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Poll
For ERP LN feature pack upgrade, what method of install are you using?
Installation Wizard into existing VRC
37%
Installation Wizard into new VRC
39%
Manual into existing VRC
3%
Manual into new VRC
21%
Total votes: 38

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Industry & Technology

Google Home Max Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

cNET.com - Reviews - 1 hour 21 sec ago
We got a chance to listen to Google's beefy new high-end speaker. Here are our first impressions.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 review: A ramshackle wonder

Ars Technica - 1 hour 15 min ago

Enlarge / Rex's "stare at the sky" POV is all too commonly shared by the game's actual camera.

Lock an infinite number of monkeys in a room with an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite amount of time, and I’m not sure they’d ever come up with Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The action-JRPG so greatly lacks a cohesive style—mechanically and artistically—that its very absence becomes its cohesive style. It’s a mishmash of ideas from MMOs, anime, gacha games, science fiction, fantasy, management sims, satire, melodrama, and probably a load of other stuff I haven’t even seen.

But just like the classic adage about simians writing Shakespeare, given enough time, it kind of works.

It does not give that impression at first. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 leads with some of the most generic setup and characters I’ve seen since the PlayStation 2 era, when everyone and their uncle put out six 80-hour RPGs a month. You start as Rex: a determined young man on his own. He meets a magical girl who is wanted by an empire, among others, and goes off on an adventure where he slowly accrues party members of various stripes. Some of those party members get amnesia, of course, because what JRPG is complete without an amnesiac subplot?

If that all sounds like the plot of every JRPG in the past 20 years to you, you’re not alone. That familiarity, plus the game’s well-documented and tacky ogling of its female lead, had me ready to roll my eyes right off the screen for the first couple hours or so. The poor start is especially egregious given the incredibly evocative intro to the original Xenoblade Chronicles—which was set on a world made from the interlocked corpses of two continent-sized colossi.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

'DJI Mavic' drone seen menacing London City airliner after takeoff

The Register - 1 hour 30 min ago
UK Airprox Board say it was 'endangering other aircraft'

A "DJI Mavic type" drone was flown close to an airliner leaving London City Airport in September, a recently published UK Airprox Board report has revealed.…

Laptop touchpad driver included extra feature: a keylogger

Ars Technica - 1 hour 45 min ago

\ (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Flaws in software often offer a potential path for attackers to install malicious software, but you wouldn't necessarily expect a hardware vendor to include potentially malicious software built right into its device drivers. But that's exactly what a security researcher found while poking around the internals of a driver for a touchpad commonly used on HP notebook computers—a keystroke logger that could be turned on with a simple change to its configuration in the Windows registry.

The logger, which could potentially be leveraged by an attacker or malware to harvest login credentials and other data, was discovered by security reasearcher Michael Myng (also known as ZwClose) lurking within driver software for Synaptics touchpads—used by hundreds of HP and Compaq business and consumer notebook computer models, as well as many other Windows notebook computers from other manufacturers. Myng disclosed the discovery on his blog on December 7 after the problem was disclosed to HP.

The keylogger was apparently included for debugging during development and is disabled by default. However, a user or software with administrative privileges could activate the keylogger by making a registry change—potentially remotely using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) or PowerShell scripts. Once turned on, it captures keystrokes and generates a trace log file.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple Shazam: Why is the US company buying the music app?

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 52 min ago
Rivalry against Spotify and augmented reality ambitions are two possible reasons for the takeover.

UK lacks engineering and tech skillz to make government's industrial strategy work – report

The Register - 2 hours 3 min ago
Your lip service is all very well, but where are the people?

A lack of skills in the engineering and technical workforce could hold up the government's industrial strategy, according to a report by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.…

Want hot new Ars merch for Christmas? Order today

Ars Technica - 2 hours 19 min ago

We've re-launched our Ars Technica merch store just in time for the holidays, and the response has been great—"Nuke it from orbit" mugs and Ars hyperspace logo T-shirts are flying off the virtual shelves.

If you're pondering an order and want to make sure it arrives by Christmas, order today to avoid disappointment. Between the time needed to print the shirts and the time needed to ship them, December 11 is the final day to place most orders for Christmas delivery. Here are the shipping options that will still get your merch to you by December 25:

USPS Priority Mail: Dec 11
FedEx 2 Day: Dec 11
FedEx International Priority: Dec 11
FedEx Standard Overnight: Dec 12

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

'Star Wars: Last Jedi' gets early raves: 'I'm still shaking' - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 24 min ago
Rian Johnson's "Jedi" wins early praise for its action and appearance. But the film's got depth, many say, with one viewer noting an "emotional payoff decades in the making."

Server winners and losers: HPE, Dell EMC still sitting pretty at the top, but uh-oh Lenovo

The Register - 2 hours 29 min ago
Beware the 'Others', who now make up 48% of shipments

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell EMC top the league tables for server revenue and sales in Q3, but face rapid growth from its global competition, according to a new Gartner report.…

FCC chair still refuses to help investigate net neutrality comment fraud

Ars Technica - 2 hours 54 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Peter Dazeley)

The Federal Communications Commission has again refused to help New York's attorney general investigate impersonation and other fraud in public comments on the FCC's net neutrality repeal.

For the past six months, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been "investigating who perpetrated a massive scheme to corrupt the FCC's notice and comment process" by filing fraudulent comments under real people's names. But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's office has "refused multiple requests for crucial evidence in its sole possession," Schneiderman wrote in an open letter to Pai last month.

FCC General Counsel Thomas Johnson responded to Schneiderman on Pai's behalf Thursday and once again refused to provide the requested evidence.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

McLaren Senna is the craziest road-legal McLaren to date - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 55 min ago
It's the lightest Macca since the F1, and it packs 789 hp.

Lifestyle pin-up site Pinterest: Hack attempts blamed on 'credential stuffing'

The Register - 2 hours 57 min ago
You might just have to wing it with that potpourri recipe

There’s a chill going around cyberspace with an upsurge of people concerned that their Pinterest account has been hacked.…

Apple in 2018: Five questions we need to ask - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 58 min ago
The company had a big year in 2017. Could next year be even bigger?

Get rich quick on Amazon? Lawsuits target alleged scammers - CNET

cNET.com - News - 3 hours 16 min ago
Suits by Amazon and the state of Washington allege that two brothers charged people up to $35,000 for sham coaching on how to sell products on the site.

Q Acoustics 3020 review - CNET

cNET.com - Reviews - 3 hours 16 min ago
The Q Acoustics 3020 are a lively and engrossing set of stand-mount speakers that offer audiophile quality without the price tag.

Bitcoin fees are skyrocketing

Ars Technica - 3 hours 19 min ago

Enlarge / Rising demand has caused Bitcoin's transaction fees to skyrocket. (credit: Timothy B. Lee, using data from Blockchain.info)

The cost to complete a Bitcoin transaction has skyrocketed in recent days. A week ago, it cost around $6 on average to get a transaction accepted by the Bitcoin network. The average fee soared to $26 on Friday and was still almost $20 on Sunday.

The reason is simple: until recently, the Bitcoin network had a hard-coded 1 megabyte limit on the size of blocks on the blockchain, Bitcoin's shared transaction ledger. With a typical transaction size of around 500 bytes, the average block had fewer than 2,000 transactions. And with a block being generated once every 10 minutes, that works out to around 3.3 transactions per second.

A September upgrade called segregated witness allowed the cryptographic signatures associated with each transaction to be stored separately from the rest of the transaction. Under this scheme, the signatures no longer counted against the 1 megabyte blocksize limit, which should have roughly doubled the network's capacity. But only a small minority of transactions have taken advantage of this option so far, so the network's average throughput has stayed below 2,500 transactions per block—around four transactions per second.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Get a Nixplay Iris 8-inch digital photo frame for $116.99 - CNET

cNET.com - News - 3 hours 25 min ago
That's the lowest price ever for this advanced, stylish frame -- one of the all-time great holiday gifts, if you ask me. Plus: return of the $100 Fire HD 10, and a DJI Spark drone for HOW MUCH?

Soon you won't need Verizon to stream NFL on your phone - CNET

cNET.com - News - 3 hours 27 min ago
For years, Verizon streamed games only to its own customers' phones. Next month, anyone can watch regardless of carrier, as Verizon boosts its Yahoo arm.

The $399 Google Home Max is finally for sale [Update]

Ars Technica - 3 hours 28 min ago

The biggest Google Home is finally on its way to stores. The $399 Google Home Max was announced at Google's October 4th hardware event alongside the Google Home Mini, Pixel 2, and tons of other hardware. The Max doubles down on the Home's music capabilities, offering a more powerful sound system in a form factor about the size of a bookshelf speaker.

With pretty much zero fanfare, the Google Home Max has started popping up at stores. Online listings are live at Best Buy and Verizon, with both showing a ship day of "today." The Google Store doesn't seem quite ready yet and still shows a "join waitlist" button instead of a an actual "buy" link. Don't bother checking Amazon, which refuses to sell Google products like the Google Home and Chromecast, in part because they don't support Amazon Prime Video.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments


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