Ars Technica

Microsoft's new automatic update plan could (finally) spell the end of IE6

"Microsoft has announced that starting in January 2012 Internet Explorer will, like Chrome, Firefox and Opera, no longer pester you with update notices. Instead Internet Explorer will automatically download and install updates in the background..."

Microsoft squashes Duqu threat with Windows patch

"A month after releasing a temporary workaround to block malware exploiting a Windows kernel vulnerability, Microsoft today issued a patch for all supported releases of Windows aimed at putting an end to attacks based on the Duqu worm."

World's first 128Gb 20nm NAND flash could pack 2TB into a 2.5" SSD

"Intel and Micron's joint venture IMFT has announced that it has produced a 128Gb die. A package combining eight such dies together would be small enough to fit on a fingertip and boast an unprecedented 128GB capacity. Mass production will start in the first half of next year, and devices using the new dies are likely to start shipping in 2013..."

Why Apple rejected AMD's Llano in the MacBook Air

"Apple may have considered AMD's Fusion platform for the MacBook Air before settling on Intel. Aside from production issues with limited available quantities, there are important performance reasons for Apple to keep using Intel processors..."

PC shipments could drop 10% due to hard drive shortages

"The widespread flooding in Thailand that disrupted operations at hard disk drive factories will lead to significantly declining PC shipments, say market analysts. Thailand accounted for 40 to 45 percent of worldwide HDD production in the first half of 2011, but flooding has impacted more than a dozen factories, according to IDC..."

EA estimates 5 million copies of Battlefield 3 sold, says stability issues solved

"Last week's Battlefield 3 launch had its high and low points, with sky-high consumer interest, but stability issues plaguing many players. EA has announced that the game has sold an estimated 5 million copies worldwide in its first week of availability. That's a big success by any metric, although we're curious about the split in sales between the console and PC versions of the game."

Battlefield 3 has a single-player campaign... unfortunately

"The Battlefield series isn't just another war game franchise that's trying to compete with the first-person shooter Call of Duty; it's a series that offers an experience that's utterly distinct from Activision's testosterone-drenched celebration of war. The multiplayer in Battlefield places an emphasis on teamwork, communication, and vehicles, and this combination has appealed to those who don't care for the alpha-male play of Call of Duty.

Canadian Supreme Court rules you can't defame someone with a hyperlink

"You may now exhale, Canadian journalists, bloggers, and Twitter users. Canada's Supreme Court has unanimously decided that posting a hyperlink to an allegedly defamatory article does not constitute defamation itself. "I would conclude that a hyperlink, by itself, should never be seen as 'publication' of the content to which it refers," opined Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, speaking for the panel reviewing the matter of Crookes versus Newton.

Heroes die: our first hours with the addictive and maddening Dark Souls

"Dark Souls is difficult and frustrating, but you can do great things in the game. This is the sequel to the PS3 exclusive Demon's Souls, which became a cult hit due to its dense third-person gameplay and punishing difficulty. Every battle can have dire circumstances, and if you rush through an environment, you may find things that end your life very quickly. Control your movements, make good decisions about where to engage in battle, and be aware of everything around you—and you may succeed.

Current Thunderbolt ports will support optical cabling next year

"Device makers are slowly but surely getting Thunderbolt-compatible products to market—including drives, RAIDs, hubs, video editing boxes, at least one Thunderbolt display—and a variety of storage makers have told Ars that more products are in the works.

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