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Norwood Suite dev's next surreal jazz adventure Tales From Off-Peak City gets first trailer

Eurogamer - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 23:50

Cosmo D, the creator behind surreal jazz-infused delights The Norwood Suite and Off-Peak, has released the first trailer for his next adventure oddity, Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1.

Tales From Off-Peak City, which sports the same wonderfully off-kilter aesthetic as its predecessors, is designed as an anthology series. Each volume will feature its own self-contained story, which, when combined, will reveal the truth behind the series' events.

"It's a hazy Sunday morning on the corner of July Avenue and Yam Street," explains Cosmo D (AKA Greg Heffernan) of Volume 1, "Caetano Grosso, a former saxophone player and longtime pizza-maker, is just getting his pizza oven warmed up. Orders are trickling in, and he needs someone to help with the deliveries.

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Categories: Video Games

Microsoft Launches Two New Open Source Projects for Developers -- OAM and Dapr

Slashdot - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 23:30
Continuing its embracing of open source, Microsoft has today announced two new open source projects. From a report: The first is Open Application Model (OAM), a new standard for developing and operating applications on Kubernetes and other platforms. The second project is Dapr (Distributed Application Runtime), designed to make it easier to build microservice applications. Microsoft says that both OAM and Dapr "help developers remove barriers when building applications for cloud and edge." Microsoft has worked on OAM with Alibaba, and the aim is to simplify the development and deployment of applications. The company explains that: "OAM is a specification for describing applications so that the application description is separated from the details of how the application is deployed onto and managed by the infrastructure. This separation of concerns is helpful for multiple reasons." The second open source project is Dapr, which Microsoft describes as "an open source, portable, event-driven runtime that makes it easy for developers to build resilient, microservice stateless and stateful applications that run on the cloud and edge."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

An intern’s experience with Rust

Microsoft Security Response Blog - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 23:26

Over the course of my internship at the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), I worked on the safe systems programming languages (SSPL) team to promote safer languages for systems programming where runtime overhead is important, as outlined in this blog. My job was to port a security critical network processing agent into Rust to eliminate …

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The post An intern’s experience with Rust appeared first on Microsoft Security Response Center.

Categories: IT

FCC Votes To Approve T-Mobile-Sprint Merger

Slashdot - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 22:50
The FCC on Wednesday formally approved the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. The vote comes months after the Justice Department greenlit the deal. The Verge reports: In May, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai first signaled that he would vote to approve the merger after the commission and the companies struck a deal that Republicans believed would help foster a faster 5G rollout. The other Republican commissioners, Brendan Carr and Michael O'Rielly, also voiced support for the merger at the time. The merger was pushed through on a party-line vote with Democrats dissenting, an FCC official told The Verge. Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel announced her disapproval in an op-ed for The Atlantic Wednesday morning. In it, she argues that a merged T-Mobile-Sprint would only hurt consumers, driving up prices and staving off competition. "These state officials understand something fundamental: With less competition, rates rise and innovation falls. All the evidence demonstrates that this holds true in the mobile-phone industry too," Rosenworcel said. "If this merger succeeds, consumers will pay the price." The other Democrat, Geoffrey Starks, was the last to vote on the deal. In September, Starks put out a statement calling on the FCC to delay any votes on the merger until Sprint could be fully investigated for allegedly misappropriating Lifeline subsidy funds for around 885,000 ineligible accounts. "There is no credible way that the merger before us can proceed until this Lifeline investigation is resolved and responsible parties are held accountable," Starks said at the time. Before the deal closes, representatives from the two companies said they'll wait until a multistate lawsuit trying to block the deal is resolved.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Google winding down support for mobile VR platform Daydream

Eurogamer - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 22:40

Google has confirmed that it's winding down support for its mobile VR platform, Daydream, citing decreased usage and limited adoption of the technology.

Daydream initially launched in November 2016, as a portable, affordable VR solution, and as a response to Samsung's similarly positioned Gear VR headset. And now, just shy of three years later, Google has announced that its new flagship Pixel 4 phones will not support the feature, and that it will no longer sell the Daydream View headset.

In a statement provided to Variety, a Google spokesperson explained that, "There hasn't been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we've seen decreasing usage over time of the Daydream View headset". However, the company says its Daydream app and store will remain available for existing users.

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Categories: Video Games

Analogue Announces Game Boy Clone Dubbed 'Analogue Pocket'

Slashdot - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 22:10
Analogue is set to announce a new Game Boy clone. From a report: Analogue, known for their FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array)-based hardware clones of the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis/Megadrive, will be launching a handheld addition to their lineup called the "Analogue Pocket." The unit will be compatible with the entire library of Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, as well as Sega's Game Gear, SNK's Neo Geo Pocket Colour, and Atari's Lynx -- essentially bringing every 90's handheld under one hardware roof, without software emulation. The unit will also feature a 3.5" LTPS LCD at 1600 x 1440 resolution (615ppi), and USB-C charging port. Further reading: Game Boy has turned Game Man, just in time for the original device's 30th birthday.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Yahoo Groups Is Winding Down and All Content Will Be Permanently Removed

Slashdot - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 21:30
Yahoo announced on Wednesday that it is winding down its long-running Yahoo Groups site. From a report: As of October 21, users will no longer be able to post new content to the site, and on December 14 Yahoo will permanently delete all previously posted content. "You'll have until that date to save anything you've uploaded," an announcement post reads. Yahoo Groups, launched in 2001, is a cross between a platform for mailing lists and internet forums. Groups can be interacted with on the Yahoo Groups site itself, or via email. In the 18 years that it existed, numerous niche communities made a home on the platform. Now, with the site's planned obsolescence, users are looking for ways to save their Groups history.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Sea of Thieves' sizeable Halloween update lets you change the colour of your underpants

Eurogamer - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 21:15

Sea of Thieves is getting into the spirit of the spooky season today, with the advent of its new Fort of the Damned update - and it's a big un, introducing the likes of an ultra-hard skeleton fort, a much-requested banjo to twang, new Arena mode options, and more. Oh, and especially particular pirates can finally change the colour of their undergarments too.

Starting with the headline feature of Sea of Thieves' latest update, what was once Old Boot Fort in the Ancient Isles has now been transformed into the sinister, fog-shrouded Fort of the Damned. This ominous construct is the site of a particularly challenging skeleton fort battle, but only for those players that come prepared to perform the correct ritual.

By collecting all six coloured lights from the Flame of Fate (each one accessed by dying a particular death) and deploying them at the fortress with a Relic Skull, crews can face an army of special Shadow Skeletons in order to claim great rewards.

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Categories: Video Games

Hacking 20 High-Profile Dev Accounts Could Compromise Half of the NPM Ecosystem

Slashdot - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 20:59
The npm ecosystem of JavaScript libraries is more interwoven than most developers think, and the entire thing is a gigantic house of cards, being one bad hack away from compromising hundreds of thousands of projects, according to a recent academic study. From a report: The research, carried out by the Department of Computer Science from the Technical University of Darmstadt, in Germany, analyzed the dependency graph of the entire npm ecosystem. Researchers downloaded metadata for all the npm packages published until April 2018 and created a giant graph that included 676,539 nodes and 4,543,473 edges (lines connecting the nodes). In addition, academics also analyzed different versions of the same packages, looking at historical versions (5,386,239 versions for the 676,539 packages), but also at the package maintainers (199,327 npm accounts), and known security flaws impacting the packages (609 public reports). [...] Their goal was to get an idea of how hacking one or more npm maintainer accounts, or how vulnerabilities in one or more packages, reverberated across the npm ecosystem; along with the critical mass needed to cause security incidents inside tens of thousands of npm projects at a time. [...] But while some npm packages load code from too many packages and from too many developers, there is another dangerous trend forming on the npm package repository -- namely the consolidation of popular npm packages under a few maintainer accounts. "391 highly influential maintainers affect more than 10,000 packages, making them prime targets for attacks," the research team said. "If an attacker manages to compromise the account of any of the 391 most influential maintainers, the community will experience a serious security incident."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Hubble Observes First Confirmed Interstellar Comet

Slashdot - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 20:10
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has given astronomers their best look yet at an interstellar visitor -- comet 2I/Borisov -- whose speed and trajectory indicate it has come from beyond our solar system. In a press release, the space agency said: This Hubble image, taken on Oct. 12, 2019, is the sharpest view of the comet to date. Hubble reveals a central concentration of dust around the nucleus (which is too small to be seen by Hubble). Comet 2I/Borisov is only the second such interstellar object known to have passed through the solar system. In 2017, the first identified interstellar visitor, an object officially named 'Oumuamua, swung within 24 million miles of the Sun before racing out of the solar system. "Whereas 'Oumuamua appeared to be a rock, Borisov is really active, more like a normal comet. It's a puzzle why these two are so different," said David Jewitt of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), leader of the Hubble team who observed the comet.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Interview With Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller On 15 Years of Fedora

Slashdot - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 19:30
intensivevocoder writes: Fedora -- as a Linux distribution -- will celebrate the 15th anniversary of its first release in November, though its technical lineage is much older, as Fedora Core 1 was created following the discontinuation of Red Hat Linux 9 in favor of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Five years after the start of Fedora.next, the distribution is on the right track -- stability has improved, and work on minimizing hard dependencies in packages and containers, including more audio/video codecs by default, flicker-free boot, and lowering power consumption for notebooks, among other changes, have greatly improved the Fedora experience, while improvements in upstream projects such as GNOME and KDE have likewise improved the desktop experience. In a wide-ranging interview with TechRepublic, Fedora project leader Matthew Miller discussed lessons learned from the past, popular adoption and competing standards for software containers, potential changes coming to Fedora, as well as hot-button topics, including systemd.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Acclaimed Viking RTS Bad North revealed for iOS and Android devices

Eurogamer - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 18:51

Developer Plausible Concept's acclaimed Viking-themed real-time strategy effort Bad North is now, having successfully conquered PC and consoles last year, available on iOS and Android.

Bad North features of succession of bite-sized challenges, each requiring players to defend an island from waves of incoming enemy units - a task that's often surprisingly punishing, despite the game's delicate pastel hues.

The strategic element comes from the fact that players' steadily expanding range of distinct units - specialising in the likes of melee attacks and archery for long-range assaults - must be carefully positioned to deal with marauding opponents in classic rock-paper-scissors fashion.

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Categories: Video Games

US Carried Out Secret Cyber Strike on Iran in Wake of Saudi Oil Attack

Slashdot - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 18:50
The United States carried out a secret cyber operation against Iran in the wake of the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh blame on Tehran, two U.S. officials have told Reuters. From the report: The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the operation took place in late September and took aim at Tehran's ability to spread "propaganda." One of the officials said the strike affected physical hardware, but did not provide further details. The attack highlights how President Donald Trump's administration has been trying to counter what it sees as Iranian aggression without spiraling into a broader conflict. Asked about Reuters reporting on Wednesday, Iran's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said: "They must have dreamt it," Fars news agency reported. The U.S. strike appears more limited than other such operations against Iran this year after the downing of an American drone in June and an alleged attack by Iran's Revolutionary Guards on oil tankers in the Gulf in May. The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the Sept. 14 attack on Iran, which denied involvement in the strike. The Iran-aligned Houthi militant group in Yemen claimed responsibility. Publicly, the Pentagon has responded by sending thousands of additional troops and equipment to bolster Saudi defenses -- the latest U.S. deployment to the region this year.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

UK Drops Plans For Online Pornography Age Verification System

Slashdot - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 18:10
Plans to introduce a nationwide age verification system for online pornography have been abandoned by the government after years of technical troubles and concerns from privacy campaigners. From a report: The climbdown follows countless difficulties with implementing the policy, which would have required all pornography websites to ensure users were over 18. Methods would have included checking credit cards or allowing people to buy a "porn pass" age verification document from a newsagent. Websites that refused to comply with the policy -- one of the first of its kind in the world -- faced being blocked by internet service providers or having their access to payment services restricted. The culture secretary, Nicky Morgan, told parliament the policy would be abandoned. Instead, the government would instead focus on measures to protect children in the much broader online harms white paper. This is expected to introduce a new internet regulator, which will impose a duty of care on all websites and social media outlets -- not just pornography sites.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

The Simmering Debate Over Big Tech Explodes on the Democratic Debate Stage

Slashdot - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 17:30
Democrats running for president had their most vigorous debate yet about the power of tech companies, finally bringing the long-simmering conversation about Big Tech into the mainstream of Democratic politics. From a report: The dozen Democratic candidates quarreled for almost 15 minutes at the fourth presidential debate about topics including digital privacy rights, the monopoly power of companies like Amazon, political fundraising in Silicon Valley, and whether politicians like Donald Trump should be banned from Twitter. It was the first time tech was discussed meaningfully on the Democratic debate stage -- and a sign that the media sees the growing techlash as enough of a concern that candidates should be pressed on it on national television. The combat mostly centered on Elizabeth Warren, the new presidential frontrunner who has made her proposal to break up tech companies like Facebook a cornerstone of her presidential run. Many of her competitors said they were not willing to go as far as her, although several decided to take their own whacks at Silicon Valley from other angles. Beto O'Rourke offered the most direct criticism to Warren's plan, even comparing her approach to Trump's rhetoric about the press. "We will be unafraid to break up big businesses if we have to do that -- but I don't think it is the role of a president or a candidate for the presidency to specifically call out which companies will be broken up," O'Rourke said. "That's something that Donald Trump has done in part because he sees enemies in the press and wants to diminish their power. It's not something that we should do." Andrew Yang, the political neophyte running on tech-infused themes such as universal basic income, said Warren was correct in diagnosing the problem but that "using a 20th century antitrust framework will not work." Cory Booker would only say that his administration would "put people in place that enforce antitrust laws" but declined to sign on to the proposal to break up the tech giants. He did use some of the harshest language on the stage, saying that tech companies were responsible for a "massive crisis on our democracy."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Analogue announces the Pocket, an all-new, all-encompassing retro handheld

Eurogamer - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 17:00

In what has become somewhat of a yearly tradition, boutique console manufacturer Analogue has just announced another new machine in the works for 2020 and, for the first time, it's a portable system. Christened the Analogue Pocket, this new system offers a unique take on portable retro gaming that has a lot of potential.

The first main feature on the menu is support for a wide range of portable gaming systems. Out of the box, the focus is on the Game Boy line full support for Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. Analogue also promises support for Sega Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Color and Atari Lynx using cartridge adapters which, hopefully, won't fall too far behind the release of the system itself.

In addition, the Pocket includes a full synthesiser and music sequencer known as Nanoloop designed for music creation. The Game Boy has become a popular tool for chip-tune artists but Nanoloop seems like a significant leap forward in terms of available features.

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Categories: Video Games

Upgrade your PS4 or Xbox One with a discounted WD portable hard drive

Eurogamer - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 16:59

Two high capacity portable hard drives from Western Digital are on sale at Amazon today, making it a great time to upgrade the storage of your Xbox One or PS4. You've got the choice of a 2TB model for £53, down from £75, and a 4TB drive for £83, down massively from its original price of £150. These drives are dead simple to use too - just plug them into one of your console's USB ports, follow the on-screen instructions and within a few seconds you'll have tons more space to keep all of your favourite games ready to play.

Even the smaller 2TB drive offers a ton of storage space for installing games. At 25GB, you could install Fortnite nearly 80 times over on the 2TB drive. Even heavy games like Destiny 2, which clocks in at 97GB, could be installed 20 times over on the 2TB drive and double that on the 4TB drive. That means even if you're downloading and installing the latest releases, it'll probably take years before you even have to think about uninstalling a game.

You can also pick up the drives in multiple colours if you want something a little fancy. The 2TB model comes in black, blue, white, orange, red and yellow, while the 4TB model is a little more limited - you'll only get the deal price on the blue, white, orange and red colourways.

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Categories: Video Games

Goldman Sachs CEO Says Apple Card is the Most Successful Credit Card Launch Ever

Slashdot - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 16:50
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon called his bank's rollout of the Apple Card "the most successful credit card launch ever." From a report: Solomon provided investors with an update on the bank's new initiatives at the start of a conference call Tuesday. "We believe Apple Card is the most successful credit card launch ever," he said. Continuing on the Apple Card, which the bank built in partnership with the iPhone maker, Solomon said that "since August, we've been pleased to see a high level of consumer demand for the product. From an operational and risk perspective, we've handled the inflows smoothly and without compromising our credit underwriting standards."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Overwatch's third annual Halloween Terror event has begun

Eurogamer - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 16:27

Overwatch's annual Halloween event dropped last night, after almost no indication from Blizzard it was even happening.

The official Overwatch Twitter account posted the below teaser the day before the event went live - featuring a terrifying emote of Zenyatta actually using his legs.

Maybe Blizzard intended to drop the Halloween Terror event as a bit of a surprise, though the lack of discussion with fans comes across as a bit shady following the backlash from the Hong Kong protests.

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Categories: Video Games

Some Colleges Are Using Students' Smartphones To Track Their Locations on Campus

Slashdot - Wed, 16/10/2019 - 16:10
Lee Gardner, reporting for Chronicle: James Dragna had his work cut out for him when he became "graduation czar" at California State University at Sacramento, in 2016. The university's four-year graduation rate sat at 9 percent. It hadn't moved in about 30 years, he says. Like many student-success experts at public colleges these days, Dragna combed through academic data about students that the university had on hand -- grades, attendance, advising information -- to track how they were doing as each semester wore on. He fed those data into predictive-analytics software to look for potential problems or hurdles that might lead to failing grades or dropping out, and to identify students who might benefit from a little extra support. Three years later, the university's four-year graduation rate is up to 20 percent. Its six-year rate has risen to 54 percent from 47 percent. Stories like that dot the higher-education landscape as more colleges take advantage of burgeoning Big Data technology to keep tabs on their students and find more places where they can successfully intervene. But recently, the practice of tracking students has taken a more literal turn. Sacramento State plans to gather data on where some of its students spend time on the campus and for how long, joining 14 other institutions using software from a company called Degree Analytics. When a tracked student -- a freshman who has opted in -- enters the student union, her smartphone or laptop will connect to the local Wi-Fi router, and the software will make note of it. When the student leaves and her phone connects to the router in the chemistry building, or the library, or the dorm, it will capture that, too, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It isn't hard to imagine the wealth of observational data such location tracking might produce, and the student-success insights that might arise from it. For example, knowing that A students spend a certain number of hours in the library every week -- and eventually communicating that to students -- might motivate them to study there more often.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff
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