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22 apps with 2 million+ Google Play downloads had a malicious backdoor
Almost two dozen apps with more than 2 million downloads have been removed from the Google Play market after researchers found they contained a device-draining backdoor that allowed them to surreptitiously download files from an attacker-controlled server. The 22 rogue titles included Sparkle Flashlight, a flashlight app that had been downloaded more than 1 million times since it entered Google…

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Amazon “automated machine” punctures bear spray can, 24 employees hospitalized
On Wednesday, 24 Amazon employees working in a Robbinsville Township, New Jersey, warehouse were sent to five different area hospitals after a 9oz canister of bear spray was deployed. Early reports that the canister was punctured by an Amazon robot have not been confirmed by either Amazon or the Township's communication official, John Nalbone.

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YouTube tells impersonation victim: No, you’re not being impersonated
How long does it take someone to have a YouTube impersonation claim reviewed, confirmed, and enforced? That kind of data is hard to piece together across such a giant video-sharing platform. But in the case of one user, Penguin Books author Celeste Ng, the process took a little over one full day—and required a big pile of public shaming in…

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Move over AlphaGo: AlphaZero taught itself to play three different games
Google's DeepMind—the group that brought you the champion game-playing AIs AlphaGo and AlphaGoZero—is back with a new, improved, and more-generalized version. Dubbed AlphaZero, this program taught itself to play three different board games (chess, , and shogi, a Japanese form of ) in just three days, with no human intervention. A paper describing the achievement was just published in .

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NASA’s next Mars rover will use AI to be a better science partner
Welcome to Ars UNITE, our week-long virtual conference on the ways that innovation brings unusual pairings together. Each day this week from Wednesday through Friday, we're bringing you a pair of stories about facing the future. Today's focus is on AI in manufacturing and space—stand by to blast off! NASA can't yet put a scientist on Mars.

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Edge dies a death of a thousand cuts as Microsoft switches to Chromium
Further ReadingReport: Microsoft is scrapping Edge, switching to just another Chrome cloneAs reported earlier this week, Microsoft is going to use Google's Blink rendering engine and V8 JavaScript engine in its Edge browser, largely ending development of its own EdgeHTML rendering engine and Chakra JavaScript engine.

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Apple’s anticipated ECG app rolls out today in watchOS 5.1.2
The newest update for Apple Watches is out now, bringing a highly anticipated feature to Series 4 devices. Apple pushed out watchOS 5.1.2 today, which includes its ECG app for monitoring irregular heartbeats. Further ReadingApple Watch Series 4 review: A bigger, better watchOS experience Apple Watch Series 4 devices all have built-in electrodes that can measure electrocardiograms, or ECGs.

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AT&T/Verizon lobby misunderstands arrow of time, makes impossible claim
The telecom industry lobby group that represents AT&T and Verizon has consistently claimed that net neutrality rules hurt broadband investment. Yet the same lobby group has released data showing that fiber deployment grew significantly while net neutrality rules were in effect. Even more surprising: the lobby group, USTelecom, also recently claimed that an increase in broadband network investment that happened…

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Bethesda’s attempt to fix a Fallout 76 blunder leaks angry shoppers’ PID [Updated]
Bethesda's latest video game, , launched last month with its share of uneven reviews and responses (including our own), and chief among players' complaints is that the always-online game is quite buggy. But to borrow a term that Bethesda itself used to describe the game's pre-release beta period, is facing a new "spectacular issue," albeit one that's technically outside of…