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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

Australia Passes Anti-Encryption Laws [Update]

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 10:43
Earlier today, Australia's House of Representatives passed the Assistance and Access Bill. The Anti-Encryption Bill, as it is known as, would allow the nation's police and anti-corruption forces to ask, before forcing, internet companies, telcos, messaging providers, or anyone deemed necessary, to break into whatever content agencies they want access to. "While the Bill can still be blocked by the Senate -- Australian Twitter has been quite vocal over today's proceedings, especially in regards to the [Australian Labor Party's] involvement," reports Gizmodo. ZDNet highlights the key findings from a report from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS): The threshold for industry assistance is recommended to be lifted to offenses with maximum penalties in excess of three years; Technical Assistance Notices (TANs) and Technical Capability Notices (TCNs) will be subjected to statutory time limits, as well as any extension, renewal, or variation to the notices; the systemic weakness clause to apply to all listing acts and things; and the double-lock mechanism of approval from Attorney-General and Minister of Communications will be needed, with the report saying the Communications Minister will provide "a direct avenue for the concerns of the relevant industry to be considered as part of the approval process." The report's recommendations also call for a review after 18 months of the Bill coming into effect by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor; TANs issued by state and territory police forces to be approved by the Australian Federal Police commissioner; companies issued with notices are able to appeal to the Attorney-General to disclose publicly the fact they are issued a TCN; and the committee will review the passed legislation in the new year and report by April 3, 2019, right around when the next election is expected to be called. In short: "Testimony from experts has been ignored; actual scrutiny of the Bill is kicked down the road for the next Parliament; Labor has made sure it is not skewered by the Coalition and seen to be voting against national security legislation on the floor of Parliament; and any technical expert must have security clearance equal to the Australia's spies, i.e. someone who has been in the spy sector." Further reading: Australia Set To Spy on WhatsApp Messages With Encryption Law. UPDATE: The encryption bill has passed the Senate with a final vote of 44-12, with Labor and the Coalition voting for it. "Australia's security and intelligence agencies now have legal authority to force encryption services to break the encryptions, reports The Guardian. Story is developing...

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Parkitect review - the finest theme park sim for years

Eurogamer - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 10:00

A significant chunk of my formative years can be defined by the heave and splat of hundreds of tiny computer people retching violently onto the floor. Maybe not the most melodious sound, but for me it's a noise tinged with nostalgia, conjuring memories of wonder as I, new to the world of PC sims, unleashed my newfound powers on the denizens of Bullfrog's Theme Park for the very first time.

Theme Park is, of course, rightly considered a classic, a masterfully implemented, joyous game of pure wish fulfilment - after all, what child hasn't dreamed of running their own amusement park? Five years later, RollerCoaster Tycoon refined, and some might argue, perfected the formula, proving no less delightful for its added depth and rather more serious, business-minded outlook.

Since then, we've had sequels in both franchises, but as they've continued to evolve, most recently with Atari's execrable RollerCoaster Tycoon World, and Frontier's impressive, but ultimately rather hollow, Planet Coaster, a spiritual successor to RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, some of that early magic has dissipated. With developer Texel Raptor's Parkitect, however, the ageing formula has regained something of its heart.

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Categories: Video Games

Australia's Anti-Encryption Bill Passes House of Representatives

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 09:00
Earlier today, Australia's House of Representatives passed the Assistance and Access Bill. The Anti-Encryption Bill, as it is known as, would allow the nation's police and anti-corruption forces to ask, before forcing, internet companies, telcos, messaging providers, or anyone deemed necessary, to break into whatever content agencies they want access to. "While the Bill can still be blocked by the Senate -- Australian Twitter has been quite vocal over today's proceedings, especially in regards to the [Australian Labor Party's] involvement," reports Gizmodo. ZDNet highlights the key findings from a report from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS): The threshold for industry assistance is recommended to be lifted to offenses with maximum penalties in excess of three years; Technical Assistance Notices (TANs) and Technical Capability Notices (TCNs) will be subjected to statutory time limits, as well as any extension, renewal, or variation to the notices; the systemic weakness clause to apply to all listing acts and things; and the double-lock mechanism of approval from Attorney-General and Minister of Communications will be needed, with the report saying the Communications Minister will provide "a direct avenue for the concerns of the relevant industry to be considered as part of the approval process." The report's recommendations also call for a review after 18 months of the Bill coming into effect by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor; TANs issued by state and territory police forces to be approved by the Australian Federal Police commissioner; companies issued with notices are able to appeal to the Attorney-General to disclose publicly the fact they are issued a TCN; and the committee will review the passed legislation in the new year and report by April 3, 2019, right around when the next election is expected to be called. In short: "Testimony from experts has been ignored; actual scrutiny of the Bill is kicked down the road for the next Parliament; Labor has made sure it is not skewered by the Coalition and seen to be voting against national security legislation on the floor of Parliament; and any technical expert must have security clearance equal to the Australia's spies, i.e. someone who has been in the spy sector." Further reading: Australia Set To Spy on WhatsApp Messages With Encryption Law.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Quantum Computers Pose a Security Threat That We're Still Totally Unprepared For

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: The world relies on encryption to protect everything from credit card transactions to databases holding health records and other sensitive information. A new report from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says we need to speed up preparations for the time when super-powerful quantum computers can crack conventional cryptographic defenses. The experts who produced the report, which was released today, say widespread adoption of quantum-resistant cryptography "will be a long and difficult process" that "probably cannot be completed in less than 20 years." It's possible that highly capable quantum machines will appear before then, and if hackers get their hands on them, the result could be a security and privacy nightmare. Today's cyberdefenses rely heavily on the fact that it would take even the most powerful classical supercomputers almost unimaginable amounts of time to unravel the cryptographic algorithms that protect our data, computer networks, and other digital systems. But computers that harness quantum bits, or qubits, promise to deliver exponential leaps in processing power that could break today's best encryption. The report cites an example of encryption that protects the process of swapping identical digital keys between two parties, who use them to decrypt secure messages sent to one another. A powerful quantum computer could crack RSA-1024, a popular algorithmic defense for this process, in less than a day. The U.S., Israel and others are working to develop standards for quantum-proof cryptographic algorithms, but they may not be ready or widely adopted by the time quantum computers arrive. "[I]t will take at least a couple of decades to get quantum-safe cryptography broadly in place," the report says in closing. "If that holds, we're going have to hope it somehow takes even longer before a powerful quantum computer ends up in a malicious hacker's hands."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

FCC Chairman Admits Russia Meddled In Net Neutrality Debate

Slashdot - Thu, 06/12/2018 - 04:45
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has admitted that around 500,000 comments submitted during the net neutrality public comment period were linked to Russia email addresses. "Pai noted in a court filing that most of the comments were in favor of net neutrality, which the FCC repealed last December," reports Engadget. From the report: The New York Times and BuzzFeed News have filed freedom of information requests in the hopes of uncovering the extent of fraudulent comments and Russian influence in the net neutrality process. Pai's filing was part of an FCC memorandum that addressed the requests, and the agency has argued that releasing the data could expose the U.S. to cyberattacks. Pai's concession underscores how Russia's influence on U.S. democracy extends beyond headline-grabbing election interference and fake news peddling, and it also reflects the litany of issues the FCC faced during the net neutrality comment period. Over half of the almost 22 million comments came from phony, temporary or duplicate email addresses, according to a study, and reportedly only 17.4 percent of the comments were unique.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff
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