Category Archives: arstechnica

Review: HP’s new Spectre x2 is a crazy value compared to the Surface Pro

Readers, meet HP’s new Spectre x2 convertible. (video link)

Convertibles and detachables are ideal for people who need versatility but only want one device. Microsoft’s Surface Pro ran on that idea and became a convenient multi-use product for many. However, the newest update to the Surface Pro left a lot to be desired, and other OEMs are jumping on this opportunity to out-Surface the Surface Pro.

HP’s updated Spectre x2 fine-tunes the original device’s design while giving the internals a power boost from Core M to Core i5/i7 for better productivity. The Spectre x2 is also more affordable than the Surface Pro and includes its keyboard and pen in the box rather than forcing customers to pay extra for them. HP’s Spectre x2 challenges the value of the Surface Pro while also trying to prove to users that you can make a two-in-one your main PC without much compromise.

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Waymo v. Uber: Alphabet CEO Larry Page will be deposed

Enlarge / Larry Page at an event in San Francisco in 2015. (credit: Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for Fortune)

A US magistrate judge has ruled (PDF) that Uber lawyers can depose Alphabet CEO Larry Page, and perhaps Alphabet Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, in regard to Waymo’s lawsuit alleging theft of trade secrets.

Waymo, Google’s self-driving car spinoff, sued Uber earlier this year, claiming that ex-Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski stole thousands of files while employed at Google. Uber has denied that any trade secrets ever made their way to Uber. Friday’s ruling on the depositions is part of ongoing discovery in the case, which is scheduled for an October trial.

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Over many objections, W3C approves DRM for HTML5

(credit: Bart Maguire)

A system for providing DRM protection to Web-based content is now an official recommendation from W3C.

In 2013, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the industry body that oversees the development of Web standards, took the controversial decision to develop a system for integrating DRM into browsers. The Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) would offer a way for content producers to encrypt and protect audio and video content from within their plugin-free HTML-and-JavaScript applications.

EME is not itself a DRM system. Rather, it is a specification that allows JavaScript applications to interact with DRM modules to handle things like encryption keys and decrypting the protected data. Microsoft, Google, and Adobe all have DRM modules that comply with the spec.

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Breaking into the Buran graveyard: Aging Soviet vehicles still impress

Exploring the Unbeaten Path

The Soviet Union’s Buran space shuttle program stands as one of the saddest episodes in aerospace history. After NASA began working on its space shuttle program in the early 1970s, the Soviet Union conceived of its own orbiter program, the eerily similar looking Buran shuttle. Ultimately, the vehicle made just one flight, an uncrewed mission in 1988. The Soviet Union’s collapsing economy doomed the program.

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2,939 new Teslas were registered in Hong Kong in March—none in April

Enlarge / Elon Musk (C), the co-founder of luxury all-electric US car maker Tesla, speaks at the StartmeupHK Venture Forum in Hong Kong on January 26, 2016. (credit: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

According to The Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong’s transportation department registered 2,939 new Teslas in March and zero in April after a new-car tax exemption for electric vehicles (EVs) was ended on April 1.

Hong Kong levies a new-car tax at the time of sale that can be quite hefty, in some cases as much as the car itself. The EV exception previously made Hong Kong one of Tesla’s most popular markets, but the autonomous territory decided to start imposing the tax on EVs again earlier this year as a way to combat traffic congestion. The WSJ says the decision is effective for one year, through March 2018, but the government has said it will review the policy before then.

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