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Nvidia Unveils Powerful New RTX 2070 and 2080 Graphics Cards

Slashdot - 15 min 53 sec ago
During a pre-Gamescom 2018 livestream from Cologne, Germany, Nvidia on Monday unveiled new GeForce RTX 2070, RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti high-end graphics cards. These new 20-series cards will succeed Nvidia's current top-of-the-line GPUs, the GeForce GTX 1070, GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti. While the company usually waits to launch the more powerful Ti version of a GPU, this time around, it's releasing the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti at once. Polygon adds: They won't come cheap. The Nvidia-manufactured Founders Edition versions will cost $599 for the RTX 2070, $799 for the RTX 2080 and $1,199 for the RTX 2080 Ti. The latter two cards are expected to ship "on or around" Sept. 20, while there is no estimated release date for the RTX 2070. Pre-orders are currently available for the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announced different "starting at" prices during the keynote presentation. Huang's presentation said the RTX 2070 will start at $499, the RTX 2080 at $699 and the RTX 2080 Ti at $999. Asked for clarification, an Nvidia representative told Polygon that these amounts reflect retail prices for third-party manufacturers' cards. The RTX 2070, 2080 and 2080 Ti will be the first consumer-level graphics cards based on Nvidia's next-generation Turing architecture, which the company announced earlier this month at the SIGGRAPH computing conference. At that time, Nvidia also revealed its first Turing-based products: three GPUs in the company's Quadro line, which is geared toward professional applications. All three of the new RTX cards will feature built-in support for real-time ray tracing, a rendering and lighting technique for photorealistic graphics that gaming companies are starting to introduce this year

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Staff At Gatwick Airport Use Whiteboards After Flight Information Screens Fail

Slashdot - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 23:30
Staff at the Gatwick Airport in southeast England had to write flight information on whiteboards for most of the day due to a technical problem with its digital screens. The BBC reports: Vodafone provides the service, and said a damaged fibre cable had caused the information boards to stop working. In a statement at 17:00 BST, a Gatwick spokesman said the issue had been resolved and flight information was being displayed as normal. "Tens of thousands" of people departed on time and no flights were cancelled. Apologizing to customers, he added that the airport's "manual contingency plan," which included having extra staff on hand to help direct passengers, had worked well. The airport earlier said a "handful of people" had missed their flights due to the problems.

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President Trump Says It is 'Very Dangerous' When Companies Like Twitter Regulate Own Content

Slashdot - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 22:50
In an interview with Reuters on Monday, the U.S. President Donald Trump said that it is "very dangerous" for social media companies like Twitter and Facebook to regulate the content on their own platforms. Trump's remarks come on the backdrop of technology giants Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and YouTube ridding select kind of content of their platforms in the recent weeks. On Saturday, Trump argued that social media companies are "closing down the opinions" of conservatives. He tweeted, "They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others. Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won't let that happen." Further reading: Twitter Is 'Rethinking' Its Service, and Suspending 1M Accounts Each Day.

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A Hat in Time is heading to Switch "soon"

Eurogamer - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 22:19

Developer Gears for Breakfast's delightfully old-school 3D platformer A Hat in Time is heading to Switch, and there's new DLC coming to PC next month too.

In terms of the Switch release, there's admittedly not a lot to share right now: according to Gears for Breakfast's news-packed Gamescom announcement video, A Hat in Time is definitely on its way to Nintendo Switch and is simply "coming soon".

Moving onto more substantially divulged matters, however, A Hat in Time's new DLC, which was a stretch goal during the game's 2013 Kickstarter campaign, is called Seal the Deal, and offers a brand-new chapter's worth of exploratory platform action - this time aboard a luxurious cruise liner bound for the Arctic and staffed (inevitably) by seals.

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Categories: Video Games

It's Time to End the 'Data Is' vs 'Data Are' Debate

Slashdot - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 22:10
dmoberhaus writes: After receiving too many irate emails about using "data" in the singular, a reporter spoke to two lexicographers about how the language changes over time and why it's perfectly acceptable and perhaps even "standard" to use data as a singular noun, rather than a plural noun in an attempt to settle an old debate. Peter Sokolowski, a lexicographer for the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, told the reporter that data's transition between its historical roots and contemporary use is related to a lexical phenomenon called "semantic bleaching," where a word's original meaning is lost or diminished over time. An example of semantic bleaching include the contemporary use of the word "literally," whose Latin root, littera, means "letter." In the case of "data," it has transitioned from "things given" to mean something like "a collection of information in aggregate" when used in everyday speech.

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Life is Strange 2 is a roadtrip story starring two young brothers

Eurogamer - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 22:05

Life is Strange 2 will swap the small town America setting of its original season and the powerful narrative of friendship between two teenage girls for something very different - a roadtrip tale set along the West coast of America starring two young brothers.

As 16-year-old Sean Diaz you must look after your younger sibling Daniel as you survive while on the run - after "a tragic event that changes their lives forever".

Tonight, on the eve of Gamescom 2018 in Cologne, co-directors Raoul Barbet and Michel Koch fully introduced the new setting and stars to an audience of invited media. Eurogamer was in attendance to see a chunk of the game - although you'll have to wait just a little longer for us to be able to publish our initial impressions.

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Categories: Video Games

How Amazon, One of the Richest Companies in the World, Secretly Offloads Its Electricity Costs To Local Taxpayers Who Live Near Its Data Centers

Slashdot - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 21:29
Several readers have shared this Bloomberg report: Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud computing business, is its fastest-growing and most profitable division, but it comes with a lot of upfront infrastructure costs and ongoing expenses, the biggest of which is electricity. Over the past two years, Amazon has almost doubled the size of its physical footprint worldwide, to 254 million square feet, including dozens of new data centers with vast fields of servers running 24/7. In at least two states, it's also negotiated with utilities and politicians to stick other people with the bills, piling untold millions of dollars on top of the estimated $1.2 billion in state and municipal tax incentives the company has received over the past decade. Other companies, including Google and Tesla, have taken advantage of the power industry's hunger for growth and the relative secrecy that followed its 1990s deregulation in dozens of states. But Amazon stands out for its success in offloading its power costs and also because it dominates America's cloud business, which has gone from nonexistent to using 2 percent of U.S. electricity in about a decade. "Amazon had a huge advantage, because there weren't a lot of other sectors growing in the electricity market," says Neal Elliott, senior director of research at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a green lobbying group. The company has also ratcheted up the secrecy around who's paying for electricity, says environmental advocate Greenpeace, which calls Amazon the single biggest obstacle to industry transparency.

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China's Huawei Caught Faking DSLR Shots as Smartphone Pictures in a Commercial

Slashdot - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 20:46
Smartphone cameras are better than ever, but sometimes there's just no substitute for a full-sized DSLR. Unfortunately, it seems that Huawei thinks so, too. From a report: A shot in the company's latest commercial for its new Nova 3 smartphone has been revealed by a behind-the-scenes photo to be a DSLR, not the smartphone as the ad alleges. As you can see about halfway through the ad, a bickering couple takes a selfie together apparently to show off how Huawei's AI and camera tech make it so that the woman doesn't need to put on makeup. But a since-deleted Instagram picture posted by Sarah Elshamy (the actress in the scene) reveals that instead of a fun selfie from the Nova 3, the shot in question came from a DSLR, shot by a professional photographer. In fact, the Nova 3 doesn't seem in be in the frame at all.

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Battlefield 5's open beta gets a proper September start date

Eurogamer - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 20:34

DICE has announced that Battlefield 5's open beta will commence on September 4th, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

More specifically, as revealed in a new blog post, the Battlefield 5 beta begins on September 4th in its "early access" guise, and will be accessible to anyone that's pre-ordered the game on any platform, as well as to Origin Access Premier, Origin Access Basic, and EA Access subscribers.

Then, from September 6th, the beta will be made available to all players on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or PC (via Origin). DICE isn't yet saying how long the open beta will last, other than a vague "limited time", but does note that anyone planning to get involved can pre-load the beta client from 9am BST on September 3rd.

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Categories: Video Games

Nvidia unveil RTX 2070, RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti at Gamescom

Eurogamer - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 20:10

After months of leaks and rumours, Nvidia has finally unveiled its new generation of consumer graphics cards at their Gamescom event with the RTX 2070, RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti.

Yes, Nvidia is finally moving on from its GTX naming convention after a decade, while also jumping from 10-series to 20-series cards. RTX refers to real-time ray tracing, a computationally expensive process of accurately modelling how light bounces between reflective surfaces in a scene. Ray tracing in real time has been a holy grail for graphics card makers for years, and it looks like Nvidia has become the first to truly crack this photo-realistic lighting effect.

Nvidia is promising ray tracing performance which is six times faster than previous generation graphics hardware, thanks to dedicated RT cores. Nvidia replayed the Star Wars short they released at GDC in March, and CEO Jensen Huang stated that the four Volta V100 data centre GPUs used to originally render the short are outperformed by a single consumer-grade RTX 2080 Ti - impressive stuff.

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New York City Announces Plans To Introduce Legislation To Cut Building Emission, Its Top Source Of Climate Pollution

Slashdot - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 20:06
A top New York City lawmaker announced a bill Monday to mandate dramatic energy use cuts in big buildings, by far the biggest source of carbon dioxide, in a historic move that could set a new standard for cities around the world. From a report: The legislation plans to require the city's largest buildings to reduce energy use by 20 percent by 2030, as well as to set a framework for increasing the cuts by 40 percent to 60 percent by 2050. Combined with projected increases for renewable energy capacity on the power grid, the city could reduce its climate-warming emissions by 80 percent. Electricity and heating in buildings make up nearly 70 percent of the city's climate pollution, with luxury towers producing the lion's share. "The low-hanging fruit is gone," City Councilman Costa Constantinides, a Queens legislator who leads the council's Committee on Environmental Protection, said Monday morning on the steps of City Hall. "If we are going to make a real impact on climate change, it's going to be on buildings." The legislation, which is not yet complete, would make the nation's largest and most economically influential metropolis among the first major cities in the world to mandate strict retrofits on existing buildings to reduce planet-warming emissions.

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'This is Not Your Father's Microsoft': CEO Satya Nadella On Helping a Faded Legend Find a 'Sense of Purpose'

Slashdot - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 19:30
News outlet CNET has two big stories on Microsoft today. The publication interviewed CEO Satya Nadella on the changes he has made since taking the top job. The stories, among other things, talks about Microsoft Hackathon, the diversity pushes Nadella has made at the company, and how Microsoft lost the touch with what made it successful, and how Nadella is trying to fix that. From story one: Nadella dreamed up the Microsoft Hackathon, which the company calls the "largest private hackathon in the world," when he became CEO in February 2014. Just a few of the thousands of projects pitched over the past five years have inspired mainstream products. Most of these let's-change-the-world ideas aren't the kind of business tech that Microsoft makes the bulk of its money on -- at least not today. That's just fine with Nadella, because the meetup serves another purpose: rebranding Microsoft as a modern, relevant company. When he became the third CEO of the world's largest software company, after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Nadella made changing Microsoft's rigid, hierarchical and arrogant culture his top priority. He sort of had to. Though arguably one of the most successful technology companies in history, Microsoft's had a string of high-profile misses in mobile, search and social networking. Additionally, the company's toxic culture, characterized by corporate politics, infighting and backstabbing, fed an image of Microsoft as a fading legend. Rivals Apple, Google and Facebook were seen as innovators creating shiny new opportunities with their disruptive tech. A generation grew up without ever having used a Microsoft product. "One of the things that happens when you're super successful is you sort of sometimes lose touch with what made you successful in the first place," Nadella tells us when we ask what he was trying to solve with the hackathon."I wanted to go back to the very genesis of this company: What is that sense of purpose and drive that made us successful? What was the culture that may have been there in the very beginning or in the times when we were able to achieve that success? How do we really capture it?" says Nadella, who joined Microsoft in 1992. It's about "the renaissance as much as about just sort of fixing something that's broken." From story two: CNET: What is the vibe or image of Microsoft you want the world to know? Nadella: It's in our mission. It's empowering. Any association with this company should be, they put some tools, they put some platforms, they gave me the opportunity to really do something. Whether it's a student writing a term paper, whether it's a startup trying to create a company, a small business that's trying to be more productive or even a public sector institution that's trying to be more efficient and serve its citizens -- [they] should feel that association with Microsoft is empowering to them. That's what I want us to stand for.

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From Software's ninja-themed Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice gets a release date

Eurogamer - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 19:20

From Software has revealed that its upcoming ninja-themed Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 22nd next year.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is, of course, the latest third-person action-adventure from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software - and is especially notable for the fact that it's being helmed by the mastermind behind both those series (as well as the likes of Demon's Souls), Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Shadows Die Twice loses the gothic spires and medieval bleakness of From's most famous series, however - unfolding in a comparatively colourful 16th Century Sengoku Japan - and gives the studio's distinctive third-person action a more aggressive, faster pace. It casts you as Sekiro, a shinobi on a quest of revenge against the samurai that severed his arm.

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Categories: Video Games

Diablo 3 on Switch plays just how you want it to

Eurogamer - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 19:00

Diablo 3 has come a long way since its launch in 2012. It's skipped from PC to consoles to next-generation consoles, shedding its universally despised Auction House feature and gaining new expansions, new modes, new hero classes and, crucially, new monsters to kill and new loot to scoop up and hoard away. Six years on, can yet another release on the Nintendo Switch - the Diablo 3: Eternal Collection - tempt players to pay for the same game a third or even fourth time? Well, it's Diablo 3, and all the ultra-satisfying demon-smashing and loot-hoovering that entails, available online or offline on your commute, so - yeah, almost definitely.

We had an early chance to play the Gamescom build of the game today; the same slice of the game will be available to the public on the show floor later this week. This build throws you into Adventure mode, first introduced with the Reaper of Souls expansion. (Both Reaper of Souls and the Rise of the Necromancer expansions are included on the cartridge for the Switch release; for more details, check out our report from last week>.) The 15-minute timed demo, played on a handheld console, allowed us to choose a formidably-equipped level 70 character from any of the seven available classes and sent us out into the Greater Rift in a team of three other players for a round of focused co-operative multiplayer. There was also the option to play the same section, docked, in single-player - which we did with both a Pro Controller and a single Joy-Con. A few minor bugs aside (it's still a fairly early build) what we played was an impressively polished port for nine months of active development. According to one of the developers present, Blizzard "had the game running within the first two. It was actually very quick to get it stood up and going. We collaborated with Iron Galaxy... most of the time has been spent tuning, making sure the buttons are feeling right and abilities are hitting the right spots." (Iron Galaxy is the port specialist studio responsible for Skyrim on Switch, among many others.)

Co-op is still a beautiful mess of spells and effects and colourful explosions. Diablo 3 has always been a very visually busy game - especially when four players are mashing cooldowns and destroying objects side-by-side - but the smaller screen doesn't make things any harder to follow than they were before. In fact, everything here feels incredibly familiar and as someone who played Diablo 3 mostly on PS4, I was able to pick things up on handheld with no trouble at all. Blizzard has previously confirmed that it plays at a resolution of 960p in docked mode and 720p while handheld, but today during the demo the developer mentioned that to keep the gameplay moving at a 'target' 60fps all round and so that "the hardware is supporting what the game is trying to do," there has been a slight reduction in some cosmetic features like bloom and particle effects. The developers assured players in our roundtable demo that the difference is minimal: "A few super big particle effects, but all of the core assets are still there, it's just about how much bloom and those types of things that got scaled a little bit."

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Just Cause 4's latest gameplay video shows off chaotic tornado action

Eurogamer - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 18:59

Avalanche Studios has unveiled a brand-new slice of gameplay footage from its upcoming stunt-action spy extravaganza, Just Cause 4 - this one showcasing the game's devastating tornados.

According to Avalanche, these "fully physicalized" tornados are just one of four so-called Extreme Weather simulations in Just Cause 4 (the others including intense lightning storms and blizzards), and are able to "rip through the landscape, send huge pieces of debris spiralling through the air and tear aeroplanes out of the sky".

The latest gameplay video, which you can see below, demonstrates a mission specifically based around pursuing one of these tornadoes, and involves hurtling along in a brand-new vehicle - the heavily armoured Storm Chaser - in order to reach a base that lies in its path.

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Google Just Put an AI in Charge of Keeping Its Data Centers Cool

Slashdot - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 18:55
Google is putting an artificial intelligence system in charge of its data center cooling after the system proved it could cut energy use. From a report: Now Google and its AI company DeepMind are taking the project further; instead of recommendations being implemented by human staff, the AI system is directly controlling cooling in the data centers that run services including Google Search, Gmail and YouTube. "This first-of-its-kind cloud-based control system is now safely delivering energy savings in multiple Google data centers," Google said. Data centers use vast amount of energy and as the demand for cloud computing rises even small tweaks to areas like cooling can produce significant time and cost savings. Google's decision to use its own DeepMind-created system is also a good plug for its AI business. Every five minutes, the AI pulls a snapshot of the data center cooling system from thousands of sensors. This data is fed into deep neural networks, which predict how different choices will affect future energy consumption.

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Stellaris to be the first grand strategy game on console

Eurogamer - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 18:27

Eurogamer Recommended grand strategy game Stellaris is coming to console, to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. There's no release date but we do know Tantalus Media will handle the port. Tantalus previously ported Cities Skylines to console for Paradox.

Stellaris' eventual console arrival will apparently be the first time a grand strategy has been playable there - a grand strategy game being one which lets you do high-level, zoomed-out campaign strategising as well as on-the-ground, in-the-action battle management. Think of Total War or, indeed, Stellaris. How comfortable it will feel on thumbsticks remains to be seen.

Stellaris: Console Edition will come with version 1.7 of the game, and a Deluxe Edition will pack the Plantoids Species Pack, Leviathans Story Pack and Utopia Expansion.

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Categories: Video Games

Amazon's Kindle Voyage May Be Over

Slashdot - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 18:24
Amazon's Kindle e-reader family seems to have lost a member along the way, with the disappearance of the Voyage from its Kindle Family listing. From a report: The site now lists just three models in its lineup of eight configurations, the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis. Good e-Reader first noticed this a few weeks back, saying the Voyage seems to have vanished in July. In years past when Amazon has refreshed its Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets, it has done it in the summer or fall. The high-end Oasis was last updated in October 2017, but the most recent midline Paperwhite last saw changes in 2015, and the basic Kindle in 2016. Chances are one or both of the older models will receive an update in the near future.

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IGN Pulls Ex-Editor's Posts After Dozens More Plagiarism Accusations Surface

Slashdot - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 17:31
An anonymous reader shares a report: The gaming site IGN is working to remove all of the posts written by former editor Filip Miucin, who was fired two weeks ago for plagiarism, after internet sleuths found that dozens of his articles and videos copied or rephrased from other websites without attribution. "We've seen enough now, both from the thread and our own searches, that we're taking down pretty much everything he did," IGN reviews editor Dan Stapleton wrote on Twitter last night, referring to a thread on the gaming forum ResetEra cataloging the allegations. For days, people had pointed out more similarities between Miucin's work and various other articles and message board posts. The plan, IGN editors said, is to scrutinize all of the work Miucin has published since the site hired him last October, then figure out what can be restored. IGN's editors also said they hope to re-review the games he reviewed, including ports of Doom and Skyrim on Switch, both which have been replaced by the same message: "This article has been removed due to concerns over similarities to work by other authors. The author of this article is no longer employed by IGN." In the recent days, Miucin has been accused of copying a Bayonetta 2 review from Polygon, copying from a video that took word-for-word from a NeoGAF post, and a number of videos in which Miucin read excerpts from Wikipedia about topics like Super Mario Odyssey and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero as if he had written them. The list even includes an Octopath Traveler article that copied from one of his own IGN colleague's reviews, much to that writer's dismay. Even his Linkedin resume is copied from a job template website, Kotaku reported.

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Gmail Now Lets You Send Self-Destructing 'Confidential Mode' Emails From Your Phone

Slashdot - Mon, 20/08/2018 - 16:54
Google has rolled out its 'confidential mode' for setting a self-destruct date on email to mobile devices. From a report: Confidential mode came with the search company's big redesign of Gmail announced earlier this year and became the default for consumer Gmail users in July, while G Suite business customers still have a few months to make the switch. The data-protection feature is now available on mobile devices, Google announced via a tweet. Google promotes the Gmail feature as a way to protect sensitive information by allowing users to set an expiration date for individual messages or revoke access to messages already sent. The feature also prevents recipients from forwarding, copying, printing or downloading its content and allows users to require recipients to enter a one-time code sent via SMS to view the email. The authentication feature is intended to protect information in the event of the recipient's email account being hijacked. Further reading: Does Gmail's 'Confidential Mode' Go Far Enough?

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