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UK Online Pornography Age Block Triggers Privacy Fears

W-What if my fetishes are leaked for the world to see? That’s what porn surfers from across the pond are worried about with next month’s age block on pornographic content, which demands Britons prove they are old enough for porn via passport-verified accounts or paid "porn passes." One problem is that a single verification company (AgeID) is behind it all; a single breach could theoretically expose all. "It might lead to people being outed. It could also be you’re a teacher with an unusual sexual preference and your pupils get to know that as a result of a leak."

James Clark, the director of communications at AgeID, said its method of storing the login and password of verified users meant that "at no point does AgeID have a database of email addresses", citing external audits of his company’s processes. "AgeID does not store any personal data input by users during the age verification process, such as name, address, phone number, date of birth. As we do not collect such data, it cannot be leaked, marketed to, or used in any way."

Posted by Megalith March 17, 2019 5:10 PM (CDT)

PC Sales to Decline in 2019 Amid CPU Shortages, Weak GPU Market

Don’t place your bets on the PC market growing in the coming future: marketing firms are predicting a 0.4 percent decline per year through 2023, with a potentially significant drop this year thanks to Intel’s CPU shortages and lukewarm interest in NVIDIA’s GPUs. While gaming hardware has managed to prop up the PC industry somewhat, the current buildup of inventory simply isn’t helping. Some say the crux of the issue is that people have no real reason to upgrade.

The real problem is, the PC market is mature. People aren’t buying machines for specific new features, at least not en masse. 5G and new display technology may move the needle for some people, but given the prices such technology would command in the near future, it’s unlikely we’ll see any significant jump in sales for these reasons alone. "Something compelling at the premium end" is damnably faint praise for an industry that once enjoyed record-breaking growth streaks. Looks like it’s all we’ve got.

Posted by Megalith March 17, 2019 11:20 AM (CDT)

Lady Gaga Could Appear in Cyberpunk 2077

According to's anonymous sources, Lady Gaga could show up as a character in Cyberpunk 2077. The star was reportedly seen entering CD Projekt Red's studios, and some sources claimed that she went there for some kind of motion capture performance. Lady Gaga is no stranger to motion capture technology, but just what role she'll (allegedly) play in the game isn't clear yet. The site's sources also corroborated previous rumors suggesting that CD Projekt Red would announced a release date at E3 2019, and mention that rumors of Lady Gaga's participation stretch all the way back to 2012. Thanks to cageymaru for the tip.

Of course, it will be necessary to wait until the event that will take place in June to see this in pictures but it is apparently the plans currently planned, although the information needs to be confirmed. If all goes well, the date should be unveiled at E3. However, the plans could very well be reviewed by then since the studio wants above all to refine their creation and we are told that it is not written in the marble. If we start now with the assumption, it is not unlikely to see the game be in the limelight during the Microsoft conference with why not, an appearance of Lady Gaga.

Posted by alphaatlas March 14, 2019 9:10 AM (CDT)

Citrix Hacked by a Cyberespionage Group

Cloud service, VoIP and remote management software provider Citrix has reportedly been hit by an Irianian-linked hacker group. A little less than a week ago, Citrix posted a notice on their website saying the FBI believed "international cyber criminals gained access to the internal Citrix network." The press release wasn't particularly alarming, as it says that "there is no indication that the security of any Citrix product or service was compromised" even though hackers "may have accessed and downloaded business documents." However, a separate report from the cyber security firm Resecurity claims that the Iranian hacker group IRIDIUM was behind the attack, and that they had access to "6 terabytes of sensitive data stored in the Citrix enterprise network, including e-mail correspondence, files in network shares and other services used for project management and procurement." Even more worryingly, the security firm says they warned Citrix on December 28, 2018, but as far as I can tell, the company hasn't posted a public response until today. Citrix was reportedly the victim of a password spraying attack, where a small pool of commonly used passwords are used to brute force a large number of accounts, and Resecurity seems to think that this attack is a small component of a larger campaign.

The Iranian-linked group known as IRIDIUM has hit more than 200 government agencies, oil and gas companies and technology companies including Citrix Systems, Inc... Friday, December 28, 2018 at 10:25 AM - Resecurity reached out to Citrix and shared an early warning notification about a targeted attack and data breach. Based on the timing and further dynamics, the attack was planned and organized specifically during Christmas period. The incident has been identified as a part of a sophisticated cyberespionage campaign supported by nation-state due to strong targeting against government, military-industrial complex, energy companies, financial institutions and large enterprises involved in critical areas of economy... We forecast a continued growth of targeted cyber-attacks on supply chains of government and large enterprises organized by state-actors and sophisticated cyberespionage groups.

Posted by alphaatlas March 13, 2019 9:41 AM (CDT)

Cyberpunk 2077 Development "Is Far from Over"

"Coming: When It’s Ready": Cyberpunk 2077 fans probably have a long wait ahead of them, as CD Projekt Red has admitted in a new featurette the futuristic RPG isn’t anywhere near completion. While the game will be presented at this year’s E3, gamers should not be surprised if the final product is somewhat different from what is demoed. The studio did reveal 2077 takes place in a parallel timeline from Michael Pondsmith’s original tabletop game.

"This gave the team the freedom to create a game that respected and referenced the source material," the gruff-voiced narrator says, "but also suited the shift to the videogame medium." ...the video concludes with a distinct "don't start holding you breath just yet" tone: "Cyberpunk 2077 may no longer be the mystery it once was, but work on it is far from over," the narrator says, before warning -- you've heard this one before -- that it will be released "when it's ready."

Posted by Megalith March 09, 2019 1:55 PM (CST)

Battlefield V Battle Royale Footage Leaks Online

We haven't heard much about Battlefield V's "Firestorm" battle royale mode, but footage of the new mode has allegedly leaked online. The leak comes straight from EA's own website, and appears to be a tutorial for the game's mechanics. At the time of this writing, the video was still up, but I took the liberty of grabbing it, cleaning it up, and re-uploading it to YouTube just in case EA takes the original video down:
Among other things, the video suggests there will be solo, duo, and squad modes, and players will supposedly start the game by dropping in from the sky, just like other major battle royale titles. Weapons will come in 3 different "rarity" tiers, and ammo will be shareable among your squadmates. The narrator calls firestorm an "even playing field," and mentions that there will be no class-specific benefits. Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 08, 2019 2:58 PM (CST)

Senate Report: Equifax Accused of Failing to Prioritize Cybersecurity

In a Senate report, Equifax is accused of neglecting its own cybersecurity policies which ultimately led to the 2017 data breach that exposed personally identifiable information (PII) of 145 million Americans . The company's key Senior Managers didn't attend cybersecurity meetings and an audit identified a backlog of over 8,500 known vulnerabilities in its network. Over 1,000 of these were considered critical, high, or medium risks that were found on systems that could be accessed by individuals from outside of Equifax's information technology ("IT") networks. The company instituted an "honor system" for patching its systems and didn't abide by its own patching policy that required the company's IT department to patch critical vulnerabilities within 48 hours. Equifax wasn't even sure of the network assets that it owned, so it was impossible for Equifax to know if vulnerabilities existed on its networks. When threats were announced by the U.S. government with the highest critical score possible; the company's security scans failed to identify the vulnerability. This is because the company lacked a comprehensive inventory of its IT assets. Equifax also allowed its SSL certificates to expire 8 months prior to the 2017 data breach which allowed hackers access to the network for 78 days undetected. Equifax waited six weeks before notifying the public of the breach.

Equifax's online dispute portal, the hackers also accessed other Equifax databases as they searched for other systems containing PII. They eventually found a data repository that also contained unencrypted usernames and passwords that allowed the hackers to access additional Equifax databases. The information accessed primarily included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and, in some instances, driver's license and credit card numbers. The usernames and passwords the hackers found were saved on a file share by Equifax employees. Equifax told the Subcommittee that it decided to structure its networks this way due to its effort to support efficient business operations rather than security protocols. In addition, Equifax did not have basic tools in place to detect and identify changes to files, a protection which would have generated real-time alerts and detected the unauthorized changes the hackers were making.

Posted by cageymaru March 08, 2019 11:47 AM (CST)

Rumor: Witcher 3 Director Now Design Director on Cyberpunk 2077

The bad news: Cyberpunk 2077’s former creative director, Sebastian Stepien, now reportedly works for Blizzard. The good news: CD PROJEKT RED has just found a replacement. The even better news: it’s the guy who directed The Witcher 3 (and its expansions), Konrad Tomaszkiewicz. These are very different games, however, so some fans are concerned whether the changing of the guard could lead to substantial changes in gameplay and, perhaps, an even later release date.

Tomaszkiewicz looks to have updated his LinkedIn profile to say that, as of February of this year, he is "CD Projekt Red’s Vice President of Game Development / Design Director - Cyberpunk 2077." Previously, he was simply listed as the game director for The Witcher 3's Blood and Wine expansion. Considering the technical difference in titles involved it's hard know for sure how this will impact the development of the game, this could point toward whatever changes took place internally after Stepien left now being official.

Posted by Megalith March 03, 2019 3:40 PM (CST)

Steven Spielberg Is Gunning to Make Sure Netflix Never Has Another Oscars Contender

Are Netflix movies such as "Roma" "real" films? Nah, says Steven Spielberg: the director of classics such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, and Jurassic Park has drew the contempt of various Hollywood insiders after he revealed his plans to propose changes to Oscars eligibility rules, arguing "films that debut on streaming services or get a short theatrical run should qualify for the Emmys" instead. While Spielberg appears to be speaking out merely as a "dedicated cinephile," The A.V. Club suggests he may be "serving as the mouthpiece" for studios that are growing increasingly concerned about Netflix’s prominence.

People are pissed off about money -- how much Netflix is spending, and how much it is, or isn’t, bringing in. We’re willing to buy the idea that Spielberg’s motives are more pure -- he’s a dedicated cinephile, and he’s already got more cash than god -- with a focus on the idea that there’s a fundamental difference between visual media made to show on a theater screen, and that designed to run on a monitor or a phone. But it still sounds likely that he’ll end up serving as the mouthpiece for a movement fueled in large part by established studios who don’t like the way the new kid on the block operates.

Posted by Megalith March 03, 2019 11:20 AM (CST)

Cyberpunk 2077 Will Be at E3 2019

CD Projekt Red, the developers behind the critically acclaimed and wildly popular Witcher RPGs, just confirmed that they'll be showing off Cyberpunk 2077 at E3 2019. This isn't exactly a huge surprise, since the studio already started hyping up the game early in its development cycle, but seeing how the developers already showed off a gameplay demo at E3 last year, some people are speculating that the game could finally get a release window this year. Thanks to KitGuru for the tip.

For those of you asking, yes, we will be at E3 this year... This is a city of dreamers.

Posted by alphaatlas March 01, 2019 9:12 AM (CST)

Far Cry New Dawn Physical Sales Just a Quarter of Far Cry Primal's

According to sales figures out of the UK, Far Cry 5’s pink-flowered follow-up isn’t selling nearly as well as its predecessors: charts from across the pond have revealed New Dawn’s physical sales are "massively down," "just 13 percent of Far Cry 5's opening week total," and selling "just 25 percent of Primal's week one total." While these numbers do not count digital sales, Eurogamer suggests they couldn’t possibly "plug the huge gap seen here."

Far Cry New Dawn topped the UK chart this week, but its launch week sales were a far cry (sorry) from those of its predecessors. All of these sales figures relate to boxed copies sold and more people buy digital versions of games now than in 2016, when Primal launched (UK numbers company Chart-Track does not count download sales). But where digital may make up some of the difference, it will not plug the huge gap seen here.

Posted by Megalith February 24, 2019 12:05 PM (CST)

Intel Gen11 Reportedly Takes iGPU Performance to Another Level

New benchmarks suggest Intel’s latest iGPU effort (Iris Plus Graphics 940) is impressive, performing up to 132% faster than Gen9 (Skylake) and leaving both the company’s own Core i5-8250U and competing Ryzen 2700U (Vega 10) in the dust. It also compares quite favorably to the Ryzen 5 2400G (Vega 11), even managing to better it in some tests. "Aside from improvements in 3D performance, Gen11 will also bring DisplayPort 1.4a and VESA's DSC support for 5K 120 Hz output."

Intel touts up to one teraflop of 32-bit and two teraflops of 16-bit floating point performance with its Gen11 iGPU. The chipmaker's goal is to provide a decent gaming experience for its consumers. This, in the long run, can lead to more budget-friendly laptops as manufacturers wouldn't have to incorporate third-party discrete entry-level graphics cards, such as Nvidia's MX-series. As always, you should take synthetic benchmarks (and unofficial ones, at that) with a grain of salt as they are not a definite indication of real-world performance. However, you can't deny that Gen11 posts some very promising results.

Posted by Megalith February 23, 2019 3:05 PM (CST)