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Half-Life: Alyx launches for PC VR on March 23

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Valve introduced at this time that Half-Life: Alyx will launch for VR units on PC on March 23.

Earlier than this, we simply knew that the sport was popping out in March. Alyx marks the primary new entry within the Half-Life collection since Half-Life 2: Episode 2 launched in 2007. This recreation is vital not simply because the U.S. has had three presidential elections for the reason that final Half-Life, but additionally as a result of Valve is entrusting and adating certainly one of its most beloved franchises to this rising know-how.

However this isn’t a sequel. Alyx takes place between the occasions of Half-Life and Half-Life 2. It additionally stars Alyx Vance, who served as an ally within the Half-Life 2 video games. Gordon Freeman normally stars because the hero and participant character in Half-Life video games. Ought to it succeed, it might present different studios the right way to adapt their top-flight IPs for VR as effectively, or create extra curiosity within the tech (together with Valve’s own Index headset).

Valve had backed away from creating single-player gaming experiences for years, as a substitute specializing in multiplayer titles like Dota 2 and Artifact. That left Half-Life in stasis, whilst annoyed followers begged for Half-Life three.

Nicely, this isn’t Half-Life three, however it’s lastly a brand new installment within the franchise.

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AMD graphics cards are allegedly overheating because the screws are too loose

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The very last thing on my thoughts when constructing or upgrading a PC is whether or not my graphics card’s screws are tight sufficient. However it seems that even a couple of barely unfastened screws might trigger a GPU to overheat, as a result of if the cooler isn’t tightly pressed in opposition to the silicon, it may possibly probably trigger the graphics chip to warmth up greater than it ought to.

That’s according to Asus, which was busy investigating its AMD RX 5700 collection graphics playing cards’ reportedly scorching temperatures when it found that including further stress to the heatsink might cool these GPUs down. Asus says that whereas AMD tells producers to mount the cooler utilizing a drive of 30-40 PSI, it discovered it might add new screws to extend the mounting stress to between 50-60 PSI — permitting the cardboard to take care of cooler temperatures.

Right here’s a diagram the corporate shared, although you might discover it doesn’t give us any thought how a lot cooler the brand new design really is.

The excellent news is, you gained’t want to purchase a newly designed graphics card to get the repair: house owners can contact an Asus customer service center or customer support to get a free improve beginning subsequent month. Simply know that it’s not clear how lengthy you’d have to half together with your desktop graphics card: Asus talked about that GPU screw shipments to its native service facilities could also be affected by the coronavirus, and the corporate doesn’t say how lengthy it’ll take or whether or not you’ll have to pay for transport your self.

Simply don’t attempt to tighten down your present screws your self: Talking with TechRadar, Asus is warning customers to not attempt to restore their very own playing cards.

In case you’re questioning whether or not your card may want the repair, Asus offered this checklist:

A standard criticism of the RX 5700 line is that the playing cards might run hotter than the competitors — one thing a couple of publications like Tom’s Hardware famous of their evaluations. We observed it as nicely. Maybe tightening down the cooler is one thing different producers may attempt, too.

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Chilling footage emerges of China’s deserted streets in coronavirus epicenter

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A resident of Wuhan, at the moment underneath lockdown because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.


Lan Bo

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 75,000 people and claimed over 2,000 lives. Originating in Wuhan, China, the respiratory illness led to a lockdown of the town in an try and include its unfold. A month later, on-the-ground footage of Wuhan has emerged, revealing a close-hand have a look at a metropolis seemingly all however deserted by its inhabitants of 14 million.

The haunting footage comes from a Chinese language movie crew that was pressured to pause manufacturing whereas stranded within the metropolis.

“My fellow crew members are in Wuhan and needed to do one thing significant,” director Lan Bo instructed Sixth Tone. “They need to file what occurred. First, for the reason that lockdown, there hasn’t been a video presenting such a panoramic view [of the city]. And second, I really feel that these are going to be worthwhile pictures for historic reference and for different documentaries.”

The short film, titled Wuhan: The Lengthy Night time, is a montage lower collectively from cellphone footage captured by the movie’s crew. It has reportedly amassed hundreds of thousands of views on Chinese language Twitter equal Weibo, spurring concepts for a doable full-length documentary from Lan.

Elsewhere within the nation, the newest James Bond film, No Time To Die, saw its premiere in Beijing canceled because of the novel coronavirus. The film is ready to reach in US theaters April 10. Cellular World Congress, the world’s greatest telephone present that had been scheduled to happen this week, was additionally scrapped following the withdrawals of numerous individuals over fears of the unfold of the coronavirus.


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Watchdog ponders tougher independent oversight for Australia’s encryption laws

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The scrutiny of actions taken by cops and spooks beneath Australia’s controversial encryption legal guidelines ought to be simply as shut as that of actions beneath earlier legal guidelines, in response to the Impartial Nationwide Safety Laws Monitor (INSLM), Dr James Renwick.

However he hosed down considerations that using these new powers had resulted in mass surveillance.

INSLM is conducting an inquiry into the Telecommunications and Different Laws Modification (Help and Entry) Act 2018, commonly known as the TOLA Act, or when it was nonetheless being thought-about by parliament, the AA Invoice.

Renwick gave clear indications that he would discover this difficulty in some element as he opened two days of public hearings in Canberra on Thursday.

“Intrusive surveillance powers, by all means conferred by legislation and with clear threshold and safeguards, which already apply within the bodily world, ought to in precept apply within the analogous digital world except there are good causes on the contrary,” he mentioned.

“I am tending to the view that as a result of a lot information and content material which we do not find out about is contained on our cellphones and computer systems, not least as a result of it is generated by DCPs [designated communications providers] as they search to monetise our private data, there ought to be at the very least as nice scrutiny and safeguards as there have been pre-TOLA earlier than for such data is made usable beneath TOLA.”

Businesses must get hold of a warrant beneath the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 to start the method of accessing communications. However at present, they’ll achieve help from a DCP beneath TOLA with the approval of their very own company head.

INSML sees no indicators of ‘mass surveillance’

Renwick has seemed on the seven recognized makes use of of TOLA powers by legislation enforcement companies, in addition to the unknown variety of makes use of by the Australian Safety Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). ASIO gave him entry to all paperwork, “regardless of how secret”.

“Nothing I’ve seen up to now suggests there’s been something like the concept of ‘mass surveillance’ because of TOLA,” Renwick mentioned.

“On the contrary, what I’ve seen up to now means that TOLA has allowed for pre-existing intrusive powers for use in a extra focused or restricted — and subsequently much less intrusive — style in opposition to people who find themselves not individuals of curiosity, as a result of the main target is on individuals of curiosity. And that is a vital change.”

Renwick additionally acknowledged the issues with the definitions of phrases similar to “systemic weak spot”, and even “content material” versus “metadata”, saying “there’s not essentially a brilliant line” between the 2.

“For the needs of this morning, by content material I imply texts, emails, cellphone calls and footage,” he mentioned.

“By metadata I imply things like when an e-mail was despatched, the sender and recipients, their places, the way it was despatched, the way it was saved, and in addition what web sites have been visited, what apps used, and so forth”

He urged that the TOLA Act ought to have examples of what does and does not represent a systemic weak spot written into the Act itself, quite than have it hidden in rules or different paperwork.

Renwick rejected the concept the encryption debate comes right down to a selection between two binary opposites, nonetheless.

He cited the feedback by the “distinguished” Encryption Working Group (EWG) assembled by the Carnegie Endowment and Princeton College. EWG referred to as for the talk to desert two straw males.

“These are, first, that we must always cease in search of approaches to allow entry to encrypted data, however second, that legislation enforcement will likely be unable to guard the general public except it will probably get hold of entry to all — and I emphasise the phrase all — encrypted information via lawful course of,” Renwick mentioned.

As EWG wrote, “[These are] absolutist positions not really held by severe individuals, however generally used as caricatures of opponents.”

Impartial “double lock” approval for decryptions?

Renwick urged unbiased judicial oversight of the TOLA regime might be supplied by a mannequin much like the UK’s.

The UK’s equal legislation is the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. To acquire entry to encrypted communications beneath the Act, an software should be made to each the Secretary of State for Residence Affairs and the unbiased Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Workplace (IPCO).

Underneath what is named the “double lock” system, each the Residence Secretary and IPCO should give approval.

“Having hung out with each IPCO and safety and police companies within the UK, I can say it has been very properly acquired, not least as a result of it has raised the extent of belief,” Renwick mentioned.

“My conversations … made it clear to me anyway, that IPCO was vital to the UK acquiring a CLOUD Act settlement from the USA. And it has been mentioned publicly that Australia additionally seeks such an settlement.”

Renwick urged appropriate exterior physique is perhaps the prevailing Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

“One risk is that an software … may go for approval to the Safety Division of the AAT, which is accustomed to coping with extremely delicate or secret data,” he mentioned.

There have been considerations, nonetheless, that the AAT won’t give related purposes the identical consideration that will be supplied by a choose.

The INSLM’s encryption legal guidelines inquiry is because of report by June 30. His evaluation will feed into the continuing evaluate by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Safety (PJCIS), which is because of report by September 30.

The PJCIS can be because of report considerably sooner, on the effectiveness of the obligatory telecommunications information retention regime, by April 30.

Disclosure: Stilgherrian wrote the Encryption Working Group’s country brief on Australia, for which he acquired an honorarium.

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