Wine

Wine 1.8 Released (winehq.org) 119

An anonymous reader writes: Wine 1.8.0 is now the latest stable release of Wine Is Not An Emulator and available from WineHQ.org. Wine 1.8 features include support for DirectWrite, Direct2D support, very limited Direct3D 11 support, simple application support of DIrect3D 10, support for process jobs, 64-bit architecture support on OS X, networking updates, and over 13,000 other individual changes.
Linux Business

Street Fighter V Announced For Linux and SteamOS 126

An anonymous reader writes: Capcom has announced that their upcoming Street Fighter V game, one of the most anticipated games for 2016, will also be available for SteamOS and Linux. Already in place is support functionality for the Steam Controller, Valve's game controller that was recently updated with some new features. Ever since Valve launched Steam for Linux, the number of native Linux games has positively exploded. But will it be enough for gamers to choose a Linux distribution as their gaming platform?
Security

Phantom Squad Hacking Group Claims Credit For Three-Hour Xbox Live Outage 49

An anonymous reader writes: The Phantom Squad hacking group appears to have anticipated its own Christmas schedule for attacks on the Xbox and PlayStation networks by taking credit for a three-hour outage on Xbox Live services in the last 24 hours. Apparently the group, which has disassociated itself from the Christmas 2014 attacks on the PS4 network, claims like them to be engaging in PenSec testing for gaming networks, and before itsTwitter account was suspended tweeted: 'If cyber security really has existed. Then what we do should not be possible.'
Graphics

Unity Benchmarks Browser WebGL Performance (unity3d.com) 38

An anonymous reader writes: Jonas Echterhoff from Unity has posted the latest Unity WebGL benchmark results on the Unity blog. He writes, "A bit over a year ago, we released a blog post with performance benchmarks for Unity WebGL, to compare WebGL performance in different browsers. We figured it was time to revisit those benchmarks to see how the numbers have changed. Microsoft has since released Windows 10 with their new Edge browser (which supports asm.js and is now enabling it by default) – so we were interested to see how that competes. Also, we have an experimental build of Unity using Shared Array Buffers to run multithreaded code, and we wanted to see what kind of performance gains to expect. So we tested this in a nightly build of Firefox with Shared Array Buffer support." The benchmark concludes that Firefox 42 64-bit is the fastest, Edge takes second, and Chrome and Safari share third place.
PlayStation (Games)

LizardSquad Copycats Planning DDoS Attacks On Xbox & PSN For Christmas (softpedia.com) 103

An anonymous reader writes: Last year on Christmas, the LizardSquad hacking group took down PSN and Xbox Live for many hours via DDoS attacks. This year another group, called Phantom Squad, is planning the same thing. The group has been launching small test attacks on PSN, Xbox, Reddit, SWOTR, and other game servers over the past few days.
PlayStation (Games)

Developer Claims 'PS4 Officially Jailbroken' (networkworld.com) 133

colinneagle sends word that a developer has claimed to have achieved a jailbreak of the PlayStation 4. Networkworld reports: "If you have a PS4 and want to run homebrew content, then you might be happy to know developer CTurt claimed, "PS4 is now officially jailbroken." Over the weekend, CTurt took to Twitter to make the announcement. He did not use a jail vulnerability, he explained in a tweet. Instead, he used a FreeBSD kernel exploit.

Besides posting "an open source PlayStation 4 SDK" on GitHub, CTurt analyzed PS4's security twice and explained PS4 hacking. CTurt updated the open source PS4 SDK yesterday; he previously explained that Sony's proprietary Orbis OS is based on FREEBSD. In the past he released the PS4-playground, which included PS4 tools and experiments using the Webkit exploit for PS4 firmware version 1.76. To put that in context, Sony released version 3.0 in September. However, CTurt claimed the hack could be made to work on newer firmware versions.

Other PS4 hackers are reportedly also working on a kernel exploit, yet as Wololo pointed out, it is unlikely there might be more than proof-of-concept videos as the developers continue to tweak the exploit. Otherwise, Sony will do as it has in the past and release a new firmware version. In October 2014, developers nas and Proxima studied the PSVita Webkit exploit, applied it to the PS4, and then released the PS4 proof-of-concept. Shortly thereafter. Sony pushed out new firmware as a patch."
NASA

NASA Looks To PlayStation VR To Train Space Robot Operators (roadtovr.com) 13

An anonymous reader writes: Humanoid robots in space are attractive because their emulation of the human form makes them capable of a huge range of tasks. But remotely controlling such bots is a very different challenge from the math-based methods used to make probe course corrections or plot rover routes. NASA has collaborated with Sony using PlayStation VR to explore methods for controlling humanoid robots in space, and created a virtual reality simulation designed to train operators to compensate for the data delay caused by the vast distances involved in space communication.
Emulation (Games)

The Real Star Raiders II 33

New submitter Maury Markowitz writes: Star Raiders was the Atari 8-bit home computer's killer app, inspiring Ted Nelson to claim that "The Atari machine is the most extraordinary computer graphics box ever made, and Star Raiders is its virtuoso demonstration game." It was not until many years later that a sequel, of sorts, was released. This Star Raiders II was nothing at all like the original, as it was originally The Last Starfighter, a licensed tie-in to that was rebranded to avoid the stench of the box-office flop.

Well now, three decades later, Kevin Savetz of the excellent ANTIC podcast has dropped a bomb on the retrogaming community: there was a real Star Raiders II under construction for a long time, but it disappeared as Atari imploded. Kevin tracked down the author, Aric Wilmunder, and convinced him to release it after all these years. You can download the game for the emulator of your choice, and read the manual and backstory on the Internet Archive.
Classic Games (Games)

NetHack 3.6.0 Released After a 12-Year Wait (nethack.org) 76

An anonymous reader writes: For the past 12 years, NetHack 3.4.3 has been the most recent version of the classic roguelike dungeon exploration game. On 7 December 2015, the official NetHack DevTeam announced the release of NetHack 3.6.0. While the release contains some new features, the most exciting part of the announcement is perhaps the DevTeam's move toward a more open development model: "We've migrated our internal source repository to Git, with plans of providing a publicly available 'current maintenance version' in the future." Bugzilla will be used for defect tracking.

NetHack 3.6.0 is dedicated to the memory of the author Terry Pratchett. Besides the Tourist character class inspired by his stories, NetHack now contains "a huge number of quotes from many of the Discworld novels."

Verizon

Verizon Creates Minecraft Mod To Let Players Video Chat On an In-Game Smartphone 36

Deathspawner writes: There's never a lack of stuff to be impressed by in Minecraft, but rarely does that impressive stuff involve a corporation. Recently, Verizon teamed up with some prolific Minecraft streamers to design a mod that takes interactivity to a new level. After building an in-game smartphone and cellular tower, the gamer is not only able to browse the Web on the device, but also video call, all in a humorously low resolution. Verizon has created a GitHub page to explain how the magic is done.
Displays

Racing a Real Car While Wearing an Oculus VR Headset (wsj.com) 74

pbahra writes: In a race that fuses video-game technology and real world driving skill, two professional drivers, on two separate but identical tracks, have raced against each other — effectively blind — while wearing virtual reality headsets attached to their crash helmets. The drivers hurtled around the circuit in two identical 2015 V8 Ford Mustangs, trusting that what they were seeing on their Oculus Rift DK2 VR headsets was a true, real-time representation of how their cars were performing on the actual track. One of the main challenges: tracking the cars' exact positions as they sped around the track without the need for re-calibration. This was necessary so that an exact match could be achieved between what was happening on the physical track and its representation on the VR screens.
Medicine

Xbox Kinect Technology Helps Create Higher-Quality X-Rays (rsna.org) 14

An anonymous reader writes: A team of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, has adapted a gaming system to help radiographers improve the quality of X-rays. The technology, originally developed for Microsoft Kinect, has been amended to provide a useful tool for measuring the thickness of body parts and monitor movement and positioning in the X-ray field of vision before imaging. The goal of the technology is to aid in the production of high-quality X-rays at low radiation, without the need to repeat the image. Although the technology is expected to benefit all patients, the researchers believe it could be particularly practical for use in children – who are much more sensitive to radiation and vary in body size, from premature babies through to teens.
PlayStation (Games)

Italy Invests 150 Million Euros In Surveillance, With Emphasis On PS4 Chats (thestack.com) 62

An anonymous reader sends word that Italy will spend 150 million Euros on reforming information and security services. Part of this reform will be monitoring communication among users of the "chat" feature on PlayStation 4. The Stack reports: "Italian Minister of Justice Andrea Orlando has revealed that Italy is spending 150 million euros ($157mn) on new technology and staff to improve surveillance capabilities, and emphasized that the 'new instruments' (it's not clear whether this means new technology or new requisitions) will also target the Sony PlayStation network which fell under suspicion as a possible forum of organization for the Paris attacks (though no evidence was found to support this)."
Sony

Sony Unlocks PlayStation 4's Previously Reserved Seventh CPU Core For Devs (hothardware.com) 143

MojoKid writes: Toward the beginning of the year, it was revealed that Microsoft was going to "unlock" the seventh core on the Xbox One's processor, enabling developers to eke just a bit more performance out of the console and offer more flexibility at resource utilization. It appears that Microsoft's move would inevitably be followed by Sony, as reports are now coming in that this will be made available on the PlayStation 4 as well. This subtle change was highlighted in the latest changelog for the FMOD sound engine which is labeled as a "LowLevel API." While the unlocked core could take on FMOD duties if developers want it to, it's now not going to be tied to any single purpose. Developers could make use of this core, for example, to boost AI performance, or any other process that has a heavy computation requirement. It could also be used to simply help ease overall system load.
Hardware

Ask Slashdot: Buy Or Build a High End Gaming PC? 325

An anonymous reader writes: Looking at some Black Friday ads, I'm seeing some good deals on Alienware and other gaming rigs that would be cheaper than building them from scratch. If you built or were to build a high end gaming rig, what would you suggest? Or would you just get a prebuilt system and customize it to your needs? I'm not looking for cheap, I want best quality and performance, but not overkill that would rival supercomputers and at the same time break my bank account. It would be a Windows system to keep my family happy, but possibly dual boot with Linux to keep me happy. It will be located in the livingroom hooked up to a regular monitor and the big screen TV, replacing a budget PC that's in there now.

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