Tech

Tech
Earth’s magnetic field may not be flipping
Going back millions of years into Earth's history, our planet's magnetic field has frequently gone its own way. The magnetic north pole has not only wandered through the north, but it has changed places with the south magnetic pole, taking up residence in the Antarctic. Going back millions of years, there's a regular pattern of pole exchange, with flips sometimes…

Tech
After data “clash” report, WhatsApp founder says he’s leaving Facebook
In the wake of a report that alleged a "clash" over Facebook data practices, WhatsApp co-founder and Facebook board member Jan Koum confirmed that he is leaving the company, effective immediately. "It's been almost a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it's been an amazing journey with some of the best people," Koum posted on his personal Facebook…

Tech
Phone maker settles charges it let partner collect customers’ text messages
Phone maker BLU is settling charges that it allowed a China-based partner to collect a mountain of customers' personal data—including full content of text messages, real-time locations, telephone numbers, contacts, and installed apps—despite promises it would keep such details private. Under a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission announced Monday, BLU agreed to implement a "comprehensive data-security program" to…

Tech
Boeing slams the Falcon Heavy rocket as “too small”
Recently, Boeing created a website called "Watch US Fly" to promote its aerospace industry—a grab bag of everything from Chinese tariffs to President Trump's visit to the company's facilities in St. Louis. Among the most intriguing sections is one that promotes the company's Space Launch System rocket and argues that SpaceX's Falcon Heavy booster is "too small" for NASA's deep…

Tech
A first look at Ubuntu 18.04 LTS desktop
Last week, Canonical released Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (codenamed "Bionic Beaver"), the latest long-term support version of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. Ars is working on a full review of the release, but I wanted to share some first impressions of the desktop, which is a major advance over the last LTS version.

Tech
Russia’s floating nuclear power plant is not the first of its kind
Try as I might, I'm not perfect. My goal is to get every detail in every story right, but sometimes a post gets through with a factual error. Such was the case last night, in a story about Russia's new floating nuclear power plant. Some background research led me to believe that it was the first of its kind.

Tech
TCL’s follow-up to last year’s popular Roku 4K TVs starts at $649, ships tomorrow
Chinese brand TCL has announced pricing for its new 6-Series Roku TVs, the follow-ups to last year's extremely popular P-Series. The 6-Series improves on last year's in terms of picture quality and comes in both 55-inch and 65-inch sizes—last year's models only came in a 55-inch configuration. The 55-inch model is currently priced at $649.99, and the 65-inch model comes…

Tech
As AI advances rapidly, More Human Than Human says, “Stop, let’s think about this”
comes along at a time when perhaps no reminder is necessary: leaving life to bots—whether that means machine learning, artificial intelligence, genuine human-like androids, etc.—might get messy for us humans. gives us one version of a sentient-machine uprising every Sunday, and news cycles like those involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook provide gentler reminders that creating increasingly intelligent tech platforms can…

Tech
A look at what the Windows 10 April 2018 update brings
After some delays, the newest major update to Windows 10, the April 2018 Update, has just scraped into April. It's available to download right now and will start distribution on Windows Update on May 8th. Even with its extended development period—a blue screen of death crash was discovered late in the process, forcing Microsoft to delay the release by a…