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Why has BioWare made the same multiplayer game three times in a row?

Gamasutra - News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 3:18pm

We take a look at why BioWare has stuck with horde mode multiplayer for Mass Effect: Andromeda. ...

Categories: Gaming News

GameStop lays plans to close at least 150 stores this year

Gamasutra - News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 2:51pm

GameStop has confirmed plans to close at least 150 GameStop stores around the world this year in an ongoing effort to close down underperforming locations -- but its opening 100 new non-game stores. ...

Categories: Gaming News

FedEx Will Pay You $5 To Install Flash

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 2:40pm
FedEx's Office Print department is offering customers $5 to enable Adobe Flash in their browsers. Why would they do such a thing you may ask? It's because they want customers to design posters, signs, manuals, banners and promotional agents using their "web-based config-o-tronic widgets," which requires Adobe Flash. The Register reports: But the web-based config-o-tronic widgets that let you whip and order those masterpieces requires Adobe Flash, the enemy of anyone interested in security and browser stability. And by anyone we mean Google, which with Chrome 56 will only load Flash if users say they want to use it, and Microsoft which will stop supporting Flash in its Edge browser when the Windows 10 Creators Update debuts. Mozilla's Firefox will still run Flash, but not for long. The impact of all that Flash hate is clearly that people are showing up at FedEx Office Print without the putrid plug-in. But seeing as they can't use the service without it, FedEx has to make the offer depicted above or visible online here. That page offers a link to download Flash, which is both a good and a bad idea. The good is that the link goes to the latest version of Flash, which includes years' worth of bug fixes. The bad is that Flash has needed bug fixes for years and a steady drip of newly-detected problems means there's no guarantee the software's woes have ended. Scoring yourself a $5 discount could therefore cost you plenty in future.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Judge: eBay Can't Be Sued Over Seller Accused of Patent Infringement

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 2:00pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: It's game over for an Alabama man who claims his patent on "Carpenter Bee Traps" is being infringed by competing products on eBay. Robert Blazer filed his lawsuit in 2015, saying that his U.S. Patent No. 8,375,624 was being infringed by a variety of products being sold on eBay. Blazer believed the online sales platform should have to pay him damages for infringing his patent. A patent can be infringed when someone sells or "offers to sell" a patented invention. At first, Blazer went through eBay's official channels for reporting infringement, filing a "Notice of Claimed Infringement," or NOCI. At that point, his patent hadn't even been issued yet and was still a pending application, so eBay told him to get back in touch if his patent was granted. On February 19, 2013, Blazer got his patent and ultimately sent multiple NOCI forms to eBay. However, eBay wouldn't take down any items, in keeping with its policy of responding to court orders of infringement and not mere allegations of infringement. In 2015, Blazer sued, saying that eBay had directly infringed his patent and also "induced" others to infringe. That lawsuit can't move forward, following an opinion (PDF) published this week by U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre. The judge found that eBay lacked any knowledge of actual infringement and rejected Blazer's argument that eBay was "willfully blind" to infringement of Blazer's patent. The opinion was first reported yesterday by The Recorder (registration required).

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Categories: Science & Tech News

How Noisy Is Your Neighborhood? Now There's A Map For That

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 1:40pm
An anonymous reader share an NPR article: There's no denying it: Los Angeles isn't exactly gentle on the ears. That's one lesson, at least, from a comprehensive noise map created by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. On the interactive U.S. map the agency released this week, which depicts data on noise produced primarily by airports and interstate highways, few spots glare with such deep and angry color as the City of Angels. Blame the area's handful of major airports and its legendary snarls of traffic -- ranked this year as the worst in the nation.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

AMC Plans Ad-Free Streaming Service

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 1:20pm
An anonymous reader shares a Fortune report: AMC Networks, whose shows include The Walking Dead, is planning to launch a commercial-free online video streaming service aimed at millennial TV subscribers, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters this week. Unlike standalone streaming options from Time Warner's HBO and from CBS, AMC's would be exclusively available to consumers who subscribe to a cable TV package. AMC is doing this, the sources said, as a way to support the traditional cable television industry at a time when many younger consumers are increasingly cutting the cord. AMC is discussing featuring digital-only spinoff shows of its existing programs like The Walking Dead and is considering pricing between $4.99 to $6.99 a month, according to the sources, who cautioned final details are still being worked out.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Atomic clocks make best measurement yet of relativity of time

New Scientist - Breaking news - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 1:00pm
Einstein's relativity has survived another test, carried out using a network of synchronised atomic clocks in three European cities
Categories: Science & Tech News

Uber Manager Told Female Engineer That 'Sexism is Systemic in Tech'

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:40pm
Sam Levin, writing for The Guardian: Uber is facing yet another discrimination scandal after a manager who was recruiting a female engineer defended the company by saying "sexism is systemic in tech." On 14 March, an engineering manager at Uber tried to recruit Kamilah Taylor, a senior software engineer at another Silicon Valley company, for a developer position at the San Francisco ride-hailing startup, which is struggling to recover from a major sexual harassment controversy. Taylor, who provided copies of her LinkedIn messages with the Guardian, responded by saying: "In light of Uber's questionable business practices and sexism, I have no interest in joining." Taylor was stunned by the reply she received from Uber. The manager, who is a woman, wrote: "I understand your concern. I just want to say that sexism is systemic in tech and other industries. I've met some of the most inspiring people here."

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Video: How Pokemon Go was designed to be playable in public

Gamasutra - News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:22pm

At GDC 2017, Niantic's Dennis Hwang hopped onstage to showcase how Pokemon Go was designed to be intuitive and safe to play in public -- and what other devs can learn from the process. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Get a job: Sanzaru Games is hiring a Character Artist

Gamasutra - News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:13pm

Sanzaru Games is looking for an experienced Character Artist to create and maintain characters, textures, and other assets as a member of its California-based development team. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Blog: An overview of the GDC 2017 UX Summit

Gamasutra - News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:12pm

Epic Games' director of user experience Celia Hodent offers a succinct look at the UX Summit from GDC 2017. ...

Categories: Gaming News

T-Mobile Kicks Off Industry Robocall War With Network-Level Blocking and ID Tools

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:00pm
T-Mobile is among the first U.S. telecom companies to announce plans to thwart pesky robocallers. From a report on VentureBeat: The move represents part of an industry-wide Robocall Strike Force set up by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year to combat the 2 billion-plus automated calls U.S. consumers deal with each month. Other key members of the group include Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Verizon. T-Mobile's announcement comes 24 hours after the FCC voted to approve a new rule that would allow telecom companies to block robocallers who use fake caller ID numbers to conceal their true location and identity. From a report on WashingtonPost: The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday proposed new rules (PDF) that would allow phone companies to target and block robo-calls coming from what appear to be illegitimate or unassigned phone numbers. The rules could help cut down on the roughly 2.4 billion automated calls that go out each month -- many of them fraudulent, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "Robo-calls are the No. 1 consumer complaint to the FCC from members of the American public," he said, vowing to halt people who, in some cases, pretend to be tax officials demanding payments from consumers, or, in other cases, ask leading questions that prompt consumers to give up personal information as part of an identity theft scam.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

The Days of Google Talk Are Over

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 11:20am
The days of Google Talk are quickly coming to an end. An anonymous reader shares a TechCrunch report: As the company announced today, the messaging service that allowed Gmail users to talk to each other since it launched in 2005, will now be completely retired. Even while Google pushed Hangouts as its consumer messaging service (before Allo, Duo, Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet) over the last few years, it still allowed die-hard Gtalk users (and there are plenty of them) to stick to their preferred chat app. Over the next few days, these users will get an "invite" to move to Hangouts. After June 26, that switch will be mandatory.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Special glasses give people superhuman colour vision

New Scientist - Breaking news - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 11:00am
A pair of spectacles filter light to trick the eyes into seeing colour differently, letting people distinguish between hues that look the same but aren't
Categories: Science & Tech News

Stray supermassive black hole flung away by gravitational waves

New Scientist - Breaking news - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 10:57am
The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a one-billion solar mass black hole fleeing its galaxy, showing supermassive black holes can probably merge
Categories: Science & Tech News

Samsung's Calls For Industry To Embrace Its Battery Check Process as a New Standard Have Been Ignored

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 10:40am
Months after the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, the topic remains too hot for the rest of the wireless industry to handle. From a report on CNET: With Samsung's Galaxy S8 to launch next week, a renewed discussion of the Note 7, which had an unhealthy tendency to catch fire and which had to be recalled, is inevitable. Samsung opened that door in January when it embarked on a mea culpa tour. Beyond spelling out the cause of the overheating problem in its popular phone, the company unveiled an eight-point battery check system it said surpassed industry practices, and it invited rivals to follow its model. But two months after the introduction, what's the industry response? A collective shrug. Interviews with phone makers and carriers found that while all placed a high priority on safety, few would talk specifically about Samsung's new battery check process or the idea of adopting it for themselves.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Virtual lemonade sends colour and taste to a glass of water

New Scientist - Breaking news - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 10:23am
A tumbler that makes water look and taste like lemonade using LED lights and electrodes could allow people to share drinks on social media
Categories: Science & Tech News

Super Mario Run revenue fell short of expectations, says Nintendo

Gamasutra - News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 10:21am

The free-to-try mobile game Super Mario Run didn't sell quite as well as Nintendo had hoped, but the company still prefers its business model over freemium or 'gacha' games. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Blinking Cursor Devours CPU Cycles in Visual Studio Code Editor

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 10:01am
An anonymous reader shares a report on The Register: Microsoft describes Visual Studio Code as a source code editor that's "optimized for building and debugging modern web and cloud applications." In fact, VSC turns out to be rather inefficient when it comes to CPU resources. Developer Jo Liss has found that the software, when in focus and idle, uses 13 percent of CPU capacity just to render its blinking cursor. Liss explains that the issue can be reproduced by closing all VSC windows, opening a new window, opening a new tab with an empty untitled file, then checking CPU activity. For other macOS applications that present a blinking cursor, like Chrome or TextEdit, Liss said, the CPU usage isn't nearly as excessive. The issue is a consequence of rendering the cursor every 16.67ms (60 fps) rather than every 500ms.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Alcohol Is Good for Your Heart -- Most of the Time

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 9:20am
Alcohol, in moderation, has a reputation for being healthy for the heart. Drinking about a glass of wine for women per day, and two glasses for men, is linked to a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and death from heart disease. From a report on Time: A new study of nearly two million people published in The BMJ adds more evidence that moderate amounts of alcohol appear to be healthy for most heart conditions -- but not all of them. The researchers analyzed the link between alcohol consumption and 12 different heart ailments in a large group of U.K. adults. None of the people in the study had cardiovascular disease when the study started. People who did not drink had an increased risk for eight of the heart ailments, ranging from 12 percent to 56 percent, compared to people who drank in moderation. These eight conditions include the most common heart events, such as heart attack, stroke and sudden heart-related death.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News
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