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Virtual Reality Users Watch Helplessly as Another User Has In-Game Seizure

VR is typically about having fun, but the technology can also be a window into the unnerving. Case in point: a number of VRChat users witnessed someone having a seizure this week, and none of them could do anything about it. Due to full body-tracking tech, the player’s avatar could be seen on the floor convulsing.

A handful of users thought it was funny and kept goofing off, but the majority seemed genuinely concerned for this person's well-being. They ask if he's okay, they ask players with flashing avatars to step back, and when the person is finally able to respond they give them good advice: call for help immediately and take a break.

Posted by Megalith January 20, 2018 12:15 PM (CST)

NVIDIA Wants Retailers to Sell GeForce GPUs to Gamers, Not Miners

NVIDIA has publicized some of their thoughts on the GPU pricing situation: speaking with ComputerBase, spokesman Boris Bohles thinks that gamers, not miners, are more deserving of their products and that retailers should better meet their needs. There is no indication that NVIDIA will actually engage trading partners to ensure this happens, however.

"For NVIDIA, gamers come first. All activities related to our GeForce product line are targeted at our main audience. To ensure that GeForce gamers continue to have good GeForce graphics card availability in the current situation, we recommend that our trading partners make the appropriate arrangements to meet gamers’ needs as usual. "

Posted by Megalith January 20, 2018 10:50 AM (CST)

Warren Buffet Is Pretty Certain That Cryptocurrencies Will End Badly

One of the most successful investors in the world has doubled down on his skepticism toward cryptocurrencies: Warren Buffet seems convinced that bitcoin and other crypto "will come to a bad ending." While his comments have already been thoroughly criticized, Buffet is probably just being cautious and not investing because he doesn’t know enough about it.

Buffett said he would not take a short position on bitcoin futures. "We don't own any, we're not short any, we'll never have a position in them," he said. "I get into enough trouble with things I think I know something about," he added. "Why in the world should I take a long or short position in something I don't know anything about."

Posted by Megalith January 14, 2018 3:15 PM (CST)

Examining the Spectacle of Video Games and Swatting

Spurred by the fatal case in Wichita, Kansas, Glixel has a piece on the mentality behind swatting and why law enforcement isn’t getting any better at identifying them. Longtime cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs is featured, who suggests that most cybercriminals are big-time gamers. New legislation that better punishes swatters is also discussed.

Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts is the cosponsor of the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act - a bipartisan effort to make the nuts and bolts of accosting swatters easier and more palpable to courthouses. Clark, predictably, was motivated by the havoc of GamerGate, and the coordinated harassment campaigns directed at several prominent women in her constituency.

Posted by Megalith January 14, 2018 1:10 PM (CST)

NSA Spying Powers Extended for the Next Six Years

The House of Representatives have voted to expand the NSA’s surveillance powers for another six years. Many consider the bill to be a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, as it endorses warrantless collection of Americans’ emails, chat logs, and other personal communications.

This is a disappointment to EFF and all our supporters who, for weeks, have spoken to defend privacy. And this is a disappointment for the dozens of Congress members who have tried to rein NSA surveillance in, asking that the intelligence community merely follow the Constitution.

Posted by Megalith January 14, 2018 10:30 AM (CST)

Malware Displaying Porn Ads Discovered in Game Apps on Google Play

Google is removing 60 games from its Play Store for serving pornographic ads to children. These titles were infected with the AdultSwine malware, which additionally tricks users into installing fake security tools and encourages people to register for expensive premium services.

As for the ads being displayed, they come from two main sources; the first is that of the main ad providers, which forbid such illegitimate display of their ads. The second is the malicious code’s own ad library, which contains ads of an offensive nature, including pornographic ads. All these are displayed to children while playing the game that the app is masquerading as.

Posted by Megalith January 13, 2018 2:50 PM (CST)

Epic Games Sues Cheater over "Stealing" Fortnite V-Bucks

Epic Games’ quest of taking cheaters to court continues: this time, the company is suing a New Zealander for "creating an exploit that allows users to get free V-bucks." The accused, Yash Gosai, allegedly promoted his work on YouTube, which allowed numerous players to "steal" from Epic.

V-bucks are the game’s currency and can be bought through an online store, starting at $9.99. The virtual coins allow players to purchase skins for their character, as well as other game tools. According to Epic, people who create and use these kinds of free-money exploits are stealing from the game publisher.

Posted by Megalith January 13, 2018 12:30 PM (CST)

GM Plans to Launch Autonomous Car Without Steering Wheel or Pedals Next Year

If you go to Vegas or some similar destination next year you just might jump into a cab that not only is driverless, but it's not going to have a steering wheel or pedals. It's going to be just you, your friends and some comfortable seats. At least this is what GM is hoping for next year. Keep an eye out because this is our new AI world.

Of course, dropping the steering wheel gets tricky when you consider federal regulations that require things like steering wheels. So GM has officially asked the federal Department of Transportation to exempt these vehicles from certain parts of the rules that govern automotive safety. Because those were written for human-driven cars, they include requirements like a foot-activated brake pedal and an airbag built into the steering wheel.

Posted by Montu January 12, 2018 10:05 AM (CST)


NVIDIA has a new GeForce Game Ready Driver out today, v390.65 which is WHQL certified. Not a lot going on here beyond a Fortnight performance update (which already runs like butter on NVIDIA), and included ShadowPlay Highlight support in Battle Royale mode. It also adds support for NVIDIA Freestyle which lets you apply post-processing filters to your games while you play. The full release notes can be found in this PDF. Thanks Blah Blah.
Posted by Kyle January 08, 2018 9:06 AM (CST)

Work Has Begun on Next DisplayPort Standard; Display Bandwidth to Double

To answer the call of 8K and higher resolutions, VESA has begun work on a new version of DisplayPort that is expected to double current speeds. Being that the current technology (High Bit Rate 3) offers "32.4 Gbps of raw bandwidth in a 4-lane configuration," it’s presumed that the next version will provide "64.8 Gbps or better of bandwidth."

As a side benefit of a higher speed signaling standard, this will allow device vendors to improve the amount of bandwidth available via USB-C ports that offer DisplayPort Alt Mode. Currently USB-C can carry from 1 to 4 lanes of DisplayPort, with the most common configuration being 2 lanes of DP to leave a spare pair for USB 3.x data.

Posted by Megalith January 06, 2018 11:00 AM (CST)

CPU Usage Differences after Applying Meltdown Patch at Epic Games

The Fortnite team at Epic has published a new announcement that offers insight into what effect the Meltdown patch could have on multiplayer gaming. Judging by the chart, the impact on CPU usage is rather significant. The company warns that "unexpected issues" may occur as its cloud services continue to be updated.

We wanted to provide a bit more context for the most recent login issues and service instability. All of our cloud services are affected by updates required to mitigate the Meltdown vulnerability. We heavily rely on cloud services to run our back-end, and we may experience further service issues due to ongoing updates.

Posted by Megalith January 06, 2018 10:00 AM (CST)

FCC May Vote Next Month on Change to Broadband Definition

The FCC may vote next month on a proposed change to the definition of landline broadband that lowers the threshold from 25/4 to 10/1Mbps down/up speeds. The 25/4 definition was established in 2015. Also, they may be considering counting cellular data speeds that meet the 10/1 definition as a subsitute for the landline definition. This means if you get cellular data and it meets the established threshold then you will be considered to have broadband available.

Even if the FCC doesn’t lower the landline definition of broadband, adding cellular broadband into the test will mean that millions of homes would now be considered to have adequate broadband. That is a significant change, because by law, the FCC is mandated to work towards bringing broadband to any parts of the US that don’t have it. In effect, by a definition change the FCC will have done away with a lot of the digital divide. And if they lower the definition of landline broadband they will categorize even more homes as having adequate broadband.

Posted by Montu January 05, 2018 1:50 PM (CST)