Tech

Tech
The Pixel 4’s face unlock works on sleeping, unconscious people
Google's recently announced Pixel 4 has a new biometric feature—well, new for Google, at least—face unlock. Like most new biometric systems, that means we'll probably be writing about security flaws in its implementation, and the first one has already popped up before the phone is even out. You don't need to have your eyes open for the Pixel 4's face…

Tech
Explaining how fighting games use delay-based and rollback netcode
Ricky "Infil" Pusch is a long-time fighting game fan and content creator. He wrote The Complete Killer Instinct Guide, an interactive and comprehensive website for learning about Killer Instinct. This article was originally published there. At its core, netcode is simply a method for two or more computers, each trying to play the same game, to talk to each other…

Tech
Report: More than half of all US doctors get money from pharma each year
Drug makers and medical device makers are still spending between $2.1 billion and $2.2 billion a year to woo doctors into prescribing and using their products, according to a new investigation by ProPublica. Between 2014 and 2018, more than 600,000 of the approximately 1.1 million doctors in the US received at least one payment from industry in any given year.

Tech
A new pesticide is all the buzz
Bees’ fuzzy yellow bodies and hairy legs are custom-built for picking up pollen. Nothing can distribute the yellow powder more efficiently—something farmers that shell out for commercial beehives every growing season know all too well. And starting with this fall’s growing season, bees may be given some cargo to carry on their outbound journey to the blossoms: pesticides.

Tech
Air Force finally retires 8-inch floppies from missile launch control system
Five years ago, a CBS report publicized a bit of technology trivia many in the defense community were aware of: the fact that eight-inch floppy disks were still used to store data critical to operating the Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missile command, control, and communications network. The system, once called the Strategic Air Command Digital Network (SACDIN), relied on IBM…

Tech
Rocket Report: The Falcon 9 goes for four, Boeing’s big cost-plus deal
Welcome to Edition 2.19 of the Rocket Report! Plenty of news this week from the small side of things (two new Pegasus rockets are going on the market) to the bigger side of things (a brief stoppage of work on the Space Launch System rocket). Also, it looks like the Falcon Heavy will go for its fourth flight of the…

Tech
Google defends its use of Wi-Fi 5 in Nest Wifi
Google's new Nest Wifi is notable largely for two things—having a built-in smart speaker and digital assistant in every node and not using the newest Wi-Fi technology at all. We still don't know exactly what chipsets are used in the replacement for Google Wifi; Google's not telling, and the company has submitted confidentiality letters to the FCC that kept it…

Tech
Clone Rudd: Living with Yourself is great sci-fi in the Orphan Black mold
It's easy to criticize long-running sci-fi series for losing their way after a few seasons. The initial spark might fade; ridiculous plot twists might emerge; the whole thing might end with a painful hand-wave of logic. But let's not forget that these hit TV series, and the expectations assigned by their fans, all start with some incredible coincidences.

Tech
The world’s fastest ant clocks record speed of 108 times its own body length
Saharan silver ants routinely brave the blazing-hot midday sun in the desert to forage for food. That's a time of day when sand temperatures can be as high as 140°F (60°C), and many insects perish under those conditions, making it prime foraging time. But it's also risky for the silver ants. Perhaps that's why they are also one of the…