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85 Google Play apps with 8 million downloads forced fullscreen ads on users
Researchers found 85 Google Play apps with more than 8 million downloads that forced users to view fullscreen ads. The apps, which posed as photography and gaming programs, contained a family of adware that was highly disruptive to end users. Once installed, the apps displayed ads in full screen—a setting that forced users to view the entire duration of an…

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How malformed packets caused CenturyLink’s 37-hour, nationwide outage
CenturyLink's nationwide, 37-hour outage in December 2018 disrupted 911 service for millions of Americans and prevented completion of at least 886 calls to 911, a new Federal Communications Commission report said. Back in December, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called the outage on CenturyLink's fiber network "completely unacceptable" and vowed to investigate.

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Neanderthals suffered from a veritable epidemic of swimmer’s ear
Swimmer's ear happens when constant exposure to cold water irritates tissues in the ear canal, causing bony growths to form. As its name implies, it commonly shows up in people who spend a lot of time in the water. But it also shows up in almost half of Neanderthal skulls from Eurasia, according to a recent study.

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Why one PC developer turned down the security of Epic’s exclusivity offer
Further ReadingEpic’s store continues to absorb PC gaming exclusives large and smallIf you've been following the PC gaming space in recent months, you know Epic has been throwing a lot of money around to secure exclusives big and small for its Epic Games Store (EGS) on PC.

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Vaping linked to 94 mysterious cases of severe lung disease in 14 states
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Saturday that it’s investigating a puzzling burst of severe lung-disease cases linked to e-cigarette product use or “vaping.” Further ReadingE-cig co. put Viagra, Cialis in vape liquids—the FDA is throbbing madBetween June 28 and August 15, health officials have counted 94 probable cases of severe lung illness in 14 states, the CDC…

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Patent troll sues over “patent troll” label, loses
Automated Transactions Limited (ATL) is a small firm known for its aggressive enforcement of broad patents related to automated teller machines. Numerous critics labeled ATL a patent troll, and in 2016 the firm sued several of them in New Hampshire state courts, arguing that the label was defamatory. On Friday, the New Hampshire Supreme Court dismissed ATL's lawsuit.

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After canceling one upgrade, Minecraft gets another—and it’s Nvidia RTX exclusive
On Monday, Mojang and Nvidia kicked off this week's Gamescom gaming conference by unveiling a substantial update for the blocky, mega-popular game : a visual patch coming exclusively to owners of Nvidia RTX graphics cards for the game's Windows 10 version. This comes seven days after another similar patch, which would have been free for all Xbox and Windows players,…

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Guidemaster: Navigating the hazy world of gaming laptops in 2019
Welcome to Ars Gaming Week 2019! As a staff full of gamers and game-lovers, we'll be serving up extra reviews, guides, interviews, and other stories all about gaming from August 19 to August 23. Putting together an ideal gaming desktop computer isn't always the easiest task, but at least it's a controlled kind of chaos.

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Mapmaker: The Gerrymandering game that puts the fun in undermining democracy
cardboard.arstechnica.com. AUSTIN, Texas—Josh Lafair hasn't even voted yet, but he probably knows more about gerrymandering than most. To start, given that his family's from Austin, Texas, politics has never been a taboo subject around the Lafair dinner table. And in 2017, after the Lafairs watched another uncompetitive congressional election play out in their oddly shaped district (TX-10), Josh and his…