Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

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Poohskyy in the Swamps of Hunt Showdown - 20% Off Weekend

Poohskyy will be tromping through Hunt Showdown swamps this afternoon! Hunt Showdown is $24 this weekend! If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can link that your Twitch account, and use it to subscribe to your favorite streamer. Get in chat and help berate both of them. HS Discussion.

[H]ard News

SUDA51 Announces killer7 for Steam

Grasshopper Manufacture’s Goichi "SUDA51" Suda announced at MomoCon that killer7 is coming to Steam later this year. The cult-classic adventure game, originally released on the PS2 and GameCube in 2005, will evidently be "fully rendered in high-definition."

Dive into a dark world of underground assassins in a tale of revenge as Harman Smith, a man who manifests 7 deadly personalities into the real world, known as the killer7. Take control of this distinct murderers' row as they hunt down the sinister Kun Lan, to stop his plan of world dominance, and end his organization of deadly suicide bombers known as "Heaven Smile."

Discussion

John Carmack Comments on New 5K x 5K Mobile VR Playback Tech

John Carmack has been working on a new VR video playback technology that he claims will "set the bar for VR quality." Coming to Oculus Go and newer Gear VR phones, the video playback tech allows for (presumably stereoscopic) 5K x 5K playback at 60FPS.

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To show it off, the company is planning a re-release of the animated short Henry, which Carmack says will "set a new bar for immersive video quality." Henry was the first VR short film released by Oculus Story Studio, the company’s in-house narrative studio which ended up closing in 2017.

Discussion

Sony’s New PlayStation Chief Hints at Portable Gaming Revival

Despite Sony’s new direction, the PlayStation division will, obviously, continue releasing hardware. But while new consoles are a no-brainer, PlayStation chief John Kodera surprisingly noted that his staff was looking into portable gaming again, despite their lackluster results with the Vita. Whatever is being planned could turn out to be an extension of some kind for the PS5.

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He hinted that the next console may be closely integrated with portable devices, but said it’s "not yet the right stage to discuss specific hardware plans." "In my opinion, rather than separating portable gaming from consoles, it’s necessary to continue thinking of it (portable gaming) as one method to deliver more gaming experiences and exploring what our customers want from portable," Kodera said.

Discussion

Epyc Fail? Researchers Say They Can Defeat AMD’s Virtual Machine Encryption

AMD's Epyc server chips utilize Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) to automatically encrypt virtual machines on the fly while stored in memory, but researchers say that they can get around it with a technique dubbed SEVer: "miscreants at the host level can alter a guest's physical memory mappings, using standard page tables, so that the SEV mechanism fails to properly isolate and scramble parts of the VM in RAM."

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This is not the first time eggheads have uncovered shortcomings in SEV's ability to lock down VMs: previous studies have examined how the memory management system can be exploited by hackers to poke inside encrypted guests. Fraunhofer AISEC's study, emitted on Thursday this week, takes this a step further, demonstrating that, indeed, the entire memory contents of a virtual machine could be pulled by a hypervisor even when SEV is active.

Discussion

These Drones Can Haul a 20-Pound Load for 500 Miles and Land on a Moving Target

The founder of start-up Volans-i claims that his company’s drones could have saved the Titanic, as they can travel for up to 500 miles carrying 20 pounds of cargo and take off or land on any flat 15-by-15 foot platform. The drones, which are powered by both batteries and fuel for propulsion, utilize fixed wings along with vertical-take-off-and-landing systems for flight.

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Because the Volans-i drones can take off or land on any flat 15-by-15 foot platform, the company and its customers don't have to build any special infrastructure to make or take deliveries. Regulators are still figuring out how drones will be allowed to operate in lower airspace above the U.S. But Volans-i is one of a spate of companies that wants to become a next-generation, drone-based UPS, Maersk or FedEx.

Discussion

Spectre Variant 4 Disclosed, Mitigations to Result in Another Performance Hit

Another variant of Spectre was disclosed this week by Microsoft, Google, AMD, ARM, Intel, and Red Hat. Variant 4, labeled "Speculative Store Bypass," allows hackers to read older system values in a CPU stack or other memory locations. Intel’s microcode fixes will result in a performance hit of 2-8%, and the company’s hardware-based safeguard, "virtual fences," will not protect against Variant 4 at all.

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Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, said that Variant 4 would be much harder to "fix" architecturally than V1, V2, or V3a. "You either have to turn memory disambiguation on or off, which will be a BIOS setting," he told Threatpost in an email. "It’s important to note that browsers have already included mitigations and that from a severity standpoint, has been flagged as ‘medium’ severity, compared to V1, V2, and V3, which were flagged as ‘high.'"

Discussion

Study: All Major ISPs Have Declined in Customer Satisfaction

High prices, poor customer service, and myriad other factors have led to a continually declining US broadband scorecard. Figures from the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index survey show a poor industry average of 64, which is actually a decrease from last year. Some ISPs, such as Charter Spectrum and Suddenlink, are seeing dramatic declines (8%) annually. They say that things can only get worse due to the growing power of monopolies.

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"According to users, most aspects of ISPs are getting worse," the ACSI said. "Courtesy and helpfulness of staff has waned to 76 and in-store service is slower (74). Bills are more difficult to understand (-3 percent to 71), and customers aren’t happy with the variety of plans available (-3 percent to 64)." Not a single ISP tracked by the firm saw an improvement in customer satisfaction scores.

Discussion

Apple’s Phil Schiller Explains Why Valve’s Steam Link App Was Rejected

Marketing chief Phil Schiller says that Apple rejected Valve’s Steam Link app because it violated "a number of guidelines around user generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, etc." While Schiller could have been more specific, hope for playing Steam games on an iPhone or iPad is not entirely lost, as Apple is still working with Valve to make it happen.

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We've discussed these issues with Valve and will continue to work with them to help bring the Steam experience to iOS and AppleTV in a way that complies with the store's guidelines. We put great effort into creating an App Store that provides the very best experience for everyone.

Discussion

"Star Wars": Boba Fett Movie in the Works with James Mangold

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Logan’s James Mangold will co-write and direct a Star Wars movie starring bounty hunter Boba Fett. Like the just-released Solo (which seems to be doing merely so-so), it will be a standalone film that focuses on the titular character. Some fans think that Fett’s prequel history should be retconned.

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Boba Fett was introduced in 1980’s Empire Strikes Back and then appeared in 1983’s Return of the Jedi as the mercenary who brings Han Solo to the slug-like crime lord Jabba the Hutt. Despite having a helmet over his face and very limited time onscreen (not to mention a slapstick death), the character, with his jet pack and battle-scarred armor, grew to cult status.

Discussion

Atari Co-founder Ted Dabney Dies Aged 80

According to a Facebook post by Historian Leonard Herman, Atari Co-founder Ted Dabney has passed away at the age of 80 after a battle with cancer. In partnership with Nolan Bushnell, Dabney developed arcade game Computer Science, which would serve as the foundation for Pong.

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In 1971 Dabney co-founded Atari predecessor Syzygy with Bushnell and developed Computer Space, the world's first commercially available arcade video game. In 1972 the pair co-founded Atari, and Computer Space was used for the basis of Pong, the video game that made the company its early-days millions. Dabney later left the company after a falling out with Busnhell.

Discussion

Amazon Banning Shoppers Who Return Items Too Often

The Wall Street Journal has sparked another round of stories regarding Amazon customers who have been banned for making too many returns. It isn’t clear what the exact metric is, though some say that an account will be flagged if the return rate exceeds 10%.

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Amazon's return policy doesn't tell customers that returning too many items can get them kicked out, but its conditions of use say the company reserves the right to terminate accounts at its discretion. "We want everyone to be able to use Amazon, but there are rare occasions where someone abuses our service over an extended period of time," an Amazon representative said.

Discussion

Synopsys Shows World’s First USB 3.2 Demo with 20Gbps Speeds

Systems design company Synopsys has provided an early look at the potential performance of USB 3.2, which was announced in July of last year. The latest USB specification is unique in that it supports multi-lane operation (two lanes of 5Gbps or two lanes of 10Gbps).

When these products do emerge, they will utilize commodity Type-C cables. Synopsys was very specific about the cables used in the demo. The company tells us that it used off-the-shelf Belkin USB 3.1 Type-C cables, which are the same as you can purchase at Target or other big box retails stores today.

Discussion

Saturday May 26, 2018

Rumor: Sony Could Be Considering a PlayStation Classic

Nothing is set in stone yet, but Sony Interactive Entertainment executives have admitted to mulling over the possibility of a PlayStation Classic. Some are predicting that it will draw inspiration from the PSone, which was a smaller, redesigned version of the original console that supported an external LCD screen.

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The company’s newer PlayStation model, a slimmer version that’s colored white, sold reasonably well when it came out years ago; and there was also a portability option with an attachable screen. If Sony could produce a classic console model like that with its own built-in screen, the ability to connect to a television and several games from first and third-party publishers thrown in, it could have a huge hit on its hands.

Discussion

BioWare Employee Celebrates and Mocks TotalBiscuit’s Death

BioWare employee David Crooks has no respect for the dead: the Mass Effect: Andromeda programmer openly mocked and celebrated the passing of popular YouTube personality and video game critic John Peter "TotalBiscuit" Bain on Twitter this week, stating that the world "felt a little bit better" with him gone. Apparently, Bain was not kind to Andromeda, Need for Speed: Rivals, and other titles Crooks was involved with.

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As it should be, the community is disgusted by the act and it’s sad to see people can be so cynical and cold. Following the backlash, Crooks has tried to cover up his mistake by making all of his tweets private. Moreover, Crooks has also removed his bio detailing that he worked for BioWare and Electronic Arts.

Discussion

Valve Slammed over "Horrendous" Steam School-Shooting Game

Anti-gun groups are calling on Valve to remove Active Shooter, a game where players can take on the role of a school shooter and gun down children. The developer argues that there are worse games on Steam (e.g., Hatred, Postal) but admits that he will probably make changes due to all the criticism.

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"Acid", who plans to add a survival mode in which you play as a civilian and have to "escape or perform a heroic action such as fight against the shooter itself", took to Active Shooter's Steam page to defend the game. "First of all, this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any soft [sic] of a mass shooting," Acid said.

Discussion

US Websites Block Netizens in Europe Due to GDPR

Despite having more than two years to prepare, numerous organizations have opted to block Europeans from accessing their websites instead of updating them to be compliant with the GDPR, which went into effect yesterday. These include the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, both of which throw up error messages. Outfits that actually put in effort include the NPR, whose solution was a text-only site, and USA Today, which removed all tracking scripts and ads: amusingly, this reduced the size of the site from 5.2MB to 500KB.

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...some firms have decided to call it a day: social media reputation score site Klout went kaput today, with its owner deciding that shuttering it was the best route to compliance. Meanwhile, we've seen evidence of internet-connected fridges and lightbulbs, and even mouse drivers, and more, pop up messages on screens asking for punters to accept updated GDPR-friendly privacy policies.

Discussion

Edge Beats Chrome Again in Battery Life, Brags Microsoft

In what is becoming a ritual of sorts, Microsoft released another video this week demonstrating how Edge is better than Chrome -- in battery life, at least. Again, the setup comprises three Surface Books streaming video: Edge managed 14 hours and 20 minutes, while Chrome and Firefox managed 12 hours and 32 minutes and 7 hours and 15 minutes, respectively.

"This experiment showed that battery life on a PC running Microsoft Edge lasts 98 percent longer than Mozilla Firefox and 14 percent longer than Google Chrome," Microsoft says on its YouTube channel. For unknown reasons, the devices last about two hours less than when Microsoft tested the three browsers on a Surface Book running the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update this January.

Discussion

Internal Documents Show Apple Knew the iPhone 6 Would Bend

A court filing obtained by Motherboard suggests that Apple released the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus despite knowing that they were susceptible to bending even under normal use. The company insisted that there were no defects after complaints began, but internal reviews showed that engineering changes were necessary.

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Soon after the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were released in September 2014, several customers said that their phones bent easily. Those cases went viral, which caused Apple to release a statement that said the phones were structurally sound: Apple "perform[s] rigorous tests throughout the entire development cycle including 3-point bending, pressure point cycling, sit, torsion, and user studies.

Discussion

DICE Boss Says Battlefield V’s Women Are Here to Stay

Following excessive complaints of Battlefield V’s British female soldier and other historical inaccuracies, DICE’s general manager is telling gamers to suck it up. Oskar Gabrielson has announced that the studio will not be making any changes, as they intend to expand player choice and customization.

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Some people say they're upset about women in Battlefield V because it's not "historically accurate". Gabrielson said this misses the point of the series. "Our commitment as a studio is to do everything we can to create games that are inclusive and diverse. We always set out to push boundaries and deliver unexpected experiences. But above all, our games must be fun!

Discussion

Elon Musk Blasts Media, Pitches Site to Rate Journalists: "No One Believes You"

As a result of Tesla’s poor media coverage, Elon Musk took to Twitter this week to rant about the legitimacy of journalists and news organizations. Despite what appear to be genuine problems with Model 3 manufacturing and Autopilot technology, Musk claims that reporters have no credibility and are just trying to get clicks.

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It wasn't immediately clear whether any specific news report triggered the rant, which totaled at least 19 tweets. "Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication," Musk said on Twitter. "Thinking of calling it Pravda..."

Discussion

Samsung Plans 3nm Gate-All-Around FETs in 2021

According to the company’s latest processor technology roadmap, Samsung aims to mass produce gate-all-around (GAA) transistors (the architectural successor to FinFETS) at the 3nm node in just three years. They will be preceded by 7nm Low Power Plus based on EUV lithography this year, followed by 5nm FinFET production in 2019 and 4nm FinFET production in 2020.

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GAA technology has been under development since the early 2000s by Samsung and other firms. GAA transistors are field-effect transistors (FET) that feature a gate on all four sides of the channel to overcome the physical scaling and performance limitations of FinFETs, including supply voltage.

Discussion

Qualcomm to Unveil Snapdragon Chip Specifically Designed for Standalone Headsets

Qualcomm will reportedly unveil a new SoC during the Augmented World Expo in California next week built specifically for standalone AR/VR headsets: dubbed the XR1, the chipset will incorporate "a main processing unit, a graphics processor, security functions, and components to handle artificial intelligence tasks."

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Standalone headsets have largely made use of SoCs originally designed for smartphones, including the Snapdragon 835 chipset, which services a number of the latest and penultimate-gen flagship smartphones including Samsung’s Galaxy S8, Google Pixel 2, and HTC U11. Standalone VR headsets incorporating the 835 include HTC Vive Focus and Lenovo Mirage Solo.

Discussion

"The Expanse" Picked Up by Amazon for Season 4 after Syfy Cancellation

Amazon has saved The Expanse: during last night’s National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference, Jeff Bezos mentioned that his deal for the critically praised drama has been completed. The show was canceled after three seasons at Syfy, but it will return on Amazon Prime’s streaming service.

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Amazon had been a main target for the fans behind the #SaveTheExpanse campaign. The show’s supporters launched a massive effort to get a streaming company to pick up The Expanse after Syfy two weeks days ago decided not to renew the show for a fourth season, with the last episodes slated to air in early July.

Discussion


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