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Video games and the life of summer

Eurogamer - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 16:00

Summer landscapes can be taken for granted as bright and breezy backdrops to games. However, what spring started, summer finishes. Following on from the rebirth of spring, summer further fuels and invigorates the landscape. Lands become majestically colourful, gorgeously lush and bursting at the seams with life as the peak of the growing season and life cycle are hit. Bright sunlight basks the land in glorious light and stretches the days, while vivid foliage spreads as far as the eye can see, punctuated by glorious flowering plants, laying a carpet of life over the land. These are the hazy days of summer, indeed. Life breeds life and swathes of landscape are transformed, covered in lush foliage and colour, while the land becomes more productive, increasing interaction and function.

Summer has its own meaning, and this can be injected into games through the landscapes they have and portray - and all of their elements they contain. Smash this wonderful, bright season together with narrative and story arcs and there is a new side to summer environments to be enjoyed and experienced.

The success and majesty of The Witcher 3's landscapes are further elevated when examined through a seasonal lens as it can reveal even more environmental nuances and specific landscape features. The configuration of summer landscapes through fidelity, function and beauty underlines the environment's importance in contributing to The Witcher 3's place-making, story and atmosphere (particularly in Velen and Toussaint), but also demonstrate the sheer importance and power summer has over the landscape, guiding its life and character. Avoiding fawning over each individually hand-placed, wholly-accurate plant (this time) as examples of The Witcher 3's summer landscape, it is the active and productive horticultural landscapes that show summer's power.

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Categories: Video Games

Australia Discontinues Its National Biometric ID Project

Slashdot - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 16:00
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission's (ACIC) biometrics project, which adds facial recognition to a national crime database, is being discontinued following reports of delays and budget blowouts. From a report: This announcement comes after the project was suspended earlier this month and NEC Australia staff were escorted out of the building by security on Monday June 4. [...] ACIC contracted the NEC for the $52 million Biometric Identification Services project with the view of replacing the fingerprint identification system that is currently in place. The aim of the project, which was supposed to run until 2021, was to include palm print, foot prints and facial recognition to aid in police investigations. The Australian government stated that it wanted to provide Australians with a single digital identity by 2025.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

You can get a PSVR starter bundle with Superhot VR for £200 this week

Eurogamer - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 15:12

With the PlayStation Days of Play sale winding down - by which, I mean, today's the last day of that promotion - you may want to snap up one of the discounted PSVR headset bundles while you still can. Fortunately, Amazon's just listed one of the better options we've seen so far.

For a limited time and while the stock still remains, you can get yourself a bundle of a PSVR headset, a PS4 camera, and copies of PSVR Worlds and the excellent Superhot VR, all for £199.99. As a die-hard fan of the original Superhot, I can tell you that it's one of the most innovative shooters in years and its virtual reality companion is one hell of an experience for a time-based puzzle-shooter...thing.

That price discounts the regular cost of the PSVR starter bundle already, so you're getting that copy of Superhot VR at no extra cost. It also makes this bundle one of the last bundles remaining in stock after the Days of Play discounts have meant a lot of the other variants (Skyrim VR, Doom VFR) are well and truly sold out by now.

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Categories: Video Games

Two years later, Pokémon Go is finally getting a trading system

Eurogamer - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 15:00

The ability to trade Pokémon with your friends is finally coming to Pokémon Go. It will arrive in the next week or so, with a new friends list feature locked in for this week.

Trading has been a highly-requested feature since the app launched two years ago - but getting it working fairly, safely and without breaking the game's balance has been a major sticking point.

In a demo session attended by Eurogamer at E3 last week, developer Niantic showed off the new trading system and explained how it would all work.

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Categories: Video Games

Beyond Good & Evil 2 beta "end of next year"

Eurogamer - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 14:58

A beta version of Beyond Good & Evil 2 is due for release towards the end of 2019, creator Michel Ancel has said.

Ubisoft Montpellier's ambitious, currently-half-built open world multiplayer space opera thing got another showing at E3 this year - where we were treated to around 30 minutes of gameplay behind closed doors.

We'll have more on what we saw shortly, but as impressive as BG&E2's tech currently is - and as lovely as that CGI trailer reintroducing BG&E1's Pey'J and Jade was - it was clear the game still had a long way to go.

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Categories: Video Games

Dead or Alive 6 tones down female character sexualisation

Eurogamer - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 12:49

The Dead or Alive series is infamous for the sexualisation of its female characters. That, and its breast physics.

Dead or Alive 6, announced during E3, marks a shift in the fighting game series' approach, with toned down female sexualisation and, Japanese developer Koei Tecmo said, more natural breast movement.

The concept of the game is "intense fighting entertainment", producer and game director Yohei Shimbori told Eurogamer. It's a more realistic look inspired by mixed martial arts.

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Categories: Video Games

Dutch Town Uses High-Tech Streetlights To Keep Their Bats Happy

Slashdot - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 12:10
Since streetlights disturb bats' internal sensors and rhythms and affect their feeding patterns, inner compasses, and general nocturnal behaviors, the Dutch town of Zuidhoek-Nieuwkoop is taking action. The town is using special streetlights that emit a red color and use a wavelength that doesn't interfere with a bat's internal compass and lets them feed undisturbed. The Next Web reports: The lights [developed by Signify and the University of Wageningen and other NGO's active in conservation], being both beneficial for bats and humans alike, are also proving to be extremely energy saving, and is therefore also a big plus for the environment and the town's carbon footprint. The lights are connected LED lights that can be controlled remotely. This means that if there is one particular neighborhood in need of more or less light, this can be adjusted as needed. Zuidhoek-Nieuwkoop, due to their specific natural surroundings, is keen on being a sustainable town. The town and its surrounding area are part of the nature-protection network Natura 2000, which protects breeding and nesting areas for rare and threatened species all over Europe.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Still got your old 1MB Amiga? A new game has come out

Eurogamer - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 10:52

Maybe it was such a strong part of your childhood you simply couldn't let it go, or maybe you simply forgot you had it tucked away somewhere - whatever the reason you kept your 1MB Amiga machine, go dig it out again, because a new game has been released for it!

The new game is Worthy (a canny title), a good-looking, top-down maze game full of vibrant colours and fiendish puzzles, by the looks of things. There are 50 levels, multiple endings and even "catchy tunes".

Worthy is made by Pixelglass and runs on all 1MB PAL Amiga machines (including A500, A600, A1200, CD32 and so on).

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Categories: Video Games

EA Sports: FIFA 19 cross-platform play "a net benefit to users"

Eurogamer - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 10:37

With cross-platform play once again in the spotlight after it emerged you can't use your Epic account on the Nintendo Switch version of Fortnite if you've used it on the PlayStation 4 version, many within the FIFA community have also wondered whether the feature might come to the world's biggest sports video game.

Currently, FIFA has no cross-platform play at all. Unlike, say, Rocket League, which lets PC players match with other players across PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch (the PS4 can't be matched up with Xbox One nor Switch), FIFA does not let players on different platforms play together.

FIFA does not let you use one account across multiple platforms, either (FIFA players have long called for the ability to use the same account for a persistent FIFA Ultimate Team experience across console and PC). And the online FUT marketplace is platform specific, too, which limits market activity.

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Categories: Video Games

New Commercial Amiga 500 Game Released

Slashdot - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 09:07
Mike Bouma writes: Pixelglass, known for their "Giana Sisters SE" game, has released a worthy new game for the Amiga 500, called "Worthy." Here's a description of this cute action puzzler: "Assume the role of a fearless boy and collect the required number of diamonds in each stage in order to win the girl's heart! Travel from maze to maze, kill the baddies, avoid the traps, collect beers (your necessary 'fuel' to keep you going), find the diamonds, prove to her you're WORTHY!" Time to dust off that classic Amiga or alternatively download a digital copy and use an UAE emulator for your platform of choice. Have a look at the release trailer.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Horror-shooter OVERWHELM earns its capital letters

Eurogamer - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 09:00

OVERWHELM is a tricky game, sure, but it is mostly just incredibly oppressive. It is too close to your face, somehow. Its breath smells wrong, and you can smell its breath because it is too close to your face. Its worlds are drawn in an unloveable internal-organ palette of reds and purples, so cone fatigue plays a certain role in its queasy success. You finish a game and feel like you've emerged from something, like you've been swallowed and have spent an age fighting your way out. How long was I in there? Oh. Five minutes. But what minutes they were.

My mum has a word for things like OVERWHELM. The word is "horrid". Horrid is one of the lonely Everests of her vocabulary, the word that stands at the uppermost peak of how a given thing might be. If something isn't nasty, if it isn't even wretched or ghastly, mum will say it's horrid and you know - jeepers! - that whatever she's talking about wasn't screwing around.

Horrid, by its sheer power, is almost a compliment in a way. Well done at being so committed to unpleasantness. And so it is with OVERWHELM. OVERWHELM is a pixelly action blaster side-scroller thing in which you drop down into a Hive - listen up, Anthem, this is the effect of the right fictional word in the right fictional place - to reclaim a series of crystals. The crystals are, of course, blood red, and they are, of course, guarded by bosses. You can see their location on the map, but to see the map itself you have to fill it in through exploration.

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Categories: Video Games

Man Reports PillCam Stuck In His Gut For Over 12 Weeks

Slashdot - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 05:30
A Portland man appears to have a pill-sized camera stuck in his gut. That man is me... Let me explain. For the average Joe, the following statement might sound a bit peculiar: I have swallowed a pill-sized camera a number of times. You see, I have Crohn's Disease (CD) in the small intestine -- a 20 foot-long portion of the gastrointestinal tract that runs between the stomach and the large intestine (colon). A "PillCam" is the most non-invasive, detailed method to survey this area as it doesn't require a scope up the rectum or down the esophagus, nor does it require any tissue slicing. It's also one of the safest procedures available -- the retention rate is as low as 1%. Unfortunately, this most recent capsule endoscopy resulted in my admission to the 1% club. On March 27th, 2018, I swallowed the PillCam that is currently lodged in my small intestine. If you do the math, that's more than 82 days ago (over 12 weeks). After hiking Smith Rock and summiting Black Butte a couple weeks later, I thought for sure the pill would have exited. It didn't, as evident by the follow-up X-ray. It can be difficult to find research on such a what-if scenario that happens to so few, but I did manage to find a Motherboard article telling the story of Scott Willis, a CD patient that had a PillCam lodged in his gut for eight weeks. One of the key differences between him and me is that he had a partial block and endured more symptoms, prompting him to schedule a procedure to get it out quicker. I'm relatively symptom free. We have tried upping the dose of corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and help the pill pass through the strictured areas, but that didn't seem to work. Most recently, I had two double-balloon enteroscopy procedures done within a week apart. They were able to locate the PillCam during the second procedure, but weren't able to retrieve it without risking the scope itself becoming stuck. The next step is to try again via the esophagus. The potential issue/complication here is the location. As my doctors warned, the PillCam is stuck 15 feet down and the scope is only 20 feet in length. There's little wiggle room if the pill is slightly further down the GI tract than estimated. I am sharing this story with the Slashdot community for two reasons. First, those entrenched in the world of cyborgs and/or modern-day medical procedures may find this experience particularly interesting. Second, the more people who know about the procedures and complications of Crohn's Disease the better. For those interested, I'll update this post after the next procedure. Have you or someone you know experienced a capsule endoscopy? Please share what you feel comfortable with.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Gaming Companies Remove Analytics App After Massive User Outcry

Slashdot - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 03:11
An anonymous reader writes: "Several gaming companies have announced plans to remove support for an analytics app they have bundled with their games," reports Bleeping Computer. "The decision to remove the app came after several Reddit and Steam users noticed that many game publishers have recently embedded a controversial analytics SDK (software development kit) part of recent updates to their games. The program bundled with all these games, and at the heart of all the recent controversy, is RedShell, an analytics package provided by Innervate, Inc., to game publishers." The app is intended to collect information about the source of new game installs, and details about the gamer. Following a massive user outcry in the past two weeks, several game makers have given in to pressure and are removing this SDK. Game makers and games who announced they were removing RedShell include Bethesda (Elder Scrolls), All Total War games, Warhammer games, Magic the Gathering Arena, and more. [This Google Docs spreadsheet and Reddit thread have a list of games containing RedShell.]

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

June 2018 Security Update Release

Microsoft Security Response Blog - Tue, 12/06/2018 - 19:00

Today, we released security updates to provide additional protections against malicious attackers. As a best practice, we encourage customers to turn on automatic updates

More information about this month’s security updates can be found on the Security Update Guide.  

MSRC team 

Categories: IT
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