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China Cyber Watchdog Rejects Censorship Critics, Says Internet Must Be 'Orderly'

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 17:25
China's top cyber authority on Thursday rejected a recent report ranking it last out of 65 countries for press freedom, saying the internet must be "orderly" and the international community should join it in addressing fake news and other cyber issues. From a report: Ren Xianliang, vice minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), said the rapid development of the country's internet over two decades is proof of its success and that it advocates for the free flow of information. "We should not just make the internet fully free, it also needs to be orderly... The United States and Europe also need to deal with these fake news and rumors," Ren told journalists without elaborating.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Middle-earth: Shadow of War lays out free content schedule

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 17:11

With Star Wars: Battlefront 2 taking all the current flak for having loot boxes, it's a good time for fellow loot box controversy candidate Middle-earth: Shadow of War to detail all of its upcoming freebies.

Alongside the three DLCs coming as part of Shadow of War's season pass, various new features will be implemented for free over the next few weeks.

First up are Endless Sieges, which as previously announced arrive on 21st November.

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Categories: Video Games

Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot boxes investigated by Belgian Gaming Commission

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 16:57

UPDATE 4:45PM: In response to Eurogamer's request for comment, EA has issued the following statement: "Creating a fair and fun game experience is of critical importance to EA. The crate mechanics of Star Wars Battlefront 2 are not gambling. A player's ability to succeed in the game is not dependent on purchasing crates. Players can also earn crates through playing the game and not spending any money at all. Once obtained, players are always guaranteed to receive content that can be used in game."

UPDATE 4:15PM: According to Dutch news outlet NU.nl, the Dutch Gambling Authority has now launched an investigation into whether games with loot boxes are games of chance.

In the Netherlands, games of chance are subject to licencing laws - however there is currently no licencing system for online games. The investigation is still in the research phase however could result in games containing gambling to be banned from sale until new laws are brought in.

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Categories: Video Games

New Overwatch hero Moira could arrive today in time for free weekend

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 16:45

UPDATE, 11.00pm: Well it turns out that those crystal balls were right: new Overwatch hero Moira will not only definitely arrive in time for the game's imminent free weekend, she's out now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

That's a pretty speedy turnaround for Moira, described as “a mobile healer and damage dealer capable of adapting to any situation” in Blizzard's latest patch notes: she was only unveiled two weeks ago at BlizzCon 2017.

And if you fancy putting Moira's intriguing arsenal to the test, she and all 25 other Overwatch heroes will be available to play for the duration of the game's free weekend. It starts tomorrow, November 17th at 7pm, and runs until 7:59am on November 21st in the UK.

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Categories: Video Games

37% of Netflix Subscribers Say They Binge-Watch While at Work

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 16:45
On-demand video streaming service Netflix has found that more people than ever are watching video outside their homes. About 67% of people now watch movies and TV shows in public, according to an online survey it commissioned of 37,000 adults around the world. The survey also found that about 37% of Netflix's US subscribers binge-watch shows and movies while at work.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Foreign Students Have Begun To Shun the United States

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 16:06
In a potential threat to future U.S. innovation, new international enrollment at U.S. colleges is down for the first time in more than a decade, according to a new report. From the report: It is the first hard sign that the Trump administration's rhetoric may be frightening away some of the world's best and brightest who traditionally have been drawn to settle and work in the U.S. Why it matters: "The Chinese whiz kid, if he can find a way to America, he'll come here. If you're good, you can make a lot of money," Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, tells Axios. "That whole set of incentives has always been tied to the immigrant stream, and we're severing that connection." By the numbers: The findings are from the Institute of International Education's annual Open Doors report and its smaller joint "snapshot" report on international enrollment. It found that new international student enrollment dropped by 3.3% for the 2016-2017 academic year, and by a far higher 6.9% in the Fall 2017 semester.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Outcast - Second Contact review

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 16:00

Initially turned off by its stock 1990s action game protagonist and fuzzy voxels, I came to appreciate Outcast rather late in life. At the time of its original release I craved titles that would put my fancy new GeForce 256 to good use, for which I was spoilt for choice: a new Dungeon Keeper was atop the PC hit parade, which, together with Hidden & Dangerous, System Shock 2 and Unreal Tournament, effortlessly outshined Outcast's dull palette.

It wasn't until a full 15 years later that I gave Outcast the attention it had long deserved. This was at the time of the v1.1 release, an understated - and still worthwhile - remaster that, in facilitating an outpouring of affectionate reader reviews across GOG and Steam, stirred in me old curiosities and a dormant sense of guilt at having dismissed the original game so easily.

And so, after years of wilful ignorance (and fresh from having completed Far Cry 4), I pushed myself to fall for Outcast's charms. It took a fair while. For many hours Cutter Slade remained every bit the second-rate Korben Dallas I'd suspected that he was, but eventually his out-dated wisecracks broke through and the pudgy faces of the indigenous Talan, in delivering their redundant vowels in Parisien kebab shop accents, forever endeared me to their plight. Before long I was hunting high and low for fabled Essence Stones and the missing brothers of peasant farmers, plundering abundant resources for ammo and, slowly but surely, turning the culpable and often cowardly administrators of the harsh Adelphan regime into unwitting allies in my insurgent efforts to save two worlds.

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Categories: Video Games

Jelly Deals: Black Friday offers from Argos and GAME go live

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 15:27

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.

As retailers continue to attempt to outdo each other when it comes to Black Friday every year, it's hardly surprising that, a full week away from the day itself, more and more retailers are putting their offers live. Amazon UK is set to put the bulk of its deals live tomorrow, though you can get an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot with £20 and £15 off (respectively) right now. Now it's GAME and Argos' time in the spotlight, as both companies have a litany of video game offers you can snap up.

As a reminder, we've got guides pages up and running for Black Friday deals and we'll be updating them daily all the way through next week and the week after, to make sure we're covering the best and most relevant deals possible. We've got pages for PS4 Black Friday deals, Xbox Black Friday offers, Nintendo Black Friday bundles and PC gaming Black Friday discounts, among others.

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Categories: Video Games

Loads of FIFA 18 players are scoring straight from kick-off

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 15:07

After EA tackled an "exploit" that involved using terrible players to beat the AI on the hardest difficulty in FIFA Ultimate Team, FIFA 18's next big issue has come to the fore: a kick-off "glitch".

The kick-off glitch isn't really much of a glitch. Rather, it's a tactic players are using to score goals that makes the most of FIFA 18's overpowered passing and the initial set-up of the teams.

Here's how it works: from kick-off, players pass the ball out wide to their fullback, then play the ball down the wing to their winger, cross and, hopefully, smash the ball into the back of the net. It's an unsatisfying way to score and frustrating to be on the wrong end of, but everyone's doing it.

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Categories: Video Games

The Brutal Fight To Mine Your Data and Sell It To Your Boss

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 15:00
An anonymous reader shares a report from Bloomberg, explaining how Silicon Valley makes billions of dollars peddling personal information, supported by an ecosystem of bit players. Editor Drake Bennett highlights the battle between an upstart called HiQ and LinkedIn, who are fighting for your lucrative professional identity. Here's an excerpt from the report: A small number of the world's most valuable companies collect, control, parse, and sell billions of dollars' worth of personal information voluntarily surrendered by their users. Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft -- which bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016 -- have in turn spawned dependent economies consisting of advertising and marketing companies, designers, consultants, and app developers. Some operate on the tech giants' platforms; some customize special digital tools; some help people attract more friends and likes and followers. Some, including HiQ, feed off the torrents of information that social networks produce, using software bots to scrape data from profiles. The services of the smaller companies can augment the offerings of the bigger ones, but the power dynamic is deeply asymmetrical, reminiscent of pilot fish picking food from between the teeth of sharks. The terms of that relationship are set by technology, economics, and the vagaries of consumer choice, but also by the law. LinkedIn's May 23 letter to HiQ wasn't the first time the company had taken legal action to prevent the perceived hijacking of its data, and Facebook and Craigslist, among others, have brought similar actions. But even more than its predecessors, this case, because of who's involved and how it's unfolded, has spoken to the thorniest issues surrounding speech and competition on the internet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Watch: Ian plays the first four hours of Skyrim VR

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 14:24

As a big fan of VR (I've still not given up hope, dammit!) I relish the opportunity to get my hands on a game that's not just a short experience or a dull whack-a-mole style shooter. That's why I've been looking forward to the release of Skyrim VR ever since it was announced - it's a game that I could potentially spend a hundred plus hours in!

I've been picturing it in my head for a while now. Taking that first walk down the hill towards Riverwood and watching the salmon swim up stream; hearing a roar above and looking up to see a dragon flying through the air; climbing the Throat of the World to stand on the peak and admire the aurora borealis. I'm buzzing just thinking about it.

Will the reality live up to my imagination, however? I'll be finding out in a special pre-launch live stream, where I'll be playing Skyrim VR from the very start, experimenting with the different control schemes and trying my best not to make too many 'arrow to the knee' jokes.

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Categories: Video Games

How well does Skyrim on Switch compare to PS4?

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 14:00

Recently, we dissected Bethesda's intriguing conversion of Doom for Switch, dubbing it the 'impossible port' - a full-on triple-A engine somehow cut-back, massaged and finagled onto Nintendo's hybrid console. The Skyrim conversion may not be quite so impressive in terms of its sheer ambition, but it's clearly far more successful from an execution standpoint. Yes, there are compromises when the title is stacked up against its PlayStation 4 counterpart, but it delivers where it matters - and where Switch offers a unique experience - in handheld play - it is simply excellent.

First unveiled in Nintendo's very own reveal video for the Switch hardware, Skyrim was clearly included as a statement of intent from the platform holder - to show that third party support would be strong, and that top-tier titles were in the offing. That initial footage certainly looked compelling, and the final product delivers on the promise. This is a feature-complete version of the game, making extensive use of the Creation Engine's many quality sliders to squeeze the title onto Nvidia's mobile chipset.

Let's kick off by talking about resolution. While docked, Skyrim operates at a native 1600x900, while playing in mobile mode shows us the first sign of compromise. When we looked at the Switch port at Gamescom, everything indicated a native 720p resolution, but the final code reveals more: a fairly basic form of resolution scaling designed to sustain smooth performance. Under load, resolution drops back suddenly to 896x720 - 70 per cent of the native pixel-count.

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Categories: Video Games

Destiny 2 gets more downtime tonight

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 13:43

Destiny 2 servers will disappear into the Darkness tonight for four hours, starting at 4pm UK time (8am Pacific).

If you're still playing Destiny 2 after then, expect to be kicked off within the hour. Maintenance is due to be concluded by 8pm UK time (midday Pacific).

It's the latest of many, many scheduled maintenance periods for the game. There's no word yet on what fixes will come in the accompanying Hotfix 1.0.7 patch.

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Categories: Video Games

Arms adds new character, introduces Splatfest-style events

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 13:09

Arms has received its big 4.0 update, which is headlined by a new character and a date for Arms' first in-game event.

Nintendo's latest fighter to join the game's roster is a masked chap named Misango:

Misango's mask changes colour and offers different buffs depending on its hue - blue for increased movement, red for increased damage, or yellow for enhanced Rush moves. There's seemingly no way to control the changes though - you need to keep track of the mask's own will and adapt your play appropriately.

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Categories: Video Games

Consumers Are Holding Off On Buying Smart-Home Gadgets Due To Security, Privacy Fears

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 12:00
According to a new survey from consulting firm Deloitte, consumers are uneasy about being watched, listened to, or tracked by devices they place in their homes. The firm found that consumer interest in connected home technology lags behind their interest in other types of IoT devices. Business Insider reports: "Consumers are more open to, and interested in, the connected world," the firm said in its report. Noting the concerns about smart home devices, it added: "But not all IoT is created equal." Nearly 40% of those who participated in the survey said they were concerned about connected-home devices tracking their usage. More than 40% said they were worried that such gadgets would expose too much about their daily lives. Meanwhile, the vast majority of consumers think gadget makers weren't doing a good job of telling them about security risks. Fewer than 20% of survey respondents said they were very well informed about such risks and almost 40% said they weren't informed at all.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Assassin's Creed Origins will soon let you change your beard and hairstyle

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 11:50

UPDATE 16/11/17: Assassin's Creed Origins' next patch, numbered 1.05, has been detailed - and yes, it includes the beard and hair toggle fans have been waiting for.

The update will launch today on PS4, 20th November for Xbox One and "soon" for PC.

Among the other changes, patch 1.05 will also make certain enemies tougher on Hard mode: "Enemies of a lower level than the playable character are now more challenging in Hard Mode", Ubisoft explained in the update's lengthy patch notes.

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Categories: Video Games

Jelly Deals: Wolfenstein 2 discounted to £29.99 today

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 11:37

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.

True to form for Bethesda releases this year, Wolfenstein 2 has seen its first significant discount on consoles.

After the rapid price cuts on Prey, The Evil Within 2 and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, the latest instalment of Machine Games' alternate-history shooter series can now be bought for its lowest price yet - £29.99 from GAME. For that price, you'll get a free steelbook case as well.

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Categories: Video Games

Destiny 2's first year of raiding looks like it'll take place entirely on Leviathan

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 11:35

Does Destiny 2's Curse of Osiris expansion add a new raid? It's a question the Destiny community has been pondering, after Bungie teased new raid content but stopped short of confirming an entirely new, separate raid itself.

Bungie livestreamed a look at Curse of Osiris on Twitch last night to answer that question and, as with many things in Destiny, the answer is... complicated.

Curse of Osiris will turn Destiny 2's raid location, the Cabal Leviathan ship, into a destination for multiple raids. The expansion will add a second set of raid encounters on the enormous vessel, exploring different areas and featuring a new boss.

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Categories: Video Games

DICE fails to quell Star Wars Battlefront 2 controversy in reddit AMA

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 10:22

DICE's much-anticipated, and impressively civil, Reddit AMA (that's Ask Me Anything, sort of like a Q&A) for the controversial Star Wars Battlefront 2 has now occurred. Unsurprisingly, it wasn't the bringer of too many revelations.

Battlefront 2's executive producer John Wasilczyk, associate design director Dennis Brannvall, and producer Paul Keslin were all on-hand to answer questions from the reddit community, and the whole thing passed on by with the effortlessly evasive slickness of a well-oiled corporate PR machine.

Hundreds of questions were posed by redditors, and 30 were answered during the discussion. Unsurprisingly, many of the community's tougher questions were gracefully avoided, with the general message of the evening seeming to be 'we'll keep an eye on the data and make adjustments later if need be'.

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Categories: Video Games

How Fable Fortune survived the death of Lionhead

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 10:00

When Microsoft announced the shock closure of long-running developer Lionhead Studios back in March 2016, Fable Legends fell by the wayside. What most people didn't know at the time was there was another Fable game in the works at Lionhead, one that hadn't even been announced yet.

Unlike Fable Legends, though, this secret Fable game survived Lionhead's closure. That secret game was Fable Fortune, and this is the story of its long and winding journey to launch.

Fable Fortune, a Hearthstone-like collectible card game set in the Fable universe, sprang into life in October 2014 after the small team responsible for Fable Anniversary wrapped up the Steam version of the game. With Fable Legends development in full swing, the Anniversary team was asked to come up with an idea for a mini-game of companion game that would slot into the big Xbox One and PC project. Lionhead had form when it came to Fable companion pieces, of course, with Fable: Coin Golf and Fable: Pub Games both past successes.

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Categories: Video Games
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