News Hightech

Google will pay hackers who find flaws in top Android apps

Google is probably hoping to raise the quality of apps in the Play store by launching a new bug bounty program that's completely separate from its existing one. While its old program focuses on finding flaws in its websites and operating systems, thi...

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Clap for China's president anywhere, anytime with this app

If you wanted to applaud Chinese president Xi Jinping's recent speech but got stuck in traffic or were halfway around the world, well, there's an app for that now. Chinese internet titan Tencent has released a game that lets you tap the screen to cla...

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Newly-discovered lunar cave would be great for a moon base

Nothing quite captures the 2017 mood to leave Earth forever like dreaming about moon bases. Last month, space agencies from Russia and the US jointly announced plans to collaborate on such a satellite colony. But today's discovery might bring that vi...

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Verizon will fix your smartphone’s screen for $29

It happens to the best of us. You buy a new mobile phone, you get a case, you try to be extra careful, but you drop it. Cracked screens happen often enough that most major carriers and device manufacturers have a separate section in their mobile prot...

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Google Play lets you test drive Android apps before installing them

Google's Instant Apps are available in a few places for curious Android users, but they've been conspicuously absent in one place: the Play Store. Wouldn't you want to check out an app before committing to it? You can now. Google is now building I...

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Google will pay hackers who find flaws in top Android apps

Google is probably hoping to raise the quality of apps in the Play store by launching a new bug bounty program that's completely separate from its existing one. While its old program focuses on finding flaws in its websites and operating systems, thi...

Read more »


Video games

The Switch Now Supports USB Headsets, But Not For Everything You'd Want

We reported on the Switch's 4.00 firmware update last night, but in typical Nintendo fashion, their firmware notes did not fully explain everything they added. Also in typical Nintendo fans, some of the things they added do not fully do everything you would want. The Nintendo Switch subreddit, a community once known for its rabid fervor for NX news to the point where posters were encouraged to post their dreams about the system, discovered last night that USB headsets being plugged into the dock were recognized by the Switch. Those with USB-A to USB-C adapters were even able to plug directly into the Switch for the same result. USB speakers also work similarly. So how does this benefit you? Well, you have to be in a pretty specific situation. You might have headphones you really like but are USB and don't want to get an adapter for the AUX port. You can, as we mentioned, use USB speakers that might be better than your TV's or for when you are doing local multiplayer in tabletop mode. You can repurpose old headsets that you don't have any need for but want to use for game audio on the Switch. What it will not do is use let you voice chat. Despite having the capability with the type of hardware it uses, the headphone jack and now USB headset compatibility, the Switch OS will not allow voice chat through the system online. That still requires the Nintendo phone app, which is at best cumbersome, and only recently updated to allow for your phone falling asleep. It is interesting that Nintendo added this feature, though it does not seem like it will benefit that many people. Still, maybe it means they will eventually reconsider their strategy with the phone app and allow people to talk directly through the console, or are at least open to the idea.

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Aztez Developers Speak About Indie Market, The Ebb And Flow Of Steam And Consoles

Engadget has delivered a fascinating interview piece talking to the two developers behind the indie game Aztez and the volatility of the indie market. The two developers, Matthew Wegner and Ben Ruiz, talk extremely candidly about the creation of the game, the number of other games that released on the same day Aztez did (forty), and the regrets of starting work on the game in the first place. The developers are planning to port the game to consoles, but can't even be sure if the indie market on consoles will be the same by the time the port releases. While some indie developers are rushing to take advantage of what is perceived to be a gold rush on the Switch with successes like The Flame in The Flood coming out of nowhere, it is also in the Switch's first nine months. No one knows what the landscape will look like after Christmas. Sony has mostly tired of heavily endorsing indies, while Steam is unwilling or unable to stem the flood of indie games releasing on its store every day. Check out the article at the link below. Where do you currently see the most favorable prospects for indie developers? [Source: Engadget]

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GI Show – The Scary Future Of Anti-Consumer Gaming, South Park, Evil Within 2

Welcome back to The Game Informer Show! In this episode of The Game Informer Show podcast, Game Informer's Editor-In-Chief and guest host Andy McNamara is joined by Matt Miller, Andrew Reiner, and Ben Reeves to talk this week's controversial Activision patent and the future of microtransactions in games. Then, Kyle Hilliard joins the crew to talk about his experience with the new South Park game and how it compares to the first. After that we talk Evil Within 2 with Suriel Vasquez, and close it out with some great community emails, including a bracket battle of GI's previous GOTY picks. You can watch the video below, or subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Play. Also, be sure to send your questions to podcast@gameinformer.com for a chance to have them answered on the show and win a prize by becoming Email of the Week! (Please visit the site to view this media) Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show's intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website. To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below... 1:10 - Discussing the grim future of anti-consumer gaming1:03:38 - South Park: The Fractured But Whole1:22:10 - The Evil Within 21:40:19 - Community emails

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Assassin's Creed Origins' Hieroglyphs Accurate According To Scholar

The ancient Egyptian symbols used in the game's marketing have been accurately recreated according to a scholar's translations. In a recent Twitter thread, Claire Manning, who studied the Ptolemeic era of Egypt's history, reveals that the recent advertisements for the game posted around Melbourne, Australia correctly depict the hieroglyphs for a translatable message. While parts of the ad are filler blocks, others read as clear and proper sentences using Middle Kingdom hieroglyphics, used during the reign of Cleopatra, a key element of the newest game. One in particular reads "Everything may be," which can also be interpreted as the Assassins' motto of "Nothing is true; everything is permitted." Manning, who studied Middle Age hieroglyphics as her honors subject at the University of Australia, has continued translating the ad and found other messages like "Amun protect us. I make you offerings" and "We work by darkness to serve light." [Source: Polygon]   Our TakeKudos to Ubisoft for their commitment to authenticity. Along with their recent announcement of Origins' educational history exploration mode, they've made it clear how much effort is going into showing players a historically accurate representation of Egypt's ancient culture.

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Valve President Gabe Newell Ranked In The Top 100 Richest People In America

It is no secret that Valve makes bank, but now the man at the top of that cash tower can now say there are only 96 people in the country richer than him. Forbes released a list of the one hundred richest people in the country rounded to the nearest hundred million, which is a marginal round off that is more money than most people will ever get the chance to even imagine. In the revised list, Valve's head of state has been crowned the 97th richest person in America, due to Valve's immense popularity with its storefront and hat retailer. Forbes estimates Newell's worth at $55 billion. Gabe Newell, or Gaben as he likes to be called, can retire any day he wants at this point. When he does, he might finally spill the beans on what happened to Half-Life 3. Or Left 4 Dead 3. Or really anything, we just want to know.

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The Switch Now Supports USB Headsets, But Not For Everything You'd Want

We reported on the Switch's 4.00 firmware update last night, but in typical Nintendo fashion, their firmware notes did not fully explain everything they added. Also in typical Nintendo fans, some of the things they added do not fully do everything you would want. The Nintendo Switch subreddit, a community once known for its rabid fervor for NX news to the point where posters were encouraged to post their dreams about the system, discovered last night that USB headsets being plugged into the dock were recognized by the Switch. Those with USB-A to USB-C adapters were even able to plug directly into the Switch for the same result. USB speakers also work similarly. So how does this benefit you? Well, you have to be in a pretty specific situation. You might have headphones you really like but are USB and don't want to get an adapter for the AUX port. You can, as we mentioned, use USB speakers that might be better than your TV's or for when you are doing local multiplayer in tabletop mode. You can repurpose old headsets that you don't have any need for but want to use for game audio on the Switch. What it will not do is use let you voice chat. Despite having the capability with the type of hardware it uses, the headphone jack and now USB headset compatibility, the Switch OS will not allow voice chat through the system online. That still requires the Nintendo phone app, which is at best cumbersome, and only recently updated to allow for your phone falling asleep. It is interesting that Nintendo added this feature, though it does not seem like it will benefit that many people. Still, maybe it means they will eventually reconsider their strategy with the phone app and allow people to talk directly through the console, or are at least open to the idea.

Read more »


News in brief

Pollution linked to nine million deaths a year worldwide

Pollution claimed the lives of nine million people in 2015, one in every six deaths that year, according to a report published on Friday.

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Rohingya children facing 'hell on earth' after fleeing Burma, says UNICEF

UNICEF says the children who make up most of the nearly 600,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in Myanmar are seeing a "hell on earth" in overcrowded, muddy and squalid refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh.

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'The Kurdish regional government is at an impasse'

Iraqi troop gains over Kurdish peshmerga fighters in Kirkuk have exacerbated the rivalry between Iraqi Kurdistan’s two main political parties. FRANCE 24 spoke with expert Jean Marcou, professor at the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies.

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Far-right speaker prompts protests, police lockdown in Florida

Protesters shouted "Go home Nazis" as a white nationalist gave a speech on Thursday at the University of Florida, where hundreds of police set up barricades and separated supporters and demonstrators to guard against violence.

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Spain calls extraordinary Cabinet meeting after Catalan leader’s threat

Catalonia’s leader on Thursday threatened to explicitly declare independence if no talks with the central government were offered. Spain then called a special Cabinet session to activate measures to take control of Catalonia’s semi-autonomous powers.

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Pollution linked to nine million deaths a year worldwide

Pollution claimed the lives of nine million people in 2015, one in every six deaths that year, according to a report published on Friday.

Read more »


Sport

Cubs reset 108-year clock as Dodgers stroll into World Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers are heading to the World Series after beating the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

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Figure Skating's Back! Team Canada Heads to Rostelecom Cup

Piper Gillies, Paul Poirier and Nam Nguyen are heading to Moscow for the first Grand Prix of the season. And now that it's fall, Olympians like Penny Oleksiak and Simone Biles are getting into the season.

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Move over Bolt: Has Andre De Grasse found a new rival?

Andre De Grasse lost his final chance at beating Usain Bolt when he suffered a hamstring injury on the eve of the world track and field championships. But the emergence of American Christian Coleman has track fans salivating of a potentially new and exciting rivalry.

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Grand Prix of Figure Skating hits the ground running

Talk about starting with a bang. The favourites to win Olympic gold in both the men's and women's events are both competing at this week's Grand Prix of Figure Skating season opener in Moscow. Here's what to expect from Yuzuru Hanyu and Evgenia Medvedeva, along with the other top contenders.

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Grand Prix of Figure Skating: Rostelecom Cup

Watch live coverage of the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow beginning on Friday at 7 a.m. ET. Canadian skaters Nam Nguyen, Piper Gilles, Paul Poirier, Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau will be in action.

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Cubs reset 108-year clock as Dodgers stroll into World Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers are heading to the World Series after beating the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

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Android


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