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Users Don’t Want iOS to Merge with MacOS, Apple Chief Says

According to Tim Cook, Apple has no plans to bring iOS and MacOS together because he doesn’t think that is what users want. Rumors would suggest that the company is working on a project that merges macOS and iOS apps, however.

"We don't believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both [The Mac and iPad] are incredible. One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two ... you begin to make tradeoffs and compromises.

Posted by Megalith April 21, 2018 3:40 PM (CDT)

Atari Reveals More Details on Its Console-Computer Hybrid

Eurogamer sat down with Atari COO Michael Arzt at this year’s GDC for more information on its upcoming VCS console. His comments would suggest that it won’t be an ordinary, retro console, but some sort of all-in-one system that can serve as an alternative to an HTPC.

It's less expensive than a PC, and it doesn't require you to have your laptop plugged into the TV. It'll control many aspects of the TV, and it'll also let you do things on the TV that - because it'll have voice control, because it'll have a really easy navigation system, things like that - it'll make computing on the television easier.

Posted by Megalith April 21, 2018 2:10 PM (CDT)

Fake Ad-Blockers Removed From Chrome Store After 20M Users Download Them

Google has removed several fake ad blockers (Warning auto play video) after research firm AdGuard published a blog showing that over 20 million Chrome users had downloaded them over the last year. I have to say that AdGuard did everyone a service by finding this, but the fact that Google didn't vet these ad blockers well is concerning. I hope some of you [H] readers didn't fall for any of these fake ad blockers.

The most popular fake ad blocker was AdRemover for Google Chrome, which had over 10 million users, putting a massive botnet of infected browsers at its authors' disposal.

Posted by Montu April 19, 2018 1:50 PM (CDT)

Hunt Showdown Bullet Physics System

As you might have noticed lately, we are big fans of Hunt Showdown around here. I think it is without a doubt one of the best games I have played since BorderLands 2, although the games in term of genre are not truly comparable. I have already racked up 160+ hours myself, and have the bags under my eyes to prove it. Hunt Showdown is a first per shooter, 2-man co-op, somewhat battle royale-ish, PvP and PvE type of game, set in the Louisiana swamps in the late 1800s. You are hunting demons from Hell for cash and prizes, and Hunters are hunting you all the time as well, or vice versa. It is a Crytek title using its own game engine, CryEngine. David West of Crytek, has just published an article that gives a dive into the physics systems that affect bullet travel in Hunt. If you think these guys have not put a lot of thought into just how all this works, think again. But they tackle the most asked question, "Why no bullet drop?" And it has the most awesome theme song.

Furthermore, the weapons in Hunt use iron sights. Games that incorporate more modern equipment usually can rely on an array of red-dot scopes and mid-range combat optics, as well as sniper, night-vision and thermal scopes. Because Hunt is set in the age of iron sights, you won't aim through a scope for most of your shots. With bullet drop, you would have to aim above the target, which forces the shooter to effectively have to guess where to shoot. That isn't something we want players to have to do in Hunt. We always want Hunters to feel like they are in full control of a situation, and that if they miss a shot, it is due to their mistake and not a random element in the game. Every shot counts in Hunt, and Hunters needed to know that if they make the right calculation on each shot, they will reliably hit the target.

Posted by Kyle April 18, 2018 10:28 AM (CDT)

IRS e-File System Breaks Down Hours Before Deadline

The Washington Post is reporting that the Internal Revenue Service's online system for submitting tax returns had widespread failures today. For several hours this morning the IRS' online payment page was also down, describing a "Planned Outage: April 17, 2018 - December 31, 9999." Acting Commissioner for the IRS, David J. Kautter told lawmakers at a hearing

"On my way over here this morning, I was told a number of systems are down at the moment. We are working to resolve the issue and taxpayers should continue to file as they normally would."

The IRS has stated that it will not punish people if their returns arrive late. An IRS spokeswoman would not comment on when the problem would be resolved, but with an estimated 5 million people filing their tax returns today, I would assume that there is going to be several people working on it. Thanks to @cageymaru for the story.

"If we can’t solve it today, we’ll figure out a solution," Kautter said. "Taxpayers would not be penalized because of a technical problem the IRS is having."

Posted by rgmekanic April 17, 2018 4:12 PM (CDT)

AMD CEO Lisa Su Speaks English

It is important for an interviewer to know who their interviewee is before starting an interview. However in the case of the spontaneous interview, the interviewer may not know the interviewee, and as a result end up looking like an ass during the interview. This is what happened at the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday. Former F1 driver and Sky Sports presenter Martin Brundle was walking the starting grid before the race looking for interviews according to a report from TheRegister. After running short of teams and drivers, he found someone who looked interesting and asked "Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?" Unwittingly Brundle was speaking to AMD CEO Lisa Su who was on the starting grid as AMD is sponsoring the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team this year. Embarrassing to say the least.

"Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?" Brundle asked. However, he was unwittingly talking to Lisa Su, president and CEO of AMD, who speaks excellent English, thanks in part to gaining a masters and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from MIT and 46 years living in the US.

Posted by rgmekanic April 16, 2018 3:51 PM (CDT)

Study: Android Phone Makers Skip Google Security Updates without Telling Users

Germany’s Security Research Labs (SRL) has revealed that some Android smartphone manufacturers are intentionally misleading users into thinking that their devices have the latest security patches, even when some of them fail to install. Worse, some vendors have exercised "deliberate deception" by moving patch dates forward instead of providing any actual updates.

In the findings due to be presented at the Hack in the Box security conference in Amsterdam on Friday, the researchers said of the 1,200 smartphones tested, some manufacturers may miss one or two patches from the monthly security updates, but others may miss many more. Failing to update their smartphones with the latest security updates is one thing, but SRL found that some simply lie about installing any patches at all.

Posted by Megalith April 15, 2018 2:05 PM (CDT)

Apple Warns Users When Starting 32-bit macOS Apps

TheLoop reported Wednesday that macOS users running the latest High Sierra 10.13.4 will now get a warning when launching a 32-bit app. Apple kicked 32-bit apps off iOS starting in version 11, and now it seems they are starting the process in macOS as well. The alert will only happen once, so no worry about constant nagging. Apple posted a notice on their support page about this new alert, and notes that all future Mac software will eventually be required to be 64-bit. I have to wonder if this is a move at least somewhat inspired by the rumor that Apple will be using it's own CPUs in the future.

Apple began the transition to 64-bit hardware and software technology for Mac over a decade ago, and is working with developers to transition their apps to 64-bit. At our Worldwide Developers Conference in 2017, Apple informed developers that macOS High Sierra would be the last version of macOS to run 32-bit apps without compromise.

Posted by rgmekanic April 13, 2018 3:14 PM (CDT)

Dell Computers Better at Cheating in PUBG Says Dell Spokesperson

Ben Mansill from PCPowerPlay went to China last week for the Intel 8th Gen Processor reveal and many other PC and laptop vendors attended as well. While he was there he listened in on the Dell presentation and was surprised to hear the Dell spokesperson rave about how good their products were for cheating in PUBG. I guess you could say she was playing to the audience since Chinese cheaters abound in PUBG, but this wasn't a good look for the company if you ask me. It wasn't long after this story hit the web that Dell decided to set the record straight and Dell Australia said the company doesn't condone cheating and they further condemned the use of cheats. All I have to say is Dell better watch it or their gaming market outside of China might take a hit. Thanks, stinger608.

She spoke of how Chinese gamers are the most innovative and dominant in the world by using "plugins" to, for example, run faster than other players, or blow up ten cars at a time, and that these top gamers can really use 8th-Gen power to "run more plugins to win more at Chicken Dinner", and that the top players run the most 'plugins' so that's where 8th-gen Dell power gives them the gamer's edge. Behind her a video proudly shows various cheats in PUBG in action (they really like the one with the massively oversized gun and show that a lot), with the new Dell gaming laptops shown every few seconds while Sally told us that gamers should buy a Dell because they're better at running many plugins. Wow.

Posted by Montu April 13, 2018 10:00 AM (CDT)

Linux Computer Manufacturer Moving to U.S

Manufacturer of Linux based PCs, System76, has announced that it will be moving its manufacturing from China to the United States according to a report from . OpenSource interviewed the company's marketing director, Louisa Bisio about the move to the U.S. Carl Richell, founder and CEO of System76 said on Twitter that they anticipate shipping products from the new factory by the end of the year.
Great news in my opinion, and fantastic for the new jobs that are coming thanks to the move. Browsing the systems they have on their website, the lineup seems pretty nice, albeit a little expensive to me. Thanks to @cageymaru for the story.

Creating a computer that is open source from the physical design to the OS is the next step in our mission to empower our customers and the community. We believe that by leading with open source design, the rest of the industry will have to follow. The open source model leads to improved quality and greater experimentation through peer review and expert analysis. It also guarantees users' freedom to own the product they've purchased, down to the design and how it was manufactured.

Posted by rgmekanic April 10, 2018 4:04 PM (CDT)

AI Doc "Do You Trust This Computer?" Streams for Free, Courtesy of Elon Musk

"Do You Trust This Computer?" is a new documentary exploring the potential consequences of artificial intelligence. Elon Musk (who has warned about these dangers before) thinks it is something that everyone should see and has thus made it available to stream for free. You can hit this link to go directly to the documentary.

"It’s a very important subject that will affect our lives in ways we can’t even imagine — some scary, some good. It’s a subject that I feel we should be paying close attention to," said Musk in a news release. "I think it’s important that a lot people see this movie, so I’m paying for it to be seen to the world for free this weekend."

Posted by Megalith April 08, 2018 10:05 AM (CDT)

Computer System Transcribes Words Users "Speak Silently"

MIT researchers have developed a wearable device that can read the words a user says in their head. A machine-learning system translates neuromuscular signals in the jaw and face, allowing users to engage in "silent conversations" with an integrated pair of bone-conduction headphones.

The device is thus part of a complete silent-computing system that lets the user undetectably pose and receive answers to difficult computational problems. In one of the researchers’ experiments, for instance, subjects used the system to silently report opponents’ moves in a chess game and just as silently receive computer-recommended responses.

Posted by Megalith April 07, 2018 1:10 PM (CDT)