Games

Video Game Cheaters Outed By Logic Bombs 224

Lirodon writes: A Reddit user decided to tackle the issue of cheaters within Valve's multiplayer shooter Counter Strike: Global Offensive in their own unique way: by luring them towards fake "multihacks" that promised a motherlode of cheating tools, but in reality, were actually traps designed to cause the users who installed them to eventually receive bans. The first two were designed as time bombs, which activated functions designed to trigger bans after a specific time of day. The third, which was downloaded over 3,500 times, caused instantaneous bans.
Biotech

German Carpenter's Testicluar Valve Could Mean An On/Off Switch For Sperm 287

Press2ToContinue writes: A German carpenter has invented a valve which he claims will revolutionize contraception, by allowing a man to turn the flow of sperm from his testicles on and off at the flick of a switch. It (the switch, of course) is nearly an inch long and weighs less than a tenth of an ounce. It is surgically implanted on the vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, in a half-hour operation, and controlled by a switch beneath the skin of the scrotum.

So far Bimek is the only man who has the switches implanted, one for each testicle. I wonder what other switches we will see implanted into humans in the future?
I think I'd like a valve for adrenaline control.
Entertainment

The Fan HD Remakes Yet To Be Banned (redbull.com) 50

An anonymous reader writes: While companies like Valve have given their seal of approval to HD fan remakes and re-imaginings of their classic games, many more are all too eager to wield the ban hammer and shut down these homebrew projects with legal threats. Not all, though, as one writer points out in a new article taking a look at the most promising unofficial remakes underway right now. Some companies see these projects as an opportunity — the creator of Shen Mue HD was recently hired by Yu Suzuki to work on Shen Mue 3 — while others choose to ignore them entirely. Surprisingly, one of these appears to be Konami, which despite a controversial 2015, has shown no interest in shutting down Outer Heaven, a remake of the very first Metal Gear game. As the author points out however, given "the fact that Konami shut down a similar project not long ago – one which had the involvement of original Solid Snake voice actor David Hayter – [it] doesn't bode too well for Outer Heaven's long-term prospects...but we're crossing our fingers that it makes it to the finish line."
Bug

Steam: No "Unauthorized Actions" On Exposed Accounts 33

The Steam bug that allowed users to see other users' account details may not have been as harmful as it first appeared. Valve said in a statement (reported on Mashable) that while cached data showed usernames, "sensitive details such as credit card numbers are automatically censored on user account pages, which mitigates the potential harm of someone having seen your personal data." From Mashable's report: "Steam is back up and running without any known issues," Valve told Game Informer in a statement. "As a result of a configuration change earlier today, a caching issue allowed some users to randomly see pages generated for other users for a period of less than an hour. This issue has since been resolved. We believe no unauthorized actions were allowed on accounts beyond the viewing of cached page information and no additional action is required by users."
Bug

Steam Bug Shows You Other Users' Account Details (kotaku.com) 92

An anonymous reader writes: The Steam game distribution platform is suffering from a particularly bad bug right now. If you log in and try to look at your account details, you're shown the details of another user's account — seemingly picked at random. This includes email address, last 4 digits of a phone number, whether SteamGuard (their two-factor authentication) is enabled, and the last 2 digits of an associated credit card. If you play a game, Steam will show you as being logged in as somebody else while in that game. Many users are being shown pages in other languages, as they are mistaken for players in different regions. This bug follows an apparent DDoS attack that took the service down for several hours. The bug doesn't seem to allow people to purchase games using a different account. That's good, though that means most, perhaps all players, are unable to buy games on Christmas during Steam's huge Winter Sale.
Linux Business

Street Fighter V Announced For Linux and SteamOS 126

An anonymous reader writes: Capcom has announced that their upcoming Street Fighter V game, one of the most anticipated games for 2016, will also be available for SteamOS and Linux. Already in place is support functionality for the Steam Controller, Valve's game controller that was recently updated with some new features. Ever since Valve launched Steam for Linux, the number of native Linux games has positively exploded. But will it be enough for gamers to choose a Linux distribution as their gaming platform?
Businesses

Oculus Founder Says Rift Can Match Valve's 'Room-Scale' VR (roadtovr.com) 36

An anonymous reader writes: Valve and HTC have touted 'room-scale' VR -- a large tracking volume for virtual reality experiences -- as a major advantage of SteamVR and the Vive headset. But Oculus says that their choice to focus on seated and standing VR experiences in smaller spaces is one of practicality, not technological limitations. To hush the haters, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey says he arranged the Rift tracking sensors in the same orientation of Valve's 'Lighthouse' trackers and concluded that tracking in a ~15x11 space 'works fine.'
Security

Steam Escrow System Drives Impatient Users To Fake Trading Sites Serving Malware (malwarebytes.org) 88

An anonymous reader writes: On Wednesday, Valve introduced a new "trade hold" system that should prevent scammers from stealing items from Steam users' hijacked account, or at least minimize the occurrence of such incidents. Anyone using the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator to confirm trades is able to continue trading as always. Users who haven't enabled it, or can't, can still trade, but they'll have to wait up to 3 days for the trade to go through. The system was, understandably, not welcome by some users, and it didn't take long for scammers to take advantage of this discontent.
Operating Systems

SteamOS Gaming Performance Lags Well Behind Windows (arstechnica.com) 184

New submitter NotDrWho writes: As reported by Ars Technica: "With this week's official launch of Valve's Linux-based Steam Machine line (for non-pre-orders), we decided to see if the new OS could stand up to the established Windows standard when running games on the same hardware. Unfortunately for open source gaming supporters, it looks like SteamOS gaming comes with a significant performance hit on a number of benchmarks." They tested with two graphically intensive titles from 2014, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Metro: Last Light Redux. They say, "we got anywhere from 21- to 58-percent fewer frames per second, depending on the graphical settings. On our hardware running Shadow of Mordor at Ultra settings and HD resolution, the OS change alone was the difference between a playable 34.5 fps average on Windows and a stuttering 14.6 fps mess on SteamOS." Even most of Valve's own games took big performance hits when running under SteamOS.
Games

Steam Has Brought 1,600 Games To Linux In the Past Three Years (phoronix.com) 110

An anonymous reader writes: Today marks three years since Valve's Steam client went into beta on Linux. In that time over 1,600 games have become natively available for Linux. Going beyond having many new Linux games, Phoronix recaps, "we've seen Valve make significant investments into the open-source graphics stack and other areas of Linux (in part through their sponsorship of Collabora and LunarG). Valve developers are significantly pushing SDL2. We've seen more mainstream interest in Linux gaming, and Valve has been heavily involved in the creation of the Vulkan graphics API. They have given away their entire game collection to the Mesa/Ubuntu/Debian upstream developers, and much more." The three-year anniversary is coincidentally just days before the release of Steam Machines.
Games

Valve's "Room Scale VR Survey" Finds a Lot of People Play In Their Bedrooms (itworld.com) 137

itwbennett writes: Earlier this week Valve published the results of a "Room Scale VR Survey" completed by 2008 members of its VR Community. The findings: 860 (~43%) of respondents said their gaming PC was in their bedroom and 1,393 (~69%) said they were not willing to move their PC to accommodate a VR experience. The average space respondents feel they can devote to VR is about 8.5'x 9'. Why does this matter? Well, last March, Valve and HTC debuted the HTV Vive virtual reality system consisting of a VR visor, a couple of custom controllers and a tracking system the allows the user to wander around a 15'x15' area. 'While the Vive system certainly sounds impressive I've had questions about how practical it'll be,' writes Peter Smith. 'How many people have a 15'x15' clear area in front of their PC? Turns out, not many.' 'According to this survey at least, using all of the 15'x15' space the system can track is going to leave most users frustrated,' adds Smith.
Linux Business

Thanks To Valve, More Than 1,500 Games Are Now On Linux 281

An anonymous reader writes: The Steam Store crossed the threshold this morning of having 1,500 games natively available for Linux. Timberman, a 0.99$ video game was the 1,500th title, but while there are a lot of indie games available for Linux, in the past three years have been a number of high profile AAA Linux games too. What games (old or new, free or paid) would you like to see available for Linux systems?
AMD

AMD Confirms Vulkan Driver For Linux, But To Start Off As Closed-Source 47

An anonymous reader writes: AMD has finally revealed some basic details concerning their support of Vulkan on Linux. AMD has a Vulkan driver but it will begin its life as closed-source, reports Phoronix. In time the AMD Vulkan driver will transition to being open-source. This Vulkan driver is built to interface with their new AMDGPU kernel DRM driver that's part of their long talked about AMD open-source strategy for Linux. This closed-then-open Vulkan driver will be competing with Valve's Intel Vulkan driver that will be open from day one.
Bug

SteamOS Has Dropped Support For Suspend 378

jones_supa writes: As pointed out by a Redditor, it seems that suspending the machine is not officially supported by SteamOS anymore. A SteamOS user opened a bug report due to his controllers being unresponsive after a suspend cycle. To this, a Valve engineer bluntly reported that "suspend is no longer supported". He further explained the issue by saying that given the state of hardware and software support throughout the graphics stack on Linux, the team didn't think that they could make the feature work reliably.
Microsoft

Windows 10 App For Xbox One Could Render Steam Machines Useless 170

SlappingOysters writes: The release of Windows 10 has brought with it the Xbox app -- a portal through which you can stream anything happening on your Xbox One to your Surface or desktop. Finder is reporting that the love will go the other way, too, with a PC app coming to the Xbox One allowing you to stream your desktop to your console. But where does this leave the coming Steam Machines? This analysis shows how such an app could undermine the Steam Machines' market position.
PC Games (Games)

Sprked Tries To Solve Valve's Paid Mods Scandal 41

SlappingOysters writes: This article takes a closer look at the emerging crowdfunding platform Sprked, which aims to follow the Patreon support model, but exclusively for video game modders. The service is currently in its early stages, but by crafting a system of appreciation and support that acknowledges the loyalty of the modding community, Sprked has the potential to promote and foster the creativity that is so integral to modding, instead of hampering it with the murky baggage of a mandatory economy. Valve's attempt to let modders make some money for their efforts backfired within the community — there are four demons the paid mods plan must slay to actually work.
Security

Steam Bug Allowed Password Resets Without Confirmation 62

An anonymous reader writes: Valve has fixed a bug in their account authentication system that allowed attackers to easily reset the password to a Steam account. When a Steam user forgets a password, he goes to an account recovery page and asks for a reset. The page then sends a short code to the email address registered with the account. The problem was that Steam wasn't actually checking the codes sent via email. Attackers could simply request a reset and then submit a blank field when prompted for the code. Valve says the bug was active from July 21-25. A number of accounts were compromised, including some prominent streamers and Dota 2 pros. Valve issued password resets to those accounts with "suspicious" changes over the past several days.
Open Source

Virtual Reality Tech and Openness 25

An anonymous reader writes: An article written by Kyle Orland looks at how the nascent virtual reality industry will handle openness — in terms of standards, platforms, source code, and development. "Whether any single VR platform is 'open' or not, though, may be moot if developers have to juggle countless slightly different development standards for countless slightly different VR platforms. In a way, making a PC game that only works on the Oculus Rift is as ridiculous as making a PC game that only works on Dell monitors." Right now, the major players in VR tech are using different approaches. Oculus is distributing a closed-license SDK. Valve is setting up a more open platform that lets multiple manufacturers build devices for it. The downside is that it doesn't seem to work as well, particular with Oculus hardware. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey says standards are going to take time and cooperation. Of course, that tune may change when devices start hitting the market.

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