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Intel Optimistic About Its Next-Gen 7nm Process Technology

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 22:17
From a report: Originally planned to enter mass production in the second half of 2016, Intel's 10 nm process technology is still barely used by the company today. Currently the process is used to produce just a handful of CPUs, ahead of an expected ramp to high-volume manufacturing (HVM) only later in 2019. Without a doubt, Intel suffered delays on its 10 nm process by several years, significantly impacting the company's product lineup and its business. Now, as it turns out, Intel's 10 nm may be a short-living node as the company's 7 nm tech is on-track for introduction in accordance with its original schedule. For a number of times Intel said that it set too aggressive scaling/transistor density targets for its 10 nm fabrication process, which is why its development ran into problems. Intel's 10 nm manufacturing tech relies exclusively on deep ultraviolet lithography (DUVL) with lasers operating on a 193 nm wavelength. To enable the fine feature sizes that Intel set out to achieve on 10 nm, the process had to make heavy usage of mutli-patterning. According to Intel, a problem of the process was precisely its heavy usage of multipatterning (quad-patterning to be more exact).

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Facebook Will Bring Political Ad Transparency Tools To India Ahead of 2019 Elections

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 21:46
As India inches closer to its general elections, Facebook announced today that it is bringing transparency to political ads on its platform in the country early next year. From a report: This would make India the fourth market -- after the U.S., Brazil, and the U.K. -- where Facebook offers users a disclaimer on political ads. Facebook began offering users in the U.S. information about the buyer of a political ad as part of a series of changes last year to fight misinformation and foreign meddling in elections. [...] Facebook said Thursday that it will also maintain an online searchable Ad Library, as it has in other markets, which will document all the ads related to politics from a particular advertiser alongside other information such as range of impressions, demographics that saw the ad, and the budget that went behind an individual ad. India, which is Facebook's largest market, could be the biggest test yet for whether the company has learned from its recent mistakes.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

DayZ finally leaves early access next week on PC

Eurogamer - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 21:20

Bohemia Interactive has announced that the PC version of its long-in-development online zombie survival game DayZ will leave early access and launch in its 1.0 guise next week, on December 13th.

It's been a lengthy journey for DayZ, of course; the game started life as a fan-made mod for Bohemia's Arma 2 in 2012, and was an almost immediate hit, reaching one million players in the first four months of its release. As a result of its popularity, Bohemia made the decision take on the project in an official capacity, and early access development of a standalone version, with original creator Dean Hall at the helm, began in 2013.

Since then, much has changed; Hall left the project to start his own studio in 2014, and the originally PC-only game is now available as part of Xbox One's Game Preview programme, with a PS4 release also planned. After years of seemingly glacial development progress, DayZ eventually entered beta in November, with a full release pencilled in for the end of 2018.

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Categories: Video Games

Microsoft Is Embracing Chromium, Bringing Edge To Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 20:45
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft today embraced Google's Chromium open source project for Edge development on the desktop. The company also announced Edge is coming to all supported versions of Windows and to macOS. Microsoft wants to make some big changes, which it says will happen "over the next year or so." The first preview builds of the Chromium-powered Edge will arrive in early 2019, according to Microsoft. And yes, this means Chrome extension support.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Just Cause 4 performance analysis: every console tested

Eurogamer - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 20:28

Can Avalanche get the Just Cause franchise back on course? The arrival of the latest series entry this week sees the developer scaling up its ambitions for the game: even more insane physics, more diverse tasks, more action-packed missions and the arrival of adverse weather conditions spread across four different biomes. Bearing in mind how much the last game struggled on consoles, has the developer bitten off more than it can chew? It's against the odds perhaps but the truth is that Just Cause 4 pulls it off - the game is far more challenging on console hardware and yet the performance delivered is a night and day improvement over its predecessor.

What we like about the series remains in effect here - the open world is vast and Rico Rodriguez can explore it as he sees fit, meting out his own particular brand of explosive justice - but far more of an effort is made to push the game's systems to even more spectacular effect. Boosters, airlifters and retractors add more utility to the grapple system and not only up the ante in terms of destruction, but also open the door to some basic puzzling. New weapons show some Insomniac-level imagination, and this time iron sights are open right from the beginning, adding some much-needed precision to the blasting. Vehicle handling? That's been a focus for Avalanche too, with much improvement over the last game.

The arrival of adverse weather conditions is a highlight too - twisters can rip through towns, cities and bases, smashing through bridges, ripping all destructible scenery and vehicles from the ground, while high-speed winds during a sandstorm up-end gameplay and enhance the destruction still further. And depending on the console you play, everything runs without a hitch - for the most part. Yes, Square-Enix did promise an emphasis on smooth performance during development, but bearing in mind just how much of a battering frame-rate could take on Just Cause 3, and just how many times gamers have been let down by poor CPU performance from the current-gen Jaguars, it's easy to be pessimistic about the sequel's chances here, especially with the physics system pushed so hard.

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Categories: Video Games

Red Dead Online players get free gold bars as first economy balance pass arrives

Eurogamer - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 20:02

Red Dead Online launched in beta last week, and while many had positive things to say about its multiplayer take on the single-player experience, many were less than thrilled with its rather miserly in-game economy. In light of that feedback, Rockstar has taken a first pass at better balancing those areas, and the fruits of its labour arrive today in a new update, along with gifts for all players.

In its Week 1 update announcement, Rockstar says that today's changes are "specifically geared towards creating a more balanced, fun and rewarding overall experience, across all modes and missions". To that end, Free Roam missions and events, as well as repeat plays of Showdown Series and A Land of Opportunities missions, will all see an increase in cash and gold payments.

Elsewhere, the price of "most" weapons found at Gunsmiths and in the Wheeler, Rawson & Co. catalogue has been reduced, and pelt, skin, fish, pamphlet, and horse reviver values have been balanced. But will baked beans still remain a more valuable commodity than gold rings?

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Categories: Video Games

Motion Impossible: Tom Cruise Declares War on TV Frame Interpolation

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 20:00
An anonymous reader shares a report: At 9:46 last night, Tom tweeted an 87-second video in which he and his go-to director Christopher McQuarrie explained the concept of video interpolation and why it is the death of all good things. Video interpolation, they explained, is a digital video effect used to improve the quality of high-definition sport. "The unfortunate effect is that it makes most movies look like they were shot on high-speed video rather than film," said Cruise. "This is sometimes referred to as the 'soap-opera effect'." They explained that most HD televisions come with video interpolation switched on by default, they explained how to switch it off, and then they both nodded with total sincerity. Now, it's worth noting that Tom Cruise is by no means the first film-maker to rail against motion smoothing. Back when he was still the Guardians of the Galaxy director, James Gunn tweeted that he, Edgar Wright, Rian Johnson and Matt Reeves were also peeved about the default nature of video interpolation, to which Reed Morano replied that she started a petition to fix the issue a number of years ago, to little avail. Why did it fail? Possibly because none of these people are Tom Cruise. Because Tom Cruise has made a career of total commitment. Take him to a premiere and he'll spend hours on the red carpet, shaking every single hand until everyone's happy. Put him in a movie with helicopters in it and he'll teach himself to fly a helicopter to the level of a veteran stunt coordinator. Break his ankle on the side of a building, and he'll stagger out of frame on his ruined legs rather than blow a shot.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Microsoft's Designers Are Now Working Together on the Future of Windows, Office and Surface

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 19:20
Microsoft has changed the way it approaches design. The new Office icons unveiled this week are the first glimpse at a far bigger design overhaul that's going on inside the company. Windows is also getting its own icon changes, but the bigger change is a collaborative effort going on between the Windows, Office, and Surface teams. From a report: "This is definitely a cross company effort," explains Jon Friedman, Microsoft's head of Office design, in an interview with The Verge. The company's design leaders -- Friedman with Office, Albert Shum on the Windows side, and Ralf Groene for Surface -- all work together now. "We operate like an internal open source team," Friedman says. "So we're all openly sharing our design work, critiquing the work, working on it together. What we've found is that the best way to develop our Fluent Design system is to truly open source it internally. What's happened is that we're getting the best of everyone's work that way."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Opinion: 5G Has an Exciting Future When It Comes To Dedicated Mobile Apps But Will Do Little To Improve Our General Browsing Experiences.

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 18:40
Charlie Osborne, writing for ZDNet: However, there is a problem that no-one is talking about: the conflict between the rapid acceleration of wireless technologies and politics which is, unwittingly, going to render some of these improvements potentially pointless. In the UK and across Europe, there are two laws of particular interest: the EU's 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the so-called Cookie Law, passed in 2012. Ever heard someone expel a breath and a long list of expletives while they are attempting to look something up, book a service, or fact-check through the Internet on their smartphone? The likelihood is, they've come across both regulations in full force, stirring up annoyance and a rapid, frustrated smashing of fingers to screen as pop-ups scream for consent, T&Cs demand acceptance, and visitors must go through tick-lists of what data they are happy to be collected and in what manner. The EU's GDPR, which enforced data reform, protection, and collection changes across Europe, has resulted in a plethora of pop-ups which delight in lecturing visitors on data collection practices. Combine these two well-meaning regulations and you have a melting pot of sheer frustration when it comes to mobile browsing. When you are forced to stop and be lectured by pop-ups at every turn which must be manually shut down, one by one, it really doesn't matter how quickly you were brought to the page in the first place.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Facebook Employees Are So Paranoid They're Using Burner Phones To Talk To Each Other

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 18:00
Facebook's reputation has only continued to get more sullied in recent weeks, and it's taking a toll on employees. According to a new report, things over at the old FB are, well, kind of grim. From the report: "People now have burner phones to talk shit about the company -- not even to reporters, just to other employees," one former employee said. Another described the current scene as a "bunker mentality," meaning that after nearly two years of continuous bad press some people are, to borrow a phrase, leaning in as hard as they can to cope. "It's otherwise rational, sane people who're in Mark's orbit spouting full-blown anti-media rhetoric, saying that the press is ganging up on Facebook," said the former employee. Further reading: Facebook Employees Are Calling Former Colleagues To Look For Jobs Outside the Company and Asking About the Best Way To Leave.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Hackers Behind Breach at Hotel Group Marriott Left Clues Suggesting They Were Working For Chinese Government Intelligence Gathering Operation, Report Says

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 17:20
Marriott said last week that a hack that began four years ago had exposed the records of up to 500 million customers in its Starwood hotels reservation system. Private investigators looking into the breach have found hacking tools, techniques and procedures previously used in attacks attributed to Chinese hackers, Reuters reported, citing three sources who were not authorized to discuss the company's private probe into the attack. From the report: That suggests that Chinese hackers may have been behind a campaign designed to collect information for use in Beijing's espionage efforts and not for financial gain, two of the sources said. While China has emerged as the lead suspect in the case, the sources cautioned it was possible somebody else was behind the hack because other parties had access to the same hacking tools, some of which have previously been posted online.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Yes! Quake Champions is ditching loot boxes for a battle pass

Eurogamer - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 17:12

Hooray! Quake Champions is freeing itself of a messy - and random - loot box system in favour of a clearer Fortnite-style battle pass.

The current system will be ripped out and replaced in a December update, which doesn't appear to have a release date yet, although the battle pass apparently begins 20th December, so presumably the two events will coincide.

Instead of earning loot boxes and associated paraphernalia, you'll earn XP for daily and weekly rewards, and this will propel you along a familiar two-tiered line of unlockable rewards - a stingy free line and a generous paid line.

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Categories: Video Games

Twitch's casino section is an insidious mess - and it's right in view of children

Eurogamer - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 16:41

If you were to glance at the Twitch homepage right now, chances are, you'd spot all the usual suspects. Fortnite, Pokémon Let's Go, League of Legends, maybe even Fallout 76 (for now).

But among these well-known names, one category stands out. Under an image that looks like the love child of Twitch chat and 4chan, you'll find a variety of gambling streams under the catch-all term "casino". On Sunday night this category had 77,029 viewers - placing it above hugely popular games Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. According to Twitch Tracker, last month the category had 153 channels broadcasting gambling games at its peak.

The numbers are remarkable, particularly given many of these streams consist of spinning slots with no voice commentary. Why on earth would so many people choose to watch this? How do the streamers afford to do this all day? And, as some people have begun to ask recently, why is this category placed right next to games popular with children, such as Fortnite? And why is nothing in place to prevent children from watching?

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Categories: Video Games

Microsoft's New Study Finds 162.8 Million People in the US Do Not Use the Internet at Broadband Speeds, Up From FCC's 24.7 Million Estimate

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 16:40
An anonymous reader shares a report: A new study by Microsoft researchers casts a light on the actual use of high-speed internet across the country, and the picture it presents is very different from the F.C.C. numbers. Their analysis, presented at a Microsoft event on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., suggests that the speedy access is much more limited than the F.C.C. data shows. Over all, Microsoft concluded that 162.8 million people do not use the internet at broadband speeds, while the F.C.C. says broadband is not available to 24.7 million Americans. The discrepancy is particularly stark in rural areas. In Ferry County, for example, Microsoft estimates that only 2 percent of people use broadband service, versus the 100 percent the federal government says have access to the service. [...] Accurate measurements on the reach of broadband matter because the government's statistics are used to guide policy and channel federal funding for underserved areas. "It's a huge problem," said Phillip Berenbroick, a telecommunications expert at Public Knowledge, a nonprofit technology policy group. "The result is that we're not getting broadband coverage and funding to areas that really need it."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Cuba Offers 3G Mobile Internet Access To Citizens

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 16:00
Cuba's population is to be offered internet access via a 3G mobile network from later this week. From a report: Telecom provider Etecsa said citizens would be able to start subscribing to the service from Thursday. Until now, locals have mostly relied on wi-fi hotspots and internet cafes and the 3G service has been restricted to state-employed journalists and foreign businesses among others. This will change -- but many will still be unable to afford the new contracts. Etecsa's packages range from a month's use of 600MB of data for 7CUC ($7) to 4GB for 30CUC. Users get a bonus 300MB use of local .cu domain websites. But the average state wage for the island's 11.2 million residents is the equivalent of about $30 per month.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Sea Levels May Rise More Rapidly Due To Greenland Ice Melt

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Rising sea levels could become overwhelming sooner than previously believed, according to the authors of the most comprehensive study yet of the accelerating ice melt in Greenland. Run-off from this vast northern ice sheet -- currently the biggest single source of meltwater adding to the volume of the world's oceans -- is 50% higher than pre-industrial levels and increasing exponentially as a result of manmade global warming, says the paper, published in Nature on Wednesday. Almost all of the increase has occurred in the past two decades -- a jolt upwards after several centuries of relative stability. This suggests the ice sheet becomes more sensitive as temperatures go up. The researchers used ice core data from three locations to build the first multi-century record of temperature, surface melt and run-off in Greenland. Going back 339 years, they found the first sign of meltwater increase began along with the industrial revolution in the mid-1800s. The trend remained within the natural variation until the 1990s, since when it has spiked far outside of the usual nine- to 13-year cycles.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Troubling GOG tweets, a fired CD Projekt employee, and the spectre of GamerGate

Eurogamer - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 13:30

UPDATE 8th December 2018: Following the publication of this article, Sean Halliday was revealed to have ties to a website called Exclusively Games, owned by someone with links to GamerGate. Halliday told Eurogamer he had been offered a job by Exclusively Games and had been flagged as a moderator while considering the position. But, he told Eurogamer today, he has since declined the offer of a job.

ORIGINAL STORY 6th December: On 22nd October, Polish game seller GOG - a part of CD Projekt - found itself in trouble again on Twitter. It had insensitively appropriated the trans civil rights hashtag WontBeErased. "Classic PC games #WontBeErased on our watch," it tweeted. "Yeah, how's that for some use of hashtags?"

GOG quickly deleted the tweet but not before the internet noticed, and a stink was kicked up. Not only was it a problem on its own, but it was the third problematic tweet in a handful of months from inside CD Projekt. Once is a mistake; three times?

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Categories: Video Games

Bethesda leaked Fallout 76 customer names, addresses, contact details

Eurogamer - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 12:13

Just when you think it couldn't get any worse for Bethesda, it goes and leaks a load of personal user information to other customers.

The data protection breach happened last night, as customers filing support tickets with Bethesda began receiving support tickets from other people, too - which included usernames, names, addresses and other contact details.

Screenshots posted to Twitter showed customers had somehow been given access to details usually confined to Besthesda's own internal customer support system - which was full of complaints about those damn Fallout 76 bags that Bethesda is now going to replace.

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Categories: Video Games

24 Amazon Workers Sent To Hospital After Robot Accidentally Unleashes Bear Spray

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 12:00
Joe_Dragon shares a report from ABC News: Twenty-four Amazon workers in New Jersey have been hospitalized after a robot accidentally tore a can of bear repellent spray in a warehouse, officials said. The two dozen workers were treated at five local hospitals, Robbinsville Township communications and public information officer John Nalbone told ABC News. One remains in critical condition and 30 additional workers were treated at the scene. The official investigation revealed "an automated machine accidentally punctured a 9-ounce bear repellent can, releasing concentrated Capsaican," Nalbone said. Capsaican is the major ingredient in pepper spray. The fulfillment center was given the all clear by Wednesday evening. "All of the impacted employees have been or are expected to be released from hospital within the next 24 hours. The safety of our employees is always our top priority and a full investigation is already underway. We'd like to thank all of the first responders who helped with today's incident," Amazon said in a statement Wednesday night.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Fortnite season 7 trailer and battle pass details are here

Eurogamer - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 10:46

Fortnite season 7 will see a ripped Father Christmas invade Battle Royale island with an army of snowmen warriors in biplanes.

Vast areas of the Fortnite map are getting an icy makeover - including Tilted Towers - with several new areas added, and ziplines between mountainous areas.

You'll also be able to pilot Santa's planes for yourself. Named the X-4 Stormwing, the biplane is a new five-player vehicle with a mounted machine gun.

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Categories: Video Games
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