Forget the looks, love the tech: The $83,200 BMW iX electric SUV

A white BMW iX

Enlarge / The $83,500 BMW iX is the brand’s new technology flagship. It’s a battery electric SUV with a range of more than 300 miles. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

MUNICH—Regular readers of Ars will know that we make no bones about our love for the BMW i3. BMW’s third-generation electric car taught the automaker plenty about EV powertrains as well as more sustainable manufacturing. But the i3 has taught BMW all it could, and now the time has come to apply those lessons to more mainstream EVs. And nothing is more mainstream these days than an SUV, so BMW has developed an all-new one to showcase the company’s fifth-generation electric powertrain.

Enter the 2022 BMW iX.

Trickle-down might be a myth in economics, but the principle does work in the auto industry. Car makers develop new technology and launch it in their high-end vehicles first before economies of scale see such features show up in cheaper models. This is particularly true of the German luxury brands like BMW, which in the past used its 7 Series flagship sedan as its standard-bearer, introducing things like the first true infotainment system. But big sedan have fallen out of favor with the people who buy big luxury cars, and so the time has come for the flagship SUV instead.

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Source: Ars Technica – Forget the looks, love the tech: The ,200 BMW iX electric SUV

Tesla on Autopilot slammed into police cars despite flashing lights, lawsuit says

A pen and book resting atop a paper copy of a lawsuit.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | eccolo74)

Tesla has been sued by five Texas police officers who were injured when a Tesla Model X in Autopilot mode crashed into police vehicles that were stopped and had their flashing lights turned on. The officers also sued the owner of a restaurant accused of overserving alcohol to the X’s driver.

“On February 27, 2021, a Tesla Model X engaged in Autopilot and equipped with Tesla’s proprietary system of safety features, crashed into several police officers who were engaged in a traffic stop in a blocked-off lane of traffic on the Eastex Freeway in Texas. All were badly injured,” the lawsuit said. The officers include four Montgomery County constables and a Splendora police officer, according to a Houston Public Media article.

The lawsuit accuses Tesla of gross negligence for “failing to safely and properly design, market, and manufacture the Autopilot system” and, among other things, “failing to warn the public of the Autopilot system’s inability to detect emergency cars with flashing lights.” The plaintiffs are seeking “damages for the severe injuries and permanent disabilities they suffered as a result of the crash,” and they want to “force Tesla to publicly acknowledge and immediately correct the known defects inherent in its Autopilot and collision avoidance systems, particularly as those impact the ongoing safety of our nation’s first responders,” the lawsuit said.

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Source: Ars Technica – Tesla on Autopilot slammed into police cars despite flashing lights, lawsuit says

Android 12.1 leak shows off iPad-style dock, dual-pane system UI

Android 12 is not even out yet, but we already need to talk about Android 12.1, a rumored point release that would presumably arrive shortly after Android 12 and the Pixel 6 hit the market. The current thinking is that Google is working on a pair of Samsung-style foldable Pixel phones, which would ship with a smaller Android release. These are expected to come out—maybe—before the end of the year, development time and chip shortages allowing.

There’s nothing official about the name “Android 12.1,” but the puzzle pieces here aren’t hard to fit together. Every Android release gets an API level for app developers. Unlike the marketing-controlled version number, the API level is designed to be predictable and goes up “1” for each new platform release, regardless of the size of each release. Android 12 is “API level 31,” but Android 13—due out this time next year—was recently bumped to API level 33 in the public Android repository. Google made a space in between Android 12 and 13 for a new release. Everyone is unofficially calling that release “Android 12.1,” following the maintenance release naming conventions Google last used with Android 8.1, which was released in December 2017.

So what’s in Android 12.1? Foldables stuff. XDA Developers’ Mishaal Rahman has a hands-on with some early code, detailing a ton of tablet and foldable-centric features. We want to stress the “early” part of that “early code” description, because everything looks horrible, but we’re here for functionality, not design, right now.

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Source: Ars Technica – Android 12.1 leak shows off iPad-style dock, dual-pane system UI

Amazon Halo View tracks your health on an OLED screen

Amazon continued its reach into health and fitness hardware today by announcing a health tracker coming out this winter. With a color display, the Halo View can compete with competitors like Fitbit by displaying real-time health metrics, including heart rate and blood oxygen levels.

The Halo View is Amazon’s second Halo-branded fitness tracker. The Halo Band announced in 2020 offers similar features but doesn’t have a screen. The Halo View stands out with a display made with AMOLED, a type of OLED known for even higher contrast and more flexibility. This display can show your sleep scores, track your workouts, and alert you with haptic feedback if you have a text or if you’ve gone too long since without moving around.

Amazon Halo Band in silver.

Amazon Halo Band in silver. (credit: Amazon)

The device works with the help of sensors, namely a skin-temperature sensor, accelerometer, and optical sensor for monitoring your heart rate and blood oxygen.

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Source: Ars Technica – Amazon Halo View tracks your health on an OLED screen

A new “standalone” Valve VR headset teased by deep SteamVR file dive

What might the next Valve VR headset look like? Will it resemble the existing Valve Index, complete with a "frunk" and giant, hovering speakers? And will it ever launch at retail? Those details remain unclear, but our reporting suggests something that features Oculus Quest-like "standalone" operability.

Enlarge / What might the next Valve VR headset look like? Will it resemble the existing Valve Index, complete with a “frunk” and giant, hovering speakers? And will it ever launch at retail? Those details remain unclear, but our reporting suggests something that features Oculus Quest-like “standalone” operability. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Ars Technica)

What’s in the future for VR headsets made by Valve, who launched the pricey, bulky, and impressive Valve Index in August 2019? The best information in the wild right now seems to be coming from Valve themselves—with datamining discoveries and patent applications adding up to something that looks like a brand-new Valve VR system with some form of built-in wireless functionality.

Sources familiar with matters at Valve have confirmed to Ars that information in the wild is legitimate—at least, in terms of products being made within Valve’s headquarters, though not necessarily seeing retail launch.

A new, unclear “ism”

This week’s information roundup comes courtesy of VR industry reporter and YouTube channel host Brad Lynch, who received a tip after tracking months of Valve patent applications. The tip came in the form of a code-named device, “Deckard,” mentioned in SteamVR’s publicly available branches from as far back as January. Ars can confirm the legitimacy of “Deckard” as a code-named device worked on inside of Valve’s headquarters.

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Source: Ars Technica – A new “standalone” Valve VR headset teased by deep SteamVR file dive

Amazon’s Astro robot is straight out of The Jetsons

Amazon is rolling out (literally) a robot that can help monitor your home. Powered by Amazon Alexa and a bunch of artificial intelligence (AI) technology while patrolling about on a set of wheels, the Astro robot can handle numerous tasks, from providing a view of inside the home when you’re out to delivering a message to Mom.

The robot carries the same name as the dog from The Jetsons, but its simple face, rolling mechanism and, of course, advanced tech, make it much more similar to Rosey. Amazon’s Astro relies on AI, sensors, computer vision, and voice and edge computing to perform various workloads.

For example, Astro can roll around your home and give you a live view of what it sees. That means you can check on your pet, look out for intruders, or make sure you turned the oven off. Astro is mobile thanks to a technology Amazon has dubbed Intelligent Motion. It uses simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) to ensure Astro makes its way around without crashing into stuff—even if someone forgot something on the floor that wasn’t there before.

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Source: Ars Technica – Amazon’s Astro robot is straight out of The Jetsons

NBC demanded that YouTube TV bundle Peacock or lose access to NBC channels

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Source: Ars Technica – NBC demanded that YouTube TV bundle Peacock or lose access to NBC channels

Amazon Echo Show 15 arrives with new Neural Edge processor

At its invite-only hardware event today, Amazon revealed the new Echo Show 15 smart display, powered by the company’s next-generation “AI processor,” the AZ2 Neural Edge.

The upcoming Echo Show carries a 15.6-inch screen with 1920×1080 resolution. Inside lives the AZ2 Neural Edge CPU, which uses four cores and, according to Amazon, 22 times as many TOPS (trillions of operations per second) than the last-gen chip. The biggest difference between the AZ2 and AZ1 is the former’s ability to process machine-learning-based speech models “significantly faster,” according to Amazon’s announcement. Computer vision (CV) algorithms can be handled on the device rather than in the cloud, allowing the Echo Show 15 to handle features like visual ID and voice processing with comparatively less latency. And like the AZ1, the AZ2 can handle speech recognition and CV workloads simultaneously.

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Source: Ars Technica – Amazon Echo Show 15 arrives with new Neural Edge processor

Ex-Fox host claims Facebook defamed him by fact-checking climate change videos

John Stossel speaking with attendees at the 2018 Young Americans for Liberty New York City Spring Summit at the Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Enlarge / John Stossel speaking with attendees at the 2018 Young Americans for Liberty New York City Spring Summit at the Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe in Teaneck, New Jersey. (credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Former Fox Business host John Stossel is suing Facebook, alleging that the social media company and one of its contracted fact-checking organizations defamed him when flagged two of his videos, alerting viewers to “missing context” and “partly false” claims.

The lawsuit also claims that Stossel’s professional reputation has been “significantly and irreparably damaged by the false labels and statements.”

Since Stossel left Fox Business, he’s been releasing videos on various social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The endeavor has apparently been somewhat lucrative—he has made around $10,000 a month from Facebook alone. “My news model is based on social media companies showing you videos,” he said on YouTube.

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Source: Ars Technica – Ex-Fox host claims Facebook defamed him by fact-checking climate change videos

Poll: 71% of unvaccinated say booster doses mean vaccines aren’t working

A health worker administers a COVID-19 booster vaccine and an influenza vaccine to an Army veteran at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital on September 24, 2021, in Hines, Illinois.

Enlarge / A health worker administers a COVID-19 booster vaccine and an influenza vaccine to an Army veteran at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital on September 24, 2021, in Hines, Illinois. (credit: Getty | Scott Olson)

Over the past few weeks, federal health advisers pored over data on booster doses for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and agonized over setting recommendations for who—if anyone—should get a third shot. Amid their deliberations, they continually noted an undeniable truth overshadowed their hand-wringing: no matter what they recommended, boosters will have minimal impact on the pandemic. Instead, the way to end the scourge is to have more people get their first shots.

After all the debate, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday overruled the agency’s independent advisers. The director opened boosters to health workers and others with high exposure risks, in addition to the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions.

And today, new survey data suggests that offering any boosters may deter some unvaccinated from getting their first highly effective COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 71 percent of unvaccinated people said booster doses show the vaccines are not working as well as promised, according to the survey results published Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

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Source: Ars Technica – Poll: 71% of unvaccinated say booster doses mean vaccines aren’t working

Logitech thinks small with MX Keys Mini wireless keyboard

Logitech has taken its advanced Bluetooth keyboard and made it smaller. Announced today, the Logitech MX Keys Mini and MX Keys Mini for Mac drop the numpad and navigational keys of the full-sized Logitech MX Keys released two years ago in favor of a smaller form factor that still packs some nifty features.

Like the MX Keys, the smaller MX Keys Mini targets creative professionals with the ability to connect to three devices via Bluetooth Low Energy, allowing you to control up to three PCs, tablets, or smartphones without having to switch dongles or pair the keyboard over and over again (who has the time?). Logitech’s compact keyboard is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Chrome, Android, and Linux.

Differing from its predecessor, the MX Keys Mini includes an Emoji key for easy access to an Emoji keyboard. There’s also a dedicated key for turning your microphone on or off and a dictation key for talk-to-text.

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Source: Ars Technica – Logitech thinks small with MX Keys Mini wireless keyboard

Retailer reveals Radeon RX 6600 GPU, another card you probably won’t be able to buy

People hoping to get their hands on an affordable graphics card may soon have one more new model to try for—a pulled retailer listing spotted by the GPU enthusiast site VideoCardz seems to confirm the existence of an AMD Radeon RX 6600 GPU. The RX 6600 is a midrange GPU that will slot in under the $379 RX 6600XT in AMD’s lineup, and the site claims it will be available on October 13.

By themselves, we don’t put a lot of stock in retailer listings, since they can be speculative placeholders rather than a confirmation that a given product is being launched. But this one came complete with box art and photos of the card, which confirms that it will come with 8GB of GDDR6 memory, and, like the RX 6600 XT, it will be sold primarily as a 1080p card. The GPU is said to include 1,792 of AMD’s Stream Processors, compared to 2,048 on the RX 6600 XT, while retaining the same 128-bit memory interface as the XT.

A single 8-pin power connector, three DisplayPorts, and a single HDMI port are also visible in the photos, and the card’s short length will make it one of the few modern GPUs suitable for small-form-factor PC builds. What the listing doesn’t tell us is what the GPU will cost; the listed price of 589.90 euro works out to about $690 in US dollars, at least twice as high as we think the card’s official price is likely to be.

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Source: Ars Technica – Retailer reveals Radeon RX 6600 GPU, another card you probably won’t be able to buy

We’re about to run out of Atlantic hurricane names—again

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Source: Ars Technica – We’re about to run out of Atlantic hurricane names—again

GM’s BrightDrop starts production of its EV600 electric delivery van

In January, General Motors created a new electric vehicle brand. It’s called BrightDrop, and like GM’s legacy brands that are electrifying, it, too, will use the company’s forthcoming Ultium batteries and Ultium Drive electric motors. Unlike the rest of GM’s brands, this one is aimed squarely at the fleet market. At the time, GM CEO Mary Barra revealed that Fedex would be BrightDrop’s first customer. On Tuesday, BrightDrop announced that Verizon will also start using the electric vans.

In fact, Verizon will use a second BrightDrop vehicle, called the EV410. This uses the same battery pack and motor as the EV600 that we saw in FedEx colors at the start of the year. It will also offer the same 250-mile (402 km) range and come with the same package of safety systems. The biggest difference is the size and the amount of cargo each can carry; the EV410 is shorter overall than the EV600 and can carry 410 cubic feet (11,610 L) versus the bigger van’s 600 cubic feet (16,990 L).

Meanwhile, BrightDrop is completing the first production EV600s, which are destined to start work for Fedex this holiday season. BrightDrop has contracted out the initial low-volume manufacturing to an unnamed supplier in Michigan while it refits GM’s CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Canada. EV600 production at CAMI is scheduled for late 2022, but Verizon has a longer wait on its hands—EV410 production won’t begin until the following year.

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Source: Ars Technica – GM’s BrightDrop starts production of its EV600 electric delivery van

To the mountain and back: Rivian’s electric truck and its 314-mile range

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BRECKENRIDGE, Colo.—Hats off to Rivian. Until 2018, almost no one had heard of the company. Now, it has brought the first battery electric pickup truck to market ahead of electric vehicle giant Tesla and just-plain-giant Ford, and this vehicle is aimed at a distinct buyer when compared to the everyman F-150 Lightning or the Mars colonist’s Cybertruck. The $67,500 R1T is for people who like exploring the outdoors—this is an adventure truck. And to put that claim to the test, last week we drove one up a mountain and back.

Rivian got started in 2009 and toyed with the idea of a number of different vehicles until it settled on a pair of battery electric vehicles—a truck and SUV—to begin with. Both were to be built in a former Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois, that the company bought in 2017. The following year, the company emerged from “stealth mode,” and in 2019, I got to check out the concept R1T at that year’s New York auto show, where it pushed all the right buttons.

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Source: Ars Technica – To the mountain and back: Rivian’s electric truck and its 314-mile range

Celebrating the community: Yolanda

So far in our series of community stories, we’ve collaborated with young people from the UK, India, and Romania who are getting creative with technology to change the world around them.

Yolanda Payne.

Our next community story comes from a highly regarded community member who has been connecting young people with opportunities to learn and create with technology throughout her career. A US-based educator with over twenty years of experience, Yolanda Payne shares our mission to put computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world.

“The biggest reason I’m so invested in technology is because people invested in me.”

Yolanda Payne

Meet Yolanda

Yolanda Payne is an educator you might recognise from our online courses. Based in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA, she’s passionate about making technology accessible to all and helping young people become technology creators.

Join us in celebrating Yolanda by sharing her story on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook! 

Yolanda says, “The biggest reason I’m so invested in technology is because people invested in me. They saw something that I was good at, showed me opportunities, and so in turn, that was my philosophy in teaching.” 

Yolanda got her first computer at a young age and was hooked instantly: it opened up many new opportunities and led her to choosing a career in education. She says, “The computer gives me the tools to be an artist, it gives me the tools to create things, and if it does that for me, then just imagine what it will do for kids!”

“If you give a teacher a Raspberry Pi and show them these resources, they’re going to be hooked.”

Yolanda Payne

Yolanda has spent her entire professional life dedicated to education. She gained a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Mississippi University for Women; a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Mississippi State University; and Educational Specialist degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Georgia in Curriculum and Instruction, and in Language and Literacy.

A female computing educator with three female students at laptops in a classroom.

Throughout her twenty-one years as a classroom teacher and her time running Code Clubs, Yolanda found joy in supporting students who have multiple challenges or complex needs, and in seeing them thrive in the subject of computer science. Yolanda points out, “I worked with both students that were considered to be in special education and students that were gifted. And one of the biggest things that I saw that I don’t think people realise, especially about students in special education: they are used to solving problems. […] You’d be very surprised at how real-life problem-solving skills flow very easily into computer science.”

Yolanda now works as a Research Associate at the Georgia Institute of Technology. We are tremendously thankful for her contributions as an educator and an advocate for technology and young people. 

Please join us in celebrating her story by sharing it on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook! 

The post Celebrating the community: Yolanda appeared first on Raspberry Pi.



Source: Raspberry Pi – Celebrating the community: Yolanda

New Azure Active Directory password brute-forcing flaw has no fix

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Source: Ars Technica – New Azure Active Directory password brute-forcing flaw has no fix

Osaka Approves MGM-Orix IR Bid

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Osaka Prefecture has officially selected the MGM Resorts-Orix Corporation consortium’s bid for the construction of a major urban Integrated Resort (IR) including a casino at the Yumeshima site in Osaka Bay.

The approval of the ¥1 trillion (US$9.1 billion) bid was widely anticipated because no other consortium opted to challenge MGM-Orix in the final Request for Proposal round.

Bill Hornbuckle, president and CEO of MGM Resorts International, stated, “Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City have implemented a comprehensive and well considered selection process to achieve the goal of developing a world-class Integrated Resort in Osaka, and I am honored that we have been selected as the partner for Osaka. No other place has a brighter and more enjoyable future for tourism and hospitality than Japan, and Osaka is a good place to launch that future.”

MGM Resorts has been working toward this result for the better part of a decade in a methodical and determined fashion. Its “Osaka First” policy was officially declared in January 2019, but long before that time it had focused on this location more than any other in Japan.

While at one point there was speculation that it might go higher, the ¥1 trillion investment figure has also been on the table for quite some time. Then-Chairman and CEO James Murren publicly dropped that number as early as November 2017.

Once it opens its doors in the latter part of this decade, it is estimated that the Yumeshima IR will pull in over 20 million visitors on an annual basis and produce yearly revenues of about ¥540 billion (US$4.9 billion).

MGM and Orix will be equal partners in the consortium with about 40% ownership each. The remaining 20% will likely be taken up by a wide range of smaller partners.

The planned IR will have a floor area of 770,000 square meters, including a casino, an international conference hall, an exhibition hall of ​​about 20,000 square meters, and large-scale accommodation and entertainment facilities. About 15,000 people will be directly employed.

All three of the candidate prefectures—Osaka, Wakayama, and Nagasaki—have now selected their IR consortium partners. The next step is the joint applications to the national government for licensing.

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Probity Accusations Abound in Japan IR Race

The post Osaka Approves MGM-Orix IR Bid appeared first on Akihabara News.



Source: Akihabara News – Osaka Approves MGM-Orix IR Bid

Mitsubishi Seeks Canadian Blue Hydrogen

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Mitsubishi Corporation and Shell Canada Products have signed a memorandum of understanding for the production of blue hydrogen.

The low-carbon hydrogen will be produced along with the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) close to the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Scotford, located near Edmonton.

Scotford is involved in the Polaris CCS project, an initiative by Shell to explore low-carbon opportunities, and the memorandum with Mitsubishi is a step forward in its development.

Edmonton is considered to be Canada’s first hydrogen hub as its abundance of natural gas resources and proven carbon dioxide storage capacity make it conducive to blue hydrogen initiatives.

The first phase of the project aims for production of 165,000 tons of hydrogen a year via a natural gas feedstock which will be converted into low carbon ammonia that will in turn be exported to Asian markets, mainly focusing on Japan.

The collaboration allows Shell to achieve a more significant role in the export of hydrogen and is presented as being progress towards Japan’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

Mitsubishi aims to start construction of the facility by 2030.

Recent Hydrogen Related Articles

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Sister Cities Commit to Hydrogen

World’s First Hydrogen Hotel

The post Mitsubishi Seeks Canadian Blue Hydrogen appeared first on Akihabara News.



Source: Akihabara News – Mitsubishi Seeks Canadian Blue Hydrogen

G.I. Joe goes triple-A with new game headed by ex-WB developers

G.I. Joe goes triple-A with new game headed by ex-WB developers

Enlarge (credit: Hasbro)

Consider this a public service announcement big enough for Flint, Gung-Ho, and Alpine to host: G.I. Joe, one of the United States’ longest-running comic and cartoon series, appears to finally be on the verge of returning to console video games in a major way.

Magic: The Gathering creators Wizards of the Coast are making a new game in the franchise with ex-WB Games developers—the first project for a new, as-yet-unnamed triple-A studio. As listed in multiple job posts on its career page, the company is looking to fill positions at the development house, currently called “New Raleigh-Durham Studio,” for a multiplatform third-person action game set “in the G.I. Joe universe.”

Wizards, a division of Hasbro (which also owns the G.I. Joee brand), states the developer is being headed by experienced ex-staffers from WB Games and other major studios, though the listings suggest it’s still recruiting for some senior positions, including lead game designer and art director.

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Source: Ars Technica – G.I. Joe goes triple-A with new game headed by ex-WB developers