Proposal would give EU power to boot tech giants out of European market

Patrick
Enlarge / Belgien, Brussel, Europaische Kommission, Berlaymont-Gebaude, Europa-Flaggen.

Westend61 | Getty Images

The EU wants to arm itself with new powers to take on big technology companies, including the ability to force them to break up or sell some of their European operations if their market dominance is deemed to threaten the interests of customers and smaller rivals.

EU Commissioner Thierry Breton told the Financial Times that the proposed remedies, which he said would only be used in extreme circumstances, also include the ability to exclude large tech groups from the single market altogether.

In addition, Brussels is considering a

Here’s how DOE’s first crop of risky energy tech has done

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Enlarge / Former Energy Secretary Ernst Moniz speaks at an ARPA-E event in 2016.

In 2009, the US Department of Energy started funding energy research through the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (or ARPA-E) program. The goal was take more risks than traditional federal efforts and help new renewable energy technologies get off the ground. Private investment had been flagging due to slow returns, but the huge societal benefits of clean energy was deemed to justify government support. The hope was that the funding could accelerate the timeline for new technology to mature to the point that private investors would find

Spelunky 2 game review: Roguelite perfection

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Enlarge / Ana (center) is the star of Spelunky 2, and she’s on a search for her adventuring parents after they abandoned her to look for treasure on the Moon.

Mossmouth

My recent work at Ars Technica has mostly revolved around high-end gadgets like VR headsets, GPUs, and next-gen consoles. It’s fun stuff.

But while swimming through embargoed hardware and frantic news announcements, I keep coming back to a single video game well outside the “next-generation” mold.

Spelunky 2 is likely the most “dated” game I’ll slap the “Ars Approved” sticker onto in 2020. The adjective “dated” works in

Comcast shut off Internet to hundreds, saying they were illegally connected

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Comcast says that a broadband reseller illegally sold Comcast Internet service in residential buildings in the Denver area and has terminated the connections to those buildings.

As reported by Denver7 this week, the shutoff affected hundreds of people who live in buildings serviced by AlphaWiFi, “which installs and services Internet in approximately 90 apartment buildings across Denver.” The shutoff came as a surprise to residents, including Kaley Warren, who has been working at home during the pandemic.

“It is my entire lifeline,” said Warren, who said that without warning last Friday, her Internet service disappeared. “I felt lost.

Why Amazon is backing this former Tesla executive’s recycling startup

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Enlarge / Empty phone batteries are sorted by the company Accurec Recycling GmbH.

Ina Fassbender | Getty Images

Tesla cofounder JB Straubel has been funded by Amazon for Redwood Materials, a start-up aiming to extract lithium, cobalt and nickel from old smartphones and other electronics for reuse in new electric batteries.

Redwood is one of five companies Amazon is investing in as part of its $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund, announced this year.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, said in a statement that this first batch of companies were “channelling their entrepreneurial energy into helping Amazon and other companies

Sony pushes back on reports that it’s reducing PS5’s launch availability

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Apple’s AirPods Pro are on sale for $199 today

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Ars Technica

Today’s Dealmaster is headlined by the best price we’ve seen to date for Apple’s AirPods Pro, which are currently down to $199 at Amazon and Staples. While we’ve seen the noise-cancelling true wireless earphones hit this price briefly earlier this year, today’s deal is still $50 off Apple’s MSRP, about $35 off their typical street price online, and the first time we’ve seen them fall below $200 on Amazon.

We recently recommended the AirPods Pro in our guide to the best home office gear. In short, if you’re looking for a pair of totally wireless earphones

Feds seize OnePlus Buds, mistaking them for “counterfeit” AirPods

Patrick
Enlarge / These are OnePlus Buds. They are a real product made by a real company, despite what US Customs seems to think.

OnePlus

US Customs and Border Protection this weekend proudly tweeted about a high-value seizure of counterfeit electronic goods at John F. Kennedy International Airport. “That’s not an 🍎,” the agency wrote yesterday, sharing two pictures and linking to a press release.

“CBP officers seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple Airpod Earbuds from Hong Kong destined for Nevada at an air cargo facility,” the agency wrote in the press release, dated Friday. “If the merchandise were genuine, the Manufacturer’s Suggested

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