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Valve Doesn't Sound Too Happy about the Epic Store Copying Steam Data

Could a lawsuit be brewing? A spokesperson with Valve has told Bleeping Computer the company is "looking into what information the Epic launcher collects from Steam" following allegations the software was stealing users’ information without their express permission. Engineers with Epic have admitted some of the scrapped data could be sent to the company's servers.

In other words, Valve doesn't think the Epic Store client should be touching localconfig.vdf at all, and presumably would prefer it if Epic used the Steam API to gather friends lists. For Epic's part, it has not said that the entire file is uploaded, only that it parses out user IDs and uploads hashes of them, should users import Steam friends. In the future, Valve could potentially encrypt local user data to prevent the Epic client and other software from copying it.

Posted by Megalith March 16, 2019 1:40 PM (CDT)

BioWare: "We're Definitely Not Done with Mass Effect"

Mass Effect: Andromeda may have dealt the franchise a damaging blow, but BioWare general manager Casey Hudson is confident the series is far from finished. Speaking with Polygon in a studio profile, Hudson, who directed the originals, said Mass Effect was "very much alive": "I’m thinking all the time about things that I think will be great. It’s just a matter of getting back to it as soon as we can." He was joined by Anthem executive producer Mike Darrah, who shared similar thoughts.

"We’re definitely not done with Mass Effect," says Darrah. "There’s a lot of stories to be told. We could pull on the threads we put down with Andromeda; we could pull on threads from Mass Effect 3. There’s a lot of interesting space to be explored." The report suggests that the Frostbite engine may have been partly responsible for BioWare's Andromeda struggles. RPG systems had to be constructed from scratch to support the kind of story-driven game BioWare is famous for. The studio has since invested in advanced performance capture technology for Anthem.

Posted by Megalith February 16, 2019 10:00 AM (CST)

California Considers Plan to Tax Text Messages

The California Public Utilities Commission may vote to approve taxing text messages next month as a means of collecting additional funding for "public telecommunications programs like the 911 service and subsidized phone rates for low-income Californians." They estimate the tax would cost consumers an additional $1.40 per $20 of texting charges. Critics say the state already has enough cash.

"Taxing texts isn’t just regressive, it’s also unnecessary. The state is flush with cash, while ordinary Californians are struggling. The idea of increasing taxes on anything right now is absurd," state Assembly member Marie Waldron, a Republican from north of San Diego, said. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, a trade organization whose members include companies like AT&T, T-Mobile USA and Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal, told NBC News they oppose the measure, as well.

Posted by Megalith December 15, 2018 10:45 AM (CST)

New Yorkers Are Unhappy With Amazon's New Headquarters

After a long, public, and heated bidding process, Amazon finally settled on New York City and the D.C. Area as locations for their new headquarters last month. While New York allegedly fought tooth and nail for the bid, Common Dreams points out that many council members, assemblymen, and regular citizens aren't happy with the deal. They claim that Amazon, a company with a $811 billion dollar market cap that makes 10s of millions of dollars every day, doesn't need a $500 million cash grant and other breaks from the city to build the headquarters. Various politicians have some heated words for the company, claiming that they are "not a good partner," and that they have already dragged down Seattle with expensive lobbying campaigns and rising home prices. Thanks to TheCommander for the tip.

Huseman, Amazon's vice president for public policy, noted that 5,000 New York workers are already employed by the company at a fulfillment center on Staten Island-but as the hearing was underway those same employees were publicizing their effort to unionize, citing long hours, insufficient breaks, and safety concerns on the job.

Posted by alphaatlas December 14, 2018 8:43 AM (CST)

[H]appy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving, the one day of the year we all acknowledge the many things we are thankful for. Whether it is your friends, family, and loved ones, or your overclocked gaming rig, today is the day to be thankful for those things. Here at [H]ardOCP, we feel it is important for us to give thanks to you guys because, without you, none of this would be possible. From all of us here at the [H]ardOCP, have a Happy Thanksgiving! Go enjoy some food, family, and football!

Posted by Kyle November 22, 2018 1:29 AM (CST)

The Steam Halloween Sale Is Now Live

The Steam Halloween Sale is now live. The sale will run from October 29th until November 1st. A few of my recommendations include Dying Light, Plague Inc Evolved, Grim Dawn, Darkest Dungeon, X-Morph: Defense, Metro Redux Bundle, and Hunt Showdown. What would you recommend?
Posted by cageymaru October 29, 2018 12:54 PM (CDT)

Sony Fixes Malicious PS4 Message Bug

Sony has reportedly fixed a nasty PS4 bug that would send the console into a crash loop when a particular malicious message was received. Naturally, some players exploited this bug over the weekend by crashing the enemy team. On Twitter, Sony's UK support team said "We've since fixed the issue, and it wasn't bricking consoles, just sending them into a crash loop that can be quickly fixed in under 5 minutes. Delete the message on the PS mobile app, go into Safe Mode, use Option 5, console back to normal."

If you were already affected by the messaging bug then there are steps you can take to get your console back up and running: 1. Turn off the PS4 system by pressing the power button on the front panel. The power indicator will blink for a few moments before turning off, 2. Once the PS4 system is off, press and hold the power button again. Release it after you hear the second beep: one beep will sound when you first press, and another seven seconds later. 3. Connect the DualShock 4 with the USB cable and press the PS button on the controller.

Posted by alphaatlas October 16, 2018 7:51 AM (CDT)

Malicious Messages Are "Bricking" PlayStation 4 Consoles

PlayStation 4 owners on reddit say there are messages going around with an exploit capable of bricking consoles. Those who are affected have to force a factory reset, but the problem can be avoided by setting messages to private, which can be configured via Settings > Account Management > Privacy Settings.

"A player from the other team used a dummy account to send the message and crashed my entire team," said reddit user Huntstark. "We all have had to factory reset. Only one of our guys wasn’t affected and he has his messages private." According to user BorgDrone, basically, someone can ‘brick’ another’s PS4 just by using "a message designed to exploit a mistake in the code."

Posted by Megalith October 13, 2018 4:35 PM (CDT)

Huawei Trolls iPhone Fans with Free Power Banks and "You'll Need It" Message

Huawei's marketing team was truly ingenious with a recent campaign targeting Apple fans camping outside of Apple Stores overnight in anticipation of the iPhone XS and XS Max product launches. They gave away Huawei power banks to 200 lucky Apple fans with the message 'Here's a power bank. You'll need it. Courtesy of Huawei.' This was done in reference to the new iPhone lineup only having a 2,685mAh battery while the Huawei flagship phone has a 4,000mAh battery. Well played Huawei! Well done!

The iPhone XS comes with a 2,658mAh battery, while Huawei's flagship phone the P20 Pro comes with a 4,000mAh battery. Also, Huawei overtook Apple as the smartphone brand with the 2nd most sales worldwide during the Q2 2018.

Posted by cageymaru September 21, 2018 4:27 PM (CDT)

Happy Labor Day

Have a safe and happy Labor Day!
Posted by Kyle September 03, 2018 11:20 AM (CDT)

Happy Birthday, Linux!

While some would argue that October 5, 1991 is the actual birthday of Linux (that was when prototype code first dropped), today marks the anniversary of when Linus Torvalds first revealed he was working on a modest "hobby" OS that would go on to "revolutionize the world." To celebrate, OMG! Ubuntu! has rounded up 27 interesting facts about Linux, which includes Steve Jobs offering Linus Torvalds a job in 2000 on the condition he stopped working on Linux (thankfully, he declined).

Linux is now the dominant OS in cloud, in IoT, and on mobile. And while it might not have "won" the desktop war there’s no denying that its collaborative, freely available nature has had a major influence on its competitors. The beating heart of the modern world; an omnipresent force pervading daily digital life. Linux is everywhere -- from powering high-speed trains and and high-end supercomputers to smartphones, space faring robots, and super-secure routers.

Posted by Megalith August 25, 2018 4:10 PM (CDT)

Happy 4th of July

You guys be safe out there and please return with all the digits you had on the 3rd.

Posted by Kyle July 04, 2018 11:34 AM (CDT)