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Google Kills Off FLoC, Replaces it With Topics

Slashdot - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 17:21
FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), Google's controversial project for replacing cookies for interest-based advertising by instead grouping users into groups of users with comparable interests, is dead. In its place, Google today announced a new proposal: Topics. From a report: The idea here is that your browser will learn about your interests as you move around the web. It'll keep data for the last three weeks of your browsing history and as of now, Google is restricting the number of topics to 300, with plans to extend this over time. Google notes that these topics will not include any sensitive categories like gender or race. To figure out your interests, Google categorizes the sites you visit based on one of these 300 topics. For sites that it hasn't categorized before, a lightweight machine learning algorithm in the browser will take over and provide an estimated topic based on the name of the domain. When you hit upon a site that supports the Topics API for ad purposes, the browser will share three topics you are interested in -- one for each of the three last weeks -- selected randomly from your top five topics of each week. The site can then share this with its advertising partners to decide which ads to show you. Ideally, this would make for a more private method of deciding which ad to show you -- and Google notes that it also provides users with far greater control and transparency than what's currently the standard. Users will be able to review and remove topics from their lists -- and turn off the entire Topics API, too.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

The Pokémon Company continues to ignore extensive Arceus leaks

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 17:17

Bless you, The Pokémon Company. Despite widespread leaks which have splashed Pokémon Legends: Arceus' story and full Pokédex across the internet, today's new press release about the game pretends everything is fine.

With just a couple of days until launch, today brings one final trailer for Legends Arceus - which you can view below. There's not an awful lot in it we've not seen before.

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Categories: Video Games

Nvidia Quietly Prepares To Abandon $40 Billion Arm Bid

Slashdot - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 17:04
Artem S. Tashkinov writes: Nvidia is quietly preparing to abandon its purchase of Arm from SoftBank Group Corp after making little to no progress in winning approval for the $40 billion chip deal, according to people familiar with the matter. Nvidia has told partners that it doesn't expect the transaction to close, according to one person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. SoftBank, meanwhile, is stepping up preparations for an Arm initial public offering as an alternative to the Nvidia takeover, another person said. The purchase -- poised to become the biggest semiconductor deal in history when it was announced in September 2020 -- has drawn a fierce backlash from regulators and the chip industry, including Arm's own customers. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued to stop the transaction in December, arguing that Nvidia would become too powerful if it gained control over Arm's chip designs. The acquisition also faces resistance in China, where authorities are inclined to block the takeover if it wins approvals elsewhere, according to one person. But they don't expect it to get that far.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

The SteelSeries Rival 5 Mouse is now only £39.99

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 17:03

With 2022 firmly underway, we're already starting to see some decent price drops on gaming peripherals like keyboards and mice. Whether you've finally finished building that new PC over the holidays or recently purchased a pre-built PC or gaming laptop, you might be looking for those all-important finishing touches for your setup. Or as the saying goes: new year, new... PC accessories?

If you're looking for a new mouse to both improve your aim in-game and brighten up your desk, then the SteelSeries Rival 5 Gaming Mouse is a great addition. It is currently at its lowest price on Amazon for £39.99- a saving of £20.

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Categories: Video Games

EA confirms three new Star Wars games in development at Respawn

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 16:16

Respawn is making three new Star Wars games, EA has announced.

One is the expected follow-up to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, with game director Stig Asmussen at the helm.

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Categories: Video Games

YouTube's CEO Says the Company Will Explore NFT Features for Video Creators

Slashdot - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 16:01
YouTube is exploring adding nonfungible token features for its video creators, Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki wrote to the site's broadcasters on Tuesday. From a report: Although Wojcicki didn't say exactly what her team is planning, or when, it marks the first time Alphabet's Google, YouTube's owner, is becoming involved with the cryptocurrency collectibles. Several of YouTube's rivals have already jumped on the trend. Twitter began letting users post NFTs as profile photos and Instagram is reportedly working on a similar offering, according to the Financial Times. NFTs are digital assets that represent ownership of digital assets, like art, that people can buy or sell. YouTube, home to the largest creator economy, has spent several years building ways for its video stars to earn money beyond advertising, adding tools like fan payments and e-commerce. Wojcicki told creators her company was looking to web3, an umbrella term for internet models built around crypto, as a "source for inspiration."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Dear Esther developer's Little Orpheus announced for PC and consoles

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 16:00

Little Orpheus, the Apple Arcade platformer from the brains behind Dear Esther and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, is coming to PC and consoles.

Developer The Chinese Room today confirmed Little Orpheus launches anew for Nintendo Switch, PC via Steam and Epic Game Store, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on 1st March.

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Categories: Video Games

Flying Car Wins Airworthiness Certification

Slashdot - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: A flying car capable of hitting speeds over 100mph (160kmh) and altitudes above 8,000ft (2,500m) has been issued with a certificate of airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority. The hybrid car-aircraft, AirCar, is equipped with a BMW engine and runs on regular petrol-pump fuel. It takes two minutes and 15 seconds to transform from car into aircraft. The certification followed 70 hours of flight testing and more than 200 take-offs and landings, the company said. "AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars," its creator, Prof Stefan Klein, said. "It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever." In June, the flying car completed a 35-minute flight between international airports in Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia. The company told BBC News it planned "to fly to London from Paris in near future." Dr Steve Wright, senior research fellow in avionics and aircraft systems, at the University of the West of England, said the news was "a good step down the road" for the company and made him "cautiously optimistic that I am going to see a few AirCars one day -- but I think there is still a way to go."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Rabbids head to Mars on Netflix next month

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 14:36

Ubisoft's lovable Rabbids are back, and now they're heading to Mars on Netflix.

Rabbids Invasion Special: Mission to Mars will launch for Netflix next month, on 18th February.

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Categories: Video Games

Input lag for N64 games improved in latest update for Nintendo Switch Online

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 14:12

Nintendo is gradually making improvements to the Nintendo 64 app for Switch Online players.

Last week the addition of Banjo-Kazooie to the service came with a 1.2 update for the app that made some changes, including reduced input lag.

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Categories: Video Games

Fall Guys is getting its own Monopoly board with obstacles to yeet players

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 13:53

Boisterous bean battle royale Fall Guys is getting its own Monopoly set.

Developer Mediatonic has teamed up with Monopoly maker Hasbro to mash-up the two games into... something. Images released today show the traditional game board with plastic obstacles attached.

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Categories: Video Games

Palworld puts cute Pokémon-esque creatures on a factory assembly line

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 13:39

A new trailer for forthcoming monster battler Palworld has been released, which looks as bizarre as ever.

From Japanese studio Pocketpair, the Pokémon-inspired game is a "multiplayer, open-world survival crafting game" according to the Steam page.

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Categories: Video Games

Saudi-backed group buys ESL for $1bn

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 13:37

The Savvy Gaming Group, which is backed by Saudi Arabia's controversial Public Investment Fund (PIF), has bought the ESL for $1bn.

The group has also snapped up popular esports platform Faceit for $500m, and will now merge the two.

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Categories: Video Games

Valve adds Dynamic Cloud Sync to Steam Deck

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 13:10

Valve has added a new Dynamic Cloud Sync feature to support its forthcoming Steam Deck.

The feature allows for seamless save file transfer between PC and the portable Steam Deck device.

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Categories: Video Games

Off Topic: Ellen Raskin's picture books are as rich as her novels

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 13:00

Ellen Raskin was a children's author whose complex, playful novels are enormously rewarding for adults as well as kids. Sadly, she only wrote four of them - four puzzle-mysteries which I return to often, because they are always revealing new aspects, new elements. (I say sadly, but I only half mean it - we are so lucky to get those four novels.)

And Raskin was an illustrator as well as a novelist. She created over 1000 book jackets, including classics like the original cover of A Wrinkle in Time. And alongside the jackets, she created children's picture books - large format, bold designs, a story or poem to lead you from the start to the finish.

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Categories: Video Games

Unpacking rip-off pulled from app stores - but only after topping charts

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 12:59

A blatant copy of brilliant indie game Unpacking has today been pulled from iPhone and Google Play stores - but only after it topped their most-downloaded charts.

Anger at the clone's success spilled over last night, as Unpacking's official Twitter account flagged the rip-off to followers and made clear it was nothing to do with the game's original creators.

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Categories: Video Games

Final Fantasy creator begins his own clothing line in Final Fantasy 14

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 12:57

Hironobu Sakaguchi, the original creator of Final Fantasy, has begun his own clothing line in Final Fantasy 14.

And yes, the clothing label is called "sakaGUCCI".

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Categories: Video Games

Final Fantasy 14 back on sale later this month

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 12:16

UPDATE 25/01/22: Square Enix has now opened the Oceania data centre for players in that region.

As reported below, a number of new data centres are due to open this year to ease congestion in the game.

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Categories: Video Games

Digital kindness and the Library of Babble: a chat with idlemurmurs

Eurogamer - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 12:00

"I think it's a very rare thing to make a game or anything, really, to put it out in the world and to be able to return to it not as the author but perhaps as a reader."

Demi Schänzel is a researcher and game designer from Aotearoa (New Zealand), who advocates for "compassionate design practices and digital kindness." They are the creator of Library of Babble, one of the most extraordinary digital spaces I have ever explored.

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Categories: Video Games

Linux Foundation Launches Open Source Software Development, Linux, and Git Certification

Slashdot - Tue, 25/01/2022 - 12:00
The Linux Foundation has released three new training courses on the edX platform: Open Source Software Development: Linux for Developers (LFD107x), Linux Tools for Software Development (LFD108x), and Git for Distributed Software Development (LFD109x). The three courses can be taken individually or combined to earn a Professional Certificate in Open Source Software Development, Linux, and Git. ZDNet reports: The first class, Open Source Software Development: Linux for Developers (LFD107x) explores the key concepts of developing open-source software and how to work productively in Linux. You don't need to know Linux before starting this class, as it's an introduction to Linux designed for developers. In it, you'll learn how to install Linux and programs, how to use desktop environments, text editors, important commands and utilities, command shells and scripts, filesystems, and compilers. For this class, the Foundation recommends you use a computer installed with a current Linux distribution. I'd go further and recommend you use one with one of the professional Linux distributions. In particular, you should focus on one of the three main enterprise Linux families: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), and Ubuntu. There are hundreds of other distros, but these are the ones that matter to companies looking for Linux developers. The next course, Linux Tools for Software Development (LFD108x) examines the tools necessary to do everyday work in Linux development environments and beyond. It is designed for developers with experience working on any operating system who want to understand the basics of open-source development. Upon completion, participants will be familiar with essential shell tools, so they can work comfortably and productively in Linux environments. In addition, I recommend you come to this class with a working knowledge of the C programming language. Finally, Git for Distributed Software Development (LFD109x) provides a thorough introduction to Git. Git is Linux Torvalds' other great accomplishment. This source control system was first used by the Linux kernel community to enable developers from around the world to operate efficiently. In addition, thanks to such sites as GitHub and GitLab, Git has become the lingua franca of all software development. Everyone uses Git today. With this class, you'll learn to use Git to create new repositories or clone existing ones, commit new changes, review revision histories, examine differences with older versions, work with different branches, merge repositories, and work with a distributed development team. Whether or not you end up programming in Linux, knowing how to use Git is essential for the modern programmer. As ZDNet's Steven Vaughan-Nichols notes, you can take the three courses through edX in audit mode for no cost. However, you'll need to earn the professional certificate so employers will know you're capable of open-source programming. "To do this, you must enroll in the program, complete all three courses, and pay a verified certificate fee of $149 per course."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff
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