news

iOS 11 'Is Still Just Buggy as Hell'

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 17:25
It is becoming increasingly apparent that iOS 11, the current generation of Apple's mobile operating system, is riddled with more issues than any previous iOS version in the recent years. Two months ago, in a review, titled, "iOS 11 Sucks", a reporter at the publication wrote: I'm using iOS 11 right now, and it makes me want to stab my eyes with a steel wire brush until I get face jam. Gizmodo today reviews iOS 11 after living with the current software version for two months: It's been two full months since Apple released iOS 11 to millions and millions of devices worldwide, and the software is still just buggy as hell. Some of the glitches are ugly or just unexpected from a company that has built a reputation for flawless software. Shame on me for always expecting perfection from an imperfect company, I guess. But there are some really bad bugs, so bad that I can't use the most basic features on my phone. They popped up, when I upgraded on release day. They're still around after two months and multiple updates to iOS. Shame on Apple for ignoring this shit. Now, let me show you my bugs. The worst one also happens to be one I encounter most frequently. Sometimes, when I get a text, I'll go to reply in the Messages app but won't be able to see the latest message because the keyboard is covering it up. I also can't scroll up to see it, because the thread is anchored to the bottom of the page. The wackiest thing is that sometimes I get the little reply box, and sometimes I don't. The only way I'm able to text like normal is to tap the back arrow to take me to all my messages and then go back into the message through the front door. [...] Other native iOS 11 apps have bugs, too. Until a recent update, my iPhone screen would become unresponsive which is a problem because touching the screen is almost the only way to use the device.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Hitman has reactivated its first Elusive Target

Eurogamer - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 16:58

Elusive Targets have returned to Hitman following the launch of the title's Game of the Year edition earlier this month.

We knew this feature would be making a reappearance, however it has now been revealed the first target to be reactivated is the Forger (Sergei Larin), who will be in Paris for 10 days starting from today.

Elusive Targets are unique marks which players only have one chance to eliminate - you either succeed or fail. While playing the contract, players must use clues from the briefing video and photographs provided to track down the target, learn their patterns and come up with the best way to bump them off.

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Categories: Video Games

Live-action Pokémon movie casts human star

Eurogamer - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 16:58

Pokémon's upcoming live-action Detective Pikachu movie will star up-and-coming actor Justice Smith, Variety reports.

Smith can currently be seen in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix series The Get Down (which recently got overlooked for a second season). You may have also seen him in the big-screen adaptation of John Green novel Paper Towns.

He'll next star in the forthcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which will likely have served as good practice for acting alongside CGI characters, as is expected to be the case in Detective Pikachu.

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Categories: Video Games

Why is this Company Tracking Where You Are on Thanksgiving?

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 16:45
Earlier this week, several publications published a holiday-themed data study about how families that voted for opposite parties spent less time together on Thanksgiving, especially in areas that saw heavy political advertising. The data came from a company called SafeGraph that supplied publications with 17 trillion location markets for 10 million smartphones. A report looks at the bigger picture: The data wasn't just staggering in sheer quantity. It also appears to be extremely granular. Researchers "used this data to identify individuals' home locations, which they defined as the places people were most often located between the hours of 1 and 4 a.m.," wrote The Washington Post. The researchers also looked at where people were between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in order to see if they spent that time at home or traveled, presumably to be with friends or family. "Even better, the cellphone data shows you exactly when those travelers arrived at a Thanksgiving location and when they left," the Post story says. To be clear: This means SafeGraph is looking at an individual device and tracking where its owner is going throughout their day. A common defense from companies that creepily collect massive amounts of data is that the data is only analyzed in aggregate; for example, Google's database BigQuery, which allows organizations to upload big data sets and then query them quickly, promises that all its public data sets are "fully anonymized" and "contain no personally-identifying information." In multiple press releases from SafeGraph's partners, the company's location data is referred to as "anonymized," but in this case they seem to be interpreting the concept of anonymity quite liberally given the specificity of the data.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Silicon Valley Thinks It Invented Roommates. They Call It 'Co-living'

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 16:01
An anonymous reader shares a report: Have you heard of this cool new trend called co-living? It's a bit like co-working, except instead of sharing an office with a bunch of randoms you share a home with a bunch of randoms. Oh, you might be thinking, is it like ye olde concept of "roommates"? Why, yes. Yes it is. As a viral tweet pointed out earlier this week, "co-living", which has inspired a spate of trend-pieces in recent months, is actually "called *roommates* ... you invented ***roommates***." Now, to be fair, co-living isn't just living with a bunch of roommates. No, it's rich millennials living with a bunch of roommates in a fancy building in a recently gentrified part of town. The co-living space is also full of cool amenities like yoga classes and micro-brew coffee bars, meaning you can minimise unnecessary interactions with the outside world. In startup speak, this is what is called "community." The Collective, for example, a co-working space in London, describes co-living as "a way of living focused on a genuine sense of community, using shared spaces and facilities to create a more convenient and fulfilling lifestyle."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon review

Eurogamer - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 16:00

Are new games better than old games? If you somehow released a contemporary game in, say, 1988, with all its enormity and complexity and detailed, ultra HD nasal hair, it would be almost impossible to comprehend. But then that would never really happen - and would the uncanny nasal hair game even exist without the innovations and inspirations of games gone by?

Honestly, I hate this debate. It is unique to games, in their ever closening relationship with technology and engineering, and it is uniquely boring - but I have to mention it here because how you approach that argument directly impacts your approach to, you guessed it, Pokémon.

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are what's known as "enhanced" versions. If you know the series you'll know there's precedent; Red and Blue had Yellow, Gold and Silver had Crystal, and so on until Pokémon X and Y, the last generation before last year's delightful Sun and Moon. They seemed to have done away with the tradition - we never had Z, even if all signs (namely a Pokémon called Zygarde and its conspicuous absence from the side of Xerneas and Yveltal in X and Y) seemed to point towards it. Ultra Sun and Moon were a surprise, and with this return to enhanced form we have a return to that horrible debate: the Ultra versions are undoubtedly better than regular Sun and Moon, if you equate "better" solely with size, scope, and technical achievement. The innovation, the surprise, the feeling remains the work of the originals.

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Categories: Video Games

Tesla Is Rethinking the Rest Stop For California Road Trips

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: In-N-Out Burgers has some new competition for attracting drivers on two heavily traveled stretches of California freeways that help link Los Angeles to Las Vegas and San Francisco: Tesla's biggest Supercharger stations yet. The charging stations in Kettleman City, off Interstate 5, and Baker, near Interstate 15, each have 40 stalls, making them the largest among more than 1,000 in North America, according to an emailed statement Wednesday. If filling up your Tesla takes half an hour, you might as well get comfortable. The Kettleman City station north of Bakersfield has a play wall for kids, a pet relief area and outdoor space for families. It's open round-the-clock, there's wi-fi and there will be food as well. But if you want to stretch your legs, the nearest In-N-Out is just across the street. And there are inevitable Tesla touches at both: solar-covered parking and Tesla Powerpacks.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

FIFA players react to EA's dramatic Star Wars Battlefront 2 microtransactions U-turn

Eurogamer - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 14:06

Last night, EA made one of the most dramatic U-turns in its history: temporarily turning off controversial microtransactions in Star Wars: Battlefront 2.

The decision came after a wave of negative publicity about the reaction to the game's loot crates from fans. In short, you can pay for a multiplayer advantage in the game. Not cool.

Now, the FIFA community, which has its own gripes about the way FIFA 18 works, is wondering what it would take for EA to turn off microtransactions in FIFA Ultimate Team, the most popular mode in the world's biggest sports video game.

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Categories: Video Games

Final Fantasy 15 on Xbox One X: improved over Pro but issues persist

Eurogamer - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 14:00

Since its launch last year, Final Fantasy 15 has changed a lot and Square-Enix has continued to support the game with patches and changes designed to improve the experience for players while introducing features - but this hasn't always gone smoothly. The PS4 Pro has been supported since the game's release and its implementation has always been inconsistent at best. Features have come and gone but in the end, it never seemed to run as well as we would have hoped. Could the new Xbox One X upgrade finally deliver the Final Fantasy 15 experience we've been waiting for?

We were eager to check this one out because the base Xbox One version - as blurry as it is - has a crucial advantage over all PlayStation releases: correct frame-pacing at 30fps, each frame persisting for 33ms, giving a smooth, consistent, gameplay experience. The experience varies across each of the PS4 Pro's rendering modes, but to some extent, all of them deliver frames inconsistently, the impact at its worst in the high quality mode. In effect, bad frame-pacing introduces significant stutter into what is actually a locked 30fps experience.

Well, the results are in and while the upgrade lives up to expectations in many, many ways, there are a number of small issues that do need addressing. As expected, Xbox One X delivers the same three modes as the Pro. High centres on delivering the best quality visuals with a 30fps target, while steady drops back resolution to 1080p and targets the base consoles' visual feature set. Completing the line-up is 'lite', which unlocks the frame-rate. In terms of visual features, both steady and lite modes are much the same between Pro and X - it's the all-important high quality setting that truly sets them apart.

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Categories: Video Games

Stanford Trains AI To Diagnose Pneumonia Better Than a Radiologist In Just Two Months

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 13:30
A new paper from Stanford University reveals how artificial intelligence algorithms can be quickly trained to diagnose pneumonia better than a radiologist. "Using 100,000 x-ray images released by the National Institutes of Health on Sept. 27, the research published Nov. 14 (without peer review) on the website ArXiv claims its AI can detect pneumonia from x-rays with similar accuracy to four trained radiologists," reports Quartz. From the report: That's not all -- the AI was trained to analyze x-rays for 14 diseases NIH included in the dataset, including fibrosis, hernias, and cell masses. The AI's results for each of the 14 diseases had fewer false positives and false negatives than the benchmark research from the NIH team that was released with the data. The paper includes Google Brain founder Andrew Ng as a co-author, who also served as chief scientist at Baidu and recently founded Deeplearning.ai. He's often been publicly bullish on AI's use in healthcare. These algorithms will undoubtedly get better -- accuracy on the ImageNet challenge rose from 75% to 95% in just five years -- but this research shows the speed at which these systems are built is increasing as well.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

This celebration of Runic Games' greatest hits is late because I was playing Runic Games' greatest hits

Eurogamer - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 13:00

The Mapworks is the heart of Torchlight 2. In many ways it feels like the heart of so much that is great in video games in general. You spawn at the portal and then you walk out, along a narrow golden bridge, to a magical clockwork escapement suspended in the void. I can imagine what the floor feels like here: the glossiness of the crystal and polished metal, and that hum coming up through your feet that suggests vast energies twisting and churning beneath you. The Mapworks is where you get to once Torchlight 2 is all but done, but it's also where you realise that Torchlight 2 is just beginning, and that it never has to end if you don't want it to. The campaign is over, and here, in this stately firmament, you can buy an endless supply of procedurally-generated maps that will take you to an endless stretch of procedurally-generated dungeons.

I went to the Mapworks a few weeks back when I heard Runic Games, the developer that made the Torchlight series, alongside this year's wonderfully intricate Hob, was closing down. The idea was to slip back into Torchlight 2 for a few minutes to remind myself of this team's particular greatness, and then slip back out again to write a quick piece about how much I would miss them and their work. The problem, of course, is obvious. The idea was to slip back into Torchlight 2 for a few minutes... So yes, this farewell to Runic Games is so delayed because I was playing Runic games. I cannot think of a better tribute, to be honest.

Anyway, let's begin this sad task. Here is my second-favourite bit of writing in Torchlight 2: "Flame Hammer". Flame Hammer is the go-to skill I rely on when playing my Engineer, a sort of steampunk pet-class who dashes into battle alongside a clanking, wheezing, skittering collection of Roombas and rollerskates that spit gatling fire and poison at anyone stupid enough to cross their path. Flame Hammer is far more fun than a basic attack in an action RPG should be. Flame Hammer is seismic. I could describe it, but why not quote the flavour text, which does a far better job of it than I could ever hope to? "Your weapon crushes foes it strikes--" All good so far. "--Creating 4 flaming splinters that seek out enemies within 5 meters. If available a Charge is consumed to generate two additional--" Whoa whoa whoa. That's quite enough of that. 4 flaming splinters! That seek out enemies!Within 5 meters!

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Categories: Video Games

Next week, Destiny 2 gets its first Iron Banner for PC

Eurogamer - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 12:13

Iron Banner, Destiny 2's monthly multiplayer event, returns next week on all platforms.

It's notable, however, for being the first Iron Banner - ever - which PC players can join in with as well.

From 21st - 28th November, Iron Banner will feature rounds of Clash (standard team deathmatch).

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Categories: Video Games

Tesla Unveils 500-Mile Range Semi Truck, 620-Mile Range Roadster 2.0

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 12:00
Rei writes: During a live reveal on Thursday, Tesla unveiled its new electric Class 8 Heavy Duty vehicle. As most people familiar with Tesla products would expect, the day cab truck features staggeringly fast acceleration for a vehicle of its size. It can accelerate 0-60 in 5 seconds without a trailer and 20 seconds with a 40-ton gross weight while being able to pull its maximum payload up a 5-degree grade at 65mph (versus a typical maximum of 45mph). The 500-mile range is for the vehicle at full load and highway speeds (80% of U.S. freight routes are 250 miles or less). Tesla also boasts a million mile no-breakdown guarantee; even losing two of its four motors it can out-accelerate a typical diesel truck. The total cost per mile is pegged at 83% of operating a diesel, but when convoying is utilized -- where multiple trucks mirror the action of a lead truck -- the costs drop to 57%, a price cheaper than rail. Tesla went a step further and stole the show from their own event by having the first prototype of the new Tesla Roadster drive out of the back of the truck. With the base model alone boasting a 620 mile range on a 200kWh battery pack with 10kN torque, providing a 1.9 second 0-60, 4.2 second 0-100, and 8.9 second quarter mile, the 2+2-seating convertible will easily be the fastest-accelerating production car in the world. Top speed is not disclosed, but said to be "at least 250mph." The vehicle's release date, however, is not scheduled until 2020.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Jelly Deals: Humble Store's Fall Sale live now with free copy of Killer is Dead

Eurogamer - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 11:41

A note from the editor: Jelly Deals is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.

Just in time for Black Friday 2017, Humble has launched one of its biggest sales this year. The Fall sale is live now, finishing on November 28th at 10 am (Pacific), and features literally thousands of games with some nice savings.

As we've mentioned quite a few times now, we'll be keeping our eyes firmly locked onto Black Friday deals for the next week and a bit. Elsewhere on the site, you can find our guides to the best PS4 Black Friday deals, Xbox Blck Friday offers, Nintendo Black Friday bundles, PC gaming Black Friday discounts and a bunch of other useful stuff.

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Categories: Video Games

EA has switched off Star Wars Battlefront 2's microtransactions

Eurogamer - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 10:01

EA has switched off Star Wars Battlefront 2's microtransactions following the intense fan furore over their implementation into the game.

The ability to buy loot boxes with real-world money disappeared from the Origin, PlayStation and Microsoft stores in the early hours of this morning. Shortly thereafter, EA released this statement from DICE boss Oskar Gabrielson:

There's no word yet on when loot crates will return.

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Categories: Video Games

On the secret smallness of Skyrim

Eurogamer - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 10:00

Skyrim's dirty little secret is that it isn't that large. Oh, it remains fairly gigantic by the standards of other virtual landscapes, even next to its youthful imitator and usurper, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But set against what it pretends to be - a kingdom stretching from arctic wastes to the temperate south, racked by dynastic squabbles and laced with the treasures and detritus of millennia - it's actually pretty dang tiddly, a little over 14 square miles in scope.

14 square miles? That's no bygone, mystery-shadowed dominion rearing its shrines and watchtowers amid sunflashed snow. That's a jumped-up theme park, a country music festival. More to the point, that's approximately the same size as The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, a game which has become something of a punching bag for Elder Scrolls aficionados in hindsight - neither as grand as its swaggering barbarian brother, nor as memorably odd as burned-out hippy uncle Morrowind. Steer clear of distractions like temperamental mammoth herds and you can walk from one side of Skyrim to the other in half an hour.

I'm being quite obtuse, of course. If open world games were required to be as large as their inspirations or narrative aspirations they'd never get finished, and in any case, who would have the time to play them? The fascinating thing about open world design is that it's not really about size at all. It's more the art of the deceptive miniature - of making the poky or digestible seem enormous to the point of exhausting, even as distant cities reveal themselves for neighbouring hamlets, fearsome mountains for mere well-appointed foothills. Skyrim is extremely good at this, to a degree I'm not sure any game environment can rival save the corkscrew terrain of the original Dark Souls. It launches on Switch this week, glory of glories, and I've spent a few hours with the remastered PC version to remind myself of its achievements.

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Categories: Video Games

Google Will Stop Letting Sites Use AMP Format To Bait and Switch Readers

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 09:00
"Google today announced a forthcoming update to its Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, web format that aims to discourage website owners from misusing the service," reports The Verge. "The company says that, starting in February 2018, AMP pages must contain content nearly identical to that of the standard page they're replicating." From the report: Currently, because AMP pages load faster and more clutter-free versions of a website, they naturally contain both fewer ads and less links to other portions of a site. That's led some site owners to publish two versions of a webpage: a standard page and an AMP-specific one that acts a teaser of sorts that directs users to the original. That original page, or canonical page in Google parlance, is by nature a slower loading page containing more ads and with a potentially lower bounce rate, which is the percentage of viewers who only view one page before leaving. Now, Google is cracking down on that behavior. "AMP was introduced to dramatically improve the performance of the web and deliver a fast, consistent content consumption experience," writes Ashish Mehta, an AMP product manager. "In keeping with this goal, we'll be enforcing the requirement of close parity between AMP and canonical page, for pages that wish to be shown in Google Search as AMPs."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Detroit's Marginalized Communities Are Building Their Own Internet

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 05:30
An anonymous reader writes: Motherboard has a report that discusses how some of Detroit's communities are building their own internet to help close the gap between the roughly 60 percent of Detroiters who have internet and 40 percent who don't. From the report: "[Diana Nucera, director of the Detroit Community Technology Project] is part of a growing cohort of Detroiters who have started a grassroots movement to close that gap, by building the internet themselves. It's a coalition of community members and multiple Detroit nonprofits. They're starting with three underserved neighborhoods, installing high speed internet that beams shared gigabit connections from an antenna on top of the tallest building on the street, and into the homes of people who have long gone without. They call it the Equitable Internet Initiative. The issue isn't only cost, though it is prohibitive for many Detroiters, but also infrastructure. Because of Detroit's economic woes, many Big Telecom companies haven't thought it worthwhile to invest in expanding their network to these communities. The city is filled with dark fiber optic cable that's not connected to any homes or businesses -- relics from more optimistic days. Residents who can't afford internet, are on some kind of federal or city subsidy like food stamps, and students are prioritized for the Initiative, Nucera told me. The whole effort started last summer with enlisting digital stewards, locals from each neighborhood who were interested in working for the nonprofit coalition, doing everything from spreading the word, to teaching digital literacy, to installing routers and pulling fiber. Many of these stewards started out with little or no tech expertise, but after a 20-week-long training period, they've become experts able to install, troubleshoot, and maintain a network from end to end. They're also aiming to spread digital literacy, so people can truly own the network themselves."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Report Claims That 18 Nation's Elections Were Impacted By Social Engineering Last Year

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 04:05
sqorbit writes: Independent watchdog group Freedom House released a report that claims that 18 nation's elections were "hacked." Of the 65 countries that Freedom House monitors, 30 appear to be using social media in order to affect elections by attempting to control online discussions. The report covers fake news posts, paid online opinion writers and trolling tactics. Other items in the report speak to online censorship and VPN blocking that blocks information within countries to interfere with elections. The report says net freedom could be aided by: large-scale programs that showed people how to spot fake news; putting tight controls on political adverts; and making social media giants do more to remove bots and tune algorithms to be more objective.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Bluetooth Hack Affects 20 Million Amazon Echo, Google Home Devices

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 03:25
In September, security researchers discovered eight vulnerabilities -- codenamed collectively as BlueBorne -- in the Bluetooth implementations used by over 5.3 billion devices. We have now learned that an estimated 20 million Amazon Echo and Google Home devices are also vulnerable to attacks leveraging the BlueBorne vulnerabilities. The Hacker News reports: Amazon Echo is affected by the following two vulnerabilities: a remote code execution vulnerability in the Linux kernel (CVE-2017-1000251); and an information disclosure flaw in the SDP server (CVE-2017-1000250). Since different Echo's variants use different operating systems, other Echo devices are affected by either the vulnerabilities found in Linux or Android. Whereas, Google Home devices are affected by one vulnerability: information disclosure vulnerability in Android's Bluetooth stack (CVE-2017-0785). This Android flaw can also be exploited to cause a denial-of-service (DoS) condition. Since Bluetooth cannot be disabled on either of the voice-activated personal assistants, attackers within the range of the affected device can easily launch an attack. The security firm [Armis, who disclosed the issue] notified both Amazon and Google about its findings, and both companies have released patches and issued automatic updates for the Amazon Echo and Google Home that fixes the BlueBorne attacks.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff
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