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      Beeper Mini for Android sends and receives iMessages, no Mac server required / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 5 December - 15:00

    Beeper messages looking iMessage-like blue on an Android phone

    Enlarge / A Pixel 3, messaging a savvy iPhone owner, one with the kinds of concerns Beeper hopes to resolve for its customers. (credit: Kevin Purdy)

    In the past week, I have sent an iMessage to one friend from a command-line Python app and to another from a Pixel 3 Android phone.

    Sending an iMessage without an Apple device isn't entirely new, but this way of doing it is. I didn't hand over my Apple credentials or log in with my Apple ID on a Mac server on some far-away rack. I put my primary SIM card in the Pixel, I installed Beeper Mini , and it sent a text message to register my number with Apple. I never gave Beeper Mini my Apple ID.

    From then on, my iPhone-toting friends who sent messages to my Pixel 3 saw them as other-iPhone blue, not noticeably distracting green. We could all access the typing, delivered/read receipts, emoji reactions, and most other iPhone-to-iPhone message features. Even if I had no active Apple devices, it seems, I could have chosen to meet Apple users where they were and gain end-to-end encryption by doing so.

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      India reveals that it has returned lunar spacecraft to Earth orbit / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 5 December - 14:56 · 1 minute

    India's Chandrayaan-3 lunar spacecraft undergoes accoustic testing. The propulsion module can be seen at the bottom.

    Enlarge / India's Chandrayaan-3 lunar spacecraft undergoes accoustic testing. The propulsion module can be seen at the bottom. (credit: ISRO)

    A little more than three months ago the Indian space agency, ISRO, achieved a major success by putting its Vikram lander safely down on the surface of the Moon. In doing so India became the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, and this further ignited the country's interest in space exploration.

    But it turns out that is not the end of the story for the Chandrayaan 3 mission. In a surprise announcement made Monday, ISRO announced that it has successfully returned the propulsion module used by the spacecraft into a high orbit around Earth. This experimental phase of the mission, the agency said in a statement , tested key capabilities needed for future lunar missions, including the potential for returning lunar rocks to Earth.

    A capable module

    The primary task of the propulsion module was to deliver the Vikram 3 lander into a low-lunar orbit, 100 km above the surface of the Moon. After doing this in August, the propulsion module moved to an orbit around the Moon at an altitude of 150 km. There, its remaining operational goal was to support a science experiment, known as SHAPE, to observe the Earth.

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      Electric Vehicles are better than gas-powered cars in winter—here’s why / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 5 December - 13:33

    Heart shape in snow on car.

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

    Objectively speaking, a battery-electric vehicle provides a superior driving experience in cold and inclement weather to its internal combustion engine-powered counterparts—for numerous reasons. Comfort, control, even durability benefits come along for the cold ride. Let me explain.

    First, actually, let me concede a point. It's true that BEVs lose range in colder climates. The two main reasons for that stem from the need to keep both the cabin and battery pack warm, which requires energy that would otherwise go toward going. And, generally speaking, it takes more energy to warm an electric vehicle in the winter than to cool it in the summer.

    But bear in mind, all cars lose range in the winter . Air gets denser as it cools, which takes more work to push through. And all the viscous fluids vehicles need take more time to warm up to their respective operating temperatures. And that means your engine, transmission, and differential all have more work to do—requiring more energy—in the cold.

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      Daily Telescope: An ancient galaxy behind a veil of dust / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 5 December - 13:05

    Color composite of galaxy AzTECC71 from multiple color filters in the NIRCam instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope.

    Enlarge / Color composite of galaxy AzTECC71 from multiple color filters in the NIRCam instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope. (credit: J. McKinney/M. Franco/C. Casey/The University of Texas at Austin)

    Welcome to the Daily Telescope . There is a little too much darkness in this world and not enough light, a little too much pseudoscience and not enough science. We'll let other publications offer you a daily horoscope. At Ars Technica, we're going to take a different route, finding inspiration from very real images of a universe that is filled with stars and wonder.

    Good morning. It's December 5, and today's photo takes us very far from home to a dusty star factory of a galaxy that we need every bit of the James Webb Space Telescope's power to resolve.

    This is the object AzTECC71, and astronomers say we are observing the galaxy as it existed just 900 million years after the Big Bang. And since the Universe is 13.7 billion years old, that is light from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

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      Grand Theft Auto VI trailer confirms arrives early with a crime-crazy Florida / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 5 December - 00:25

    Grand Theft Auto VI logo

    Enlarge / "Coming 2025." (credit: Rockstar Games / YouTube)

    Grand Theft Auto VI , like its protagonist Lucia, keeps finding itself in an awkward spot because of "Bad luck, I guess."

    The trailer for Rockstar Games heavily, mightily, impossibly anticipated sequel in its record-breaking series landed on YouTube Monday evening , earlier than its previously published Tuesday morning release. That's because a pop-up, quickly suspended X (formerly Twitter) account posted it early, and Rockstar rushed to get its official version out, ending with a "Coming 2025" notice.

    Grand Theft Auto VI trailer.

    It's a mishap far smaller in scale than most leaks, but it's notable for Rockstar, which typically lets out very little about its games beyond official trailers. GTA VI had nearly an hour of early gameplay and testing footage leak out in early September 2022, following a network intrusion. A teenager in the UK was arrested on charges related to the leak quickly after Rockstar confirmed its veracity. TikTok videos have also recently surfaced, with computer monitors showing off images of the game's setting, according to The Verge .

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      Government watchdog says first Artemis lunar landing may slip to 2027 / ArsTechnica · Monday, 4 December - 23:43

    A crescent Earth rises over the horizon of the Moon in this view from NASA's Orion spacecraft on the unpiloted Artemis I test flight in December 2022.

    Enlarge / A crescent Earth rises over the horizon of the Moon in this view from NASA's Orion spacecraft on the unpiloted Artemis I test flight in December 2022. (credit: NASA )

    A new report from the Government Accountability Office suggests NASA's Artemis III mission, which aims to return humans to the Moon's surface for the first time in more than 50 years, could be delayed from late 2025 until 2027.

    The readiness of SpaceX's human-rated lander and new commercial spacesuits developed by Axiom Space are driving the schedule for Artemis III. Both contractors have a lot of work to do before the Artemis III landing, and the government watchdog's report said delays with SpaceX's Starship program and design challenges with Axiom's spacesuits threaten NASA's schedule.

    "NASA and its contractors have made progress, including completing several important milestones, but they still face multiple challenges with development of the human landing system and the space suits," the GAO said in a report published Thursday . "As a result, GAO found that the Artemis III crewed lunar landing is unlikely to occur in 2025."

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      Texas sues Pfizer with COVID anti-vax argument that is pure stupid / ArsTechnica · Monday, 4 December - 23:13

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

    Enlarge / Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. (credit: Getty | Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle )

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Pfizer last week, claiming the pharmaceutical giant "deceived the public" by "unlawfully misrepresenting" the effectiveness of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and sought to silence critics.

    The lawsuit also blames Pfizer for not ending the pandemic after the vaccine's release in December 2020. "Contrary to Pfizer’s public statements, however, the pandemic did not end; it got worse" in 2021, the complaint reads .

    "We are pursuing justice for the people of Texas, many of whom were coerced by tyrannical vaccine mandates to take a defective product sold by lies," Paxton said in a press release. "The facts are clear. Pfizer did not tell the truth about their COVID-19 vaccines."

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      Hackers stole ancestry data of 6.9 million users, 23andMe finally confirmed / ArsTechnica · Monday, 4 December - 22:48

    Hackers stole ancestry data of 6.9 million users, 23andMe finally confirmed

    Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg / Contributor | Bloomberg )

    It's now been confirmed that an additional 6.9 million 23andMe users had ancestry data stolen after hackers accessed thousands of accounts by likely reusing previously leaked passwords.

    This is a much larger number of accounts than 23andMe previously disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing , which estimated that 0.1 percent of users—approximately 14,000, TechCrunch estimated —had accounts accessed by hackers using compromised passwords.

    After the cyberattack was reported, Wired estimated that "at least a million data points from 23andMe accounts" that were "exclusively about Ashkenazi Jews" and data points from "hundreds of thousands of users of Chinese descent" seemed to be exposed. But beyond those estimates, for two months, all the public knew was that 23andMe's filing noted that “a significant number of files containing profile information about other users’ ancestry" were also accessed.

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      After a chaotic three years, GPU sales are starting to look normal-ish again / ArsTechnica · Monday, 4 December - 21:57 · 1 minute

    AMD's Radeon RX 7600.

    Enlarge / AMD's Radeon RX 7600. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

    It's been an up-and-down decade for most consumer technology, with a pandemic-fueled boom in PC sales giving way to a sales crater that the market is still gradually recovering from . But few components have had as hard a time as gaming graphics cards, which were near impossible to buy at reasonable prices for about two years and then crashed hard as GPU companies responded with unattainable new high-end products .

    According to the GPU sales analysts at Jon Peddie Research, things may finally be evening out. Its data shows that GPU shipments have returned to quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year growth after two years of shrinking sales. This is the second consecutive quarter this has happened, which "strongly indicates that things are finally on the upswing for the graphics industry."

    JPR reports that overall GPU unit shipments (which include integrated and dedicated GPUs) are up 16.8 percent from Q2 and 36.6 percent from a year ago. Dedicated GPU sales increased 37.4 percent from Q2. When comparing year-over-year numbers, the biggest difference is that Nvidia, AMD, and Intel all have current-generation GPUs available in the $200–$300 range, including the GeForce RTX 4060 , the Radeon RX 7600 , and the Arc A770 and A750 , all of which were either unavailable or newly launched in Q3 of 2022.

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