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Facebook is Starting To Test Search Ads in its Search Results and Marketplace

Slashdot - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 23:00
It's an ad duopoly battle. From a report: Facebook is starting to test search ads in its search results and Marketplace, directly competing with Google's AdWords. Facebook first tried Sponsored Results back in 2012 but eventually shut down the product in 2013. Now it's going to let a small set of automotive, retail, and ecommerce industry advertisers show users ads on the search results page on mobile in the US and Canada. They'll be repurposed News Feed ads featuring a headline, image, copy text, and a link in the static image or carousel format that can point users to external websites. Facebook declined to share screenshots as it says the exact design is still evolving. Facebook may expand search ads to more countries based on the test's performance.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Mesmerising mop-'em-up Viscera Cleanup Detail just got some new spy-themed DLC

Eurogamer - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 22:25

Developer RuneStorm's wonderfully hypnotic, and extremely hygienic, Viscera Cleanup Detail has just received a new secret-agent-themed DLC expansion. It's called The Vulcan Affair and is available now on Steam.

Viscera Cleanup Detail, for those unfamiliar with its amusingly mundane ways, takes the space corridors and military facilities of countless first-person shooters and presents them from the perspective of the clean-up crews called in once the bullets have stopped flying and the entrails have stopped dribbling dejectedly down the walls.

Players are cast as futuristic space janitors and charged with picking up debris, scrubbing away filth, sealing bullet holes, and incinerating rubbish (while trying not to accidentally tread blood everywhere) until the often gargantuan levels are spotless.

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Categories: Video Games

Google CEO Admits Company Must Better Address the Spread of Conspiracy Theories on YouTube

Slashdot - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 21:40
Google CEO Sundar Pichai admitted today that YouTube needs to do better in dealing with conspiracy content on its site that can lead to real-world violence. From a report: During his testimony on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, the exec was questioned on how YouTube handles extremist content that promotes conspiracy theories like Pizzagate and, more recently, a Hillary Clinton-focused conspiracy theory dubbed Frazzledrip. According to an article in Monday's Washington Post, Frazzledrip is a variation on Pizzagate that began spreading on YouTube this spring. In a bizarre series of questions, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) asked Pichai if he knew what Frazzledrip was. Pichai replied that he was "not aware of the specifics about it." Raskin went on to explain that the recommendation engine on YouTube has been suggesting videos that claim politicians, celebrities and other leading figures were "sexually abusing and consuming the remains of children, often in satanic rituals." He said these new conspiracist claims were echoing the discredited Pizzagate conspiracy, which two years ago led to a man firing shots into a Washington, D.C. pizzeria, in search of the children he believed were held as sex slaves by Democratic Party leaders.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Square Enix officially unveils Nier: Automata's Game of the YoRHa Edition

Eurogamer - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 21:10

Square Enix has formally unveiled Nier: Automata's Game of the YoRHa Edition, which bundles up 2017's superb action RPG, its DLC expansion, and a few extra goodies - all ready for launch on PS4 and PC next February 26th.

Nier: Automata's Game of the YoRHa Edition was first spotted last month by way of a listing on the ESRB ratings website, and its official announcement gives us a clearer idea of what will be included when it launches next year.

Both versions will feature the wonderfully eccentric, Platinum-developed base game, as well Nier: Automata's 3C3C1D119440927 expansion DLC, the Machine Mask Accessory, and four pod skins: the Grimoire Weiss Pod, Retro Grey Pod, Retro Red Pod, and Cardboard Pod.

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Categories: Video Games

What Student Developers Want in a Job

Slashdot - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 20:54
Organizations desperate for software engineering talent tend to follow similar plays when it comes to attracting student developers about the enter the workforce, including offering perks like free food, beer, and ping pong. However, student developers have a much stronger appetite for other workplace elements when making employment decisions, according to a Tuesday report from HackerRank. From a news writeup: The three most important criteria students look for in job opportunities are professional growth and learning (58%), work/life balance (52%), and having interesting problems to solve (46%), according to a survey of 10,350 student developers worldwide. These far outpaced compensation (18%) and perks (11%), which they view as "nice to haves" rather than deal breakers, the survey found. For many student developers, a computer science degree is not enough to teach them the skills they will need in the workforce, the report found. Nearly two-thirds (65%) said they rely partially on self-teaching to learn to code, and 27% say they are totally self-taught. Only 32% said they were entirely taught at school, the survey found.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 just added Hijacked to Blackout - and it's absolute carnage

Eurogamer - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 20:29

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 most significant update yet just went live - and Blackout is absolute carnage right now.

Operation Absolute Zero, available now on the PlayStation 4 version of Treyarch's first-person shooter, makes a number of significant changes to the battle royale mode, but it also changes the map for the first time - and the biggest change is the addition of Hijacked.

Hijacked is a luxury yacht that's popped up on the northwestern part of the map. It's a multiplayer map from Black Ops 2 transported into the game, and as you'd expect, pretty much everyone is interested in giving it a shot.

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Categories: Video Games

New Firefox Suggests Ways To Get More Out of the Web

Slashdot - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 20:01
Starting Tuesday, Firefox will nudge you to try out options designed to make the web more interesting, more useful or more productive. From a report: Mozilla's new Firefox 64 keeps an eye on what you're up to and prompts you to try extensions and features that could help you with that activity, the browser maker said. For example, if you open the same tab lots of times, it could suggest you pin it to your tab strip for easier future access. Other suggestions include installing the Facebook Container extension to curtail the social network's snooping, a Google Translate extension to tap into Google's service, and the Enhancer for YouTube extension to do things like block ads and control playback on Google's video site. The feature could help you customize Firefox more to your liking -- something that could help you stick with the browser in the face of Google Chrome's dominance. And that, in turn, could help Mozilla pursue its push toward a privacy-respecting web that's not just effectively controlled by Chrome.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

December 2018 Security Update Release

Microsoft Security Response Blog - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 20:00

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. 

Categories: IT

Retro-style Japanese Nintendo prints for £10 each

Eurogamer - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 19:33

A range of stylish vintage-themed Nintendo posters have been reduced to only £10 each at Zavvi today. The designs are based on the firm's Super Famicom console and computer - the Japanese version of the SNES, with one NES release thrown in (points if you recognise which title it is). Five prints in total are available, featuring the usual Nintendo culprits: Mario, Zelda and Metroid.

Short for Super Family Computer, the 16-bit system was launched in Japan during 1990 and was later re branded as the SNES for international release. Its predecessor the NES also took on the exciting yet confusing 'Hyundai Comboy' moniker for its South Korea outing. Much to our delight, the prints actually draw from the original Super Famicom box-art style.

Officially licensed by Nintendo itself, the posters are printed on high quality A3 paper and look especially vivid. A litany of iconic games are featured, including Mario, Zelda and Super Metroid. Thanks to their distinctive Kanji characters, bold colours and retro character design, these prints look really unique - making them a perfect gift for Nintendo fans and art lovers alike. Display them proudly in some hefty yet affordable Amazon picture frames (available in a range of colours) for some alternative festive decoration.

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Categories: Video Games

Android Trojan Steals Money From PayPal Accounts Even With 2FA On

Slashdot - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 19:23
ESET researchers have discovered a new Android Trojan using a novel Accessibility-abusing technique that targets the official PayPal app, and is capable of bypassing PayPal's two-factor authentication. A report elaborates: At the time of writing, the malware is masquerading as a battery optimization tool, and is distributed via third-party app stores. After being launched, the malicious app terminates without offering any functionality and hides its icon. This video, courtesy of ESET, demonstrates the process in practice.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Evelyn Berezin, Who Built the First True Word Processor, Has Died at 93

Slashdot - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 18:40
An anonymous reader shares a report: Evelyn Berezin, a computer pioneer who emancipated many a frazzled secretary from the shackles of the typewriter nearly a half-century ago by building and marketing the first computerized word processor, died on Saturday in Manhattan. She was 93. In an age when computers were in their infancy and few women were involved in their development, Ms. Berezin (pronounced BEAR-a-zen) not only designed the first true word processor; in 1969, she was also a founder and the president of the Redactron Corporation, a tech start-up on Long Island that was the first company exclusively engaged in manufacturing and selling the revolutionary machines.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Why I'm Usually Unnerved When Modern SSDs Die on Us

Slashdot - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 18:16
Chris Siebenmann, a Unix Systems Administrator at University of Toronto, writes about the inability to figure out the bottleneck when an SSD dies: What unnerves me about these sorts of abrupt SSD failures is how inscrutable they are and how I can't construct a story in my head of what went wrong. With spinning HDs, drives might die abruptly but you could at least construct narratives about what could have happened to do that; perhaps the spindle motor drive seized or the drive had some other gross mechanical failure that brought everything to a crashing halt (perhaps literally). SSDs are both solid state and opaque, so I'm left with no story for what went wrong, especially when a drive is young and isn't supposed to have come anywhere near wearing out its flash cells (as this SSD was). (When a HD died early, you could also imagine undetected manufacturing flaws that finally gave way. With SSDs, at least in theory that shouldn't happen, so early death feels especially alarming. Probably there are potential undetected manufacturing flaws in the flash cells and so on, though.) When I have no story, my thoughts turn to unnerving possibilities, like that the drive was lying to us about how healthy it was in SMART data and that it was actually running through spare flash capacity and then just ran out, or that it had a firmware flaw that we triggered that bricked it in some way.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Get a year's worth of Xbox Game Pass for half price

Eurogamer - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 17:50

The Xbox Game Pass is like Netflix for games, giving you access to nearly 200 Xbox titles as part of a monthly subscription. Thanks to the upcoming festivities, you can get a year's worth of Xbox Game Pass for the price of six months over at Amazon, coming to £47.99 in total.

There are plenty of games to be had, from blockbusters to indie darlings, old-school Xbox 360 games to cult classics such as Blood Bowl 2. Xbox Game Pass is also updated regularly, with new content every month.

Over at Argos, a mere six months of Xbox Game Pass costs the same. Meanwhile, an annual supply of Xbox Game Pass will set you back £54.99 at GAME - a less substantive festive offer.

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Categories: Video Games

Doom Turns 25: The FPS That Wowed Players, Gummed Up Servers, and Enraged Admins

Slashdot - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 17:25
On December 10, 1993, after a marathon 30-hour coding session, the developers at id Software uploaded the first finished copy of Doom for download, the game that was to redefine first-person shooter (FPS) genre. Hours later IT admins wanted id's guts for garters. The Register: Doom wasn't the first FPS game, but it was the iPhone of the field -- it took parts from various other products and packaged them together in a fearsomely addictive package. Admins loathed it because it hogged bandwidth for downloading and was designed to allow network deathmatches, so millions of users immediately took up valuable network resources for what seemed a frivolous pursuit to some curmudgeonly BOFHs. The game was an instant hit -- so much so that within hours of its release admins were banning it from servers to try and cope with the effects of thousands, and then millions of people playing online. It spawned remakes and follow-up games, its own movie (don't bother) and even a glowing endorsement from Bill Gates.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

What it's Like To Work in the Biggest Building in the World

Slashdot - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 16:46
To build a fleet of giant airliners requires a building just as big. Boeing's Everett Factory, built to construct the famous 747, is the biggest enclosed structure in the world. BBC Future: When you're building some of the world's biggest airliners, you need an equally outsized building. When Boeing decided to build the 747 -- a plane so big it would become known around the world as the jumbo jet -- they had to build a factory large enough to build several of them at the same time. If you've ever seen a 747 from close quarters you'll know just how giant Boeing's jumbo is. So it's no surprise the factory which ended up building has to be very big indeed. How big? Try the biggest enclosed building in the world. Boeing started work on the Everett factory in 1967, just as the Boeing 747 project was starting to gather pace. Bill Allen, Boeing's charismatic chief, had realised the company would need a huge amount of space if they were going to build an airliner big enough to carry 400 passengers. They chose an area of woodland some 22 miles (35km) north of Seattle, near an airport that had served as a fighter base during World War Two. [...] Today, the Everett factory easily dwarfs any other building in the world by volume, with the Guinness Book of Records reporting that it occupies 72 million cubic feet (13.3 million cubic metres). [...] Each shift has as many as 10,000 workers, and there are three shifts each day. Over the course of 24 hours, the factory has a population only a little less than the Australian city of Alice Springs. Reese has worked for Boeing for 38 years -- 11 of them running the factory tours -- but says he can still remember his first impression of the factory. "It was very awe-inspiring the first time -- and I would have to say every day since, too. It changes constantly. Each day there's something new." The Everett factory is so big that there's a fleet of some 1,300 bicycles on hand to help cut travel time. It has its own fire station and medical services on station, and an array of cafes and restaurants to feed the thousands of workers.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Four days since launch, Ashen developer still trying to fix PC multiplayer

Eurogamer - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 16:40

UPDATE 12/12/18: It looks like Ashen's PC multiplayer woes are over, as A44 Games has announced the issues plaguing the game since launch have now been fixed.

A new patch is currently available to download from the Epic Games Store, and should help resolve the connection issues experienced by players over the past few days. Along with the update, A44 Games has also created an FAQ page to help players navigate the game's multiplayer elements, many of which had been causing confusion.

Although it took them a few days to figure it out, A44 Games has at least been pretty good at keeping players updated on the situation. The developer thanked the community for their patience and Epic for their support in issuing the fix. Hopefully A44 Games won't have to keep putting out fires in Ashen any time soon.

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Categories: Video Games

Super Micro Says Review Found No Malicious Chips in Motherboards

Slashdot - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 16:10
Computer hardware maker Super Micro Computer told customers on Tuesday that an outside investigations firm had found no evidence of any malicious hardware in its current or older-model motherboards. From a report: In a letter to customers, the San Jose, California, company said it was not surprised by the result of the review it commissioned in October after a Bloomberg article reported that spies for the Chinese government had tainted Super Micro equipment to eavesdrop on its clients.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

After seven years, Civ 5 designer finally dates new project At the Gates

Eurogamer - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 16:00

Civilisation 5 designer Jon Shafer has at last set down a release date for new project At the Gates - nearly seven years after development initially began.

The indie strategy game will launch via Steam on 23rd January 2019 - that's pretty soon! - priced £24.99.

Shafer has been working on the project - which landed over $100k on Kickstarter - to a greater and lesser extent over those seven years. The concept behind it has remained the same, however - what would a sim look like at the fall of a civilisation, rather than at the start?

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Categories: Video Games

An ode to video game doors

Eurogamer - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 16:00

It's easy to underestimate the humble door. You open it, you go through. Sometimes, you must find the key first, and for many games, that's the whole extent of the player's interactions with doors. They're something to get past, something that cordons off one bit from the next bit. A simple structural element, of special interest to level designers, but not the ones who turn the knobs.

And yet, the fundamental nature of doors that makes them seem so mundane also imbues them with a kind of magic. How do I open it? And what could be behind it? A good door is a locus of challenge and mystery; mystery that could give way to delight, wonder, or even a good scare. A good door is a teasing paradox that does everything in its power to entice and invite, but also puts up a decent effort to keep you out, at least long enough to intrigue and fire up your imagination.

Some games highlight the versatility of doors by turning them into especially dense knots in the possibility space. In games like Thief, Dishonored, Prey, Deus Ex or Darkwood, doors can be lockpicked, hacked, blown to bits or cleverly circumvented. In emergencies, they can be barricaded, blocked by heavy objects or even taken off the electric grid. For the tactically minded, they can serve as choke points to lure enemies into traps or ambushes, while the patient can use keyholes to spy on the unsuspecting, or simply get close enough to a door to eavesdrop on an important conversation.

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Categories: Video Games

China To Force Changes To 20 Popular Games, Ban 9 Including Fortnite and PUBG

Slashdot - Tue, 11/12/2018 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: A panel of censors set up to vet mobile video games in China has signaled it will be hard to please. State media reports that of the first 20 titles it assessed, nine were refused permission to go on sale. The Xinhua news agency added that developers of the other 11 had been told they had to make adjustments to remove "controversial content." The authorities have voiced concerns about the violent nature of some titles as well as worries about the activity being addictive. It was announced in August that a new body -- the State Administration of Press and Publications -- had taken over responsibility for approving games and that it would limit the number of online titles available. And although it has not been specified, some experts are assuming that the new panel will operate under its auspices. Xinhua said it is comprised of gaming experts, government-employed researchers, and representatives from the media and video games industry. But it provided no other information about who they were or the titles they had already examined. UPDATE: The list of games being examined by the ethics panel has been revealed by users on NGA, a Chinese gaming forum. A number of games, such as League of Legends, Overwatch, Diablo, and World of Warcraft, will need "corrective action," while others will be "banned/withdrawn" entirely. Some of the most popular prohibited titles include Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG).

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Categories: Geeky Stuff
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