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

[H]ard News

Wednesday November 22, 2017

PUBG may be Officially Launched in China but with Socialist Modifications

It looks like Tencent is going to launch a version of PUBG in China after all. Of course they have to make modifications that are in line with "socialist core values". I wonder what that means? Furthermore, the flood gates are going to open up for rampant cheating (not that it isn't rampant now) once the game goes final since most of the cheaters are from China anyway. I guess I'll take a pass on this one.

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Gamers in China may be pleased to hear that they will officially be allowed to play the game, but users in the rest of the world may be less than satisfied with the news. Cheating in PUBG is still a large issue with thousands of players being banned daily for violations. Many of the accounts being banned happen to be from China.

Discussion

Drones in Zanzibar Combat Malaria

According to the WHO, malaria kills almost 500,000 people every year, and Zanzibar has quite a number of those deaths because of their climate. For years Zanzibar has been combating malaria with bed nets and household insecticides, but now they've decided it's time to attack mosquitoes where they breed/hatch. Drones have been the perfect tool for them to identify mosquito habitats so that they can begin to target those areas. Hopefully, this technology will make a dent everywhere around the world. Check out their drone footage below.

Discussion

2018 iPhones May Feature Liquid Crystal Polymer Antennas For Faster LTE Speeds

According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a well known researcher of future apple technology, the 2018 iPhones will have Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) antennas. In addition to that, he believes the phone will support 4X4 MIMO standards that when used with the LCP antennas will allow much higher sustained speeds on the iPhones. If true, this will be much welcomed by the Apple fan base. Who wouldn't like better LTE speeds?

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This new research note follows on from Kuo’s predictions last week that Apple will upgrade to Intel’s XMM 7560 and Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 modems in its next wave of smartphones, a move which is designed to enable faster LTE transmission speeds. Both of those modems offer support for 4X4 MIMO technology.

Discussion

Half-Life 2: MMod v3 Finally Has a Release Date

Gunship Mark II promised us a really cool Half-Life 2 mod over 2 years ago and they've had nothing to show for it during that time. Well, now they have something to show and are planning on releasing it next year. Some of the things to look forward to are improved AI, new weapons, and dismemberment mechanics. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd love to get this mod and revisit the Half-Life 2 world. Check out the trailer below.

Discussion

Facebook Will Show Which Russian Election Troll Accounts You Followed

Facebook has announced a portal to enable people to find out which Russian troll pages or Instagram accounts they liked or followed between January 2015 and August 2017. Their reason for doing this is to increase transparency and also to appease Congress as they investigate the issues from the 2016 election cycle. Look for this at the end of this year all of you Facebook and Instagram users. I bet you find some interesting information once it's out in the wild.

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It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 US election. That’s why as we have discovered information, we have continually come forward to share it publicly and have provided it to congressional investigators. And it’s also why we’re building the tool we are announcing today.

Discussion

McLaren F1 Team Finds New Simulator Driver Through Gaming

The McLaren F1 team started a competition back in May to find a new simulator driver for their team through the use of racing games. At the conclusion of the testing, Rudy van Buren from Lelystad, Netherlands was crowned the World's Fastest Gamer and received a one year contract to be the new simulator driver for the team. Not too shabby for being a video game player if you ask me. Keep playing those racing games and you might make it to the big time, too.

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The competition launched back in May, with opening rounds taking place online, including one with our old friends CJ Wilson Racing and TORA. Twelve gamers started the finals. Six were chosen from the judging panel, including some familiar names from the top level of eRacing; Bono Huis won $200,000 in the Las Vegas Formula E eRace in December, and Greger Huttu made headlines back in 2010 after winning the iRacing World Championship. The other six qualified online; three from Forza Motorsport 6, one each from Gear.Club, iRacing, and rFactor (Van Buren).

Discussion

Sonic 3-D Blast Gets New Life

Jon Burton, the lead programmer for 1996's Sonic 3-D Blast, is making a more polished version of this classic video game. This version is being made available as a patch that can be installed into a ROM of the Sega Genesis version, and then played on a Genesis emulator. This should be of interest to Sega fans everywhere since it's supposed to improve on the original. Give it a try when it comes out if you're into retro gaming. Watch the director's cut video below.

Discussion

Facebook Releases New Messenger App With Fast 4K Support

Facebook made a new version of messenger available yesterday that allows people to send and receive 4K photos. What is supposed to be good about this is that the speed you get the photo is as fast as it was before the upgrade to 4K. However, they do warn that you should be connected to wifi to use this feature because 4K photos are pretty big (no kidding). I'm not a Facebook user so I can't get too excited about this, but I know a lot of you are so hopefully this is something you'll find useful.

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The 4K resolution support will be available immediately for both iPhone and Android phones in the United States, Canada, France, Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea, according to Kelly and Green. The feature will be introduced in other countries in the coming weeks.

Discussion

Julian Assange Tries to Convince Trump to Not Repeal Net Neutrality

Julian Assange has taken to twitter to try to convince President Trump that it's not in his best interest to fully repeal net neutrality. He's appealing to President Trump's use of twitter and tells him that his opponents control most internet companies and that they could make his tweets load slowly. Not to mention they would let CNN load fast. You have to hand it to Julian because he knows the President loves him some twitter and hates CNN. I don't think it's going to work, but it is pretty funny.

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"Dear @realDonaldTrump: 'net neutrality' of some form is important," Assange tweeted Tuesday. "Your opponents control most internet companies. Without neutrality they can make your tweets load slowly, CNN load fast and infest everyone's phones with their ads. Careful."

Discussion

Transformers: The Last Knight AR Experience Released by Paramount

Paramount has released a free AR experience for iOS users in time for the release of the 4K version of Transformers: The Last Knight. If anyone watches The Walking Dead, this looks like a similar app that AMC released that shows zombies as part of your photos. Evidently, this Paramount app let's you take BUMBLEBEE for a ride. As time goes on I expect all of the entertainment companies to release apps like this.

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"This augmented reality experience gives fans the chance to interact with the Transformers universe in a new and exciting way," said Howard Hsieh, Vice President, Worldwide Digital Business Development, Paramount Home Media Distribution. "The Transformers films appeal to a vast and diverse audience and we’re excited to give fans the opportunity to get in the driver’s seat and take BUMBLEBEE for a ride."

Discussion

Lyft Added to Long List of Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permits in California

Lyft has become the latest company to gain a testing permit for autonomous vehicle testing in California. We know autonomous vehicles are all the rage now, but what surprises me is how many companies are jumping on the band wagon. Take a look at the list here and you'll see just how many are working on this in California. It's far more than I realized. I wonder who is going to be the first to cross the line with a safe autonomous vehicle?

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The California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Regulations require every manufacturer authorized to test autonomous vehicles on public roads to submit an annual report summarizing the disengagements of the technology during testing. This "disengagement report" is due by January 1 of each year. The first report covers the period from the date of issuance of the Testing Permit to November 30 of the following year. Subsequent reports cover the period of December 1 to November 30.

Discussion

Using Light to Assemble Electronic Components Instead of Robots

Researchers have come up with a new technique that uses light to manipulate components during the construction of items for smartphones, computers, and other devices. This technique should be cheaper to use compared to robots and will be one of the key micromanipulation techniques for constructing safer and faster batteries for our mobile devices. It's really amazing how this works. Check out the video about optical trapping.

In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Optics Express, researchers in Steven Neale’s Micromanipulation Research Group, University of Glasgow, Scotland, detail their method for using an advanced optical trapping approach known as optoelectronic tweezers to assemble electrical contacts. Thanks to an innovative freeze-drying method developed by Shuailong Zhang, a member of Neale’s research group, the liquid could be removed without disturbing the assembled components.

Discussion

Elon Musk Continues to Beat the Drum about Climate Change and AI

Elon Musk recently spoke to Rolling Stone and shared his thoughts about climate change and the development of AI. He believes both of these are the biggest threats to humanity in the future. He has always been a climate change proponent, but what I found interesting is his comment that there's only a five to ten percent chance that we can create safe AI. Check out this video interview about AI below.

Discussion

Apple Releases News About Their Latest Driverless Car Technology

In an unusual move for Apple they have decided to speak out about a new technology they are going to use for driverless cars. The new technology uses a special version of LiDAR that integrates a special kind of computer vision and AI to detect 3-D objects. They claim it is better than current technology using LiDAR and a camera and will enable the car to better detect pedestrians and cyclists. As driverless car proliferate their interactions with pedestrians and cyclists will escalate as well and anything that makes them safer for all of us is a good thing.

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In the paper from November 17 published in online journal arXiv, Apple researchers Yin Zhou and Oncel Tuzel discussed the advancements they have made in being able to detect 3-D objects.

Discussion

This Game is a Star Wars Themed Online Casino

..."Designed to lure kids into spending money. It's a trap."

Yeah, as if every gamer in the world did not hate EA enough, Hawaii State Representative Chris Lee is piling on the Star Wars Battlefront II hate machine.

The State of Hawaii announces action to address predatory practices at Electronic Arts and other companies. November, 2017.

Discussion

Tuesday November 21, 2017

Belgium Hates Loot Boxes

I think this whole loot box issue is just getting spun up. Outside of gamer outrage about loot boxes, now the Minister of Justice in Belgium is saying that loot boxes are nothing more than gambling and he does not want Belgium's children exposed to it. Take your translator. Thanks cageymaru!

Minister of Justice wants to prohibit purchases in video games, if you do not know what you exactly mean with that purchase. "Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child."

Are loot boxes gambling? There are some good arguments for and against.

And I just missed out on the last Bag-O-Crap.

Discussion

Uber Tells Us Customer Data got Hacked....Last Year

I think we all call BS on Uber waiting a year to let us know its systems were hacked and personal data was exposed.

The ride-hailing company said Tuesday that it had suffered a breach in 2016 that exposed personal information belonging to tens of millions of drivers and customers.

The information included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 57 million people around the world, according to a statement released by the company’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi. The names and driver’s license numbers of about 600,000 U.S. drivers were also included.

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And then Uber figured it out after a month and paid hackers $100,00 to keep it under wraps. Jeez. Thanks cageymaru.

Travis Kalanick, Uber’s co-founder and former CEO, became aware of the breach a month after it occurred, according to Bloomberg. Instead of reporting the attack to regulators and victims last year, the company paid hackers $100,000 to delete the data and keep the security breach under wraps, Bloomberg reported.

Discussion

Surface Book 2 Can’t Stay Charged during Gaming Sessions

While plugged into the supplied charger, the battery in the Surface Book 2 will drain during certain games if the power settings are set to max performance to fully utilize the power of the hardware. The amount of drain varies between games, screen resolution, and maximum load on the GPU. Microsoft says that it’s not a bug -- it’s a feature.

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It’s when you adjust the performance higher that things get interesting. Each performance increment appears to make adjustments to the GPU clock speed and fan speed. Flipping the slider to the midrange setting dials up the fan noise, while the maximum setting ramps it up even further, to the loud "whoosh" most gaming notebooks provide. It’s at this point that the Surface Book 2 begins tapping the battery for extra power, proof that the charger can’t keep up.

Discussion

Linus Torvalds Calls Some Security Experts "Morons" Who "Can’t Be Trusted"

Linus Torvalds slammed a Google security expert about his approach to cybersecurity after a request to change the Linux kernel, saying that some security professionals are "f*cking morons." The Linux creator is fed up with the focus on process-killing rather than debugging by experts who believe that "security is so important that nothing else matters."

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If a security person won’t accept "that security problems are primarily just bugs," then Torvalds doesn’t "want to work" with them. "If you don’t see your job as ‘debugging first,’ I’m simply not interested," he said. "Stop this idiotic ‘kill on sight, ask questions later,’" he added. "Because it’s wrong."

Discussion

Spammers Have Risen from the Dead

For a while, spam seemed to be fading away. The 2003 CAN-SPAM Act mandated unsubscribe links and criminalized attempts to hide the sender’s identity, while sophisticated filters buried unwanted messages in out-of-sight spam folders. But it’s 2017, and spam has clawed itself back from the grave.

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It shows up on social media and dating sites as bots hoping to lure you into downloading malware or clicking an affiliate link. It creeps onto your phone as text messages and robocalls that ring you five times a day about luxury cruises and fictitious tax bills. "There is no recourse for me," lamented Troy Doliner, a student in Boston who gets robocalls every day. "I am harassed by a faceless entity that I cannot track down."

Discussion

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Update Strategy Is Showing Strains

Analysts argue that Microsoft should cut the number of Windows 10 upgrades in half and pledge to support each version for 24 months. They say that upgrades come too frequently, leaving too little time for adequate compatibility testing of critical applications. Support is too fleeting, with each upgrade maintained for just 18 months, theoretically requiring seven migrations during the same timespan when previously only one was necessary.

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"Enterprises do need more runway," said Silver, speaking of the time necessary to upgrade hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands, of devices from one Windows 10 version to another. Silver would then turn what might be construed as a retreat for Microsoft into a bauble it could dangle in front of Windows 10 Enterprise customers. "They're already paying more for the privilege of running Enterprise," Silver said of the highest-priced version of the OS. "Make the [expanded support] a benefit."

Discussion

Amazon Is Launching a "Secret" Cloud Service for the CIA

Amazon Web Services unveiled a cloud computing region for the CIA and other intelligence community agencies developed specifically to host secret classified data. The AWS Secret Region will allow the 17 intelligence agencies to host, analyze, and run applications on government data classified at the secret level through the company’s $600 million C2S contract, brokered several years ago with the CIA.

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The AWS Secret Region is essentially its own commercial data center air-gapped -- or shut off -- from the rest of the internet. CIA Chief Information Officer John Edwards views the new region as a key step in commercial cloud computing technology that has already changed the way the IC handles data and addresses cybersecurity. AWS also stood up an IC Marketplace, which allows intelligence agencies to download, test and buy software from companies based in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

Discussion

Brutal Legend and MDK Are Free for a Limited Time

Humble Bundle and GOG are (respectively) offering Brutal Legend and MDK free of charge. The former is an action-adventure that takes place in a fantasy world inspired by the artwork of heavy metal album covers, while the latter is a third-person shooter starring a janitor who reluctantly must attempt to save Earth from an alien invasion.

Discussion

Black Friday 2017: More Consumers Want Laptops than Smartphones

Was the PC's death fake news? Shockingly, laptops are more sought after than smartphones -- by both teens and adults -- while tablets don't even crack the top four. Maybe all that talk from pundits about the "Post-PC" era was nonsense after all.

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Black Friday shopping is more popular than ever, with more than three-quarters (79 percent) of Americans saying that they plan to spend the day after Thanksgiving buying gifts. Additionally, almost half (44 percent) revealed that they plan to camp out to get the best deals on laptops (22 percent), TVs (21 percent) and housewares (20 percent). The national survey was fielded among 1,034 adults and 507 teens by Propeller Insights on behalf of Ebates.

Discussion


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