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StarCraft remaster unveiled, and original SD version becomes free-as-in-beer

Ars Technica - 1 hour 15 min ago

Enlarge / It finally exists. (credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

A long-rumored StarCraft remaster for computers was finally unveiled on Saturday by Blizzard Entertainment, set for launch in "summer 2017." No pricing info was announced, but Blizzard has confirmed quite a few other details about the release.

For one, it will be preceded by a patch to the 19-year-old StarCraft: Brood War client, and this new 1.18a client will reportedly not change the mechanics of the game. To prove that out, this patched version will still be able to connect to players using the existing 1.16 patch (which came out all the way back in 2009). Among other tweaks, like better compatibility with newer versions of Windows, the new patch will include two important updates: the ability to connect to and play against owners of the upcoming remastered version, and the change to a wholly free product. Once the patch goes live, the original StarCraft Anthology will be free-as-in-beer to download.

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Uber suspends self-driving cars after Arizona crash

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 18 min ago
Images show Uber vehicle on its side after apparent high-impact crash with ordinary driver.

Social media firms 'must do more' to stop extremist material

BBC Technology News - 4 hours 46 min ago
Home Secretary Amber Rudd says firms like Google should take "a leading role" in preventing extremist content.

​Microsoft yanks search after complaints of exposed sensitive files

ZDnet News - 8 hours 20 min ago
Security experts pointed to numerous sensitive and personal files found on Microsoft's document sharing site, which lets users share documents publicly by default.

Get 72% off NordVPN Virtual Private Network Service For a Limited Time - Deal Alert - IT industry - 8 hours 43 min ago

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The first official 'Justice League' trailer, shot by shot - CNET - News - 9 hours 12 min ago
Get an early look at the ultimate DC Comics superhero team-up with Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg. Warning: possible spoilers ahead!

First look at 'Twin Peaks' cast, plus more clues - CNET - News - 10 hours 9 min ago
Agent Cooper and the rest of the quirky cast return in David Lynch's unusual murder mystery series, which gets a revival on Showtime starting May 21.

'Justice League' comes together in first official trailer - CNET - News - March 25, 2017 - 9:40pm
Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg join Batman and Wonder Woman -- and we'll soon learn how well Bruce Wayne can play with other superheroes.

Uber crash causes firm to pause self-driving car program - CNET - News - March 25, 2017 - 9:06pm
A collision in Arizona between one of the company's robocars and a human-driven vehicle prompts Uber to halt the autonomous program while it investigates.

Uber’s Self-Driving Crash Proves We Need Self-Driving Cars

Wired - March 25, 2017 - 8:10pm
Humans are really, truly terrible drivers, and the robots Uber is racing to build could save a whole lot of lives. The post Uber's Self-Driving Crash Proves We Need Self-Driving Cars appeared first on WIRED.

Florida beats Wisconsin at the buzzer and Twitter's still buzzing - CNET - News - March 25, 2017 - 6:49pm
Chris Chiozza sinks one to send the Gators into the Elite Eight, and fans are either overjoyed or destroyed.

Bose investigating QuietComfort 35 after firmware complaints - CNET - News - March 25, 2017 - 6:44pm
Some users are complaining that the noise-cancelling is diminished after updating their headphone's firmware -- but CNET can't reproduce the problem.

This blue-sky image of Pluto is absolutely stunning

Ars Technica - March 25, 2017 - 6:34pm

Enlarge / New Horizons' high-resolution farewell to Pluto. (credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University APL/Southwest Research Institute)

Even though all of the New Horizons spacecraft data taken during its 2015 flyby of Pluto has been downloaded to Earth for months, scientists are still piecing it all together. Now two scientists, Tod Lauer and Alex Parker, have processed some of the New Horizons data to produce a stunning look back at the dwarf planet.

This departure shot was constructed from a mosaic of six black-and-white images captured by New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager as the spacecraft moved away from Pluto. Color has been added from a lower resolution Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera. At the time the pictures were taken, New Horizons was only about 200,000km away from Pluto, or about 3.5 hours after the closest approach on July 14, 2015. The resolution of the images stitched together is about 1km per pixel.

In this composite photo, Pluto is illuminated from behind by the Sun, almost as if the world is producing an annular eclipse for New Horizons. The image showcases a beautiful blue "haze" which, according to planetary scientists, is smog produced by sunlight interacting with methane and other molecules in Pluto's atmosphere. These larger molecules scatter blue sunlight.

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Samuel L. Jackson has one NSFW message for moviegoers - CNET - News - March 25, 2017 - 6:24pm
The actor delivers an unmistakable warning to those who think their phone call takes precedence over the film.

TV’s Best Political Show Might Just Be The Originals. Yeah, the One With the Vampires

Wired - March 25, 2017 - 5:30pm
It might be a 'Vampire Diaries' spinoff on the CW, but it surprisingly—and consistently—explores America's cultural dynamics. The post TV’s Best Political Show Might Just Be The Originals. Yeah, the One With the Vampires appeared first on WIRED.

How the filthy rich live: A $65,000 LED bed is the norm - CNET - News - March 25, 2017 - 5:17pm
At Manhattan's Luxury Technology Show, expensive phones, expensive bedding, cocktail weenies and Grillbot.

The North Atlantic may get its first-ever named storm in March next week

Ars Technica - March 25, 2017 - 5:05pm

Enlarge / The European model shows the formation of a subtropical cyclone next Tuesday in the Atlantic Ocean. (credit: Weather Bell)

Just one hurricane has ever formed in the northern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or the Gulf of Mexico in the month of March—a time when the oceans are still cold from the winter months in the northern hemisphere. This occurred in 1908 with an unnamed hurricane that, according to the Atlantic Hurricane database, reached sustained winds of 100mph and caused damage in the Caribbean islands.

As the 1908 cyclone formed long before the National Hurricane Center existed, there has never been a "named" storm in March. That could change next week, as an area of low pressure may develop several hundred miles to the east of Florida, in the Atlantic Ocean. This storm system is unlikely to be a major threat to landmasses, with the possible exception of Bermuda. Due to the rarity of March cyclones, however, it would garner significant attention.

Any cyclone that forms next week would almost certainly be classified as a "subtropical storm" (the Miami-based National Hurricane Center began naming subtropical storms, in addition to tropical storms, in 2002). It would originate from a mass of cold air that recently moved off of the United States, eastward, into the subtropical area of the Atlantic Ocean. Unlike "tropical" storms, subtropical storms have cold air at their centers and generate energy from the interaction of cold and warm air masses. (By contrast, a tropical cyclone derives energy from latent heat, as water vapor evaporates from the ocean's surface and condenses into liquid water).

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Mythos Tales: Probe Arkham’s darkest doings in this Lovecraft deduction game

Ars Technica - March 25, 2017 - 4:00pm

Enlarge (credit: 8th Summit)

Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at—and let us know what you think.

You're just an ordinary 1930s inhabitant of the ordinary town of Arkham, Massachusetts—a plain New England place where nothing unusual ever happens. Well, except for that one infestation of hood-wearing cultists hoping to usher an angry Elder God into our world. Or that little problem with the Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath. Or those 17th-century witches who don't seem to be quite dead yet. Or that matter of the snake god Yig.

When occult trouble threatens, Miskatonic University's aging librarian, Professor Henry Armitage—the kind of man who runs a "restricted section" featuring books like the human-skin-covered Necromomicon—beckons you to his office. In his kindly way, he asks if you would be so good as to poke around Arkham, ask some questions, visit a few locations—in other words, clear this whole mystery up. Of course, it's probably nothing...

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Bloke whose drone was blasted out of sky by angry dad loses another court battle for compo

The Register - March 25, 2017 - 3:03pm
Snoopers get shotguns

An appeals court has snubbed a drone owner's demand for $1,500 compensation from a furious dad who blew the flying gizmo out of the sky when it hovered over his family.…

Roam free: A history of open-world gaming

Ars Technica - March 25, 2017 - 3:00pm

Open-world video games bear the impossible promise—offering compelling, enjoyable open-endedness and freedom within the constraints of what is, by necessity of the medium, an extremely limited set of possible actions. These games provide a list of (predominantly violent) verbs that's minuscule in comparison to the options you would face in identical real-life situations. Yet, we can't get enough of them.

In spite of their many obvious failings or limitations, we've been losing ourselves within open worlds for some 30-odd years. Today, nearly every big release is set in an open world. We delight in their unspoken possibility and shrug at their quirks.

Those quirks, by the way, are not merely a consequence of current technology. The oddities of modern open-world games have origins in the games that came before. We're not talking about just the earlier Grand Theft Autos—even the first GTA built on the foundations set by more than a decade of prior open-world games.

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