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Microsoft Submits Linux Kernel Patches to Make Linux Run as Root Partition on Hyper-V

Slashdot - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 22:34
"Microsoft has submitted a series of patches to Linux kernel developers," reports ZDNet, "requesting that Linux run as the root partition on the Hyper-V, its hypervisor software for running Windows and non-Windows instances on hardware." Microsoft "wants to create a complete virtualization stack with Linux and Microsoft Hypervisor", according to Microsoft principle software engineer Wei Liu. Liu has proposed an RFC or request for comment that for now merely implements what are only the "absolutely necessary components to get things running... There will be a subsequent patch series to provide a device node (/dev/mshv) such that userspace programs can create and run virtual machines. We've also ported Cloud Hypervisor over and have been able to boot a Linux guest with Virtio devices since late July." Cloud Hypervisor is an experimental open-source hypervisor implementation from Intel written in the Rust programming language. It's a virtual-machine monitor that runs on top of KVM, the Kernel-based Virtual Machine hypervisor in the Linux kernel that's designed for cloud workloads... Liu points out three more changes beyond amendments to the Hyper-V Top-Level Functional Specification. For example, Microsoft wants Linux to set up existing Hyper-V facilities differently. It also wants Linux kernel developers to change the kernel's behavior when accessing hardware memory in a way that affects driver access to the GPU and CPU that's being managed by an operating system memory manager. It's this issue that Microsoft engineers are least confident about and are asking for Linux developer support, according to Liu.... As Microsoft's executive VP of the cloud and enterprise group, Scott Guthrie, told ZDNet last year, Microsoft's shift to Linux and open source started over a decade ago when it open-sourced ASP.NET. "We recognized open source is something that every developer can benefit from. It's not nice, it's essential. It's not just code, it's community," explained Guthrie.

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European Spacecraft Flying Past Venus Will Now Look for Signs of Life

Slashdot - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 21:34
"Earlier this week, scientists announced the discovery of phosphine on Venus, a potential signature of life. Now, in an amazing coincidence, a European and Japanese spacecraft is about to fly past the planet — and could confirm the discovery," writes Forbes. Slashdot reader Iwastheone shares their report: BepiColombo, launched in 2018, is on its way to enter orbit around Mercury, the innermost planet of the Solar System. But to achieve that it plans to use two flybys of Venus to slow itself down, one on October 15, 2020, and another on August 10, 2021. The teams running the spacecraft already had plans to observe Venus during the flyby. But now, based on this detection of phosphine from telescopes on Earth, they are now planning to use both of these flybys to look for phosphine using an instrument on the spacecraft... As this first flyby is only weeks away, however, the observation campaign of the spacecraft is already set in stone, making the chance of a discovery slim. More promising is the second flyby next year, which will not only give the team more time to prepare, but also approach just 550 kilometers from Venus... If a detection can be made, it would provide independent verification of the presence of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus. And for future missions planning to visit the planet, which alongside Rocket Lab's mission includes potential spacecraft from NASA, India, Russia, and Europe, that could be vital information.

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So long, "gay Bowser" - fans lament the loss of Mario 64's most famous line in Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Eurogamer - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 21:17

Mario's famous "gay Bowser" line isn't in Super Mario 3D All-Stars' version of Super Mario 64 - and fans are waving a sad goodbye.

In the original N64 masterpiece, Mario shouts "so long, gay Bowser!" as he chucks Bowser in the final boss fight. Here's how it sounds:

Fans spent years trying to work out what the dialogue was going for - or even if it was being heard correctly. Time passed, the line became a meme, and we all moved on.

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Categories: Video Games

Where's the Yelp For Open-source Tools?

Slashdot - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 20:34
Esther Schindler (Slashdot reader #16,185), shares some thoughts from long-time tech reporter Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: We'd like an easy way to judge open-source programs. It can be done. But easily? That's another matter... Plenty of people have created systems to collect, judge, and evaluate open-source projects, including information about a project's popularity, reliability, and activity. But each of those review sites — and their methodologies — have flaws. The article looks at a variety of attempts, including freshmeat.net; Eric Raymond's attempt to revive Freecode; GitHub's star (which Docker's co-founder calls a "bullshit metric"); Synopsys's Black Duck Open Hub (formerly Ohloh); and even Google Trends. But it wraps up by pointing out that Brian Profitt, Red Hat's Open Source Program Office (OSPO) manager, is working with others on "Project CHAOSS," a new Linux Foundation project to make it easy to evaluate open-source projects. This pulled together Grimoirelab and similar programs, such as Augur and Red Hat's own Prospector... Its metrics include what kinds of contributions are being made; when the contributions are made; and who's making the contributions. All of which are vital to understanding the overall health of a project. CHAOSS is still a work in progress. Its official release is scheduled for February 2021... Ultimately, this data will be available to all, from end users to the project leads. "In fact, I hope this happens a lot, because we can refine our models more quickly," says Profitt.

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US Spy Plane Impersonates A Malaysian Aircraft

Slashdot - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 19:34
Popular Mechanics reports: A U.S. Air Force aircraft electronically impersonated a Malaysian plane while flying over the South China Sea this week. The RC-135W Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft flew off China's Hainan island on Tuesday, coming within 55 miles of the Chinese mainland. The caper was outed on Twitter by a think tank operated by the Chinese government, which provided enough details for independent verification. The plane's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Mode-S number, a 24-bit identifier assigned to all aircraft and broadcast by onboard transponder, was AE01CE. The Mode S system provides big-picture situational awareness and improves aviation safety. At some point, the plane's Mode-S number suddenly changed, from AE01CE to 750548. That's the ICAO number for an unknown Malaysian aircraft... The RC-135W Rivet Joint is a converted Boeing 707 jetliner designed to collect electronic intelligence for later analysis... It's not clear why the RC-135W flew where it did. The flight probably coincided with Chinese military exercises, likely air or naval, or even a missile test. It's also worth pointing out that China's nuclear ballistic missile submarine force is based at Yulin on Hainan Island. It's also not clear why the RC-135W engaged in the deception. Steffan Watkins, a Canadian open source intelligence researcher, tells Popular Mechanics. "If the reconnaissance is happening outside sovereign airspace, there is no pressing need to engage in that sort of deception. It's perfectly legal, and done in plain sight off the coast of Russia, Syria, and Crimea all the time — literally, every day there are RC-135s off the coast of Russia, with their transponders on, and broadcasting exactly who they are. I can't explain the difference with China. Why the difference in emissions posture and obfuscation....?" The announcement is likely a warning to the Pentagon that the Chinese military sees through the deception, and that it's watching the watchers.

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Sony apologises for PS5 pre-order chaos

Eurogamer - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 19:26

Sony has apologised for the chaos caused by PlayStation 5 pre-orders this week.

"Let's be honest: PS5 pre-orders could have been a lot smoother," Sony said in a tweet on the official PlayStation account. "We truly apologise for that.

"Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for preorder - retailers will share more details.

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Categories: Video Games

Thieves' Guild: a BBS Game With the Best 1990s Pixel Graphics You've Never Seen

Slashdot - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 18:34
"The sky is clear, the breeze is strong. A perfect day to make the long sea voyage to Mythyn," writes BBS history blogger Josh Renaud. "You prepare your galley, hire a crew of sailors, and cast off. But a few hours into your trip, the dreaded words appear: 'Thou seest rippling waters...'" He's describing the beginning of a 27-year-old game that he'd been searching for since 2013. Slashdot reader Kirkman14 why the game is so special — and so rare: Thieves' Guild is a BBS door game for the Atari ST that came out in 1993. [A "door" connected the software running the dial-up Bulletin Board system to an external application.] What made Thieves' Guild unique was its graphical front-end client, which features dozens of eye-popping pixel art vignettes, along with simple animated sprites, sampled speech, and sound effects. As a BBS door game (strike 1) for the Atari ST (strike 2), not many people played this game or saw its front-end in the 90s. But it's worth re-discovering. The game was created by Paul Witte and Herb Flower who teamed up again in the early 2000s to produce the MMORPG "Linkrealms." The Pascal source code for several versions of Thieves' Guild, including an unreleased 1995 port for PC BBSes, has been rescued and published on GitHub.

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TimeSplitters Rewind re-emerges with 30 minute gameplay video

Eurogamer - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 18:06

Remember TimeSplitters Rewind? The last time we reported on the fan-made recreation of TimeSplitters 1, 2 and 3 was back in 2018. Now, it's reemerged with a 30 minute gameplay video.

For the uninitiated, TimeSplitters was the game some of the key creators of seminal console shooter GoldenEye left Rare to make back in the late '90s (check out our oral history of Perfect Dark to find out the inside story on that). The fast-paced first-person shooter was an early hit on the PlayStation 2, and was quickly followed by a couple of sequels before TimeSplitters 4 fell by the wayside.

In the video below, Jake 'The Voice' Parr, lead writer for TimeSplitters Rewind, says the developers have up to 10 players playing simultaneously alongside 10 bots in many game modes. "The game is looking and feeling really close," Parr said, although there is no launch window yet. 57 people are working on it.

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Categories: Video Games

Russian Announces Plan to Independently Explore Venus

Slashdot - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 18:04
"Russia has announced an intention to independently explore Venus a day after scientists said there was a gas that could be present in the planet's clouds due to single-cell microbes," reports Euronews: The head of Russia's space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, told reporters that they would initiate a national project as "we believe that Venus is a Russian planet," according to the TASS news agency. In a statement, Roscosmos noted that the first missions to explore Venus were carried out by the Soviet Union. "The enormous gap between the Soviet Union and its competitors in the investigation of Venus contributed to the fact that the United States called Venus a Soviet planet," Roscosmos said. The Russians claim to have extensive material that suggests that some objects on the Venusian surface have changed places or could be alive, although these are hypotheses that have yet to be confirmed. The national project would be in addition to the "Venera-D" project that the Russians are working on with the US' National Aeronautics and Space Administration... Roscosmos said they would study the soil and atmosphere of the planet as well as the "evolutionary processes of Venus, which allegedly suffered a climatic catastrophe associated with the greenhouse effect."

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Microsoft Warns Workaround Preventing Lenovo ThinkPad BSOD Increases Risk

Slashdot - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 17:34
An anonymous reader quotes ZDNet: Microsoft has finally published a support document detailing its workaround for the August 2020 Patch Tuesday update for Windows 10 version 2004 that caused blue screens of deaths (BSODs) on newer Lenovo ThinkPads and broke Windows Hello biometric login... It's the same as Lenovo's earlier workaround but comes with a stern security warning from Microsoft. Microsoft also explains how Lenovo Vantage violates Microsoft's security controls in Windows. Users might bypass the BSOD screen, but they are endangering their computers by implementing the workaround, according to Microsoft. The workaround also affects some of Microsoft's latest security features for Windows 10, such as Hypervisor Code Integrity for shielding the OS from malicious drivers, as well as Windows Defender Credential Guard. "This workaround may make a computer or a network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend this workaround but are providing this information so that you can implement this workaround at your own discretion. Use this workaround at your own risk," Microsoft states.... The good news for affected ThinkPad users is that Microsoft and Lenovo are working together on a fix. However, Microsoft hasn't said when that will be available.

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Sony reveals the install size of some of its PS5 games

Eurogamer - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 17:14

Sony has revealed the install size of some of its PlayStation 5 games.

Insomniac's Spider-Man: Miles Morales requires a minimum of 50GB, according to the PlayStation website.

The Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Launch Edition, which includes a remaster of Spider-Man PS4, is more than double that, weighing in at 105GB minimum.

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Categories: Video Games

Martin talks the resurgence of racing games with some of the UK's top talent

Eurogamer - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 17:00

It's an exciting time in racing games; if you're Martin, it's always an exciting time in racing games, but right now that is actually true. We've got cool indies like Hot Shot Racing, Inertial Drift and art of rally bringing back the arcade feel, Codemasters at the height of its powers on Dirt, Dirt Rally and F1, Forza Horizon ruling it all - and as it ever was, most of the best racing games are developed here in the UK.

For PAX Online x EGX Digital, Martin has assembled a panel of experts comprising Hot Shot Racing's Trevor Ley and Joe Binks and Codemasters' Lee Mather and Robert Karp to talk about this resurgence and whether it's here to stay. You can watch the panel, which has just finished streaming, in the embed below.

PAX x EGX, which is operated by our parent company ReedPop, is running all week, concludes on Sunday 20th September and is completely free. Check out the full livestream schedule and the virtual show floor for more.

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Categories: Video Games

At Least 10 Amazon Employees Took Bribes from Sellers, Indictment Alleges

Slashdot - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 16:34
CBS News reports: Six people allegedly conspired to bribe Amazon employees and contractors in order to gain a competitive advantage on the retailer's marketplace, federal prosecutors announced Friday. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, those charged posed as consultants and worked with third-party sellers whose products had previously been removed from Amazon Marketplace get the items back on the platform. The six then paid a total of more than $100,000 in bribes to least 10 Amazon employees in exchange for their restoring the banned products or services, the indictment alleges. The products included household goods, consumer electronics and dietary supplements, prosecutors said. "The ultimate victim from this criminal conduct is the buying public, who get inferior or even dangerous goods that should have been removed from the marketplace," U.S. Attorney Brian Moran said in a statement. "As the world moves increasingly to online commerce, we must ensure that the marketplace is not corrupted with unfair advantages obtained by bribes and kickbacks...." The six accused face up to five years in prison for commercial bribery and up to 20 years for wire fraud. One of the six actually worked for Amazon at the beginning of the scheme, according to the article, which notes that their tactics included temporarily suspending the accounts of competitors. One FBI agent in Seattle tells CBS, "What's equally concerning is that, not only did they attempt to increase sales of their own products, but they sought to damage and discredit their competitors."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Amid PS5 pre-order chaos, scalpers are selling consoles with huge markups

Eurogamer - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 16:10

Perhaps it was inevitable: pre-orders for the PlayStation 5 have been a bit of a mess - and scalpers are taking advantage.

Pre-orders for the PS5 went live late on Wednesday night UK time - before Sony had officially announced they had begun. This sparked a scramble from those desperately trying to secure their pre-order. As retailer websites wobbled under the pressure of the online horde, the victorious took to social media to celebrate, while the defeated were left deflated, hoping for better luck in the coming weeks.

Now, just a few days later, the next step in the console pre-order dance has been taken: concern over cancelled pre-orders, retailer warnings about delivering on launch day, and scalpers laughing all the way to the bank.

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Categories: Video Games

Picture-In-Picture Mode On iOS 14 No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website Unless You Pay For Premium

Slashdot - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MacRumors: Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched in Safari in Picture in Picture mode. As of today, that workaround is gone, and it's not clear if it's a bug or a deliberate removal. Attempting to use Picture in Picture on a video on the mobile YouTube website simply doesn't work. Tapping the Picture in Picture button when in full screen mode pops the video out for a second, but it immediately pops back into the website, so it can't be used as a Picture in Picture window. [...] Picture in Picture appears to work on the mobile YouTube website in Safari for those who are YouTube Premium subscribers, which suggests that the restriction is intentional and not a bug.

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Treyarch deliberately buffed sniper rifles for the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War alpha

Eurogamer - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 14:50

If you, like me, have been playing the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War alpha on PlayStation 4 this weekend, you may have noticed sniper rifles are pretty handy.

I spent most of yesterday evening playing the alpha, getting a feel for the multiplayer portion of the game, its weapons and potential loadouts, and it quickly became apparent that snipers were the go-to weapon.

They're super powerful, as you'd expect, but also have an extremely quick aim down sights (ADS) speed - much faster than the kind of sniper rifle ADS speed we're used to from recent games in the series.

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Categories: Video Games

This is how Xbox Series S backwards compatibility really works

Eurogamer - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 13:59

Update: Xbox Series X/S pre-orders are now live.

While Microsoft has been very forthcoming about how backwards compatibility is going to work with Xbox Series X, it hasn't been quite so clear in how the smaller, cheaper Series S console works in running games from prior Xbox generations. Last week, I had the chance to talk with the developers of the hardware and the news sounds very promising. Enhanced backwards compatibility features aren't just the preserve of the more expensive console - Series S has an interesting range of features too.

Kicking off with games running on the vintage 2001 Xbox - the 'OG' machine - we've confirmed that Xbox Series S will run these games at an enhanced resolution. There's a 3x boost to resolution on both axes, meaning that titles targeting 480p on the original machine will hit a maximum of 1440p on Series S, presumably with a range of performance benefits. The good news continues with the enhanced Xbox 360 titles that were released for Xbox One X. These games will also be enhanced for Series S, this time running with a 2x2 resolution multiplier, bringing titles that ran at native 720p up to 1440p. While this doesn't match the max 4K we saw on Xbox One X, there is the potential for improved performance elsewhere thanks to the much faster Zen 2 CPU architecture. In scenarios where Xbox One X was limited by its Jaguar CPU cores, Series S has much more headroom.

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Categories: Video Games

DC Universe Streaming Service Will Become Universe Infinite Comics Platform

Slashdot - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 12:00
DC Universe, which started out as a streaming service for original DC superhero content, will in January become DC Universe Infinite, a supersized subscription service for DC Comics. CNET reports: The service launches on Jan. 21 for $7.99 per month, or $74.99 for a year-long subscription. DC says that subscribers will be able to read 24,000 comic book titles at launch, along with digital-first titles and access to exclusive fan events. Recently released titles featuring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and other DC mainstays will make their way onto the platform in digital format six months after the physical copies arrive in stores. Those who subscribe during the initial preorder run will receive a $10 voucher to the DC Shop on Feb. 1 -- and make that $25 if you lock in a year-long subscription. The move comes as DC nestles in with HBO, with original DC programming making a home on the HBO Max streaming service. A third season of the Harley Quinn animated series starring Kaley Cuoco was just announced for the platform earlier today, with all seasons of the show now sitting as an HBO exclusive. [...] To that end, DC is extending its offer for DC Universe subscribers to add HBO Max membership for $4.99 per month. Fans can jump on that deal through the end of October.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

As Far As The Eye is a thoughtful, soothing spin on turn-based strategy

Eurogamer - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 11:00

EGX is here! This time it's in the rather unique form of PAX Online x EGX Digital, but we're still covering it like usual.

That means we'll be running a few short articles like this throughout the week, featuring our impressions from some of the most interesting, unique, or just personal favourite games we've tried from the show floor (yes, there's a show floor!).

Last up was Spinch. This time: As Far As The Eye!

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Categories: Video Games

NASA To Film an Estee Lauder Ad In Space As the ISS Opens For Business

Slashdot - Sat, 19/09/2020 - 09:00
NASA is preparing to oversee the largest push of business activity aboard the ISS. "Later this month, up to 10 bottles of a new Estee Lauder (EL) skincare serum will launch to the space station," reports CNN. "NASA astronauts are expected to film the items in the microgravity environment of the ISS and the company will be able to use that footage in ad campaigns or other promotional material." The details of those plans were first reported by New Scientist magazine. From the report: The Estee Lauder partnership will continue NASA's years-long push to encourage private-sector spending on space projects as the space agency looks to stretch its budget beyond the ISS and focus on taking astronauts back into deep space. Those efforts include allowing the space station to be used for marketing and entertainment purposes. The Estee Lauder products, a new formula of the company's "Advanced Night Repair" skin serum, are expected to launch aboard a Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft, tucked alongside 8,000 pounds of other cargo, experiments and supplies. NASA astronauts will be tasked with capturing "imagery and video" of the product. The astronauts themselves, however, won't be appearing in any cosmetics ads: The space agency's ethics policies strictly bar astronauts from appearing in marketing campaigns.

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