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Tag Archives: News

Windows 10 second update coming this year, confirms Microsoft

22 Feb
This update would be available after the Creators Update.

Google Chrome ‘missing font’ hack is the latest malware scam you need to avoid

22 Feb
This Chrome 'hack' can be used to trick unwitting web users into downloading malware.

Blizzard teases next Overwatch hero in new ‘interview’ with 11-year-old robotics genius Efi Oladele

22 Feb
'My dream is to build something that can keep us safe, like the OR15s!', the 11-year-old says in the interview.

‘Siri, find me a date’: Tinder boss says AI and augmented reality could improve online dating

22 Feb
Sean Rad on the future of swiping.

Samsung may use Sony batteries to power Galaxy S8

22 Feb
However, bulk of the batteries will come from Samsung SDI and Amperex.

India’s 1.3 billion citizens’ biometric data to be shared with private firms, raising privacy concerns

22 Feb
Fingerprints, iris scans and more of around 1.3bn Indians have been collected as part of the government's India Stack programme.

Amazon Go automatic checkout stores to start selling booze – but you’ll still need to bring ID

22 Feb
Amazon has applied for an alcohol license at its flagship automated convenience store in Seattle.

Get a PS4 Pro with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Dishonored 2 for $400

22 Feb

If you’re looking to pick up a PS4 Pro, why not get two free games along with it?

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Sony has yet to offer any official deals or discounts on PS4 Pro. This is why deals like today’s NewEgg offer are always exciting for those looking to get a better deal on the more powerful PS4.

This isn’t the first deal of this type, either, but they tend to go out of stock pretty quickly. Today’s offer gets you a PlayStation 4 Pro console, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and Dishonored 2 – all for the MSRP of $400. Both game are enhanced for PS4 Pro, too, so you’ll be playing the better versions.

This essentially means you get two of the best selling games of last year for free. You can see it for yourself at the link. The offer is available only through NewEgg’s eBay portal, while stocks last.

We should also note that the version of Infinite Warfare included is the standard edition, and does not come with Modern Warfare Remastered.

iPhone 8: Front facing camera may have 3D depth-sensing and facial recognition capability

22 Feb
The front snapper could be capable of clicking 3D selfies.

Battlefield 1 They Shall Not Pass – watch the new Soissons map, French Army, and new Behemoth tank in action

22 Feb

Finally, we can now take a good look at a lot of the content coming to Battlefield 1 with the They Shall Not Pass DLC.

As promised, Battlefield 1 CTE has been updated with fresh content from the upcoming They Shall Not Pass expansion.

The update includes the Soissons map, which has the Char 2C Behemoth tank, and the St. Chamond assault tank. What’s more, we get to see the new models for the French Army. In the video above, Westie plays around in the map, and reveals some details about the new armour.

The Char 2C tank, surprisingly, won’t be on rails. Up to five players can be in it at any one time, and it looks much bigger than anything else around it. As for the St. Chamond tank, Westie says it’s hard to get around corners due to its length, but it is fast. What’s interesting about this tank, though, is that one of its attacks calls in artillery shells at its location.

Just like the maps in the main game, the Soissons map supports dynamic weather, changing the scene completely from sunny to stormy and rainy throughout the match. As you’d expect, there are new voice lines for the French Army, and an assortment of new assets such as buildings, a tree house with a mounted machine gun, and more.

They Shall Not Pass is out in March.

Arianna Huffington: I will hold Uber ‘leadership team’s feet to the fire’ amid harassment claims

22 Feb
"Change doesn't usually happen without a catalyst," Huffington said.

Convicted TalkTalk hacker warns budding cybercriminals about the dangers of a life of crime – Report

22 Feb

19-year-old Daniel Kelly recently admitted to blackmailing TalkTalk and is facing up to 14 years in jail.

Facebook down as users met with no friends and ‘no posts to show’ message

22 Feb

Social network suffers outage across the UK and Europe as users’ News Feeds are not showing any content.

DICE is making big changes to fix grenade spam in Battlefield 1

22 Feb

Gunfights in Battlefield 1 may soon involve more shooting than reaching for the grenade button.

Battlefield 1 developer DICE has introduced a new set of balance changes that aim to reduce the intensity of grenade spam. Grenade spam is among the most commonly cited complaints from players who, in some situations, find it hard to shoot people as a result of the constant screen shake and explosions filling the screen.

These adjustments are live now in the game’s CTE. In the video above, our source for all things Battlefield, Westie, lists exactly what got changed, and how this will affect the game.

The main thing to note here is that rather than change the potency of the grenades themselves, like what the most recent patch did for Gas Grenades, the focus this time is on resupply times from ammo pouches and crates. In maps with a lot of choke points, a couple of support players putting down supply boxes is enough to maintain a constant stream of grenades.

You’ll still supply faster when near ammo crates, but the biggest change is that ammo pouches no longer supply grenades. This is akin to how they currently work in Battlefield 4, and it could mean we start seeing more support players with ammo crates instead of pouches. Obviously, this means you’ll need to be standing near one for a few seconds, making you more vulnerable.

The amount of grenades you can carry have also changed. You’ll now only be able to carry one smoke, gas, and mini grenade, down from two. These changes could be further adjusted before hitting the live game, but they are very promising.

Barratt beats profit forecast as completion outside London hits nine-year high

22 Feb

Housebuilder hikes interim dividend by more than 20% as analysts suggest optimism is returning to the sector.

Battlefield 1 – this is our first look at They Shall Not Pass DLC weapons in-game

22 Feb

Take a look at renders for all the new weapons coming to Battlefield 1 with the They Shall Not Pass expansion.

DICE recently confirmed that the Battlefield 1 CTE will be getting content from the upcoming They Shall Not Pass expansion. This update should be rolling out now to CTE players.

Until new footage is captured, let’s take a look at the full list of weapon renders for all of the new toys coming with the expansion. In his video above, Westie shows off the in-game renders for all of them, putting to bed some of the speculation about which version of some of them DICE would go with.

In addition, the video also lists the requirements for unlocking these weapons, including the new melee options. We also get a look at the in-game, official stats for each of the new weapons, giving us a better idea of where each of them falls in the game’s meta.

They Shall Not Pass is out sometime next month.

Overwatch: is it time for a new map?

22 Feb

Better yet, how about something a little different…

Screenshot-3---Capture-The-Rooster

“Clever level design can lift unused heroes to new heights. Where many Overwatch players seem happy to have a new hero once every three months, the arrival of a new map between these vacant periods could comfortably satiate the need for something more.”

Regardless of how good the gunplay is in a first person shooter, the maps that its players play on are an incredibly important part of ensuring the overall experience is enjoyable. Poorly designed locations that lack a cohesive theme, layering or verticality, can often result in play feeling dull and lifeless. Well designed maps not only transform a game, but they often remain memorable for years to come.

Overwatch has 21 maps in total if we’re to also include seasonal variants and Arena. 14 of those are set across Assault, Escort, Hybrid and Control and the last to be released, Oasis, was in January 2017. I’d consider it a relatively large number in total but there’s also an imbalance right now, with Hybrid and Control having four a piece and Assault and Escort only three.

There’s no suggestion that Overwatch has to have an equal number of maps across its game modes, but it’s fair to say that Assault and Escort have a great deal of potential. Although they’re incredibly simple in design, there’s an immediacy to the playstyle they offer that’s moreish. Volskaya is a particular favorite of mine simply because the nuances of its design create a challenging ebb and flow of combat. Its mix of bottle necks, open spaces, flanking routes and mobile platforms – wrapped up in a beautiful snow setting – allow it to stand out.

To be entirely fair to Overwatch, all of its maps are strong. I’d argue however that the lineup of Control maps are the weakest simply because it’s a game mode with so few transitions. Fundamentally, success or failure on all of them revolves entirely around one set area and everything on the outside is largely irrelevant.

The addition of any new map to Overwatch can massively affect the meta and while it might not push change as far as the arrival of a new hero, clever level design can lift unused heroes to new heights. Where many Overwatch players seem happy to have a new hero once every three months, the arrival of a new map between these vacant periods could comfortably satiate the need for something ‘more’.

Screenshot-2---Volskaya-Industries

With Overwatch drawing its map inspirations from the real world, albeit a future one, it did get me thinking about how Blizzard could improve on their existing game modes, but also what map could be next. Considering we’ve already been to most ecosystems and world locations that have a clear theme, there’s inevitably a risk of overlap. It’s when looking back over past first person shooters then, that my favorite ever map sprang to mind: AS-Convoy from Unreal Tournament.

The map in question see players fight across a series of moving vehicles and as it hurtles forwards, players have to undertake a variety of objectives, whether attacking or defending. Objectives include opening the transport panel to create a closer spawn point for the attackers, opening the rear door of the convoy to allow a plane to perform a bombing run or bomb the doors for access to the repair vessel.

With the Convoy constantly in motion, combined with its multiple objectives, there’s an unquestionable excitement to the entire map. There’s not only the risk of falling from the moving cars and the transport carrier, but the dynamics of the map changing in real time – depending on the success of the attackers or defenders – makes for nervy and exciting play.

Even after all these years I’ve still yet to play anything that comes close to AS-Convoy and in many ways it would be amazing to see something similar in Overwatch. With all existing maps largely static, anything with motion to this degree would instantly stand out, especially as an Assault map.

Screenshot-1---Oasis

Choosing a setting for something of this kind would be rather difficult, but I did wonder whether the Orient Express could be a possibility. Although Overwatch is set some time in 2070, I suspect retention of key landmarks is very much the norm and considering Hollywood and Route 66 still exist, it seems sensible to suggest the Orient Express – an iconic train – absolutely could.

“Dynamic maps that change direction based on the success of the attacking or defending team could drastically alter the design approach to Assault and Escort, to the point where they’d not only have more originality, but potentially greater longevity.”

My thought surrounding the train and this map is that it would be more akin to the Snowpiercer but on a much grander, futuristic scale. Glass carriages, multiple floors, wide balconies and open decks as well as a variety of holds would make up the train. These layers would add verticality, close quarter play and variety. Not only this, but as the train sped along – levitating above the rails below – hover vehicles would pursue the train and regularly change formations. These would provide hazards for the player but would also grant further width to the map as players would be able to freely move across them.

I suspect an initial reservation may be the prospect of repeated deaths for anyone who lacks shore footing when playing from a first person perspective, but this would largely be balanced by the fact everyone would spawn on solid ground and access to the Orient Express would be guaranteed. Using the flanking routes on the outside of the train (technically the surrounding vehicles) would be high risk, high reward paths. Despite these risks, there would still be some reliable paths to pass over.

The lore surrounding the map would see the differing Overwatch factions all attempting to intercept and/or protect a dignitary on board the train. Widowmaker would be attempting to assassinate, while heroes such as Winston and Tracer would be hoping to extract the target. Roadhog and Junkrat would simply be along for the gold bullion in the hold.

overwatch_year_of_the_rooster (23)

In many ways the map would play out like the multi-stages offered by those in Brink or Powerstone 2. It would undoubtedly be technical and no doubt a challenge for Blizzard to implement something of this scale, but many of the objectives of the map would be Capture Points that resulted in a significant change to the map.

If Blizzard is to continue as it is by simply implementing fixed location maps of a traditional nature, irrespective of game mode, I suspect things may get stale quickly and the desire from players to have more maps delivered at pace would grow louder. Ensuring that new maps retain their simplicity, but with greater layers to their delivery (such as my hopes above), would not only keep things interesting, but add life to game modes that are already growing stale.

The reaction to Capture the Rooster, another traditional game mode that uses existing maps, perfectly highlights the player base’s desire for something new. Dynamic maps that change direction based on the success of the attacking or defending team could drastically alter the design approach to Assault and Escort, to the point where they’d not only have more originality, but potentially greater longevity. They effectively become an evolving game tug of war where the maps are constantly changing: to me, that sounds a very good thing.

What would you like to see from new Overwatch maps? Would you like more dynamic alternatives? Are you happy with what we already have, as long as a new setting is provided? Let me know.

Facebook deletes accounts that used stolen photos of 3-year-old with chickenpox in fake cancer scam

22 Feb
The fake post claimed Facebook would donate money for surgery if people "liked" the post or left comments.

Boeing plans to build 3D-printed modular satellites to save costs

22 Feb
The company hopes to use the technique for future high-end commercial and military spacecraft.

Pillars of Eternity 2 crosses $3 million in crowd-funding

22 Feb

There’s evidently a lot of people anticipating Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, as it has just climbed over $3 million in funding on crowdfunding platform Fig.

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The Fig campaign for Pillars of Eternity 2 now has more backers than any other campaign on the site has ever had. It hasn’t made the most money (Psychonauts 2 brought in $3.8 million), but it’s still a huge achievement. As of now, the game is sitting on $3,094,054 in funding.

If you back the campaign, it only costs $29 to secure an eventual digital key for the game – a solid $16 less than what the original game costs on Steam right now.

Crossing this latest milestone has meant that the ‘relationships’ stretch-goal has been achieved, which is explained more in-depth in this video below.

At $3.25 million, Obsidian plans to add optional sidekicks to the game (although they have just under three days to hit this target).

Obsidian are promising that their game will have a bigger, more reactive world, a cast of new characters, and strong effects than the well-liked original. The game is due for release in early 2018.