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  • WESTMINSTER, COLORADO/U.S.A. - MARCH 20, 2013: Xfinity Comcast service van parked on the street in front of a customers home. Th

    Comcast is bringing its twice-as-fast-as-Google-Fiber internet service to northern California. Potential customers will need installation of professional-grade equipment to access it and, you'll have to be near its fiber network -- Fresno, Monterey, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area are among the places on the list -- to qualify. That's not all, either. Statewide, it's rolling out a 250 Mbps "Extreme 250" speed tier for cable internet customers. The telecom giant's also boosting speeds on its existing tiers as well, with lower priced-plans getting jumps from 25 to 45 Mbps depending on the package at no added cost. Perhaps the best news about all this is that you won't have to wait too much longer for it all to take effect. Comcast says it'll start the cable internet upgrades in May with continued rollouts taking place the rest of the year, while the 2Gbps fiber service starts rolling out in June. And just like that, there's another gigabit competitor in Google HQ's vicinity with Fiber nowhere in sight.

    [Image credit: Shutterstock]

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    Source: Comcast

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  • Earlier this week Valve introduced Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator as a means to keep its users safe from phishing attempts, and now it's taken another step in that direction. From here on out, until you spend a minimum $5 with your account certain features are blocked. What're you going to miss out on? Friend invites, opening group chat, the Steam discussion boards and voting on Greenlight games among other things. But, considering that most people use the service for, you know, buying and playing games, this really should only affect those who're actively using the service for nefarious purposes.

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    Source: Steam Support

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  • It's been more than a year since Comcast announced its plan to buy fellow cable giant Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal, but it still hasn't received the blessings of various regulators. Now, word is leaking out from unnamed sources to Bloomberg and the New York Times that suggests Justice Department lawyers will recommend blocking the merger. Many consumer groups, politicians and executives from other companies have raised concerns over the last year that the combination would put too many customers, and too much of the nation's internet under one banner, despite a promise by Comcast to divest itself of some 3 million customers. Facing so much negative attention, Comcast is trying to improve customer service and reassure skeptics that it will be a friendly giant telecommunications company, but hasn't had much success convincing anyone that its plan will make cable TV better.

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    Source: New York Times, Bloomberg

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  • Owl Cave popped onto the indie scene in 2013 with a macabre, witty point-and-click adventure called Richard & Alice, which received a slew of rave reviews. Studio co-founder Nina White specializes in crafting vaguely horrific stories packed with tension, and her latest creation, The Charnel House Trilogy, is no exception. It's a subdued brand of horror: no jump scares, no boogeymen under the bed, no demonic children with long, limp hair crawling out of the TV. Charnel House takes place on a train and tells the stories of three passengers over the course of a single night.

    "For me, horror's all about the creeping dread, the slow, unsettling burn," White says. "It's this sense of unease and discomfort that I really like playing around with when crafting horror stories."

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  • With a new film on the horizon, there's a wave of excitement attached to the Star Wars franchise that hasn't been felt since the months leading up to the release of Episode I. Part of Disney's new plan for the $4 billion series includes a slate of new video game experiences over the course of a 10-year partnership with Electronic Arts.

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  • Maximum Bjorkness! That's what I came in expecting at MoMA PS1, the Museum of Modern Art's Queens-based offshoot, where the famous musician/distressing fashionista's new virtual reality exhibit is on display. "Stonemilker," a lilting, melancholy track from her new album Vulnicura, is the basis for Bjork's foray into VR. Considering the freaky name -- Stone milk? Gross. -- the harrowing emotional subject matter of her new record and the tech, you can understand why I arrived ready to get weird.

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  • Remember that crappy, top-down Halo game that came out a few years ago, Spartan Assault? Well, it got a sequel that's available on Steam, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and as weird as it sounds, even iOS. Anyhow, Halo: Spartan Strike will run you $5.99 or, if you're using one of Apple's mobile gizmos or a PC, you can grab the first game and the new one in a bundle for $9.99. Spartan Strike's story is a simulation (much like the last one was) set during the events of Halo 2 -- but there's a twist. Remember the cool new enemies from Halo 4, the Prometheans? They're in this game too, which raises more than a few questions regarding its fiction and timeline.

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    Via: Xbox Wire

    Source: iTunes

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  • Verizon-Downtown Manhattan Restoration

    Every time we talk about a new TV service, from Sling TV to PlayStation Vue to whatever Apple might be working on, there's inevitably disappointment when it's lacking a la carte channel selection. That's still the case for the new FiOS Custom TV packages Verizon tells us it will start offering on Sunday, but they do give customers a little more choice on what channels to pay for, or leave out. The way it works, is there's a 35-channel base package (CNN, AMC, HGTV, locals networks, etc.) combined with internet service. For $65, customers get that, plus any two add-on channel packages. The add-on packs are bundled by genre in a manner similar to Sling TV, with Sports (where ESPN lives), News & Info, Pop Culture, Entertainment, Kids, Lifestyle, and Sports Plus (regional sports networks, NFL Network and so on).

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    Source: Reuters

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  • The Navy's X-47B combat UAV demonstrator successfully paired with an an Omega Air KC-707 airtanker earlier this week. This marks the first time in aviation history for a UAV to demonstrate aerial refueling capabilities. Unfortunately, these tests also likely mark the end of the X-47B program. Despite only completing 20 percent of its potential flight hours, both of the Navy's X-47Bs are destined for museums. Still, the technologies that they've demonstrated -- including those historic autonomous carrier landings in 2013 -- will make their way into future unmanned combat aerial vehicles as part of the Navy's Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program.

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    Source: Alert 5 (Twitter)

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  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a new game from The Chinese Room, the studio behind beautiful exploration experience Dear Esther and horror game Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. It's exclusive to PlayStation 4 and takes place in a gorgeous, abandoned 3D world. In-game, players embark on a mission to discover where everyone in this quaint village went -- how and why they all seemingly, suddenly popped out of existence. Time plays a "fairly central role" in the game and it involves mysterious beams of golden light. The Chinese Room revealed Everybody's Gone to the Rapture at Sony's Gamescom presentation in 2013 with an eerie trailer hinting at a retro, post-apocalyptic environment, and the latest video expands on these themes. It's similarly vague but offers a look at another environment, this time an empty children's classroom that appears to have been ransacked by ... something. Along with the new video, The Chinese Room offers a taste of the game's music with a haunting, orchestral track.

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    Source: PlayStation Blog

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  • More than a year has passed since the first half of Double Fine's Broken Age came out, leaving fans of classic adventure video games as flummoxed and desperate for resolution as the game's young heroes. Later this month Tim Schafer's point and click fantasy will finally continue when Broken Age: Episode 2 hits PC, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. We here at Engadget feel that there's no time like the present to revisit the first chapter. Composer Peter McConnell and artist Nathan Stapley will be joining us to give some insight into the game's strange world of technological prisons and human sacrifice-loving beast gods.

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  • Storyscapes Press Preview - 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

    Storytellers are finding new mediums, like mobile apps, virtual reality headsets and web-based products, to convey their narratives. Of course, events like Sundance and Tribeca Film Festival are the perfect place to exhibit any fresh or interesting project, where people can actually experience them firsthand. And they all have one thing in common: The key is to make you part of the story. At Storyscapes, an exhibit at the Tribeca Film Festival that showcases immersive creations, we came across some that caught our eye. For example, a couple use VR to express the director's message, another an app and, in the case of Door Into the Dark, a 6,000-square-foot labyrinth that relies on audio to guide those who try it. Sounds like fun, right? Don't worry: You, too, can check these out if you happen to be in New York City from today, April 16th, through April 19th.%Gallery-slideshow281156%

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  • Step back in time -- to the future! Invisible, Inc. is a tactical espionage game set in a futuristic, corporate-controlled world where hacking is as cool as 1950s-style fedoras and trench coats. It launches on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux on May 12th, Klei Entertainment announced in a shiny new trailer today. Klei is the studio behind excellently quirky games like Don't Starve and Mark of the Ninja, meaning Invisible, Inc. is on track to be a superb experience. An in-progress version of the game has been available via Steam Early Access since last year, but now the full thing will be up for grabs, no bug reporting required. It's also headed to PlayStation 4, though that release date is still up in the air. Get a taste of Invisible, Inc.'s stylish, stealthy exploits in the new trailer below.

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    Source: @klei

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  • Tim and Adrien Soret, brothers from Paris, were quietly developing a Studio Ghibli-inspired dark fantasy game when the Cyberpunk Jam digitally rolled into town in early 2014. They took a break from their existing development schedule to build a completely new experience, a pixelated, neon-infused, sci-fi homage to some of their favorite childhood titles -- Another World, Flashback and Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. They were new to game development and unknown on the indie scene, but in six days they coded, animated and designed their entry, The Last Night, and then threw it online for voting. They didn't expect much.

    "When we discovered that we won out of 265 games, we were totally stunned," older brother Tim Soret says.%Gallery-slideshow281137%

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  • This quarter's Netflix earnings report is especially interesting because it's the first one since HBO's online-only Now service launched, so investors and other looking to see how it responds to direct competition. The streaming company just announced that it not only added nearly five million subscribers in the last three months, but it has a new UI coming for its TV apps in the second half of this year. It's described as bringing video playback "forward" into the browsing experience, but there's not much more detail available and Netflix isn't talking yet. We're wondering if Netflix could start pushing live streaming channels like traditional TV, or just video previews that start playing even before you choose what to watch. At CES in January, director of corporate communications and technology Cliff Edwards told us that it's looking to put internet TV on the same footing as cable, and a new way of using its apps could do a lot to help that.

    As usual, Netflix will broadcast its earnings call live on YouTube at 6PM ET, and the video is embedded below. If there's any news from there, we'll update the post and let you know.

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    Source: Netflix Q1 2015 Letter to Shareholders (PDF)

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  • The cover for BBC's 'Planet Earth'

    Couldn't get enough of Planet Earth's wide-ranging exploration of nature? We have good news. Netflix is producing a spiritual sequel, Our Planet, with the help of both Silverback Films (which made the original BBC show) and the World Wildlife Fund. The eight-episode series will reportedly venture into "never-before-filmed" corners of the globe, with everything shot in 4K -- just like Planet Earth, the new production will serve as a good showcase for your TV. You'll have to be patient, however. Our Planet isn't expected to debut until 2019, so you'll want to find some other nature documentaries to tide you over.

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    Source: Netflix

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  • It could've been the latent heatstroke setting in from the three days I spent tut-tutting millennials under my breath at Coachella, or the five coffees I'd drunk to sustain some form of consciousness. But when I finished playing a demo of the new 200cc level in Mario Kart 8 with some folks from Nintendo on Monday, my eyes felt looser in their sockets and a barely containable feeling of nausea lingered in my gut for about an hour. It was as if I'd come off a roller coaster -- like one of those daring, metallic serpents from Six Flags or Busch Gardens in the '80s that jolted you just a bit too much and gave the impression you'd nearly avoided whiplash.

    All of which is to say, 200cc is not for the weak. It is stupid fast and stupid good.

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  • Humble Bundle regularly offers groups of games for the low price of "whatever you want to pay," with the option to send your money to the developers, Humble itself or to charity. Since launching in 2010, Humble has raised more than $50 million for charity -- and its latest bundle looks to add to that total. For the next two weeks, the Humble Origin Bundle 2 benefits only charity and Humble Bundle, since EA has opted out of making any money from this particular sale. The bundle supports Girls Who Code, which encourages young women to pursue computer science degrees, The V Foundation for Cancer Research and buildOn, a group that aims to improve conditions in the developing world by emphasizing women's education. Who knew supporting charity could be so fun?

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    Source: Humble Bundle

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  • Net neutrality protest

    It's clearer than ever that the US telecom establishment really, really doesn't like the FCC's new net neutrality regulation. AT&T and multiple industry groups (all from cable and phone businesses) have filed lawsuits trying to kill the new utility-like rules, claiming that they violate everything from procedural laws to the Constitution. In some cases, the language is eerily similar to the US Telecom Association suit that kicked things off -- the American Cable Association even rehashes language describing the measures as "arbitrary" and "capricious." However the organizations word things, the FCC is definitely going to find out whether its attempt to protect the open internet is as lawsuit-proof as promised.

    [Image credit: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images]

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    Via: The Hill

    Source: Katy Bachman (Twitter), ACA, NCTA, CTIA

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  • We may have gotten a closer look at LG's latest audio gear back at CES, but now the collection of speakers and soundbars is shipping in the States. If you'll recall, the company's Music Flow line of gadgets is equipped with Google Cast -- the same tech that allows you to beam video to a TV via Chromecast. This means that you can send tunes to one of these speakers with your phone and a capable app. Speaking of apps, the current list of supported software includes Google Play Music, Pandora, Rdio, TuneIn and more. But what about Spotify? Well, the devices play nice with Spotify Connect for remote control duties, or there's a Music Flow controller app for Android and iOS. It's clear that LG is hoping you'll choose it over Sonos.

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    Source: LG (1), (2)

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  • Universal Record

    So you've bought a turntable with hopes of hearing that warm vinyl sound, but you don't have a record collection just yet. What to do? If you're Jesse England, you 'cheat' using digital tunes. He recently built the Universal Record, a device that lets any Bluetooth audio source work with a record player by vibrating a vinyl disc. You can leave the needle stationary if you want relatively clean output, but get it moving and you'll hear crackles and pops -- a bit surreal when you're listening to songs from your phone. This is an artistic commentary on the "kinetic spectacle" of turntables, so you sadly can't buy a Universal Record of your own. Still, it's a pretty clever way to bring back that analog feel in a world where MP3s and internet streaming reign supreme.

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    Via: UberGizmo

    Source: Jesse England

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  • Mortal Kombat is funny. NetherRealm's decades-old fighting series has never been Old Boy by way of Hostel. Its brand of dumb, outsized action is Shogun Assassin crossed with Evil Dead 2. When you pull off fatalities in Mortal Kombat 2, people explode and multiple ribcages fall from the sky. Where did the extra ribcage come from? Who cares! To celebrate the arrival of Mortal Kombat X's abject silliness, we have decided to indulge in a little friendly competition with College Humor on today's stream. Don't worry; everyone's ribcage will likely be fine.

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  • Netflix became available on Dish set-top boxes back in December of last year. Now, as a way to make the experience better for subscribers, the satellite provider is improving the integration between its platform and the video-streaming service. As of today, Dish customers who have a Hopper with Sling and Joey receiver in their home can start watching Netflix content across different rooms. So, say you start an episode of the award-winning House of Cards in your living room, you can pause it and continue enjoying it in your bedroom, seamlessly -- so long as there's a Joey device in there. In addition to that, Dish added Vevo, which lets people check out on-demand music videos, to the growing list of Hopper apps.

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    Source: Dish

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  • Mortal Kombat is synonymous with violence -- hell, it's baked into the franchise's name. But despite how increasingly gruesome the series has become with each successive release throughout its 23-year history, it hasn't lost sight of keeping the tone light as a counterbalance. Whether that's a head popping up saying, "Toasty!" in falsetto after a particularly brutal uppercut, or turning an opponent into a crying baby that slips on a puddle of frozen urine at the end of a match, humor is just as intrinsic to the game as its bloodshed. What the series delivers is cartoony, over-the-top violence akin to the B-movie horror of something like Peter Jackson's Dead Alive. Fatalities, Mortal Kombat's signature, end-of-match moves, are shockingly gory, for sure, but somehow developer NetherRealm keeps the game from feeling like torture porn.

    "We're not out trying to make Saw or a horror film," says NetherRealm Lead Designer John Edwards. "We don't take ourselves too seriously."

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  • There's a new generation of MIDI-connected interface tools to help your creative juices flow without being tethered to a computer or lugging around a full kit. The Jamstik smartguitar is a mobile instrument for the digital age, whether you're a seasoned guitar player or just looking to learn a few chords. It's a lightweight, 16-inch guitar interface that uses WiFi to connect to Macs, PCs and iOS 7+ devices. The Jamstik works with hundreds of apps including GarageBand and Ableton Live, letting you play guitar, synth, drums or anything else simply by plucking the strings. There's also a Kickstarter for the new Jamstik+, which adds Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and a focus on musical education. What's more, for every 15 Jamstik+ devices that are backed, Zivix will give one to a non-profit educational organization, opening up the world of music to tomorrow's musicians. To help give you a taste, the company has given us two Jamstiks, along with a set of SOL Republic Deck Bluetooth speakers for a pair of lucky Engadget readers this week. Just head down to the Rafflecopter widget for up to three chances at winning.

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