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Red planet has a big core, complex crust

Enlarge / Some seismic waves bounce off Mars' core before reaching the InSight lander. (credit: Chris Bickel / Science) We've learned a lot about our planet's interior simply by tracking how the seismic energy released by earthquakes moves through or reflects off the different layers present beneath Earth's surface. For over a Martian year, we've...

Dread Pirate Roberts escaped development hell: Making Silk Road work as a film

Trailer for Silk Road. In the last decade or so of Ars, two pre-COVID news stories stand out to me as the "biggest"—the kind of stuff that captivates a general audience in the moment and will attract the eyes of Hollywood eventually. The first one happened back in 2013, when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified documents that showed...

Venmo gets more private—but it’s still not fully safe

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images) Venmo, the popular mobile payment service, has redesigned its app. That's normally news you could safely ignore, but this announcement is worth a closer look. In addition to making some navigational tweaks and adding new purchase protections, the PayPal-owned platform is finally shutting down its global social feed,...

Review: Old is a mostly solid film undermined by jarring twist ending

A family on a tropical holiday discovers that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly in Old, a new thriller from M. Night Shyamalan. Director M. Night Shyamalan has a well-known fondness for his signature surprise twist endings. When those twists work organically, we get classics like The...

The best deals from PlayStation’s and Xbox’s latest summer game sales

Enlarge / A number of big-name Xbox and PlayStation games are on sale this weekend. (credit: Ars Technica) This weekend edition of the Dealmaster is focused exclusively on video game discounts for PlayStation and Xbox owners, as both Sony and Microsoft kicked off wide-ranging sales on their respective online stores earlier this week. The former's...

Nuclear power’s reliability is dropping as extreme weather increases

Enlarge / Cooling water is only one factor that limits the productivity of nuclear power plants. (credit: Getty Images) With extreme weather causing power failures in California and Texas, it’s increasingly clear that the existing power infrastructure isn’t designed for these new conditions. Past research has shown that nuclear power plants are no...

Apple and Roku have newly upgraded streaming remotes—are they worth buying?

Enlarge / Apple's and Roku's new remotes are a welcome upgrade to their respective streaming experiences, and they're compatible with older models. (credit: Corey Gaskin) Apple and Roku know that remotes for streaming devices are important. It's why they recently inked a deal to put an Apple TV+ button on Roku remotes going forward. It's also why...

The Tokyo Olympics could be a COVID-19 “super evolutionary event”

Enlarge / Flag bearers Yui Susaki and Rui Hachimura of Team Japan lead their team out during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (credit: Matthias Hangst | Getty Images) Ten days before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, Kara Lawson, the coach of the United States women’s...

An explosive spyware report shows limits of iOS, Android security

Enlarge / A report this week indicates that the problem of high-caliber spyware is far more widespread than previously feared. (credit: Pau Barrena | Getty Images) The shadowy world of private spyware has long caused alarm in cybersecurity circles, as authoritarian governments have repeatedly been caught targeting the smartphones of activists, journalists,...

Star Trek: Lower Decks S2 trailer promises more scrappy underdog adventures

Our favorite ensigns are back with more wacky hijinks in the second season of Star Trek: Lower Decks. The animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks was one of our favorite TV shows of 2020, so we've been looking forward to its second season. We won't have long to wait. S2 drops next month on Paramount+, and the studio debuted its first trailer during...

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