Merkel’s allies want her to reveal the list of computers that were spied on for the NSA

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CGermany German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel is coming under increasing pressure to divulge a list of targets, including the IP addresses of individual computers, that German intelligence tracked on behalf of the US National Security Agency (NSA).Critics have accused Merkel’s staff of giving the BND foreign intelligence agency the green light to help the NSA spy on European firms and officials, triggering a scandal that has dented the chancellor’s popularity.

Iran could easily punish one of its neighbors for backing Saudi Arabia

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Afghanistan Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Iranian Iran Hassan Rouhani

Mustafa Kazemi is an independent war correspondent based in Afghanistan.

While nuclear talks continue, Iran’s military has been engaged in several other missions — notably retaking Iraq’s Tikrit city from the Islamic State and raising its hand against Saudi Arabia in support of Houthi rebels in Yemen.Houthi rebels are dear to Iran because they are Shiites being attacked by Tehran’s primary Sunni rival.After their seven years of “sacred” fighting with Iraq’s former regime, this is the first conflict that Iran finds worthy of spending money and sending resources to openly back an insurgency.

Build your own GameBoy with the DIY Gamer kit

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Build your own GameBoy with the DIY Gamer kit

DIY Gamer Kit

 You can play games on just about every device you own, but if you’re looking for something a little more low tech, there’s always the option to build your own machine. As the name implies, the DIY Gamer kit is a handheld game console that doesn’t come assembled — the fun comes not only from putting it together yourself, but also programming your own games. There are 40 different pieces to solder together and the device features an 8 x 8 LED matrix display, four buttons, and a buzzer so you can add some simple sounds to your projects.

 

“WE WERE REALLY INSPIRED BY THOSE KEY RING-SIZED GAME & WATCHES NINTENDO USED TO MAKE.”

“We were really inspired by those key ring-sized Game & Watches Nintendo used to make,” Michail Vanis, from creator Technology

iBuyPower’s Steam Machine offers PC specs for the price of a new Xbox

Written by admin. Posted in Games review, Sports, Strategy

ibuypower steam machine 1020

Valve’s official Steam Machine prototype isn’t cheap, but it won’t be the only Steam-powered video-game console available come 2014. This morning, iBuyPower revealed a prototype of its own upcoming Steam Machine, which will go on sale for just $499 next year. For the price of an Xbox One, the computer will offer a multicore AMD CPU and a discrete AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card — that’s a $180 GPU all by itself — and come with Valve’s Steam Controller as part of the package deal.

The company says the box is bigger than a PlayStation 4 but smaller than Microsoft’s Xbox One, and comes standard with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 500GB hard drive. The glossy white case also has a fully customizable light bar running down the center channel, and an integrated power supply. You won’t have to find room for a power brick on your home entertainment center shelves.

Ibuypower-steam-machine-560

More money than sense: Playing the PS4 on the Xbox One

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PS4 on the Xbox One using HDMI passthrough, on a 65-inch 4K TV

One of the defining features of the Xbox One is that it has an HDMI input socket, allowing you to plug a wide range of media devices into the console. The intended purpose of this HDMI socket is to allow you to watch TV and play games side-by-side on the same screen — but in practice, you can plug just about anything into the Xbox One’s HDMI socket, including the PS4. And so that’s what we did — on a 65-inch 4K television no less.

To play a PS4 on the Xbox One, it’s as simple as plugging the PS4′s HDMI output into the Xbox’s HDMI input and loading up the TV app. As you can see in the video above, we use the Xbox One’s snap feature to side-by-side Killer Instinct and Killzone. It’s then fairly easy to switch between snapped view, full-screen PS4/Killzone, and then back to Xbox/Killer Instinct. (Read: Xbox One review: Better than the PS4 at launch, but gimmicks will only take it so far.)

PS4 hands-on: Unimpressive games, but slick UI and social sharing set the stage for future greatness

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PS4 DualShock 4 with Resogun in the background

I have the seen the future — and it isn’t the PS4. If, however, you’re looking for a console that’s easy to set up, puts games at the forefront, and makes sharing screenshots and live gameplay video almost too easy, then the PS4 is a very fine choice indeed. Read on for our hands-on impressions of Sony’s eighth-generation PlayStation, along with lots of pretty photos of the interface and PS4 exclusives Killzone: Shadow Falland Knack.

Very slick, with annoying bouts of lagginess

For the most part, the PS4 is a very slick console. The interface is snappy. The DualShock 4 is probably the nicest controller I’ve ever held. Logging in with facial recognition is surprisingly quick and snappy. Controlling the PS4 with voice commands (“PlayStation, home screen!”) is fairly painless. Being able to flip from a game to the main menu and then back to the game with the PS button is impressively quick and easy.

PS4 interface shot

PS4 vs. Xbox One: How the final hardware specs compare

Written by admin. Posted in Games review, Hardware, Strategy

PS4 system board, and other hardware bits

For the first time in the history of video game consoles, it’s actually possible to do an almost direct comparison of the hardware inside the PS4 and Xbox One. In almost every one of the seven preceding generations, game consoles were outfitted with highly customized chips and CPUs featuring niche, specialized architectures that could only really be compared very generally (bits, flops) or in the very specific (number of on-screen sprites, MIDI instruments, etc.) The PS4 and Xbox One, however, are very similar consoles. With an x86 AMD APU at the heart of each, the Sony and Microsoft consoles are essentially PCs — and their hardware specs, and thus relative performance, can be compared in the same way that you would compare two x86 laptops or ARM Android tablets.

PS4 vs. Xbox One: CPUs compared

Xbox One SoC

Valve demos Steam Controller, confirms awfulness of playing shooters with touchpads (video)

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Portal 2 being played with Valve's Steam Controller gamepad

Probably the single most-argued argument in all of gaming is the silly, ill-formed rivalry between the console gamepad and the PC mouse and keyboard. It’s a bogus distinction to make, like asking whether spreadsheets are better than graphs — they are different ways of doing similar things. Still, there is one undeniable downside of the keyboard and mouse, and that is that you have to use a keyboard and mouse, regardless of where you want to play. With the touchpads-instead-of-analog-sticks Steam Controller, has Valve successfully bridged the gap between the precision of a mouse and the comfort of a controller? Well, it depends who you ask.

In its latest video, Valve shows the Steam Controller in action for the first very time so we can start to see how its features might actually come together. The demonstration, which is promised to be the first of several about the controller, features gameplay from Portal 2,Civilization 5Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and an indie game called Papers, Please. These represent a nice cross-section of different control schemes, from the twitchy FPS controls of Counter-Strike to the Windows-like mouse pointing of Civilization, and thecontroller seems to do at least fairly well with all of them. The video shows minimal lag and a good variety of input options, but it focused primarily on the trackpads. The programmable buttons at the center of the controller went unaddressed, and in fact never displayed anything at all.

Making sense of Valve’s Steam Box: Windows vs. Linux, OpenGL vs. DirectX, and the impact of support from AMD & Nvidia

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Steam Box/controller, in the living room

If Monday’s announcement of SteamOS was greeted with a great deal of interest and speculation, Wednesday’s announcement that Valve was getting into living room PCs with broad compatibility and a full range of supported hardware was a major letdown. The limited information available doesn’t point to much of anything beyond “We’re doing a cheap living room PC.” So what are the options and potential for a Steam Box? To answer that, we need to consider three separate questions. Valve’s just-unveiled controller, while interesting, is unlikely to be the peripheral that makes or breaks the device, particularly since it’ll work on the Windows side of the equation as well.

Is Linux faster for gaming than Windows?

We’re treating this question separately from the question of whether or not OpenGL is faster than DirectX. Gaming relies on a huge suite of supplementary technologies, from network I/O, storage performance, video drivers (separate from the graphics API), and how efficiently the operating system handles multithreading. The truth is, it’s extremely difficult to find a solid answer to this question, partly due to the sheer variety of components in the Linux ecosystem.

Tux gaming

‘Pivvot’ only takes seconds to play, but hours to master

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A punishing puzzler

Pivvot
With its simple visuals, thumping soundtrack, and punishing difficulty, it’s hard to playPivvot without thinking of Super Hexagon. Luckily, it’s not a simple clone — Pivvot hasSuper Hexagon‘s style, but a feel that’s all its own.

 

It’s all about avoiding things. You control a small circle speeding along a twisted, turning pathway littered with different kinds of obstacles, and you only have to touch them once to end your game. To get out of the way, you rotate left and right by touching either side of the screen. Those are the only controls you’ll need, but don’t mistake Pivvot‘s simplicity for a lack of challenge. Obstacles come quickly and in random formations and each type requires a different technique to get around. And since they come at you so fast, staying alive requires quick thinking and reflexes. You have to get in the zone — headphones in, eyes unblinking, mind focused.

HEADPHONES IN, EYES UNBLINKING, MIND FOCUSED