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The Internet Has a Huge C/C++ Problem and Developers Don't Want to Deal With It

Slashdot - 50 min 29 sec ago
What do Heartbleed, WannaCry, and million dollar iPhone bugs have in common? From a report: One bug affects iPhones, another affects Windows, and the third affects servers running Linux. At first glance these might seem unrelated, but in reality all three were made possible because the software that was being exploited was written in programming languages which allow a category of errors called "memory unsafety." By allowing these types of vulnerabilities, languages such as C and C++ have facilitated a nearly unending stream of critical computer security vulnerabilities for years. Imagine you had a program with a list of 10 numbers. What should happen if you asked the list for its 11th element? Most of us would say an error of some sort should occur, and in a memory safe programming language (for example, Python or Java) that's what would happen. In a memory unsafe programming language, it'll look at wherever in memory the 11th element would be (if it existed) and try to access it. Sometimes this will result in a crash, but in many cases you get whatever happens to be at that location in memory, even if that portion of memory has nothing to do with our list. This type of vulnerability is called a "buffer-overflow," and it's one of the most common types of memory unsafety vulnerabilities. HeartBleed, which impacted 17 percent of the secure web servers on the internet, was a buffer-overflow exploit, letting you read 60 kilobytes past the end of a list, including passwords and other users' data.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

How Podcasts Became a Seductive -- and Sometimes Slippery -- Mode of Storytelling

Slashdot - 1 hour 30 min ago
An anonymous reader shares a report: Podcasting has offered advertisers a new means of reaching demographically targeted consumers. Many podcasts feature extended endorsements, read by the host, that often include a discount code for a product or service. For listeners accustomed to a separation between advertising and editorial, the blurring of lines can be disconcerting (or embarrassing, such as when podcast hosts like Joe Rogan and Tim Ferriss expound on how much they enjoy wearing Me Undies). For advertisers that have spent heavily on podcasts, like the omnipresent Casper and Blue Apron, the effectiveness of such campaigns can be measured in increased sales. A representative for Blue Apron, which has launched its own branded podcast, "Why We Eat What We Eat," in addition to advertising on hundreds of shows, told me, "We view podcasts less as an advertising channel and more as a content channel to win new customers and engage existing customers." Podcast advertising remains a relatively new science. Producers and advertisers can instantly tabulate how many times a show has been downloaded, but it's harder to ascertain how many people have listened to the whole thing. A commercial marketplace puts pressure on podcasters to create content that can attract millions of listeners, which does not necessarily make for the strongest, or most subtle, content. Linsky, with some frustration, noted that it doesn't matter much to an advertiser if a podcast takes an hour to record or months to report; all that matters is whether it attracts a lot of listeners. New ways of monetizing podcasts are being explored, including a paid-subscription model; apps such as Stitcher Premium offer ad-free listening and bonus episodes.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Vermintide 2 finally arrives on PlayStation 4 next month

Eurogamer - 1 hour 38 min ago

After what feels like a very long wait, co-op rat smasher Vermintide 2 now has a PlayStation 4 release date: 18th December. That's just one month away!

Before that, you can try the game on PlayStation 4 via a closed beta if you pre-order Vermintide 2's Ultimate Edition from the PlayStation Store. Doing so will also grant you four days early access to the full game before it launches, alongside some other gubbins.

So far, it seems like the only way to access the closed beta is to put your money down for the game's £45 Ultimate Edition. This also contains extra skins, portrait frames and a keep statue, as well as its two DLCs.

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Categories: Video Games

First look at Netflix's Narcos as a video game

Eurogamer - 2 hours 8 min ago

Earlier in the year, British publisher Curve Digital announced it was working on a video game version of hit Netflix show Narcos.

If you haven't seen it, Narcos is a gritty Colombian cartel drama starring the guy who's head got popped on Game of Thrones. It's good watching, if you have the stomach for it.

Today we got our first glimpse at the game Curve is cooking up by way of its development studio partner Kuju.

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Categories: Video Games

YouTube King PewDiePie Surrenders Crown To Indian Record Label T-Series

Slashdot - 2 hours 10 min ago
YouTube is about to crown a new king. T-Series, one of India's largest record labels, will become the most-subscribed channel on the world's most popular video site in the next couple weeks. At the beginning of the year, the company had 30 million fans, fewer than half of the following for No. 1 PewDiePie, the Swedish video-game geek and jokester whose real name is Felix Kjellberg. From a report: The company's ascent has shocked the tight-knit community of online personalities, prompting some to rally behind PewDiePie and delay T-Series' ascent. While claiming the most subscribers on YouTube is largely a symbolic achievement, and the company already has the most monthly views, the end of PewDiePie's five-year reign is a watershed moment that reflects important changes as internet use gets more global. More than half of the 10 most popular channels on YouTube in terms of monthly views are from outside the U.S., and many of them belong to professional media companies. YouTube's previous champions have been young, male amateurs like the video blogger Ray William Johnson and comedy duo Smosh. But after years as a mostly Western site for pranks and cat clips, the Google-owned company has lured most of the world's largest media giants to the site, blurring the line between professional and amateur. Further reading: Who Rules YouTube? Swift? Bieber? Nope. It's T-Series, a Record Label in India.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Eurogamer Q&A: Win 1 of 5 limited edition PS4 Pros!

Eurogamer - 2 hours 24 min ago

So you've been eyeing up one of those swish PS4 Pros for a while now.

Sure, you could nip over to Amazon and treat yourself, but we both know that'll be coming out of the Christmas present fund, and how are little Timmy and young Sandra going to find this year's top-selling toy, a *checks notes* Poopsie Unicorn Slime Surprise under the tree if you've blown the lot on a fancy PlayStation?

Well, how about this for a solution:

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Categories: Video Games

PlayStation 4 worldwide sales reach 86.1 million

Eurogamer - 2 hours 48 min ago

Sony has wheeled out a new worldwide sales figure for PlayStation 4. The grand total now stands at 86.1 million units sold.

It's a rather odd milestone on account of PlayStation 4 turning five years old today and Sony needing an up-to-date statistic for an infographic.

Other nuggets of information include the most popular controller colour - can you guess what it is? Bloody boring standard black, that's right. Then it's red, blue, white and pukey camo.

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Categories: Video Games

Pokémon Go update adds Gen 4 evolutions, Meltan, more

Eurogamer - 2 hours 49 min ago

Classic Pokémon such as Magmar and Electabuzz can now evolve for the first time in Pokémon Go.

Last night, Pokémon Go added a new item which unlocks these species' new Gen 4 evolutions. Named the Sinnoh Stone, after the Gen 4 games' region, this one-size-fits-all item replaces some complicated mechanics found in the original Diamond and Pearl games.

Half of the 22 Pokémon to gain new evolutions in Gen 4 can now evolve using the item. I'll save the full details for Eurogamer's Pokémon Go Sinnoh Stone guide, but the following species are now evolvable: Rhydon, Electabuzz, Magmar, Togetic, Misdreavus, Murkrow, Gligar, Sneasel, Porygon 2, Roselia and Dusclops.

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Categories: Video Games

Chinese Telecoms Giant ZTE is Helping Venezuela Build a System That Monitors Citizen Behavior Through a New Identification Card

Slashdot - 2 hours 50 min ago
The "fatherland card," already used by the government to track voting, worries many in Venezuela and beyond. From a report: In April 2008, former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dispatched Justice Ministry officials to visit counterparts in the Chinese technology hub of Shenzhen. Their mission, according to a member of the Venezuela delegation, was to learn the workings of China's national identity card program. Chavez, a decade into his self-styled socialist revolution, wanted help to provide ID credentials to the millions of Venezuelans who still lacked basic documentation needed for tasks like voting or opening a bank account. Once in Shenzhen, though, the Venezuelans realized a card could do far more than just identify the recipient. There, at the headquarters of Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp, they learned how China, using smart cards, was developing a system that would help Beijing track social, political and economic behavior. Using vast databases to store information gathered with the card's use, a government could monitor everything from a citizen's personal finances to medical history and voting activity. "What we saw in China changed everything," said the member of the Venezuelan delegation, technical advisor Anthony Daquin. His initial amazement, he said, gradually turned to fear that such a system could lead to abuses of privacy by Venezuela's government. "They were looking to have citizen control." The following year, when he raised concerns with Venezuelan officials, Daquin told Reuters, he was detained, beaten and extorted by intelligence agents. They knocked several teeth out with a handgun and accused him of treasonous behavior, Daquin said, prompting him to flee the country. Government spokespeople had no comment on Daquin's account. The project languished. But 10 years after the Shenzhen trip, Venezuela is rolling out a new, smart-card ID known as the "carnet de la patria," or "fatherland card." The ID transmits data about cardholders to computer servers. The card is increasingly linked by the government to subsidized food, health and other social programs most Venezuelans rely on to survive.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Spyro Reignited looks beautiful and plays better than the originals - with a few hiccups

Eurogamer - 3 hours 15 min ago

Following the immense success of last year's Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy, Activision has wasted little time in resurrecting another fondly remembered 90s platforming hero for modern consoles. Spyro Reignited Trilogy brings Insomniac's three Spyro The Dragon games to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a visually lush conversion by industry veteran Toys for Bob - the studio responsible for classic games such as Star Control 2 as well as the Skylanders series.

If you grew up with a PlayStation in the late 90s, chances are you have fond memories of Spyro. Developer Insomniac was coming off the back of its first release, a technically impressive and critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful first-person shooter for PlayStation called Disruptor. It couldn't be more different from Spyro, but that's the point - the studio had proven its talent but was looking for a new audience. Meanwhile, Sony was looking for more family-friendly games for PlayStation as well as a counter to the revolutionary Super Mario 64, which had upended expectations of what a 3D game could be with its massive levels and open-ended style.

Many believed this style of game would be impossible on PlayStation, but Insomniac set out to disprove that myth - and succeeded. Spyro was designed with free roaming in mind, and although the stages were small compared to Mario 64, they were still impressively large for the hardware. Insomniac also used some clever tricks to circumvent some of the PlayStation's weaknesses and run the game without distance fog - a common performance-saving technique at the time - which meant it could match Mario's crystal-clear, colourful look.

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Categories: Video Games

Witcher author Andrzej Sapkowski unsuccessfully demands more money from CD Projekt

Eurogamer - 3 hours 20 min ago

UPDATE 15TH NOVEMBER: There was a minor update to this story during a call discussing CD Projekt's Q3 2018 earnings. Joint-CEO Adam Kiciński referred to the issue as "an open one", intimating no decision either way had been made.

"Until we have reached a significant milestone we intend to withhold comments," Kiciński told investors. "The issue is an open one, and when we feel we have information which can be shared with the world - in terms of specific outcomes - you will hear from us. For now, we will refrain from comments."

ORIGINAL STORY 2ND OCTOBER: Remember when Andrzej Sapkowski, creator of The Witcher fiction, told me he'd been "stupid" rejecting a percentage of the profits while selling the video game rights to CD Projekt Red all those years ago?

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Categories: Video Games

AMD Radeon RX 590 preview - refreshingly solid at 1080p

Eurogamer - 3 hours 30 min ago

AMD's latest card has been revealed. The Radeon RX 590 is the first AMD card produced using a 12nm process, allowing the card to reach significantly faster clock speeds than the 14nm RX 580. However, that does come at a cost in the form of a 40W jump in power consumption and a higher price: $279 for the RX 590, versus $229 for the RX 580. In this preview, we'll show you how the new RX 590 performs against its closest competitors ahead of our full DF review.

The RX 590 is intended to slot between the RX 580 and Vega 56 on AMD's totem pole, thereby achieving strong 1080p performance with a little more headroom to play at max settings or chase high frame-rates without the extra cost and features of AMD's Vega chips. We should also expect 1440p performance to be improved, although even the best RX 580 models only managed console-quality frame-rates in the most demanding titles. In terms of Nvidia's GPU lineup, the RX 590 ought to offer faster performance than the GTX 1060 6GB without challenging the significantly more expensive GTX 1070.

So what exactly is the difference between the RX 590 and RX 580? In truth, there's not a lot to separate them. While the 12nm process allows the RX 590 to run at higher frequencies than the RX 580 (1545MHz compared to 1340MHz), the two cards share the same number of compute units, shaders, memory and more. The only difference is that these higher frequencies require more power, with the new card's TDP has grown from 185W to 225W. It's clear that AMD were aiming to make a new card with a minimal investment of time and resources, and boosting frequencies while leaving the overall design the same is a very efficient way to do just that.

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Categories: Video Games

Minister in Charge of Japan's Cybersecurity Says He Has Never Used a Computer

Slashdot - 3 hours 40 min ago
Futurepower(R) shares a report: A lot of people don't use computers. Most of them aren't in charge of a nation's cybersecurity. But one is. Japanese lawmakers were aghast on Wednesday when Yoshitaka Sakurada, 68, the minister who heads the government's cybersecurity office, said during questioning in Parliament that he had no need for the devices, and appeared confused when asked basic technology questions. "I have been independently running my own business since I was 25 years old," he said. When computer use is necessary, he said, "I order my employees or secretaries" to do it. [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source.] "I don't type on a computer," he added. Asked by a lawmaker if nuclear power plants allowed the use of USB drives, a common technology widely considered to be a security risk, Mr. Sakurada did not seem to understand what they were. "I don't know details well," he said. "So how about having an expert answer your question if necessary, how's that?" The comments were immediately criticized. "I can't believe that a person who never used a computer is in charge of cybersecurity measures," said Masato Imai, an opposition lawmaker.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Black Friday: Get £100 off on the Vega 56 or Vega 64, plus £150 of free games

Eurogamer - 4 hours 30 min ago

Good news, everyone! The first really big discounts on graphics cards have arrived as of 1PM today, UK time. Overclockers are offering two AMD RX Vega graphics cards at a significant discount - £100 off, in fact! They're also throwing in a games bundle worth £150, including three AAA games due to launch early next year: Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry 5 and The Division 2.

This is an absolute cracker of a deal given that we're still more than a week away from Black Friday 2018 itself. Now, let's cover which two cards are on offer at the moment - and suprisingly, they're among the best AMD has to offer...

Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 64 Nitro+ 8GB for £399 - was £499, save £100!

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Categories: Video Games

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales hasn't done as well as CD Projekt hoped

Eurogamer - 5 hours 9 min ago

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, which we've reviewed and Recommended, hasn't sold as strongly as CD Projekt Red hoped.

Here's the admission by joint-CEO Adam Kiciński in a CDP financial call yesterday: "The game appealed to the community, which drove up our expectations regarding sales. Unfortunately, as yet, these expectations have not been fulfilled. Still, we remain optimistic ... We expect to continue to sell Thronebreaker for many years to come, even though the initial period may not have lived up to our initial expectations."

"The reach of GOG is incomparably smaller than that of Steam" -Adam Kiciński

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Categories: Video Games

Battlefield 5 review - DICE's most entertaining shooter in years is also its most compromised

Eurogamer - 5 hours 30 min ago

Battlefield 5 is a mess. It's the glitchiest, most technically troubled DICE's sandbox multiplayer has been since the infamous launch of Battlefield 4, and even the launch itself is all over the place. Here's a game that's not out for paying punters until later this month. Or it's out today, if you're willing to pay a little bit more. Or, if you'd rather not pay for the whole thing, it's been out for a week for EA Access subscribers. Or maybe a bit over a week, if you're an EA Access Premier subscriber. Of course.

And even when that particular mess is behind us, Battlefield 5 isn't where you might expect it to be. The inevitable Battle Royale mode - surely the perfect fit for DICE's own brand of chaos - isn't out until next March. The co-op mode that was announced at launch isn't coming until later as, for that matter, is one of the four single-player War Stories, another planned piece of post-release support. Such omissions and scarcity of features is all collateral from EA's move from its older business model towards free, regular updates, though Battlefield 5 feels so incomplete at launch as it veers away from the dreaded season pass at times it feels more like an Early Access title. Small wonder the sense of anticipation around this one has been particularly muted.

Put that down to another episode of epic mismanagement from EA, and take some pity on DICE, because the game it's crafted beneath all that chaos is frequently fantastic; a shoring up of the Battlefield formula with a suite of new systems that can come together beautifully. It makes for some of the most fun I've had with Battlefield since the heady days of Bad Company - not that fun is something that's encouraged by the sombre tone throughout Battlefield 5 (a tone that was absent in the upbeat reveal trailer, which suggest that maybe there was a change of gear in the run-up to release).

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Categories: Video Games

Russian Nintendo fans want rid of the company's local boss

Eurogamer - 5 hours 53 min ago

Unhappy Russian Nintendo fans have called for the company to replace its local CEO and have begun circulating an expletive-filled video of him mismanaging a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe livestream.

Fans have been unhappy with Nintendo of Russia boss Yasha Haddaji for some time and have blamed him for several unpopular business decisions taken under his premiership.

In September, Nintendo of Russia ended the sale of new Pokémon trading cards in the region after prices rose due to currency fluctuations. This week, Russian retailers have reported struggling to meet pre-order demand for Pokémon Let's Go's Eevee edition because Nintendo of Russia over-ordered the Pikachu version instead.

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Categories: Video Games

Mark Zuckerberg Reportedly Ordered All Facebook Executives To Use Android Phones After Tim Cook Criticized Facebook

Slashdot - 7 hours 30 min ago
A new report from the New York Times sheds some light on what happened inside Facebook last year as the company was fighting numerous scandals, including Russian interference and the Cambridge Analytica scandal in March. In addition to reportedly hiring a public relations firm to write dozens of articles critical of rivals Google and Apple, the social media company ordered Facebook executives to use Android phones, after Apple CEO Tim Cook criticized the company in an MSNBC interview for being a service that traffics "in your personal life." According to the report, the order came from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The Verge reports: In those comments made back in March, Cook dismissed a question asking him what he would do if he were in Zuckerberg's shoes dealing with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal by saying, "I wouldn't be in this situation." Zuckerberg soon after retorted in an interview with Recode that he found Cook's comments to be "extremely glib," and that "I think it's important that we don't all get Stockholm syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you. Because that sounds ridiculous to me." While it's not clear how Cook's aggressive comments directly provoked Zuckerberg into issuing his Android-only order, it's still a rational decision to make Americans use Android. Android is the dominant operating system in many regions outside of the U.S., including South America, Europe, Russia, South Asia, and parts of the Middle East.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Overkill's The Walking Dead review - a limp Left 4 Dead-a-like

Eurogamer - 9 hours 30 min ago

It was the environmental storytelling that hooked me first; a thousand tiny, inconsequential props that told me a story that the characters alone could not.

Broken glasses. Discarded teddy bears. Solitary shoes. Barbed wire. Crimson stains. Suitcases spilling their disintegrating guts along empty highways. An early teaser promised all this; Overkill was painting a rich, abandoned world, one split wide open and now slowly being reclaimed by the undead. Its developers talked of its exploratory work, its research into what happens to an urban landscape when society splinters. When does paint blister and peel, they asked. When does metal start to rust?

I was ready for this world. I know, I know: so many of us are tired of these post-apocalyptic places - especially the ones stuffed with zombies - and I truly do appreciate that weariness. But for all its beautiful brutality and sophisticated storytelling, Telltale's take on The Walking Dead's universe was a little too restrictive for me. I wanted more than that. I wanted a fight. To walk along those empty highways, see those discarded suitcases, step between the rusting cars, see the rotting remains of those still belted up in the vehicles they'd thought would take them to safety. I was ready for a The Walking Dead game that delivered Telltale's stories with The Last of Us's world-building, and from that incredible teaser, it really did look like Overkill was going to do it.

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Categories: Video Games

Mozilla's 'Privacy Not Included' Gift Report Highlights Security Concerns

Slashdot - 10 hours 30 min ago
Mozilla has released its second annual "Privacy Not Included" guide that rates 70 products to help give you an idea as to how secure or insecure they are. "We want to provide people information about how to make informed decisions when shopping for gifts that are connected to the internet," says Ashley Boyd, vice president of advocacy at Mozilla. "These products are becoming really popular. And in some cases, it's easy to forget that they're even connected to the internet." Wired reports: Among the important signifiers of a trustworthy stocking stuffer, according to Mozilla's rubric: the use of encryption, pushing automatic software security updates, strong password hygiene, a way to deal with vulnerabilities should they arise, and a privacy policy that doesn't take a PhD to parse. The most surprising result of Mozilla's testing may be how many products actually earned its seal of approval. Thirty-three of the 70 items in the "Privacy Not Included" guide passed muster; fans of the Nintendo Switch, Google Home, and Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit can sleep a little easier. On the other end of the scale, Mozilla highlighted seven products that may not hit the mark -- yes, including the sous vide wand, the Anova Precision Cooker. Also scoring low marks in Mozilla's accounting: the DJI Spark Selfie Drone (no encryption, does not require users to change the default password), the Parrot Bebop 2 drone (no encryption, complex privacy policy), and unsurprisingly, at least one baby monitor. The remaining 30 items on the list all exist somewhere in the murky middle, usually because Mozilla was unable to confirm at least one attribute. Which may be the real takeaway from the report: Typically, you have no reasonable way to find out if a given internet-connected device is secure. "If you can't tell, that says that there's a problem of communication between manufacturers and consumers," says Boyd. "We would love for makers of these products to be more clear and more transparent about what they're doing and not doing. That's a big place we think change is needed."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff
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