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29 Jun 13:54

Why is Eminem's legacy in rap taking a hit?

by Devin Nealy

Recently, Eminem released his new song titled The King and I, which will be featured on the soundtrack for Baz Lurhmann's Elvis film. Given the parallels between the two artists, the song was inevitable. Both men are titans in their fields but endured criticism pertaining to their white privilege in a Black medium. — Read the rest

29 Jun 13:54

CISA-Funded Project Enables Students With Disabilities to Learn Cybersecurity

by Ionut Arghire

Cybersecurity workforce development organization CYBER.ORG on Monday announced the launch of Project Access, a national effort to provide cybersecurity education to blind and visually impaired students.

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29 Jun 13:54

This mod overhauls Doom 64 into a Doom Eternal story FPS

by Chris J Capel
This mod overhauls Doom 64 into a Doom Eternal story FPS

A Doom mod two years in the making is now complete, and it overhauls 2019's Doom 64 PC remaster into more of a story-driven FPS game along the lines of Doom Eternal or 2016 - featuring new levels, cutscenes, secrets, remastered graphics, and more than double the number of songs on the soundtrack.

While it might be a push to call Doom Eternal "story-driven" compared to the likes of Half-Life or Far Cry, the recent games certainly have way more of a plot than the '90s ones. Doom 64, in particular, had a bit of a story but it didn't really come through in-game between blasting demons in the dark.

Doom 64 Reloaded is a mod that changes this to make it a little more in line with Eternal-style storytelling, and you can pick it up over at Doomworld. It patches the official release of Doom 64 and completely overhauls it, which becomes apparent the moment you start the game and are confronted with a new opening cutscene and an extended first level with jumpscares.

RELATED LINKS: Doom runs on Twitter, Play Doom
29 Jun 13:53

MITRE Publishes 2022 List of 25 Most Dangerous Vulnerabilities

by Eduard Kovacs

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the nonprofit organization MITRE have published the 2022 list of the 25 most dangerous vulnerabilities.

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29 Jun 13:52

CISA Calls for Expedited Adoption of Modern Authentication Ahead of Deadline

by Ionut Arghire

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is urging federal agencies and private organizations to switch to Modern Auth in Exchange Online before October 1, 2022.

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29 Jun 13:52

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Review – The Flame of Kamura Burns Ever Hotter

by Francesco De Meo

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

Two are the pivotal moments in the life of any Monster Hunter worth their salt. The first is a release of a new entry in the series. The second is the release of its expansion which usually introduces not only more content in the form of new hunting grounds and powerful beasts to take down but also new gameplay tweaks and mechanics that can change how each game is played quite a bit and make it realize its full potential. This is what happened with Monster Hunter World, as the Iceborne expansion introduced a lot of gameplay tweaks and tons of new content that elevated the experience far beyond that provided by the base game.

With Iceborne having shattered all expectations, many fans of the series expect the Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak expansion to be as massive as Capcom implied. I am pleased to say that the developer delivered on all fronts, as Sunbreak brings not only tons of greatly designed returning and new monsters, but also some gameplay tweaks and new mechanics that massively improve the already excellent experience of the base game. Sunbreak may be going even beyond what the Iceborne expansion did for Monster Hunter World, especially regarding the new gameplay mechanics.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is set right after the end of the base game. Having put an end to The Rampage and saved Kamura Village in the process, the hunter has become known as the Fierce Flame of Kamura, their reputation having become legendary not only in Kamura but also beyond. At some point after the end of The Rampage, a new monster called Lunagaron appears in Kamura's Shrine Ruins for an unknown reason, hinting that someone or something may be affecting the environment, forcing monsters from a land known as the Kingdom to venture outside of their typical habitat. It does not take long for the hunter to meet the knight of the Royal Order Fiorayne and to journey with her to Elgado and beyond, where they will face the monsters known as the Three Lords - Garangolm, Lunagaron, and the Elder Dragon Malzeno to solve yet another crisis.

Just like in the base game, the story in Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak isn't particularly complex or well-developed, serving mainly as an excuse to venture out into all existing maps and new maps like the Jungle and Citadel to hunt down Master Rank monsters. While characters are generally not all that interesting, they still manage to be somewhat memorable thanks to a brand new gameplay addition, Follower Quests, where characters from both Elgado and Kamura accompany the hunter in the field. In the Support Surveys Quests, it is possible to pick which characters you want to bring with you, so some faces will eventually become very familiar to you in the long run.

Just like for the base game, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak shouldn't be played for the barebones story but for its gameplay, and in this regard, the expansion fully delivers without any doubt. Even before engaging Master Rank monsters, hunters will find plenty of new mechanics as soon as they get on the field. There are new types of Wirebugs, Golden and Ruby, which temporarily increase the number of items dropped by monsters and the power of Punisher Attacks during Wyvern Riding respectively, and new Hunting Helpers like the Marionette Spiders, which allow the Hunters to temporarily bind monsters in place. The new Wirebugs may seem like a small addition, but they improve the game's pace, as the Golden Wirebugs, for example, significantly reduce grinding for items.

The biggest gameplay additions are the new Switch Skills for all weapons, and the Switch Skill Swap mechanics, which both add a new dimension to combat. Thanks to the swap mechanics, it is possible to switch between two Switch Skills loadouts on the fly and even perform a dodge maneuver with generous range and invincibility frames that can be further increased with the Evade Window and Evade Extender skills. It does take some time to get used to swapping Switch Skills on the fly, but when it becomes natural, it truly brings combat to a new height. Swapping Switch Skills at pretty much any time on the field also makes some underused Switch Skills from the base game shine. This is the case, for example, of the Long Sword's Silkbind Sakura Slash attack, which was useful but not comparable to Soaring Kick and Spirit Helm Breaker, especially in terms of damage.

The introduction of the Switch Skill Swap mechanics also allows the creation of some unique builds that were impossible in the base game. For example, I made a somewhat decent Charge Blade build based around Counter Peak Performance and Axe Hopper, two skills that couldn't be simultaneously used in the base game. It is not an optimal build, considering it depends on Wirebugs, but the fact that it is possible to get so creative sets Sunbreak apart from pretty much everything we have seen in the series, except for Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate and its Style mechanics.

The new Switch Skills for all weapons are clearly designed with the Swap mechanics in mind, complementing each weapon's base moveset quite well. The Long Sword still dominates not only thanks to some new Switch Skills that will probably end up being meta, like the extremely damaging and relatively easy-to-use Sacred Sheathe Combo, but also for the generous opportunities to use Switch Skill Swap. It is possible, for example, to swap Switch Skills right after Silkbind Sakura Slash and Special Sheathe Counter connect with a monster, essentially allowing the hunter to cancel the sheating animation and get back into the fray much faster than before. Other weapons, like the Great Sword, have received Switch Skills that not only make it easier to use them, such as Strongarm Stance, but also slightly change how the weapon plays, such as Surge Slash Combo, which grants access to a few new slightly faster, non-charged, combos. Not all new Switch Skills are on the same level, to be sure, and the increased number of counters will undoubtedly disappoint some, but the added versatility is a definite plus, no matter which weapons you like to use.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

Adding new Switch Skills isn't the only change Sunbreak brings to weapons, as many of them have received a variety of tweaks. The Long Sword's Soaring Kick, for example, has been nerfed with a higher cooldown; the Insect Glaive, on the other hand, has been massively buffed with the introduction of Powder Kinsects and a new move that makes all powder left behind explode for terrific damage. Pretty much every weapon has been tweaked in one way or another, even the often mistreated Lance, showing how Capcom has listened to players' feedback.

With so many powerful tools at the hunter's disposal, monsters had to be designed accordingly. Even in this regard, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak does not disappoint, although it doesn't fully deliver when it comes to the challenge level. All monsters from the base game are back in Master Rank quests, and they are actually the main target of most quests from Master Rank 1 to Master Rank 3, so for the first few hours, hunters will be dealing mostly with monsters they should already know how to take down, only that they are much faster, hit harder and have a few new moves and patterns that could throw hunters off. One thing that is impossible not to notice, however, is how a base game endgame build can carry hunters through most of the quests from the first few Master Ranks, as it was only in late Master Rank 3 quests that I truly felt the need to get new weapons, armors, and Decorations. The difficulty jump from High to Master Rank was way more noticeable in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne.

This, however, is not to say that Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is a complete walk in the park. The new subspecies are markedly stronger than their base versions, such as Blood Orange Bishaten and Pyre Rakna-Kadaki, and some returning monsters like Astalos and Seregios will give hunters a run for their money. The three Lords are also exceptionally designed and can provide a challenge, although they are not on the same level, as Garangolm, the first Lord you will face, is not as difficult as the other two Lords. Malzeno in particular is among the most interesting monsters in the series, featuring a coherent visual and gameplay design that nicely represents the vampire theme used as the basis.

The new Switch Skills and the Skill Switch Swap mechanics aren't the only new tools available at the hunters' disposal in Sunbreak. Alongside new weapons and armor sets, some of them coming with brand new skills such as Focus Master that finally makes Elemental and ailment-focused builds viable for Great Swords, the expansion introduces new Palicoes' Secret Support Moves, powerful new support moves that can be assigned regardless of the Palico's type, and Swap Support Move which introduces some welcome customization options for the feline buddies. Palamutes have also received improvements, such as the ability to carry items in excess found on the field, and new weapons, such as the Bowgun Attachment, so they are no longer useful just for quick transportation. Speaking of customization options, Sunbreak introduces level 4 Decorations which make it much easier to create optimal builds, and Rampage Decorations which are meant to replace the Rampage Skills of the base game. This was a required introduction to Sunbreak as the expansion doesn't feature Rampage quests anymore, something that should make many players happy, as these quests were far from fan favorites. All these new customization options work great and feel coherent with the overall game design of Monster Hunter Rise, and they are extremely welcome additions.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

The welcome removal of Rampage quests, however, doesn't mean there isn't any new quest type to spice up the experience. As mentioned above, Sunbreak introduces Follower Quests, where non-playable characters will accompany the hunter on a variety of hunts, essentially giving solo players a taste of the multiplayer experience at the franchise's core. And surprisingly enough, the AI-controlled Followers are quite competent, using their assigned weapons well and even riding monsters when the going gets tough. Fiorayne, for example, uses the Sword and Shield as her default weapon, and she is quite good at doing so, even going as far as parrying monsters' roars with the Metsu Shoryugeki Switch Skill.

Despite being just an expansion, Monster Hunter Sunbreak offers something new in the PC release regarding visual options. The game now fully supports NVIDIA DLSS, meaning it will be easier than ever to play the game at high frame rates without sacrificing visual quality for those with NVIDIA RTX cards. AMD FSR, unfortunately, is not supported, at least at launch. Still, thankfully, Monster Hunter Rise and its expansion are not particularly demanding games. Hence, a relatively recent machine has no trouble running them at acceptable frame rates and resolutions even without an NVIDIA RTX GPU. Visuals have also been touched up a bit, with some subtle but noticeable changes to lighting and more.

With so many tweaks and additions, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is truly a massive expansion that improves upon an already excellent game in every possible way. The challenge level is still generally on the low side compared to previous entries in the series, but no hunter worth their salt should be stopped by this, as the new monsters and gameplay mechanics make the journey to Elgado and the Citadel one to remember.

PC version tested. Review code provided by the publisher.

The post Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Review – The Flame of Kamura Burns Ever Hotter by Francesco De Meo appeared first on Wccftech.

29 Jun 13:50

Footage from nearby park shows Russian rockets hitting Ukraine mall

by Rob Beschizza

No-one appears to be hurt in this security footage from a park near the mall bombed Monday by Russian forces in Ukraine. But the destructive force of the explosions is clear. At least 18 people died in the attack, with dozens more injured. — Read the rest

29 Jun 13:49

Hell Is Us wants to make its action-adventuring even more "old school" than Elden Ring

by Ed Thorn

When action-adventure game Hell Is Us was first announced a couple of months ago, we thought it had Annihilation vibes and appreciated the team's attempts to invoke Annihilation... and its vibes. Developers Rogue Factor didn't provide many other details, besides a few buzz words: "semi-open world", "true adventure", "third person".

So, I sat down with the game's creative director Jonathan Jacques-Belletête in the hopes he could shed some light on the aforementioned vibes, perhaps even turning them from ethereal gusts of Annihilation-ness to concrete info on just how the game aims to be a "true adventure". Lo and behold, I think it worked!

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29 Jun 13:45

Ford Says You Can Never Own Leased EVs

by FirehoseFavorites
schwit1 shares a report from The Truth About Cars: Ford Motor Co. will be suspending end-of-lease buyout options for customers driving all-electric vehicles, provided they took possession of the model after June 15, 2022. Those who nabbed their Mach-E beforehand will still have the option of purchasing the automobile once their lease ends. However, there are some states that won't be abiding by the updated rules until the end of the year, not that it matters when customers are almost guaranteed to have to wait at least that long on a reserved vehicle. The change, made earlier in the month, cruised under our radar until a reader asked for our take over the weekend. Ford could be wanting to capitalize on exceptionally high used vehicle prices, ensuring that more vehicles make it back into rotation. The broader industry has likewise been talking about abandoning traditional ownership to transition the auto market into being more service-oriented where manufacturers ultimately retain ownership of all relevant assets. But it may not be that simple as this being another step in the business sector's larger plan to maximize profitability by discouraging private vehicle ownership. [...] While leasing customers will not be able to buy their EV, Ford Credit will allow them to renew an expiring contract in exchange for a brand-new model. Amazingly, the manufacturer is trying to frame this as environmentally responsible. But it smells like planned obsolescence and desperation from where I'm sitting. Ford knows that electrics require far less labor to produce. By also retaining/recycling the most-expensive component (the battery) it can effectively maximize profitability on a three or four-year turnaround. For now, the updated leasing scheme is limited exclusively to all-electric products (e.g. Ford Lightning or Mach-E "Mustang") sold in 37 individual states. But the long wait times for new EVs and Ford's desire to expand the plan through the rest of the year effectively means it'll be national by the time most people take ownership.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

29 Jun 13:44

Watch what happens when a big group of men excitedly ride a pickup truck into a swamp

by David Pescovitz

My favorite character in the video below is the man in the blue shirt at the front who waves excitedly even as things start to go south. Perhaps he knows what's coming and is waving… goodbye.

Read the rest
29 Jun 13:43

Intel CPUs Can Perform Worse With Windows Defender Running But There’s Also A Fix

by Jason R. Wilson

Intel's Upcoming 24 Core Raptor Lake Core i9-13900K Desktop CPU & Arc A770 Desktop Graphics Card Spotted

Kevin Glynn, the associate software author of PC utilities such as ThrottleStop and RealTemp for the TechPowerUP, created a new utility called "Counter Control," allowing users to monitor and log the performance counters of previous and current Intel Core CPUs. The new tool supports Intel processors launched in 2008 (Nehalem architecture CPUs) to present Alder Lake and Arc processors.

Counter Control CPU application fixes performance bugs found with Intel processors and Windows Defender

While Glynn was developing ThrottleStop, he uncovered a glitch within Microsoft's security software, Windows Defender, causing a critical impact on CPU performance. Security software of all types tends to affect performance to some degree, but this particular bug has a much higher effect on the processor while active.

Image Source: TechPowerUP
Image Source: TechPowerUP

But how do you know if your processor is affected? TechPowerUP breaks down the signs to look for and how Counter Control will create a fix for the system.

The website describes that you will notice that HWiNFO — the Windows system info tool that shows an overview and other crucial details of hardware components — will display the "Effective Clock" speed lower when the processor is at its peak. The system's performance drops when Windows Defender becomes affected at this point. The website gives an example of an Intel Core i9-10850K CPU, which has a clock of 5 GHz and yields six percent of the processor, dropping the Cinebench points by 1000. While Intel processor generations 8th through 11th, regardless of whether it is a mobile or desktop variant, those users will see the effect on Microsoft Windows 10 and 11. TechPowerUP notes that AMD processors are not afflicted with the same result.

Image Source: TechPowerUP
Image Source: TechPowerUP

Windows Defender uses the complete hardware performance counters (seven to be exact) and the three fixed-function counters that are fashioned to Intel Core processors at any given point and without notice. However, several programs also need access to the same counters, adding more resources to the command. When this happens, each of the counters is programmed in one of four configurable modes — Disabled, OS (ring-0), User (ring>0), and All-Ring levels — and decides which privilege level it focuses on.

 

System utilities like HWiNFO, OverClocking Checking Tool (OCCT), Core Temp, and ThrottleStop, placed each of the counters to either "mode 3" or "All-Ring" levels. Due to all modes set identically, there is a lack of issues with several programs utilizing the same counters. However, Windows Defender places all counters to "mode 2" at varying unknown times, whether when the system is first turned on or at any other time. This action by Windows Defender will then cause the security program to utilize an absorbent amount of time from the processor. There is not a specific time or mode that this happens.

Is Intel to blame for this action and bug? No. Far from it. The effect on performance is directly attributed to Windows Defender randomly overwriting settings to "mode 2," placing a stall on the processing and allowing the computer system to normalize and fly under the radar of its glitch.

Image Source: TechPowerUP
Image Source: TechPowerUP

Our Counter Control software monitors and logs the "IA32_FIXED_CTR_CTRL" register of Intel Core processors, located at MSR 0x38D. This register provides access to the three fixed-function performance monitoring counters mentioned before. Counter Control will inform users if any software is using the Intel fixed-function counters and for how long they've been in use. Typical values reported by Counter Control look like this:

  • Not Used - 0x000: The three fixed-function counters are stopped. None of the counters are presently being used.
  • Defender - 0x222: All three fixed-function counters are programmed to mode 2. This is the value that Windows Defender sets these counters to when using them.
  • Normal - 0x330: Two counters are programmed to mode 3. One counter is programmed to mode 0 and is not being used. This is normal. Most monitoring programs that use these counters will program the counter control register to this value.
  • Warning - 0x332: This is shown when two counters are generally used by monitoring software while the third counter has been set to mode 2, likely by Windows Defender. This is a warning that two different programs might be fighting over control of the shared counters. You might see the counter control register constantly changing between 0x222 and 0x332. You will see this when running HWiNFO if Windows Defender is trying to use the IA32_FIXED function counters simultaneously.
Image Source: TechPowerUP

Now, to fix the issue at hand. Suppose your computer appears to be affected by the Windows security feature and displays the "Defender" readout on the screen. In that case, TechPowerUP states that the quickest fix is clicking the "Reset Counters" box in the Counter Control application. Upon activation, the tool from Glynn on TechPowerUP's website will change one of the timers back to "mode 3," causing Defender to detect the change and will cause the security application to halt and normalize CPU performance. TechPowerUP warns readers to verify that the shift has happened by running benchmarks.

Image Source: TechPowerUP

The website also notes two general directions to mitigate the subjected Intel processors' performance loss permanently. One fix is to turn off Windows Defender monitoring, but in doing so, you will risk opening your system to attacks. The other option is to use ThrottleStop 9.5, which has a "Windows Defender Boost" opportunity to help guarantee ultimate performance along with pinpoint Core Effective Clock monitoring on the system with any running applications, even when Windows Defender is active. ThrottleStop works by activating a single customizable timer in real-time. That way, when the security software notices that software is attempting to utilize one of the counters, it will eliminate processing on all the other counters, essentially leaving them alone and returning performance to standard settings. Resetting in Counter Control with the "Reset" option will do the same, but without having to open ThrottleStop.

To clarify, Windows Defender will continue to work fine. It can still detect and notify users of any viruses. When started once, with the "Windows Defender Boost" option, ThrottleStop will let the timer run in mode 3, even when closed. This means you can start ThrottleStop once at bootup, close it right afterward, and Counter Control will protect your system from the Defender performance issues.

For more information and how to download Counter Control 1.1 for yourself, visit TechPowerUP's download page.

The post Intel CPUs Can Perform Worse With Windows Defender Running But There’s Also A Fix by Jason R. Wilson appeared first on Wccftech.

29 Jun 10:10

GWJ Conference Call 820

by Amoebic
Tinyfolks

Tinyfolks (PC),The Cycle: Frontier (PC), Shadowrun Trilogy (PS5), SuperEpic (Switch), Timelie (Switch), Gordian Quest 1.0, Citizen Sleeper (PC).

Click Here to Download!

29 Jun 04:19

Ice Cowboys S01E04 1080p HDTV H264-CBFM

29 Jun 04:11

[PS/Xbox/Steam/Epic/Stadia] (Other) Outriders - Twitch Drops for 7 days

by /u/BlackGhost_93
28 Jun 23:44

New Elden Ring Torrent fixes a crucial issue with the ghostly horse

by Josh Broadwell
New Elden Ring Torrent fixes a crucial issue with the ghostly horse

Elden Ring’s Torrent is a brave and stalwart steed, the one who picks you up after death and decides you should be Melina’s knight in Tarnished armor, but valor only counts for so much in the action RPG – and, in the late game, not very much at that. Challenges in Leyndell and beyond often prove too much for the trusty Torrent, but a new Elden Ring mod aims to fix that. Modder Admiral30 created the Invincible Torrent mod to address the problem of Torrent’s HP and keep horseback combat viable throughout the game.

RELATED LINKS: The best Elden Ring builds, Elden Ring bosses, The best Elden Ring classes
28 Jun 22:33

Modern City Dwellers Have Lost About Half Their Gut Microbes

by msmash
Comparing genomes of intestinal bacteria in various primates and human populations begins to pinpoint the possibly helpful microbes that have gone missing from our guts. From a report: Deep in the human gut, myriad "good" bacteria and other microbes help us digest our food, as well as keep us healthy by affecting our immune, metabolic, and nervous systems. Some of these humble microbial assistants have been in our guts since before humans became human -- certain gut microbes are found in almost all primates, suggesting they first colonized a common ancestor. But humans have also lost many of these helpers found in other primates and may be losing even more as people around the world continue to flock to cities, a researcher reported last week at a microbiology meeting in Washington, D.C. Those absent gut microbes could affect human health, he says. "This work helps us develop a new understanding of the course of human biological and cultural development," says Lev Tsypin, a microbiology graduate student at the California Institute of Technology who was not involved in the new study. The microbiome comprises all the bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microscopic life that inhabit an individual, be it a person, a plant, or a planaria. For humans and many other species, the best characterized microbiome centers on the bacteria in the gut. The more microbiologists study these gut microbes, the more they link the bacteria to functions of their hosts. In humans, for example, gut bacteria influence how the immune system responds to pathogens and allergens, or interact with the brain, affecting mood. Andrew Moeller, an evolutionary biologist at Cornell University, was one of the first to show that gut bacteria and humans have built these relationships over a very long time. Six years ago, he and colleagues reported the work showing human gut microbes are very similar to those in other primates, suggesting their intestinal presence predates the evolution of humans. But his follow-up studies, and work by others, also indicate the human gut microbiome has, in a general sense, become less diverse than the gut microbes in our current primate cousins. One study found 85 microbial genera, such as Bacteroides and Bifidobacterium, in the guts of wild apes, but just 55 in people in U.S. cities. Splitting the difference, people in less developed parts of the world have between 60 and 65 of those bacterial groups, an observation that ties the decrease in microbial diversity to urbanization.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

28 Jun 20:59

Ghislaine Maxwell gets 20 years in prison for helping Epstein groom, abuse underage girls

by Carla Sinclair

The sentence is in: Former socialite Ghislaine Maxwell will spend the next 20 years in prison (minus any time deducted for good behavior) for her part in recruiting, grooming, and sexually exploiting underage girls with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Although the 60-year-old will spend much of the rest of her life behind bars, prosectors had hoped the sentence would be longer. — Read the rest

28 Jun 20:10

13 Host Gifts That Will Make You the Hero of the Barbecue

by Claire Lower

It’s grilling season, and I—along with my fellow BBQ Dads (a genderless title)—are ready to grill for you. Gathering people to the yard so they may gaze upon expertly smoked meats is our favorite past time and, though we aren’t in it for the host gifts (we’re in it for the glory), it’s still a nice move to show up to…

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28 Jun 20:09

Break out the cake: Portal Companion Collection hits Switch today

by Chris Moyse

portal companion collection switch direct

Retrovertigo

As part of this morning's Nintendo Direct presentation, it was announced that the iconic, smash-hit puzzle platformers Portal and Portal 2 are hitting the Switch platform in the form of Portal: Companion Collection. Even better news, the irreverent, brain-teasing title will land on the eShop today!

https://youtu.be/wMQASUA_1Do

Portal Companion Collection compiles 2007 hit Portal along with its 2011 follow-up — the two classics are freshly repackaged for their release on Nintendo's hybrid console. Return to the terrifying Aperture Science Enrichment Center and utilize the power of physics, gravity, and portals to guide our hero out of her cell, out of the system, and out of the hazardous clutches of the scarily sentient overseer, GLaDOS.

Combining dark humor, genuine pathos, and some fantastic lateral thinking shenanigans, the Portal games became instant classics upon release and have only welcomed more disciples into their twisted coven in the ensuing 15 years. Already available on practically every platform under the sun, this new compilation of two of gaming's finest and most beloved puzzlers will allow Switch players to set their heads fizzing and spinning whilst in bed, on a commute, or simply out and about. Just watch your step.

Portal: Companion Collection launches on the Nintendo eShop today for $19.99.

The post Break out the cake: Portal Companion Collection hits Switch today appeared first on Destructoid.

28 Jun 20:07

Why You Need a Solder Sucker and How to Use One

by Nachiket Mhatre

Soldering is an indispensable skill for electronics repair, which often involves replacing faulty PCB components. This makes desoldering the first order of business that precedes soldering. For the vast majority of makers, the solder sucker (or the desoldering pump) is the weapon of choice for this important task.

28 Jun 20:06

NieR: Automata is coming to Nintendo Switch this fall

by Chris Moyse

nier automata switch port nintendo direct

Rise of the Robots

A stone-cold classic of dystopian gaming is headed to Switch this year — as revealed during this morning's Nintendo Direct, Square Enix's apocalyptic and dramatic action adventure NieR: Automata will bring its wistful storytelling and dark, indelible worlds to the Switch platform this fall.

NieR: Automata: The End of YorHa Edition will see the award-winning 2017 release faithfully recreated for the Switch platform, bundled alongside all previously released content including DLC expansions, additional modes, and a fully-stocked wardrobe of snazzy duds for automated heroes 2B, 9S, and, A2. In addition, the Switch port will feature its own range of console exclusive skins, so you can ensure 2B is rocking all of her fineries as she picks her way through our miserable, dilapidated planet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGAmLykQsck

Originally developed by PlatinumGames, Nier: Automata sees an Earth lying in devastation, with mankind locked in a brutal proxy war against a seemingly insurmountable army of alien-created machines. In response, humanity builds its own automated protection in the form of sentient androids, who do battle with the machines in a never-ending war of attrition for control of the planet. NieR: Automata tells the story of three such androids and their dramatic, emotive, and often heart-breaking existence as pawns in a galactic battle for world domination.

NieR: Automata: End of YorHa Edition launches October 6 on Nintendo Switch. Pre-orders for the physical release are now live at the official Square Enix store and include a pretty rad-looking shirt.

The post NieR: Automata is coming to Nintendo Switch this fall appeared first on Destructoid.

28 Jun 20:04

Both of Valve's classic Portal games arrive on the Switch today

by Nathan Ingraham

A few months ago, Valve announced that both of its excellent Portal games were coming to the Nintendo Switch, but we didn't know when. Today's Nintendo Direct presentation cleared that up. Portal Companion Collection will arrive on the Switch later today for $19.99. The collection includes both the original Portal from 2007 as well as the more expansive, story-driven Portal 2 from 2011. Whether you missed these games the first time out or just want to replay a pair of classics, this collection sounds like a good way to return to one of the most intriguing worlds Valve ever created.

While the original Portal was strictly a single-player experience, Portal 2 has a split-screen co-op experience; you can also pay this mode with a friend online as well. And while these games originated on the PC, Valve also released Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 — and if I recall, the game's controls mapped to a controller very well. Given that the Portal series is more puzzle-based than traditional first-person games, you shouldn't have any problems navigating the world with a pair of Joy-Con controllers. 

28 Jun 20:01

Edible Things You Should Never Actually Eat

by Jeff Somers

When I was very (very) young, I ate an entire box of crayons in the hope of having multi-colored poop. It did not work, but it did cause my mother a few hours of mild distress as she worried what might happen to me. The answer (disappointingly) was nothing. I didn’t extrude a rainbow, nor did I die horribly from…

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28 Jun 20:01

Starlink Will Effectively Be Shut Down If DISH Wins Warns SpaceX To Users 

by Ramish Zafar

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SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet service sent out an email to users earlier today asking them for help in its fight to preserve the 12GHz spectrum for satellite internet use. Starlink lets its users connect to the Internet through user terminals that transfer data to and from satellites orbiting the Earth in low Earth orbit (LEO). These terminals use the 12GHz spectrum to connect with the satellites, and this spectrum is also used by multichannel video and data distribution services (MVDDS) providers and DISH - both of which have had rights to the spectrum for decades.

The 12GHz spectrum has been a point of contention at the FCC for quite a while now, and things heated up when SpaceX started to rapidly launch satellites, provided users with equipment and opened its network to the public. Now, it wants its users to help it end what it calls a 'lobbying campaign' which according to Starlink will spell the end of the service in America.

DISH Is Using "Paid Lobbyists" To Woo FCC In Its Favor Alleges Starlink

Today's email, shared by several users on the social media platform Reddit, follows the aggressive approach that Starlink has taken to the issue that is crucial to its survival. The 12GHz band, or 500Mhz of it to be precise, are a hot point of contention between the satellite and terrestrial internet providers, and Starlink has long argued that it and other non-geostationary fixed-satellite service (NGSO FSS) providers should retain access to it since all others granted the right of development have failed to meet their commitments to the FCC.

DISH and Starlink use the same frequency for their user terminals, and despite the fact that their satellites are vastly different, this opens up the scenario for significant interference between the two. This interference itself has been controversial, with the ongoing fight at the FCC seeing DISH and others initially argue that NGSO FSS companies cannot co-exist in the same spectrum, but then submitting more studies later on that showed that coexistence is possible.

Technological changes that make spectrum sharing possible
A summary of technological changes in satellite systems which now make spectrum sharing feasible according to RS Access. Image: Comments of RS Access 5.7.21 Filed in FCC Docket 20-441

After more than a year, Starlink countered with a study of its own earlier this month which raised shocking concerns about its operations. It is now using this study as part of an email that asks users in America to connect to their leaders in the House of Representatives and share with them the benefits of using Starlink.

A copy of the email, seen by Wccftech (present here), reads as follows:

Today we ask for your support in ending a lobbying campaign that threatens to make Starlink unusable for you and the vast majority of our American customers.

As recently reported, DISH Network has been hoarding spectrum for years as a strategy for preventing open and fair competition.

More recently, DISH has been attempting to claim new rights to the 12GHz band, which is the spectrum you currently use to download content with Starlink. Despite technical studies dating back as far as 2016 that refute the basis of their claims, DISH has employed paid lobbyists who are attempting to mislead the FCC with faulty analysis in hopes of obscuring the truth.

In reality, if DISH gets their way, Starlink customers will experience harmful interference more than 77% of the time and total outage of service 74% of the time, rendering Starlink unusable for most Americans.

The email then proceeds to share a link to SpaceX's latest study and to a website where users can share their views with government officials.

Here's everything you need to know about the 12GHz fight:

The post Starlink Will Effectively Be Shut Down If DISH Wins Warns SpaceX To Users  by Ramish Zafar appeared first on Wccftech.

28 Jun 19:57

M2 MacBook Pro Speed Test Comparison Shows it is Slower Than M1 MacBook Pro – Video

by Ali Salman

M1 and M2 MacBook Pro Speed Test Comparison

Apple's latest 13-inch MacBook Pro features the new M2 chip with enhanced performance capabilities. It was previously reported that the 256GB M2 MacBook Pro features a slower SSD performance compared to the M1 MacBook Pro with 256GB storage. It was discovered that the M2 model featured a single NAND storage chip, while the older M1 model was equipped with two NAND chips. In a real-world speed test comparison, the M1 MacBook Pro beats the M2 variant. Scroll down to read more details on the subject.

M1 MacBook Pro Beats The New M2 MacBook Pro in Speed Test Comparison Possibly Due to The Different NAND Storage Chip

The M1 and M2 MacBook Pro models part of the test are both 256GB variants. The M2 MacBook Pro with a higher storage configuration would perform differently. However, if you are looking to buy the base model of the M2 new MacBook Pro, check out the real-world speed test below.

M1 and M2 MacBook Pro Speed Test Comparison

It was discovered that the M2 MacBook Pro with 256GB of SSD storage and 8GB of RAM was slower compared to the M1 model with 256GB storage and 8GB RAM. The performance comparison has been conducted by the YouTube channel Max Tech with multiple usage tests that include Lightroom, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, file transfers, and multitasking.

In the multitasking RAM test, the M1 chip easily beats the M2 MacBook Pro with faster app launch times and content loading speed. The older chip was again faster in the image export test in Lightroom while apps were running in the background. The M1 variant took 3 minutes and 36 seconds to export 50 images while the M2 MacBook Pro took 4 minutes and 12 seconds. You can check out the M2 MacBook Pro speed test comparison against M1 MacBook Pro below for more details.

The built-in 8GB of unified memory of the M2 MacBook Pro is being used simultaneously for several processes. On the other hand, the notebook is using SSD for virtual memory. Due to the virtual memory swapping, the M2 MacBook Pro loses to the M1 variant in the speed test comparison.

At this point, Apple has not shared its side of the story of why it opted for a different NAND chip in the M2 MacBook Pro. We will wait for more tests to determine if the performance is indeed related to the NAND chips. This is all for now, folks. Share your views with us in the comments section below.

The post M2 MacBook Pro Speed Test Comparison Shows it is Slower Than M1 MacBook Pro – Video by Ali Salman appeared first on Wccftech.

28 Jun 19:54

What to Do If You Find an Injured Bird

by Lindsey Ellefson

You don’t need to intervene if you find a baby bird. Truly, fledglings don’t need your help. But an injured bird is another matter. If one flies into your streak-free window, for instance, and is now lying on your deck, it only makes sense that you’d want to help out your tiny, feathered friend. You can do that, but…

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28 Jun 19:15

Christian Bale Took His Thor: Love And Thunder Role Because His Kids Forced Him To

by Jeremy Mathai

Every high-profile actor has their own unique process for what roles they pick and why. Some embrace the challenge of doing something new and outside of their comfort zone, getting a crash course in new skills, and flexing different performing muscles that they might not have had a chance to do previously. Others relish the opportunity to work with the best and brightest in the business, becoming a particular filmmaker's "muse" of sorts and trusting them to bring out the absolute most in them with each and every role.

And then there are those who can afford (literally and otherwise) to just tune out everyone else and listen to the opinion of one specific demographic: their kids!

Christian Bale would hardly be in rare territory by prioritizing his parental instincts first and taking his cues from his children — Viggo Mortensen famously joined "The Lord of the Rings" at the last minute upon the urging of his J.R.R. Tolkien-obsessed son, for instance. But for those of us who wondered why exactly a thespian like Bale, a veteran of serious-minded movies such as "American Psycho," "The Machinist," and "The Fighter," would end up circling back to the superhero scene after seemingly getting that out of his system with Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" trilogy? Wonder no more!

Ahead of the release of "Thor: Love and Thunder," which is scheduled for July 8, 2022, Bale sat down for an interview and opened up about what drew him to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Was the character of Gorr the God Butcher just that compelling? Could he simply not pass up the chance to work under director Taika Waititi? Are his children just big ol' nerds? The answer, by his own account, would be "all of the above."

'They Gave Me My Marching Orders'

We've heard a lot about how Gorr the God Butcher is apparently a villain like no other and how the prospect of living it up as the antagonist role appealed to Christian Bale more than playing the hero. But the real reason(s) for joining "Thor: Love and Thunder" proved to be a combination of several factors — though perhaps none more important than the input from his family.

In an interview with Screen Rant, Bale commented on the various reasons that appealed to him about his role in the "Thor" sequel. As you'd imagine for an actor who has worked with so many acclaimed filmmakers over the years, Taika Waititi's talent was simply too much to ignore.

"For me, it was Taika. I loved 'Thor: Ragnarok,' as did my family. We also all loved 'Jojo Rabbit,' and then I had worked with Natalie [Portman, on Terrence Malick's 'Knight of Cups'] and wanted to work with Tessa [Thompson] and with Chris [Hemsworth]. It comes down to that, really. I just went, 'Great!' Loved the script, loved Taika's description of the villain. 'Let's go do this.'"

But even with so many compelling reasons to come aboard, the dreaded specter of scheduling conflicts almost prevented this collaboration from ever happening. The difference-maker at this critical juncture, as it turns out, happened to be some well-timed input from Bale's children.

"There were some potential scheduling conflicts. I said to my family, 'I don't think it's going to work out,' and they went, 'No, you make it work out. You're doing this, Dad.' They gave me my marching orders, and I dutifully obeyed."

We have Waititi, a particularly well-written villain, and Bale's family to thank for seeing the actor dressed up like a goth on a subpar makeup day.

Read this next: /Film's Top 10 Movies Of 2021

The post Christian Bale Took His Thor: Love and Thunder Role Because His Kids Forced Him to appeared first on /Film.

28 Jun 19:11

Robin Williams Had Some Regrets About His Popeye Performance

by Jeremy Smith

42 years ago, Robin Williams was not at the top of anyone's list to bring E.C. Segar's one-eyed comic strip sailor to life. Though "Mork and Mindy" had turned the stand-up comic into a major television star, he had yet to prove himself as a big-screen draw. Producer Robert Evans initially wanted Dustin Hoffman to top-line his live-action adaptation, but when the temperamental actor dropped out after clashing with screenwriter Jules Feiffer, he took a risk on the up-and-coming funnyman.

Williams' whirling-dervish energy wasn't entirely compatible with director Robert Altman's penchant for long, laid-back takes sprinkled with overlapping dialogue. Whereas characters tend to drift in and out of scenes in an Altman movie, Williams draws focus with his constant ad-libbing. If he couldn't disappear into the sea of eccentrics that populate the fictional village of Sweethaven, Altman's immersive aesthetic would be completely ruined.

Then again, if no one could understand a word stumbling out of Williams' mouth, this problem would be completely moot.

A Killer Whale Farting In A Wind Tunnel

Though Evans wanted Segar's comic strip to be the film's stylistic template, audiences would be expecting Popeye to sound exactly like Jack Mercer's Popeye from the popular, long-syndicated Fleischer Studios cartoons -- i.e. a little bit mumbly (as expected for a man who speaks with a corn cob pipe stuck in his mouth), but always decipherable. Williams failed miserably on his first pass.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, the actor confessed, "I had to dub that movie over twice... because people couldn't understand what I was saying. I sounded like a killer whale farting in a wind tunnel." He nailed it the second time through, to the point where you wonder how much of the character's tossed-off witticisms were improvised. While the Popeye of the comics and cartoons favored bad puns and groaner jokes, there's a wryness to Williams' dialogue that's new to the character. He's a little too sharp at times.

Surviving Sweethaven

Altman's "Popeye" was a modest box-office hit when it hit theaters in December 1980. Though Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert came through with a pair of upturned thumbs, the majority of critics were mixed-to-negative. Williams fared well with most reviewers, but his performance was completely overwhelmed by Shelley Duvall's uncanny embodiment of the lovably lanky Olive Oyl. While "Popeye" didn't help or hurt Williams' nascent movie career, he wouldn't become a bankable superstar until 1987's "Good Morning, Vietnam," where his stream-of-consciousness riffing was actually integral to the plot. If audiences missed any dialogue in that movie, it's because they were laughing too hard.

Read this next: 14 Sequels That Truly Didn't Need To Happen

The post Robin Williams Had Some Regrets About His Popeye Performance appeared first on /Film.

28 Jun 19:11

The Lie That Got Laurence Fishburne His Role In Apocalypse Now

by Erin Brady

"Apocalypse Now" is widely considered to be one of the definitive war movies, and for a lot of good reasons. Not only is it a disturbing look at the physical horrors of the Vietnam War, but the mental ones as well. After all, Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) didn't just suddenly become the cultish military leader he is out of the blue. This is a film that shows how the U.S. military was thrown, ill-prepared, into a war they didn't belong in, resulting in the deaths of thousands of soldiers and the emotional scarring of many more. This is not even taking into account the trauma left on Vietnamese civilians, who dealt with the brunt of the warfare -- hundreds of thousands of lives were lost.

Among those thrust into the war were young men, since the minimum age for enlistment was only 17 years old, although many recruits were actually younger. If "Apocalypse Now" serves as a portrait of the American military during the Vietnam War, then the character of Tyrone "Mr. Clean" Miller (Laurence Fishburne) represents the naive young men who went to great lengths to fight in a war largely considered meaningless. In a strange way, Fishburne's story of getting cast in the movie is not that dissimilar to these young men, which brings their stories into a much more terrifying perspective.

A Bizarre Sight

In a 2013 interview on "George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight," Fishburne explained that he had auditioned for the role of Mr. Clean claiming to be 16 years old, a year younger than the character's age. However, there was just one problem with this -- he was actually just 14 years old.

"I think they knew," he joked. "I don't think I was fooling anybody, you know?"

He especially wasn't fooling producer Fred Roos, who Fishburne says knew him from a project he did when he was younger. Needless to say, the casting team wasn't entirely sure if he looked as old as he claimed to be, so they needed an extra set of eyes. It was this outsider's opinion that ended up changing Fishburne's entire life.

"A young woman who was working in the offices, a secretary, got up and walked through," he said, "and as she was walking, Francis [Ford Coppola, the director of "Apocalypse Now"] finally spoke up and he just looked at her and said, 'excuse me, you think this kid could be 18? And whoever this young woman was, she turned around, looked at me, and went, 'yeah.'"

With the validation of an unaffiliated third party, Fishburne got the part. Although he was 14 when shooting began, he was 18 years old by the time the movie was finally released in theaters.

The Horrific Real-World Parallels

Of course, Fishburne was able to get away with his casting because, at the end of the day, it was just a movie. A movie that would become a nightmare to make, but a critically acclaimed one nonetheless. The same cannot be said for the young men who lied about their age in order to serve their country in the Vietnam War. It's currently unclear just how many teenagers did this during the war, which makes the casualties and trauma even more tragic.

One tragic example is that of Dan Bullock, a U.S. Marine that was killed in combat at only 15 years old. He was enlisted because he had lied about his age, pretending to be 18. The New York Times reported in 2019 that he had been one of four Marines killed at the An Hòa Combat Base in June 1969, one of nearly 60,000 American deaths in the war.

It is stories like Bullock's that make the character of Mr. Clean, as well as the story behind Fishburne's casting, so poignant. Although the young actor in a movie about the Vietnam War would eventually go on to have a lengthy career, the young kids that died in the actual war didn't. Don't be surprised if this hangs over you the next time you watch "Apocalypse Now."

Read this next: The 20 Greatest War Films Of All Time

The post The Lie That Got Laurence Fishburne His Role In Apocalypse Now appeared first on /Film.

28 Jun 15:57

Episode one of 'Star Wars: LARRY' is finally available

by Jason Weisberger

I am rolling a joint, then I will pour enough whiskey into my coffee that it becomes mostly whiskey, and I will settle in to watch the first episode of 'Star Wars: LARRY.' I have eagerly awaited the tale of Obi-Wan Ben Larry "Steve" Kenobi after the fall of the Republic, and the Jedi had totally run out of midichlorians to snort. — Read the rest