An interesting new game has jumped onto Kickstarter, with Sienna Storm having Sheldon Pacotti, who wrote the first two Deus Ex games. Sienna Storm puts you in "The Game", with the game being espionage. Sienna Storm will feature "stunning hand-drawn environments let the action span the globe" with "2D animations bring to life infiltrations, evasions, fights, and also other influential characters as you mark targets, meet assets, go black or drop heat".
The gameplay of Sienna Storm sounds intriguing, where it is a departure from the games we know and love today. The Kickstarter page for Sienna Storm explains the gameplay: "Sienna Storm is a unique interactive comic-style video game. Every scene is a hand drawn, animated work of art and there are multiple actions points the player may select to progress the game. Dialogues are rich and non-linear, and choices you make throughout the game not only have consequences, but also influence your standings with certain characters and involved parties".
The page continues: "There is a fair amount of challenges to resolve such as combat, hacking computers, and tailing an enemies. When you enter these challenges, you play a short strategic card game using a customizable deck. At the start of each card match, you can modify your deck to best suit the situation, even adding in new cards you've earned over the course of the game. This allows you to pick a strategy - trickery, gadgetry, or straight-up violence - that works best for the mission and your personal play style. But watch out! The matches are dynamic and based on the story, so you never know what new enemies, old allies, or dramatic plot twists are in the cards to keep you on your toes!"
Prior to its launch on the Xbox One, Diablo 3 was rendering at 900p, that is, until Microsoft forced Blizzard to crank it up to 1080p. Blizzard announced during E3 a few months ago that the Xbox One version of Diablo 3 would be rendering at 900p, compared to the PS4 which was splashing things up onto TVs at 1080p.
A day-one patch for Diablo 3 on the Xbox One cranked the resolution up to 1080p, but saw performance issues. Not huge, but there are framerate drops during heavy gameplay in Diablo 3, something that didn't happen when it was rendering at 900p. Blizzard production director John Hight explained to Eurogamer: "We did find it challenging early on to get it to 1080p. That's why we made the decision to drop to 900. That's what we demoed and were showing around E3 time. And Microsoft was just like, 'This is unacceptable. You need to figure out a way to get a better resolution.' So we worked with them directly, they gave us a code update to let us get to full 1080p".
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.
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."
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.
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 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."
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.