There’s nothing like a racing sim game that allows you to slip into the seats of hundreds of different exotic vehicles, but finding a title like this that’s also open-world, and offers a compelling single-player and multi-player campaign is a bit harder. Fortunately, there have been some shining examples released even in recent years, including
Source: Hot Hardware – Here’s A List Of Hundreds Of Forza Horizon 4 Cars You’ll Be Able To Drive
Google has introduced a small change to Play Store apps that could significantly protect several Android users. From a report: Earlier this week, Google quietly rolled out a feature that adds a string of metadata to all APK files (that’s the file type for Android apps) when they are signed by the developer. You can’t install an application that hasn’t been signed during its final build, so that means that all apps built using the latest APK Signature Scheme will have a nice little chunk of DRM built into them. And eventually, your phone will run a version of Android that won’t be able to install apps without it.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Google is Adding Anti-Tampering DRM To Android Apps in the Play Store
Former AT&T employees are blowing the whistle on the company, accusing higher-ups at the telecommunications giant of pushing its sales team to aggressively sign up customers for its streaming service DirecTV Now, leading to consumers paying for unexpected charges.
VW may have been overly cautious when it hoped to beat Pikes Peak’s electric vehicle record with its purpose-built racer. Official lap time data has confirmed that Romain Dumas’ I.D. R Pikes Peak made it up the legendary hill in just over 7 minutes…
Source: Engadget – VW electric racer smashes Pikes Peak’s overall record
Following the publication of two unpatchable exploits and a hacking tool for installing pirated games, Nintendo is implementing security measures that will ban any gamecard that does not return the right certification data for online play. It appears that illegally obtained games would still work offline, however.
It is quite easy for Nintendo to detect when a game is being shared. Nintendo can verify whether the device ID associated with the certification matches the device ID for the device that’s trying to connect. If they aren’t the same, then it results in the game being banned from online services. In addition, these certifications cannot be forged.
Source: [H]ardOCP – Nintendo Now Permanently Banning Switch Users with Illegal Games from Online Play
DC Comics announced earlier this week that it has partnered with Walmart to revive its DC Giant range as a 100-page anthology format comic book. Four new series revolving around Batman, Superman, the Justice League, and the Teen Titans will launch solely in the retail stores starting July 1. From a report: Starting next month, each of the new monthly series will collect stories from the past two decades of DC Comics publishing — including stories released as recently as this year — revolving around each book’s titular characters, as well as a few side stories featuring guest characters like Harley Quinn, the Terrifics, or even the recently introduced Sideways from the Dark Matter publishing initiative. But on top of that, each series will also include new ongoing stories from top DC creatives like Tom King, Andy Kubert, and the recently-arrived Brian Michael Bendis — setting the Giant line apart from Marvel and Archie’s digest series, which exclusively feature reprinted stories.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – DC Comics Returns To Supermarket Shelves With New, Giant-Sized Comics
There’s that old adage about dogs chasing cars, not knowing what they’d do if they caught one. Well, a rat in Assam state, India knew exactly what it wanted to do when it broke into an ATM earlier this month, and that was feasting on money until it died.
WiFi networks, especially free ones, are always the hardest to find when you actually need them. Now Google has made tracking one down a little easier thanks to a new feature in its data-saving app Datally.
Source: LifeHacker – Find a Free WiFi Network Near You With This Google App
Qualcomm is expected to continue their push into the PC market with the Snapdragon 1000. Its predecessor, the Snapdragon 850, was merely a higher-clocked smartphone chip, but the 1000 will supposedly target PCs and more powerful devices. Sources say it will provide a 35% speed increase, while supporting up to 16GB of RAM and two 128GB storage modules.
New details on the chip were obtained by Germany’s WinFuture, including that it will be able to match the performance of Intel’s Core processors. Specifically, the SDM1000 system-on-a-chip is said to be a much larger 20mm x 15mm, and use 12W of power, significantly more than a smartphone processor.
Source: [H]ardOCP – Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 Rumored to Be Specifically Built for PCs
The NSA is moving most of its data to a cloud computing environment dubbed the “Intelligence Community GovCloud,” effectively pooling all information collected into a single “data lake.” This will make it much easier for analysts to find correlations between data stemming from different repositories.
Smithberger said the IC GovCloud environment accelerates the analytic work humans can do by employing machine learning and algorithms. Data ingested by NSA has been meta-tagged with bits of information, including where it came from and who is authorized to see it, which ensures analysts only immerse themselves in intelligence they’re cleared to see.
Source: [H]ardOCP – NSA “Systematically Moving” All Its Data to the Cloud
Ever since Tesla started offering cellular data access in its cars, there’s been the implication that it would eventually charge for service. In 2014, it indicated that would start charging in 2018. Four years later, that moment is at hand… altho…
Source: Engadget – Tesla will charge for ‘premium’ internet on new cars starting July 1st
At Computex a couple of weeks ago, Qualcomm unveiled its next gen Snapdragon platform targeting “always-on” laptops. That came to us in the form of the interestingly named Snapdragon 850 – a mere 5 digits higher than the 845, a chip which currently graces top-end Android smartphones, such as the OnePlus 6, and Samsung Galaxy S9. Features-wise,
Source: Hot Hardware – Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 Chip Could Bring Intel U Series-Like Performance To Windows 10 Laptops
Warner Bros is cracking down on local Harry Potter fan festivals around the country, saying it’s necessary to halt unauthorized commercial activity. From a report: Fans, however, liken the move to Dementors sucking the joy out of homegrown fun, while festival directors say they’ll transfigure the events into generic celebrations of magic. “It’s almost as if Warner Bros. has been taken over by Voldemort, trying to use dark magic to destroy the light of a little town,” said Sarah Jo Tucker, a 21-year-old junior at Chestnut Hill College, which hosts a Quidditch tournament that coincides with the annual suburban Philadelphia festival. Philip Dawson, Chestnut Hill’s business district director, said Warner Bros. reached out to his group in May, letting them know new guidelines prohibit festivals’ use of any names, places or objects from the series. That ruled out everything from meet-and-greet with Dumbledore and Harry to Defense Against the Dark Arts classes. Related story, from 18 years ago: Harry Potter Sites vs. Warner Brothers.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Warner Bros Is Cracking Down On Harry Potter Festivals
The wearables market might not be exactly booming right now, but regardless growth is expected in the segment. Apple is currently leading with its Apple Watch. However, Google is aiming to take the wearables fight directly to Apple, and hinted back in May that it could be rolling out a Pixel Wearable running its Android Wear OS to directly
Source: Hot Hardware – All We Know About Google’s Pixel Wear OS Powered Watch Rumored To Arrive This Year
For decades, humans have dreamed of wasting away in their own decadence while armies of robots do everything for them. Yet it turns out that now idle daydreaming is slowly giving way to reality, people are a bit uncomfortable.
Like any prolific director, anime legend Hayao Miyazaki has a few preoccupations in his writing. Particularly, he’s fascinated by the natural world, and the conflict between man’s desires and nature’s power.
Source: Gizmodo – This Video Explores the Shinto Spirituality of Hayao Miyazaki’s Films
A software engineer found himself out of a job for three weeks after he was flagged by an automated system designed to facilitate employee terminations and ensure site security. Ibrahim Diallo’s contract was supposed to be renewed but wasn’t, which led to several scripts locking him out of systems and officers being called to escort him away. Human staff were pretty helpless, so Diallo just ended up getting another job.
The system was impervious to efforts to stop the process, no matter how high up the issue went. In the end, the company gave up and Diallo had to be rehired as a completely new employee, with all his details re-entered — including bank details — and his network privileges recreated from scratch. A new key card had to be ordered. Funnily enough, he decided at that point to quit, and take his expertise elsewhere.
Source: [H]ardOCP – Software Engineer Fired, Shut Out of Office for Three Weeks by Machine
More and more restaurants are adding tablets to their tables, which allow diners to conveniently make orders and pay the bill without interacting with staff. Some of these will prompt customers to take a satisfaction survey at the end of every meal, but waiters say they generate scores unfairly and do not accurately reflect performance, leading to less shifts.
“When they introduced them, it seemed like a good deal for the customer. But as a server, it’s just the worst thing ever,” said Sam Ellis, who worked as a server at a Chili’s in Texas. “That’s all your job depends on, is those survey scores.” Ziosk scores are tabulated as an average out of five stars, and on the device, it says four out of five stars means “satisfied.” But anything less than perfect drags a score down and has the potential to hurt the server.
Source: [H]ardOCP – Tabletop Tablets Are Putting Waiters’ Jobs at Risk
MoviePass, the “Netflix for theaters” that lets subscribers see “unlimited” movies for only $9.95 per month, is getting a little more complicated. While still a good deal for frequent moviegoers, CEO Mitch Lowe says that members will soon be charged an additional $2 for popular movies during certain times, such as opening weekends.
Lowe said this decision was intended to let MoviePass’ theater partners attract more traffic for big blockbusters in the middle of the week and on weekends after the movie’s opening weekend. It was also designed to “make sure that we can continue to offer a valuable service and support the whole enterprise,” Lowe added.
Source: [H]ardOCP – MoviePass to Introduce Surge Pricing on Popular Movies by July
Among the more insidious gifts that video games have bestowed on modern culture is the loot box. The New Yorker: A loot box is like an in-game lottery ticket: for a small fee, involving real money, a player can purchase an assortment of items that promise to enhance the game experience. Loot boxes are an appealing source of income for game developers, and they’ve been integral to the rise of smartphone “freemium” games, which are free to download but can’t be fully enjoyed unless the player pays for in-app boosts. For pretty much everyone else, loot boxes are a scourge. Players hate that they have to pay extra just to be competitive. Parents hate discovering, too late, that several hundred dollars in Clash Royale arena packs have been charged to their credit card. And, increasingly, government regulators are thinking that loot boxes look too much like gambling — gambling aimed at kids, no less. Belgium and the Netherlands have banned in-game loot boxes as a form of gambling, and Minnesota recently introduced a bill that would ban the sale of games containing loot boxes to people under the age of eighteen. The concern isn’t merely prudish. In a finding that will surprise virtually no one, psychologists in New Zealand have discovered that loot boxes do indeed bear troubling similarities to gambling. The researchers, led by Aaron Drummond, of Massey University, looked at twenty-two console games released between 2016 and 2017, from Overwatch and FIFA 18 to Madden N.F.L. 18 and Star Wars Battlefront II. They noted how closely the loot-box system of each game aligned with five standard psychological criteria for gambling, including whether the loot box must be bought with real money, whether it has tangible value in the game or can be cashed out, and whether its contents are randomly determined.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – The Rise of the Video-Game Gambler