Apple's long-rumored AR and VR headset will function as a Mac second screen

Apple has been working on a mixed-reality VR/AR headset for many years, and reports are emerging that it will finally be released sometime in 2023. The word is that it will support both VR and AR and be able to toggle between the two modes, the former being a sort of extended display for Mac - and even a virtual big-screen cinema that will pair with Apple TV+.

Apple's long-rumored AR and VR headset will function as a Mac second screen 01

The headset will be a familiar experience for those in the Apple ecosystem, with a UI and presentation described as "IOS-like," with a home screen and app icons similar to what's found on an iPhone and iPad.

Continue reading: Apple's long-rumored AR and VR headset will function as a Mac second screen (full post)

Microsoft confirms its investing billions in ChatGPT developer OpenAI

Kosta Andreadis | Artificial Intelligence | Jan 23, 2023 9:01 PM CST

Although Microsoft has recently cut over 10,000 employees across its many divisions (including staff at Xbox and Bethesda), the company has just announced that it's expanding its "long-term partnership with OpenAI through a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment."

Microsoft confirms its investing billions in ChatGPT developer OpenAI 01

OpenAI is behind the groundbreaking ChatGPT platform, an advanced chatbot so convincing that it's being banned from school and education networks. OpenAI is also behind DALL-E, the powerful AI-based image creation tool that is helping fuel debates and discussions about the legality of creating new works based on learning through analyzing millions of images.

Continue reading: Microsoft confirms its investing billions in ChatGPT developer OpenAI (full post)

Watching Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot in action is a glimpse into the future

Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot is one of the most advanced humanoid robots, and if you've seen a clip of it in action over the years, then you'll no doubt have been impressed by how it moves. Now equipped with hands, Boston Dynamics has released a new video of Atlas on a mock construction site as a worker up on a scaffold realizes he's forgotten his tool bag.

Watching Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot in action is a glimpse into the future 01

Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot

And with that, we cue Atlas to create a little bridge to make its way up the scaffolding, grab the bag, toss it up to the worker, and then perform a gymnast-style backflip as it dismounts back onto ground level.

Continue reading: Watching Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot in action is a glimpse into the future (full post)

Diablo 2 is getting 8 new runewords, but they're not so great

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Jan 23, 2023 3:05 PM CST

Blizzard is bringing eight new runewords to Diablo 2, but most of them may not actually be used all that much.

Diablo 2 is getting 8 new runewords, but they're not so great 80

Diablo 2 Resurrected is getting another batch of new runewords aimed at melee builds and utilizing unpopular runes. The result is an interesting and eclectic mix of abilities, however the runewords could have a hard time gaining traction.

The most noteworthy runewords are Hustle (Shael+Ko+Eld), which adds 50% faster run walk for armors and a 5% chance to cast a level 9 Burst of Speed ability when socketed into weapons. The lack of any other useful stats makes this armor an extremely niche item, and the lower enhanced damage effectively removes any real utility for Hustle as a weapon.

Continue reading: Diablo 2 is getting 8 new runewords, but they're not so great (full post)

FTC trying to use Microsoft-Activision merger to 'reset merger policy'

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Jan 23, 2023 12:06 PM CST

Former FTC Commissioner William Kovacic says that Lina Khan and the current FTC administration is trying to reset merger policy in high-profile antitrust cases like the Microsoft-Activision merger.

FTC trying to use Microsoft-Activision merger to 'reset merger policy' 2

The Federal Trade Commission has been quite vocal in its opposition to Microsoft's proposed $68.7 billion buyout of Activision Blizzard King. The FTC has issued formal complaints that the merger would give Microsoft unfair advantages in multiple segments, including multi-game subscription (Xbox Game Pass), cloud gaming, and potentially even mobile gaming--Activision does, after all, have eight franchises that have all made $1 billion each, including Call of Duty, whose lifetime revenues exceed $31 billion.

Various antitrust lawyers and analysts believe the FTC will have a hard time proving antitrust in this vertical merger, namely because Microsoft owning Activision Blizzard King will not shut down the console, PC, or mobile gaming environment, nor does the merger have the power to squeeze out competitors like Sony and Nintendo, both of which are entrenched in these markets with their own lucrative billion-dollar hardware, software, and service-based ecosystems.

Continue reading: FTC trying to use Microsoft-Activision merger to 'reset merger policy' (full post)

Bungie's new change makes Destiny much more rewarding

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Jan 23, 2023 11:21 AM CST

Bungie is making one of the best changes in Destiny 2 that will alleviate lots of extra tedium.

Bungie's new change makes Destiny much more rewarding 1

Live RPG games with any sort of skills, crafting, or gear are one half gameplay and one half inventory management. That's the case with Destiny 2, whose myriad of updates constantly shift mechanics around and make things into a complicated game of juggling materials and dismantling unwanted gear. Think of all the time we've spent scrapping items...

Now Bungie is removing a big portion of Destiny 2's most unenjoyable moments. Blue engrams are being removed from the game. Yes, it's finally happening and Guardians all over the globe are happy for the adjustments.

Continue reading: Bungie's new change makes Destiny much more rewarding (full post)

Google, NVIDIA give key evidence to FTC relating to Microsoft-Activision merger

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Jan 23, 2023 10:11 AM CST

Google and NVIDIA are concerned about Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision-Blizzard for $68.7 billion, and have provided key evidence to the Federal Trade Commission regarding a possible unfair advantage.

Google, NVIDIA give key evidence to FTC relating to Microsoft-Activision merger 2

Google and NVIDIA both have sizable stakes in the world of video games. NVIDIA commands the largest share of graphics cards that help power the PC gaming market and also runs its own cloud game streaming service, GeForce Now. Google pulls in billions every year from its mobile Play Store and had a brief stint with game streaming in its now-defunct Stadia service.

Now both gaming titans have outlined their concerns with the Microsoft-Activision merger. Sources tell Bloomberg that Google and NVIDIA have formally opposed the merger and have also given the FTC data points and other information that highlights one of the FTC's major concerns with the deal. The FTC, as well as the United Kingdom's CMA and the European Commission, have raised the points that Microsoft could gain an unfair advantage in the cloud streaming and multi-game subscription market

Continue reading: Google, NVIDIA give key evidence to FTC relating to Microsoft-Activision merger (full post)

Elon Musk confirms Twitter Blue will get more expensive

Jak Connor | Science, Space, Health & Robotics | Jan 23, 2023 7:02 AM CST

Twitter owner Elon Musk has confirmed that Twitter Blue will soon get a more expensive option for users that wish to remove advertisements from the platform entirely.

The news came from Musk, that took to his personal Twitter account to announce that advertisements are "too frequent on Twitter" and are "too big". The Tesla CEO went on to explain that development teams are tackling both of these issues in the "coming weeks" and that there will be a "higher-priced subscription that allows zero advertisements". These announcements of new revenue streams from Musk come at a crucial time as the company is suffering from a dramatic loss in advertising expenditure from big-name advertisers and ad agencies.

Notably, reports from last week indicated that Twitter wants its old and new advertisers so badly that it's giving away $250,000 in ad spend to specific companies that spend $250,000 on the platform. This means a company would get $500,000 in ad spend on Twitter if they bought $250,000 of ads. Advertisers left or temporarily stopped spending on Twitter following Musk's takeover in late October, with many former advertisers citing Musk's unpredictable behavior on the platform, changes to the platform's content policy, and layoffs.

Continue reading: Elon Musk confirms Twitter Blue will get more expensive (full post)

Scientists use high-powered laser beam to steer lightning bolts

Jak Connor | Science, Space, Health & Robotics | Jan 23, 2023 5:31 AM CST

A group of scientists have created a high-power laser beam that they claim lightning will follow for a period of time.

Lightning strike

Lightning strike

Physicists have published a new study in the scientific journal Nature Photonics that explores the use of a high-powered laser beam to control where lightning strikes in what seems to be the successor to the still-in-use lightning rod. The idea behind the laser beam is to protect areas such as airports, rocket launch pads, and other infrastructure that is vulnerable to electrical damage from rolling thunderstorms that spawn lightning strikes.

Benjamin Franklin first proposed the lightning rod that is still widely used today to protect buildings from lightning strikes in around 1750. The rod or lightning conductor is a large metal rod mounted on a structure that routes lightning into the ground, protecting the building from any electrical damage. While Franklin suggested the idea, the design of the lightning rod was perfected by Nikolas Tesla.

Continue reading: Scientists use high-powered laser beam to steer lightning bolts (full post)

Federal 'No Fly List' exposed by US airline hacker reveals heavy biases

Jak Connor | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Jan 23, 2023 5:03 AM CST

The US airline CommuteAir reportedly left a federal "No Fly List" on an unsecured server that was then accessed by a Swiss hacker.

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The exclusive report comes from The Daily Dot that claims US airline CommuteAir left an unsecured server open that contained a large quantity of sensitive information. This server was accessed by a Swiss hacker that goes by "maia arson crimew" who wrote a blog post titled "how to completely own an airline in 3 easy steps," where they explained that they stumbled across the sensitive server by accident and through boredom.

Essentially, the hackers were just looking around through a search engine called Shodan when they discovered the server and a file titled "NoFly.csv". The file was opened, and the hackers discovered a 2019 version of a federal No Fly list that includes first and last names as well as dates of birth. The Daily Dot reports the list contained the names and aliases of many high-profile people, such as the recently-freed Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout and his 16 aliases.

Continue reading: Federal 'No Fly List' exposed by US airline hacker reveals heavy biases (full post)

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