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The Solitaire Conspiracy is a mix of cards and espionage

Eurogamer - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 16:46

Thomas Was Alone and John Wick Hex creator Mike Bithell has announced his team's next project: The Solitaire Conspiracy.

It's a mix of espionage, cyberpunk visuals, and the classic card game you probably already have on your computer.

There's a story, told through FMVs starring Greg Miller and recent Eurogamer charity stream guest Inel Tomlinson, which involves bringing home spy crews using people and powers represented by cards in your deck.

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Categories: Video Games

A $50 Phone is Ambani's Weapon To Dominate India Telecom Market

Slashdot - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 16:21
Reliance Industries has asked local suppliers to ramp up production capacity in India so they can make as many as 200 million smartphones over the next two years, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter, a potentially enormous boost for the country's technology ambitions and a warning shot to rivals such as Xiaomi. From a report: India's most valuable company is in talks with domestic assemblers to make a version of its Jio phone that would run on Google's Android and cost about 4,000 rupees ($54), said the people, asking not to be identified since the plans are private. The inexpensive phones will be marketed with low-cost wireless plans from Reliance Jio, the parent company's carrier, they said. Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani is aiming to remake the country's smartphone industry much like he did in wireless services, where his aggressive prices and simple plans quickly made him the dominant force. The billionaire is also aligning himself with the Indian government's plans to build more domestic manufacturing, a possible boost for local assemblers like Dixon Technologies India, Lava International and Karbonn Mobiles.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Pokémon Go fans are tired of hats so here's a whole event about hats

Eurogamer - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 15:38

Ask a Pokémon Go fan what they're tired of seeing in the game and you'll probably get the answer: hats.

So, of course, Pokémon Go's next big event is a collaboration with French brand Longchamp for the start of Paris Fashion Week. And it's all about hats.

Four Pokémon varieties with new headgear will be available as part of this event - which I'm pretty sure is a record. This includes Shinx and Kirlia wearing top hats (available from raids), Smoochum wearing a bow (from 7km eggs), and Croagunk wearing a backwards cap (via Snapshot and in the wild).

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Categories: Video Games

Boeing Whistle-Blower Says Proposed 737 Max Fixes Aren't Enough

Slashdot - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: A whistle-blower at Boeing Co. is urging aviation regulators to add additional protections to the grounded 737 Max. Curtis Ewbank, who has previously raised concerns about the plane's design with congressional investigators, said in comments filed with the Federal Aviation Administration that a proposal to mandate fixes to the jet didn't address multiple hazards identified in the two fatal Max accidents and earlier incidents involving the 737. "Clearly more actions are required to revise FAA processes so that it accurately assesses airplane design and regulates in the public interest," Ewbank said in the comments, posted on the Regulations.gov website. The FAA has proposed multiple changes to the plane following the crashes that killed 346 people before allowing it to carry passengers again. The system that was driving the jet's nose down in both accidents would no longer activate repeatedly and various steps were taken to minimize the chances it would malfunction. The agency is also proposing to require multiple other revisions to the plane, such as an improved flight-computer system to improve its redundancy. Ewbank said the FAA and Boeing should do more to prohibit faulty readings from the sensor implicated in both crashes and improve the plane's warning systems. In addition, the agency should do a broader review of how pilots react to emergencies and do a more thorough redesign of the flight-control system, he said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Fortnite's about to host the world's biggest boy band

Eurogamer - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 13:33

Fortnite's already invited a series of prominent musicians to perform through in-game events and its Party Royale mode, and we've so far seen Marshmello, Deadmau5 and Travis Scott take to the virtual stage. But the next one could be the biggest of them all, as K-pop group BTS is heading to Fortnite.

(Look, I know the demographics of Eurogamer's readership, so I know you likely haven't heard of BTS before. I promise you, these guys are a big deal.)

Playing inside Fortnite's non-violent Party Royale mode, BTS will debut a brand new choreography version music video of the single Dynamite - an English-language single which spent two weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this summer. After the premiere, players will be able to enjoy a "Dynamite (Tropical Remix)" afterparty with karaoke graphics, so you can carry on singing along long after the performance is done.

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Categories: Video Games

art of rally review - a slight yet stylish take on off-road driving

Eurogamer - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 13:18

If there's one image that gets to the heart of the madness of rally driving - and of rally in its purest, rawest and most outrageous form - it's of one of the Group B monsters soaring over a crest, parting a densely packed crowd and skimming their slacks as it speeds by. Here's the motorsport of the gods condensed into one bedroom-wall friendly image.

And in art of rally, here's the motorsport of the gods distilled into one brilliantly playable, arrestingly stylish little game. At first glance I thought funselektor's follow-up to Absolute Drift might be an arcade affair - that view from the heavens and the silhouettes of iconic machinery puts 90s classics such as Thrash Rally and Neo Drift-Out to mind - but the handling here has more in common with Dirt Rally than Sega Rally. There's more nuance than you might expect.

But you probably suspected as much if you're familiar with Absolute Drift, another stylish little driving game with surprising depths. There are similarities, but things have come on a fair way - just as in Codemasters' epic off-roaders, it's about poise and momentum, and learning how best to maintain that in a diverse roster of some 50 plus cars. They might not boast any official likenesses, but that hasn't stopped funselektor from dipping into rally's rich history with a selection of silhouettes and liveries - there are facsimiles of Toyotas old and not so old, Sierra Cosworths, Renault 5 Turbos and so much more besides (including some fun unlockables such as Dakar trucks and three-wheelers).

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Categories: Video Games

Spider-Man: Remastered won't work with PS4 Spidey saves

Eurogamer - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 12:51

Spider-Man: Remastered, the fancy-pants new PlayStation 5 version of Insomniac's web-slinger, will not work with your PS4 Spider-Man saves.

Responding to fan questions via Twitter, Insomniac also gave its clearest suggestion yet there will be no free upgrade to this version for existing Spider-Man owners.

"What will happen if I put my PS4 Spider-Man disc in my PS5?" one fan asked. "You'll play PS4 game via backwards compatibility," Insomniac replied.

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Categories: Video Games

Key retailer websites go down amid Xbox Series X pre-orders

Eurogamer - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 12:29

Key retailer websites have gone offline amid Xbox Series X pre-orders.

The websites for GAME and Smyths are both currently offline. In the UK, GAME and Smyths are the only two retailers authorised to sell Xbox All Access - that is, paying monthly for a new Xbox rather than all up-front.

Tweets from the shops' official accounts reveal the retailers are working to restore their sites now.

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Categories: Video Games

Feds Issue Emergency Order For Agencies To Patch Critical Windows Flaw

Slashdot - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 12:00
The US Department of Homeland Security is giving federal agencies until midnight on Tuesday to patch a critical Windows vulnerability that can make it easy for attackers to become all-powerful administrators with free rein to create accounts, infect an entire network with malware, and carry out similarly disastrous actions. Ars Technica reports: Zerologon, as researchers have dubbed the vulnerability, allows malicious hackers to instantly gain unauthorized control of the Active Directory. An Active Directory stores data relating to users and computers that are authorized to use email, file sharing, and other sensitive services inside large organizations. Zerologon is tracked as CVE-2020-1472. Microsoft published a patch last Tuesday. The flaw, which is present in all supported Windows server versions, carries a critical severity rating from Microsoft as well as a maximum of 10 under the Common Vulnerability Scoring System. Further raising that stakes was the release by multiple researchers of proof-of-concept exploit code that could provide a roadmap for malicious hackers to create working attacks. Officials with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which belongs to the DHS, issued an emergency directive on Friday that warned of the potentially severe consequences for organizations that don't patch. [The agency's statement can be found in the article.] CISA, which has authorization to issue emergency directives intended to mitigate known or suspected security threats, is giving organizations until 11:59pm EDT on Monday to either install a Microsoft patch or disconnect the vulnerable domain controller from the organization network. No later than 11:59pm EDT on Wednesday, agencies are to submit a completion report attesting the update has been applied to all affected servers or provide assurance that newly provisioned or previously disconnected servers will be patched.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Breaking with tradition, EA confirms no FIFA 21 demo

Eurogamer - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 10:25

There won't be a demo of FIFA 21, EA has confirmed.

Breaking with years of tradition, the publisher said it won't release a demo so the development team can focus on the launch game.

"We aren't releasing a demo for FIFA 21," EA said in a tweet.

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Categories: Video Games

Xbox Game Pass subscribers leap by 50% in five months

Eurogamer - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 10:06

Buried in yesterday's megaton news Microsoft is buying Bethesda and Zenimax for $7.5bn was an eye-opening statistic on Xbox Game Pass subscription growth.

As of this month, Xbox Game Pass now has 15 million subscribers, up from the 10 million figure Microsoft announced in April. That's a 50 per cent increase in just five months.

Obviously, this year has been an attractive one for sitting at home and burying yourself in a library of games. But Microsoft has also improved its Game Pass catalogue, and marketed it as a core part of the Xbox console offering.

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Categories: Video Games

Xbox Series X/S pre-orders now available at these retailers

Eurogamer - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 09:03

After months and months of waiting, you can now pre-order the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Microsoft's next-gen consoles aren't scheduled for release until 10th November, but you can already ensure either of the new boxes will be arriving at your door as soon as possible right here.

Remember, the Xbox Series X will cost £449/$499, while the slightly lower-powered Xbox Series S will set you back £249/$299. There is also the Xbox All-Access program if you'd rather pay for the console over time instead of a single upfront cost. You can find more on that and all retailers currently taking pre-orders for the consoles, accessories and games below.

Latest: Xbox Series X pre-orders have sold out globally. However, you can still find the Xbox Series S available at some retailers. More stock may trickle out over the next few days from any remaining stores. However, Microsoft has suggested that you should now expect more consoles to be available from launch on 10th November.

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Categories: Video Games

Airbus Reveals Plans For Zero-Emission Aircraft Fueled By Hydrogen

Slashdot - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 09:00
Airbus has announced plans for the world's first zero-emission commercial aircraft models that run on hydrogen and could take to the skies by 2035. The Guardian reports: The European aersospace company revealed three different aircraft concepts that would be put through their paces to find the most efficient way to travel long distances by plane without producing the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global heating. UK holidaymakers and business travellers could fly from London to the Canary Islands, Athens or eastern Europe without producing carbon emissions, should the plans become a commercial reality. All three of the aircraft concepts rely on hydrogen as a fuel because the only emissions produced when it is burned is water vapor, making it a clean fuel option for heavy vehicles such as planes, trains and trucks. The first of the Airbus concepts could carry between 120 and 200 passengers more than 2,000 nautical miles by using a turbofan design that includes a modified gas-turbine engine running on hydrogen, rather than jet fuel, which could be stored in tanks located behind the plane's rear pressure bulkhead. The second concept, a turboprop design, would also use a modified gas engine but could carry up to 100 passengers for 1,000 nautical miles on short-haul trips. The aviation giant's plans also include a plane with an "exceptionally wide" body that blends into the plane's wings to open up multiple options for hydrogen storage and the cabin layout. This plane could carry as many passengers as the turbofan design and travel as far too. [...] Airbus said hydrogen planes would also require airports to install hydrogen transport and refueling infrastructure, and government support to upgrade aircraft fleets to allow airlines to retire their older, less environmentally friendly aircraft sooner than planned.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Pendragon review - an Arthurian legend of its own

Eurogamer - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 06:00

I only really understood Pendragon after I nearly lost it all. All the heroes I banked my hopes on had died. Lancelot, Morgana le Fey, Aonghas, Gawaine: all dead. How would I save King Arthur now? My story had fallen apart. But instead of giving up, I carried on.

And in doing so the story changed. It became about someone else, an unremarkable villager who survived through it all. Aida "the nervous lady", as the game called her. She made it to Arthur's side against great odds and although she didn't ultimately prevail against Mordred, Arthur's evil son, it didn't matter. It didn't matter because as her epilogue played out before me in a series of milestone events, I realised what truly mattered was the story I told.

Pendragon is the new game from inkle, the small studio behind 80 Days and Heaven's Vault and the Sorcery! adaptations - games which offer playful, nuanced spins on interactive fiction. Pendragon, in essence, is a roguelike in which you're riding to help King Arthur as he prepares for a climactic battle, and you play it on a series of tiled boards strung across a series of maps, each taking place in a different location and moving the narrative onwards.

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Categories: Video Games

Proposal Would Give EU Power To Boot Tech Giants Out of European Market

Slashdot - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The EU wants to arm itself with new powers to take on big technology companies, including the ability to force them to break up or sell some of their European operations if their market dominance is deemed to threaten the interests of customers and smaller rivals. EU Commissioner Thierry Breton told the Financial Times that the proposed remedies, which he said would only be used in extreme circumstances, also include the ability to exclude large tech groups from the single market altogether. In addition, Brussels is considering a rating system that would allow the public and stakeholders to assess companies' behavior in areas such as tax compliance and the speed with which they take down illegal content. "There is a feeling from end users of these platforms that they are too big to care," said Mr. Breton, who is leading the overhaul of digital rules in the bloc. "[Under] certain conditions we may also have the power to impose structural separation." The new EU legislation would increase Brussels' powers to scrutinize the way technology companies gather information on users, following concerns raised by independent researchers that the voluntary disclosures groups make are often misleading or partial. Mr. Breton confirmed that the EU would not remove the limited liability that companies have for the content published on their platforms. "The safe harbor of the liability exemption will stay," he said. "That's something that's accepted by everyone." Mr. Breton said draft legislation will be ready by the end of the year. Proposals are being finalized, and once they are agreed they will go through the European Parliament and the European Council.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Trump Pushes To Reap Biometric Data From Immigrants, Americans

Slashdot - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 04:05
Six million would-be U.S. immigrants face expanded collection of their biometric data, including iris scans, palm-, and voice-prints, facial recognition images, and DNA, under a proposed federal rule. The Department of Homeland Security also for the first time would gather that data from American citizens sponsoring or benefiting from a visa application. Bloomberg Law reports: Years in the making, the biometrics immigration rule has garnered more than 160 comments since its Sept. 11 publication. The 30-day comment period closes on Oct 13. A final version could be in place by Inauguration Day. Immigration and privacy advocates have voiced concerns over who will have to comply with the new requirements, why President Donald Trump is making this push so late in his term, and what it means for a federal agency already claiming a lack of resources. The 300-plus-page plan updates current biometrics requirements so that "any applicant, petitioner, sponsor, beneficiary, or individual filing or associated with an immigration benefit or request, including U.S. citizens, must appear for biometrics collection without regard to age unless the agency waives or exempts the requirement." The DHS estimates an additional 2.17 million new biometrics submissions will be collected annually, an increase from the current 3.9 million, under the rule. The DHS already collects fingerprints from some visa applicants. The new rule would expand that biometrics-gathering to iris images, palm- and voice- prints. The agency wants authority to require or request DNA testing to prove familial relationships where kinship is in question. The DNA data could be stored indefinitely, under the proposed rule. The DHS essentially has until Dec. 20 to review and respond to public comments and draft a final proposal, said Doug Rand, who worked on technology and immigration policy in the Obama White House and then joined the Federation of American Scientists. "They're really running out of time. And the fact that you'd put out a final regulation on such a far-ranging new policy that touches the lives of millions of people, you're opening up to huge legal vulnerability because any plaintiff can point to the comment period of only 30 days."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Quibi Reportedly Weighs Selling Itself Less Than 6 Months After Launching

Slashdot - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 03:25
According to The Wall Street Journal, the mobile streaming service Quibi is exploring strategic options including a possible sale. "It is also considering raising more money or going public through a merger with a specially formed company that could help it fund deals," adds CNET. From the report: It declined to comment directly on the report, but Quibi said in a statement that it "has successfully launched a new business and pioneered a new form of storytelling and state-of-the-art platform." It added that CEO Meg Whitman and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg "are committed to continuing to build the business in the way that gives the greatest experience for customers, greatest value for shareholders and greatest opportunity for employees."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Pandemic Accelerated Cord Cutting, Making 2020 the Worst-Ever Year For Pay TV

Slashdot - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 02:45
According to new research from eMarketer, the cable, satellite and telecom TV industry is on track to lose the most subscribers ever. This year, over 6 million U.S. households will cut the cord with pay TV, bringing the total number of cord-cutter households to 31.2 million. TechCrunch reports: The firm says that by 2024, the number will grow even further, reaching 46.6 million total cord-cutter households, or more than a third of all U.S. households that no longer have pay TV. Despite these significant declines, there are still more households that have a pay TV subscription than those that do not. Today, there are 77.6 million U.S. households that have cable, satellite or telecom TV packages. But that number has declined 7.5% year-over-year â" its biggest-ever drop. The figure is also down from pay TV's peak in 2014, the analysts said. The pay TV losses, as you may expect, are due to the growing adoption of streaming services. But if anything, the pandemic has pushed forward the cord-cutting movement's momentum as the health crisis contributed to a down economy and the loss of live sports during the first part of the year. These trends may have also encouraged more consumers to cut the cord than would have otherwise. "Consumers are choosing to cut the cord because of high prices, especially compared with streaming alternatives," said eMarketer forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Eric Haggstrom. "The loss of live sports in H1 2020 contributed to further declines. While sports have returned, people will not return to their old cable or satellite plans," he added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Major Activision Hack Reportedly Compromises Over 500,000 Call of Duty Players

Slashdot - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 02:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Forbes: According to reports, more than 500,000 Activision accounts may have been hacked with login data being compromised. The eSports site Dexerto has reported that a data breach occurred on Sunday, September 20. The credentials to access these accounts are, Dexerto said, being leaked publicly, and account details changed to prevent easy recovery by the rightful owners. Activision accounts are mostly used by players of the hugely popular Call of Duty franchise. "This is a substantial breach," Martin Jartelius, CSO at Outpost24, said, "in parts, the clean-up will be a large undertaking for Activision, we can only hope backups allow restoring original contact data, resetting access and managing the users who still cannot regain access which should be a smaller group." Changing your password, if you still have access to your account, is vital, as is changing passwords at any other site or service where you use the same password. This should be to something long and strong, the use of a password manager will help you here. Developing...

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Samsung Cancels Developer Conference Due To Ongoing Pandemic

Slashdot - Tue, 22/09/2020 - 01:20
Samsung announced today it has canceled its annual developer conference citing the need to prioritize the safety of its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. XDA Developers reports: There had been speculation that the South Korean tech giant would axe the show, not just due to the ongoing pandemic but because there isn't much to announce. In previous years, Samsung had used the event to announce updates to its software services like its digital assistant Bixby, but these software additions have never caught on with consumers. There have also been rumblings that Google and Samsung are negotiating a deal to replace many of Samsung's native software apps -- think the Galaxy App store or "Samsung Daily" news feed -- with Google ones.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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