Category Archives: arstechnica

Ars To-Be-Read: Our most anticipated books for the second half of 2019

Ars To-Be-Read: Our most anticipated books for the second half of 2019

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Authors, publishers, and book nerds converge on New York City at the end of May each year for Book Expo America, and this year Ars was there to scope out some stories. The convention showcases books of all kinds—fiction, nonfiction, sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, YA, graphic novels, comics, and everything in between—making it an excellent opportunity to learn more about already anticipated titles and discover new releases debuting in the coming months.

After talking to numerous publishers and hearing a few authors speak (including Star Trek’s George Takei—check out the first pick in our list), we’re highlighting a few of our most anticipated reads for the rest of 2019. Most fit into the nonfiction, sci-fi, and fantasy genres, but some bleed into other genres as well. Add to your TBR list, e-reader, library app, or Audible wish list so you don’t miss any of these exciting upcoming releases.

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Report: Google argues the Huawei ban would hurt its Android monopoly

Illustration including a Huawei logo, a smartphone, and keyboard.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto )

The Trump administration would probably describe its Huawei export ban as a move that improves national security by keeping China’s pet telecom company out of the US market. According to a report from The Financial Times, Google’s recent discussions with the US government actually argue that the Huawei ban is bad for national security. Google is reportedly asking for an exemption from the export ban.

The argument, reportedly, is that Huawei is currently dependent on Google for its Android smartphone software, and that dependence is a good thing for the US. The Financial Times quotes “one person with knowledge of the conversations” as saying, “Google has been arguing that by stopping it from dealing with Huawei, the US risks creating two kinds of Android operating system: the genuine version and a hybrid one. The hybrid one is likely to have more bugs in it than the Google one, and so could put Huawei phones more at risk of being hacked, not least by China.”

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17 automakers tell Trump that fuel economy rollback needs to include California

17 automakers tell Trump that fuel economy rollback needs to include California

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

On Thursday, 17 automakers sent the White House a letter asking the Trump Administration to put the brakes on a fuel economy rollback, according to the New York Times.

Automakers including Ford, General Motors, Toyota, and Volvo reportedly asked the Trump Administration to go back to the negotiating table with California and a dozen other states following California’s lead in imposing fuel economy standards that were agreed upon during the Obama Administration.

In December 2016, the Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency finalized a set of fuel economy standards that would require automakers to meet a target of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. When the Trump Administration took over, it set in motion the process to make those fuel economy standards less stringent—after considerable lobbying from the automotive industry. Last summer, the EPA finally proposed a fuel economy rollback that would freeze target miles-per-gallon at 2020 levels, ignoring the Obama Administration’s final five years of increasingly stringent standards.

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The Lamborghini Huracán Evo is actually proof of intelligent design

  • Even supercars get midlife refreshes. This is the $261,000 Lamborghini Huracán Evo. [credit:
    Jonathan Gitlin ]

SANTA MONICA, Calif.—It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, but automakers usually reserve the “evo” badge for cars that are a little bit special. Already-fast race cars like the Peugeot 905 and Porsche 919 Hybrid turned into Evos that went even faster. The BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz 190E Evos brought some of the German touring car paddock to parking lots at law firms and trading desks at the end of the 1980s. Mitsubishi had an entire series of Evos, more famous now from starring in Gran Turismo than for years of rallying success. And this sentiment more than likely holds true of the Huracán Evo, the latest iteration of Lamborghini’s V10 supercar.

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Congress drops proposal to ban the IRS from competing with Turbotax

Congress drops proposal to ban the IRS from competing with Turbotax

Enlarge (credit: Kimberly White/Getty Images for TurboTax)

Lawmakers are planning to drop a proposal to prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from offering a free online tax-filing option, Politico and Pro Publica report. The provision was included in the Taxpayer First Act, which passed the House in April but has not passed the Senate. It was backed by the makers of private tax preparation software, including Intuit (makers of TurboTax) and H&R Block.

The IRS doesn’t currently offer a free online tax filing option. Instead, since 2003 the agency has had a standing deal with companies like Intuit and H&R Block to offer free versions of their products to customers with modest incomes and simple tax situations. In exchange, the IRS promised not to offer an online filing program of its own. Around 70 percent of all tax filers are eligible for the companies’ free versions.

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