Posted by BeauHD from Slashdot
From the human-taste-testing department: An anonymous reader quotes a report from ScienceAlert: [T]here's been a longstanding question over whether heavy water tastes the same as regular drinking water -- or whether its subtle isotopic variation yields a different taste that people may be able to perceive. "There is anecdotal evidence from the 1930s that the taste of pure D2O is distinct from the neutral one of pure H2O, being described mostly as 'sweet,'" an international team of researchers led by first authors and biochemists Natalie Ben Abu and Philip E. Mason explains in a new study. [I]n their new research, Ben Abu, Mason, and their team can finally confirm that there really is something a bit different about the taste of heavy water. "Despite the fact that the two isotopes are nominally chemically identical, we have shown conclusively that humans can distinguish by taste (which is based on chemical sensing) between H2O and D2O, with the latter having a distinct sweet taste," explains senior author and physical chemist Pavel Jungwirth from the Czech Academy of Sciences.

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Posted by msmash from Slashdot
From the shape-of-things-to-come department: Apple has been a laggard in the smart-home space, but a versatile new device in early development could change that. From a Bloomberg report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. The device's other capabilities would include standard Apple TV box functions like watching video and gaming plus smart speaker uses such as playing music and using Apple's Siri digital assistant.

If launched, it would represent Apple's most ambitious smart-home hardware offering to date. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is also mulling the launch of a high-end speaker with a touch screen to better compete with market leaders Google and Amazon.com, the people said. Such a device would combine an iPad with a HomePod speaker and also include a camera for video chat. Apple has explored connecting the iPad to the speaker with a robotic arm that can move to follow a user around a room, similar to Amazon's latest Echo Show gadget. Development of both Apple products is still in the early stages, and the company could decide to launch neither or change key features. The company often works on new concepts and devices without ultimately shipping them.
Posted by Luke Plunkett from Kotaku
Let me tell you about an emotional rollercoaster I’ve been on for the past eight months. It’s a cautionary tale, about the perils of obsessing over PC hardware, but also one of celebration, a triumph against the odds.

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Posted by msmash from Slashdot
From the moving-forward department: Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger called Monday for the U.S. to spend billions of dollars over the next few years as part of a "moonshot" designed to regain lost ground in semiconductor manufacturing. The goal, he said, is to see the U.S. again account for a third of global output, up from about 12% today. From a report: Investments made now will take several years to bear fruit, so they won't do much to ease the current semiconductor shortage, but are vital to America's long-term economic future and national security, Gelsinger told Axios on Monday. The White House met with tech leaders in a virtual summit on Monday discussing the need for investment in chip manufacturing. With demand for broad categories of chips exceeding supply, makers of everything from cars to computers and networking gear are having to slow factories and cut output. Automakers have been hit especially hard. At the very leading edge, the vast majority of chip production today is done in Taiwan, an island that remains imperiled by China's longstanding claims. "I would argue the most important building block for our economic livelihood and every aspect of human life is now increasingly not in our control," Gelsinger told Axios in an interview after the White House meeting.
Anima Rewards Increased 2021-04-12 18:15:02
Posted by from MMO Champion
Anima Rewards Increased

Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Since we increased Anima drops a few weeks ago, we’ve seen a lot of feedback that obtaining Anima still feels as though it becomes too difficult as you progress into the later tiers of the features of your Covenant. We don’t want players to feel as though spending 10,000 Anima on a feature upgrade is ever the wrong thing to do. The heroes of Azeroth have made a great impact in the Shadowlands, and continuously defeating the Jailer’s forces should make Anima more plentiful.

With hotfixes that have just gone live in all regions,

Three new Achievements have been added for upgrading all four of your Covenant Sanctum features to tiers 1, 2, and 3.

Anima rewards now scale upward when you earn each new Achievement for unlocking a tier on all four of the features in your Covenant Sanctum.

Now, when you upgrade all of your Covenant features (the Adventures system, transportation network, Anima conductor, and Queen’s Conservatory/Ember Court/Path of Ascension/Abominable Stitching) to tier 1, you’ll receive an Achievement and see all uncommon and rare Anima rewards increase by 1 Anima item. This means that after you hit tier 1 on all four structures, a World Quest the previously rewarded 4 Anima items worth 35 Anima each (for a total of 140 Anima) will now reward 5 items for a total of 175 Anima. When you upgrade all four Covenant features to tier 2, that same World Quest will reward a total of 210 Anima, and with the tier 3 Achievement, it will reward 7 Anima items, for a total of 245 Anima.

The new Achievements will be granted to player-characters who already have the required Sanctum feature tiers when you next log in, and you can start earning the additional Anima immediately.

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Posted by BeauHD from Slashdot
From the price-jumps department: Tesla appears to have drastically increased the price of its Solar Roof tiles in an update to its configurator and quote estimates. Electrek reports: After years of delays, the Tesla Solar Roof is finally gaining momentum with a sharp rise in installations over the last few quarters. The increased deployment came after Tesla launched version 3 of its Solar Roof tiles, which brought a significant price decrease through optimization and faster installation process. Tesla kept refining the product and changed its online cost estimates a few times, decreasing the price again last summer.

But now Tesla appears to have changed course and significantly increased the price of its solar roof in its online configurator. Several Electrek readers and prospective solar roof buyers reached out this weekend to let us know that they are seeing higher prices for the same quotes. Last summer, a quote for a 3,947-square-foot roof with a 12,3 kW solar roof tile system was $54,966 before incentives. Now the Tesla Solar Roof configurator shows prices between $79,938 and $100,621 for the same size roof. While this is a sharp increase in price, Tesla also appears to try to make its online quotes more accurate with a new "roof complexity" factor. [...] However, in this case, the least to the most complex options all result in higher prices than previously quoted for the same address with the same square footage.
Posted by BeauHD from Slashdot
From the nice-try department: A judge has ordered Charter Communications to pay $19.2 million to Windstream for lying to customers in order to trick them into switching from Windstream to Charter's Spectrum Internet service. Charter also faces a $5,279 penalty for shutting off service to hundreds of Windstream's resale customers. Ars Technica reports: When Windstream filed for bankruptcy in early 2019, Charter began a "literally false and intentionally misleading advertising campaign intended to create the impression, using mailings designed to seem as if they were coming from the Debtors [Windstream], that the Debtors were going out of business," said an order issued Thursday by Judge Robert Drain of US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Charter's goal with the mailings "was to induce the Debtors' customers to terminate their contracts and switch to Charter by sending them literally false and intentionally misleading information about the Debtors' bankruptcy cases and financial wherewithal," the ruling said. Charter premised its ad campaign "on false assertions regarding the Debtors' bankruptcy cases," the ruling said.

"We are gratified that Judge Drain's ruling means Charter will have to pay a significant price for its egregious false advertising," Windstream General Counsel Kristi Moody said, according to a FierceTelecom article. "Charter knew full well what it was doing when it embarked on a dishonest scare-tactic campaign to lure away our customers. At Windstream, we will always aggressively defend ourselves and our customers against predatory schemes and meritless allegations."
Posted by BeauHD from Slashdot
From the proof-of-concept department: An anonymous reader writes: If you're a frequent user of WhatsApp, you may want to keep an eye on a disturbing hole discovered in its security this weekend. It's possible for an attacker to completely suspend your WhatsApp account, without any recourse for the individual user, and all they need is your phone number. At the time of writing there's no solution for this issue.

This newly-discovered flaw uses two separate vectors. The attacker installs WhatsApp on a new device and enters your number to activate the chat service. They can't verify it, because of course, the two-factor authentication system is sending the login prompts to your phone instead. After multiple repeated and failed attempts, your login is locked for 12 hours. Here's where the tricky part comes in: with your account locked, the attacker sends a support message to WhatsApp from their email address, claiming that their (your) phone has been lost or stolen, and that the account associated with your number needs to be deactivated. WhatsApp "verifies" this with a reply email, and suspends your account without any input on your end. The attacker can repeat the process several times in succession to create a semi-permanent lock on your account. The results are disturbing, but at the very least, this method can't be used to actually gain access to an account, merely to block access by its legitimate owner. Confidential text messages and contacts are not exposed. The proof-of-concept attack was first reported by Forbes from security researchers Luis Marquez Carpintero and Ernesto Canales Perena. There's no indication that it's being used in the wild.
Same. Exact. Energy. 2021-04-12 17:55:03
Posted by Alexandra Hall from Kotaku
The time had finally come for me to check out id Software’s unapologetic 2011 Mad Max ripoff Rage, and true to its reputation, I spent the first couple hours just trying to get it to run smoothly like a game built on a normal engine. Megatextures, am I right? But I succeeded, and promptly ran into the game’s first…

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Posted by Luke Plunkett from Kotaku
AkkoArcade is a 3D modeller who specialises in adult props for NSFW Source filmmaker clips. Earlier this week one of their creations—a large, veiny dick intended for use with Bowser movies—has had to be removed from Patreon after a takedown notice was issued against it.

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Posted by Jordan Devore from Destructoid
After revisiting A Way Out a few months ago and just wrapping up It Takes Two over the weekend — it was surprisingly long! — it's been tough to muster my usual enthusiasm for other co-op games.

I love teaming up with my girlfriend whenever and wherever our gaming interests intersect, and I know we still have countless hours left on our Year 3 farm in Stardew Valley, which will continue to be our go-to "unwinding" game for the near future. (We still have a few super-expensive purchases left, including two of the four warp obelisks and the Gold Clock, and I guess we're really going for perfection?) Once we've tapped out, I'll be back on my weekend routine of looking for something new for us to play.

A lot of the time, after flipping through stores on multiple platforms and searching in vain for Reddit recommendations, I draw a blank. "This game would be fun... but it's online-only." "That one looks cool, but it's not out for a couple more months." "I don't know when Pikmin 4 or Overcooked 3 are happening."

We either resort to digging out a known favorite (again!) or take a chance on something iffy that one of us probably won't like all that much — or we just do our own thing. It's a sentiment that I think a lot of couples and families can relate to. And while I'll often settle for okay games with reasonably decent co-op modes, I would be thrilled to see more games that follow Hazelight's "co-op only" prime directive.



Read more...
Posted by BeauHD from Slashdot
From the strict-cryptocurrency-policies department: HSBC has banned customers of its online share-trading platform from buying or moving into their accounts MicroStrategy stock, calling it a "virtual currency product." Reuters reports: The bank will not facilitate the buying or exchange of products related to or referencing the performance of virtual currencies, the message to an HSBC InvestDirect client said. MicroStrategy declined to comment. The U.S. business software firm is led by bitcoin proponent Michael Saylor and owns bitcoin worth billions of dollars.

While HSBC will allow the holding, sale and outgoing transfer of MicroStrategy shares, it will forbid new purchases or incoming transfers, said the message dated March 29. "HSBC has no appetite for direct exposure to virtual currencies and limited appetite to facilitate products or securities that derive their value from VCs (virtual currencies)," HSBC said in a statement. The bank said its policy towards cryptocurrencies had been in place since 2018 and is kept under review.
Posted by BeauHD from Slashdot
From the crystal-ball department: Jess Powell, CEO of Kraken, the world's fourth-largest digital currency exchange, warns that governments around the world may start to clamp down on the use of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. CNBC reports: "I think there could be some crackdown," Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, told CNBC in an interview. Cryptocurrencies have surged in value lately, with bitcoin hitting a record high price of more than $61,000 last month. The world's most valuable digital coin was last trading at around $60,105. [...] Kraken's chief thinks regulatory uncertainty around crypto isn't going away anytime soon. A recent anti-money laundering rule proposed by the U.S. government would require people who hold their crypto in a private digital wallet to undergo identity checks if they make transactions of $3,000 or more.

"Something like that could really hurt crypto and kind of kill the original use case, which was to just make financial services accessible to everyone," Powell said. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have often been associated with illicit activities due to the fact that people transacting with it are pseudonymous -- you can see where funds are being sent but not who sent or received them. "I hope that the U.S. and international regulators don't take too much of a narrow view on this," Powell said. "Some other countries, China especially, are taking crypto very seriously and taking a very long-term view."

Kraken's CEO said he feels the U.S. is more "shortsighted" than other nations and "susceptible" to the pressures of incumbent legacy businesses -- in other words, the banks -- that "stand to lose from crypto becoming a big deal." "I also think it might be too late," Powell added. "Maybe the genie's out of the bottle and just trying to ban it at this point would make it more attractive. It would certainly send a message that the government sees this as a superior alternative to their own currency."
Posted by Zack Zwiezen from Kotaku
The Master Chief Collection’s latest season, Season 6: Raven, launched last week on April 7 for Xbox and PC. I’ve been busy with Outriders, so I didn’t get to check it out until now. This update adds a lot, but the most exciting new piece of content is a new map for Halo 3.

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ISS Vaccine 2021-04-12 15:40:01
Posted by Randall Munroe from XKCD
Because they orbit the Earth every 90 minutes, some astronauts should try to argue that, due to CDC regulations and time zone technicalities, they should be able to get their second dose just 30 or 40 hours after their first.
Posted by BeauHD from Slashdot
From the another-one-bites-the-dust department: An anonymous reader quotes a report from 9to5Google: A new Google Shopping experience that featured a personalized homepage launched in 2019. On Android, Google rebranded the existing Express app to Shopping, but it's now shutting down the mobile experience in favor of just the web. The [Android and iOS clients] will continue to work through June. It comes as Google has been expanding shopping functionality in Search, Image Search, and YouTube, while increasingly leveraging augmented reality: "Within the next few weeks, we'll no longer be supporting the Shopping app. All of the functionality the app offered users is available on the Shopping tab. We'll continue building features within the Shopping tab and other Google surfaces, including the Google app, that make it easy for people to discover and shop for the products they love."
Posted by msmash from Slashdot
From the future-promises department: Mobileye, the company that specializes in chips for vision-based autonomous vehicles, announced that it will launch a full-scale, fully driverless delivery service starting in 2023. The company, a subsidiary of Intel, is joining forces with self-driving delivery startup Udelv to run this new service. From a report: Deliveries will be made using a new type of cabin-less vehicle called The Transporter. While manufacturing plans are still in flux, Mobileye and Udelv say they will produce 35,000 Transporters between 2023-2028 -- a signal of their seriousness to launch a driverless delivery system at scale. "This is a real commercial deployment," Jack Weast, vice president of automated vehicle standards at Mobileye, told The Verge. "Thirty-five thousand units starting in 2023 that will fully integrate our self driving system for commercial use for automated goods delivery." Mobileye's turn-key self-driving system features a full-sensor suite of 13 cameras, three long-range LiDARs, six short-range LiDARs, and six radar. It also includes the Israeli company's EyeQ system-on-a-chip and a data crowdsourcing program called the Road Experience Management, or REM, which uses real-time data from Mobileye-equipped vehicles to build out a global 3D map.
Posted by Ari Notis and Zack Zwiezen from Kotaku
If nothing else, Outriders is a polarizing game. Sure, People Can Fly’s loot-shooter has been plagued by some serious launch-window turbulence, but the issues are merely unpleasant set dressing for a fundamentally terrific game. Two of us on staff—weekend editor Zack Zweizen and staff writer Ari Notis—can attest, as…

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Posted by Zack Zwiezen from Kotaku
Terminator: Resistance is another Terminator game, and those have been mostly awful. But I was surprised to find that this hidden gem isn’t a boring Call of Duty clone as the screenshots implied, but actually a remake of the classic Terminator shooters Bethesda developed back in the 90s. And it made Terminators scary…

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Posted by Tony_Bacala from TFW2005


It is the year 2005… wait a minute.  How did it get to be 2021?  Anyway.  We are now 16 years past the 19 years into the future that was 2005 – in the 86 movie. And boy has it been a ride.  Even back when I started TFW2005 21 years ago, and a decade after that, and almost a decade after THAT – I never thought what is inside this article would ever exist.  A massive, gigantic, big, huge, diesel, heavy, spiky, fully transforming, completely round, Unicron.  But it does, and it’s here, and I photographed it.  And it’s » Continue Reading.

The post Transformers War for Cybertron Trilogy Unicron In Hand Gallery appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.
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