Titanfall forces cheaters and hackers to play with each other

Charles Gantt | Gaming | Mar 27, 2014 3:07 PM CDT

There is nothing more I hate in this world that someone who cheats at online games such as Battlefield 4, Call of Duty, or any of the FPS shooters. The latest blockbuster to hit the FPS gaming world, Titanfall, has a solution for this. Over the last few weeks, Respawn Entertainment has been silent and letting cheater cheat so they could collect data on what could be hundreds of cheaters, and has just now implemented a fix that will take these players out of the general population.

If you get caught cheating in Titanfall, you will not be banned from the game, but rather placed on a special blacklist that will only allow you to play on maps populated entirely by other cheaters. The segregation from legitimate players began this past Friday, and those caught saw a "FairFight: Cheat Detected" message pop up on their screen while inside the private lobby interface. Respawn included a contact email for those who feel they were incorrectly flagged to use, but users will have to prove they have not cheated.

Even though cheaters are banned from public servers, their non-cheater friends can still play with them though, but the match will have to take place on the isolated, cheater friendly servers. For now, the anti-cheating system is limited to the PC as it is the easiest platform to enable cheating on. While I despise cheaters to the core, I feel that this is the best solution possible for removing cheaters from the game, and could prevent those huge kill to death ratios we often see from cheaters.

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Facebook teams up with other tech giants to launch WebScaleSQL

Charles Gantt | Software & Apps | Mar 27, 2014 2:47 PM CDT

Companies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google have the task of operating and maintaining some of the biggest websites on the internet, and due to not only the amount of content they host, but the massive number of user accounts they must keep up and online at all times requires a massive database. These three companies have teamed up to create the perfect database designed to scale to massive proportions.

Facebook along host one of the largest MySQL database deployments ever built and as the service continues to grow, a vanilla distribution of Oracle's MySQL was just not cutting it, so Facebook teamed up with Google, LinkedIn and Twitter to develop a MySQL alternative, WebScaleSQL, that was both scalable and robust enough to keep the social networking empires running for the foreseeable future. WsSQL is built with collaboration in mind and speed in mind, and allows database engineers from different companies to work together to create the best database possible.

"Our goal in launching WebScaleSQL is to enable the scale-oriented members of the MySQL community to work more closely together in order to prioritize the aspects that are most important to us. We aim to create a more integrated system of knowledge-sharing to help companies leverage the great features already found in MySQL 5.6, while building and adding more features that are specific to deployments in large scale environments," Facebook said in the company's developers blog. "In the last few months, engineers from all four companies have contributed code and provided feedback to each other to develop a new, more unified, and more collaborative branch of MySQL."

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Malware drains your battery and helps bad guys mine for cryptocurrency

Michael Hatamoto | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Mar 27, 2014 2:19 PM CDT

The "Coinkrypt" malware is making its rounds, infecting Google Android devices, letting cybercriminals mine Litecoin, Casinocoin and Dogecoin courtesy of hijacked devices.

Most malware today is designed to either steal information or create some type of financial incentive for criminals - and Coinkrypt follows that same strategy, but with a rather unique twist.

Although it isn't prevalent at the moment, security researchers want users to be aware of the potential ramifications if they are infected - including potentially causing batteries to drain faster - or eventually leads to overheating.

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4DX theater heads to LA this summer with motion seats and more

Shane McGlaun | Celebrities & Entertainment | Mar 27, 2014 2:06 PM CDT

There are a huge number of movie theaters around the country today. Many of them show 3D films and a few of them have large format IMAX screens. A new type of theater is heading to LA this summer called 4D and it uses something known as 4DX technology. Rather than showing a larger image or a 3D image on the screen, 4DX brings some new features to the real-world.

A 4DX-equipped theater has seats that move and vibrate along with the action on the screen. That's not all it offers, the theater can also reproduce rain, wind, strobe effects, and fog along with smells that go along with the movie. I would think that it would be very hard to pay attention to the film while it was raining in the theater or you were surrounded by fog.

The very first 4D Theater in the US will be installed in LA this summer. It will be at the Regal Cinemas LA Live Stadium 14 in downtown LA. The company behind the theater tech is from South Korea and is called CJ Group.

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NVIDIA is paving the way for a world of 8-way GPU support

Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards & GPUs | Mar 27, 2014 1:41 PM CDT

GTC 2014 - At the GPU Technology Conference, NVIDIA unveiled a few new technologies that could see us in a world of 8-way GPUs in consumer PCs within the next couple of years.

Right now, the limitations in place in the form of chipsets, PCIe bandwidth and power consumption simply don't allow this to happen. Starting with NVLink, which promises some impressive tech - such as 5-12x the bandwidth of PCIe, it could happen.

Then we have 3D Memory, another technology which could enable 8-way GPUs. We have incredibly fast memory bandwidth, much faster than what is available today, and it will only get better, and especially as it has 400% better energy efficiency.

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Apple transparent texting lets people see what's behind the phone

Shane McGlaun | Business, Financial & Legal | Mar 27, 2014 1:34 PM CDT

You don't have to go far to see someone walking around and texting on their iPhone. you also don't have to wait long to see some of these people run into something or someone while looking at their phone instead of what's going on around them. Apple has a patent application that shows a system called transparent texting.

The idea is that the rear camera of the smartphone would be used to grab a live video image of what is behing the smartphone. That way the person texting and walking could see what is behind the phone as they move around. Naturally, this would require the person texting to hold the phone straight up in front of their face.

Most of the people I see are walking and looking down at the phone. In that instance, having what is behind the phone in the background behind a text conversation would do no good. The Apple patent app was field with the USPTO on Thursday of this week according to reports.

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Pyle Audio Street Blaster has guitar input and 1000W of power

Shane McGlaun | Audio, Sound & Speakers | Mar 27, 2014 11:33 AM CDT

If you are old enough to remember the 80's, you will recall the giant boom box radios that people carried around to listen too. Those things ate more D-cell batteries than a decent family could afford. Pyle Audio has announced the launch of a new product called the Street Blaster that is a modern interpretation of a boom box from the 80's.

You don't get dual cassette decks in this thing. What you do get is Bluetooth, a guitar input, NFC tech, a rechargeable battery, and a 1000W amp. Pyle doesn't say how large the battery is, but I have to wonder with that much power and wireless features just how long the battery will last.

If you have a device that doesn't support playback via Bluetooth, the Street Blaster does have a 3.5mm input. It also has a microphone input as well. I would assume that to mean you can hook a mic to it and use it like a PA system.

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LG G2 Mini smartphone launches on the global mid-range market

Shane McGlaun | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Mar 27, 2014 11:00 AM CDT

LG unveiled a new smartphone last month at Mobile World Congress called the G2 Mini. The smartphone is a solid mid-range offering that was promised for a global launch this month. This week marked the launch that mid-range device.

The G2 mini has a 4.7-inch screen and a nice 2440 mAh internal battery that is removable. Removable batteries are a big deal for smartphone users who spend a lot of time on the phone and away from an outlet. With a removable battery, you can swap batteries and keep working.

The phone uses a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor and has 8GB of internal storage. The resolution of that 4.7-unch screen is 960 x 540. The Qualcomm processor is paired with 1GB of RAM and the G2 mini has a memory card slot for storage expansion.

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Twitter adds photo tagging and supports more photos per tweet

Shane McGlaun | Internet & Websites | Mar 27, 2014 10:24 AM CDT

If you are a big twitter fan, the service has announced some updates that will make it a bit more social. On networks like Facebook, you can attach multiple photos to your posts and tag people in the photos that you want to see it. Twitter hasn't had that capability.

In the past, it was one photo per tweet and if you wanted someone to see it, you had to use the trusty "@" to do the trick. Twitter announced this week that it was adding two new features that will change all that. The new features include the ability to tag people in photos that you are posting and put multiple photos in a single tweet.

Twitter also now supports up to four photos in the tweet. The cool part about support for photo tagging is that you can tag up to ten people in a single image and not use any of your 140 characters to do it. If you are tagged in a photo, you will receive a notification.

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Anger rises as eBay Australia hike seller fee costs, set to start soon

Ben Gourlay | Business, Financial & Legal | Mar 27, 2014 1:20 AM CDT

Just when it seemed that eBay has finally stabilized their ever changing fee and user structures, Australian users have been slugged with an additional new 10% postage charge in an email sent out to registered users earlier today.

Under the auspices of the otherwise innocently named "Changes to the fee structure", from May 6th sellers will now be charged a flat 9.9% fee on the price of all goods sold, including the price that sellers charge for postage. Whilst eBay are continuing to encourage sellers to not charge buyers for postage, TweakTown has spoken to a number of sellers disgusted to eBay's latest fee hike, whom have indicated that they will have no choice but to charge higher rates for postage to compensate for this charge.

Some have indicated that this change will unfairly target Australians in favor of overseas sellers, whose cost of shipping goods is negligible, compared to the rising costs of shipping goods via Australia Post.

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