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Bandwidth is the techno-thriller novel that we need right now
I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. As I write these words, I have deliberately quit out of the app on my laptop so that I don’t have the temptation to toggle over to it, indulging an eight-second distraction between typed lines of this book review. In fact, in recent months I’ve tried to become more conscious of how and…

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Guitar-maker Gibson files for bankruptcy to leave its electronics ambitions behind
Other than the Fender Stratocaster, there are few electric guitars more steeped in blues and rock history than the Les Paul. It has famously been played by Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Pete Townshend, among many others. It might seem like cause for alarm, then, that that guitar's 116-year-old manufacturer, Gibson Guitar Corp.

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Report: Chinese government is behind a decade of hacks on software companies
Researchers said Chinese intelligence officers are behind almost a decade's worth of network intrusions that use advanced malware to penetrate software and gaming companies in the US, Europe, Russia, and elsewhere. The hackers have struck as recently as March in a campaign that used phishing emails in an attempt to access corporate-sensitive Office 365 and Gmail accounts.

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Ars Technica System Guide, Spring 2018: The show-your-work edition
In the December 2017 System Guide, we discovered the unexpected. Given the bevy of pre-built computing devices now available, there's a lot of debate and confusion about building one yourself these days. What's the goal behind a custom PC build in 2018? What makes a certain hardware choice "right" to support that?

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Don’t charge your brain implant during thunderstorms, docs warn after incident
Last year, futurist Elon Musk announced a new project: a medical research company called Neuralink set to develop a new generation of brain implant devices—which may, among other things, help us in the coming AI apocalypse. But evil robots aside, the devices first have to face a more nefarious foe: lightning.

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Google Daydream VR goes standalone with Lenovo’s Mirage Solo
Daydream, Google's foray into the crowded virtual reality space, has hitherto used headsets that are simply holsters, a way of holding an Android smartphone right in front of your face so that it works as a pair of VR goggles. This makes Daydream's cost of entry cheap—the headset can be a completely passive device with no electronics of its own—which…

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Alan Turing’s chemistry hypothesis turned into a desalination filter
Alan Turing is rightly famed for his contributions to computer science. But one of his key concepts—an autonomous system that can generate complex behavior from a few simple rules—also has applications in unexpected places, like animal behavior. One area where Turing himself applied the concept is in chemistry, and he published a paper describing how a single chemical reaction could…

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Elon Musk hung up on NTSB chief during call about Tesla crash probe
On April 11, Robert Sumwalt, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, called Tesla CEO Elon Musk to tell him that the federal agency was taking the unusual step of removing the company from its investigation into a fatal March 2018 Tesla X crash in California. Now, as reports, Sumwalt says that Musk abruptly ended the call, according to…

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Body-cam giant snaps up its biggest rival to create near-monopoly
Axon, the company formerly known as Taser, has acquired its largest rival, VieVu—setting up a near-monopoly in the market for body-worn cameras. While Axon already has contracts with most large cities in America, VieVu beat out Axon for a number of large contracts, including those for the New York Police Department, the Miami-Dade Police Department, and the Phoenix Police Department,…