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Steam Is Getting a Redesigned Library and New Events Features

At GDC today, Valve announced a new UI for the Steam Library. The new Steam Library has larger game icons and more categorization for your games. PC Gamer says the library reminds them of Plex or the Apple TV. The Steam Friend's List is integrated into the Library view on the right side. They noted that the coolest feature is using Steam Tags for games to create new categories such as "Ninja Action." A Beta release is scheduled for this summer. The new Steam Events page will create a new way for fans of games to connect with developers. Games in your library that are organizing occasions like game updates, streams, tournaments, and so on will be found here. This is being built in response to today's live service games. Developers will be able to get the word out to fans through calendar support for Google and iCal, Steam client notifications, email, text message, and Steam mobile app. These events will be shown in other parts of Steam also.

"We think of this as the way developers will be able to communicate with players through Steam," Kroll said. "We want to build the foundation for a communication platform where all the interesting things that are happening in games can find their way to the customers. And the customers that are interested in finding out 'what's happening in games in my library, what kind of events are happening, what's been updated recently, what are my friends doing,' making all that much easier for players to be able to find."

Posted by cageymaru March 21, 2019 6:32 PM (CDT)

Unreal Engine is Getting Destructable Environment Support

High-quality destructible environments seem like something that should be standard in 2019, but even today, it's a relatively rare thing to find in a game. It was a headlining feature Red Faction: Guerilla back in 2009, and a prominent feature in the recently released Crackdown 3, but detailed, destructible environments are still absent from most releases. However, at GDC this year, Epic announced that they're integrating a destruction system into Unreal Engine. Given how popular the engine is, and how competitors will probably try to achieve feature parity, I expect to see more games with destructible environments in the near future.

Revealed onstage at GDC 2019 during "State of Unreal," Chaos is Unreal Engine’s new high-performance physics and destruction system coming in early access to Unreal Engine 4.23. The real-time tech demo is set within the world of Robo Recall. With Chaos, users can achieve cinematic-quality visuals in real time in scenes with massive-scale levels of destruction, with unprecedented artist control over content creation.

Posted by alphaatlas March 21, 2019 11:47 AM (CDT)

Get Ready for Targeted Ads on Your Smart TV

Disney, Comcast, NBCUniversal, and other top media companies have teamed up with VIZIO for a new standard that will bring targeted ads to television viewers. VIZIO, which recently lost $2.2 million after being caught tracking and selling viewing data using software on its Smart TVs, claims targeted ads, which are "relevant" to the household, will "drastically enhance" the viewing experience.

The companies are calling themselves a consortium, and they've dubbed this "Project OAR," or Open Addressable Ready. Once developed, the new, open standard will make it possible for all connected TV companies to sell targeted ads in scheduled and on-demand programs. While this will theoretically make ads more successful and therefore more valuable, it also means viewers' data will be shared with third parties. That raises the usual data privacy concerns.

Posted by Megalith March 17, 2019 2:45 PM (CDT)

AdoredTV Reveals New AMD Leaks and Social Media Woes

In his newest video, Jim of AdoredTV on YouTube discusses fanboys, old school tech reviews, Zen II leaks, Ryzen 3000 leaks, overclocking the Radeon VII, and more. Listen to him reminisce over the days when reviewers told it like it was without a filter and then compare it to the advertiser friendly, nice guy image most have now. The beginning of the video is about his attempts to control what happens to him on social media. Enjoy!

Tech Talk 5 - Quitting Reddit, New Zen II "Leaks" and OC'ing the Radeon VII!

Posted by cageymaru March 08, 2019 6:30 PM (CST)

YouTube TV and Hulu Are Outperforming the Competition

According to a report from Bloomberg, industry insiders say YouTube TV and Hulu are outperforming the competition in the live online TV services industry. Hulu's subscription total has nearly eclipsed the 2 million mark and YouTube TV has already broken the 1 million mark in subscribers. Both services are adding hundreds of thousands of customers each quarter. People are flocking to the services for "skinny bundles" which offer a narrow lineup of channels. Many consumers see this as a viable alternative to cable TV's hundreds of channels and high bills. Other similar services such as DirecTV Now are losing subscribers. "Sling is offering a 40 percent discount to attract new subscribers."

Hulu and YouTube represent a rare bit of good news for TV. They may be benefiting from a superior user experience compared with Sling or DirecTV Now, according to Alan Wolk, co-founder of the media consultancy TVRev. "They've done a better job of branding," Wolk said. "The interfaces are slick and modern looking, Hulu in particular.'" It also helps that neither YouTube nor Hulu is a cable or satellite company, which routinely rank among the least admired by U.S. consumers.

Posted by cageymaru March 01, 2019 4:45 PM (CST)

Samsung Loads McAfee Antivirus Onto Smart TVs

TechSpot reports that Samsung is pre-installing Mcafee antivirus on its 2019 TVs because McAfee is paying them to do it. As the publication points out, Samsung TVs run the partially open source, largely Samsung developed Tizen OS, so whatever software McAfee installs won't have much in common with McAfee security suites on other platforms. Financial benefits aside, TechSpot believes there's no real reason to run a "McAfee Security" app on the TV when Samsung could just bake similar security measures into OS itself. The Samsung Smart TV app ecosystem is strictly controlled anyway, and any malicious actors that really wanted to target Tizen would just work around McAfee since they know it will be pre-installed.

Officially, here is Samsung's statement on the matter: McAfee extended its contract to have McAfee Security for TV technology pre-installed on all Samsung Smart TVs produced in 2019. Along with being the market leader in the Smart TV category worldwide, Samsung is also the first company to pre-install security on these devices, underscoring its commitment to building security in from the start. McAfee Security for TV scans the apps that run on Samsung smart TVs to identify and remove malware.

Posted by alphaatlas February 28, 2019 11:45 AM (CST)

AdoredTV Reviews the Radeon VII

AdoredTV just posted their review of the Radeon VII. In terms of performance, AdoredTV's results line up with other reviews that went up earlier, generally besting the liquid cooled Vega 64 and achieving parity with the GTX 1080 TI and RTX 2080, depending on the title and settings. But what really seemed to stick out to the Scottish reviewer was noise: even inside his personal PC, the reference Radeon VII was far noiser than the MSI 1080 TI and liquid-cooled Vega 64. Check out the review below.
Fortunately, it seems that AMD fixed the Wattman issues Gamers Nexus and Der8auer ran into earlier, as the the tool's auto undervolt feature brought noise levels down to reasonable levels with 2 clicks while lowering power consumption by about 40W. Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas February 14, 2019 10:43 AM (CST)

AdoredTV Analyzes AMD Engineering Sample Benchmarks

Some AMD engineering samples with strange performance figures have been popping up in the UserBenchmark database recently. In an effort to put those results in perspective, AdoredTV just uploaded a video that starts with a brief history of CPU memory hierarchies. Then, he attempts to analyze just what's going on with the AMD engineering sample's inconsistent latency curves. Check it out in the video below:

A look back to the early days of cache-less computing, to what's coming next with Zen 2.

Posted by alphaatlas February 05, 2019 8:12 AM (CST)

Windows Audio Is Getting DTS:X Ultra and Dolby Atmos Upgrades

Principal Program Manager Lead at Microsoft for Audio, Steven Wilssens has announced that DTS is coming to PC and XBOX in the coming weeks. In a tweet he said, "We also have DTS coming to PC and Xbox in the coming weeks. It will be available to the PC Insider audience first and then move to Xbox. Once any issues have been ironed out, they will move to the PC and Xbox audiences that are on retail builds." The DTS:X Ultra app is available on the Microsoft Store but the download is currently disabled. Windows Latest found more information on the audio upgrades in this Windows support document that lists known spatial audio formats such as DolbyAtmosForHeadphones, DolbyAtmosForHomeTheater, DolbyAtmosForSpeakers, DTSHeadphoneX, DTSXUltra, and WindowsSonic.

DTS:X Ultra app was recently published in the Microsoft Store, but users cannot download it at the moment. DTS:X Ultra app is actually designed to work with games, VR and AR programs, but DTS:X Ultra is apparently not functional at the moment as the primary base behind it is missing.

Posted by cageymaru January 29, 2019 2:47 PM (CST)

AdoredTV: What Is Zen 2?

AdoredTV is back with another video to fuel the Ryzen hype train with his "best guesses" on what Zen 2 will become. TL;DR(W): the Scot is convinced 5GHz (and a whole lot of cores) is a pretty sure thing, doubling down on the dual chiplet theory, custom I/O chips, and overall performance increases due to changes with Infinity Fabric.
Posted by Megalith January 27, 2019 4:15 PM (CST)

"Resident Evil" TV Series in the Works at Netflix

An original scripted series based on Resident Evil is in development at Netflix. Deadline has heard the show will "expand the Resident Evil universe and deepen the existing mythology," but whether it’ll be faithful to the games is anyone’s guess: the studio responsible for the Milla Jovovich-led films, Constantin Films, is also behind this production.

I hear the series will keep the basic premise, which also served as a setup for the movie franchise. The drama series will explore the dark inner workings of the Umbrella Corporation and the new world order caused by the outbreak of the T-virus. While the project is in early stages, the series is expected to incorporate all of Resident Evil’s signature elements, including action sequences and "easter eggs."

Posted by Megalith January 26, 2019 10:40 AM (CST)

Nest Users Are Getting Hacked Again

AFP reports that Nest, a smart camera manufacturer founded by former Apple engineers and owned by Alphabet, is urging customers to use two factor authentication for their home systems. The plea comes after local media near San Francisco reported on a couple's trouble with a Nest camera mounted on top of their TV. Apparently, a hacker breached the device with a credential stuffing attack and broadcast a "realistic-sounding warning of missiles heading to the United States from North Korea." Meanwhile, that same day, Motherboard posted an independent report of white hat hacker SydeFX breaching the Nest cameras of young women to promote PewDiePie. They uploaded a censored version of one such breach, which you can see below:
In a statement following the incidents, Google said "Nest was not breached," and that "these recent reports are based on customers using compromised passwords - exposed through breaches on other websites." Technically, they're correct, as these hackers seemingly found re-used Nest passwords through unrelated breaches. The first report claims that Nest also sifts though known breaches to see if any of their users are compromised, but apparently, that wasn't enough to prevent these incidents. Thanks to Schtask for the tip. Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas January 24, 2019 9:34 AM (CST)