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Bethesda helps 12-year-old boy with rare cancer fulfil his wish of playing Fallout 76

Eurogamer - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 18:12

Bethesda has helped a 12-year-old boy with a rare form of cancer fulfil his wish of playing Fallout 76.

Wes, from Hampton Roads, Virginia, has battled stage four neuroblastoma for half his life after being diagnosed at just five years old.

Just days after doctors told Wes' family they thought it best to stop his treatment, he realised he probably wouldn't get to play Fallout 76, due out in November.

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Categories: Video Games

New Custom Linux Distro is Systemd-Free, Debian-Based, and Optimized for Windows 10

Slashdot - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 17:34
An anonymous reader quotes MSPowerUser: Nearly every Linux distro is already available in the Microsoft Store, allowing developers to use Linux scripting and other tools running on the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Now another distro has popped up in the Store, and unlike the others it claims to be specifically optimised for WSL, meaning a smaller and more appropriate package with sane defaults which helps developers get up and running faster. WLinux is based on Debian, and the developer, Whitewater Foundry, claims their custom distro will also allow faster patching of security and compatibility issues that appear from time to time between upstream distros and WSL... Popular development tools, including git and python3, are pre-installed. Additional packages can be easily installed via the apt package management system... A handful of unnecessary packages, such as systemd, have been removed to improve stability and security. The distro also offers out of the box support for GUI apps with your choice of X client, according to the original submission. WLinux is open source under the MIT license, and is available for free on GitHub. It can also be downloaded from Microsoft Store at a 50% discount, with the development company promising the revenue will be invested back into new features.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Mystery Solved: FBI Closed New Mexico Observatory to Investigate Child Porn

Slashdot - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 16:34
"The mysterious 11-day closure of a New Mexico solar observatory stemmed from an FBI investigation of a janitor suspected of using the facility's wireless internet service to send and receive child pornography, federal court documents showed..." An anonymous reader quotes the Washington Post: In July, FBI agents investigating child sexual exploitation traced the location of several IP addresses linked to child pornography activity to the observatory, according to a 39-page search warrant application. During an interview with federal authorities on Aug. 21, the facility's chief observer said he had found, on a number of occasions, the same laptop hidden and running in various seldom-used offices around the observatory. He described the contents of the laptop as "not good," according to court documents. A federal agent immediately went to the observatory, located deep within Lincoln National Forest, and took the laptop into evidence... Aside from continuing to "feverishly" search the facility, the documents state that the janitor said, "it was only a matter of time before the facility 'got hit,'" and that he "believed there was a serial killer in the area, and that he was fearful that the killer might enter the facility and execute someone." In response to the janitor's behavior, the management of the observatory, without input from the FBI, shut it down and evacuated its personnel. The facility's cleaning contract with the janitor's parents was also terminated. The warrant application specified that the janitor "has a key to the building and unlimited access to the building, and is familiar with which offices are used only a handful of times a year." It also says that the janitor was the only person in the facility at the time of the alleged downloads.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Soulcalibur 6 online beta set for next weekend

Eurogamer - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 16:27

Soulcalibur 6 hosts an online beta next weekend.

The network test lets people try the online versus mode on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Bandai Namco's upcoming fighting game.

It begins at 4pm UK time on 28th September and ends 4am UK time on 1st October.

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Categories: Video Games

Destiny 2 Forsaken's Dreaming City was originally very different

Eurogamer - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 16:04

Destiny 2: Forsaken's big new location, The Dreaming City, was originally planned to be very different to how it ended up. Speaking in a panel session this weekend at EGX, the show run by Eurogamer's parent company Gamer Network, developer Bungie spilled the beans on its latest in-game destination.

When work began on The Dreaming City last year, the Awoken's home was originally going to be a standard Destiny location - you would explore it through story missions first, then finally unlock access to the expansion's raid after hours of other content.

It was only around November last year Bungie decided The Dreaming City would operate differently - that you would be able to explore all of it as soon as you could access the area, and the raid would be unlocked from the off, too. The location's ongoing story would then be told organically over time through the Curse plotline which unlocked after the first team of players beat the raid.

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Categories: Video Games

'Bombe' Replica Code-Breaking WW2 Computer Was Used To Decipher Message Scrambled By An Enigma Machine

Slashdot - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Computer historians have staged a re-enactment of World War Two code-cracking at Bletchley Park. A replica code-breaking computer called a Bombe was used to decipher a message scrambled by an Enigma machine. Held at the National Museum of Computing (TNMOC), the event honored Polish help with wartime code-cracking. Enigma machines were used extensively by the German army and navy during World War Two. This prompted a massive effort by the Allies to crack the complex method they employed to scramble messages. That effort was co-ordinated via Bletchley Park and resulted in the creation of the Bombe, said Paul Kellar who helps to keep a replica machine running at the museum. Renowned mathematician Alan Turing was instrumental in the creation of the original Bombe. For its re-enactment, TNMOC recruited a team of 12 and used a replica Bombe that, until recently, had been on display at the Bletchley Park museum next door. The electro-mechanical Bombe was designed to discover which settings the German Enigma operators used to scramble their messages. As with World War Two messages, the TNMOC team began with a hint or educated guess about the content of the message, known as a "crib," which was used to set up the Bombe. The machine then cranked through the millions of possible combinations until it came to a "good stop," said Mr Kellar. This indicated that the Bombe had found key portions of the settings used to turn readable German into gobbledygook. After that, said Mr Kellar, it was just a matter of time before the 12-strong team cracked the message.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

New Sekiro gameplay shows off stunning Corrupted Monk boss fight

Eurogamer - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 13:20

Sony has published gameplay of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, showing off a new area and a stunning boss fight.

The video begins in the snowy, enemy-littered area we've seen before and shows how you're able to take on different enemies and a mid boss using various weapons and tactics.

Things get really interesting when the player works their their way across a mountain pass while avoiding the attention of a giant, monstrous snake.

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Categories: Video Games

This week's best deals: PlayStation Classic, Super Smash Bros, Frozen Synapse 2, and more

Eurogamer - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 13:00

This week's roundup of the week's best gaming deals is coming to you live from EGX 2018 - the show run by Eurogamer's parent company Gamer Network - where everything is loud, lights are flashy and Wi-Fi coverage is at maximum load. There's a whole lot of different things to take a look at this week, so before the internet completely dies, let's get to it.

As usual, we've got deals that'll work in the UK, deals that'll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US, as well as presumably many other places. Let's get started.

Perhaps the biggest news of the week - outside of the majesty of EGX 2018 of course - is Sony's announcement of its own tiny nostalgia machine, the PlayStation Classic. With 20 PlayStation 1 games preinstalled, the console is due out on December 3rd and can be pre-ordered below.

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Categories: Video Games

How well does Call of Duty's tech handle the battle royale challenge?

Eurogamer - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 13:00

Is battle royale a good fit for Treyarch's iteration of the Call of Duty engine? Black Ops 4's latest beta provides answers. An early demo of the new Blackout mode rolled out last week, revealing that the developer is aiming to deliver a very similar style of game, but targeting a 60fps update in a world where Xbox One has struggled to achieve smooth performance in PUBG. At its core, Blackout follows the same beats of play; up to 100 combatants fly across the map, skydive down, scavenge for weapons and armour, and then duke it out to be the last man standing as the field of play narrows. We're in familiar territory then - but what makes Treyarch's effort stand out?

Well, unlike the Unreal Engine 4 backbone of PUBG and Fortnite, Blackout mode is a fascinating technical experiment for the Call of Duty series. It shows how the studio's renderer and netcode scales beyond Black Ops 4's usual online deathmatch games. Player counts of 5v5 are the focus there, taking place across far smaller maps. But here? By necessity, the engine loads in one gigantic, open sprawl spreading out for acres - showing the engine's efficiency at asset streaming, and rendering shadow or foliage detail.

From high-end housing estates, factories, and prisons, this is the biggest battle arena in Call of Duty's history. This thing is a monster and Treyarch claims it's roughly 1500 times the size of the fan favourite Nuketown from Black Ops 3. What that leaves you with is a demand to render detail at a macro scale, as well as focusing on the small details - and it strikes a strong balance. The handful of maps in the previous deathmatch beta appear more detailed on the surface, and rooms in Blackout are relatively bare compared to the decorated spots of that earlier beta. Even so, Treyarch's engine still gets a strong workout in Blackout. The tech is familiar; from the effects resolution, use of screen-space reflections through to its eye-catching water shaders, Blackout may be a standalone attraction within Black Ops 4, but the visual settings are similar to the rest of the package.

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Categories: Video Games

Streaming Accounts For 75 Percent of Music Industry Revenue In the US

Slashdot - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 12:00
Mallory Locklear reporting via Engadget: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has released music industry revenue statistics for the first half of 2018 in the U.S., and on average, revenue growth has slowed. While overall revenue was up 10 percent compared to the same time last year, clocking in at $4.6 billion, that rate is only around half of the increase observed between the first halves of 2016 and 2017. Streaming revenue growth slowed as well, though it was still up 28 percent compared to last year. Notably, streaming accounted for the vast majority of revenue so far this year, with 75 percent of overall revenue coming from streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal. The numbers also show that more people continue to join paid subscription services, with subscription rates growing by about one million per month. But while streaming revenue is still on an upward trend, the news isn't so good for digital downloads and CD sales. Digital downloads have only made up 12 percent of overall revenue so far this year, down from 19 percent last year, and CD sales saw a whopping 41 percent drop in revenue. To compare, during the same time last year, CD sales were only down three percent from the year before. Vinyl revenue, however, is up 13 percent.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Devil May Cry 5 has online multiplayer for up to three players

Eurogamer - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 11:55

Devil May Cry 5 has multiplayer, it's been revealed.

A listing for the game on the PlayStation Store, spotted by devilmaycry.org, mentions online multiplayer for two or three players. Capcom has yet to announce the feature.

Devil May Cry 5 has three playable characters: Dante, Nero and V. Fans are speculating this online multiplayer portion of the game may be a co-op, horde-style mode where you face off against waves of enemies.

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Categories: Video Games

Capcom is bringing the Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy to Switch

Eurogamer - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 10:45

Capcom had a special Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright-themed presentation at today's Tokyo Game Show, and it used the occasion to announce something not entirely unexpected; the Phoenix Wright Trilogy is coming to Switch, PC, PS4 and Xbox One early next year.

The Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy first came to iOS devices back in 2013, with a 3DS version following in 2014. This new version does look different, though, with touched up artwork that should fit well on HD devices. The trailer which released to mark the occasion should help give you some idea of how it's all shaping up.

The Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright series kicked off in 2001, with all three entries included in this forthcoming game coming out before 2004 on Nintendo's Game Boy Advance.

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Categories: Video Games

Sega and M2 are bringing Virtua Racing to the Switch

Eurogamer - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 10:17

Sega's used the first public day of Tokyo Game Show to announce that it's bringing its arcade classic Virtua Racing to Nintendo's Switch as part of the Sega Ages series.

Virtua Racing first released back in 1992 for Sega's Model 1 board in the arcades, marking some of its first experiments with polygonal graphics and the beginning of a golden age for its racing games. It's enjoyed several home ports since, though with M2 behind this one - who also handled the Sega Ages port for PlayStation 2 back in 2004 - this promises to be the best.

Sega Ages just kicked off on Switch this week, with ports of Sonic the Hedgehog and Thunderforce 4 now available on the eShop. M2 also released the results of a Twitter poll where it asked what other games fans would like to see ported - and it was headed up by Jet Set Radio, the Shenmue games and Panzer Dragoon Saga. What chance we see those turn up at some point in the future?

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Categories: Video Games

Playing today's games in a thousand years

Eurogamer - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 09:00

Ask a young adult today what a floppy disk is and you'll likely earn puzzled silence. To them, they are ancient artefacts. Demonstrate an "old" game (say, from around 2000) to a kid today, and they might look at it with disbelieving curiosity. Did games really look like that, once upon a time, in the unfathomable recesses of antiquity? Similarly, to me, 30 years old, games of the early 90s (and the machines that run them) already exude a certain alien primitivity. Revisiting them several decades after their prime with a historian's curiosity is as fascinating as it is frustrating: it's easy to bounce off old games and their archaic workings.

The advance and change of technology is rapid, and, as many have pointed out, presents daunting problems regarding the preservation of older games. But there are other issues that may be less urgent, issues that are just as real. Let's assume for the sake of speculation that game historians and preservationists manage to address the problem, and that, say, a thousand years from now (if we're still around by then), at least a fraction of today's games will still be playable in some form.

A thousand years may seem excessive. Given the breakneck cycles of hype and disinterest, of novelty and jadedness, surely no denizen of a future world a millennium from now will be interested in playing, say, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare? But consider that when it comes to older media, literature first and foremost, some texts are still alive and well. You'll have no trouble finding a copy of Beowulf (ca. 1000 years old and surviving in a single manuscript which was almost destroyed in a fire in 1731), The Iliad (almost 3000 years old) or the Epic of Gilgamesh (a whopping 4000 years old). And it's not just historians who read them either.

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Categories: Video Games

Japan Has Attempted To Land Two Tiny Rovers On a Distant Asteroid

Slashdot - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 09:00
On Friday, Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft attempted to deploy two miniature rovers on an asteroid that it's been orbiting since mid-August. Ars Technica reports: Each weighed only about a kilogram, and after separating from the main spacecraft they approached the asteroid named Ryugu. Japanese mission scientists think the rovers touched down successfully, but are not completely sure. Communication with the two landers stopped near the moment of touchdown. This is presumably because Ryugu's rotation took the rovers out of view from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, but scientists won't know for sure until later Friday (or Saturday morning, in Japan) when they attempt to download images from the rovers. And thus we are left with a suspenseful situation.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Massive Undersea Walls Could Stop Glaciers From Melting, Scientists Say

Slashdot - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: Building walls on the seafloor could prevent glaciers from melting and sea levels rising due to global warming, scientists say. Barriers of sand and rock positioned at the base of glaciers would stop ice sheets sliding and collapsing, and prevent warm water from eroding the ice from beneath, according to research published this week in the Cryosphere journal, from the European Geosciences Union. The audacious idea centers on the construction of "extremely simple structures, merely piles of aggregate on the ocean floor, although more advanced structures could certainly be explored in the future," said the report's authors, Michael Wolovick, a researcher at the department of geosciences at Princeton University, and John Moore, professor of climate change at the University of Lapland in Finland. Using computer models to gauge the probable impact of walls on erosion of the Thwaites glacier in Antarctica, one of the world's largest, Wolovick and Moore hoped to test the efficiency of "a locally targeted intervention." They claimed the simplest designs would allow direct comparison with existing engineering projects. "The easiest design that we considered would be comparable to the largest civil engineering projects that humanity has ever attempted," they said. "An ice sheet intervention today would be at the edge of human capabilities." For example, building four isolated walls would require between 0.1 and 1.5 cubic km of material. "That is comparable to the 0.1 km3 that was used to create Palm Jumeirah in Dubai ($12 billion)...(and) the 0.3 km3 that was used to create Hong Kong International Airport ($20 billion)," the report said. The authors say there's only a 30% probability of success due to the harsh environment, but did mention that the scientific community could work on a plan that was both achievable and had a high probability of success.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Southern California Sees Its Longest Streak of Bad Air In Decades

Slashdot - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 04:05
According to state monitoring data, Southern California violated federal smog standards for 87 consecutive days -- the longest stretch of bad air in at least 20 years. "The streak is the latest sign that Souther California's battle against smog is faltering after decades of dramatic improvement," reports San Francisco Chronicle. From the report: The ozone pollution spell began June 19 and continued through July and August, with every day exceeding the federal health standard of 70 parts per billion somewhere across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It didn't relent until Sept. 14, when air pollution dipped to "moderate" levels within federal limits for ozone, the lung-damaging gas in smog that triggers asthma and other respiratory illnesses. It's not unusual for Southern California summers to go weeks without a break in the smog, especially in inland communities that have long suffered the nation's worst ozone levels. But environmentalists and health experts say the persistence of dirty air this year is a troubling sign that demands action. Regulators blame the dip in air quality in recent years on hotter weather and stronger, more persistent inversion layers that trap smog near the ground.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Amazon Is Making It Easier To Set Up New IoT Gadgets

Slashdot - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 03:25
At an event yesterday where the company unveiled a range of new Echo smart speakers and other Alexa-enabled devices, the company announced a new way to easily set up internet of things (IoT) devices. The Verge reports: Called Wi-Fi Simple Setup, the system will use Amazon's Wi-Fi Lockers to store your Wi-Fi credentials and share them with compatible smart home devices. Amazon is debuting this tech with TP-Link and Eero, with the idea that customers can reuse network credentials in order to set up new devices. This means devices will connect on their own instead of you having to manually set up each smart product. According to Amazon, it's as easy as plugging in a Wi-Fi Simple Setup-enabled device. The device will automatically look for the Wi-Fi Simple Setup Network and connect once it receives encrypted credentials. Amazon says the process should take no longer than 30 seconds. The ecommerce company also announced a "plug-and-play smart home kit called Alexa Connect Kit. "It starts with a module that has Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi and a real-time OS that companies can put in their products in order to make them smart," reports The Verge.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Romanian Ransomware Suspect Pleads Guilty To Hacking CCTVs In Washington DC

Slashdot - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 02:45
gosand writes: "A Romanian woman [named Eveline Cismaru] has admitted running a ransomware operation from infected Washington DC's CCTV systems just days before President Trump was sworn into office in the U.S. capital," The Register reports. The U.S. Department of Justice stated: "This case was of the highest priority due to its impact on the Secret Service's protective mission and its potential effect on the security plan for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration." She could face a max of 25 years if convicted. She and her cohort (who is still jailed in Romania) made the classic hacker mistake of using their personal Gmail accounts for the campaign, even accessing them from one of the compromised PCs. Cismaru hacked "into 123 of the 187 high-tech CCTV cameras dotted around the city," reports The Register. "The hijacked devices, used by DC's Metropolitan Police Department, then spammed up to 180,000 email addresses with ransomware-laden messages."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

FCC Angers Cities, Towns With $2 Billion Giveaway To Wireless Carriers

Slashdot - Sat, 22/09/2018 - 02:03
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Communications Commission's plan for spurring 5G wireless deployment will prevent city and town governments from charging carriers about $2 billion worth of fees. The FCC proposal, to be voted on at its meeting on September 26, limits the amount that local governments may charge carriers for placing 5G equipment such as small cells on poles, traffic lights, and other government property in public rights-of-way. The proposal, which is supported by the FCC's Republican majority, would also force cities and towns to act on carrier applications within 60 or 90 days. The FCC says this will spur more deployment of small cells, which "have antennas often no larger than a small backpack." But the commission's proposal doesn't require carriers to build in areas where they wouldn't have done so anyway. The FCC plan proposes up-front application fees of $100 for each small cell and annual fees of up to $270 per small cell. The FCC says this is a "reasonable approximation of [localities'] costs for processing applications and for managing deployments in the rights-of-way." Cities that charge more than that would likely face litigation from carriers and would have to prove that the fees are a reasonable approximation of all costs and "non-discriminatory." But, according to Philadelphia, those proposed fees "are simply de minimis when measured against the costs that the City incurs to approve, support, and maintain the many small cell and distributed antenna system (DAS) installations in its public rights-of-way." Philadelphia said it "has already established a fee structure and online application process to apply for small cell deployment that has served the needs of its citizens without prohibiting or creating barriers to entry for infrastructure investment." The city has also negotiated license agreements for small cell installations with Verizon, AT&T, and other carriers. In addition to Philadelphia, the Rural County Represenatives of California (RCRC), a group representing 35 rural California counties, also objects to the FCC plan. They told the FCC that its "proposed recurring fee structure is an unreasonable overreach that will harm local policy innovation." "That is why many local governments have worked to negotiate fair agreements with wireless providers, which may exceed that number or provide additional benefits to the community," the RCRC wrote. "The FCC's decision to prohibit municipalities' ability to require 'in-kind' conditions on installation agreements is in direct conflict with the FCC's stated intent of this Order and further constrains local governments in deploying wireless services to historically underserved areas."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff
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