Posted by Willa Rowe from Kotaku
If you aren’t playing Hello Kitty Island Adventure, you are missing out on one of the best mobile games available right now. Released in July of last year, Island Adventure is an Apple Arcade exclusive title that blends Animal Crossing and Breath of the Wild-inspired mechanics and throws them into an adorable world…

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Posted by Moises Taveras from Kotaku
Xbox recently announced that four of its older titles would be going multiplatform, and finally detailed which games would be making the leap earlier this week. Among the games is Hi-Fi Rush, Bethesda and Tango Gameworks’ surprising rhythm-action game that came out of nowhere early last year. However, when Hi-Fi Rush…

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Posted by msmash from Slashdot
From the security-woes department: U.S. healthcare technology giant Change Healthcare has confirmed a cyberattack on its systems. In a brief statement, the company said it was "experiencing a network interruption related to a cyber security issue." From a report: "Once we became aware of the outside threat, in the interest of protecting our partners and patients, we took immediate action to disconnect our systems to prevent further impact," Change Healthcare wrote on its status page. "The disruption is expected to last at least through the day."

The incident began early on Tuesday morning on the U.S. East Coast, according to the incident tracker. The specific nature of the cybersecurity incident was not disclosed. Most of the login pages for Change Healthcare were inaccessible or offline when TechCrunch checked at the time of writing. Michigan local newspaper the Huron Daily Tribune is reporting that local pharmacies are experiencing outages due to the Change Healthcare cyberattack.
Posted by Levi Winslow from Kotaku
After two years on the market, FromSoftware’s magnum opus, Elden Ring, is still posting stellar sales numbers. In a recent press release following the reveal ofShadow of the Erdtree, publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment confirmed that the open-world death game has sold 23 million copies worldwide.

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Posted by Kenneth Shepard from Kotaku
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth revels in all the extra time you can spend hanging out with the original game’s iconic cast. But it also falls victim to it in a way that not even Remake did four years ago. Square Enix’s plan to recreate Final Fantasy VII as three games seemed questionable when the company announced it back…

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Posted by msmash from Slashdot
From the encouraging-feedback department: AmiMoJo writes: Most of the UK companies that took part in the world's biggest ever four-day working week trial have made the policy permanent, research shows. Of the 61 organisations that took part in a six-month UK pilot in 2022, 54 (89%) are still operating the policy a year later, and 31 (51%) have made the change permanent. More than half (55%) of project managers and CEOs said a four-day week -- in which staff worked 100% of their output in 80% of their time -- had a positive impact on their organisation, the report found.

For 82% this included positive effects on staff wellbeing, 50% found it reduced staff turnover, while 32% said it improved job recruitment. Nearly half (46%) said working and productivity improved. The report's author, Juliet Schor, professor of sociology at Boston College, said the results showed "real and long lasting" effects. "Physical and mental health, and work-life balance are significantly better than at six months. Burnout and life satisfaction improvements held steady," she said.
Posted by Claire Jackson from Kotaku
Having fled a polluted city of unchecked corporate, militaristic oppression, I’m hit with the light of a bright blue, endless sky. Rich green grass extends endlessly before me; mountains tower in the distance. The world around me is a wellspring of life. Yet it’s haunted by a creeping shadow of harm. I see it in the…

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Posted by BeauHD from Slashdot
From the one-size-doesn't-fit-all department: jbmartin6 shares a report from Phys.Org: Threatening messages aimed to prevent digital piracy have the opposite effect if you're a man, a new study from the University of Portsmouth has found. According to the research, women tend to respond positively to this kind of messaging, but men typically increase their piracy behaviors by 18%. [...] This paper studies how effective anti-piracy messages are as a deterrent, examining the change in TV and film piracy intentions among 962 adults compared with their past behavior. The three messages examined in the study were verbatim copies of three real-world anti-piracy campaigns. Two of the campaigns used threatening messages to try to combat piracy and the third was educational in tone.

One of the threatening messages was from crime reduction charity, Crimestoppers, which focused on the individual's risk of computer viruses, identity fraud, money and data theft and hacking. The other message was based on a campaign by the French government, which used a "three strike" process, whereby infringers were given two written warnings before their internet access was terminated. The educational message was taken from the campaign "Get It Right from a Genuine Site," which focuses on the cost to the economy and to the individual creative people, and signposts consumers away from piracy sites and towards legal platforms such as Spotify or Netflix.

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Posted by Joe Moore from The Toyark


Pre-orders have started to go live for the new Halo: Reach – Carter A259 (Noble One) 1/12 Scale Re:Edit Action Figure from 1000Toys. They will be offering both a Standard Edition, and an Exclusive Edition.The figure stands at 6.8″ tall, ...

The post Halo: Reach – Carter A259 Noble One Figure by 1000Toys appeared first on The Toyark - News.
Posted by Joe Moore from The Toyark


Limited Run Games, known mainly for creating physical releases for video games that would generally only see a digital release, has announced their editions for the new Contra video game. The upcoming game is being produced by WayForward, known for ...

The post New Contra Action Figures Included With Contra: Operation Galuga Ultimate Edition appeared first on The Toyark - News.
Posted by from MMO Champion
World of Warcraft: The Voices Within - Short Story Collection Available for Pre-Order

World of Warcraft: The Voices Within (Short Story Collection) is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Purchasing through our links helps to support the site.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Enhance your experience of The War Within, the first expansion in World of Warcraft’s World Soul Saga, with this immersive short story anthology featuring an all-star cast of bestselling, award-winning authors.

From deep beneath the surface of Azeroth, a mysterious voice cries out for heroes. But before these brave souls heed the call, they must answer to their own voices within . . . .

Anduin’s wanderings at last lead him to the solitude he seeks, until his peace is shattered in a heartrending tale by Christie Golden.

Andrew Robinson takes Gazlowe to a struggling goblin city, where he aims to inspire its citizens to more worthy ambitions.

Thrall grapples with his son’s coming of age in a heartfelt story by Jonathan Maberry about what it means to love and let go.

Delilah Dawson gives voice to Alleria Windrunner, desperate to connect with her son in a tense, bittersweet journey home.

These tales—besides more from Catherynne M. Valente and Courtney Alameda—portray the poignant, introspective moments set to proceed World of Warcraft’s highly anticipated The War Within expansion. As these larger-than-life heroes grapple with their next steps, a greater threat looms, one that will lead them to raise arms again to fight for the fate of Azeroth. Despite the chasm of varied backgrounds, allegiances, and choices that divide them, these tales prove that even in the darkest times, home unites us all.
Posted by msmash from Slashdot
From the tough-luck department: Google has temporarily stopped its latest AI model, Gemini, from generating images of people (non-paywalled link) , as a backlash erupted over the model's depiction of people from diverse backgrounds. From a report: Gemini creates realistic images based on users' descriptions in a similar manner to OpenAI's ChatGPT. Like other models, it is trained not to respond to dangerous or hateful prompts, and to introduce diversity into its outputs. However, some users have complained that it has overcorrected towards generating images of women and people of colour, such that they are featured in historically inaccurate contexts, for instance in depictions of Viking kings.

Google said in a statement: "We're working to improve these kinds of depictions immediately. Gemini's image generation does generate a wide range of people. And that's generally a good thing because people around the world use it. But it's missing the mark here." It added that it would "pause the image-generation of people and will re-release an improved version soon."
Posted by Black Convoy from TFW2005


Thanks to Twitter users @YUBISUI, @Machi_akiba@chiba69651152@furyog@wa_bu_ki_dia@TwittTomtom and Baidu we can share for you our first in-hand images of the highly anticipated Takara Tomy Missing Link Convoy/Optimus Prime. We have images of both versions of this figure: C-01 Convoy toy version (with trailer) and C-02 Convoy Anime Version (cab only). We are sure you will be really pleased with the images which reveal the new poseability range added to the classic G1 mold. Check out our sponsors below to snag your copies! Sponsor Links: C-01 Missing Link Convoy (Toy Colors, With Trailer) Entertainment Earth» Continue Reading.

The post Takara Tomy Missing Link Convoy/Optimus Prime In-Hand Images appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.
Posted by msmash from Slashdot
From the tough-luck department: Google has temporarily stopped its latest AI model, Gemini, from generating images of people, as a backlash erupted over the model's depiction of people from diverse backgrounds. From a report: Gemini creates realistic images based on users' descriptions in a similar manner to OpenAI's ChatGPT. Like other models, it is trained not to respond to dangerous or hateful prompts, and to introduce diversity into its outputs. However, some users have complained that it has overcorrected towards generating images of women and people of colour, such that they are featured in historically inaccurate contexts, for instance in depictions of Viking kings.

Google said in a statement: "We're working to improve these kinds of depictions immediately. Gemini's image generation does generate a wide range of people. And that's generally a good thing because people around the world use it. But it's missing the mark here." It added that it would "pause the image-generation of people and will re-release an improved version soon."
Posted by BeauHD from Slashdot
From the not-a-good-look department: Sarah Perez reports via TechCrunch: The CEO of meditation app Insight Timer, Christopher Plowman, is frustrated. He doesn't think the teachers who leverage his app's marketplace to reach their students should have to share 30% of their income with Apple -- its commission on in-app purchases -- and for the past 12 months, Apple had also agreed. After Apple loosened its rules around in-app donations in 2022, Insight Timer took advantage of the option to adjust a digital donations feature that allowed Insight Timers' teachers to collect "tips" from their user profiles and during live events. Apple reviewed the app and approved its release on the App Store. Now the tech giant has changed its mind -- it wants to collect a commission from this content, and Insight Timer had no choice but to comply or have its iOS business shut down, Plowman says. [...]

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Posted by BeauHD from Slashdot
From the not-ready-yet department: In a warning issued Wednesday, the FDA said it has not authorized or approved any smartwatch or smart ring to measure blood glucose levels. The use of these devices can lead to inaccurate measurements and errors in managing diabetes that can be life-threatening, the agency said. From a report: These unauthorized devices are different from smartwatch apps that display data from FDA-approved continuous glucose monitoring devices that pierce the skin. The FDA did not name specific brands but said the sellers of these unauthorized smartwatches and smart rings advertise using âoenon-invasive techniquesâ to measure blood glucose without requiring people to prick their fingers or pierce their skin. However, these devices do not directly test blood glucose levels, the agency said, urging consumers to avoid buying them for that purpose.

The agency also advised health care providers to discuss the risk of using unauthorized blood glucose measuring devices with their patients and to help them select an appropriate authorized device for their needs. âoeThe agency is working to ensure that manufacturers, distributors, and sellers do not illegally market unauthorized smartwatches or smart rings that claim to measure blood glucose levels,â the FDA said in the statement. âoeIf your medical care depends on accurate blood glucose measurements, talk to your health care provider about an appropriate FDA-authorized device for your needs." .
Posted by BeauHD from Slashdot
From the reinforcement-learning department: An anonymous reader quotes a report from Princeton Engineering: In the blink of an eye, the unruly, superheated plasma that drives a fusion reaction can lose its stability and escape the strong magnetic fields confining it within the donut-shaped fusion reactor. These getaways frequently spell the end of the reaction, posing a core challenge to developing fusion as a non-polluting, virtually limitless energy source. But a Princeton-led team composed of engineers, physicists, and data scientists from the University and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have harnessed the power of artificial intelligence to predict -- and then avoid -- the formation of a specific plasma problem in real time.

In experiments at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego, the researchers demonstrated their model, trained only on past experimental data, could forecast potential plasma instabilities known as tearing mode instabilities up to 300 milliseconds in advance. While that leaves no more than enough time for a slow blink in humans, it was plenty of time for the AI controller to change certain operating parameters to avoid what would have developed into a tear within the plasma's magnetic field lines, upsetting its equilibrium and opening the door for a reaction-ending escape.

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Posted by from MMO Champion
WoW Hotfixes - February 21, 2024

Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Classes

Rogue

Outlaw

Fixed an issue with Echoing Reprimand that allowed Slice and Dice to trigger effects like Ruthlessness and Restless Blades as if spending 7 combo points.

Dungeons

Waycrest Manor

Fixed an issue where receiving Aura of Dread can interrupt a player's channel.

WoW Classic: Season of Discovery

Elite and Dungeon Quests now grant additional bonus experience.

The Dismantle enchant now procs more often for casters and melee.

The vendor price of Ez-Thro Radiation Bombs and High-Yield Radiation Bomb has been reduced.

Players in the Spirit World can now resurrect at Chained Spirits for up to 30 minutes after a Blood Moon ends.

Spirit of Redemption Form will no longer instantly cancel if you attempt to cast spells not allowed in that form. Doing so now returns an error message.

A Zandalarian Emissary can now be found atop the Durotar zeppelin tower.

Mage

Spell Power now benefits the critical strike damage of Spellfrost Bolt.

Rogue

Preparation now properly resets the cooldowns of Quick Draw, Between the Eyes, and Redirect.

Shuriken Toss will no longer sometimes cause loss of combo points when a Rogue is talented into Seal Fate and a bounced Shuriken crits a secondary target.

Shaman

Offhand Stormstrike hits can now correctly trigger weapon procs, including Windfury Weapon and Flurry.

Healing Rain no longer has a variant height for its animation. The Healing Rain cloud now always appears just above player's heads.

Warlock

Haunt will now properly increase the damage done by Siphon Life.

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Posted by BeauHD from Slashdot
From the first-major-consequence department: Following a recent ruling from the state supreme court, the University of Alabama at Birmingham health system said it is pausing all in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments for fear of criminal prosecution or punitive damages. On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are "children," entitled to full personhood rights, and anyone who destroys them could be liable in a wrongful death case. The Hill reports: "We are saddened that this will impact our patients' attempt to have a baby through IVF, but we must evaluate the potential that our patients and our physicians could be prosecuted criminally or face punitive damages for following the standard of care for IVF treatments," the health system said. [...] It is standard practice in IVF to fertilize several eggs and then transfer one into a woman's uterus. Any remaining normally developing embryos can be, at the patient's request and consent, frozen for later use. But legal experts say it's unclear if the standard practice is illegal in Alabama and could make IVF virtually inaccessible in the state.

According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the best-developing embryo will be transferred into a patient for an attempt at a pregnancy while the rest are frozen for later use, in case the first one does not develop into a live birth, or the patient later desires another child. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 238,126 patients underwent IVF treatment in 2021, resulting in the births of 97,128 babies, the last year for which statistics were available. There are 453 IVF clinics nationwide.
Posted by Mechafire from TFW2005


We have two more additions to yesterday’s 2025 Studio Series lineup thanks to TFW’s Jtprime17. First, it appears we will be getting a rival for the upcoming Commander 86 Optimus Prime. A listing for the long-requested and discussed 86 Megatron has been found, and unlike the previous WFC Trilogy Voyager, it seems he is going to be a Leader this time around. Of course the elephant in the room will probably be his alt mode – in one of our previous Hasbro Q&As, it was said that he would most likely be a tank if made. Tra » Continue Reading.

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