The Apple Pips

Inside All Apple Products

Author: arstechnica (Page 1 of 1790)

AT&T and Comcast lawsuit has nullified a city’s broadband competition law

Enlarge (credit: Google Fiber)

AT&T and Comcast have convinced a federal judge to nullify an ordinance that was designed to bring more broadband competition to Nashville, Tennessee.

The Nashville Metro Council last year passed a "One Touch Make Ready" rule that gives Google Fiber or other new ISPs faster access to utility poles. The ordinance lets a single company make all of the necessary wire adjustments on utility poles itself, instead of having to wait for incumbent providers like AT&T and Comcast to send work crews to move their own wires.

AT&T and Comcast sued the metro government in US District Court in Nashville, claiming that federal and local laws preempt the One Touch Make Ready rule. Judge Victoria Roberts agreed with AT&T and Comcast in a ruling issued Tuesday.

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IceCube turns the planet into a giant neutrino detector

Enlarge / The IceCube facility sits at the South Pole above an array of photodetectors, drawn into the image above. (credit: IceCube Collaboration, U. Wisconsin, NSF)

Neutrinos are one of the most plentiful particles out there, as trillions pass through you every second. But they're incredibly hard to work with. They're uncharged, so we can't control their path or accelerate them. They're also nearly massless and barely interact with other matter, so they're hard to detect. All of this means that a lot of the predictions our physics theories make about neutrinos are hard to test.

The IceCube detector, located at the South Pole, has now confirmed a part of the Standard Model of physics, which describes the properties of fundamental particles and their interactions. According to the Standard Model, neutrinos should become more likely to interact with other particles as their energy goes up. To test this, the IceCube team used neutrinos thousands of times more energetic than our best particle accelerators can make and used the entire planet as a target.

Polar cube

IceCube consists of hundreds of detectors buried in the ice under the South Pole. These detectors pick up particles that move through the ice. In some cases, IceCube sees a spray of particles and photons when something slams into one of the atoms in the ice. In other cases, particles simply nudge the atoms, liberating a few photons. There's no neutrino source pointed at IceCube, though. Instead, it relies on natural sources of neutrinos. Some of these are produced far away in space, and travel great distances to Earth. Others are produced as cosmic rays slam into the atmosphere.

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As DOJ calls for “responsible encryption,” expert asks “responsible to whom?”

(video link)

In recent months, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has emerged as the government’s top crusader against strong encryption.

"We have an ongoing dialogue with a lot of tech companies in a variety of different areas," he recently told Politico Pro. "There [are] some areas where they are cooperative with us. But on this particular issue of encryption, the tech companies are moving in the opposite direction. They’re moving in favor of more and more warrant-proof encryption."

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How four Microsoft engineers proved that the “darknet” would defeat DRM

Peter Biddle speaks at the ETech conference in 2007. (credit: Scott Beale)

It's Thanksgiving week in the US, and most of our staff is focused on a morning coffee or Black Friday list rather than office work. As such, we're resurfacing this story of four Microsoft engineers who predicted the downfall of DRM more than a decade ahead of its time (their paper turned 15 this month). This story originally ran on November 30, 2012, and it appears unchanged below.

Can digital rights management technology stop the unauthorized spread of copyrighted content? Ten years ago this month, four engineers argued that it can't, forever changing how the world thinks about piracy. Their paper, "The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution" (available as a .doc here) was presented at a security conference in Washington, DC, on November 18, 2002.

By itself, the paper's clever and provocative argument likely would have earned it a broad readership. But the really remarkable thing about the paper is who wrote it: four engineers at Microsoft whose work many expected to be at the foundation of Microsoft's future DRM schemes. The paper's lead author told Ars that the paper's pessimistic view of Hollywood's beloved copy protection schemes almost got him fired. But ten years later, its predictions have proved impressively accurate.

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Tesla announces truck prices lower than experts predicted

Enlarge (credit: Tesla)

Steve Levine, an Axios journalist who wrote a whole book about battery technologies, wrote a few days ago that "experts estimate that the Semi could be $300,000." MIT Technology Review speculated that the Semi would cost even more: $400,000.

So a lot of people were surprised on Thursday when Tesla posted estimated prices for its Semi product. According to the company, a low-end truck with a 300 mile range will cost around $150,000, while you'll be able to get a range of 500 miles for $180,000. A premium "Founders Series" truck will cost $200,000.

That's more than the $120,000 cost of a typical conventional truck. But Tesla says that its truck will deliver $200,000 in fuel and maintenance cost savings over the life of the vehicle. If that's true, paying an extra $30,000 to $60,000 for the truck would be a bargain.

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