Biz & IT

Microsoft beat expectations with strong Windows revenue, but Xbox had a rough quarter

Enlarge / The 13.5-inch Microsoft Surface Laptop 3. Microsoft beat analyst expectations in its quarterly earnings report, achieving $33.06 billion in revenue in the start of its first 2020 fiscal quarter (which ended September 30) compared to a projected $32.23 billion. That’s a 14% increase over the same quarter the prior year. Much of the …

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White House kicks infosec team to curb in IT office shakeup

Enlarge / The White House is kicking its information security team to the curb. An internal White House memo published today by Axios reveals that recent changes to the information operations and security organizations there have left the security team in tumult, with many members headed for the door. And the chief of the White …

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Comcast’s “free” streaming box requires you to rent $13-per-month router

Enlarge / Comcast’s Flex streaming box and voice remote. Comcast last month announced that it was giving its Flex streaming device to Internet-only customers for free, but the announcement did not mention one important detail: the “free” device is only given to Comcast broadband customers who spend $13 a month to rent Comcast’s xFi Gateway …

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Robo-tank? Army picks contenders for robotic combat vehicle competition

Enlarge / Meet RoboTank, your future tank platoon mate. On October 18, the National Advanced Mobility Consortium—an organization of industry and academic researchers contracted by the US government to develop autonomous ground systems for the military—announced the selection of four companies to build prototype light robotic combat vehicles for the US Army. These are “non-developmental” …

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Verizon’s 5G network can’t cover an entire basketball arena, either

Enlarge / A Verizon booth at Mobile World Congress Americas in Los Angeles in September 2018. Verizon on Friday announced that its 5G network is now available in three NBA arenas and is coming to seven more by the end of the 2019-2020 basketball season. But there’s a big caveat, just like there is with …

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Yahoo is deleting all content ever posted to Yahoo Groups

Enlarge / The Yahoo Groups home page. Yahoo Groups is shutting down after more than 18 years, and the Verizon-owned company is deleting all content from the site in mid-December. “Yahoo has made the decision to no longer allow users to upload content to the Yahoo Groups site,” the company said in a notice to …

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Air Force finally retires 8-inch floppies from missile launch control system

Enlarge / Pour one out for the 8-inch floppy, retired from the Air Force after 50 years of service. CBS News Five years ago, a CBS 60 Minutes report publicized a bit of technology trivia many in the defense community were aware of: the fact that eight-inch floppy disks were still used to store data …

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AT&T hits online TV customers with second big price increase this year

AT&T is rolling out another batch of price increases for AT&T TV Now, the online streaming service formerly known as DirecTV Now. The AT&T TV Now “Plus” package that contains 45 channels and costs $50 a month will rise to $65, AT&T told Ars. Customers on some other plans will get a $10 increase, AT&T …

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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 chips in Linux devices. The vulnerability triggers a buffer overflow in the …

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T-Mobile and Sprint get FCC approval to merge in 3-2 party-line vote

Enlarge / Federal Communication Commission Republican members (L-R) Brendan Carr, Michael O’Rielly, and Chairman Ajit Pai participate in a discussion during the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 23, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The Federal Communications Commission has voted 3-2 to approve T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint, an FCC spokesperson confirmed to Ars today. Republican …

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Bringing in the big gun: Army paves way for “strategic cannon”

Enlarge / US Army troopers assigned to the Field Artillery Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, fire their M777 Howitzer. The Army is looking for a gun with a bit more range—over 1,000 nautical miles. In 2017, the US Army established a collection of cross-functional teams (CFTs) aimed at rapidly pushing forward key technologies to advance the …

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AT&T charged customers for a corporate tax that it doesn’t have to pay

Enlarge / An AT&T store in Chicago. AT&T charged customers in Portland, Oregon for a corporate tax that AT&T doesn’t actually have to pay. AT&T has agreed to provide refunds to customers who were wrongly charged the tax over the past few months, but it’s facing a lawsuit that seeks additional payments of at least …

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