Government whistleblower says US has recovered a 'non-human' spacecraft with alien 'pilots'
A new report by The Debrief has cited a former intelligence official claiming that he's provided Congress with information on a downed "non-human" spacecraft that contained dead "pilots."
Firstly, it should be noted that none of the following information has been confirmed by the US government or any other regulatory body, and are direct claims from the whistleblower/s. The whistleblower's name is David Grusch, an Air Force veteran and former member of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, who claims the information he provided Congress is "proof" of the recovery of objects of "exotic origin (non-human intelligence, whether extraterrestrial or unknown origin)."
The descriptions of these objects were based on vehicle morphologies and material science testing, which included atomic arrangements and radiological signatures. Grusch explained that the recovered material "includes intact and partially intact vehicles. These are retrieving non-human origin technical vehicles, call it spacecraft if you will, non-human exotic origin vehicles that have either landed or crashed."
Continue reading: Government whistleblower says US has recovered a 'non-human' spacecraft with alien 'pilots' (full post)
Bill Gates says it's okay to start calling him a gamer now
Looking through the annals of Microsoft history and lore, during the early days of the Windows operating system, Bill Gates had to uninstall Minesweeper from his PC because he became addicted and realized that the games were eating up most of his time. It got so bad that one story states that engineers had to fabricate an unattainable Minesweeper high score just to get him to stop playing.
Bill Gates has a long and complicated history with video games; he's a fan; he dabbles but doesn't really get into them outside of the occasional sports game. He's played Halo but hasn't devoted countless hours to playing multiplayer on Xbox Live.
Then there's his initial skepticism about releasing a dedicated console, the Xbox, which according to reports, felt like an insult to his and Microsoft's legacy.
Continue reading: Bill Gates says it's okay to start calling him a gamer now (full post)
What class is best for you in Diablo IV?
With Diablo 4 featuring five unique classes each with multiple different build paths, you may find yourself wondering what your best option is to take on the legions of hell.
There are five main class options for you to choose from at the beginning of your adventure: Necromancer, Druid, Barbarian, Rogue, and Sorcerer. Each of these options provides unique strengths, weaknesses, and playstyles.
While there is no correct answer to this question, each of these options provide a very different gameplay experience as far as things like mechanical difficulty and combat loops go. In this short guide, you will find a brief gameplay overview of what each class has to offer. Please keep in mind the best choice is always what seems the most fun to you as constant balance patches are always changing the meta and what is "powerful" is always subject to change.
Continue reading: What class is best for you in Diablo IV? (full post)
Everything you need to know about Apple's $3,499 Vision Pro AR/VR headset
Apple has just unveiled what it's calling the Vision Pro, an AR/VR headset that will be the company's newest 1st generation product.
So, what is the Vision Pro? This is a first-of-its-kind release from Apple, and it's described as the newest spatial computing platform, providing users with a unique augmented and virtual reality experience. Apple has outfitted the Vision Pro with multiple cameras and sensors, enabling a controller-free experience through the use of eye-tracking and hand gestures. Users are also able to be aware of the world around them through Apple's seamless pass-through technology, which allows users to see a real-time rendering of the physical world around them.
How does it work? The cameras outfitted basically all around the headset scan the physical world around the user and then project a real-time 3D rendering of the world into the headset. Apple has equipped the Vision Pro with two 4K+ displays, one for each eye. Around these eye displays are cameras specifically designed to track the user's eyes, and once calibration is completed after the setup phase, the user is able to navigate the headset by simply looking where they want to click and then clicking by touching their index finger and thumb together.
Continue reading: Everything you need to know about Apple's $3,499 Vision Pro AR/VR headset (full post)
Intel Announces Intel Arc Pro A60 and Pro A60M GPUs for the workstation market
Intel Arc Graphics added a couple of new professional graphics cards to their line-up with the Intel Arc Pro A60 and Pro A60M combo for workstations. Both expand the PCIe lane usage to 16 compared to other Arc Graphics products, and they support up to 12GB of VRAM with 384 GB/s of memory bandwidth - another step up over the current Arc line-up.
They're not only the fastest Arc workstation solutions that Intel offers, and the Intel Arc Pro A60 is single-slot slim too. Specs-wise the Arc Pro A60 features 16 Xe Cores, 256 EUs, 16 RT units, 256 matrix engines, and 12GB of GDDR6 memory on a 192-bit bus. The mobile-focused Pro A60M reduces memory capacity to 8GB on a 128-bit bus.
Compared to the consumer-based Arc graphics, these new workstation models increase the dedicated AI Xe Matrix Extensions (XMX) engines and even the hardware ray-tracing units. Like their discrete desktop counterparts, they support full AV1 encoding, high dynamic range (HDR), and Dolby Vision output support.
Continue reading: Intel Announces Intel Arc Pro A60 and Pro A60M GPUs for the workstation market (full post)
Xbox hit with a $20 million fine for 'illegally retaining children's personal information'
Microsoft is set to pay the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) $20 million for violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). It collected and retained personal information from children signing up to play games on Xbox without notifying parents or obtaining consent. As part of the settlement, Microsoft must also bolster privacy and protection for children on Xbox consoles.
"Our proposed order makes it easier for parents to protect their children's privacy on Xbox and limits what information Microsoft can collect and retain about kids," said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "This action should also make it abundantly clear that kids' avatars, biometric data, and health information are not exempt from COPPA."
According to the report, Xbox users under the age of 13 were treated like anyone else. "Even when a user indicated that they were under 13, they were also asked, until late 2021, to provide additional personal information, including a phone number, and to agree to Microsoft's service agreement and advertising policy," the FTC writes. "Which, until 2019, included a pre-checked box allowing Microsoft to send promotional messages and to share user data with advertisers."
Continue reading: Xbox hit with a $20 million fine for 'illegally retaining children's personal information' (full post)
TSMC is expanding its capacity to meet the demand for NVIDIA's A100 and H100 GPUs
It's no secret that the demand for all things Artificial Intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing has hit new heights in 2023, so much so that NVIDIA has become a trillion-dollar company. Because the more you buy, the more you save.
AI-boom or not, NVIDIA's A100 and H100 chips are incredibly impressive, boasting massive performance gains over previous generations in addition to some genuinely groundbreaking architectural and efficiency advances. Delivering these chips requires TSMC's chip-on-wafer-on-substrate (CoWoS) packaging technologies, which not only don't come cheap but are incredibly complex to boot.
And so, with the demand for chips like the A100 and H100 being so high, TSMC is planning to expand its production capacity because things have gotten to the level where demand is exceeding supply. The plan is to increase the number of CoWoS wafers it produces each month by the thousands for the remainder of 2023 - up from an estimated 8-9,000 wafers per month.
Continue reading: TSMC is expanding its capacity to meet the demand for NVIDIA's A100 and H100 GPUs (full post)
More games get DLSS 3 support, including former PlayStation 5 exclusive Ratchet & Clank
With Diablo IV now officially out in the wild - breaking Blizzard sales records - if you're rocking a GeForce RTX 40 Series GPU, you've probably checked out its impressive DLSS 3 implementation. Which, even on the new GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, delivers incredible performance with all visual settings maxed out.
Diablo IV scales incredibly well across most PC hardware, it even runs fine on the Steam Deck, but the art and visuals do pop once you dial things up. As per NVIDIA's internal benchmarks playing at 4K with max settings and DLSS 3 enabled everything from the GeForce RTX 4070 to the RTX 4090 hits well over triple-digits.
Firing the game up on the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio, I pushed Ultrawide 1440p into the triple-digit region, which was impressive. The good news is that visual fidelity and responsiveness were great, too - thanks partly to NVIDIA Reflex - which makes Diablo IV an excellent example of DLSS 3 gaming.
Continue reading: More games get DLSS 3 support, including former PlayStation 5 exclusive Ratchet & Clank (full post)
Western Digital launches affordably-priced Xbox Series X/S SSD expansion memory cards
Western Digital enters the next-gen Xbox storage market with its own affordably-priced SSDs.
Western Digital today launched two new Xbox Series X/S expansion SSDs with straightforward pricing: a 500GB SSD for $79.99, and a 1TB SSD for $149.99.
WD's new SSDs actually helped stabilize the expansion storage market for Microsoft's new console. For over 2 years, Seagate was the only company to offer expansion cards for the Series X/S duo, which led to aggressive pricing. Seagate significantly slashed the price of its Xbox SSDs about a month before Western Digital launched its new models, leading to a hefty reduction in MSRP.
Continue reading: Western Digital launches affordably-priced Xbox Series X/S SSD expansion memory cards (full post)
Capcom franchise sales updates: Resident Evil breaks 142 million, Monster Hunter at 92 million
Capcom has just updated unit sales figures for its best-selling video game franchises, including Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, Street Fighter, Mega Man, and Devil May Cry.
Throughout FY22 (April 2022 - March 2023), Capcom sold a total of 47.1 million games across the entire year. The following top franchises made up nearly half of these sales gains. It's worth noting that some games aren't included in these figures, including Street Fighter 6, which launched earlier this month and will instead be included in Capcom's FY23 numbers.
The franchise that saw the largest gains was Resident Evil, which managed to jump by 15 million units, driven by the stellar release performance of Resident Evil 4 in March 2023 as well as catalog game sales. Below we have a better breakdown of how each of these top 5 best-selling franchises performed throughout the fiscal year:
Continue reading: Capcom franchise sales updates: Resident Evil breaks 142 million, Monster Hunter at 92 million (full post)