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Nintendo is having another Nindies video showcase for Switch this week

Eurogamer - 43 min 22 sec ago

Nintendo is hosting another Nindies video showcase this Wednesday, March 20th, highlighting a new wave of indie games heading to Switch.

There's no clue as to what specific delights it might bring (although a release date for Retro City Rampage sequel Shakedown: Hawaii doesn't seem beyond the realm of possibility, given that we're rapidly running out of its previously announced "Q1" launch window), but curious observers can tune in from 4pm in the UK / 9am PT. Here's a tweet telling you everything I've just told you but using considerably less words.

Those planning to watch can do so via YouTube or Nintendo's own website, although the latter is basically just a YouTube embed, so I don't suppose it matters either way.

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Categories: Video Games

Flawed Analysis, Failed Oversight: How Boeing, FAA Certified the Suspect 737 MAX Flight Control System

Slashdot - 47 min 22 sec ago
In one of the most detailed descriptions yet of the relationship between Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration during the 737 Max's certification process, the Seattle Times reports that the U.S. regulator delegated much of the safety assessment to Boeing and that the analysis the planemaker in turn delivered to the authorities had crucial flaws. 0x2A shares the report: Both Boeing and the FAA were informed of the specifics of this story and were asked for responses 11 days ago, before the second crash of a 737 MAX. [...] Several technical experts inside the FAA said October's Lion Air crash, where the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) has been clearly implicated by investigators in Indonesia, is only the latest indicator that the agency's delegation of airplane certification has gone too far, and that it's inappropriate for Boeing employees to have so much authority over safety analyses of Boeing jets. "We need to make sure the FAA is much more engaged in failure assessments and the assumptions that go into them," said one FAA safety engineer. Going against a long Boeing tradition of giving the pilot complete control of the aircraft, the MAX's new MCAS automatic flight control system was designed to act in the background, without pilot input. It was needed because the MAX's much larger engines had to be placed farther forward on the wing, changing the airframe's aerodynamic lift. Designed to activate automatically only in the extreme flight situation of a high-speed stall, this extra kick downward of the nose would make the plane feel the same to a pilot as the older-model 737s. Boeing engineers authorized to work on behalf of the FAA developed the System Safety Analysis for MCAS, a document which in turn was shared with foreign air-safety regulators in Europe, Canada and elsewhere in the world. The document, "developed to ensure the safe operation of the 737 MAX," concluded that the system complied with all applicable FAA regulations. Yet black box data retrieved after the Lion Air crash indicates that a single faulty sensor -- a vane on the outside of the fuselage that measures the plane's "angle of attack," the angle between the airflow and the wing -- triggered MCAS multiple times during the deadly flight, initiating a tug of war as the system repeatedly pushed the nose of the plane down and the pilots wrestled with the controls to pull it back up, before the final crash. [...] On the Lion Air flight, when the MCAS pushed the jet's nose down, the captain pulled it back up, using thumb switches on the control column. Still operating under the false angle-of-attack reading, MCAS kicked in each time to swivel the horizontal tail and push the nose down again. The black box data released in the preliminary investigation report shows that after this cycle repeated 21 times, the plane's captain ceded control to the first officer. As MCAS pushed the nose down two or three times more, the first officer responded with only two short flicks of the thumb switches. At a limit of 2.5 degrees, two cycles of MCAS without correction would have been enough to reach the maximum nose-down effect. In the final seconds, the black box data shows the captain resumed control and pulled back up with high force. But it was too late. The plane dived into the sea at more than 500 miles per hour. [...] The former Boeing flight controls engineer who worked on the MAX's certification on behalf of the FAA said that whether a system on a jet can rely on one sensor input, or must have two, is driven by the failure classification in the system safety analysis. He said virtually all equipment on any commercial airplane, including the various sensors, is reliable enough to meet the "major failure" requirement, which is that the probability of a failure must be less than one in 100,000. Such systems are therefore typically allowed to rely on a single input sensor.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Get Stellaris, Civilization 6 and more together for under £12 on Humble

Eurogamer - 1 hour 31 min ago

For the next eight days, you can nab a raft of big bad strategy games from as low as under a quid at the Humble Store, including cosmically vast titles Stellaris and Civilisation 6. This year's Humble Strategy 2019 bundle features the above titles and more for the princely sum of £11.33, or $15.

From the one dollar band, we have three games. Firstly, there's Niche - genetics survival game, which entails shaping your own species of beast and keeping them alive in the brutal wilds.

As you'd expect this includes different biomes and predators, plus flora and prey. As a bonus, the actual scientific mechanics of genetics are interwoven into the game - meaning you can learn as you play. As Niche is currently £13.59 on Steam, this makes for one top-tier deal too!

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Categories: Video Games

Apple Announces 10.5-inch iPad Air and Refreshed iPad Mini

Slashdot - 1 hour 37 min ago
Ahead of a planned event next week, Apple today unveiled two new iPads. From a report: The new, larger, 10.5-inch iPad Air will arrive with a 70 percent performance boost compared to its predecessor, thanks to the company's A12 Bionic chip with Apple's Neural Engine. That'll be useful alongside the now 20-percent larger display -- which is compatible with the first-gen Apple Pencil too. A new iPad Mini has been a long time coming. The 7.9-inch option will, barring screen size, match the Air on specs. The screen is also 25 percent brighter versus old iPad minis, and will also support Apple Pencil -- the tiniest model to do so. Both new iPads have a laminated display that brings the surface glass and screen closer together to improve visibility -- and making them at least a little more desirable than Apple's entry-level iPad. Neither has FaceID built-in, it seems. Look, there's that Home button. The new iPad mini starts at $399 for the Wi-Fi model and $529 for the variant that includes cellular support. The new iPad Air starts at $499 for Wi-Fi, and $629 for Wi-Fi and cellular model.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Meet the Fallout 76 player behind the Deathclaw maze, player oven and murder church

Eurogamer - 1 hour 40 min ago

If you've been on the Fallout 76 subreddit over the past few months, you've probably seen them. Huge, grandiose and utterly outrageous; these are player traps which seem to hoodwink dozens despite their sinister facades.

They're the work of Vault101manguy, also known as Mike: a Canadian Fallout 76 player who by day works in IT, but at night terrifies the citizens of Flatwoods. So far he's created three traps, including a murder church, player oven and his latest masterpiece: a Deathclaw maze.

The posts have gained significant traction on Reddit, even inviting comment from a Bethesda dev, and Mike has plans to make even more traps in future. I had a chat with Mike to ask him a bit about his work and the process behind constructing the devices. Oh - and how he got that Deathclaw into the maze.

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Categories: Video Games

Portal, Left 4 Dead writer Chet Faliszek co-founds new co-op games studio

Eurogamer - 2 hours 4 min ago

Former Valve writer Chet Faliszek has co-founded new games studio Stray Bombay with Riot Games designer Kimberly Voll.

Faliszek is best known for his work on Valve classics such as Half-Life 2's episodes, Portal, Left 4 Dead and Portal 2 - several of which have a big focus on co-operative storytelling.

And it's this focus Stray Bombay will build upon as Faliszek and Voll seek to make games with shared experiences.

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Categories: Video Games

Meteor Blast Over Bering Sea Was 10 Times Size of Hiroshima

Slashdot - 2 hours 7 min ago
A meteor explosion over the Bering Sea late last year unleashed 10 times as much energy as the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, scientists have revealed. From a report: The fireball tore across the sky off Russia's Kamchatka peninsula on 18 December and released energy equivalent to 173 kilotons of TNT. It was the largest air blast since another meteor hurtled into the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, in Russia's south-west, six years ago, and the second largest in the past 30 years. Unlike the Chelyabinsk meteor, which was captured on CCTV, mobile phones and car dashboard cameras, the December arrival from outer space went largely unnoticed at the time because it exploded in such a remote location. Nasa received information about the blast from the US air force after military satellites detected visible and infrared light from the fireball in December. Lindley Johnson, a planetary defense officer at Nasa, told BBC News that blasts of this size were expected only two or three times a century. The space agency's analysis shows that the meteor, probably a few metres wide, barrelled into Earth's atmosphere at 72,000mph and exploded at an altitude of 16 miles. The blast released about 40% of the energy of the meteor explosion over Chelyabinsk, according to Kelly Fast, Nasa's near-Earth objects observations programme manager, who spoke at the 50th Lunar and Planetary Science conference near Houston.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Bethesda's doing E3 this year

Eurogamer - 2 hours 28 min ago

Bethesda will have a media briefing at E3 2019, it's announced.

The company's E3 showcase is set for Monday, 10th June at 1.30am UK time. It'll be a late one!

So, what do we expect? Bethesda has said Doom Eternal will get an in-depth look, so that's guaranteed. But what else? How about something from Arkane, the developer of Dishonored and Prey, more on Wolfenstein: Youngblood, a big expansion for Fallout 76 and another glimpse at Bethesda Game Studio's Starfield?

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Categories: Video Games

Slack Hands Over Control of Encryption Keys To Regulated Customers

Slashdot - 2 hours 47 min ago
Business communications and collaboration service Slack said today that it is launching Enterprise Key Management (EKM) for Slack, a new tool that enables customers to control their encryption keys in the enterprise version of the communications app. The keys are managed in the AWS KMS key management tool. From a report: Geoff Belknap, chief security officer (CSO) at Slack, says that the new tool should appeal to customers in regulated industries, who might need tighter control over security. "Markets like financial services, health care and government are typically underserved in terms of which collaboration tools they can use, so we wanted to design an experience that catered to their particular security needs," Belknap told TechCrunch. Slack currently encrypts data in transit and at rest, but the new tool augments this by giving customers greater control over the encryption keys that Slack uses to encrypt messages and files being shared inside the app. He said that regulated industries in particular have been requesting the ability to control their own encryption keys including the ability to revoke them if it was required for security reasons. "EKM is a key requirement for growing enterprise companies of all sizes, and was a requested feature from many of our Enterprise Grid customers. We wanted to give these customers full control over their encryption keys, and when or if they want to revoke them," he said. Further reading: Slack Doesn't Have End-to-End Encryption Because Your Boss Doesn't Want It.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Nintendo Switch version of Startropics impossible to complete without secret code

Eurogamer - 3 hours 16 min ago

NES classic Startropics famously included a secret code hidden within its paper manual - one you need to enter to complete the game.

Unfortunately, as Reddit users have realised, the recently-released Nintendo Switch version of Startropics does not include it.

It feels like an oversight on Nintendo's part, after the Wii U Virtual Console port of the game included the code in its digital manual.

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Categories: Video Games

Amazon is Introducing Private Investors To High-Risk Startups in a New Pilot Program

Slashdot - 3 hours 32 min ago
Amazon is testing a new way to bolster its relationship with startups and possibly bring in more capital to the ecosystem. From a report: The fledgling effort, known as the Amazon Web Services Pro-Rata Program, is designed to link private investors with companies that use AWS, as well as venture funds whose portfolios are filled with potential cloud customers. Amazon is not investing money through the program. The Pro-Rata program is being run by Brad Holden, a former partner at TomorrowVentures (founded by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt), and Jason Hunt, who are both part of AWS's business development team focused on angel and seed relationships, according to an email they sent to investors in January. "The Pro-Rata Program is a new pilot intended to connect family offices and venture capitalists for specific investment opportunities from the AWS ecosystem," according to the email, which was viewed by CNBC. "Pro rata" refers to the rights investors have to put money in subsequent rounds. Mike Isaac, a reporter at The New York Times, writes, "If Amazon is using its direct knowledge of startups' health based on the fact that Amazon literally owns and operates the servers, how is this at all ethical? If that's not the case, Amazon should make that crystal clear (even though i'd have a hard time believing it). It's like Facebook's years of insights into [various] apps' data with the Onavo team, only instead of ripping companies off (which FB did), they invested in them."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

MySpace Has Reportedly Lost All Photos, Videos and Songs Uploaded Over 12 Years Due To Data Corruption During a Server Migration Project

Slashdot - 4 hours 11 min ago
MySpace may have lost your digital memories in a server migration. From a report: "As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from Myspace," it said in a note at the top of the site. "We apologize for the inconvenience. If you would like more information, please contact our Data Protection Officer at DPO@myspace.com." Andy Baio, one of the people behind Kickstarter, tweeted that it could mean millions of songs uploaded between the site's Aug. 1, 2003 launch and 2015 are gone for good. "Myspace accidentally lost all the music uploaded from its first 12 years in a server migration, losing over 50 million songs from 14 million artists," he wrote Sunday. "I'm deeply skeptical this was an accident. Flagrant incompetence may be bad PR, but it still sounds better than 'we can't be bothered with the effort and cost of migrating and hosting 50 million old MP3s,'" Baio noted.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Get a PSVR set for just over £200

Eurogamer - 4 hours 34 min ago

You can pick up the latest PlayStation VR starter pack (2018 model) and experience mighty VR-O-Vision for a significantly reduced £209 at Amazon - saving you up to £80 on the price compared to the likes of Argos, Currys, AO and Very.

The set includes a headset, PlayStation Camera and a copy of PlayStation VR Worlds, the latter of which features five mini-experiences ranging from an ocean descent to a Danny Dyer-esque heist.

Meanwhile, the same set with a copy of Resident Evil VR and Now TV can be snagged for £239.99 at GAME.

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Categories: Video Games

Nintendo Switch adult Mahjong game pulled due to poor censorship

Eurogamer - 6 hours 9 min ago

A Nintendo Switch version of Mahjong, the ancient Chinese tile game, has been pulled from the Japanese eShop for containing poorly-censored nudity.

Super Real Mahjong PV previously launched on the PC and Sega Saturn, and was designed to titillate players with 32-bit hentai as a reward for completing levels. Super real, it was not.

Back to 2019, where the game's eyebrow-raising reappearance on Switch in Japan includes a lazy attempt to cover up its characters. Light beams now censor parts of each image - making it look like you're staring at Microsoft Paint drawings of women in Japanese schoolgirl costumes, while someone shines a torch into your eyes to ask what on earth you think you're doing.

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Categories: Video Games

Tom Clancy's The Division 2 review - an accomplished sequel with an awful story

Eurogamer - 6 hours 17 min ago

There are a few things you can count on me to be embarrassed by on any given day - my beer gut, for example, or the time I called my teacher 'mum' when I was six. One of the things embarrassing me most at the moment is how much I like The Division 2, because it is a game that manages to be both great and repugnant.

Let's start with the good stuff - The Division 2 is a very well made cover shooter. The core experience introduced in the first game is still gripping, offering countless busy set pieces with just enough of a challenge to make its players feel like part of a well oiled machine.

Skills remain a big part of the game, offering a wide array of sophisticated, deadly and very often daft gadgets to help agents get an edge on their opponents. The range of core skills - and variants of those skills - has been greatly expanded for the sequel, which now boasts a drone that can fix your armour, chemical launchers that can stick people to the spot, and a silly device that zips around the screen attaching magnetic grenades to pre-selected targets before quite often flying into the nearest wall. The gear system has also undergone some changes. Items of gear now have manufacturers - effectively gear sets - adding a layer of complexity to your equipment loadout that can offer some useful perks. Weapon mods, meanwhile, now feature one negative trait along with a positive one, making customisation more of a challenge.

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Categories: Video Games

Astronomers Discover 83 Supermassive Black Holes at the Edge of the Universe

Slashdot - 6 hours 43 min ago
"A team of international astronomers have been hunting for ancient, supermassive black holes -- and they've hit the motherlode, discovering 83 previously unknown quasars," reports CNET: The Japanese team turned the ultra-powerful "Hyper Suprime-Cam", mounted to the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, toward the cosmos' darkest corners, surveying the sky over a period of five years. By studying the snapshots, they've been able to pick potential quasar candidates out of the dark. Notably, their method of probing populations of supermassive black holes that are similar in size to the ones we see in today's universe, has given us a window into their origins. After identifying 83 potential candidates, the team used a suite of international telescopes to confirm their findings. The quasars they've plucked out are from the very early universe, about 13 billion light years away. Practically, that means the researchers are looking into the past, at objects form less than a billion years after the Big Bang. "It is remarkable that such massive dense objects were able to form so soon after the Big Bang," said Michael Strauss, who co-authored the paper, in a press release. Scientists aren't sure how black holes formed in the early universe, so being able to detect them this far back in time provides new avenues of exploration.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

The Division 2 physical launch sales just 20% of Division 1's

Eurogamer - 7 hours 58 min ago

The Division 2 sold far fewer physical copies during its launch week than the series' first entry, back in 2016.

Ubisoft's latest Tom Clancy-'em-up shifted just 20 per cent of the boxed copies of its predecessor. As ever, UK numbers do not include digital sales.

So why the huge plummet? Well, Division 1 launched on a Tuesday in the UK, compared to Division 2's Friday arrival. The first game had a little longer to rack up numbers.

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Categories: Video Games

Glorious pixel physics rule in Noita

Eurogamer - 10 hours 16 min ago

If this is mud that's falling from the cavern above, having pooled in divots and then lapped and slopped over the edges, then why does it settle on top of the water in this beautiful subterranean lake? And why is that guy with flames for hands and feet and flames for a head walking towards me?

Oh, it's not mud at all. It must be oil. Because now everything is ablaze, fire arcing over the surface of the lake, boiling the lake dry, racing upwards to the cavern above and the overflowing divots. Now I'm on fire. Now the ground's giving way. Now I'm landing in fresh green water. Except it's acid rather than water. At least I'm not on fire anymore!

At least I'm not on fire anymore. Noita - I think it's a Finnish word for 'witch' - is the kind of game that has you counting your blessings, however small. It's a 2D procedural exploration game in which you play a robed adventurer heading deep underground with a bundle of magic wands for company. You can aim in any direction and you can levitate for a bit and you can kick things around if they're light enough. Secrets and enemies lurk all about.

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Categories: Video Games

Wells Fargo Sued By 63-Year-Old Pastor They Wrongfully Accused of Forging Checks

Slashdot - 10 hours 43 min ago
Wells Fargo has been hit with a lawsuit from a 63-year-old pastor at the United Methodist Church of Parsippany. Wells Fargo sent his ATM photos to the police, which he says led to false arrest, malicious prosecution -- and humiliation. NJ.com reports: In the lawsuit filed Thursday in Morris County Superior Court, attorneys for the 63-year-old pastor sought unspecified damages against Wells Fargo, which has come under fire over a series of scandals in recent years. Also named were the State Police detectives who originally brought the charges against him last year after bank security officials allegedly mistakenly identified a photo of Edwards taken at an ATM machine as a suspect in a series of fraudulent check deposits.... In the lawsuit, Edwards' attorney wrote that Wells Fargo notified the State Police when it discovered the bogus transactions, and the bank was asked to provide any still photos or video images taken from the ATM at Parsippany where some of the checks were deposited and later cashed out. The bank sent photos of Edwards, who had made his own deposit of checks at the same ATM the very same day, according to the complaint... The pastor said he first discovered he was the focus of a criminal investigation last year after a parishioner texted him a State Police Facebook posting requesting the public's help identifying a man suspected of depositing fraudulent checks at an ATM... In an interview, Edwards said after seeing the post, he called the detectives and shared a copy of his banking transactions to show he had not deposited the fraudulent checks. "I thought it would clear things up," he said. "They said all their information was from Wells Fargo..." Last September, Edwards said he was asked to come down to the State Police station in Holmdel. After he got there, he said he was shocked to find out he was being arrested and charged with third degree forgery. When he protested and said somebody made an error, he said one of the investigators asked him if the case did go to trial, who would the jury believe -- a bank security expert or him? "They fingerprinted me. Took my mug shot and gave me a court date," he said. The case fell apart, but the 63-year-old pastor says he never received an apology from the police, or from Wells Fargo. "The carelessness of both Wells Fargo and the State Police is kind of appalling, and I wonder what happens to somebody who might not have the resources to defend themselves," the pastor told NJ.com. "I told them yes that was my picture and yes I was in the bank that day. That's all they needed to arrest me." A spokesman for Wells Fargo told the reporter they'd be unable to comment "since this is a pending legal matter." But the story was submitted to Slashdot by someone claiming to be pastor Jeff Edwards. "Wells Fargo carelessly provided ATM pictures [of] me to the state police in a fraudulent check investigation that led to my arrest," reads the original submission. "The case was dismissed when it was demonstrated that Wells Fargo had been grossly irresponsible."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

BBC Visits 'Hated and Hunted' Ransomware Expert

Slashdot - 14 hours 43 min ago
In "Hated and hunted," a BBC reporter describes visiting a ransomware expert "who has devoted himself, at huge personal cost, to helping victims of ransomware around the world." They hate him so much that they leave him angry threats buried deep inside the code of their own viruses... "I was shocked but I also felt a real sense of pride," says Fabian. "Almost like, a little bit cocky. I'm not going to lie, yeah, it was nice...." He works remotely for a cyber security company, often sitting for hours at a time working with colleagues in different countries. When he's "in the zone", the outside world becomes even less important and his entire existence focuses on the code on his screen. He once woke up with keyboard imprints all over his face after falling asleep during a 35-hour session. All of this to create anti-ransomware programs that he and his company usually give away free. Victims simply download the tools he makes for each virus, follow the instructions and get their files back... According to research from Emsisoft, the cyber security company Fabian works for, a computer is attacked every two seconds. Their network has managed to prevent 2,584,105 infections in the past 60 days -- and that's just one anti-virus firm of dozens around the world.... "It's pretty much an arms race," says Fabian. "They release a new ransomware virus, I find a flaw in its code and build the decryption tool to reverse it so people can get their files back. Then the criminals release a new version which they hope I can't break... It escalates with them getting more and more angry with me...." Fabian accepts that moving around and restricting his life and circle of friends is just a part of the sacrifice for his hobby-turned-profession... He earns a very good salary but looking around his home and at his life it's hard to see how he spends it. He estimates that he's "upset or angered" 100 different ransomware gangs (based on his analysis of the Bitcoin wallets where they collect their ransoms.) One group had collected about $250,000 (£191,000) in three months -- until Fabian created a countering anti-ransomware program -- which is one reason he carefully hids his identity. "I know how much money they make and it would be literally nothing for them to drop 10 or 20,000 for like some Russian dude to turn up to my house and beat the living hell out of me."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff
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