the hybrid handheld/home console Nintendo NX—now known as the Nintendo Switch—which promised to wash away the failures of the Wii U (and to a lesser extent, the slowing sales of the 3DS) with appealing hardware and a stellar lineup of new games.

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It’s 2017, and we’re not any further along with Wi-Fi security than we were 10 years ago. There are Intrusion Detection Systems and 2nd generation antivirus apps to protect us from some vulnerabilities but the simple fact that some people and businesses still don’t set their network up well in the first place.

Installing WiFi is like running Ethernet to your parking lot. It’s a cliche thing


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Most people hate typing long messages while chatting on messaging apps, but thanks to voice recording feature provided by WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, which makes it much easier for users to send longer messages that generally includes a lot of typing effort.

If you too have a habit of sending audio clip, instead of typing long messages, to your friends over Facebook Messenger, you are


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If you want to get the most out of your computer, you need to get the most out of your hard drive, where all your data is stored.

Today hard drives are larger than ever, so it makes sense for you to partition your hard disk to effectively use all of its space and manage all your important information.

Partitioning is also useful if you intend to install and use more than one operating system


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NASA

I was sitting with Apollo 7 veteran Walt Cunningham in his west Houston living room on Monday afternoon when his wife, Dot, stepped tentatively in. “I’m sorry for interrupting,” she said. “But Gene’s dead.”

She meant Eugene Cernan, the US Navy Captain who commanded Apollo 17 and the last person to walk on the Moon. He was 82 and had been ill for about six months.

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Enlarge / Brian Armstrong, as seen here in 2014, is the CEO of Coinbase. (credit: TechCrunch)

Coinbase’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, has estimated that it will cost the company between $100,000 and $1 million to defend its customers from what he described as an “overly broad subpoena.”

Last month, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that Coinbase could be ordered, at the request of the Internal Revenue Service, to provide years of data that would reveal the identities of all its active United States-based users.

The IRS is concerned that some of Coinbase’s customers may have used its service to circumvent or mitigate tax liability. Federal investigators say they need Coinbase’s records to be able to identify some Bitcoin wallets and to check against tax records to make sure Coinbase’s users are paying any and all proper taxes on their Bitcoin-related income.

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Enlarge / Ars’ Kyle Orland tries out the Nintendo Switch in its portable mode. (credit: Jennifer Hahn)

After multiple hands-on events around the world on Friday, press and fans alike now have an idea of how the Nintendo Switch plays and feels. It has games (though not many new ones). It has a nice screen and a slim portable form factor. It has an interesting controller proposition.

Underlying all of those, however, is a problem. The Nintendo Switch has an identity crisis. Worse, Nintendo is actively pumping fuel and fire into this problem. The company’s confusing—and apparently stubborn—system launch strategy revolves around a packed-in peripheral that adds cost, bulk, and use-case confusion, and it goes so far as to point out the system’s technical limitations.

This is the kind of problem that should seem incredibly familiar to fans of the gaming industry. That’s right: Nintendo is on the verge of its own Kinect-like moment.

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Windows 7’s extended support ends on January 14, 2020. The operating system left mainstream support in 2014, meaning that for the last two years—and next three—it only receives security fixes. But Microsoft is telling corporate customers that even with those security updates, the 2009 operating system isn’t really cut out for the world of today. According to Redmond, enterprises should plan to move to Windows 10 sooner, rather than later.

The reason, according to Markus Nitschke, head of Windows at Microsoft Germany, is that Windows 7 “does not meet the requirements of modern systems, nor the security requirements of IT departments.”

There are two elements to this. Companies buying new hardware using Intel’s Skylake or Kaby Lake processors have little choice but to use Windows 10. Installation and driver support for Windows 7 and 8.1 is limited to certain systems since changes in the Skylake platform, such as the integrated USB 3 controllers and processor-controlled power management, aren’t supported in Windows 7. PC OEMs can still make the older operating system work, but it requires extra effort on their part. AMD’s new Ryzen processors and Windows machines built using the Qualcomm 835 processor will similarly need Windows 10.

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Beware its furry cyber-wrath. (credit: Washington State)

WASHINGTON, DC—For years, the government and security experts have warned of the looming threat of “cyberwar” against critical infrastructure in the US and elsewhere. Predictions of cyber attacks wreaking havoc on power grids, financial systems, and other fundamental parts of nations’ fabric have been foretold repeatedly over the past two decades, and each round has become more dire. The US Department of Energy declared in its Quadrennial Energy Review, just released this month, that the electrical grid in the US “faces imminent danger from a cyber attack.”

So far, however, the damage done by cyber attacks, both real (Stuxnet’s destruction of Iranian uranium enrichment centrifuges and a few brief power outages alleged to have been caused by Russian hackers using BlackEnergy malware) and imagined or exaggerated (the Iranian “attack” on a broken flood control dam in Rye, New York), cannot begin to measure up to an even more significant cyber-threat—squirrels.

That was the message delivered at the Shmoocon security conference on Friday by Cris “SpaceRogue” Thomas, former member of the L0pht Heavy Industries hacking collective and now a security researcher at Tenable. In his presentation—entitled, “35 Years of Cyberwar: The Squirrels Are Winning”—SpaceRogue revealed the scale of the squirrelly threat to worldwide critical infrastructure by presenting data gathered by CyberSquirrel 1, a project that gathers information on animal-induced infrastructure outages collected from sources on the Internet.

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