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Here's our first stolen look at the Monster Hunter movie

Eurogamer - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 14:50

A brief glimpse of the forthcoming Monster Hunter movie has leaked online, and our very first look at the Paul W.S. Anderson-helmed production suggests it's shaping up nicely.

The short teaser - just over 30 seconds long, and captured off-screen at the Shanghai International Film Festival - shows off a fantastical desert backdrop, as well as stars Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa in traditional Monster Hunter garb. We also get to see one of the real stars, with an authentic take on iconic monster Diablos bursting from the ground.

It's certainly more promising than initial stills that showed off the 'real world' portion of the film, with the shot of soldiers posing before they're whisked away to the world of Monster Hunter not proving particularly popular amongst fans. The Monster Hunter movie is slated for release on September 4th 2020.

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Categories: Video Games

FIFA 19 doesn't use EA's Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment patents, dev insists

Eurogamer - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 14:28

EA Sports has issued a statement denying the FIFA games make use of an EA patent that dynamically adjusts difficulty in video games.

Whether FIFA has dynamic difficulty - or momentum as it's sometimes called - or scripting, as others put it - has been a debate that's raged within the game's community for years. This is the idea the game will give you a helping hand if you're losing, or knock you back if you're winning, in order to create a sense of drama. A last-minute winner by the team you've dominated for 90 minutes, that kind of thing.

This is something the developers at EA Sports often address in interviews with the press. Indeed, EA Sports has denied its existence in interviews with Eurogamer. But this week EA Sports took the unusual step of issuing a statement in response to the existence of a couple of old EA patents about Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment - stressing they're not used in the FIFA series.

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Categories: Video Games

Why Minecraft: Story Mode episodes are a ridiculous $100 each on Xbox 360

Eurogamer - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 12:53

No, you aren't seeing things - episodes of Telltale's Minecraft adaptation, Minecraft: Story Mode, are suddenly $100 (£65) each for Xbox 360. If you want to buy the whole season, you need to fork out $700. That's... what the hell?

Have the episodes suddenly become so rare - in light of Telltale closing and the episodes being removed from sale - their price has skyrocketed? No. Is it a mistake? No. So what's going on?

Removing the episodes from sale on Xbox 360 had the unintended consequence of blocking them from being downloaded, so legit owners couldn't download the episodes they needed. And as Xbox 360 is a bit - shh don't tell it I said this - old, there were no workable solutions other than to re-list the episodes for sale. An unforeseen peril of a digital age, it seems.

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Categories: Video Games

Fortnite patch adds new AOE healing item, more monster destruction

Eurogamer - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 12:50

Fortnite's latest update, v9.30, adds a new area-of-effect healing item named Chug Splash - although the biggest news from the patch comes from datamined details already posted online from those peeking through its files.

Chug Splash is a six-pack of Slurp Juice which restores 20 Health/Shield per throw. It'll heal you, it'll heal teammates - but it will also heal enemies. So watch where you lob it.

Patch 9.30 also adds yet another map change - as the Polar Peak monster stomps through another point of interest. Yes, poor Loot Lake has been smashed up, again.

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Categories: Video Games

Scientists Use Sound To See Around Corners

Slashdot - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 12:00
sciencehabit shares a report from Science Magazine: Spies may soon have another tool to carry out their shadowy missions: a new device that uses sound to "see" around corners. Previously, researchers developed gadgets that bounced light waves around corners to catch reflections and see things out of the line of sight. To see whether they could do something similar with sound, another group of scientists built a hardware prototype -- a vertical pole adorned with off-the-shelf microphones and small car speakers. The speakers emitted a series of chirps, which bounced off a nearby wall at an angle before hitting a hidden object on another wall -- a poster board cutout of the letter H. Scientists then moved their rig bit by bit, each time making more chirps, which bounced back the way they came, into the microphones. Using algorithms from seismic imaging, the system reconstructed a rough image of the letter H. The technique is years from practical application, but the authors suggest an ultrasound version might eventually be used on autonomous vehicles to detect unseen obstacles. Or it could be used to spy on your co-worker in the next cubicle.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Nintendo's next smartphone game has a release date

Eurogamer - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 11:56

Dr. Mario World, the next free-to-play smartphone game from Nintendo, launches on 10th July for iPhone and Android.

At launch, the match-three puzzler will offer more than 169 levels across five worlds, with more to come.

Each level has you matching capsule colours to clear viruses within a certain number of moves. There are new items, too, such as a Koopa shell which clears lines around it. It's like a Nintendo Candy Crush.

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Categories: Video Games

Facebook Announces Libra Cryptocurrency

Slashdot - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 11:14
Facebook has finally revealed the details of its cryptocurrency Libra. From a blog post: Today we're sharing plans for Calibra, a newly formed Facebook subsidiary whose goal is to provide financial services that will let people access and participate in the Libra network. The first product Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet for Libra, a new global currency powered by blockchain technology. The wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app -- and we expect to launch in 2020. [...] For many people around the world, even basic financial services are still out of reach: almost half of the adults in the world don't have an active bank account and those numbers are worse in developing countries and even worse for women. The cost of that exclusion is high -- approximately 70% of small businesses in developing countries lack access to credit and $25 billion is lost by migrants every year through remittance fees. This is the challenge we're hoping to address with Calibra, a new digital wallet that you'll be able to use to save, send and spend Libra. From the beginning, Calibra will let you send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone, as easily and instantly as you might send a text message and at low to no cost. And, in time, we hope to offer additional services for people and businesses, like paying bills with the push of a button, buying a cup of coffee with the scan of a code or riding your local public transit without needing to carry cash or a metro pass. When it launches, Calibra will have strong protections in place to keep your money and your information safe. We'll be using all the same verification and anti-fraud processes that banks and credit cards use, and we'll have automated systems that will proactively monitor activity to detect and prevent fraudulent behavior. We'll also offer dedicated live support to help if you lose your phone or your password -- and if someone fraudulently gains access to your account and you lose some Libra as a result, we'll offer you a refund. Facebook's currency is backed by more than two dozen companies ranging from Visa and Mastercard to Lyft and Spotify. Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft have not yet signed up. Banks decided not to join the starting roster because of uncertainties about regulation and concerns over logistical issues that could hamper take-up, Financial Times reported citing several industry executives. From the report: If successful, the project could dramatically reshape some corners of the finance industry, disintermediating payments platforms and stealing business from retail banks and fintech groups, particularly those that specialise in sending payments across borders. Jorn Lambert, executive vice-president for digital solutions at Mastercard, said he was not worried that fee-free transactions would threaten the payment card business. "It's an addition to what we do, not instead of what we do. It is not a zero-sum game. Today, 85 per cent of transactions are made in cash." It is unclear whether Libra will clear the steep hurdles needed to get off the ground, win over regulators, such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and be embraced, or strongly resisted, by the financial services industry. Central banks have already questioned the impact of company-created cryptocurrencies on financial stability. "We see hurdles to scale, we see hurdles to adoption, we see enough of this to decide that we would not participate in a scheme like this," said a senior payments executive at a large global bank.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Tavern Keeper lets you run a pub staffed by Orcs

Eurogamer - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 11:00

Tavern Keeper is a simulation game about running a tavern in a fantasy world populated by orcs, elves and halflings and, surprising absolutely nobody, I think it's flipping great. The campaign starts off simply enough - all you need to do is build a bar, buy some ale casks (from a passing troll) and hire a barman and, just like that, your first tavern is up and running. Soon enough, though, the action scales until you're running a whacking great inn with all the various facilities and functions required to run a successful business. From tap rooms and kitchens to bedrooms, laundries and larders, there's a lot to manage if you want to run a tavern worthy of song.

In terms of systems, Tavern Keeper easily holds its ground among its contemporaries like Two Point Hospital. Guest satisfaction can be influenced by all number of factors ranging from the overall cleanliness and food quality to lighting levels and ambient temperature (there are specific overlays to show you where there's room for improvement, as in other sims). Staffing, of course, is just as important as having good facilities or a sensible layout - you can recruit all sorts of employees from different fantasy races, each with their own quirks to contend with. Halflings, for example, make for very dextrous employees, but their short stature gives them other things to contend with. Skeletons, meanwhile, never need to sleep, but are notoriously clumsy. They may also scare some of your patrons because, you know, skeletons.

On top of each employee's racial characteristics, there's a trait system at play in Tavern Keeper that diversifies the action further. One such trait I saw was Darkvision - an excellent nod to Dungeons and Dragons - which allows an employee to perform well even in dimly lit areas. Others, like slowpoke, are less positive. I'm told there will be about a hundred different traits at play in the finished game, so it sounds like the workers of Tavern Keeper will be as varied as the world they inhabit.

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Categories: Video Games

Prevent the impact of a Linux worm by updating Exim (CVE-2019-10149)

Microsoft Security Response Blog - Sat, 15/06/2019 - 05:48

This week, MSRC confirmed the presence of an active Linux worm leveraging a critical Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerability, CVE-2019-10149, in Linux Exim email servers running Exim version 4.87 to 4.91.  Microsoft Azure infrastructure and Services are not affected; only customer’s Linux IaaS instances running a vulnerable version of Exim are affected.  Azure customers running VMs with Exim 4.92 are not affected by this vulnerability.

Azure has controls in place to help limit the spread of this worm from work we’ve already done to combat SPAM, but customers using the vulnerable software would still be susceptible to infection. 

Customers using Azure virtual machines (VMs) are responsible for updating the operating systems running on their VMs. As this vulnerability is being actively exploited by worm activity, MSRC urges customers to observe Azure security best practices and patterns and to patch or restrict network access to VMs running the affected versions of Exim. 

There is a partial mitigation for affected systems that can filter or block network traffic via Network Security Groups (NSGs). The affected systems can mitigate Internet-based ‘wormable’ malware or advanced malware threats that could exploit the vulnerability. However, affected systems are still vulnerable to Remote Code Execution (RCE) exploitation if the attacker’s IP Address is permitted through Network Security Groups.  

It is for these reasons that we strongly advise that all affected systems – irrespective of whether NSGs are filtering traffic or not – should be updated as soon as possible.   

Resources: 

Links to Azure Network Security Group Documentation 
Links to Update Management Solutions using Azure Automation
Links to Azure Security Best Practices and Patterns 

 

JR Aquino
Manager, Azure Incident Response
Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC

updated 18 June 2019 to clarify "Microsoft Azure infrastructure and Services are not affected; only customer’s Linux IaaS instances running a vulnerable version of Exim are affected."

Categories: IT
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