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A new mod for The Witcher 3 sticks Henry Cavill's face onto Geralt of Rivia's body

Eurogamer - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 17:44

It seems some Witcher fans just couldn't wait until the release of the Netflix series later this year, so one of them has gone ahead and created a mod that puts Henry Cavill into the PC game.

Modder Adnan on Nexus Mods has created the mod to be "a base for different Henry Cavill variations in the future," he wrote. "With scars, dirt, brown hair with blue eyes etc, but first of all, now I'm presenting a look closer to Geralt in Netflix show".

The mod works with all of the physics that it should in the game, so you're able to change Geralt's hairstyle as it grows - like a weird Superman Barbie doll. It also allows for Geralt's toxicity status from the show, and thanks to some other mods that go along with it, you can have his creepy black eyes too.

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Categories: Video Games

After a Skyrim modder's dog passed away, he immortalised him in this beautiful tribute

Eurogamer - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 17:35

I hadn't planned on spending my Thursday afternoon getting teary-eyed over a Skyrim mod, but when dogs are involved, it's pretty hard to hold back the tears. Particularly with a story as touching as this one.

"Murphy" is a Skyrim mod that introduces a new dog companion to the game, but this beautiful boy has a particularly special backstory. His creator, 22-year old Daniel, made this mod in tribute to his own greyhound, who died last year.

"On April 14th, 2018, my beloved dog, Murphy, passed away," the description reads. "As soon as I was able to collect myself later that same day, I set to work doing what I knew I needed to do.

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Categories: Video Games

NYC Has Hired Hackers To Hit Back at Stalkerware

Slashdot - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 17:30
Abusers leverage high-tech tools in the oldest of crimes, stalking their victims through tools like Facebook Messenger and Apple Maps. They spy on their targets through stalkerware apps and Amazon Alexas. But hackers are now teaming up with victim advocates to catch up. From a report: In a pilot study the New York City government has been running since 2018, technologists work in collaboration with the Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence to offer practical computer security and privacy services to survivors of intimate partner violence. The program, which involves a team of academics from Cornell Tech and New York University, has already seen early success and is growing, Cornell Tech's Sam Havron said on Wednesday at the USENIX Security Symposium in Santa Clara, California. There are hundreds of apps sold on the market today that stalkers use to track a victim's location, secretly record voice audio, steal text messages, or engage in other illegal surveillance. Since November 2018, the New York-based technologists have met with 44 clients and have discovered that 23 of them may have been targeted by spyware, account compromise, or exploitable misconfigurations. Over half the victim cases have connections to digital abuse, according to a newly published paper, "Clinical Computer Security for Victims of Intimate Partner Violence."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Amazon is Launching a New Program To Donate Unsold Products, After Reports that Millions Were Being Destroyed

Slashdot - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 16:50
Amazon wants its third-party sellers to make better use of their unsold or unwanted products that often get dumped -- by giving them away to charity. From a report: Amazon is launching a new donations program, called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Donations, for third-party sellers that store their inventory in Amazon's warehouses in the U.S. and UK, CNBC has learned. Starting on September 1, the donation program will become the default option for all sellers when they choose to dispose of their unsold or unwanted products stored in Amazon warehouses across those two countries. Sellers can opt out of the program, if they want. The donations will be distributed to a network of U.S. nonprofits through a group called Good360 and UK charities such as Newlife and Barnardo's. After this story was published, Amazon announced the program via a blog post on Wednesday afternoon. [...] Recent reports found that Amazon routinely discards unsold inventory, with one French TV documentary estimating Amazon to have destroyed over 3 million products in France last year. Further reading: The Painful, Costly Journey of Returned Goods -- and How You End Up Purchasing Some of Them Again.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

There's a PC Game Pass title that changes the graphics settings on Xbox too

Eurogamer - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 16:35

In a world of cross-platform development, one of the key differentiating factors between console and PC releases is the ability to tweak graphical settings - a necessity when a games PC can be built from a vast array of different components. Graphics menus in console games are a rarity for obvious reasons, making this discovery somewhat curious: adjusting graphics presets in Bridge Constructor Portal on the Windows Store works just as it should, but with an added bonus - your changes transfer across to the Xbox versions too and can radically alter performance.

Friend of Digital Foundry, Alex Goh, clued us into this one when exploring the Xbox Game Pass library and remarkaby, his report checks out. Settings changes on the PC version are beamed into the cloud and transfer over to both Xbox One S and Xbox One X - presumably a factor of UWP and the 'Play Anywhere' nature of the title. In-game progress is shared between Xbox and PC platforms, and somehow, your graphics settings do too. Also fascinating is that if you play the game on Xbox first, the console settings migrate across to the PC game when you load it up.

There are three major areas for adjustment: anti-aliasing, post-process effects and shadows. By default these are set to 2x MSAA and medium quality, respectively. By far the biggest impact to performance comes from anti-aliasing, where ramping this up to a maximum 8x MSAA sees both Xbox consoles collapse to a wobbly 10-15 frames per second.

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Categories: Video Games

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and Surface Book 2 Are Throttle Locking To 'Pentium 2 Speeds' of 400 MHz, Users Say

Slashdot - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 16:21
intensivevocoder writes: Owners of Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 and Surface Book 2 systems are finding themselves stuck at Pentium 2 speeds, as numerous user complaints indicate that the ultra-portables are throttling the processor down to 400 MHz, a state that -- in some instances -- persists across reboots. While similar issues with Surface devices have occurred in the past, reports of issues have increased in frequency following a firmware update for the Surface Pro 6. The throttle-lock appears to be caused by an Intel CPU flag called BD PROCHOT (bi-directional processor hot), which can be set by any peripheral, telling the processor to throttle down in order to decrease system temperature -- a useful flag in cases where the CPU is operating within thermal limits, but other components tied to the CPU are running too hot, because of the demands placed on other components by processes on the CPU.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Massive EA sale drops Battlefront 2 to £4, Dragon Age: Inquisition to £8 and Titanfall 2 to £5

Eurogamer - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 15:25

An EA sale is underway for today only at Amazon UK, where you can get many of the publisher's biggest releases for a pittance on PC.

Leading the way is Star Wars: Battlefront 2 for £3.99. The shooter from a galaxy far, far away hasn't fared particularly well since release, what with loot box shenanigans, microtransaction woes and copious bugs. However, that price could be tempting enough just to try out the single-player campaign.

In terms of sheer value for money, the best of the lot has to be the Dragon Age: Inquisition - Game of the Year Edition for £7.99. Along with the base game, you'll get the Jaws of Hakkon, The Descent and Trespasser DLC packs. Plus, you get an upgrade to the Deluxe Edition, along with both the Spoils of the Avvar and the Spoils of the Qunari items. Inquisition is nowhere near Origins, but it's still a solid BioWare fantasy RPG.

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Categories: Video Games

British Airways Testing VR Headsets For First-Class Passengers This Year

Slashdot - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: British Airways announced that it is testing out virtual reality headsets for the rest of this year on flights between London's Heathrow and New York City's John F. Kennedy airport. The airline is tapping SkyLights for the VR eyewear headsets that will be available for its first-class passengers. The AlloSky hardware can present 3D views even when the viewer is lying flat. As far as programming, British Airways will have options. The VR headsets will offer visual entertainment in 2D, 3D, or 360-degree formats. The airline will also provide more therapeutic programs to help people who have a fear of flying. These VR experiences include guided meditation and sound therapy. This marks the first time British Airways is bringing virtual reality onto its aircrafts. The company also used SkyLights' hardware at its ticket counters in Heathrow to show passengers the experience of its first-class travel in an effort to encourage upgrades.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Apex Legends' new solo mode has a teaming problem

Eurogamer - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 14:00

Respawn is not having a good week. The Iron Crown event kicked off causing immediate backlash to the ridiculous pricing of the new loot, and now players are taking to reddit to complain about "teaming" - finding groups of players teaming up to take out the rest of the solos in a match.

In all fairness, it's a new event and game mode for Apex, and as such it should be expected for there to be minor issues here and there until they iron out all the kinks. But from what we've found with the teaming problem, it's really not a minor issue.

At first the teaming could just be seen as a couple of random players messing around who actually don't know each other; this happens all the time in games like Overwatch, but Apex has no kind of emote system, so it makes it difficult to make friends when people are trying to shoot you on sight.

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Categories: Video Games

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs Core i9 9900K review

Eurogamer - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 13:09

By now, the verdict is in: the $329 Ryzen 7 3700X is an excellent CPU that competes well against the $385 Intel Core i7 9700K in gaming and blows it out of the water in multi-threaded content creation tasks like video rendering or streaming. That's helped the 3700X become the most popular processor at one German retailer and lead to AMD outselling Intel in reports from Korea and Japan. But how does the Ryzen 9 3900X fare? We've tested it against Intel's top dog, the Core i9 9900K, to see which company claims the overall PC gaming crown.

First of all, let's discuss what we're dealing with. The Ryzen 9 3900X is a fully-enabled Zen 2 design, meaning it includes 12 cores and 24 threads spread across its two chiplets. That's four more cores and eight more threads than the Ryzen 7 3700X, so we expect to see significantly better performance in tasks like video rendering which are easy to break up and perform in parallel. The flagship chip also features a slightly higher single-core boost frequency than its mid-tier counterpart, which should translate into better single-threaded performance too.

Compared to past Zen and Zen+ designs, this is a whole different beast. I/O is shifted to its own die using a mature 12nm process, while each of the CPU chiplets uses a novel 7nm process that allows for greater performance than past generations while using less power (and therefore producing less heat). This architectural shift is accompanied by a series of small but still significant changes: the size of the L3 cache has doubled to ameliorate latency issues, a more efficient branch predictor is used and AVX instructions are finally handled properly.

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Categories: Video Games

AMD's X570 platform: is it worth upgrading to a new motherboard?

Eurogamer - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 13:08

With the release of AMD's X570 platform earlier this month, a whole raft of new motherboards are in the wild sporting exciting new features and purporting to best support new 3rd-gen Ryzen processors and RX 5700 series graphics cards. With those reviews now out, it's time to take a closer look at the features of the X570 platform and why you may - or may not - want to upgrade. We took a close look at the entire X570 motherboard lineup from AMD partner MSI at a recent press event, so we'll use their boards as the basis of our analysis here. So: here's what you need to know about X570, including what PCIe 4.0 is actually good for, how much power these motherboards actually draw and why you may be better off sticking with an earlier-gen motherboard for your 3rd-gen Ryzen build.

The obvious place to begin is on PCI Express 4.0 - after all, that's exactly where AMD execs spent most of their time when X570 was first announced. In short, the PCIe standard has continued to evolve in quite a linear fashion, with a doubling in per-lane throughput for each new iteration. Previous-gen PCIe 3.0 allows for 32GB/s of bidirectional bandwidth in each x16 slot, so version 4.0 provides around 64GB/s in the same x16 slot or 32GB/s in an x8 slot. This all sounds great, but what what is this extra speed actually good for?

While graphics cards seem like the obvious benefactors of any bandwidth improvements to PCIe, they're actually not really limited by the PCIe interface outside of a handful of largely synthetic scenarios. Instead, it's other devices, like PCIe-attached solid state drives and 10-gigabit network add-in cards, that will make the case for PCIe 4.0 for this generation. One of the first PCIe 4.0 SSDs, the Phison PS5016-E16, is capable of sequential read speeds in excess of 5000MB/s, in comparison to leading PCIe 3.0 drives which generally top out around 3500MB/s. Of course, these drives aren't substantially faster when it comes to game load times thanks to similar random I/O figures, but content creators working with Ultra HD footage may find the sequential speed increase alone worth paying for.

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Categories: Video Games

AMD X570 motherboard tier list: features and price points

Eurogamer - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 13:08

We recently took at a closer look at the feature set of AMD's new X570 platform, which launched on July 7th alongside the firm's 3rd generation Ryzen processors. PCIe 4.0 is the headline addition here, allowing for significantly faster SSDs to be used, but X570 boards have also seen improvements to power delivery to deal with AMD's beefier CPUs, active cooling to deal with the added power draw and better support for high-end RAM. However, not all boards will get all of these features to the same extent, so we're revisiting the topic with a tier list of X570 motherboards.

Rather than going into exhaustive detail about each board's power delivery specs - something /u/firewrath9 has already done - the idea here is to let you know which features you can expect to find at which price points, so you can decide whether it's worth picking up a new board or not. After all, most B350, X470 and other legacy AM4 motherboards will work with the new Ryzen 3000-series processors at stock speeds, so upgrading to X570 isn't a requirement for this generation unless you want these new features or you plan on doing some heavy overclocking.

Generally, we can split X570 into three traditional tiers: entry-level, mid-range and high-end. These include traditional gaming-focused motherboards and an emerging segment of professional motherboards for content creators. For each tier, we'll look at what kind of features you can expect, which are missing and what you'll likely need to pay.

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Categories: Video Games

No Man's Sky developer releases PC fix as Beyond experiences bumpy launch

Eurogamer - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 12:24

UPDATE 16/8/19: After rolling out a PC fix for many of the issues faced by No Man's Sky Beyond players at launch, developer Hello Games has now released the patch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Patch 2.05 provides a fix for crashes and frame-rate issues occurring in and around the Space Anomaly, and also addresses some VR issues. Full details lie below.

ORIGINAL STORY 16/8/19: Yesterday brought No Man's Sky's big Beyond update, which lets you play the full game in VR, hang out in 16-person multiplayer and milk aliens.

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Categories: Video Games

Spelunky 2 isn't releasing this year after all

Eurogamer - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 12:01

If you had plans for digital adventures in dimly-lit caves this year, you'll have to wait a while longer, as the sequel to critically-acclaimed indie roguelike Spelunky will no longer be releasing in 2019.

Designer Derek Yu took to Twitter to announce the delay, explaining that while development is going well and the team is "not far off target", the "density and detail of the game" means it needs a little more time in the oven. Yu also apologised for the lack of updates, but said he'd been listening to feedback about the environments seen in the trailer, and had been working on adding more detail and increasing the contrast.

As of yet, there's no new release date for Spelunky 2 beyond the fact it's not coming in 2019. When it does release, however, you can expect to see it on PC and PlayStation 4, and you can also expect a very excited Christian Donlan.

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Categories: Video Games

London University Is Banning Beef To Help Fight Climate Change

Slashdot - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 12:00
Goldsmiths, a part of the University of London, is fighting climate change by taking beef off the menu. "[The university] will no longer serve beef burgers, beef burritos and the like on its campus," reports CBS News. From the report: Goldsmiths will take beef products off the menu starting in September, it announced Monday. The effort is part of a mission to become carbon neutral by 2025. Removing beef products on campus isn't the only action the university is taking. It also plans to install more solar panels, switch to a 100% clean energy supplier, plant more trees and make climate change education more accessible to students. Perhaps the biggest change the university is making aside from the elimination of beef is a fee of 10 pence (12 cents) on bottled water and single-use plastic cups. The goal is to "discourage use, with the proceeds directed into a green student initiative fund," the college's new warden, Professor Frances Corner, said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Video game corporate satire is really overdue an upgrade

Eurogamer - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 09:00

In Grand Theft Auto 5's final scene, protagonists Michael, Franklin and Trevor have odious billionaire Devin Weston trussed up like a turkey in the boot of a swanky car. It's time for some payback - Weston, a marauding tycoon of the Gordon Gekko school, has double-crossed Michael and attempted to hire Franklin to kill him. But first, a little speech from Michael on the subject of the "great evils that bedevil American capitalism". One of these evils, he says, is offshoring - the act of moving part of your business overseas to lower costs by, for example, paying less tax in the country where you're based.

Offshoring is legal in many countries, but is widely regarded as a dirty trick, denying the society that supports you an appropriate share of your earnings - and in a moment of blunt poetic justice, Michael, Franklin and Trevor proceed to "offshore" Weston by rolling the car over a cliff into the Pacific Ocean. It's typical of Rockstar's brand of social satire, clownish and macabre and, in this case, spiced with hypocrisy. Six years after the game's release, the company's UK businesses stand accused by TaxWatch of moving billions of dollars in profits overseas in order to avoid paying corporation tax, all the while claiming back £47.3 million via a tax relief scheme for creators of "culturally British" art, and doling out large bonuses to UK-based executives. It's difficult to assess that accusation without knowledge of how development of GTA5 was distributed across Rockstar's various studios, but well, I'm not sure Michael would be very forgiving.

Videogame "satires" of giant corporations have never rung that true for me, largely because some of the most prominent examples are developed by giant corporations. GTA aside, the field is led by Portal 2, a historical and architectural cross-section of a dysfunctional science company created by Valve, the owner of the world's largest PC game distribution platform. I don't think it's impossible to critique the upper echelons of the private sector while working for one of the Powers That Be - if I did, I wouldn't be writing this for a website owned by a million-dollar events business. But it's harder to laugh along to jokes about, say, brutal working practices or womanising CEOs when they come from those at the summit of an industry that worships crunch and has a lingering sexism problem.

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Categories: Video Games

Scientists Reverse Aging Process In Rat Brain Stem Cells

Slashdot - Thu, 15/08/2019 - 09:00
Scientists who discovered aging appears to be related to the stiffness of the environment where cells live have reversed the process in rat brain stem cells. Newsweek reports: Researchers studied oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) in young and old rat brains, and found they were affected by stiffness in the organ caused by aging. These stem cells, meaning they can turn into other types of cell, are found in the central nervous system. Researchers studied oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) in young and old rat brains, and found they were affected by stiffness in the organ caused by aging. These stem cells, meaning they can turn into other types of cell, are found in the central nervous system. Kevin Chalut, a biophysicist at the University of Cambridge and co-author of the study published in the journal Nature told Newsweek: "The study tells us that aging, at least for stem cells we studied, is not driven by anything intrinsic to the cell. It is instead driven by the environment. This was already known to be a factor, but the true significance here is to show that it is the stiffness of the environment alone that drives the aging of the stem cells. "This is rather remarkable because it suggests an entirely new way of thinking about what controls aging in stem cells, and furthermore, since stiffness is a single factor from the environment, it suggest a means to straightforwardly reverse aging in stem cells'" Chalut explained.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

2019 年 8 月のセキュリティ更新プログラム (月例)

Microsoft Security Response Blog - Wed, 14/08/2019 - 01:05
2019 年 8 月 14 日 (日本時間)、マイクロソフトは以下のソフトウェアのセキュリティ更新プログラムを公開しました。
Categories: IT
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