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Wave of Resignations Predicted As Pandemic Lockdown Ends

Slashdot - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 21:01
tomhath writes: Economists are predicting a massive wave of resignations in the coming months. Up to 40% of employees at some companies are considering career changes after working from home or living on unemployment supplement for a year. The reasons are varied -- burnout, unwillingness to return to the office, opportunity to change while on unemployment all factor into it.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Flight Simulator supports 30fps, cross-save, and cross-play on Xbox Series X/S

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 20:15

Following yesterday's release date reveal for Flight Simulator on Xbox Series X/S, Microsoft has shared a few additional details - including confirmation that it'll run at 30fps on console - via the time-honoured mediums of FAQ and Twitter.

Those frame rate details come via the official Microsoft Flight Simulator Twitter feed, which, in response to queries from a number of curious punters, confirmed that Xbox Series X/S players can expect a base frame rate of 30fps. It noted, however, that frame rates above 30fps are possible on TVs supporting variable refresh rates (VRR).

Over on the official Flight Simulator's FAQ, meanwhile, most additional details provided aim to clarify questions around how the console edition will interact with the version already released on PC, and confirm, for instance, that those who own the Windows Store version on PC won't need to purchase the console edition again.

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Categories: Video Games

NSA Leaker Reality Winner Released Early for Good Behavior

Slashdot - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 20:10
Reality Winner, a former NSA intelligence contractor who leaked a classified hacking report to the press in 2017, was released on Monday from prison for good behavior, her attorney said. From a report: Winner is not yet at large. She has been transferred from prison to a Residential Reentry Management facility in San Antonio, Texas, where she will remain until November 2021, when she will be fully released under supervised release, her lawyer said. Winner, who worked for NSA contractor Pluribus International Corporation, was initially arrested in June 2017 on charges that a month earlier, she leaked a classified NSA report to online news outlet The Intercept. In the report, the NSA detailed a hacking campaign linked to Russia's military intelligence service, the General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), which compromised the email accounts of multiple employees of election software maker VR Systems ahead of the 2016 US Presidential Election. The hack, which took place in August 2016, was used by the GRU hackers as a springboard to send spear-phishing emails with malware-laced documents to US government employees. Winner's leak, although not extensive, served as the base material for an article titled "Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Amazon Will Open Luna Cloud Gaming To Prime Members Later this Month

Slashdot - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 19:05
Amazon's new Luna game streaming service is offering no-invite access on Prime Day, June 21 and 22. From a report: During that time, Prime subscribers in most of the US will be able to start a 7-day Luna trial, and can now get discounts on a Luna controller and Fire TV bundle. To access Luna currently, you must request an invitation or own a supported Fire TV device. It's available on Windows and Mac PCs, Fire TV, iPhone and iPad (via the web) and on supported Android phones. It costs $5.99 a month to access games including Resident Evil 7, Control, Tacoma, Rez Infinite and Metro Exodus. Amazon is discounting the dedicated Luna controller by 30 percent from today until June 22, reducing it to $49 from the list price $70 for Prime members. On top of that, it's offering the Fire TV stick 4K and Luna Controller in the Fire TV Gaming Bundle for $74, a discount of around $45.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Miyazaki just dropped a huge amount of Elden Ring info

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 18:49

At long last, we finally got a proper look at Elden Ring during Summer Games Fest last week, and all of a sudden we now have a flood of information about what to expect in the upcoming game. In an interview with IGN, legendary director Hidetaka Miyazaki gave plenty of information on the background lore, along with some discussion of abilities, multiplayer and the game's structure.

One of the first topics discussed was Elden Ring's setting, The Lands Between, which has been deliberately designed to give "an enormous sense of scale and this broadness and openness". It's split into six major areas, each of which is the domain of a demigod. These are lined up to suggest a specific order in which to tackle them, but the player can make their own decisions about which to do first. "You won't be able to access everything from the start, but there are a lot of different ways you can approach each area," Miyazaki explained. "And there's a lot of freedom as to which order you tackle different areas as well."

Players will be able to access a hub area a little later in the game, which you can "branch out from", and also the six main areas of The Lands Between. "These will be the domains or the areas of the main demigod bosses," Miyazaki explained. "From here, you're able to explore not only these mainline dungeon areas, but also a wide variety of catacombs, castles, and fortresses, which are interspersed throughout the map. These have a range of scale and scope, but the main dungeons are these six - these are the ones that you're going to be heading to on your adventures throughout the main world. "

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Categories: Video Games

Did Bethesda just tease The Elder Scrolls 6's location in that Starfield trailer?

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 18:39

It's Monday morning and I've had too much coffee, not enough sleep, and for neither the first nor the last time, Bethesda may or may not have just teased something about The Elder Scrolls 6. Here we go again!

This time, the tease in question is especially small: overnight after Xbox's big E3 showcase, someone trawled through Bethesda's new Starfield trailer, frame-by-frame, and found a tiny shape etched onto the interior of the spaceship - which they think looks like the location of The Elder Scrolls 6. Here's the image, with credit to u/Huhwtfbleh on reddit, who discovered it:

The suggestion is this little scratch looks awfully similar in shape to that of High Rock, Hammerfell and the Iliac Bay. Here's an image of the region Huhwtfbleh provided as a comparison:

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Categories: Video Games

Glacier Blood? Watermelon Snow? Whatever It's Called, Snow Shouldn't Be So Red.

Slashdot - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 18:29
Winter through spring, the French Alps are wrapped in austere white snow. But as spring turns to summer, the stoic slopes start to blush. Parts of the snow take on bright colors: deep red, rusty orange, lemonade pink. Locals call this "sang de glacier," or "glacier blood." Visitors sometimes go with "watermelon snow." From a report: In reality, these blushes come from an embarrassment of algae. In recent years, alpine habitats all over the world have experienced an uptick in snow algae blooms -- dramatic, strangely hued aggregations of these normally invisible creatures. While snow algae blooms are poorly understood, that they are happening is probably not a good sign. Researchers have begun surveying the algae of the Alps to better grasp what species live there, how they survive and what might be pushing them over the bleeding edge. Some of their initial findings were published this week in Frontiers in Plant Science. Tiny yet powerful, the plantlike bacteria we call algae are "the basis of all ecosystems," said Adeline Stewart, an author of the study who worked on it as a doctoral student at Grenoble Alpes University in France. Thanks to their photosynthetic prowess, algae produce a large amount of the world's oxygen, and form the foundation of most food webs. But they sometimes overdo it, multiplying until they throw things out of balance. This can cause toxic red tides, scummy freshwater blooms -- or unsettling glacier blood. While it's unclear exactly what spurs the blooms, the color -- often red, but sometimes green, gray or yellow -- comes from pigments and other molecules that the snow algae use to protect themselves from ultraviolet light. These hues absorb more sunlight, causing the underlying snow to melt more quickly. This can change ecosystem dynamics and hasten the shrinking of glaciers.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Assassin's Creed Valhalla adds new combat and stealth challenge mode tomorrow

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 18:26

Tomorrow's update for Assassin's Creed Valhalla adds a new Mastery Challenge mode to the game.

Update 1.2.2 will arrive for PC, PlayStation, Stadia and Xbox around 1pm UK time and also adds new skills, river raid cosmetics and other improvements.

Mastery Challenge mode is the big addition, and can be found at "numerous shrines hidden in the world", Ubisoft said in its patch notes. Each shrine will host a Trial of the Bear, testing your combat strength, a Trial of the Wolf, testing your ranged ability, and a Trial of the Raven, testing your stealth.

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Categories: Video Games

Halo Infinite lets you equip a Personal AI during multiplayer matches

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 17:54

343 has revealed more information about Halo Infinite's multiplayer in a new video.

The video, below, includes new Halo Infinite multiplayer gameplay as well as a raft of talking heads from 343.

There's a lot to run through, but the highlight for me was the news that Halo Infinite multiplayer lets you bring your own Personal AI onto the battlefield.

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Categories: Video Games

Sony debuts a Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart PS5 bundle

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 17:48

A Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart PS5 bundle has popped into existence at a number of retailers with a sale price of £509.99 in the UK.

Without much fanfare, the bundle was made available to purchase at Smyths Toys and Very, though the link to the latter store page has since been taken down. Naturally, as the hunt for PS5 stock is still a difficult one, that's because this bundle has already sold out.

It's not clear whether this bundle is also set to be released in the rest of Europe, the US or anywhere else in the world.

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Categories: Video Games

Google, Facebook, Amazon and Others Urge SEC To Mandate Regular Climate Reports

Slashdot - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 17:05
A group of seven tech companies urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to require businesses to regularly disclose climate-related matters to their shareholders. From a report: In a letter to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler on Friday, Google parent Alphabet, Amazon, Autodesk, eBay, Facebook, Intel and Salesforce shared their view in response to a request for public input on such disclosures. The tech industry has been vocal on climate issues in the past, even as employees have pressed the companies themselves to do better. "We believe that climate disclosures are critical to ensure that companies follow through on stated climate commitments and to track collective progress towards addressing global warming and building a prosperous, resilient zero-carbon economy," the companies wrote.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Two Point Campus looks like a Sims-esque evolution of the hospital formula

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 17:00

After 3.5 million Two Point Hospital players and one big Two Point Campus leak, developer Two Point Studios is finally ready to talk more about its new project. Officially, this time. On the the morning after Microsoft's naughty store listing slip-up, I sat down with Two Point studio director Gary Carr and senior animator Chris Knott for a quick tour of the game, and a chat about how things were going.

As previously leaked, Two Point Campus is a university-building simulation sandbox and, on the surface, it looks a clear follow-up in terms of presentation and gameplay to the studio's hospital-set debut. But on further inspection I think it's fair to say Campus also represents a clear evolution from its predecessor, based on what I'm told about the virtual students themselves. Instead of churning through patients (and their money) to get them released as quickly as possible, Campus is more about the student experience, and ensuring their happiness (and their money) across four in-game years.

Of course, there are the wacky treatment rooms - sorry, classrooms - plus oddball VIPs to manage and money to earn ("it's still a business", Carr reassures, "you're just farming education rather than illness!"). But each location is meant to feel more uniquely yours, and each crop of students are designed to leave a lasting impression.

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Categories: Video Games

Amazon Prime Day Nintendo Switch deals: what offers to expect

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 16:55

The hunt for an Amazon Prime Day Nintendo Switch deal is approaching once again. Previously, there have been some excellent - but very limited - lightning deals. But how will our quest for a bargain fare in 2021?

It could be tough, considering that the Nintendo Switch is still suffering from the same stock shortages that have made it hard to buy a console over the last year or so. The situation has improved dramatically since 2020, but with the Switch still selling well the odds of a truly drastic discount seem low.

Nevertheless, this could all change if the rumoured Nintendo Switch Pro (or whatever it actually ends up being named) is announced in the coming days. The more powerful version of the console could encourage a price cut on the current model.

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Categories: Video Games

Lego Super Mario's third wave of blind bag add-ons revealed

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 16:32

Lego has detailed a third set of Super Mario Character Packs to be released in blind bags this summer.

As with previous waves, there are 10 additional enemies and items to collect, and you'll need a bit of luck to obtain the full set with no duplicates. (Or to swap with a friend. Or eBay.)

There's no release date or price yet for Series 3, but we'd expect these to cost the same as the last two waves (£3.49/$4.99/€3.99 each) and arrive alongside the upcoming Super Luigi Starter Course on 1st August.

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Categories: Video Games

Citizen Sleeper is narrative RPG set on a ruined space station

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 16:24

Remember that brightly-coloured alien exploration game In Other Waters? Well, the developer is back with another sci-fi offering, although this time it's all taking place on a run-down space station.

Titled Citizen Sleeper, the game was previously teased under the name Project Sidereal, but developer Jump Over The Age revealed the new name and trailer during last night's PC Gaming Show. It's described as "roleplaying in the ruins of interplanetary capitalism," with the player taking the role of a "sleeper" - in other words, a digitised human consciousness. The bad news is that you're also owned by a huge corporation that wants you back, and your body will deteriorate as part of "planned obsolescence" for escapees. This what happens when billionaires start jetting themselves into space, I guess.

"Thrust amongst the unfamiliar and colourful inhabitants of the Eye, you need to build friendships, earn your keep, and navigate the factions of this strange metropolis, if you hope to survive to see the next cycle," the Steam description explains. "Escape the makers of your decaying body, and chart your own path in a richly imagined, deeply relevant sci-fi world which explores ideas of precarity, personhood and freedom."

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Categories: Video Games

G7 Calls on Russia To Crack Down on Ransomware Gangs

Slashdot - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 16:11
In light of the recent wave of high-profile ransomware attacks that have caused havoc in the US and Europe, the member states of the G7 group have called on Russia and other countries to crack down on ransomware gangs operating within their borders. From a report: "We call on all states to urgently identify and disrupt ransomware criminal networks operating from within their borders, and hold those networks accountable for their actions," the G7 group said in a communique published on Sunday, at the end of a three-day conference held in Cornwall, UK. "In particular, we call on Russia [...] to identify, disrupt, and hold to account those within its borders who conduct ransomware attacks, abuse virtual currency to launder ransoms, and other cybercrimes," the G7 group added. The joint statement was signed by the governments of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US -- more commonly known as the Group of Seven (G7). It comes after a series of ransomware attacks that caused disruptions at hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, fuel outages on the US East Coast following the Colonial Pipeline attack, and beef supply issues across Australia and the US following the JBS Foods ransomware incident.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Bethesda says Starfield will be like a "Han Solo simulator", "NASA meets Indiana Jones"

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 15:23

By now, you will likely have seen Bethesda's first in-game footage of Starfield, its long-awaited sci-fi role-playing game coming to PC and Xbox Series X/S as a console exclusive on 11th November 2022.

But how will it play? What will you actually do? And will we ever get to finish that half-eaten space sandwich?

Bethesda has given a couple of interviews which mostly avoid answering specifics, but do touch a bit on some of the above.

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Categories: Video Games

Crucial's top SSD for gaming is now the cheapest it's ever been

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 15:01

The Crucial MX500 - Digital Foundry's pick for the best SSD for gaming - is now just £42.

The 500GB model has been reduced to its lowest price so far according to our price tracker - and it will remain that way for the rest of the week.

Why's the MX500 so highly rated, though? Well, it's excellent value for money and will give you a significant boost to loading times when used for OS or game installs. The strong read/write speeds make it superior to the cheaper BX500 series, while other drives from the likes of Samsung and Western Digital offer similar performance but at a higher cost.

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Categories: Video Games

Sony has been working with Deviation Games on its new PlayStation-exclusive IP for over a year already

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 14:00

Last week, Sony announced it had signed a deal with Deviation Games to make a brand new PlayStation IP - the second such deal Sony has announced in recent months.

Deviation Games was set up in November 2019 by former Treyarch Studios developers Dave Anthony and Jason Blundell, both of whom played a key role in the success of the Call of Duty: Black Ops series.

Blundell, one of the chief creators of Call of Duty's popular zombies mode, left Treyarch after 13 years at the developer.

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Categories: Video Games

Pokémon Go maker Niantic working on Transformers game

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 14:00

Niantic, developer of Pokémon Go, has announced its involvement in another new mobile AR game project - Transformers: Heavy Metal.

This real-world robot-battling phone game is being developed by another studio, the Seattle-based Very Very Spaceship, though will use Niantic's Lightship platform and well-oiled augmented reality toolset.

Images of the game show Pokémon Go raid-style battles between autobots, as well as a familiar-looking world map.

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