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Frostpunk console release pushed to October

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 16:56

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release of Frostpunk has been pushed to 11th October, with a PS4 retail release planned a week later - Friday, 18th October - courtesy of publisher Merge Games.

Previously, Frostpunk was pencilled in for summer.

I played Frostpunk on console back in May and it worked well. 11 bit has clearly taken time over it, carefully remapping controls for console pads. It shows. The radial menus take a bit of time getting used to but once you do, they're intuitive.

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Categories: Video Games

Google's Jobs Search Draws Antitrust Complaints From Rivals

Slashdot - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 16:44
Google's fast-growing tool for searching job listings has been a boon for employers and job boards starving for candidates, but several rival job-finding services contend anti-competitive behavior has fueled its rise and cost them users and profits. From a report: In a letter to be sent to European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Tuesday and seen by Reuters, 23 job search websites in Europe called on her to temporarily order Google to stop playing unfairly while she investigates. Similar to worldwide leader Indeed and other search services familiar to job seekers, Google's tool links to postings aggregated from many employers. It lets candidates filter, save and get alerts about openings, though they must go elsewhere to apply. Alphabet's Google places a large widget for the 2-year-old tool at the top of results for searches such as "call center jobs" in most of the world. Some rivals allege that positioning is illegal because Google is using its dominance to attract users to its specialized search offering without the traditional marketing investments they have to make. Other job technology firms say Google has restored industry innovation and competition.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

DayZ will be changed worldwide after weed sparks Australian ban

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 16:23

It was hardly a joint decision, but following the Australian Classification Board's ruling that DayZ would be banned from sale for its depiction of drugs, Bohemia Interactive has announced it will edit the game to bring it in line with Australian rules. For all versions worldwide.

Last week, news broke that the ACB had rejected the physical release of DayZ thanks to "illicit or prescribed drug use related to incentives", specifically, the use of cannabis as a reward - even though the drug was not yet implemented in the game. Despite DayZ having been available in digital form for five years, the ACB indicated it would also work to get the game pulled from digital storefronts.

Faced with a complete ban across Australia, the simplest thing for Bohemia Interactive to do was change the game, and the studio has now confirmed to Kotaku Australia this is the plan.

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Categories: Video Games

Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York reveals new details on its "Telltale-like" adventure

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 16:12

Draw Distance has unveiled some tasty new information about its instalment of the Vampire: The Masquerade franchise, Coteries of New York.

According to its Steam page, Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York will be a text-based story putting you in the shoes of a "newly-fledged" vampire in New York. There are multiple playable characters from different factions to choose from, and the whole thing supposedly plays a lot like a Telltale game.

Announced back in June, the game will feature canon lore for the fifth edition of Vampire the Masquerade.

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Categories: Video Games

The latest look at Final Fantasy 8 remasters a fan favourite meme

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 15:44

Square Enix has given us another preview of the upcoming Final Fantasy 8 remaster - in the form of a rather appropriate meme.

Instead of another trailer to show off the new visuals, we're treated to a remake of the 'You're the best looking guy here' scene - a favourite among fans because, well, PS1-era Squall wasn't looking so good.

With higher resolution character models - and, most importantly, new faces - it looks like the remaster is about to make the meme redundant.

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Categories: Video Games

The Banana Is One Step Closer To Disappearing

Slashdot - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from National Geographic: A fungus that has wreaked havoc on banana plantations in the Eastern Hemisphere has, despite years of preventative efforts, arrived in the Americas. ICA, the Colombian agriculture and livestock authority, confirmed on Thursday that laboratory tests have positively identified the presence of so-called Panama disease Tropical Race 4 on banana farms in the Caribbean coastal region. The announcement was accompanied by a declaration of a national state of emergency. The discovery of the fungus represents a potential impending disaster for bananas as both a food source and an export commodity. Panama disease Tropical Race 4 -- or TR4 -- is an infection of the banana plant by a fungus of the genus Fusarium. Although bananas produced in infected soil are not unsafe for humans, infected plants eventually stop bearing fruit. First identified in Taiwanese soil samples in the early 1990s, the destructive fungus remained long confined to Southeast Asia and Australia, until its presence was confirmed in both the Middle East and Africa in 2013. Experts feared an eventual appearance in Latin America, the epicenter of the global banana export industry. No known fungicide or biocontrol measure has proven effective against TR4.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Shenmue 3 backer demo plans revealed

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 14:21

We're a mere handful of months away from finally - finally! - being able to play Shenmue 3, and if you're one of the backers of a certain tier of Yu Suzuki's hugely anticipated return you're just over a month from being able to play a slice of the belated follow-up.

Kickstarter backers have received details of a forthcoming demo which is currently scheduled to drop 'the second half of September'. It'll offer a standalone act around Shenmue 3's starting area, Bailu Village, and will offer around an hour's worth of play - with the option to go back and replay it as many times as you want 'until the trial expires'. There'll be no cross-save with the full version of Shenmue 3, which is coming in November.

It sounds sort of similar to What's Shenmue?, a demo that launched before the original game that had you tracking down Sega's then managing director Hidekazu Yukawa, the final scene depicting him surrounded by boxes and boxes of unsold Dreamcast consoles. Late 90s Sega really was the greatest.

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Categories: Video Games

Save 30% on the Corsair K95 Platinum mechanical gaming keyboard

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 13:24

A new day brings new deals over at Amazon UK, and right now you can get the Corsair K95 Platinum mechanical keyboard for its lowest ever price, thanks to a huge 30 per cent saving.

Three versions of the mechanical gaming keyboard are on offer, with each sporting different switches depending on the typing experience you enjoy. There's the linear and rapid Speed switches, the tactile and quiet Brown switches or the very clicky Blue switches. That's a basic breakdown, but Digital Foundry does an excellent job of explaining their differences.

Everyone has their preference, though I've found Brown switches to be a healthy compromise for both typing and gaming. With those, you're able to feel every satisfying key-press but won't be irritating anyone or keeping them awake with a noisy keyboard. Again, though, you may find a different switch more suitable.

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Categories: Video Games

Nintendo Switch SNES controller spotted

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 13:10

Nintendo documentation has detailed an upcoming wireless SNES controller for the Switch.

The unannounced peripheral was spotted today in a new FCC filing (required for its release in the US) by Restera user Link83.

Much of the documentation is confidential, although we've got one diagram of the controller's back portion to gaze at. Note the "HAC" model number, used to refer to Nintendo Switch hardware and accessories.

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Categories: Video Games

The messy story behind the Hotline Miami mod that never was

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 13:01

It's four in the morning on 18th February 2017, and a 19-year-old modder and writer named Spencer Yan is sitting in his college dorm at his computer, with a server full of Discord users eager for him to drop the latest update for Midnight Animal, a total conversion mod and original story built upon the bloodstained, bullet-riddled blueprints of Hotline Miami.

At this point, Yan has worked on Midnight Animal for over a year. The project has grown from a Mod DB page and some well received YouTube trailers to being greenlit on Steam. He has permission from developers Dennaton Games to use the source code, and an entire community of engaged and supportive Hotline Miami fans behind him.

What the community isn't yet aware of is the drastic creative reimagining the project has undergone in the time since they last saw an update. A transformation from what its creator describes as a "comically dark, pseudo-cyberpunk revenge story" to something far more personal, philosophical and poignant.

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Categories: Video Games

Roblox is quietly becoming a huge development platform

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 12:55

Roblox rarely gets a great deal of media attention, but when it does, we usually get a glimpse of just how big it's become. This again seems to be the case in the last two weeks, in which Roblox announced it has 100 million monthly active users (making it bigger than Minecraft). Now, Roblox has said its community developers are on track to earn $100m (£82.9m) in 2019. And there's more to come.

The news was announced earlier this week at Roblox's fifth annual developer conference, in which the company unveiled further developer tools, a developer marketplace and plans to make its developer software fully cloud-based (via Business Wire). Developers can expect to see an enhanced lighting system, visual upgrades such as updated terrain, and support for building competitive matchmaking games which match players of similar skill levels. Cloud support will allow developers to collaborate in real-time and access development files online.

The marketplace, meanwhile, will allow developers to sell assets and tools to fellow developers, such as plug-ins, 3D models and other items. It all sounds very similar to the Unity Asset Store.

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Categories: Video Games

Fall of the Samurai released as a standalone game in the Total War Saga

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 12:52

Creative Assembly has announced Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai has become a standalone game in the Total War Saga.

Originally released in 2011, Fall of the Samurai is based around the clash between traditional Samurai culture and the inrush of modern technology, where you play as either the Imperial throne or the last Shogunate in 19th century Japan.

Now titled A Total War Saga: Fall of the Samurai on Steam, existing owners of the game will be able to claim all its DLC faction packs for free (except the Blood Pack).

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Looks like LA Noire's VR version is headed to PS4

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 12:50

The virtual reality version of LA Noire looks set to launch for PlayStation VR.

That's according to a PEGI ratings board listing for LA Noire: The VR Case Files on PS4 spotted by Resetera user Toumari.

This version of the game previously launched for PC back in 2017.

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Categories: Video Games

You can now reserve your World of Warcraft Classic character name

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 12:05

Do you remember your old World of Warcraft character name? I do. It was wyp. Do you see what I did there?

I only mention it because Blizzard has now opened World of Warcraft Classic name reservations. So, if you want maximum nostalgia - that is, you want to play the MMO classic with a character of the same name as your old character - you need to get stuck in ASAP.

To do this, you need an active subscription or game time on your World of Warcraft account. You can then create up to three characters per World of Warcraft account in advance of the game's launch on Monday, 26th August.

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How Netflix Is Using Its Muscle To Push Filmmaking Technology Boundaries

Slashdot - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 12:00
Carolyn Giardina from The Hollywood Reporter writes about the growing influence Netflix has from hardware and software development to industry display standards. For example, as recently as six months ago, Netflix forbid Hollywood cinematographers from using a highly-popular camera because the standard model employed a 3.2K resolution sensor instead of a 4K sensor required for the streamer's original programming. Netflix also pressured TV manufacturers like Sony and Panasonic to feature a "Netflix calibrated mode" and "Netflix Recommended TV" logo in their consumer TVs. From the report: To make sure its content is being produced how it wants, the streamer in September launched a Netflix Post Technology Alliance with MTI, Adobe, Sony and others. It shares its roadmap with these companies, and if these firms develop tools -- from cameras to editing systems -- that meet its requirements, they are permitted to use the "Netflix Post Technology Alliance" logo. The logo has been visible in the past year at industry trade shows -- a literal sign of growing influence. Netflix also is involved in industry standardization and development efforts. For instance, it recently joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Academy Software Foundation, a forum for open source software developers. While Netflix is involved in collaborations, the company also maintains robust engineering efforts in-house -- beyond the teams working on its secret distribution algorithms. It is pioneering new interactive content, such as Bandersnatch, which was made incorporating Branch Manager, a software system developed in-house. Other homegrown advances include Netflix's scheduling software and its work to bring more automation to audio dubbing through artificial intelligence. There's likely much more in the works that Netflix does not share with the public. But one thing is certain: The company is having a penetrating impact not only on which content is made and how it is distributed and consumed, but also on the very tech that creates it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Young Geralt of Rivia cast in Netflix's The Witcher series

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 11:34

It looks like The Witcher series has some flashbacks in store for us, as a casting update on IMDb has revealed Tristan Ruggeri will play young Geralt in Netflix's The Witcher.

The official casting hasn't been announced, but eagle-eyed Witcher fan-site Redanian Intelligence spotted the new casting credit.

This will be Ruggeri's first big acting role, and so far he's only slated to appear in episode eight of the show.

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Categories: Video Games

Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neigborville work-in-progress reveal trailer leaks

Eurogamer - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 11:17

EA's suffered a bad leak - a work-in-progress trailer revealing Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neigborville has sprouted onto the internet.

Trailers leak all the time, but this one is clearly still unfinished. Placeholder assets are still visible, visual effects are yet to replace some storyboards, and frame-rates are choppy.

For us, it's an interesting peek at how a video game reveal teaser looks before its ready for prime time. For EA, it's another leak for its much-rumoured new Plants vs. Zombies shooter.

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Categories: Video Games

Nuclear Reactor For Mars Outpost Could Be Ready To Fly By 2022

Slashdot - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 09:00
A nuclear power system that could one day provide juice to colonies on Mars is closer to being ready than previously expected. According to project team members, the Kilopower experiment fission reactor could be ready for its first in-space trial by 2022. Space.com reports: A flight test is the next big step for the Kilopower experimental fission reactor, which aced a series of critical ground tests from November 2017 through March 2018. No off-Earth demonstration is on the books yet, but Kilopower should be ready to go by 2022 or so if need be, said Patrick McClure, Kilopower project lead at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. "I think we could do this in three years and be ready for flight," McClure said late last month during a presentation with NASA's Future In-Space Operations working group. "I think three years is a very doable time frame," he added, stressing that this is his opinion, not necessarily that of NASA, which is developing the Kilopower project along with the DOE. As its name suggests, the Kilopower reactor is designed to generate at least 1 kilowatt of electrical power (1 kWe). Its output is scalable up to about 10 kWe, and it can operate for about 15 years, McClure said. So, four scaled-up Kilopower reactors could meet the energy needs of NASA explorers, with a fifth reactor likely landed to provide a spare.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Ebola Is Now Curable

Slashdot - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Wired: Amid unrelenting chaos and violence, scientists and doctors in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been running a clinical trial of new drugs to try to combat a year-long Ebola outbreak. On Monday, the trial's cosponsors at the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health announced that two of the experimental treatments appear to dramatically boost survival rates. Starting last November, patients in four treatment centers in the country's east, where the outbreak is at its worst, were randomly assigned to receive one of four investigational therapies -- either an antiviral drug called remdesivir or one of three drugs that use monoclonal antibodies. Scientists concocted these big, Y-shaped proteins to recognize the specific shapes of invading bacteria and viruses and then recruit immune cells to attack those pathogens. One of these, a drug called ZMapp, is currently considered the standard of care during Ebola outbreaks. It had been tested and used during the devastating Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, and the goal was to see if those other drugs could outperform it. But preliminary data from the first 681 patients (out of a planned 725) showed such strong results that the trial has now been stopped. Patients receiving Zmapp in the four trial centers experienced an overall mortality rate of 49 percent, according to Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (Mortality rates are in excess of 75 percent for infected individuals who don't seek any form of treatment.) The monoclonal antibody cocktail produced by a company called Regeneron Pharmaceuticals had the biggest impact on lowering death rates, down to 29 percent, while NIAID's monoclonal antibody, called mAb114, had a mortality rate of 34 percent. The results were most striking for patients who received treatments soon after becoming sick, when their viral loads were still low -- death rates dropped to 11 percent with mAb114 and just 6 percent with Regeneron's drug, compared with 24 percent with ZMapp and 33 percent with Remdesivir.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Tesla Owner Implants RFID Chip From Her Model 3's Keycard Into Her Arm

Slashdot - Tue, 13/08/2019 - 04:10
A Tesla driver figured out a way to implant the RFID tag from her Model 3's keycard into her forearm. Now, all she needs to do to unlock and turn on her car is to hold her forearm near the console -- no physical key fob or smartphone required. The Verge reports: Amie DD is a software engineer and self-described "maker of things." In a video, she explained that she had implanted an RFID tag in her arm years ago, which she had used to open her home's front door and to send a smartphone's browser to her personal website. When she preordered her Model 3, she realized that she could probably do something similar with the keycard. She didn't have any luck transferring the software to her existing chip, so she decided to extract the card's chip and implant that into her arm. To do that, she dissolved the card using acetone, and had it encased in a biopolymer. From there, she went to a body-modification studio to have the chip (about the size of a Lego mini-figure) implanted into her forearm. In another video (warning, there's some blood), she shows off the implantation. She also documented her process on Hackaday. She told The Verge that the chip does work, but the range from her arm to the console "isn't the greatest." It's only about an inch, but she's hoping that it'll improve as the swelling of her arm goes down.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff
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