news

Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping x32 Support

Slashdot - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 16:00
An anonymous reader shared a report: It was just several years ago that the open-source ecosystem began supporting the x32 ABI, but already kernel developers are talking of potentially deprecating the support and for it to be ultimately removed.. [...] While the x32 support was plumbed through the Linux landscape, it really hasn't been used much. Kernel developers are now discussing the future of the x32 ABI due to the maintenance cost involved in still supporting this code but with minimal users. Linus Torvalds is in favor of sunsetting x32 and many other upstream contributors in favor of seeing it deprecated and removed.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Red Dead Redemption 2 voice actor on the game's secretive five-year shooting schedule

Eurogamer - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 15:13

Gabriel Sloyer spent five years acting on Red Dead Redemption 2.

He did other things too, of course. Since 2013, Sloyer's IMDB lists him as appearing in US TV series such as Power, Jessica Jones, Narcos, and Orange is the New Black.

But, between episodes of those, he would regularly fly back to shoot the latest bit of Rockstar's sprawling Western, portraying Mexican cowboy and fellow gang member Javier Escuella.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

Chinese Spies Reportedly Behind Massive Marriott Hack

Slashdot - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: A Chinese intelligence-gathering effort was behind the massive Marriott hotels data breach that exposed the personal information for up to 500 million people, the New York Times reported Tuesday. The hackers are believed to have been working for China's Ministry of State Security, the Times reported citing sources who had been briefed on the investigation's preliminary results. The revelation emerges as the U.S. Justice Department is preparing to announce new indictments against Chinese hackers working for the intelligence and military services, the Times reported. The hotel chain revealed last month that it had discovered that hackers had compromised the guest reservation database of its Starwood division, whose brands include Sheraton, W Hotels, Westin, Le Meridien, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and St. Regis. Marriott said some of the stolen information also included payment card numbers and expiration dates. Private investigators involved in a probe into the breach had previously discovered hacking tools, techniques and procedures that were used in earlier cyberattacks that have been linked to Chinese hackers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

The new batch of NES games for Switch come with another surprise

Eurogamer - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 13:19

A new batch of NES titles came today to the Switch's Online Service - as expected - and they've brought with them a couple of cute surprises.

The games added to the library today for subscribers to the Switch's Online Service are Adventures of Lolo, Ninja Gaiden and Wario's Woods - a fair selection - and they're joined by special editions of existing games, with Dr. Mario and Metroid both getting the SP treatment.

The SP version of Dr. Mario drops you in at level 20 at Hi speed, allowing you to access a scene that's supposedly rarely been seen. Metroid, meanwhile, has an SP version that grants you all of its star Samus' abilities, and places you just before the fight with Ridley that happens towards the end of the game.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

Nintendo fans call for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online multiplayer to be improved

Eurogamer - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 13:12

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has earned critical acclaim and some fantastic sales since its launch around the world last Friday - but also criticism for its scrappy online multiplayer modes.

Criticism has centred around two points in particular.

First, the general lag which can crop up when playing any of the game's online modes. The Smash Bros. series has consistently faced problems with this when playing online - but this isn't the Wii era anymore. As a fighting game, any lag at all can kill the experience and ruin any sense of fairness when playing competitively. And sometimes, seemingly for no reason, the game chugs down to a near-total stop.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

Fortnite's Infinity Blade wrecking the game's $1m tournament

Eurogamer - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 13:01

It's been about 24 hours since Epic introduced the latest change to the ever-evolving Fortnite - and in that short amount of time, it has managed to pretty much unite the game's community, although perhaps not in the way you'd think.

The Infinity Blade, added in yesterday's patch, is a one-off item that can now be picked up in Fortnite's main game mode. It gives the bearer an extraordinary advantage: 200 health, 200 shield, the ability to leap great distances and to deal 75 damage with each swing.

Naturally, everybody hates it.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

SNK 40th Anniversary Edition gets 11 free new games today

Eurogamer - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 12:05

The Switch's SNK 40th Anniversary Collection has just had its planned batch of free games drop, with 11 new titles now available for the compilation.

Nine of them - Munch Mobile, Fantasy, Sasuke vs. Commander, Chopper I, Time Soldiers, Bermuda Triangle, Paddle Mania, Ozma Wars and World Wars, to be precise - are available as a patch, while another two - Beast Busters and SAR: Search and Rescue - have to be downloaded via the eShop as a free add-on, thanks, it would seem, to their more graphic content.

It's an excellent addition to what's already an outstanding compilation - I wrote a little last month upon its release about what it is that makes SNK 40th Anniversary Collection a new standard for classic gaming compilations.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

Mapping Service Blurs Out Military Bases, But Accidentally Locates Secret Ones

Slashdot - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 12:00
schwit1 shares a report from Popular Mechanics: A Russian online mapping company was trying to obscure foreign military bases. But in doing so, it accidentally confirmed their locations -- many of which were secret. Yandex Maps, Russia's leading online map service, blurred the precise locations of Turkish and Israeli military bases, pinpointing their location. The bases host sensitive surface-to-air missile sites and facilities housing nuclear weapons. The Federation of American Scientists reports that Yandex Maps blurred out "over 300 distinct buildings, airfields, ports, bunkers, storage sites, bases, barracks, nuclear facilities, and random buildings" in the two countries. Some of these facilities were well known, but some of them were not. Not only has Yandex confirmed their locations, the scope of blurring reveals their exact size and shape.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Why Fallout 76 players want to bring a bug back

Eurogamer - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 11:08

Usually, when video game developers scrub bugs from their games, players are pretty happy. But yesterday, Fallout 76 players were calling on Bethesda to bring a bug back to the game.

This week's big Fallout 76 patch made a long list of bug fixes to the multiplayer game, but one in particular caught players' eye.

Feed the People is an event quest that pops up at Mama Dolce's Food Processing. Once you've collected some beef stocks, some diced vegetable mixes and some meat-flavoured soy chunks, you need to activate machinery from a terminal then defend three control consoles from waves of enemies. While doing this, an alarm bell will ring, signalling you need to head to the terminal to activate a fuse box. You then need to defend the machines again until the next alarm, heading to the terminal once again to activate a valve. You then need to fight more waves until the timer ends.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

The brilliance of video game maps

Eurogamer - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 10:00

Hello! Earlier this year, Thames and Hudson published a beautiful book on literary maps. It's called The Writer's Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands, and if that title doesn't make you yearn for the kind of novels that come with mysterious territories scribbled across their end-papers, here's a lovely piece in the Guardian to give you a taste of this wonderful, transporting book.

A few of us ordered the book to arrive on day one. And as we read through it, our thoughts inevitably turned to video games and their own relationships with maps. Below you'll find some of the things we ended up thinking about.

The world is what it is - Malindy Hetfeld

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

South Australia To Be Home To Australia's New Space Agency

Slashdot - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 09:00
"South Australia, which has a history with space events long ago, is set to become the base for the Australian space industry," writes Slashdot reader Badooleoo. ABC News reports: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced Adelaide will be the home of Australia's new space agency. South Australia beat strong competition from other states to secure the headquarters, after enlisting homegrown NASA astronaut Andy Thomas to help with its campaign. The agency will be based at Lot Fourteen, the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site, which is being transformed into an innovation precinct. The Prime Minister said South Australia was an ideal home for the new agency and was already a key hub for the space and technology industry. "This agency is going to open doors for local businesses and Australian access to the $US345 billion global space industry," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. "Our Government's $41 million investment into the agency will act as a launching pad to triple Australia's space economy to $12 billion and create up to 20,000 jobs by 2030."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Net Neutrality Bill 38 Votes Short In Congress, and Time Has Almost Run Out

Slashdot - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Legislation to restore net neutrality rules now has 180 supporters in the U.S. House of Representatives, but that's 38 votes short of the amount needed before the end of the month. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, already approved by the Senate, would reverse the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules. But 218 signatures from U.S. representatives (a majority) are needed to force a full vote in the House before Congress adjourns at the end of the year. Net neutrality advocates previously said they needed 218 signatures by December 10 to force a vote. But an extension of Congress' session provided a little more time. "[Now that the Congressional session has officially been extended, members of Congress could be in town as late as December 21st," net neutrality advocacy group Fight for the Future wrote yesterday. "This means we have until the end of the year to get as many lawmakers as possible signed on to restore net neutrality." A discharge petition that would force a vote on the CRA resolution gained three new supports in the past two weeks, but even if all Democrats were on board it still wouldn't be enough to force a vote. Republicans have a 236-197 House majority, and only one House Republican has signed the petition.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Amazon Fires Employees Over Data Leak As It Fights Seller Scams, Report Says

Slashdot - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 04:20
After investigating claims that its employees are taking bribes to sell internal data to merchants to help them increase their sales on the site, Amazon has reportedly fired several employees involved in the scams. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon let go of several workers in the U.S. and India who allegedly inappropriately accessed company data that disreputable merchants had misused. The Hill reports: Amazon is focusing its internal bribery investigation on India, a person familiar with the effort told the paper. Some employees in India and China working as customer support have said that their access to an internal database that allows them to find data about specific product performance or trending keywords has been dramatically limited. Amazon has also deleted thousand of suspect reviews, restricted sellers' access to customer data on its platform, and quashed some methods to force the site to bring up certain products higher in search results, the people told the Journal. "We have strict policies and a Code of Business Conduct & Ethics in place for our employees. We implement sophisticated systems to restrict and audit access to information," the company wrote. "We hold our employees to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our Code faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties." "In addition, we have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them, including terminating their selling accounts, deleting reviews, withholding funds, and taking legal action," Amazon added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Google's CEO Thinks Android Users Know How Much Their Phones Are Tracking Them

Slashdot - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 03:40
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Google CEO Sundar Pichai thinks Android users have a good understanding of the volume of data Google collects on them, when they agree to use the Android mobile operating system. The exec, who is testifying today in front of the House Judiciary committee for a hearing entitled "Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices," claimed that users are in control of the information Google has on them. "For Google services, you have a choice of what information is collected, and we make it transparent," Pichai said in response to questioning from Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). Google's defense on the data collection front is similar to Facebook's -- that is, Pichai responded that Google provides tools that put users in control. But do they actually use them? "It's really important for us that average users are able to understand it," said Pichai, stating that users do understand the user agreement for Android OS. "We actually ... remind users to do a privacy checkup, and we make it very obvious every month. In fact, in the last 28 days, 160 million users went to their My Account settings, where they can clearly see what information we have -- we actually show it back to them. We give clear toggles, by category, where they can decide whether that information is collected, stored, or -- more importantly -- if they decide to stop using it, we work hard to make it possible for users to take their data with them," he said. When asked if Google could improve its user dashboard and tools to better teach people how to protect their privacy, including turning off data collection and location tracking, Pichai said "there's complexity," but it is "something I do think we can do better." He continued: "We want to simplify it, and make it easier for average users to navigate these settings. It's something we are working on."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Ask Slashdot: Why Don't HDR TVs Have sRGB Or AdobeRGB Ratings?

Slashdot - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 03:00
dryriver writes: As anyone who buys professional computer monitors knows, the dynamic range of the display device you are looking at can be expressed quite usefully in terms of percentage sRGB coverage and percentage AdobeRGB coverage. The higher the percentage for each, the better and wider the dynamic range of the screen panel you are getting. People who work with professional video and photographs typically aim for a display that has 100 percent sRGB coverage and at least 70 to 80 percent AdobeRGB coverage. Laptop review site Notebookcheck for example uses professional optical testing equipment to check whether the advertised sRGB and AdobeRGB percentages and brightness in nits for any laptop display panel hold up in real life. This being the case, why do quote-unquote "High Dynamic Range" capable TVs -- which seem to be mostly 10 bits per channel to begin with -- not have an sRGB or AdobeRGB rating quoted anywhere in their technical specs? Why don't professional TV reviewers use optical testing equipment that's readily available to measure the real world dynamic range of HDR or non-HDR TVs objectively, in hard numbers? Why do they simply say "the blacks on this TV were deep and pleasing, and the lighter tones were..." when this can be expressed better and more objectively in measured numbers or percentages? Do they think consumers are too unsophisticated to understand a simple number like "this OLED TV achieves a fairly average 66 percent AdobeRGB coverage?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Canada Grants Bail For Arrested Huawei CFO Who Faces US Extradition

Slashdot - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 02:21
A judge in Vancouver, British Columbia, has set a $7.5 million U.S. bail for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested last week on suspicion of violating U.S. trade sanctions against Iran. "The United States had asked the Vancouver court to deny bail for Meng, whose father is a billionaire and a founder of Huawei, calling her a flight risk," reports CNBC. From the report: Canada has been expected to extradite Meng to the United States over charges that the company improperly took payments from Iran in violation of sanctions against the country. Meng's next moves will be closely watched, but it is likely with her corporate and family connections that she will be able to make bail. The $10 million CAD ($7.5 million USD) includes $7 million CAD ($5.2 million USD) cash and $3 million CAD ($2.2 million USD) more from five or more guarantors, presented by Meng and her attorney's as sureties that she would remain in the country. As conditions of the bail agreement, Meng must surrender her passports, wear a GPS tracking device and be accompanied by security detail whenever she leaves her residence.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Ni no Kuni 2's The Lair of the Lost Lord paid DLC is out this week

Eurogamer - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 01:47

Level-5's Ni no Kuni sequel Revenant Kingdom is poised to get a little larger this week, with the long-awaited arrival of its first major paid DLC expansion on December 13th.

The Lair of the Lost Lord, as it's known, will be available on PlayStation 4 and PC, and introduces a new zone, new quests, over 80 new weapons and armour pieces, a "returning enemy", and an expanded battle system.

Players that purchase the new DLC will be able to explore a brand-new area, the mysterious Labyrinth, in a bid to "rid the world of an ancient evil". It's accessed via a strange gate in the Rubbly Ruins, and those brave enough to face its depths are promised new challenges and new enemies, including the Prince of Wraiths, who rules the realm.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

Border Agents Fail To Delete Personal Data of Travelers After Electronic Searches, Watchdog Says

Slashdot - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 01:40
The Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog, known as the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the majority of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents fail to delete the personal data they collect from travelers' devices. Last year alone, border agents searched through the electronic devices of more than 29,000 travelers coming into the country. "CBP officers sometimes upload personal data from those devices to Homeland Security servers by first transferring that data onto USB drives -- drives that are supposed to be deleted after every use," Gizmodo reports. From the report: Customs officials can conduct two kinds of electronic device searches at the border for anyone entering the country. The first is called a "basic" or "manual" search and involves the officer visually going through your phone, your computer or your tablet without transferring any data. The second is called an "advanced search" and allows the officer to transfer data from your device to DHS servers for inspection by running that data through its own software. Both searches are legal and don't require a warrant or even probable cause -- at least they don't according to DHS. It's that second kind of search, the "advanced" kind, where CBP has really been messing up and regularly leaving the personal data of travelers on USB drives. According to the new report [PDF]: "[The Office of the Inspector General] physically inspected thumb drives at five ports of entry. At three of the five ports, we found thumb drives that contained information copied from past advanced searches, meaning the information had not been deleted after the searches were completed. Based on our physical inspection, as well as the lack of a written policy, it appears [Office of Field Operations] has not universally implemented the requirement to delete copied information, increasing the risk of unauthorized disclosure of travelers' data should thumb drives be lost or stolen." The report also found that Customs officers "regularly failed to disconnect devices from the internet, potentially tainting any findings stored locally on the device." It also found that the officers had "inadequate supervision" to make sure they were following the rules. There's also a number of concerning redactions. For example, everything from what happens during an advanced search after someone crosses the border to the reason officials are allowed to conduct an advanced search at all has been redacted.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Verizon Admits Defeat With $4.6 Billion AOL-Yahoo Writedown

Slashdot - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 01:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Verizon is conceding defeat on its crusade to turn a patchwork of dot-com-era businesses into a thriving online operation. The wireless carrier slashed the value of its AOL and Yahoo acquisitions by $4.6 billion, an acknowledgment that tough competition for digital advertising is leading to shortfalls in revenue and profit. The move will erase almost half the value of the division it had been calling Oath, which houses AOL, Yahoo and other businesses like the Huffington Post. The revision of the Oath division's accounting leaves its goodwill balance -- a measure of the intangible value of an acquisition -- at about $200 million, Verizon said in a filing Tuesday. The unit still has about $5 billion of assets remaining. Verizon also announced yesterday that 10,400 employees are taking buyouts to leave the company. The cuts are "part of an effort to trim the telecom giant's workforce ahead of its push toward 5G," TechCrunch reported.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Comcast Rejected by Small Town -- Residents Vote For Municipal Fiber Instead

Slashdot - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 23:40
A small Massachusetts town has rejected an offer from Comcast and instead plans to build a municipal fiber broadband network. From a report: Comcast offered to bring cable Internet to up to 96 percent of households in Charlemont in exchange for the town paying $462,123 plus interest toward infrastructure costs over 15 years. But Charlemont residents rejected the Comcast offer in a vote at a special town meeting Thursday. "The Comcast proposal would have saved the town about $1 million, but it would not be a town-owned broadband network," the Greenfield Recorder reported Friday. "The defeated measure means that Charlemont will likely go forward with a $1.4 million municipal town network, as was approved by annual town meeting voters in 2015." About 160 residents voted, with 56 percent rejecting the Comcast offer, according to news reports.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff
Syndicate content