news

No plans for a Vita successor, Sony says

Eurogamer - 1 hour 55 min ago

Sony has no plans for a Vita successor, it's said.

Sony Interactive Entertainment senior vice president Hiroyuki Oda told Japanese magazine Famitsu (via Gematsu) the company has no plans to launch a new handheld.

In fact, Oda confirmed 2019 will be the last year Sony ships the Vita.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

Nvidia DLSS analysis: how AI tech can make PC games run 40 per cent faster

Eurogamer - 1 hour 56 min ago

What if PC hardware manufacturers fully embraced the kind of smart upscaling technologies now commonplace on consoles? It's a topic I've explored in the past, but with Nvidia's new deep learning super-sampling - DLSS - we have a reconstruction technology with full hardware acceleration, producing some remarkable results. Indeed, based on a Final Fantasy 15 demo we've had access to, DLSS is increasing performance by 40 per cent and in some respects, it's actually improving image quality.

So how does it work? At the Gamescom reveal for RTX technology, Nvidia big boss Jen-Hsun Huang talked about how deep learning technology - bread and butter for the new tensor cores inside Turing - could 'infer' more detail from any given image through learned experience of looking at similar images. Translated to DLSS, Nvidia's internal super-computer - dubbed Saturn 5 - analyses extremely high detail game images, producing an algorithm just a few megabytes in size that is downloaded via a driver update to an RTX card.

The game itself is rendered at a lower resolution and just like those image enhancement techniques that work so well via deep learning techniques, DLSS works to produce higher resolution imagery. We're pretty sure there's a bit more going on here than Nvidia is telling us. For starters, DLSS relies on titles that use temporal anti-aliasing (which, to be fair, covers pretty much every major modern game engine these days). This suggests that DLSS pulls info from prior frames to help with its reconstruction over and above whatever info it 'infers' via its algorithm.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

PUBG for PC is getting a ranking system

Eurogamer - 2 hours 46 min ago

Hot on the heels of PC update 21, PUBG Corp is rolling out another patch. This time, the company is adding the long-requested ranking system, simplified inventory UI, a skin trade-up system, and the ability to select specific maps. It's the update of dreams.

PUBG mobile already has a ranking system, and it looks like the PC version will be similar. According to the patch notes, there will be eight ranks in total, ranging from bronze to grandmaster. You can level up based on rank points earned - although we don't yet know exactly how these are calculated. You should at least be able to earn some for trying (or if you're me, dying), as the first rank can be earned by playing 10 provisional matches.

Many PUBG players will also be relieved to hear individual map selection is returning. Gone are the days of choosing playlists and inevitably ending up on Miramar. That place really is going to be deserted now.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

FIFA 19 in-game message warns FUT players against coin distribution

Eurogamer - 2 hours 53 min ago

FIFA 19's Ultimate Team mode begins with a couple of in-game messages, one of which is a stark warning against coin distribution.

EA Sports' battle against third-party FUT coin sellers is long-running and well-documented. As I reported last year, there are a huge number of these websites, which let you buy FUT packs and coins, and sell your coins and even accounts. In short, the FIFA Ultimate Team black market is huge, despite EA's attempt to combat it over the years.

Now, FUT fans with early access to FIFA 19 were greeted by an in-game message about coin distribution. FUT's in-game auction house is for transferring players "at a fair market value", the message reads. Any other use is considered coin distribution - and EA may ban you from the game for it.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

California May Ban Terrible Default Passwords On Connected Devices

Slashdot - 3 hours 6 min ago
According to Engadget, the California Senate has sent Governor Jerry Brown draft legislation that would require manufacturers to either have to use unique preprogrammed passwords or make you change the credentials the first time you use it. "Companies will also have to 'equip the device with a reasonable security feature or features that are appropriate to the nature and function of the device,'" reports Engadget. From the report: If Brown signs the bill into law, it will take effect at the beginning of 2020. But critics claim the wording is vague and doesn't go far enough in ensuring manufacturers don't include unsecured features. "It's like dieting, where people insist you should eat more kale, which does little to address the problem you are pigging out on potato chips," Robert Graham of Errata Security said in a blog post. "The key to dieting is not eating more but eating less." Given the huge number of connected devices available, it's also not clear how the state plans to enforce and regulate the rules.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

If they destroy Loot Lake I will be properly upset

Eurogamer - 3 hours 36 min ago

I made panna cotta for the first time a few months back. It was delicious. Also, I learned two things, the first of which is that it's panna cotta and not pannacotta. Who knew?

The second thing was more interesting. I learned how brilliant it is working with leaf gelatine. If you're a vegetarian or a vegan, apologies for what follows - and frankly, gelatine is the sort of thing that makes you want to be a vegetarian or a vegan in the first place. Anyway, leaf gelatine is completely fascinating. You bring it out of the packet and it's crinkly and thin: it's basically like money. It's very hard to count out the number of sheets you need for a recipe without feeling like you're a bank teller. Anyway, once you've counted it out you have to bloom it. You put it in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes. Then, if you're me, you worry that you've left it too long, or not long enough, or that you've ruined it and you don't have enough spares and now nobody will ever eat panna cotta ever again.

But when you reach into the bowl you're like, Wow! What happened? What happened is that the crinkly, thin leaf gelatine has turned into a wonderfully rubbery, squeezy muddle of stuff. You gently press the water out of it and then you get on making panna cotta. This leaf gelatine will transform the cereal milk - thanks, Christina Tosi! - into wonderful wobbly domes of caramely goodness. You will place a spoon on top and the surface will hold and shimmer and bounce.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

Frostpunk adds free story DLC the Fall of Winterhome

Eurogamer - 4 hours 11 min ago

11 bit Studios has released a free new story scenario, The Fall of Winterhome, for frozen PC city-building game Frostpunk.

The scenario tells how Winterhome, a town you seek during the main campaign, fell. It offers hours of story as well as new visuals, mechanics, buildings (Repair Station and others) "and more", according to the Frostpunk update blurb and patch notes.

Scenarios are Frostpunk's thing to do after you finish the main campaign. They're shorter, tighter capsules of campaign focused around stretching a few mechanics to their limits rather than offering the whole toolbox for use. They're challenging as a result.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

New Street Fighter 5 costumes may be the closest we get to a new Darkstalkers for a while

Eurogamer - 4 hours 16 min ago

Capcom has announced new Darkstalkers costumes for Street Fighter 5.

With no new Darkstalkers game on the horizon, this may well be the closest fans will get to playing a new game in the horror-flavoured fighting game series for a while.

The costumes see Chun-Li turned into Morrigan, Ed dressed as Demitri and Menat cosplaying as Felicia.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

Capcom reveals Ada Wong's new look for the Resident Evil 2 remake

Eurogamer - 4 hours 54 min ago

Capcom had teased a new look for fan-favourite character Ada Wong in the Resident Evil 2 remake. Now, to coincide with the Tokyo Game Show, the company has pulled back the curtain on her design for the upcoming game.

In the original Resident Evil 2, mysterious spy Ada Wong wore a red dress and high heels. In the Resident Evil 2 remake, however, she wears a beige trenchcoat and, criminally, sunglasses indoors.

Wong appears during Leon's path through the game (the Resident Evil 2 remake includes two campaigns: one for Leon and one for Claire). The video, below, shows the pair chatting as they fend off the zombie threat in the remains of Raccoon City.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

Here's a full list of the 265+ games playable at EGX this week

Eurogamer - 5 hours 7 min ago

EGX 2018, the gaming event formerly known as the Eurogamer Expo and operated by our parent company Gamer Network, starts today at the NEC in Birmingham and runs for the next four days. And good Lord is there a lot to play there.

An almost-complete list of playable games at the show has been released, and runs to 268 titles - the largest collection of playable software ever presented in the UK, including over 200 indie games. There are still a few indie games unaccounted for, and the list doesn't even include what's available to play in the show's retro area.

You'll find the complete list below, but here are 10 highlights that we at Eurogamer think all showgoers should make time to check out:

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

Devil May Cry 5's third playable character is V

Eurogamer - 5 hours 19 min ago

Capcom has revealed the third playable character for Devil May Cry 5: V.

V is shown briefly in the game's Tokyo Game Show trailer, below. He's described as a "mysterious" and "peculiar" demon hunter, and in the trailer is shown walking with a cane and reading from a book titled V.

As shown before, Dante uses a new motorcycle weapon called Cavaliere. You can mount the bike mid-battle and use it for attacks, which is pretty cool.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

After an 18 month wait, Nintendo's Online service feels disappointingly flat

Eurogamer - 6 hours 6 min ago

You don't really associate the day-glo world of Splatoon with a sense of melancholy, so it's been strange these past few days walking around Splatoon 2's lobby and seeing the cloud of gloom that's recently hung over Inkopolis. There, in little sketches that hang over players heads like thought bubbles, were scruffy laments for the imminent end of free online, and the launch of Nintendo's paid service. Last night, as I walked the lobby one last time before paying up the £17.99 for a year's subscription, those thought bubbles were absent - another feature, it transpires, that's now behind a paywall.

We've known this day was coming for a while, of course, even if the details have been frustratingly slim in the run-up to its launch. It turns out that's mostly because the Nintendo Online service, now it's out in the wild, is slim - and often frustratingly so. It's still reliant on the accompanying mobile app for basic features such as voice chat, and comes with a selection of caveats and typically curious decisions - how your save data can now be backed up in the cloud, but the feature is absent from games such as Splatoon 2 and the forthcoming Dark Souls Remastered and FIFA 19, while the online backup will be lost when your subscription expires. Elsewhere, the NES emulator is hamstrung by the bizarre restriction that has you having to log-in online every seven days to maintain access.

It's strange, and a slight against what's otherwise a fantastic way to play older games, and an excellent foundation for Nintendo to build upon as it expands the service with new games and - with any luck - new console emulators. The front-end is snappy and sharp (and allows you to re-arrange the games on the home screen as you see fit, something which is like a satisfying mini-game in itself and displays the kind of functionality that's sadly missing elsewhere on the Switch's own front-end), while the selection of games is generous and varied.

Read more…

Categories: Video Games

Facebook Could Face EU Sanctions If It Doesn't Change Its TOS

Slashdot - 6 hours 6 min ago
According to Reuters, Facebook could face sanctions for not complying with the European Union's consumer rules. "Back in February, the company was told to change its users terms and conditions to recently updated EU standards, but it has yet to do so," The Verge reports. From the report: In February, Facebook changed its terms of service, but to EU officials, it wasn't enough. "While Google's latest proposals appear to be in line with the requests made by consumer authorities, Facebook and, more significantly, Twitter, have only partially addressed important issues about their liability and about how users are informed of possible content removal or contract termination," the European Commission stated in a press release at the time. As detailed back in February, authorities want Facebook to better protect consumers' rights, including the ability to withdraw from an online purchase, sue in Europe and not in California where Facebook is based. The EU also wants more consumer-friendly rules around the social media platform's legal liability when its service performs poorly. According to Reuters, Facebook's non-compliance contrasts with Airbnb's obedience, as the rental platform adjusted its terms of service recently after being asked to do so back in July. Airbnb is now more transparent about pricing details and has better terms for consumers using its platform in the EU.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

AI Could Devastate the Developing World

Slashdot - 9 hours 36 min ago
Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures and author of "AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order," reports of the devastating impacts artificial intelligence could have on the developing world. An anonymous reader shares the report from Bloomberg: In recent decades, China and India have presented the world with two different models for how such countries can climb the development ladder. In the China model, a nation leverages its large population and low costs to build a base of blue-collar manufacturing. It then steadily works its way up the value chain by producing better and more technology-intensive goods. In the India model, a country combines a large English-speaking population with low costs to become a hub for outsourcing of low-end, white-collar jobs in fields such as business-process outsourcing and software testing. If successful, these relatively low-skilled jobs can be slowly upgraded to more advanced white-collar industries. Both models are based on a country's cost advantages in the performance of repetitive, non-social and largely uncreative work -- whether manual labor in factories or cognitive labor in call centers. Unfortunately for emerging economies, AI thrives at performing precisely this kind of work. Without a cost incentive to locate in the developing world, corporations will bring many of these functions back to the countries where they're based. That will leave emerging economies, unable to grasp the bottom rungs of the development ladder, in a dangerous position: The large pool of young and relatively unskilled workers that once formed their greatest comparative advantage will become a liability -- a potentially explosive one. Increasing desperation in the developing world will contrast with a massive accumulation of wealth among the AI superpowers. AI runs on data and that dependence leads to a self-perpetuating cycle of consolidation in industries: The more data you have, the better your product. The better your product, the more users you gain. The more users you gain, the more data you have. Lee says the best thing emerging economies can do is to "recognize that the traditional paths to economic development -- the China and India models -- are no longer viable." Countries with "less-educated workers" are advised to build up human-centered service industries. "At the same time, developing countries need to carve out their own niches within the AI landscape," Lee writes. "... governments need to fund the AI education of their best and brightest students, with the goal of building local companies that employ AI."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Humans Simply 'Hardwired' For Laziness, Study Says

Slashdot - 11 hours 1 min ago
Zorro shares a report from Study Finds: [...] A new study shows we may just have to chalk it up to our brains simply being hardwired to prefer hanging on the couch instead of the chin-up bar. Researchers from the University of British Columbia and University of Geneva sought to better understand the brain chemistry behind what they refer to as the "exercise paradox." This happens when people pledge to engage in regular physical fitness, but instead find themselves becoming less active. "Conserving energy has been essential for humans' survival, as it allowed us to be more efficient in searching for food and shelter, competing for sexual partners, and avoiding predators," explains Matthew Boisgontier, a postdoctoral researcher in UBC's brain behavior lab at the department of physical therapy, and senior author of the study, in a UBC release. So Boisgontier and his co-authors recruited 29 young adults who wanted to improve the level of exercise in their lives to take part in a computerized test. The test required them to move a human figure on the screen either towards images of physical activities or away from images of sedentary activities that would randomly appear, and then again vice versa. Participants were hooked up to an electroencephalograph to monitor their brain activity during the exercise. The results showed that participants tended to move towards the active images or away from the sedentary ones at the fastest rates. "We found that participants took 32 milliseconds less to move away from the sedentary image, which is considerable for a task like this," says study co-author Boris Cheval, of the University of Geneva, in a university release, adding that this finding went against the so-called exercise paradox.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Evernote Slashes 15 Percent of Its Workforce

Slashdot - 11 hours 41 min ago
Evernote, one of the most popular productivity apps on the market, is struggling to stay on top of the charts. TechCrunch, after reporting two weeks that the company "lost several of its most senior executives," is reporting that Evernote's CEO Chris O'Neill on Tuesday laid off 54 people -- roughly 15 percent of the company's workforce. O'Neill said it is now focusing its efforts around specific functions, including product development and engineering. From the report: We've just been in touch with Evernote. It pointed us to a newly posted piece by O'Neill in which he outlines the company's strategy going forward, which includes to "operate with a more focused leadership team," to "operate more efficiently," and to "double down on product development -- both quality and velocity." As for its funding situation, an Evernote representative insists that things are far from dire. The company is not fundraising, says this person; further, we're told Evernote has $30 million on its balance sheet and will exit the year without burning cash. This comes after "a person who tipped TechCrunch off to the executive departments two weeks ago characterized Evernote as 'in a death spiral,' saying that user growth and active users have been flat for the last six years and that the company's enterprise product offering hasn't caught on."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Zaif Cryptocurrency Exchange Suffers $60 Million Hack

Slashdot - 12 hours 21 min ago
Hackers were able to steal $60 million worth of company and user funds belonging to the Zaif Japanese cryptocurrency exchange. The breach occurred last week, but the company discovered the hack on Monday, September 17. An anonymous reader shares the report from ZDNet: Investigators are still gathering details, but Zaif said the hack took place on September 14, between 17:00 and 19:00 local time, when the attacker siphoned off three types of cryptocurrencies from the company's "hot wallets." [A "hot wallet" is a term used to describe a cryptocurrency addresses with light security measures where a cryptocurrency exchange keeps funds for immediate transactions, such as cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency-to-fiat (and vice versa) operations.] Zaif says the hacker stole Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and MonaCoin from its hot wallet, all three worth 6.7 billion Japanese yen (roughly $59.67 million) when combined. Of the 6.7 billion stolen yen, 2.2 billion yen -- 32 percent -- were Zaif funds, while 4.5 billion yen were customer funds. Zaif plans to secure a 5 billion yen loan to pay back affected customers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

John Hancock Will Include Fitness Tracking In All Life Insurance Policies

Slashdot - 13 hours 3 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: John Hancock, one of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead sell only interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones, the company said on Wednesday. The move by the 156-year-old insurer, owned by Canada's Manulife Financial, marks a major shift for the company, which unveiled its first interactive life insurance policy in 2015. It is now applying the model across all of its life coverage. Policyholders score premium discounts for hitting exercise targets tracked on wearable devices such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch and get gift cards for retail stores and other perks by logging their workouts and healthy food purchases in an app. In theory, everybody wins, as policyholders are incentivized to adopt healthy habits and insurance companies collect more premiums and pay less in claims if customers live longer.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Alibaba To Set Up New Chip Company Amid Fear of US Tech Dependency

Slashdot - 13 hours 46 min ago
hackingbear shares a report from CNN: China's biggest tech firm announced Wednesday that the new [semiconductor] business will develop artificial intelligence chips for cloud computing, internet-connected devices and other sectors. Alibaba's chief technology officer, Jeff Zhang, said the e-commerce company's advantages in algorithms and data put it in "a unique position to lead real technology breakthroughs in disruptive areas, such as quantum and chip technology." "The market for chips is controlled by America ... and suddenly if they stop selling, what that means, you understand," Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma told university students in Tokyo in April. "That's why China, Japan and any country -- you need core technologies." Ma's remarks came shortly after the U.S. Commerce Department blocked American companies from selling parts to ZTE, a Chinese tech company that relied on U.S. suppliers, including chipmakers, to manufacture smartphones and telecommunications equipment. Slashdot reader hackingbear adds: "The since-lifted ban woke up China to the (political) risks of dependence on American technologies, just like the U.S. is afraid of dependency on Chinese rare earth products which account for ~80% of world's supplies."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

'WaitList.dat' Windows File May Be Secretly Hoarding Your Passwords, Emails

Slashdot - 14 hours 26 min ago
A file named WaitList.dat, found only on touchscreen-capable Windows PCs, may be collecting your sensitive data like passwords and emails. According to ZDNet, in order for the file to exist users have to enable "the handwriting recognition feature that automatically translates stylus/touchscreen scribbles into formatted text." From the report: The handwriting to formatted text conversion feature has been added in Windows 8, which means the WaitList.dat file has been around for years. The role of this file is to store text to help Windows improve its handwriting recognition feature, in order to recognize and suggest corrections or words a user is using more often than others. "In my testing, population of WaitList.dat commences after you begin using handwriting gestures," [Digital Forensics and Incident Response expert Barnaby Skeggs] told ZDNet in an interview. "This 'flicks the switch' (registry key) to turn the text harvester functionality (which generates WaitList.dat) on." "Once it is on, text from every document and email which is indexed by the Windows Search Indexer service is stored in WaitList.dat. Not just the files interacted via the touchscreen writing feature," Skeggs says. Since the Windows Search Indexer service powers the system-wide Windows Search functionality, this means data from all text-based files found on a computer, such as emails or Office documents, is gathered inside the WaitList.dat file. This doesn't include only metadata, but the actual document's text. "The user doesn't even have to open the file/email, so long as there is a copy of the file on disk, and the file's format is supported by the Microsoft Search Indexer service," Skeggs told ZDNet. "On my PC, and in my many test cases, WaitList.dat contained a text extract of every document or email file on the system, even if the source file had since been deleted," the researcher added. Furthermore, Skeggs says WaitList.dat can be used to recover text from deleted documents.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff
Syndicate content