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TweakTown News Posts - Page 38

Star Citizen blows through the $50 million milestone, isn't slowing

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 21, 2014 9:27 am

It wasn't even a month ago that Star Citizen had reached its $48 million funding goal, but now it hasn't just broken through $50 million, but it is half way through $51 million sitting at $21,523,485 at the time of writing.

 

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The $50 million milestone unlocked Alien Languages, which will see Star Citizen gamers enjoying alien languages in the game. RSI explains: "Do you speak Banu? We will work with real-world linguists to create distinctive and realistic alien languages for Star Citizen's three biggest alien races, the Vanduul, the Xi'An and the Banu. No universal translators, no garbled animal noises: Star Citizen's aliens will be speaking their own authentic languages!"

 

When Star Citizen hit $51 million, it saw the Web-based Known Universe Map unlocked, which is "The platform web team priority will be shifted to making the Known Universe Map available." The $52 million goal will be hit without a problem, where we'll see "The BB-12 is a brand new Manned Maneuvering Unit from Azure Sky Aero. Whether you are engaging in precision mining operations or delicate salvage retrieval, the BB-12 is capable of EVA operation for six uninterrupted hours. This new model features twenty-four precision nozzle thrusters and two redesigned heavy-duty tanks of gaseous nitrogen propellant, capable of being hot-swapped while on the drift or refueled back on the ship. With the BB-12, Azure Sky has once again cemented their place as the premier EVA tech provider."

Continue reading 'Star Citizen blows through the $50 million milestone, isn't slowing' (full post)

Google releases XE20.1 update for Glass, better Hangouts support

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Aug 21, 2014 8:36 am

Google has just pushed out a new firmware update to Glass, which improves the Hangouts abilities on Google's wearable device. Glass users now have the option of starting a new Hangouts session with a contact, send them an email, or message them through SMS.

 

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Android-powered users should be receiving the update any minute now, if not already, while iOS users will have to wait until next week to update through the MyGlass app. In order to get the new functionality, users will need to update their MyGlass app, with the Android version sitting at 3.2, and the iOS version at 0.7.0.

 

After that, Glass users will need to update their Glass firmware, bringing it to XE20.1. Google explains its new update: "Now when you tap on one of your contacts, you can swipe between Hangouts, email or SMS - whichever strikes your fancy at that moment".

Netflix engineers built a custom interface for the Oculus Rift

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Aug 21, 2014 7:33 am

Netflix engineers have created a custom interface, where users with the Oculus Rift can browse the service through VR. The engineers created the custom interface during a recent hack day, which also supports the Leap Motion controller for gesture control - allowing you to wave your hand to scroll through movies.

 

 

Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that Netflix will ever release Oculus Rift support for Netflix, with the company saying: "[These] are some examples of some of the hacks to give you a taste of what we saw this time around. We should note that, while we think these hacks are very cool and fun, they may never become part of the Netflix product, internal infrastructure, or otherwise be used beyond Hack Day. We are surfacing them here publicly to share the spirit of the Netflix Hack Day."

Continue reading 'Netflix engineers built a custom interface for the Oculus Rift' (full post)

Over one million takedown requests per day being sent to Google

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 21, 2014 6:36 am

You know what Google receives everyday? Over one million takedown requests for pirate links, that's what. The Mountain View-based search giant receives a huge one million DMCA takedown notices per day, with the last seven days seeing a request for the removal of over 8 million results from its search engine.

 

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In the years past, the amount of takedown requests was in the hundreds, but now it is far beyond that. The growth of the Internet itself, as well as piracy has really turbo boosted the amount of DCMA takedowns.

Find bugs in the Oculus Rift, get paid by Facebook

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Aug 21, 2014 5:31 am

Facebook is now offering people money to find bugs within the Oculus Rift, as part of the social networks bug bounty program. As the program stands, individual security researchers are paid a minimum reward of $500 for finding a bug. Last year alone, Facebook paid out $1.5 million in bug bounties.

 

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Most of the bugs that are being found are in the messaging system for Oculus developers, and parts of the website. Facebook seems to be trying harder to squish the bugs before the launch of CV1 (Consumer Version 1) of the Oculus Rift, as it is their first hardware product. The fact that someone could hack into the software, or the Rift itself while you're on it, could spell trouble - a big reason why the social network is pumping funds into having bugs destroyed before the Rift goes retail.

 

Facebook security engineer Neal Poole explains: "A lot of the issues that come up with Oculus are not necessarily in the hardware yet. Potentially in the future, if people were to go explore and find issues in the SDK or the hardware, that is definitely of interest to us".

Tegra K1-exclusive effects hit Half-Life 2, Portal on Shield tablet

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 21, 2014 4:31 am

NVIDIA's new Tegra K1-powered Shield tablet is now available in the select markets, with the company announcing that it has unveiled new Tegra K1-exclusive effects to two of Valve's most popular titles: Half-Life 2 and Portal.

 

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These new Tegra K1-exclusive effects bring the mobile versions of the game to be "just as visually rich as the full PC editions of the game". NVIDIA says that these new effects include "render-to-texture shadows, bump mapping, specular highlights, motion blur, and higher-quality texture filtering".

 

Both of the new Tegra K1-powered titles are optimized to play well on the new Shield tablet, thanks to its optional ultra-low-latency Wi-Fi Direct Shield wireless controller.

Sylon SABRE engine could help fuel U.S. military engine development

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Aug 21, 2014 3:30 am

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory is interested in learning more about British space plane engine technology that could be used for future U.S. military hypersonic aircraft. The Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) is being developed by England-based Reaction Engines for the Skylon space plane.

 

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The engine was supported by $100 million in funding from the British government and European Space Agency (ESA), with private financing matching the same figure - and millions more are expected to be invested into the program. Reaction Engines has had the next-generation engine in development for more than two decades, ensuring SABRE features both rocket and air-breathing modes.

 

"AFRL is formulating plans to look at advanced vehicle concepts based on Reaction Engine's heat-exchanger technology and SABRE engine concept," said AFRL officials, in a statement recently sent to Space.com.

Continue reading 'Sylon SABRE engine could help fuel U.S. military engine development' (full post)

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission was hacked multiple times

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Aug 21, 2014 2:32 am

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was "successfully hacked" at least three times in the past few years, with two of the data breaches conducted by hackers overseas, according to records. One breach took places due to a phishing attack that was sent to more than 200 NRC employees, with a successful logon-credential harvesting attempt. At least 12 employees opened an enclosed link in the email, indicating there is still work to be done to better educate employees against opening suspicious emails.

 

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A different attack also utilized a phishing attack that redirected employees to malware spread via Microsoft SkyDrive, with "one incident of compromise and the investigation tracked the sender to a foreign country."

 

"The few attempts documented in the OIG Cyber Crimes Unit report as gaining some access to NRC networks were detected and appropriate measures were taken," said David McIntyre, NRC spokesman, in a statement to the media.

Continue reading 'U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission was hacked multiple times' (full post)

Twitter unsure how to handle James Foley beheading video, images

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Aug 21, 2014 1:50 am

Twitter and social media services are struggling to address how to block images and videos of photojournalist James Foley being beheaded by Islamic State militants. In the five-minute video, titled "A Message to America," a suspected British militant said Foley's execution is in response to recent U.S. airstrikes against IS insurgents protecting a previously seized dam in Mosul. Twitter is purging users that are sharing images and videos of the barbaric execution of the photojournalist captured in Syria.

 

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Twitter "is actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery," noted Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, in a recent tweet.

 

In the UK, simply viewing, downloading or sharing the video could lead to charges under the UK's terrorism legislation.

Continue reading 'Twitter unsure how to handle James Foley beheading video, images' (full post)

Report: States with faster Internet service have smarter residents

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Aug 21, 2014 12:30 am

Access to fast broadband Internet may not be dumbing younger generations down after all, with faster Web access is more conductive to learning, according to the "States with Faster Internet Access Have Smarter People" report published by High Speed Internet. The top five states with the fastest Internet service, Virginia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington, had students with ACT scores in the top 15.

 

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Meanwhile, the five states with the slowest Internet had average ACT scores towards the lower-end of the rankings: Alaska, Montana, Kentucky, Arkansas, and West Virginia. There were a few states that had the fastest Internet service but were in the bottom 20 average ACT scores: Michigan, North Dakota, and Utah.

 

A few states bucked the trend, such as Maine, which was 37th overall in Internet speed, but had the fourth best ACT average. Technology is a great asset for students, but still isn't a magic tool that will automatically make students more intelligent or learn better than students in other parts of the country - but can be utilized to make a major impact long-term.

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