Shared posts

30 Dec 17:08

Linux 6.7 Will Let You Enable/Disable 32-bit Programs Support At Boot-Time

From the perspective of Linux distributions trying to reduce their attack surface while still making it possible for users to run legacy software without recompiling their kernel, SUSE has spearheaded the effort for boot-time enabling/disabling of x86 32-bit support for whether 32-bit user-space programs and 32-bit system calls can be executed. That code has been submitted for the imminent Linux 6.7 merge window...
05 Nov 21:19

M3, M3 Pro, Criticized In New Report, Base Apple Silicon ‘Doesn’t Move The Needle Considerably’ But M3 Max ‘Is Quite A Feat’

by Omar Sohail

Apple's latest M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max

Apple’s latest 3nm family of Mac chipsets include the M3, M3 Pro, and the M3 Max, and based on various performance tests and leaks, two of them are considered iterative updates over their direct predecessors, while one of them is viewed as a worthy upgrade. In a new report, the base SoC and the M3 Pro are largely criticized as they do not bring anything noteworthy. M3 Max performance compared to desktop chips like the M2 Ultra that power the Mac Studio and Mac Pro In the latest edition of Mark Gurman’s ‘Power On’ newsletter, the Bloomberg reporter provided his […]

Read full article at https://wccftech.com/m3-and-m3-pro-criticized-in-new-report-but-m3-max-gets-praise/

04 Nov 00:16

Distribute Cybersecurity Tasks with Diffusion of Responsibility in Mind

by Lenny Zeltser

The notion that security is everyone’s responsibility in computer systems dates back to at least the early 1980s when it was included in a US Navy training manual and hearings in the US House of Representatives. Behind the pithy slogan is the idea that every person in the organization contributes to its security program. Even if the company has employees with “security” in their title, they cannot safeguard information assets on their own. After all, people outside the security team are the ones who deliver services, build products, or otherwise engage in business activities that require making security-related decisions.

Can Everyone be Responsible?

How might we distribute cybersecurity tasks and operationalize the perhaps utopian idea that "security is everyone's responsibility"? After all, the diffusion of responsibility principle suggests that people feel less responsible when they are part of a group, possibly because they think someone else will take action.

Saying that security is “everyone’s responsibility” might lead to it being “nobody’s responsibility.” To distribute security responsibilities among the stakeholders, we need to counteract the diffusion of responsibility. We should clarify expectations, hold people accountable, and establish a personal connection between the stakeholders and the affected items.

Clarify Expectations

Cybersecurity leaders generally design and manage the security program, which is the structure within which the organization can achieve its security objectives. Within that program, teams with “security” in their name have responsibilities such as:

  • Identifying and tracking the remediation of security vulnerabilities
  • Engineering systems for enforcing security measures
  • Monitoring and investigating security events
  • Documenting secure configuration guidelines, templates, and practices
  • Providing security guidance to business stakeholders
  • Noticing when security expectations aren't followed

Who should be fixing vulnerabilities, incorporating security principles into projects, and deploying technology in a security-appropriate way? In most cases, these tasks are distributed throughout the organization. 

Members of specific teams are typically  assigned security responsibilities in the company’s security policies and procedures, which communicate expectations such as:

  • DevOps or IT teams patch systems according to risk-based, agreed-upon timelines.
  • Procurement or Legal teams incorporate security reviews of vendors according to a defined process and include necessary security requirements in contracts.
  • People or HR teams screen new hires according to specific background check requirements.

For capturing expectations in great detail, we can use some form of a responsibility matrix, such as RACI, to capture who should be responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed for specific security-related activities. In addition to documenting expectations, the discussions that lead to creating a responsibility matrix can surface disagreements or coverage gaps so the organization has the opportunity to address them.

More broadly, organizations typically rely on the security awareness program to clarify which security responsibilities apply to all personnel, including items such as:

  • Handling information according to the company’s guidelines and the organization’s approach to data classification
  • Watching out for suspicious activities that might indicate a cybersecurity event or a scam and reporting them for investigation
  • Using established templates, libraries, and standards that incorporate security requirements or guardrails when engaging in business activities
  • Reaching out to the security team for guidance as appropriate, such as when launching new projects that require security or privacy considerations

Having clarified what members of the company’s cybersecurity program should do, we need to consider how to track whether these responsibilities are followed and, where practical, enforce the expectations.

Enforce Accountability

Even with the best intentions, those whose primary job isn’t cybersecurity will sometimes forget or not follow through on their security-related responsibilities. To increase the chances that the distributed security measures will be in effect, we can use a combination of three approaches:

  • Enforce security expectations using technology to prevent insecure choices or actions. For example, security teams can configure user authentication to require two-factor authentication (2FA) instead of merely reminding employees to enable 2FA. In another example, software development tools can be set up to block code commits that include secrets or vulnerable dependencies. Such measures eliminate the opportunity for non-compliance; however, direct enforcement doesn’t work for all security controls and situations. For instance, some applications don’t allow the organization to centrally control 2FA settings.
  • Implement guardrails against severe risks when people take actions or make decisions outside the boundaries the organization considers reasonable. For example, infrastructure-as-code tooling, such as Terraform, allows the creation of preapproved modules with minimum security requirements while letting engineers control other aspects of the infrastructure. Similarly, software developers might need to follow strict change control practices in production while having more leeway in dev environments. Another example of guardrails is the use of network security measures, such as DNS filtering, to restrict access to dangerous website categories.
  • Monitor for gaps and take action when the right security steps aren’t taken. Observing security-related activities through log aggregation is a part of this. Another is continuous compliance monitoring, which aims to automate the tracking of security controls. For instance, to confirm that background checks occur, we can query HR and background-checking systems to detect missed employee screenings. Also, modern asset management approaches involve gathering data from multiple sources to identify gaps; for example, organizations can correlate data from systems management and endpoint security tools to identify systems with missing security agents

Of the many security controls, ensuring accountability for patch management is particularly challenging because this practice often distributes responsibilities across multiple teams. The software might be patched by DevOps, IT, developers, external vendors, and so on. It’s even possible to assign some patching responsibilities to end users as long as accountability is tracked. For example, people might be allowed to install approved applications that are not centrally managed by the IT team. In that case, the individuals should be keeping the apps up-to-date. Organizations can use automated tools to track when the apps are not maintained and contact end-users reminding them to take action (see a real-world example of this).

Make It Personal

We’ve been exploring ways of counteracting the diffusion of responsibility principle as we distribute security tasks. Communicating expectations and enforcing accountability is a part of the effort to ensure that people don’t ignore their responsibilities. Another way to fight the diffusion of responsibility is to establish a personal connection between the person and the task at hand. What does this mean in the context of cybersecurity?

People get accustomed to the systems they use at work. Many start to think of the company-supplied laptop as “their” laptop. To some extent, they consider the folders where they keep work documents as “their” folders and the applications they’ve customized as “their” apps. The security team can point to this attachment to highlight the person’s connection to such assets, so they’re more likely to remember their related security responsibilities. For example:

  • When end users have patching responsibilities for their laptops, for instance, if they need to reboot the system or allow an update to be applied, remind people that these are their systems. Keeping the laptop in top shape allows them to do their best work.
  • When people need to remember to include security in projects or design discussions, highlight the benefits of keeping their data secure, which they’re more likely to achieve when considering a security expert’s advice. Addressing security risks upfront will minimize the chances of a disruption to their project.
  • When highlighting the need for colleagues to safeguard data shared with third parties, point out that their interactions might be compromised if they don’t follow the necessary security measures. Not only will the company look bad if the data is mishandled or misused, but so will they.

When sharing security responsibilities across stakeholders, also point to the shared business objectives that the organization’s personnel are looking to achieve. To be successful, colleagues should understand the organization’s business goals and how their security responsibilities can enable or hinder the company from reaching them. By framing security tasks in that context, you’re more likely to establish a security program that scales in a way that security will truly be everyone’s responsibility.

01 Nov 20:36

Power Up Anywhere With Up to 48% Off Anker Power Stations - CNET

by Adrian Marlow
Amazon has major discounts on power stations, solar panels and power banks right now to keep all of your essential devices charged wherever you go.
06 Oct 10:44

Dungeons of Eternity is the best alternative to traditional DnD

by Niall Walsh
Dungeons of Eternity is the best alternative to traditional DnD

There can be no doubting the resurgence of Dungeons and Dragons over the last few years. It has once again stepped into the pop culture spotlight, and few video games, with the exception of Baldur's Gate 3, have managed to capitalize on this. Enter, Dungeons of Eternity.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Best VR games, Meta Quest 3 release date, Best VR headset
27 Sep 02:06

GPUs From All Major Suppliers Are Vulnerable To New Pixel-Stealing Attack

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: GPUs from all six of the major suppliers are vulnerable to a newly discovered attack that allows malicious websites to read the usernames, passwords, and other sensitive visual data displayed by other websites, researchers have demonstrated in a paper (PDF) published Tuesday. The cross-origin attack allows a malicious website from one domain -- say, example.com -- to effectively read the pixels displayed by a website from example.org, or another different domain. Attackers can then reconstruct them in a way that allows them to view the words or images displayed by the latter site. This leakage violates a critical security principle that forms one of the most fundamental security boundaries safeguarding the Internet. Known as the same origin policy, it mandates that content hosted on one website domain be isolated from all other website domains. [...] GPU.zip works only when the malicious attacker website is loaded into Chrome or Edge. The reason: For the attack to work, the browser must: 1. allow cross-origin iframes to be loaded with cookies 2. allow rendering SVG filters on iframes and 3. delegate rendering tasks to the GPU For now, GPU.zip is more of a curiosity than a real threat, but that assumes that Web developers properly restrict sensitive pages from being embedded by cross-origin websites. End users who want to check if a page has such restrictions in place should look for the X-Frame-Options or Content-Security-Policy headers in the source. "This is impactful research on how hardware works," a Google representative said in a statement. "Widely adopted headers can prevent sites from being embedded, which prevents this attack, and sites using the default SameSite=Lax cookie behavior receive significant mitigation against personalized data being leaked. These protections, along with the difficulty and time required to exploit this behavior, significantly mitigate the threat to everyday users. We are in communication and are actively engaging with the reporting researchers. We are always looking to further improve protections for Chrome users." An Intel representative, meanwhile, said that the chipmaker has "assessed the researcher findings that were provided and determined the root cause is not in our GPUs but in third-party software." A Qualcomm representative said "the issue isn't in our threat model as it more directly affects the browser and can be resolved by the browser application if warranted, so no changes are currently planned." Apple, Nvidia, AMD, and ARM didn't comment on the findings. An informational write-up of the findings can be found here.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

07 Sep 20:24

Starfield players are using physics to steal, in classic Bethesda fashion

by Eric Van Allen

Starfield: An astronaut sat at a cockpit.

A few things are inevitable in life. Death and taxes, of course. And then there's Bethesda games having weird, physics-y ways of getting around its systems, as Starfield players are currently doing to steal their way across the galaxy.

On social media, various Starfield players are popping up with examples of using the physics of Starfield to steal some good loot out from under guards and NPCs. Usually, when you pick up an item in Starfield that you're not supposed to (noted by the red icon in the corner of its pop-up description), guards will be alerted. And, in my experience, they respond pretty quickly and violently.

While some games have let you get away with picking up the object and relocating it somewhere where no one can see, that doesn't always work in Starfield. Picking up an object counts as stealing, so if someone sees you do it, it triggers the alarm. The method for getting around this, it seems, is to simply move objects with another object.

https://twitter.com/Googleygareth/status/1699398243430400245

As GoogleyGareth shows, dragging an object around to move other objects will let you relocate Starfield loot for an easy steal. You can do this by either grabbing something that doesn't count as stealing, quietly nabbing an object away from prying eyes and bringing it over, or dropping an object from your inventory.

Starfield players are already getting pretty creative with this, too. A clip from a Japanese streamer using both a pushing object and a container to gather up massive amounts of credits from a card table, in front of the players, has made the rounds too.

https://twitter.com/Flare3500/status/1699514985247080863

It does seem to all work, but I can't leave it at just clips. I had to test this for myself, of course.

A layperson's guide to fun with physics and theft in Starfield

I went out to Neon, popped over to Madame Sauvage's, and thought I'd try my hand at this trick to see if it truly worked. First, I needed to learn how to pick up items; the game does not explicitly tell you, but hold E over items on PC to lift them. It works on anything you can put in your inventory, as well as environmental objects. Be careful though, as again, picking up items can be seen as stealing, and some otherwise innocuous things like garbage cans or buckets also count as theft.

Screenshot by DestructoidI recommend either bringing your own receptacle and/or pushing your object of choice, or finding something you won't get in trouble for stealing. I grabbed a nearby succulent. Apparently, Madame Sauvage doesn't want her buckets disappearing but does not care about customers walking out with plants.

Nearby, I located some liquid-filled bottles with the telltale red marker, and started pushing them around with my succulent. Despite creating quite a ruckus — and even re-enacting those bottle-breaking TikToks at one point — no one really seemed to care I was sending precious property ricocheting around the bar.

[caption id="attachment_402689" align="alignnone" width="640"] Screenshot by Destructoid[/caption]

I pushed it all the way to the bathroom and into a stall, where I could then safely lift my newly acquired property. Even through several re-tests and literally sweeping the bar off in front of everyone using my succulent-in-crime, no one cared. It works! And genuinely, I hope it keeps working. This is too much fun to not leave in. Just like the infamous bucket-on-the-head trick in The Elder Scrolls, I hope bucket-pushing becomes a new go-to for stealing items in Starfield.

The post Starfield players are using physics to steal, in classic Bethesda fashion appeared first on Destructoid.

04 Sep 10:58

Old and busted: Swallows returning to Capistrano. New hotness: Giant inflatable ducks retuning to Belfast Harbor, Maine [Strange]

29 Aug 14:19

Meta Fights Sprawling Chinese ‘Spamouflage’ Operation

by AFP

Meta has purged thousands of Facebook accounts that were part of a widespread online Chinese spam operation trying to covertly boost China and criticize the West.

The post Meta Fights Sprawling Chinese ‘Spamouflage’ Operation appeared first on SecurityWeek.

21 Aug 00:24

Windows 11 version 23H2: Everything you need to know

by João Carrasqueira

Windows 11 is in a constant state of flux, getting new updates on a regular basis to improve the experience. The first big Windows 11 update was version 22H2, which came around last year, and since then, we've been getting smaller Moment updates that add new features and capabilities. The latest of those is the Moment 3 update, which was released in June 2023. But we're already looking at what the future holds, because the next big update, Windows 11 version 23H2, isn't too far off.

20 Aug 11:14

Disney Spent $100 Million Making Willow, Then Threw It In The Bin

by staff@slashfilm.com (Hannah Shaw-Williams)
Financial statements have revealed that Willow, which was removed from Disney+ after less than six months, cost over $100 million to produce.

20 Aug 11:01

TMNT's Disastrous First Rehearsal Bled Into Raphael's Angry Persona

by staff@slashfilm.com (Witney Seibold)
The character Raphael was full of anger in 1990's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It turns out there was a behind-the-scenes reason why.

16 Aug 18:28

The US Is Turning Away From Its Biggest Scientific Partner at a Precarious Time

by msmash
One of the most productive scientific collaborations of the 21st century is pulling apart, as deteriorating relations between the U.S. and China lead researchers to sever ties. From a report: The decoupling, which began in recent years with investigations into Chinese researchers in the U.S., has accelerated as tensions have risen between the superpowers. Now some U.S. lawmakers are pushing to let a landmark agreement to cooperate on science and technology, signed in 1979 and renewed routinely since, expire this month. China has built itself into a powerful engine of scientific discovery in recent decades, partly with American help, and many in Washington fear that China could gain a security and military advantage unless the U.S. takes decisive steps to cut off cooperation in scientific research. Many scientists warn, however, that Washington would be severing ties as China is making its greatest contributions to scientific advancements, and cutting it off risks slowing American progress in critical areas such as biotechnology, clean energy and telecommunications. While the U.S. remains the world's pre-eminent science power, fundamental scientific research has grown borderless in the era of globalization, much as business has. More than 40% of America's scientific production -- measured by the number of high-quality papers that U.S.-based scientists produce -- involves cooperation with researchers abroad, according to Clarivate, a London-based data firm that tracks global scientific research. China and the U.S. are each other's No. 1 partner in producing scientific research, with collaborative research between the two consistently among the most-cited papers across fields, according to an analysis of Clarivate's data by Caroline Wagner, a professor of public policy at Ohio State University.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

16 Aug 18:26

How to Make Sure Your Paint Job Doesn’t Peel, Bubble, or Discolor

by Jeff Somers

It’s often said that painting is the home project that gives you the most bang for the buck. A fresh coat of paint can make a room feel brighter, bigger (or more intimate) or give your exterior an entirely different character, and you don’t need a ton of skills or special equipment to accomplish it.

Read more...

14 Aug 22:04

GOG Interview: Read how to make an all killer, no filler shooter from the creator of Turbo Overkill

Turbo Overkill – savage, over-the-top FPS with stunning cyberpunk visuals and inspiration taken from some of the all-time greats like Doom, Duke Nukem and Quake, has just left its early access and is available on GOG in its full glory.

Anyone who already played it knows how immensely fun the title is. We, however, also had the pleasure of talking to Sam Prebble, one of the creators of Turbo Overkill, and directly asked him about the development process, how the game stands out in the genre, and what you can expect from it.

Enjoy the read of how to make an all killer, no filler shooter!



After more than a year in early access we can finally play Turbo Overkill in its full glory! Could you share some more light on the development process of the game? How much did the early access and community’s feedback impact it?

Early Access was something I feel benefited the game immensely! The community feedback has been very valuable and helped pivot the game in a direction that I feel is much better than anything I could think up on my own.


I've been very fortunate to have a community of players who care a lot about the game and contribute a lot of great ideas. Early Access is definitely a path I would recommend to other developers.



We know that Turbo Overkill takes over-the-top to never-before-reached heights. With its crazy gameplay and stunning visuals it is safe to assume that playing it will be an experience filled with fun and adrenaline. Was that “wildness” something you thought was missing from the modern FPS genre?

I wanted to make a game where I took everything I loved from the genre and mashed them together into a sandbox of chaos. A lot of my favorite first-person shooters get you into the action seconds after launching the game.

There was something in older shooters that I feel is sometimes missed in some games today. Back then, it's just the game and its core loop, no fat or filler. If a game takes 30-60 minutes of tutorials and hand-holding before letting me experience its core game loop, I tend to lose interest pretty fast. It was important for me to let players start blowing thugs to red mist within the first 30 seconds of starting the game, and from there it doesn't let up!



And what about the game’s difficulty? Should players expect a challenge while blasting through Turbo Overkill or they’ll rather not care about ever dying and just enjoy the pure rampage?

If the player wants it to be, the game can be extremely challenging at times. Turbo Overkill has 5 main difficulty settings, including Murder Machine, in which its description suggests if it should be played... 'Don't.'



On top of this, the game is highly customizable with hidden secret Tech-Chips, which can be used to add modifiers to the game experience, making it as easy or as difficult as you want (enable 3x enemy spawns? Why not! Unlimited ammo? Sure).

Another thing I felt was important was to make sure that every time the player dies, they get back into the action almost instantly. There is no loading after death; you are dropped back within seconds, and checkpoints are very frequent.



Is the story in the game an important aspect of it, or rather just a background for the gameplay experience?

In true boomer shooter fashion, the action takes the front stage. You can run through guns blazing and skip the story, but for those wanting to dig deeper into Paradise, there is a lot here to uncover.

The game shows its story through a series of short cinematics. Collectibles that expand the characters and the story can also be found.

Working with the amazing team at Apogee, I've been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a crew of extremely talented writers, actors, and actresses that added a layer on top of the experience that I think a lot of people are gonna love.



Finally, how long of a journey can we expect from Turbo Overkill?

The game takes roughly 9-10 hours to complete, but if you are a secret hunter, the experience can be extended vastly with secret levels and hidden collectibles. Mod support is also available, with a lot more to come on this front in the future.

Anything you’d like to say to our community before they jump into the skin of Johnny Turbo?

We have a lot of cool stuff we will be rolling out over the coming months, including extended multiplayer, an arcade mode, and even more modding support. This is just the beginning of Johnny's venture into Paradise!



We’d like to thank Sam very much for the interview and Apogee Entertainment for allowing us to have this great title DRM-free on GOG.

Now, there’s only one thing left to do – get those hidden arm rockets and a chainsaw ready and slaughter everyone who stands in your way. Turbo Overkill is OUT NOW on GOG.



14 Aug 22:04

Review: Quake II (2023 Remaster)

by Zoey Handley

Quake II Remaster Header

I’ve never really gotten elbow-deep into the Quake series. Before the 2021 Quake remaster by Nightdive Studios, I was actually most familiar with Quake 4, and I really don’t remember that much about it. In 1996, I was into Duke Nukem 3D. And then after that, it was Goldeneye 007. I at least played Quake 2… The N64 version.

But after the first Quake was remastered and introduced me to the series, I held off on any more series exploration, anticipating the second one would eventually get the same treatment. My patience paid off, and the Quake II remaster has arrived. Once again, it’s a terrific introduction.

[caption id="attachment_396573" align="alignnone" width="640"]Quake II Remaster Screenshot by Destructoid[/caption]

Quake 2 (PC [Reviewed], PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch)
Developer: id Software, NightDive Studios, MachineGames
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Released: August 10, 2023
MSRP: $9.99

After the development of the first game in the Quake series was beset by creative differences, many members of id Software departed, including Sandy Peterson and John Romero. This is considered by many to be the end of classic id Software, as it seemed like the heart had left the brain with an empty bed.

You can sort of feel that in Quake II. There was something of an anarchic directionlessness in Quake that is replaced with something a lot more cohesive. Quake still felt like a first-generation shooter like Doom. Quake 2 is a lot closer to Half-Life.

You can see this clearly in the narrative. Earth has been under attack by the Strogg and hasn’t been faring well. So, the meaty humans launch a counter-attack, taking the fight to the meat substitute Strogg’s homeworld of Stroggos. Quake II and all the expansions are set around this counter-attack as you take control of different space marines attempting to hinder the enemy’s ability to wage war on humanity.

The first Quake really didn’t have much of a narrative, and this is definitely not a continuation. This comes with its pros and cons. The biggest positive is that a more defined narrative gives you purpose that helps drive you through the game. The downside is that the Strogg don’t care much for interior design, and there’s little visual diversity throughout the campaigns.

https://youtu.be/cyxBE163n20

Out of item

Nightdive’s remaster is similar to their approaches to the original Quake and the recent Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition. They have gathered all the expansions into one package, added a newly created campaign, and transported everything to their more modern KEX Engine, bringing with it a number of extra visual and gameplay options. And then, after already doing more than most would expect, they continue on to polish up the graphics and gameplay without tampering with the overall feeling and aesthetic of the title.

It’s extensive. They even upscaled the cinematics. Then, somehow, they ported all of the N64 version of Quake II’s levels. For whatever reason, when Raster Productions handled the N64 port, they wound up remaking almost all of the levels. It’s just as much its own campaign as the other expansions. It seems like it would be quite an effort to re-port the N64 version back to PC, but it was very worth it. It contains visual flourishes that make it, at the very least, aesthetically worth exploring.

The two expansions by Xatrix Entertainment and Rogue Entertainment are necessary inclusions, even if they mostly just feel like added content. Which, to be fair, is essentially what they were when they first released.

Meanwhile, the new campaign, Call of the Machine, by MachineGames is a great way of showing off the many successes of Quake 2 while minimizing its deficiencies. Visual variety is a lot better here, depicting a lot of different and interesting locales based on the Strogg War story but in places not shown in the games. It’s an effective way to demonstrate the outstanding gunplay, fast action, and interesting enemies without eliminating the unique flavor of the base game.

[caption id="attachment_396572" align="alignnone" width="640"]Quake II Remaster MachineGames Screenshot by Destructoid[/caption]

Someone hang a poster

Which to be fair, as much as I hassle Quake 2 for its repetitive brown corridors, I do enjoy it. The main campaign is maybe a 6-8 hour romp. It kept my attention through to the end, even when similar games with shinier corridors failed to. Games like Dusk have demonstrated the lasting appeal of the clunkier and more straightforward games of yesteryear, and Quake 2 is an essential example of that.

But beyond that, Nightdive's remaster makes things a little more pleasant. One great feature is the compass, which draws a path to your next objective. It’s not that Quake 2 was obtuse beyond reason. Each of the “units” of the game is composed of a handful of small levels, so you’re destined to trip over what you’re looking for. It’s just a matter of how much backtracking you’ll have to endure.

For example, you might finish a secondary objective and see the message “turbine disabled.” Perhaps you won’t realize it’s talking about the fan that you just passed and can now bypass. So, you continue on your merry way, and then when you finally circle back, you say, “Ooooh. It was talking about this turbine.”

So, I mostly used the compass whenever I came back to a familiar-looking room and wanted to make sure I wasn’t just going in circles.

[caption id="attachment_396574" align="alignnone" width="640"]Killing the Strogg Screenshot by Destructoid[/caption]

That's a lot of screens

As usual for Nightdive remasters, their all-encompassing approach to Quake II makes it the definitive way to play the game. Beyond just compiling all the expansions, certain features, such as AI, were buffed up, and cut content was restored. And then there’s also the multiplayer, which in some versions supports 8-player split-screen local. Or you can play online, if you don’t like sharing your screen.

But if, for whatever reason, none of that sounds good to you, the original versions are still available.

For me, it was a great introduction to Quake II. The PC version, I mean. It’s an oppressively brown shooter, but it still carries the speedy, lightweight combat that makes older FPS games still pop today. The changes that Nightdive brought in for the remaster make it even more enjoyable and accessible. It may not have the same experimental charm as Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition, but it more than makes up for it with its tight and gory gunfights.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]

The post Review: Quake II (2023 Remaster) appeared first on Destructoid.

14 Aug 20:02

Rockstar Games Acquires Modding Team That It Previously Banned

by msmash
In 2015, popular Grand Theft Auto V mod FiveM was banned by Rockstar after the gaming giant alleged that FiveM's work "contains code designed to facilitate piracy." Eight years later, Rockstar is taking a decidedly different tone in announcing that Cfx.re -- the mod team behind FiveM and a similar mod for Red Dead Redemption 2 -- is now "officially a part of Rockstar Games." ArsTechnica: With no apparent sense of irony, Rockstar said in a Friday blog post announcing the acquisition that it has "watched with excitement as Rockstar's creative community have found new ways to expand the possibilities of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2, particularly through the creation of dedicated roleplay servers." But that statement ignores the distinct lack of excitement Rockstar exhibited when it barred the Rockstar Social Club accounts of many FiveM modders and others associated with promoting the project back in 2015. "Our policy on such violations of our terms of service are clear, and the individuals involved in its creation have had their Social Club accounts suspended," the company said at the time.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

10 Aug 20:06

Corsair K70 Max review

by Dylan Wilby
Corsair K70 Max review

The Corsair K70 Max comes from a respected lineage of gaming keyboards, bringing the creditable product line to a deserved apex. It's a real enthusiast's keyboard, emphasizing customizability above all else. While I'd love to end my Corsair K70 Max review there, the glut of bells and whistles it boasts might be surplus to requirements for many ordinary gamers.

Continue reading Corsair K70 Max review
MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Corsair HS70 headset review, Corsair K70 RGB Mk2 review, Best gaming keyboard
10 Aug 20:04

How to help Pandirna in Baldur’s Gate 3

by Dave Irwin
How to help Pandirna in Baldur’s Gate 3

How do you help Pandirna in Baldur's Gate 3? You will come across a locked storehouse as you explore Emerald Grove. Inside are all sorts of nicknacks, but also a Tiefling named Pandirna. Unfortunately for her, she seems to be in quite a predicament: she can't use her legs. After drinking a potion to become stronger, she seems to be paralyzed from the waist down.

This is just one of many puzzles and riddles that, according to our Baldur's Gate 3 review, make this RPG "beautifully complex." Luckily, you can help Pandirna in Baldur's Gate 3 by using one of your many spells. If your main character's selection of spells can't help her, then one of your many potential BG3 companions, the Half-Elf Cleric Shadowheart, can help her out instead.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Baldur's Gate 3 quests, Baldur's Gate 3 review in progress, Baldur's Gate 3 class
03 Aug 14:05

NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4090 Is 4 Times More Popular Than AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 XTX According To Steam

by Hassan Mujtaba

Steam has just released its latest hardware survey and it looks like NVIDIA's flagship RTX 4090 is far more popular than AMD's RX 7900 XTX.

NVIDIA GPUs Remain King of The Hill On Steam, AMD Still In 2nd Place But Picking Up Share In CPUs Against Intel

According to the latest figures, NVIDIA GPUs amount for 74.69% of the share across Steam's entire userbase who participated in the survey while AMD accounts for 15.93% and Intel for 9.02%. When looking at the top five most popular GPUs, the GeForce GTX 1650 remains in the top 5.3% share & that is followed by the RTX 3060 which sits at 4.88% share. The GTX 1060 is in third place with 4.6% share while the RTX 2060 sits at 4.10% share. We lastly have the RTX 3060 Laptop GPU which sits at fifth place with a share of 3.76%.

From what you can see, the NVIDIA 60 and 50-class GPUs remain the most popular amongst the gaming community due to their price-to-performance ratio. Meanwhile, AMD's Radeon RX 6600 & 6500 series graphics cards make up for a combined share of 1.29%.

Looking at the higher-end spectrum, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 itself holds a respectable 0.72% share which is more than the share of its predecessor, the RTX 3090 (0.66%). The RTX 4080 sits at a share of 0.47% versus the 2.46% & 0.85% shares of its predecessors, the RTX 3080 & RTX 3080 Ti. A similar example is the RTX 4070 series which has a combined share of 1.23% versus the RTX 3070 series which has a combined share of 2.52%.

Finally, we have the RTX 4060 Ti which has a share of just 0.23% which is quite low versus the 3060 Ti which sits at 3.43% and the Non-Ti RTX 4060 is nowhere to be seen.

Steam Hardware Survey (July 2023) Current-Gen GPU Market Share

GPU Name Steam Share
RTX 4070 Ti 0.68%
RTX 4090 0.65%
RTX 4070 0.55%
RTX 4080 0.47%
RTX 4060 Ti 0.23%
7900 XTX 0.17%

What's impressive is that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 GPU is almost 4 times more popular than the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX which only recently showed up in the Steam database. The GPU has a share of 0.17%. The RTX 4090 and RX 7900 XTX launched just a few months apart but feature a big price difference. The RTX 4090 retails for $1599 US (MSRP) while the RX 7900 XTX has an MSRP of $999 US. Even the RTX 4080 which launched closer to the 7900 XTX is 2.7 times more popular on Steam despite the Radeon offering a better price-to-performance proposition to gamers. The RTX 4080 however is overshadowed by the RTX 4090 which is often seen as a better value.

Moving over to the CPU side, here we see AMD gaining a share each month over Intel. AMD CPUs account for 33.19% of the share across Steam's userbase while Intel declined to 66.76%. We can expect a 50/50 percentile split between the two chipmakers in the coming months.

For some very odd reason, the quad-core CPUs saw the biggest rise along with dual-core while 10-core & 12-core chips saw a 0.20%+ increase compared to last month. In terms of OS, Windows remains the most popular choice amongst Steam gamers with Windows 11 gaining share and now sitting at 38.11% while Windows 10 leads the overall share but declining rapidly with a current share of 60.15%.

Disclaimer: These results are only applicable to Steam &  not representative of global market share. Steam has a large user base, measuring hundreds of millions of gamers and several million active gamers who participate in such surveys each month to get an idea of what kind of hardware is popular amongst the PC gaming community.

Which CPU are you running in your PC right now? [August 2023 Poll]
  • Intel
  • AMD
Vote to see results
Poll Options are limited because JavaScript is disabled in your browser.
Which GPU are you running in your PC right now? [August 2023 Poll]
  • AMD
  • NVIDIA
  • Intel
Vote to see results
Poll Options are limited because JavaScript is disabled in your browser.
Written by Hassan Mujtaba
03 Aug 14:02

Harley Quinn S04E04 1080p HEVC x265-MeGusta

02 Aug 18:14

The Accessories That'll Make You Actually Use Your Water Bottle

by Amanda Blum

Somewhere there’s a student of human behavior who can explain why, for so long, I have surrounded myself with water bottles, yet still remained dehydrated. I had several good reasons for this—which I will get to—but whatever the cause, I was determined to fix it. Fortunately for me, the solutions were only a few…

Read more...

02 Aug 10:48

Apple SVP Of Hardware Engineering Hints That iPhones Won’t Have Removable Batteries Despite EU’s New Rules; Says It Will Reduce Durability

by Omar Sohail

iPhones with replaceable batteries

An earlier EU ruling will require companies like Apple to offer devices to customers that feature ‘easy to replace’ batteries. However, despite the enforcement of these rules, the Cupertino firm’s Senior Vice President of hardware engineering hints that such a change will not be arriving to the company’s devices as it can compromise the internal integrity, reducing the overall durability.

Assuming new EU rules are stringent, Apple may be forced to exit several markets entirely

Apple executive John Ternus spoke in an interview with the YouTube channel ORBIT that was spotted by Supercharged regarding the possibility of bringing removable batteries to future iPhones. Though most of the interview focused on Apple’s environmental efforts that Lisa Jackson led, Ternus believes that if consumers truly want a battery replacement for their devices, there needs to be a safer way to make that happen.

In other words, the company’s SVP of hardware engineering believes that iPhone owners would inadvertently harm themselves when performing a battery replacement procedure. While the executive may have said this out of concern for the people’s well-being, it is likely that this statement was made to ensure that one of Apple’s revenue streams is not severed.

Despite the technology giant shipping millions of iPhones in a calendar year, it stands to make a ton of money through battery replacements alone, with U.S. customers needing to pay $99 for a battery replacement for the base iPhone 14 if they have not opted for AppleCare+. Ternus states that making an internal component more repairable can also add a potential failure point in that area, making devices less durable.

He also mentions that making batteries easily replaceable would make incorporating water and dust-resistant seals on iPhones difficult. Ternus also says that Apple wants to build products that last while also pointing out that iPhones have held their resale value quite well over the years thanks to their improved durability.

At the end of the day, despite offering customers a premium experience when they purchase their first iPhone, Apple is a company focused on generating profits, so assuming that EU’s rules do not allow for any ‘bending of the rules,’ the iPhone maker would exit the markets that fall under the European Union rather than be forced to change the design. Even if Ternus did not explicitly admit this in the interview, most of us knew where his mind was at.

Fortunately, even if Apple does not offer customers an easy solution to replace the batteries in the future, it does not mean the company will make the iPhone 15 family difficult to take apart, as the upcoming lineup is said to be easily repairable.

Written by Omar Sohail
29 Jul 11:58

Here are all the new features Microsoft added to Teams in July 2023

by Usama Jawad

Microsoft Teams is one of the most widely used online communication and collaboration software out there, especially in enterprise environments. As such, Microsoft regularly updates it with new capabilities and enhancements in order to retain its existing customers while also attracting new ones. Although features are added to Teams on a rolling basis, the Redmond tech giant regularly publishes a roundup of all the new stuff it introduced to Teams in the past few weeks. Now, it has done the same for July 2023.

28 Jul 04:42

How Ukraine defied expectations [News]

27 Jul 15:04

How Information Disclosure Vulnerabilities Can Wreck Your Organization’s Security

by Chioma Ibeakanma

Your organization's security is a vital part of your business. Think about the data you store on your servers. Is it safe from unauthorized users? Are bits of private information like source codes and API keys inadvertently disclosed on your applications?

24 Jul 19:41

The original Resident Evil looks phenomenal in newly upscaled HD

by Will Nelson
The original Resident Evil looks phenomenal in newly upscaled HD

The original Resident Evil has been given the HD upscaling treatment, and it gives Capcom's classic horror game a whole new look. While the 1996 game springboarded a whole videogame series alongside the survival horror genre, its visuals haven't aged the best. It still has great artistic direction and brilliant ideas that haven't aged a day, but now a group of players has used modern technology to make the Resident Evil Spencer Mansion feel as sleek as ever, and you can see it below.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Best horror games, Best survival games, Best old games
22 Jul 01:26

No Apologies As Reddit Halfheartedly Tries To Repair Ties With Moderators

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Reddit is publicly extending an olive branch to the moderator community that it largely enraged over recent weeks. In a post on Wednesday, a Reddit employee detailed outreach efforts from the company, including new weekly feedback sessions, that it hopes can help repair ties with the social media platform and over 50,000 volunteer mods that it relies on. But as you might expect, mods remain skeptical. A Reddit admin going by Go_JasonWaterfalls on the site and claiming the title of Reddit VP of community acknowledged the shattered relationship between mods -- who spend thousands of hours providing free labor and have recently engaged in variously disruptive forms of protest over API pricing on the site -- and Reddit -- which has responded to said protests by ousting some protesting moderators from their posts. "So, we've all had a... time on Reddit lately," Go_JasonWaterfalls wrote. "And I'm here to recognize it, acknowledge that our relationship has been tested, and begin the 'now what?' conversation." Noting that Reddit's "role is facilitation" and to give mods a platform they "can rely on," including necessary tools and resources, Go_JasonWaterfalls emphasized the need for "consistent, inclusive, and direct connection" with mods before detailing outreach efforts, like Weekly Mod Feedback Sessions. The sessions will take place every Tuesday and Thursday through October and "continue into the future as valuable," the Reddit admin said. Redditors have to fill out a form of interest to participate. Reddit can easily turn away those with inactive accounts or who it views as currently being in violation of Reddit's mod or content policies. Go_JasonWaterfalls said Reddit will share notes from feedback sessions in the r/modnews subreddit. Go_JasonWaterfalls also underscored Reddit's Mod Council and Partner Communities programs, the next monthly meeting for the Accessibility Feedback Group, and upcoming in-person events in the US, Brazil, Canada, England, France, and India. Mods, meanwhile, traumatized by a tumultuous past couple of months, have very low expectations of Reddit's efforts. Ars spoke with some who have already participated in similar efforts, like feedback sessions or the Mod Council, and claimed mixed results in regard to Reddit making actual moves in response to mod critiques and suggestions. "The Reddit Mod Council in particular has been one where they will yo-yo on whether or not they listen to moderators. Sometimes they do, most times they don't," Alyssa Videlock, a mod for numerous subreddits, including large ones like r/tumblr and r/lgbt, told Ars. Reddit is refusing to give way on virtually any of the mods' demands, which has included things like more accessible API pricing or more time to adjust to the new pricing for apps they value and broader exemption for apps used by users (including mods) with accessibility needs. Reddit's removal of troubling mods has also helped to obliterate Reddit community trust.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

22 Jul 01:13

Dolphin Emulator Abandons Steam Release Plans After Nintendo Legal Threat

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A few months ago, the developers behind the Wii/GameCube emulator Dolphin said they were indefinitely postponing a planned Steam release, after Steam-maker Valve received a request from Nintendo to take down the emulator's "coming soon" page. This week, after consulting with a lawyer, the team says it has decided to abandon its Steam distribution plans altogether. "Valve ultimately runs the store and can set any condition they wish for software to appear on it," the team wrote in a blog post on Thursday. "In the end, Valve is the one running the Steam storefront, and they have the right to allow or disallow anything they want on said storefront for any reason." The Dolphin team also takes pains to note that this decision was not the result of an official DMCA notice sent by Nintendo. Instead, Valve reached out to Nintendo to ask about the planned Dolphin release, at which point a Nintendo lawyer cited the DMCA in asking Valve to take down the page. At that point, the Dolphin team says, Valve "told us that we had to come to an agreement with Nintendo in order to release on Steam... But given Nintendo's long-held stance on emulation, we find Valve's requirement for us to get approval from Nintendo for a Steam release to be impossible. Unfortunately, that's that." "As for Nintendo, this incident just continues their existing stance towards emulation," the post continues. "We don't think that this incident should change anyone's view of either company." Despite the disappointing result for the Steam release, the Dolphin team is adamant that "we do not believe that Dolphin is in any legal danger." That's despite the emulator's inclusion of the Wii Common Key, which could run afoul of the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions. The Dolphin Team notes that the Wii Common Key has been freely shared across the Internet since its initial discovery and publication in 2008. And while that key has been in the Dolphin code base since 2009, "no one has really cared," the team writes. [...] With what they believe is a firm legal footing, the team writes that Dolphin development will continue away from Steam, but including a number of UI and quality of life features originally designed for the Steam release. Meanwhile, emulators like RetroArch and the innovative 3dSen continue to be available on Steam, with no immediate sign of a further crackdown from Valve or Nintendo.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

21 Jul 19:13

James Cameron travelled back in time to save humanity [Scary]