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Study confirms superior sound of a Stradivari is due to the varnish

Enlarge / A 1729 Stradivari known as the "Solomon, Ex-Lambert" on display at Christie's in New York in March 2007. (credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images) Along with Andrea Amati and Andrea Guarneri, Antonio Stradivari dominated the so-called Golden Age of Violins (roughly 1660 to 1750), and the instruments they crafted remain the gold standard today...

Billionaire Sacklers’ immunity threatened as DOJ moves to block opioid deal

Enlarge / PURDUE PHARMA, STAMFORD, Conn. - 2019/09/12: Members of P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) and Truth Pharm staged a protest outside Purdue Pharma headquarters over the recent, controversial opioid settlement. (credit: Getty | Erik McGregor) The Department of Justice is fighting to strip the billionaire Sackler family of...

Apple sunsets the 256GB iPhone SE

The 2020 iPhone SE. [credit: Samuel Axon ] Apple has quietly discontinued the largest storage configuration of the iPhone SE. Previously, the SE was available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB variants. But the 256GB model is no longer available...

Nintendo’s “thing after the Switch”: How an overheard convo sent me reeling

Enlarge / Today's very brief hint of the gaming future comes wrapped in a Nintendo bow. (credit: Aurich Lawson) SEATTLE—It's not every day I hear about unannounced Nintendo products over guac. Thanks to a chance encounter last month, I've been sitting on one of the weirder scoops in my 25-year writing career—one that will simultaneously set many...

Battlefield 2042 joins recent game-delay frenzy, moves to November

Enlarge / This looks fun. (credit: EA) Battlefield 2042 has been delayed from its initial October 22 release date, though it will still launch this year, EA announced today. The multiplayer-only shooter will now hit stores on November 19, the publisher said in a statement. Citing the complications of developing games in a work-from-home environment...

Man once called world’s “largest facilitator of child porn” sentenced to 27 years

Enlarge / Eric Eoin Marques led away from the High Court in Dublin in August 2013 after US authorities formally requested his extradition. (credit: Getty Images | Niall Carson | PA Images ) A man who operated a dark web service that hosted millions of child-sexual-abuse images was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for conspiracy to advertise...

Office 2021 will be available for non-Microsoft 365 subscribers on October 5

Enlarge (credit: Microsoft) New versions of Microsoft Office aren't as big a deal as they used to be, thanks to the continuously updated (and continuously paid for) versions of the apps that come with a Microsoft 365 subscription. But for everyone else, there's still Office 2021, an upgrade to Office 2019 that's coming to both Windows and macOS on...

Lost Judgment impressions: 15 wild hours in Yokohama

Lost Judgment's action detective, Takayuki Yagami. At a glance, Lost Judgment may seem intimidating to anyone who hasn't graduated from Sega's school of hard Yakuza knocks. To start, it’s a spinoff of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s long-running crime series, which is saddled with a truckload of backstory. On top...

Hospital staff must swear off Tylenol, Tums to get religious vaccine exemption

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Jeff Greenberg) A hospital system in Arkansas is making it a bit more difficult for staff to receive a religious exemption from its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The hospital is now requiring staff to also swear off extremely common medicines, such as Tylenol, Tums, and even Preparation H, to get the exemption. The move was...

Alphabet’s laser-Internet system has sent 700TB of data with 99.9% uptime

A Project Taara transmitter. Google's parent company, Alphabet, is still experimenting with hooking up remote towns to the Internet via frickin' laser beams. Today, Alphabet's moonshot "X Lab" shared an update on Project Taara, its experimental point-to-point optical communication system, often described as...

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