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Tinykin is an eye-catching indie Pikmin

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 11:41

Tinykin may be the closest thing we get to a Pikmin 4 at this year's E3, but that's no bad thing.

This dinky puzzle platformer has you controlling a miniature alien astronaut as he explores our world. He's aided in his travels by a swarm of mini creatures, named tinykin.

Sound familiar? While clearly inspired by Nintendo's Pikmin, what impressed me here was how snappy and fluid the movement and exploration looks, with tinykin used to create ladders or skate around.

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Categories: Video Games

Minute of Islands review - intriguing puzzler hampered by simplistic gameplay

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 11:37

Thinking about Minute of Islands, I'm at a crossroads with myself. This is the kind of game I'd usually enjoy, but when it comes down to it, I'm not sure I did. Instead, I find that a mere day after playing, it's already starting to slip my mind.

Minute of Island's first impression certainly is striking, because it's altogether more gloomy than what you'd expect based on its art style. As the narrator tells it, as a young woman named Mo, you wake up one morning to silence where there really should be noise - the noise of machines humming underground, powering the fans that keep the islands free of lethally toxic spores.

The first view you get of what's powering the fan is a special moment, as you come face to face with a hulking giant, living underground, his only purpose seemingly that of running a crank like a hamster in a wheel. But the giant, one of a group of brothers, has tired, causing a toxic chain reaction of machine failures. Mo's task as bearer of the omni switch, a sort of part mechanical, part magical admin master key, is to reroute emergency power to a number of different fans across her small archipelago and thus restore order.

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Categories: Video Games

Microsoft has a follow-up Xbox Games Showcase event on Thursday

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 11:21

If yesterday's big Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase wasn't enough for you, Microsoft has a little more to come.

Xbox Games Showcase: Extended will be broadcast at 6pm UK time this Thursday, 17th June and feature conversations with some of Microsoft's internal studios.

Psychonauts 2 team Double Fine, The Outer Worlds 2 studio Obsidian, Hellblade 2 maker Ninja Theory and Sea of Thieves outfit Rare will all be included, alongside others.

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Categories: Video Games

The Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin demo is broken

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 11:00

UPDATE 15/6/21 10.30am UK: A mere 15 minutes after its previous message promising a fix "soon", Square Enix has now confirmed its Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Oranges demo is now working. Chaos moves quickly!

You'll need to download a quick patch upon loading the demo, but we've verified that this does indeed sort the unspecified issue and allow you to play.

Finally, Square Enix has apologised for keeping fans waiting.

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Categories: Video Games

PS5 stock: latest updates on where to buy the PlayStation 5

Eurogamer - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 10:39

PS5 stock is starting to arrive - at last! After a lengthy delay throughout April, PS5 consoles have been available at a number of retailers in May and June. More drops are expected throughout this month as well - including a new PS5 bundle with Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. You can stick with this page for all the latest updates for each individual store. You can also find where the Xbox Series X is available to buy on our dedicated Xbox Series X/S stock page.

Remember, you can always find up-to-the-minute stock up updates on the Jelly Deals Twitter.

Latest: A big wave of PS5 stock is expected to arrive at a number of retailers this week. Stock trackers have suggested that Amazon, Argos, Game, ShopTo, Studio and Smyths Toys will all have PS5 consoles at some point this week. Check the table below for rumoured dates courtesy of PS5 Stock UK on Twitter. It's expected that many of these restocks will be the new PS5 Ratchet and Clank bundle. Restocks at other stores will follow. Of course, these dates are subject to change.

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Categories: Video Games

Why Quantum Computers Won't End Up Cracking Bitcoin Wallets

Slashdot - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 09:34
"Within a decade, quantum computers could be powerful enough to break the cryptographic security that protects cell phones, bank accounts, email addresses and — yes — bitcoin wallets," writes CNBC. But fortunately, that would happen only if we do nothing in the meantime, they're told by Thorsten Groetker, former Utimaco CTO "and one of the top experts in the field of quantum computing." Crypto experts told CNBC they aren't all that worried about quantum hacking of bitcoin wallets for a couple of different reasons. Castle Island Ventures founding partner Nic Carter pointed out that quantum breaks would be gradual rather than sudden. "We would have plenty of forewarning if quantum computing was reaching the stage of maturity and sophistication at which it started to threaten our core cryptographic primitives," he said. "It wouldn't be something that happens overnight." There is also the fact that the community knows that it is coming, and researchers are already in the process of building quantum-safe cryptography. "The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) has been working on a new standard for encryption for the future that's quantum-proof," said Fred Thiel, CEO of cryptocurrency mining specialist Marathon Digital Holdings. NIST is running that selection process now, picking the best candidates and standardizing them. "It's a technical problem, and there's a technical solution for it," said Groetker. "There are new and secure algorithms for digital signatures. ... You will have years of time to migrate your funds from one account to another." Groetker said he expects the first standard quantum-safe crypto algorithm by 2024, which is still, as he put it, well before we'd see a quantum computer capable of breaking bitcoin's cryptography. Once a newly standardized post-quantum secure cryptography is built, Groetker said, the process of mass migration will begin. "Everyone who owns bitcoin or ethereum will transfer [their] funds from the digital identity that is secured with the old type of key, to a new wallet, or new account, that's secured with a new type of key, which is going to be secure," he said. There will still be the problem of users who forget their password or died without sharing their key. But in those scenarios, CNBC suggests, "an organization could lock down all accounts still using the old type of cryptography and give owners some way to access it."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

'Dozens' of Companies are Now Trying to Build Flying Cars

Slashdot - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 05:34
The New York Times shares footage from a flying car's test flight in California — "a single-person aircraft for use in rural areas — essentially a private flying car for the rich — that could start selling this year." (You can read the text of the article here.) "It may look like a strange beast, but it will change the way transportation happens," they're told by Marcus Leng, the Canadian inventor who designed the aircraft (which he named BlackFly): BlackFly is what is often called a flying car. Engineers and entrepreneurs like Mr. Leng have spent more than a decade nurturing this new breed of aircraft, electric vehicles that can take off and land without a runway. They believe these vehicles will be cheaper and safer than helicopters, providing practically anyone with the means of speeding above crowded streets. "Our dream is to free the world from traffic," said Sebastian Thrun, another engineer at the heart of this movement. That dream, most experts agree, is a long way from reality. But the idea is gathering steam. Dozens of companies are now building these aircraft, and three recently agreed to go public in deals that value them as high as $6 billion. For years, people like Mr. Leng and Mr. Thrun have kept their prototypes hidden from the rest of the world — few people have seen them, much less flown in them — but they are now beginning to lift the curtain... Others are building larger vehicles they hope to deploy as city air taxis as soon as 2024 — an Uber for the skies. Some are designing vehicles that can fly without a pilot. One of the air taxi companies, Kitty Hawk, is run by Mr. Thrun, the Stanford University computer science professor who founded Google's self-driving car project. He now says that autonomy will be far more powerful in the air than on the ground, and that it will enter our daily lives much sooner. "You can fly in a straight line and you don't have the massive weight or the stop-and-go of a car" on the ground, he said... The next few years will be crucial to the industry as it transitions from what Silicon Valley is known for — building cutting-edge technology — to something much harder: the messy details of actually getting it into the world.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

G7 Nations Promise Decarbonization, 870 Million Covid-19 Vaccines

Slashdot - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 03:34
Slashdot reader Charlotte Web writes: The "Group of Seven" (or G7) nations are some of the world's largest economies — the U.S. and Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, and Italy, and Japan. On Sunday they pledged $2 billion to help developing countries pivot away from fossil fuels and pledged an "overwhelmingly decarbonized" electricity sector by 2030. The New York Times calls these "major steps in what leaders hope will be a global transition to wind, solar and other energy that does not produce planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions." Politico's Ryan Heath argues "The language on a 'green revolution' is quite strong — there's plenty of detail missing, but it gives climate campaigners a lot to hit leaders with if they fail to deliver. And it's a big deal for the G-7 to agree to 'to conserve or protect at least 30 percent of our land and oceans by 2030.'" Other reports from Politico's writers: "Boris Johnson admitted that the world's richest economies had not managed to secure a widely advertised 1 billion vaccine doses to send to developing countries. The final communique says the group will deliver 870 million doses over the next year." "The G-7 nations called for a 'timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened' investigation into the origins of Covid-19, including in China. WHO's first crack at an investigation — released in March — called a lab leak 'extremely unlikely,' but China didn't grant access to key documents and Secretary of State Antony Blinken called that investigation 'highly deficient' this morning. The U.S. government remains split between two origin theories."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Are Transcontinental, Submarine Supergrids the Future of Energy?

Slashdot - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 00:21
Bloomberg Businessweek reports on "renewed interest in cables that can power consumers in one country with electricity generated hundreds, even thousands, of miles away in another" and possibly even transcontinental, submarine electricity superhighways: Coal, gas and even nuclear plants can be built close to the markets they serve, but the utility-scale solar and wind farms many believe essential to meet climate targets often can't. They need to be put wherever the wind and sun are strongest, which can be hundreds or thousands of miles from urban centers. Long cables can also connect peak afternoon solar power in one time zone to peak evening demand in another, reducing the price volatility caused by mismatches in supply and demand as well as the need for fossil-fueled back up capacity when the sun or wind fade. As countries phase out carbon to meet climate goals, they'll have to spend at least $14 trillion to strengthen grids by 2050, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That's only a little shy of projected spending on new renewable generation capacity and it's increasingly clear that high- and ultra-high-voltage direct current lines will play a part in the transition. The question is how international will they be...? The article points out that in theory, Mongolia's Gobi desert "has potential to deliver 2.6 terawatts of wind and solar power — more than double the U.S.'s entire installed power generation capacity — to a group of Asian powerhouse economies that together produce well over a third of global carbon emissions..." The same goes for the U.S., where with the right infrastructure, New York could tap into sun- and wind-rich resources from the South and Midwest. An even more ambitious vision would access power from as far afield as Canada or Chile's Atacama Desert, which has the world's highest known levels of solar power potential per square meter. Jeremy Rifkin, a U.S. economist who has become the go-to figure for countries looking to remake their infrastructure for the digital and renewable future, sees potential for a single, 1.1 billion-person electricity market in the Americas that would be almost as big as China's. Rifkin has advised Germany and the EU, as well as China... Persuading countries to rely on each other to keep the lights on is tough, but the universal, yet intermittent nature of solar and wind energy also makes it inevitable, according to Rifkin. "This isn't the geopolitics of fossil fuels," owned by some and bought by others, he says. "It is biosphere politics, based on geography. Wind and sun force sharing...." If these supergrids don't get built, it will be because their time has both come and gone. Not only are they expensive, politically difficult, and unpopular — they have to cross a lot of backyards — their focus on mega-power installations seems outdated to some. Distributed microgeneration as close to home as your rooftop, battery storage, and transportable hydrogen all offer competing solutions to the delivery problems supergrids aim to solve.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Stadia timed-exclusive Orcs Must Die 3 launches elsewhere next month

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

Tower defense title Orcs Must Die 3 will launch for PC via Steam, PlayStation and Xbox on 23rd July.

That's almost exactly a year on from its original release as a timed-exclusive for Stadia, back in July 2020. The news was confirmed this evening, as part of the PC Gaming Show.

The latest game in the Orcs Must Die series features solo and co-op play, and a campaign set 25 years after that of Orcs Must Die 2. Clearly, you were not successful enough at getting rid of all those orcs last time around.

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Categories: Video Games

Scientists Propose 'Neuro-Rights' to Protect Brains From Future Manipulation

Slashdot - Sun, 13/06/2021 - 22:53
Slashdot reader AmiMoJo shares a report from Reuters: Scientific advances from deep brain stimulation to wearable scanners are making manipulation of the human mind increasingly possible, creating a need for laws and protections to regulate use of the new tools, top neurologists said on Thursday. A set of "neuro-rights" should be added to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations, said Rafael Yuste, a neuroscience professor at New York's Columbia University and organizer of the Morningside Group of scientists and ethicists proposing such standards. Five rights would guard the brain against abuse from new technologies — rights to identity, free will and mental privacy along with the right of equal access to brain augmentation advances and protection from algorithmic bias, the group says. "If you can record and change neurons, you can in principle read and write the minds of people," Yuste said during an online panel at the Web Summit, a global tech conference. "This is not science fiction. We are doing this in lab animals successfully."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Here's a look at Life is Strange: True Colors' powers in action

Eurogamer - Sun, 13/06/2021 - 22:32

Tonight brought us a first look at Life is Strange: True Colors' new special power of empathy, in fresh gameplay shown during the Square Enix Presents E3 showcase.

True Colors protagonist Alex Chen has had this power for some time - unlike in previous Life is Strange games - but is only learning to control it now as she uses it to uncover the true story of her brother's mysterious death.

You'll hear people's inner thoughts, and use this to learn secrets - though what you do with this information is up to you. Powerful emotions will let Alex experience someone's emotional state, and see a changed version of her surroundings, but also put Alex in a place where she's experiencing that emotion too.

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Categories: Video Games

Here's a first look at Team Ninja's Final Fantasy spin-off Stranger of Paradise

Eurogamer - Sun, 13/06/2021 - 22:25

Back in May, rumours began circulating that Square Enix was collaborating with Nioh developer Team Ninja on an action-focussed Final Fantasy spin-off titled Final Fantasy Origin. Well, it turns out those rumours weren't far off at all! Square has now officially unveiled Team Ninja's action-RPG Final Fantasy spin-off, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins.

Stranger of Paradise follows a band of adventurers who, as the trailer repeatedly reminds us, want to kill chaos. Or at least stab it in the face a few times until its head pops off. "Jack and his allies, Ash and Jed, burn with resolve to defeat Chaos as they throw open the gates to the Chaos Shrine," Square elaborates in its announcement, "Yet doubts remain-are they truly the Warriors of Light the prophecy foretold?".

May's rumours suggested the game would slot into the action sub-genre occupied by the likes of Team Ninja's Nioh games and From Software's Souls series, albeit with a more accessible focus, and today's reveal appears to support that. Square is promising "exhilarating, action-packed battles" against iconic Final Fantasy monsters in a "world of dark fantasy".

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Categories: Video Games

Life is Strange Remastered Collection releases this September

Eurogamer - Sun, 13/06/2021 - 22:15

The remastered versions of the original Life is Strange and its prequel Life is Strange: Before the Storm now have a release date of 30th September.

As announced during Square Enix's E3 showcase, the two remastered games will be available as part of a Life is Strange Remastered Collection. Players can expect to find "updated visuals across characters and environments," including "vastly improved character animation using full facial mocap performance" and "updated and refined" gameplay puzzles.

The Life is Strange Remastered Collection is already available to pre-order, and will launch on PC, Stadia, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The Life is Strange Remastered Collection will also be available as part of the Ultimate Edition of Life is Strange: True Colors, which launches a little earlier on 10th September.

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Categories: Video Games

Here's our first look at Black Panther in Marvel's Avengers

Eurogamer - Sun, 13/06/2021 - 21:56

Square Enix has shown off the Black Panther expansion for Marvel's Avengers.

During its E3 showcase, Square Enix released a new cinematic trailer that gives us a look at this upcoming free expansion.

"Black Panther must defend Wakanda from Klaw, who seeks to steal Vibranium for his own desires," reads the official blurb.

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Categories: Video Games

Hitman Sniper: The Shadows loses Agent 47, sets up new spin-off universe

Eurogamer - Sun, 13/06/2021 - 21:55

Hitman Sniper: The Shadows is a free-to-play mobile spin-off without hero Agent 47, developed by Hitman Go developer Square Enix Montreal.

Formerly titled Project Hitman Sniper Assassins, the game will take place in a new fictional universe unrelated to the main Hitman series or Hitman Sniper.

Instead of Agent 47, who has disappeared, you'll follow a new group of assassins - Soji, Kiya, Kolzak, Knight, and Stone - activated by the International Contract Agency (ICA) following the rise of a new criminal network.

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Categories: Video Games

Babylon's Fall is coming to PS5

Eurogamer - Sun, 13/06/2021 - 21:50

Platinum Games' long-awaited Square Enix title Babylon's Fall is now coming to PS5 as well as PS4 and PC. This was announced during Square Enix's E3 showcase this evening.

The game's also going live-service. The publisher treated audiences to a fairly brief trailer, featuring in-game footage of a frantic 3D action game with lots of armour and magical lightning and some decent operatic music. A follow-up developer interview revealed a game in which teams of players enjoy hack-and-slash combat and explore dungeons in groups of four. These dungeons are located on different floors of a giant tower, and end with a boss.

Regular updates will allow for new moves that can be equipped as skills. There's a focus on character customisation and crafting, and a massive emphasis on builds, due to a "Gideon coffin" the characters wear that allows them to equip two additional weapons alongside the weapons they hold in their hands, and, I think, swing them about independently, a la Astral Chain. The game will ship with five weapon types, and there will be a website that allows players to tweak their builds while they're away from the game.

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Categories: Video Games

Pakistan Province May Block SIM Cards of Citizens Who Didn't Get Covid-19 Vaccines

Slashdot - Sun, 13/06/2021 - 21:48
The government in Pakistan's largest province, Punjab, has decided to block SIM cards of unvaccinated citizens, reports the Hindustan Times (one of the largest newspapers in India), citing reports from news agency ANI. Dr. Rashid, the provincial health minister in Pakistan's Punjab, said that there has been a "considerable decrease" in Covid-19 cases in the province due to mass vaccinations. However, a report compiled by the Punjab primary health department shows that the province still failed to achieve its set target for Covid-19 vaccination, reports ARY News, adding that around 300,000 recipients of the first dose of the vaccine never returned for the second dose since the start of Pakistan's mass inoculation drive on February 2.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster coming soon to PC and mobile

Eurogamer - Sun, 13/06/2021 - 21:43

Square Enix has announced Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster.

This collection includes remasters of the first six Final Fantasy games. It's due out soon on PC via Steam and mobile, Square Enix said. Consoles weren't mentioned, unfortunately.

The trailer is below:

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Categories: Video Games

Square Enix's Guardians of the Galaxy is single-player, without DLC or microtransactions

Eurogamer - Sun, 13/06/2021 - 21:35

The fact there's a new Guardians of the Galaxy game from Eidos Montreal may not come as too much of a surprise. Its existence, as the second game in Square Enix's big Marvel deal following Avengers, has been an open secret for some time.

But what you may not have expected, and what I will be a welcome surprise to those who bounced off of Avengers' controversial live game concept, is how this Guardians game will actually play.

Guardians of the Galaxy will launch on 26th October for PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S as a single-player, story-driven third person action-adventure. After launch, developer Eidos Montreal has promised, it will not have DLC or any microtransactions. Huh!

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