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Saturday July 21, 2018

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Official Trailer

Legendary Pictures has released the first trailer for the sequel to 2014’s Godzilla, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. While Kaiju fans panned the first film for not showing enough of the titular lizard, that appears to have been largely rectified in the sequel: expect plenty of monster-on-monster action, as at least three other eminent Toho characters can be spotted in this footage alone.

The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species -- thought to be mere myths -- rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 2:15 PM (CDT)

Hello Games Received Death Threats, Bomb Threats after Release of No Man’s Sky

Sean Murray and Hello Games have crawled out of the woodwork to touch upon the drama following No Man’s Sky release, which was heavily criticized for not living up to the developer’s promises. While the team is candid about some of the controversy and describes the "frightening" harassment they received, those who felt betrayed and cheated won’t find any apologies here. Thanks Master_shake_.

"I remember getting a death threat about the fact that there were butterflies in our original trailer, and you could see them as you walked past them, but there weren’t any butterflies in the launch game. I remember thinking to myself: ‘Maybe when you’re sending a death threat about butterflies in a game, you might be the bad guy.’"

Discussion Posted by Megalith 1:35 PM (CDT)

The C43J89 Is Samsung’s Latest Ultra-Wide Monitor

Samsung’s newest monstrosity is a 43" 32:10 curved monitor suitable for both gamers and business workers: the C43J89 not only offers a 3000:1 contrast ratio and 120 Hz refresh rate, but also picture-in-picture, built-in KVM switch, and two USB Type-C ports. This display was actually introduced earlier this year, but increasing coverage would suggest that release is near.

The diagonal length of the 32:9, 49-inch curved screen is a whopping 124cm! The first thing we thought was, "Can we see everything on screen without turning our heads?" But our doubts vanished quickly once we sat in front of it. The usual procedure with dual monitors is to turn one’s head to and fro. With the CJ89, however, we could see everything effortlessly.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 1:05 PM (CDT)

Windows 10 Is Still Installed on under 700 Million Active Devices

It appears that Windows 10 installations have gone stagnant. Back in March, former Windows chief Terry Myerson announced the OS was on nearly 700 million devices, but months later, that number hasn’t changed: Satya Nadella held an earnings call this week and reiterated W10 being installed on "nearly 700 million" devices.

We've been at nearly 700 million devices for almost four months, so growth of the OS install base is either completely stagnant, or Microsoft has been very loose with the word "nearly". When Windows 10 was first introduced, Microsoft said that it planned to have the OS installed on over a billion devices within two to three years. The company retracted that promise a year later, saying that it won't achieve the goal, but the three years will be up in 10 days.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 12:40 PM (CDT)

Bethesda: The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield Are "Gonna Take a While"

While Bethesda is doubling down on their single-player pledge with a proper Elder Scrolls sequel and brand-new IP Starfield, these titles are apparently nowhere near release: director Todd Howard mentioned to The Guardian that "everyone should be very patient. It’s gonna take a while for what we have in mind to come out." He also suggested there would be no more outsourcing of Fallout games, a la New Vegas. Thanks Montu.

In 2010, Bethesda plugged the long gap between its own Fallout games by letting another developer, Obsidian, give the series a spin. The result was Fallout: New Vegas, a game that used Bethesda’s technology but had a different style of writing and characterization, filling in more shades of grey in the game’s moral choices. "I wouldn’t say never," he says. "[But] now that our company is so big, it’s always better to keep stuff internal ... it becomes less likely, but I could never say never. I thought the Obsidian guys did a fabulous job."

Discussion Posted by Megalith 11:50 AM (CDT)

Russia May Put Androids in Orbit Next Year, State Media Says

According to Russian state media, the Roskosmos space agency is sending a pair of humanoid robots to the International Space Station in August 2019. Largely intended as a PR move, the FEDORs (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) will fly to the ISS as crew members and not as cargo in the transport compartment. They are reportedly capable of doing push-ups, lifting weights, power drilling, driving, fist-bumping, and shooting guns.

"This was initially designed as a proof of concept -- and the space role for this robot was implied from the beginning. It does make for a very effective military ‘android’ in official videos where its shooting guns, but ultimately it’s a dual-use work frame for hard-to-do projects like working in space or in other hazardous environments," noted Sam Bendett, an associate research analyst at CNA and a fellow in Russia studies at the American Foreign Policy Council.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 11:20 AM (CDT)

James Gunn Fired from "Guardians of the Galaxy" Franchise over Offensive Tweets

Disney has fired James Gunn after tweets involving pedophilia and rape were uncovered on the Guardians of the Galaxy director’s twitter account. Gunn made a name for himself in his early career as a provocateur who would make outrageous movies and tell taboo jokes for shock value, but the studio deemed the offensive attitudes and statements on his feed "indefensible."

Among the tweets that forced Disney and Marvel’s hand were: "I like when little boys touch me in my silly place." Another: "The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’" There were others that made satirical comments about the 9/11 attack, AIDS and the Holocaust. Yet another described a monkey masturbating on a young child, and his commentary that it made him "extremely happy."

Discussion Posted by Megalith 10:55 AM (CDT)

Western Digital Formats Hard Disk Drive Factory as Demand Spins Down

Western Digital is closing its hard disk drive factory in Petaling Jaya due to declining demand for HDDs. While two manufacturing plants will remain in Bang Pa-In and Prachinburi, the company is increasing its focus on NAND flash with a new, second SSD facility in Penang.

The data technology industry is undergoing substantial change. This market transformation is driving increased adoption of SSDs and NAND flash in traditional HDD applications. The change has contributed to growth in SSD/NAND flash and declining long-term demand for client HDDs. Consequently, Western Digital plans to expand SSD manufacturing in Penang.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 10:05 AM (CDT)
Friday July 20, 2018

Godzilla Comes to VR

I seriously want to fly Cobra attack helicopters around and fight Godzilla. I hope they keep the original soundtrack in the game when it comes to retail VR. However, at the moment, you will have to travel to the Osaka VR Zone to get a taste of this.
Discussion Posted by Kyle 4:55 PM (CDT)

The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project - UPDATE 5.1 Is Visually Stunning

The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project has just been updated to version 5.1. The purpose of the mod is to overhaul the world textures in the game while preserving the game's original style. The Witcher 3 was a graphical masterpiece when it was released and is still a beautiful game. This mod by Halk Hogan ramps up the visual feast to another level! With 1.2 million downloads and 4.5 million views, it is worth giving it a chance if you own the game.

How much does this modification affect performance? It mainly depends on your video card, but generally modification doesn't hit performance too much. Modification requires minimum a 2GB VRAM for smooth game-play. For best results 3GB is recommended. Possible decrease in fps are 0-5 which depend on pc spec, game settings and in-game location. On GTX 970/AMD R9 290X and higher there should be no fps drop. Also in some cases, modification can give smoother game-play.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 4:19 PM (CDT)

Disney Animation Set to Debut First Virtual Reality Film "Cycles" Next Month

Disney Animation lighting artist Jeff Gipson is making his virtual reality (VR) directorial debut with the release of the short film "Cycles." Cycles is the story of what the true meaning of a home is as it was inspired by Gipson's childhood experience in moving his grandparents to an assisted living home. Gipson's vision of the project is to have the scenes play out in a single space and have the moviegoers watch life unfold around them. The emotional roller coaster will debut at the SIGGRAPH conference, Aug 12-16 in Vancouver.

Gipson joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2013 and has worked as a lighting artist on Disney films including "Frozen," "Zootopia" and "Moana." "VR is an amazing technology and a lot of times the technology is what is really celebrated," Gipson said. "We hope more and more people begin to see the emotional weight of VR films, and with 'Cycles' in particular, we hope they will feel the emotions we aimed to convey with our story." Disney Animation's production team completed "Cycles" in four months in conjunction with about 50 collaborators.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 3:20 PM (CDT)

Uber Drivers Win Employee Status in New York After Labor Board Ruling

Uber has lost a New York State labor review board case that has set a precedent for how similar services may function in the Big Apple. Three drivers for the company were awarded employee status for the purpose of unemployment insurance. This gives the drivers unemployment benefits as they were formerly classified as independent contractors. There are no more avenues for appeal within the NY State labor board, but Uber can appeal to a state court.

The Taxi Workers Alliance believes the decision will be "broadly precedential," and creates a new "safety net" for a beleaguered workforce. In a statement, Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang didn't reveal the company's plans, though she did downplay the decision's significance. "We disagree with this ruling and we are reviewing our options," she said. "We are confident that the ruling uniquely applies to the three claimants because many of the practices cited in the opinion never applied to one or more of the claimants, are no longer in place, or never existed at all."

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 2:48 PM (CDT)

ShadowBanned on Twitter Tool

Are you shadowbanned on Twitter? Well, @HardOCP is not, but are you? This handy little tool, that has its source code posted for those of you that like to see behind the curtain, may open your eyes to what Twitter does, or does not do to your favorite Twitter account.
Discussion Posted by Kyle 2:24 PM (CDT)

Latest Nvidia Drivers Break Quake HD Remix for Pascal Owners

Nvidia drivers have broken Quake HD Remix for Pascal users. The game now chugs along at 15 FPS on a Nvidia GTX 1080 whereas before it was a near constant 60 FPS on an Nvidia GTX 970. It seems that Pascal has optimization issues with the Darkplaces Engine if using the latest drivers. Many of us in the [H]ardforum community still play classic Quake and love documenting new mods that breathe life into the game after all of these years. Nvidia can we get a patch soon? Shout-out to community member Jim Kim for the story.

The last few sets of Nvidia Display drivers have broken the engine's graphics when shadow mapping is enabled (soft shadows) causing black square glitches to appear all over the screen. Shadow mapping has to be disabled to remove these glitches, however, it makes the game even more taxing as shadow mapping made the game run faster, but Nvidia doesn't seem to care and have not addressed this issue in any subsequent driver updates. It's highly likely that a fix may never arise.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 2:00 PM (CDT)

Sci-Fi Series From George R.R. Martin Coming to SyFy This Fall

George R.R. Martin is well known for his Game of Thrones series of books and the HBO series, but he also dabbles in Sci-Fi and has a new show coming to SyFy this fall. It's called Nightflyers and the show claims to be a psychological thriller. After watching the trailer some of the scenes remind me of the original Alien, but Martin says it's like Psycho in space. However, since this is on SyFy I'm sure it's going to die off quickly and be replaced just as quickly. Check out (directs to YouTube) the trailer.

Based on his novella from 1980 and executive produced by him, the new show finds a group of spacefarers embarking on a mission - only to find that not everything aboard their own ship is entirely as it seems.

Discussion Posted by Montu 11:55 AM (CDT)

HashFlare Abruptly Shuts Down SHA-256 Mining Equipment and Users Scream

HashFlare is one of the largest mining companies out there and they have abruptly shutdown all of their SHA-256 (Bitcoin) mining equipment. Needless to say their customers are howling at the moon and some have lost thousands of dollars on contracts they had with HashFlare. You can check out this tweet and see what's going on if you're interested. Here's the announcement from HashFlare. Now I'm not going to say HashFlare was a scam to begin with, but the saying walking and quacking like a duck comes to mind. I don't think this is going to end very well at all.

BTC mining continues being unprofitable, in light of which we would like to inform you that on 18.07.2018 we were forced to start disabling SHA hardware and today, on 20.07.2018, stop the mining service of active SHA-256 contracts in accordance with clause 5.5 of our Terms of Service, which are required to be accepted when creating a purchase and are the basis of concluding the contract.

Discussion Posted by Montu 11:35 AM (CDT)

Today is 49th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

The first men walked on the moon 49 years ago today. Michaels Collins orbited the moon in the Apollo 11 Command Module while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in the Lunar Module. All three of these men are truly pioneers (along with the rest of their astronaut brethren) and displayed exceptional bravery as they trusted the best technology the 60's had to offer. These men were my personal heroes as I was growing up and my hats off to them. RIP Neil, best wishes to Buzz and Michael! Watch the video and relive the first man stepping onto the moon.

Armstrong died in 2012 at the age of 82 leaving behind Collins, 87, and Aldrin, 88, from that historical trip. NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz was on duty when Apollo 11's lunar module landed on the moon and still makes public appearances at the age of 84.

Discussion Posted by Montu 11:00 AM (CDT)

ComputerBase 4K HDR Testing Shows Performance Loss for AMD and NVIDIA

Over at ComputerBase they've put up a page showing the results of 4K HDR FPS testing on the RX Vega 64 and the GTX 1080. They tested a total of 12 games and the results were pretty surprising for the NVIDIA part. The GTX 1080 showed greater FPS losses in most of these games compared to the RX Vega 64. If you look at the results you'll see a huge hit for the 1080 in Destiny 2. ComputerBase has contacted NVIDIA about their results, but they haven't received any reply at this time. Also, I would have liked to see 1080p or 1440p testing to go along with the 4K results, but sometimes you can't always get what you want. Regardless, NVIDIA needs to look into this and provide some answers. Thanks cageymaru.

The different behavior thus has an impact on the direct duel. With classic SDR, the Radeon RX Vega 64 is on average one percent faster, and therefore virtually equally fast. With HDR, however, the AMD graphics card is a long way ahead. The lead is then ten percent.

Discussion Posted by Montu 10:30 AM (CDT)

Rolls-Royce Is Building Cockroach-Like Robots to Fix Plane Engines

Rolls-Royce is trying to find a way to inspect aircraft engines in a more efficient way and they believe tiny robots are going to be the way to go. They're developing cockroach-like robots that will enter the engine and inspect all of those hard to get to spots that take lots of time and effort for humans to do. One expectation is a reduction of a five hour job to as little as five minutes. Pretty cool stuff in robotics if you ask me. Check out the video.

The roaches would work in tandem. One would enter a combustion chamber, for example, to scope out any danger or to remove debris. A second robot — one designed specifically for the job, or re-designed on the fly to perform less common jobs — would follow to complete the repair. The buddy system, so to speak, allows the robots to perform simple tasks and diagnose problems.

Discussion Posted by Montu 10:00 AM (CDT)

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter Team up for Data Transfer Project

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter have announced a new project that will enable users to use data from one service to sign up for one of the other services. They say this will allow user data to be transferred in and out of the services involved without the user requiring help from the services. Further, this is just a first step and the four companies involved hope that others will jump onboard the effort as well. Anyway, does anyone believe these services aren't going to be sharing your data even if you only stick to one of them? I don't, but that's just how I roll.

Facebook points out that the Data Transfer Project is in its early stages, and while there are only four members now, it hopes other tech companies and experts will get onboard.

Discussion Posted by Montu 9:20 AM (CDT)

Alphabet to Deploy Balloon Internet in Kenya With Telkom in 2019

Alphabet's Project Loon was a big success in Puerto Rico after they were hit by a hurricane last year and the folks in Kenya took note of this success. As a matter of fact they liked it so much that they are going to bring this balloon borne internet system to help achieve full internet coverage for their population. These balloons float at 60,000 feet and provide 4G wireless coverage. Further, I expect we'll see more of these third world countries jump on this type of service since the infrastructure required is pretty slim. Keep up the good work you Loons!

"We will work very hard with Loon, to deliver the first commercial mobile service, as quickly as possible, using Loon’s balloon-powered Internet in Africa," said Aldo Mareuse, the chief executive of Telkom.

Discussion Posted by Montu 8:45 AM (CDT)

Internal Documents Show How Amazon Scrambled to Fix Prime Day Glitches

Amazon's Prime Day got off to a rough start earlier this week, but they still managed to make a boat load of money. Their rough start began with the front page of their website showing a bunch of dog pictures with an error code. They got things straight after a few hours and then went on to make hundreds of millions of dollars. The behind the scene story according to internal documents is they just didn't have enough servers online to handle the load. Kind of surprising for a company that sells server time and space to others. As the glitches grew they killed international traffic and added servers manually since their auto-scaling feature appeared to fail. Just goes to show even the mighty fail once in a while. However, Amazon tends to learn from their mistakes so next year will probably be pretty smooth.

Caesar says the root cause of the problem may have to do with a failure in Amazon’s auto-scaling feature, which automatically detects traffic fluctuations and adjusts server capacity accordingly. The fact that Amazon cut off international traffic first, rather than increase the number of servers immediately, and added server power manually instead of automatically, is an indication of a breakdown in auto-scaling, a critical component when dealing with unexpected traffic spikes, he said.

Discussion Posted by Montu 8:10 AM (CDT)
Thursday July 19, 2018

Venmo App Allows Drug Buyers to Share Their Purchases With the World

Many internet users love social media so Paypal designed the Venmo app to target the Facebook crowd. Sign up for the service with the privacy focused Facebook login and the Venmo app will allow you to send money to friends and make purchases at approved merchants. You can even see what your friends are buying within the app! It even brags that "We'll never post without your permission." What most fail to realize is that the default settings for the app are set to public and security researcher Hang Do Thi Duc has already been scraping data from the service for over a year. It seems that the Facebook crowd likes to pay for drugs, alcohol, and sex with the Venmo app. Some enterprising person has setup a bot connected to a Twitter account that scrapes the app for drug references and images. Then it reposts their messages and pictures for the world to see. I love social media because there is never a dull day watching people fail.

The Cannabis Retailer With access to the first name, I could infer that this person was male. I was also able to determine that he operates out of Santa Barbara, California. You might wonder how: some of his customers have a Facebook URL as their profile picture which includes their Facbeook ID and so it was easy for me to see where some of them, and therefore the protagonist of this story as well, live. Someone I've called Ronny made the following 19 payments to the drug dealer throughout the year with references to cannabis.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 8:37 PM (CDT)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars to Return With New Episodes

During San Diego Comic-Con, Disney announced the revival of an animated series that younger Star Wars fans grew up with a decade ago. Star Wars: The Clone Wars is set to return for a 12 episode run on Disney's direct-to-consumer streaming service. The first five seasons of the series introduced fan favorites like Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padme to the series. Star Wars fans have spent the last decade begging for the creation of the final episodes to tie the story together.

Clone Wars was a piece of Star Wars that older fans might have, initially, not taken seriously because it was animated, but that wasn’t a barrier for kids. They loved the clones and identified with them. Ahsoka gave kids a character that was like them — someone their age that was experiencing life’s challenges and learning along the way. Plus, having a new episode each week really allowed us to explore what was going on with the new and legacy characters in a dynamic way, including Anakin and Obi-Wan. I think the stories left an indelible impression and, of course, George knew it would. He always knew.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 6:24 PM (CDT)

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