Category Archives: Geekdom

The Last Jedi Cast Answers the Web’s Most Searched Questions



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Happy! Premieres Tonight On SYFY!!!

 

HAPPY! is based on New York Times best-selling author Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson’s graphic novel of the same name. The series follows Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU) – an intoxicated, corrupt ex-cop turned hit man – who is adrift in a world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit gone wrong, his inebriated life is forever changed by a tiny, relentlessly positive, imaginary blue winged horse named Happy (Patton Oswalt).

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Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War Official Trailer



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Death By Pokemon Go !!!!

Reckless Pokémon GO players may have racked up as much as $7.3 billion nationwide in costs related to car crashes, injuries and deaths last year, according to researchers.

The mobile game’s geeky devotees have made headlines for causing traffic injuries and fatalities, with players either plowing into pedestrians while driving, or getting hit themselves while chasing Pokemon Go’s virtual creatures into the street.

In a study entitled “Death By Pokémon GO,” Purdue University researchers estimated that players across the country caused anywhere between $2 billion and $7.3 billion in traffic-related damages, including lost potential income from persons injured and killed.

 

The study cautioned that those numbers are “speculative,” but added that, “However measured, the costs are significant.”

Researchers extrapolated their nationwide estimate from police records of car accidents collected in Tippecanoe County, Indiana during a nearly five-month stretch that followed the game’s July 2016 launch.

During that period, Pokémon GO accounted for 134 additional accidents in Tippecanoe County alone, including 31 injuries, two deaths and vehicular damages of almost $500,000, according to the study.

That marked a “disproportionate increase” versus the months that preceded Pokémon Go’s launch, the researchers noted. Including the cost of the two lives lost, the countywide tab may have exceeded $25 million, they estimated.

By cross-referencing the locations of the accidents with the locations of PokéStops — in-game checkpoints that players flock to — the researchers said they found credible evidence that Pokémon GO players were responsible.

In the game, players are encouraged to roam their neighborhoods by foot to find digital creatures that they can add to their collections. The more they walk, the more they can catch.

Many players, however, jumped into cars to take their games on the road in hopes of increasing their odds of catching a rare Pokémon or padding their stats.

There were in total 37,461 motor vehicle deaths in the US in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — a 5-percent increase over the 35,485 deaths in 2015.

The study cautioned that those numbers are “speculative,” but added that, “However measured, the costs are significant.”

Researchers extrapolated their nationwide estimate from police records of car accidents collected in Tippecanoe County, Indiana during a nearly five-month stretch that followed the game’s July 2016 launch.

During that period, Pokémon GO accounted for 134 additional accidents in Tippecanoe County alone, including 31 injuries, two deaths and vehicular damages of almost $500,000, according to the study.

That marked a “disproportionate increase” versus the months that preceded Pokémon Go’s launch, the researchers noted. Including the cost of the two lives lost, the countywide tab may have exceeded $25 million, they estimated.

By cross-referencing the locations of the accidents with the locations of PokéStops — in-game checkpoints that players flock to — the researchers said they found credible evidence that Pokémon GO players were responsible.

In the game, players are encouraged to roam their neighborhoods by foot to find digital creatures that they can add to their collections. The more they walk, the more they can catch.

Many players, however, jumped into cars to take their games on the road in hopes of increasing their odds of catching a rare Pokémon or padding their stats.

There were in total 37,461 motor vehicle deaths in the US in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — a 5-percent increase over the 35,485 deaths in 2015.

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14-Year Old Video Game Cheater Sued, Mom Says He’s A Scapegoat

Last month, Epic took the unusual step of not just banning two Fortniteplayers from the game for cheating, but taking them to court. It’s since been revealed that one of the accused is only 14 years old, and his mother is not happy.

She has addressed the court directly through a letter, which attacks Epic’s handling of the case on a number of grounds.

  • She says that Fortnite’s terms require parental consent for minors, and that she never gave this consent.
  • She says the case is based on a loss of profits, but argues that it’s a free-to-play video game, and that in order to prove a loss Epic would need to provide a statement certifying that Rogers’ cheating directly caused a “mass profit loss”.
  • She claims that by going after individual players, rather than the websites selling/providing the software necessary to cheat in an online game, Epic is “using a 14 year-old child as a scapegoat”.
  • She claims that her son did not, as Epic allege, help create the cheat software, but simply downloaded it as a user, and that Epic “has no capability of proving any form of modification”.
  • Finally, the mother says that by releasing her son’s name publicly in conjunction with the move that Epic has violated Delaware laws related to the release of information on minors.

There’s also the matter, as TorrentFreak point out, that you can’t actually sue a minor directly, raising the possibility that Epic didn’t know the full identity of the accused before going ahead with the case.

You can read the letter in full below:

 

The cases began last month, when Epic began taking action against individual users who had used (and were allegedly associates of) the site Addicted Cheats to obtain “aimbots” that would give them a competitive edge in the game.

Those cheat services aren’t free, with players paying between $5-$15 a month for them.

Epic has decided to take the users to court, rather than just ban them, after deciding that the modification of the game’s code is against Fortnite’sEnd User License Agreement and the Copyright Act.

“This particular lawsuit arose as a result of the defendant filing a DMCA counterclaim to a takedown notice on a YouTube video that exposed and promoted Fortnite Battle Royale cheats and exploits”, Epic says in a statement given to Kotaku. “Under these circumstances, the law requires that we file suit or drop the claim.

“Epic is not okay with ongoing cheating or copyright infringement from anyone at any age. As stated previously, we take cheating seriously, and we’ll pursue all available options to make sure our games are fun, fair, and competitive for players.”

 

 

 

 

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Pictures And Videos From Anime NYC !!!

Anime NYC 2017 unfolded in NYC this past weekend . For the fans of Japanese animation this was a weekend to have fun, dress up and just meet a lot of anime superfans. It was a fun time there , as it had a better vibe than New York Comic Con, maybe because this was the first Anime NYC con. I can’t wait for Anime NYC 2018, a great time was had by all . 

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Star Wars video game maker apologizes after uproar from fans

The company behind the new Star Wars video game has turned off a money-spinning part of it after an outcry from angry fans and scrutiny from regulators.

Gamers had complained in recent days that it takes huge amounts of time — or money — to unlock features in Star Wars Battlefront II. Regulators in Belgium, meanwhile, are looking at whether the game constitutes a form of gambling.

Some Star Wars fans who paid roughly $60 to buy Battlefront II were upset to find that optional charges built into the game can cost them hundreds more.

“We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases,” said Oskar Gabrielson, the general manager of the unit of gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA, Tech30) that developed Battlefront II. “We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning.”

Fans were angry because Battlefront II essentially gave players a choice. They could spend a huge number of hours collecting in-game credits to unlock new features and cooler characters, or pay real money to get them instantly.

In the gaming world, this is called “pay to win.” It’s not unusual, but the format has typically been used in mobile games that are free to download.

Some gamers calculated that it would take six years of playing two hours a day to unlock all the features in Battlefront II without handing over any real money. Paying for everything, meanwhile, would cost over $2,000.

“It’s a complete ripoff and the multiplayer is rigged for whoever is willing to spend more money,” one gamer said on Twitter last week. “It is designed to make you spend more money after buying.”

“We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages,” Gabrielson said. “And we’ve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn’t get this right.”

Previously, the game developers had tried to placate fans by reducing the cost of unlocking “hero” characters by 75%.

The in-game purchases aren’t gone forever, though.

Gabrielson said they would return “at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game.”

His statement didn’t directly address the concerns of the Belgian Gaming Commission, which is investigating how players in Battlefront II and similar games are rewarded by unlocking “loot boxes.”

The idea is that players pay real money to unlock a virtual “loot box” without knowing what kind of reward is inside. They also don’t know how many boxes they might need to unlock in order to finish the game.

Peter Naessens, general director of the Belgian Gaming Commission, said the regulator is examining whether the rewards are allocated by chance, and whether this might constitute a form of gambling.

In Belgium, companies involved in gambling are required to have a license. Minors and people with gambling addiction problems are not allowed to play.

 

Electronic Arts has dismissed the idea that its game falls into that category, saying that the “mechanics of Star Wars Battlefront II are not gambling.”

“A player’s ability to succeed in the game is not dependent on purchasing [loot boxes],” it said in a statement. “Players can also earn [loot boxes] through playing the game and not spending any money at all.”

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Pokémon Go update brings a little Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon into the game

Pokémon Go players can dress their avatars up like the trainers from Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, thanks to a giveaway that’s now live in the mobile game.

Ahead of this Friday’s release of the Nintendo 3DS titles, Pokémon Go players can pick up free outfits that are directly inspired by the stars of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. For girls, there’s a sun hat, sandals, shorts and a nice, flowery tank top to pick up; guys have new sneakers, shorts, a bucket hat, a tank and, for some reason, leggings to throw on.
pokemon go outfits Niantic/The Pokémon Company

This is the first time that Niantic and The Pokémon Company have used Pokémon Go to promote an upcoming Pokémon game. Even when Pokémon’s popularity was at a fever pitch last fall between Pokémon Go’s release and the launch of Pokémon Sun and Moon, the companies kept the games separate. But ever since a Mimikyu-styled hat appeared in Pokémon Go over Halloween, it’s clear that Niantic is willing to reference the current generation of games — even if we can’t catch any of the Alola region’s monsters yet.

Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are out Nov. 17.

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Sega Genesis Flashback Review !!!

Sega Genesis Flashback is an attempt to capture a seemingly new, or at least reinvigorated, market while also not being too ambitious. At $80, the same price as the Super Nintendo Classic Edition, the Genesis Flashback struggles to approximate the user experience of Nintendo’s throwback. Instead, it tries to best it with back-of-the-box bullet points that, while impressive sounding, do little to cement its superiority.

Last year’s NES Classic Edition upended the low-end plug ‘n play console market, long dominated by a company called AtGames, which is responsible for the Atari and Genesis consoles littering checkout aisles everywhere. AtGames has been at this for a long time, but the low price is about the only thing easy to recommend on one of its consoles.

Still, the company doesn’t have trouble moving units over the holidays. But when the NES Classic Edition happened, AtGames needed a response.

HARDWARE
The hardware is where the Sega Genesis Flashback gets a few things very right, but each checkmark in the positives column comes with a companion check mark in the negatives column. The Genesis Flashback comes with two 2.4 Ghz wireless controllers, an improvement over the SNES Classic’s short wires … but, while also a step above AtGames’ previous infrared wireless implementation, the wireless latency still isn’t great, and the controllers feel cheap, hardly like exact replicas of classic Genesis controllers.

Some other minor gripes: The battery tray is secured with an obnoxious tiny screw, and the package doesn’t include the controller’s necessary AAA batteries.

 

But the Genesis Flashback also wisely includes the standard DB9 port that the original Genesis had, meaning your old (or eBay-acquired!) controllers will work just fine on the Flashback, a major improvement from the SNES Classic’s bizarre choice to use a Wiimote expansion port. The negative on that one? AtGames throws in not bad, but not excellent, wireless controllers instead of taking the opportunity to offer excellent wired controllers. Another negative: You will have to use the six-button Genesis controller, even though many of the included games don’t require it. No three-button pads allowed.

The wireless controllers do include two notable enhancements on the original Genesis controllers (and the SNES Classic controllers, for that matter): a Menu button, giving players access to the system’s UI from the couch, and a Rewind button, letting them quickly access what is essentially an undo function for video games. If you opt for the six-button Genesis controller, its Mode button serves as the Menu button here, and you can invoke the Rewind feature by pressing Back + Start. This is a thoughtful solution that, strangely, Nintendo still fails to adopt in its offerings.

 

While Nintendo has wisely opted to use USB power for its miniature consoles, AtGames includes a barrel-plug power supply, removing any opportunity to power the console off your HDTV, or easily replace a missing plug. It’s a minor complaint, but it seems indicative of AtGames’ failure to recognize some of the more clever simplifications its competition has introduced and how audience expectations may have shifted.

In the positive column, the Genesis Flashback actually looks like a Genesis. While AtGames’ previous Genesis consoles were generic plastic boxes, the Flashback is barely “mini” in the Nintendo sense, but a scaled-down Genesis. Here it is next to my classic “High Definition” model 1 Genesis:

SOFTWARE

The games run badly. In fact, they ran so badly on the first unit AtGames sent me — the same unit that other outlets reviewed back in July (!) — that the company told me it had an issue with the emulation software and asked me to not review it, in order to give them a chance to send me an updated unit. A reasonable request, considering the product wouldn’t be released until late October, albeit curious why a subpar product was sent to reviewers that far in advance of release in the first place.

Nevertheless, I waited … and waited … and waited. I sent emails. Finally, the new unit was shipped and, curiously, it had a new embargo, a strange request given it was for a review of the same product they shipped to myself and other reviewers months ago. Even more curious: While some other issues were corrected in this updated unit, as best I can tell it similarly suffers from framerate issues, just like the July unit. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Now, let’s talk about the user interface because … well, it’s something else. While Nintendo pairs its Classic consoles with a charming — and fast! — UI that makes navigating your library a charm, AtGames has created what is arguably the world’s least-intuitive interface.

 

CONCLUSION

The sad thing about the Sega Genesis Flashback is that, while it may be enough to satisfy the under-the-tree urge in the absence of alternatives, every unit purchased represents a lost future customer for a good Genesis throwback console. AtGames has been selling the composite video variant — the so-called Firecore — since 2009, blanketing the impulse-buy aisles at Bed Bath & Beyond stores nationwide. Each one of those is a bulwark against a future good Genesis release.

Sega has done meaningful, arguably irreparable harm to the consumer proposition of purchasing its classic games, while Nintendo has elevated 30-year-old products to must-have status. As a one-time Genesis kid whose nostalgic sweet spot is a Sega Genesis, I feel qualified to say that the Genesis deserves better from its owner. But as long as Sega is willing to license out its platform instead of making its own hardware, it seems unlikely to get better than this, the most declarative console war victory imaginable.

In my opinion, the Genesis was the best console of the 16-bit era. But if you want to purchase the best 16-bit plug ‘n play system this holiday, get the SNES Classic Edition.

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