Tech

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…

Tech
Unpatched Linux bug may open devices to serious attacks over Wi-Fi
A potentially serious vulnerability in Linux may make it possible for nearby devices to use Wi-Fi signals to crash or fully compromise vulnerable machines, a security researcher said. The flaw is located in the RTLWIFI driver, which is used to support Realtek Wi-Fi cards in Linux devices. The vulnerability triggers a buffer overflow in the Linux kernel when a machine…

Tech
Physicists propose listening for dark matter with plasma-based “axion radio”
Dark matter is the mysterious substance that comprises about 23 percent of all the matter and energy in our universe, but thus far it has eluded physicists' many attempts to directly detect it. Maybe instead of looking for a dark matter particle, they should be looking for something more akin to a wave—a hypothetical dark matter candidate known as an…

Tech
Senators propose near-total ban on worker noncompete agreements
A bipartisan pair of senators has introduced legislation to drastically limit the use of noncompete agreements across the US economy. "Noncompete agreements stifle wage growth, career advancement, innovation, and business creation," argued Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) in a Thursday press release. He said that the legislation, co-sponsored with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.

Tech
So long, supply drops: Call of Duty gets rid of randomized loot boxes
In a major reversal for the franchise, Activision has announced that the upcoming will not include a loot-box system. Specifically, the company says that "all functional content that has an impact on game balance, such as base weapons and attachments, can be unlocked simply by playing the game." Loot boxes have been a staple of the franchise since 2014's ,…

Tech
Privacy bill would give FTC actual authority, land lying executives in jail
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) would like tech and data companies to mind their own business and get their noses out of yours. To that end, he has introduced a bill that would penalize them, potentially with jail time for executives, for not doing so. The proposed bill (PDF), actually called the "Mind Your Own Business Act of 2019," is in…

Tech
Two papers that we’ve covered have been retracted—here’s why
Science is an activity performed by humans, so it's inevitable that some of the scientific papers we cover will end up being wrong. As we noted yesterday, the cause can range from factors completely outside of a researcher's control—like OS implementation oddities—to mistakes and errors or even intentional fraud. In some cases, the problems are minor or peripheral to the…

Tech
Juul halts sales of some flavors—but not the ones teens use most
Leading e-cigarette maker Juul on Thursday announced that it is immediately suspending the sale of some of its flavored products—Mango, Fruit, Creme (crème brulee), and Cucumber. Notably, mint and menthol flavored products are not included in the pack of extinguished flavors. Further ReadingTeen vaping surge: 25% of 12th graders report recent use, 11% daily useThe move is ostensibly to ease…

Tech
After flooding US with opioids, industry giants offer $50 billion settlement
Three of the nation’s largest drug distributors plus two big-name drug makers have reportedly offered a deal worth nearly $50 billion to settle more than two thousand opioid-crisis lawsuits, consolidated in federal court in Cleveland, Ohio. The first trial for the cases is scheduled to begin opening statements Monday. The deal includes around $22 billion in cash, plus drugs and…