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The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in proves competent and calming
This might be a dreadful admission to make, but until late December, I'd never driven a Toyota Prius. It's not that we've ignored the hybrid in our coverage, it's just that it's always been someone other than me driving it. To rectify that error, I spent a week with a 2020 Prius Prime Limited, the $33,500* range-topping plug-in version of…

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Modeling what would happen to the UK if the Gulf Stream shuts down
While we track climate change as a gradual rise in temperatures, most of its effects are going to be anything but gradual: an increased risk of extreme temperatures and storms, extended droughts, expanded fire seasons, and so on. There's also the risk of pushing the climate past some tipping points, which can change the state of entire areas of the…

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How Google researchers used neural networks to make weather forecasts
A research team at Google has developed a deep neural network that can make fast, detailed rainfall forecasts. The researchers say their results are a dramatic improvement over previous techniques in two key ways. One is speed. Google says that leading weather forecasting models today take one to three hours to run, making them useless if you want a weather…

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Anti-vaxxers celebrate victory in NJ as pro-vaccine bill falls apart
Amid raucous protest from hundreds of anti-vaccination advocates, state lawmakers in New Jersey have abandoned legislation to ban vaccination exemptions based on religious beliefs. Further ReadingFrenzied anti-vaxxers deter NJ lawmakers from voting on religious exemptionsThe bill, S2173, collapsed in the state Senate Monday as lawmakers realized it was a single vote shy of passage, according to The New York Times.

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Unable to unlock gunman’s iPhones, the FBI (once again) asks for Apple’s help (updated)
Update: Attorney General William Barr ratcheted up the standoff when, according to the , he declared the shooting an act of terrorism. Barr issued an extraordinarily high-profile call for Apple to provide access to the gunman's two iPhones. He also said that to date Apple has provided no “substantive assistance” in doing so.

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Exploit that gives remote access affects ~200 million cable modems
Hundreds of millions of cable modems are vulnerable to critical takeover attacks by hackers halfway around the world, researchers said. The attacks work by luring vulnerable users to websites that serve malicious JavaScript code that's surreptitiously hosted on the site or hidden inside of malicious ads, researchers from Denmark-based security firm Lyrebirds said in a report and accompanying website.

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On eve of PS5, Sony confirms it will skip E3 for second year in a row
On Monday, Sony Interactive Entertainment confirmed that it will, for the second year in a row, not attend the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The news came in a statement sent to Ars Technica by a SIE representative: After thorough evaluation, SIE has decided not to participate in E3 2020. We have great respect for the ESA as an organization, but we…

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CBS renews Star Trek: Picard for a second season
Further ReadingBoldly going where no palate has gone before: A Star Trek wine tastingThe announcement was made at the Television Critics Association (TCA), a recurring event at which television networks present their slate of programming to advertisers, the press, and partners. In a -themed panel at the event, the show's cast and showrunner talked about what viewers can expect from…

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Crew Dragon faces its last big test before human spaceflight on Saturday
Over the weekend, SpaceX performed a static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch its Crew Dragon on a key test this coming Saturday. The company is aiming for the top of a four-hour launch window, which opens at 8am ET (13:00 UTC), to conduct its in-flight abort test.