News & Updates

(credit: Ron Amadeo)

BlackBerry is reportedly having some issues in its transition to Android. A report from CNET quotes a “high-level executive” at AT&T as saying “The BlackBerry Priv is really struggling.”

The carrier exec gave CNET a big list of reasons why the Priv was failing. Both companies expected to see demand for an Android phone with a physical keyboard, but that demand never materialized. BlackBerry apparently has a problem appealing to the general public, with the report saying that “most of the buyers were BlackBerry loyalists.” Those die-hard BlackBerry users struggled to adapt to Android, which the executive says led to the higher returns.

Blackberry’s Q4 results came out in April, and they show lagging performance, too. The company sold 600,000 handsets for the quarter, which was short of Wall Street’s expected 850,000 units.

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NASA administrator Charles Bolden, left, and US Representative Mike Honda, center, tour the NASA Ames SpaceShop. (credit: NASA)

Although it has been less than thrilled by NASA’s effective taboo on lunar exploration, Congress has adopted a good-cop approach toward the agency’s asteroid-then-Mars human spaceflight plans during the last six years. In hearings, members have suggested that the space agency reconsider its human mission to an asteroid and perhaps work with Europe on some tentative plans to send humans to the surface of the Moon. But NASA hasn’t acquiesced to this gentle cajoling.

During the recent appropriations process in the House, as Ars reported in May, members exercised the power of the purse to more forcefully nudge NASA back toward the Moon as an interim step to Mars. Lawmakers zeroed out funding for the asteroid mission and encouraged NASA to “develop plans to return to the Moon to test capabilities that will be needed for Mars, including habitation modules, lunar prospecting, and landing and ascent vehicles.” After discussions with lawmakers, aides, and officials in the aerospace community since then, it has become clear this is no transient movement. Rather, the Moon-then-Mars plan has bipartisan support.

NASA’s prohibition on lunar exploration dates to 2010, when President Obama set NASA’s human exploration program on a course to visit an asteroid by 2025 and then on to Mars in the 2030s. As for the Moon, then the short-term goal of NASA’s human spaceflight program, Obama said, “We’ve been there before.” Now House members see the end of Obama’s presidency looming and have found his go-it-alone approach toward Mars probably will not be supported by the next President—Republican or Democrat.

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Controlling sensitive data is a continuing challenge for enterprises. Hackers are responsible for more than their fair share of data leaks, but accidental disclosure by employees of things like social security numbers and banking details is also significant: folders get shared with too many people, e-mail addresses are fat-fingered to inadvertently include people outside the organization, and so on. The use of cloud-based apps like Salesforce, Google Apps, and DocuSign makes control of data even more complex, as even on-premises data can be inadvertently placed online. This isn’t always done with the IT department’s knowledge or oversight, as users turn to useful services to help them do their jobs without involving IT.

Mountain View-based startup Egnyte is hoping to offer a solution with its new Egnyte Protect service. It provides access control and will soon enable selective encryption and control over data residency and retention, spanning both local storage and common cloud services. Protect uses features of the files—things like “created by the finance department” or “contains a social security number”—to apply rules to them. For example, any files containing social security numbers can be blocked from public sharing, or any file with financial data must be encrypted.

Egnyte Protect is a software-as-a-service offering, using cloud-provided compute resources to continuously classify and analyze documents and file activity. Rules are a mix of IT-configured manual policies and automated rules from large-scale data analytics. These rules can be somewhat flexible; for example, sending an administrative alert only on the second attempt to share private data (so that accidental clicks don’t necessarily cause an escalation and intervention). The rules are applied regardless of whether files reside on premises or in the cloud and are used both for local applications and online ones.

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Yahoo’s once-iconic San Francisco billboard, pictured here in 2011. (credit: Scott Schiller)

Verizon is submitting a $3 billion (£2 billion) bid to purchase Yahoo’s core Internet business, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cites an anonymous source. Though at least one more round of bidding is expected, Verizon is reportedly the leading contender.

A Verizon spokesperson declined comment when contacted by Ars this morning.

Yahoo has been shopping itself around for months in an attempt to sell off just about everything except its valuable stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. Yahoo is also looking to sell other assets including real estate and patents, but Verizon reportedly isn’t interested in buying those.

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Sometimes I receive emails from our readers who wanted to know how to hack Facebook account, but just to delete some of their messages they have sent to their friends or colleagues mistakenly or under wrong circumstances like aggression.

How to hack a Facebook account? It is probably the biggest “n00b” question you will see on the Internet.

The solution for this query is hard to find — but


(credit: Neilson Barnard / Getty Images)

Samsung may release two smartphones with bendable OLED screens in 2017, according to a new report. “People familiar with the matter” claim that one model is a flip phone that folds in half, not unlike Samsung’s China-only SM-W2016, while another will feature a 5-inch display that “unfurls” into a tablet-sized 8-inch panel. The devices could appear as soon as February 2017, when Mobile World Congress takes place in Barcelona.

While the report may seem a little far fetched, this is not the first time that Samsung has been linked to flexible displays. Reports on “Project Valley”—the apparent codename for the devices—date back as far as early 2015, although those reports initially claimed Samsung was aiming for a 2016 release. Instead, Samsung released the well-received Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, with the latter featuring a curved AMOLED display.

Samsung did, however, showcase its foldable display technology at SID Display Week 2016, with Slashgear capturing the display in action. According to the site, when fully opened the 5.7-inch 1080p display is just 0.3mm thin, and can be rolled into a tube with a 10mm radius. The display shown didn’t feature a touch layer, which would likely add to the overall thickness, as well as reduce its flexibility.

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A provocative white hat hacker who has previously disclosed vulnerabilities in both California’s ObamaCare portal and FireEye’s core security product has now revealed a serious flaw in the Council of Better Business Bureau’s (CBBB) Web-based complaints application, which is used by nearly a million people annually to file complaints against businesses.

The CBBB criticized the “unauthorized application vulnerability test” but said in a statement that they believe “the motivation was not malicious,” and are “not pursuing the matter further.”

The CBBB is the umbrella organization for the independent local BBBs, the not-for-profit consumer advocacy groups that operate in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The BBBs attempt to mediate disputes between consumers and businesses, and also accredit businesses based on how well the business meets the BBB’s “Standards of Trust.”

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(credit: Ravi Kochhar)

One of the undying, zombie-like arguments against climate change is that you can’t trust climate scientists because they started out making doom and gloom claims about global cooling in the 1970s. But this, along with many other things comedian Dennis Miller has said on late night talk shows, needn’t be taken seriously.

By the time fears of an ice age reached the public’s attention, there was a long history of concerns about warming. The idea that burning fossil fuels would warm the planet can be traced back to an 1896 paper by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius. In the 1930s, Britain’s Guy Callendar concluded that global warming was already underway. So it seems a bit odd that anyone worried about cooling. What was really going on back in the ’70s—both in science and in the media?

Reaching maturity

For climate science, the 1970s were a pivotal era. Even though the discipline was born much earlier, it’s probably fair to say that climate science grew up in that decade.

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Last month, it was reported that the European Commission is planning to impose a record antitrust fine of about 3 BILLION euros (US$3.4 Billion) on Google for violating antitrust laws.

Not just Europe, Google also lost an anti-monopoly appeal in Russia two months back against ruling for violating its dominant position with the help of its Android mobile OS by forcing its own apps and services


From GPS system to satellite radio to wireless locks, today vehicles are more connected to networks than ever, and so they are more hackable than ever.

It is not new for security researchers to hack connected cars. Latest in the series of hackable connected cars is the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

A security expert has discovered vulnerabilities in the