Category Archives: Tech

AT&T will power Airstream RVs’ smart controls and mobile internet

Airstream revealed in early August that its 2019 Classic RVs will feature app-based smart controls and other high-tech features. Turns out the trailer-maker has teamed up with AT&T to provide the vehicles with LTE connectivity, allowing you to mo…

A new antenna using single atoms could usher in the age of atomic radio

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Enlarge / Zapping a vapor cell of excited cesium atoms with lasers makes an excellent detector of radio waves. (credit: Rydberg Technologies)

In the 1950s, atomic clocks revolutionized precision time-keeping. Now we may be on the verge of so-called “atomic radio,” thanks to the development of a new type of antenna capable of receiving signals across a much wider range of frequencies (more than four octaves) that is highly resistant to electromagnetic interference.

An antenna is typically a collection of metal rods that pick up passing radio waves and convert their energy into an electrical current, which is then amplified. One might argue that the good old-fashioned radio antenna has served us well since the dawn of the 20th century, so why do we need anything to replace it?

According to David Anderson of Rydberg Technologies, those antennae are wavelength-dependent, so their size depends on whatever wavelength of signal they are trying to measure (they need to be about half the size of whatever wavelength they are designed to receive). That means you need antennae of several different sizes to measure different radio frequencies.

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Greyhound joins the modern era with e-tickets on iPhones

Intercity bus service Greyhound might not be the quickest way of getting around, but purchasing tickets is at least a bit faster now thanks to the new (and arguably well overdue) e-ticketing feature on its iOS app. Passengers can buy tickets directly…

US Senate passes bill modernizing music licensing and payouts

The US Senate has unanimously passed the Music Modernization Act, which aims to bring the way the music business works in line with the digital age. Providing the bill is met with approval from the House, and is subsequently signed by President Donal…

Review: Ford crosses over into the mini-SUV segment with tiny EcoSport

Ford EcoSport on the road

Enlarge / The Ford EcoSport out on the highway. (credit: Ford)

The crossover and SUV market, being what it is, has been sliced and diced into discrete chunks. There are the behemoths: true full-size SUVs like the Chevy Suburban. There’s the luxury market, where the relevance of “utility” sometimes falls into question. Then there are the subcompacts, cars like the

A wee SUV

Ford

New to the US market in 2018, Ford’s bite-size crossover sits below the Escape in Ford’s soon-to-be-sedan-less lineup, and it has an attractive sticker price. The base model, the EcoSport S, starts at $19,995 and offers a 1.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected three-cylinder engine. The model we tested, the SES, begins at $26,880. Engine size is doubled, with a 2.0L four-cylinder direct-injection Ti-VCT engine. That’s paired with a six-speed transmission and all-wheel drive (on the SES only; the other three models are front-wheel drive). Safety-wise, the EcoSport has side air-curtain tech for both the front and back seats, roll stability control, and Ford’s SOS Post-Crash Alert System.

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Netflix comes to Sky Q boxes in November

Earlier this year, Sky announced that it would allow its customers to access Netflix through its set-top boxes. Now the company has revealed that the streaming giant will hit Sky Q boxes in November, and how exactly the whole thing will work.

American Airlines offers free live TV through Dish

You might not be stuck watching a handful of mediocre movies (or your offline copies of streaming shows) the next time you're on a long-haul flight. American Airlines and Dish recently started offering free live TV for domestic US flights aboard 100…

Mirai botnet creators praised for helping FBI, won’t serve prison time

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Enlarge / Fiber optic cables, center, and copper Ethernet cables feed into switches inside a communications room at an office in London, U.K., on Monday, May 21, 2018. (credit: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Over nine months ago, three men pleaded guilty to creating and operating the Mirai and Clickfraud botnets.

However, on Tuesday, after prosecutors announced that the men had provided “extensive” and “exceptional” assistance to federal law enforcement, a federal judge in Alaska sentenced each of them to just five years of probation—no prison time.

The men, Paras Jha, 22, of Fanwood, New Jersey; Josiah White, 21, of Washington, Pennsylvania; and Dalton Norman, 22, of Metairie, Louisiana, will continue to cooperate with the FBI.

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Sony joins the classic-console fray with $99 PlayStation Classic on Dec 3

On the eve of this year’s Tokyo Game Show, Sony took the wraps off what will likely be its biggest hardware launch of 2018: the PlayStation Classic.

This $99.99 system, shrunken roughly 45 percent from the original PS1′s size, will reach international store shelves on December 3. It will include two wired PlayStation 1 controllers (the same size as the originals, only now with USB plugs) and 20 pre-installed games. Five of those games have been confirmed, and it’s a solid starting set, in terms of popularity and acclaim: Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII, Bandai Namco’s Tekken 3 and Ridge Racer Type 4, and Sony’s Jumping Flash and Wild Arms.

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Russian surveillance plane got shot down by Syria—and Russia blames Israel

Four-engine military propellor plane.

Enlarge / An Ilyushin IL-20M intelligence collection aircraft, the type shot down Monday evening by Syrian air defenses. (credit: Kirill Naumenko)

On Monday night, a Russian Air Force Ilyushin IL-20 “Coot-A” electronic intelligence and radar reconnaissance aircraft monitoring the Idlib province of Syria was mistakenly shot down by Syrian air defense forces after an Israeli air strike on facilities in Latakia, Syria. The Russian aircraft went down in the Mediterranean, about 27 kilometers (17 miles) off the Syrian coast near Latakia, with a loss of all 15 crewmembers aboard. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the downing was the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances.” But the Russian Defense Ministry has laid the blame for the downing on the Israelis, saying that they failed to provide enough warning to the Russians to give the IL-20 an opportunity to steer clear of danger.

“The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces,” a Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson said. “As a consequence, the Il-20, which has a radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile.” The Russians also claimed Israel only warned them a minute before the attack.

Russian Army General Sergei Shoigu told Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in a phone call that the fault for the reconnaissance plane’s downing “rests entirely with the Israeli side.”

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