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Classic Games (Games)

Sega Announces Two New Sonic Games That Seek To Recapture The Glory Days (gamespot.com) 40

An anonymous reader writes: In celebration of Sonic the Hedgehog's 25th anniversary, Sega has announced two new Sonic games at Comic-Con in San Diego. The first game is called Sonic Mania and it's a 2D platformer that features visuals and gameplay reminiscent of the classic Genesis games. "It revamps zones and acts from Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic CD, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic and Knuckles, in addition to introducing new ones into the fold," writes Mat Paget from GameSpot. The second game has no title [besides "Project Sonic 2017"], but it does have a holiday 2017 release date for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo NX consoles. It reportedly features both classic and modern versions of Sonic, similar to 2011's Sonic Generations. Sega made two additional announcements. "Mobile game Sonic Dash has passed 200 million downloads and will receive a special in-game event that adds the Green Hill Zone and Classic Sonic as a playable character," reports GameSpot. "The event only lasts a week, but players can unlock both the classic level and character for use after the event." The second additional announcement is that the animated Sonic Boom series will be renewed for a second season. "Sonic Mania was born out of our fans' love of the classic Sonic 2D platform games,â said Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka. "This type of collaboration is a first for Sega and we hope everyone will be both surprised and delighted by this title. Sonic Mania has been a passion project for the entire team and we look forward to sharing more details about it later this year. Having the game actually playable at the event itself tonight was testament to the dedication of the team behind it.â
Businesses

Comcast To Offer Pay-As-You-Go TV, Broadband Service (dslreports.com) 42

An anonymous reader quotes a report from DSLReports: Comcast plans to roll-out prepaid cable TV and internet services later this year in portions of Illinois and four other states. According to a company announcement, Comcast's Xfinity Prepaid Services lets users sign up for TV or internet services and renew service for seven or 30 days at a time -- instead of paying by the month. A one-time setup fee of $80 includes equipment and 30 days of service, with users paying $15 for an additional seven days and $45 for an additional 30 days. "We want to create an easy, pay-as-you-go option for people who want more flexibility and predictability when buying our services," said Marcien Jenckes, Executive Vice President, Consumer Services, Comcast Cable. "And our partnership with Boost Mobile will give Xfinity Prepaid customers even more places where they can conveniently sign-up and pay-as-they-go."
Operating Systems

How (And Why) FreeDOS Keeps DOS Alive (computerworld.com.au) 211

FreeDOS was originally created in response to Microsoft's announcement that after Windows 95, DOS would no longer be developed as a standalone operating system, according to a new interview about how (and why) Jim Hall keeps FreeDOS alive. For its newest version, Hall originally imagined "what 'DOS' would be like in 2015 or 2016 if Microsoft hadn't stopped working on MS-DOS in favor of Windows" -- before he decided there's just no such thing as "modern DOS". An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: No major changes are planned in the next version. "The next version of FreeDOS won't be multitasking, it won't be 32-bit, it won't run on ARM," Hall said. "FreeDOS is still intended for Intel and Intel-compatible computers. You should still be able to run FreeDOS on your old 486 or old Pentium PC to play classic DOS games, run legacy business programs, and support embedded development."
By day, Hall is the CIO for a county in Minnesota, and he's also a member of the board of directors for GNOME (and contributes to other open source projects) -- but he still remembers using DOS's built-in BASIC system to write simple computer programs. "Many of us older computer nerds probably used DOS very early, on our first home computer..." he tells ComputerWorld. Even without John Romero's new Doom level, "The popularity of DOS games and DOS shareware applications probably contributes in a big way to FreeDOS's continued success." I'd be curious how many Slashdot readers have some fond memories about downloading DOS shareware applications.
Republicans

Donald Trump To Announce Mike Pence As Vice-Presidential Running Mate (theguardian.com) 407

Donald Trump has selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice-presidential running mate. A senior GOP official, cited by many media outlets today (including the WSJ), confirmed the news, adding that the announcement will be made Friday. The Guardian reports: Pence brings several qualities to the Trump campaign that Republicans have found lacking, not least of which experience in government. The 57-year-old spent 12 years in Congress, including two years in a leadership role with the House Republican Conference. He was elected governor of Indiana in 2012, and gained a degree of national notoriety that's to a controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which he signed into law and then wanted revised, after many argued it would allow discrimination against LGBT people. A Trump-Pence ticket could send a message to Republican dissenters who feel they cannot support a candidate who has proven inconsistent on guns, abortion, LGBT rights and other social conservative issues. Just before the Indiana primary election, the staunchly conservative governor endorsed Ted Cruz, Trump's leading opponent and a far-right senator from Texas.An anonymous reader shared a BuzzFeed article on Pence today. The article digs into some of the opinion pieces Pence has penned over the years. In one such article, Pence wrote that "smoking doesn't kill." "Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn't kill," he wrote. In another piece, he argues that Carbon Dioxide "can't be the cause of increased global temperatures" because it is "a naturally occurring phenomenon in nature..." not an unnatural one.
Hardware

Qualcomm's New Snapdragon 821 Is 10 Percent Faster Than the 820 (theverge.com) 30

An anonymous reader shares a report on The Verge: Qualcomm has announced a new flagship mobile processor called the Snapdragon 821. The 821 is a slight update to the Snapdragon 820 that debuted in smartphones earlier this year and promises modest performance gains. The 820 has been found in virtually every high-end Android smartphone this year, including Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the HTC 10, the LG G5, the OnePlus 3, and the Xiaomi Mi5. In our experience, we've found it to be quite a capable chip, with great performance and efficient power utilization. It's a far cry from last year's Snapdragon 810, which was plagued with performance and thermal issues. Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 821 builds upon the 820's features, but provides a 10 percent performance increase. Its quad-core CPU runs at 2.4GHz.AnandTech has more details.
Intel

BMW, Intel, Mobileye Partner On Self-Driving Cars, 'Turning Point For Automotive Industry': Reports (bloomberg.com) 59

BMW, Intel, and Mobileye NV are working to develop autonomous-car technology, reports Bloomberg, citing multiple sources. Senior executives from each company will hold an event on Friday to discuss the driverless-vehicle initiative, the report adds. From the article:Jerusalem-based Mobileye has been an early leader in providing cameras, software and other components that allow vehicles to see the world around them. BMW has been a client of Mobileye, along with General Motors Co. and Tesla Motors Inc. As automakers and their suppliers race to create systems to replace human drivers, most companies are betting on some form of artificial intelligence, which requires powerful processing.Reuters, citing one source, reports the same thing. The announcement will be a "turning point for the automotive industry," Amnon Shashua, the chairman and co-founder of Mobileye.
Android

Google Reveals What N In Android N Stands For -- Nougat 115

We finally know what N in Android N stands for: Nougat. Google made the announcement on Thursday. The Android maker always names smartphone operating system updates after candies and other sweet treats. The past few versions, for instances, are named Marshmallow, Eclair, Lollipop, and Marshmallow. Naming aside, Android N brings with it a range of interesting features such as multi-window support, better battery efficiency, and the ability to reply to messages straight from the notification. Enthusiasts who own a Nexus 6 or a newer Nexus device, can give a whirl to the preview of Android N on their device. The final version of Android N will be made available later this year.
Google

Google Is Testing Its Own Internet Speed Test In Search Results (thenextweb.com) 43

An anonymous reader writes: Everyone appears to have a speed test of their own nowadays. Netflix launched fast.com more than a month ago; SourceForge released their new HTML5 speed test soon after. Google appears to want a piece of the action as they are trying out a way for people to check their internet speed by simply typing "check internet speed" into search. The tests are performed by Google's Measurement Lab tools, and were first spotted by Pete Meyers, who posted a screenshot of the feature and discovered a Google Support webpage detailing how it works. The feature has not been widely released yet, but it's possible we'll see it made more widely available soon.
The Almighty Buck

RIP Xbox Fitness: Users Will Soon Lose Access To Workout Videos They Bought (arstechnica.com) 115

insitus quotes a report from Ars Technica: Xbox users who purchased training videos through the Xbox Fitness app probably thought they were buying a workout program they'd be able to use regularly for the life of the Xbox One, at the very least. Instead, those videos will soon be completely unavailable to those who paid for them up front, according to a "sunset" plan announced by Microsoft yesterday evening. Xbox Fitness first launched in late 2013 with the console, offering a Kinect-powered health app that uses the 3D camera to evaluate users' form as they perform the exercises demoed by on-screen video trainers. The app, which provided 30 basic routines for free with an Xbox Live Gold account, will be coming to an end on December 15. The paid content associated with the app will also no longer be available for purchase, and those who purchased it previously will be able to use it for over one more year before the app becomes completely unavailable to download or use on July 1, 2017. What some have found especially upsetting with the news is that Microsoft has yet to announce any plans to compensate users who have paid for content or to provide downloadable versions of paid workouts that can be used after the phase-out date. Thus, many upset users have taken to the sunset announcement post and various other outlets to speak their mind on the situation. "I bought 140$+ worth of content just this year... I don't want a refund, I want to be able to continue to use what I PAID for !!!!!!!!!!!" Xbox Live user QuickSilver wrote.
Ubuntu

Ubuntu-Based Peppermint 7 Released (peppermintos.com) 74

Softpedia reports on the newest version of Peppermint OS, "a lightweight, stable, elegant, and fast computer operating system based on GNU/Linux and Open Source technologies." An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes their report: It's a bit earlier than expected, but the Peppermint OS 7 GNU/Linux distribution has been officially unveiled...based on the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system [with] a lot of packages from the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS distro, which means that it will also be a long-term support release.... "Along with the shift to the 16.04 (Xenial) code base, Peppermint 7 continues our policy of choosing the best components from other desktop environments, wherever that may be, and integrating them into a cohesive whole with our own software," reads today's announcement.
"Team Peppermint" says they're switching to Firefox as their default browser for site-specific browser functionality (similar to Chrome's -app mode) after Google dropped their 32-bit version of Chrome and moved to PPAPI plugins "which effectively ends Flash support in 32-bit Chromium"... But you can also still choose Chrome or Chromium for site-specific browsing (and the OS comes in 32-bit and 64-bit editions).
Debian

Fedora QA Lead Pans Canonical 'Propaganda' On Snap Apps (happyassassin.net) 170

Long-time Slashdot reader JImbob0i0 shares a scathing article by Red Hat's Fedora QA "community monkey"/senior QA engineer on Canonical's announcement about their application delivery mechanism "snap"... ...and how it's going to unite all distributions and kill apt and rpm! This is, to put it diplomatically, a heaping pile of steaming bullshit... The press release and the stories together give you the strong impression that this thing called Snappy is going to be the cross-distribution future of application delivery, and it's all ready for use today and lots of major distributions are buying into it... The stories have headlines like "Adios apt and yum? Ubuntu's snap apps are coming to distros everywhere" and "Snap Packages Become Universal Binary Format for All GNU/Linux Distributions"...

Now, does Snappy actually have the cross-distribution buy-in that the press release claims (but never outright states) that it has? No... The sum total of communication between Canonical and Fedora before the release of this press release was that they mailed us asking about the process of packaging snappy for Fedora, and we told them about the main packaging process and COPR. They certainly did not in any way inform Fedora that they were going to send out a press release strongly implying that Fedora, along with every other distro in the world, was now a happy traveler on the Snappy bandwagon... They just decided to send out a wildly misleading press release and actively encourage the specialist press to report that Snappy was all set to take over the world and everyone was super happy with that.

Businesses

Rhapsody Rebrands Itself As Napster (thenextweb.com) 42

An anonymous reader writes: After completing its purchase of Napster in December 2011, Rhapsody has decided to rebrand itself as Napster. Rhapsody made the announcement on their blog, which states: "No changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists. Same music. Same service. Same price. 100% the music you love. Stay tuned!" That's it. The company didn't elaborate as to why they decided to change their name now. Napster has made a name for itself as being a brand synonymous with illegal music downloads. It'll be interesting to what kind of effect, if any, this has on Rhapsody.
Android

OnePlus 3 Featuring 5.5-inch FHD Display, Snapdragon 820 SoC, 6GB RAM Launched at $400 125

Chinese startup OnePlus is only three years old, but you will be surprised with just how much importance and traction it receives from the Android community. Its well-built, high-end Android smartphones are priced fairly aggressively, allowing it to compete with the likes of Samsung, HTC, and LG among others in the cut-throat smartphone market. The company today unveiled its third flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 3. Priced at $399 (for the unlocked version), the OnePlus 3 sports a 5.5-inch AMOLED display (the company is reluctant on moving to QHD display, insisting that higher resolution will unnecessarily drain the battery faster). It is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 SoC, coupled with 6GB of RAM, a 16-megapixel rear camera with OIS, an 8-megapixel front-facing shooter, a fingerprint scanner, and 64GB of built-in storage. The dual-SIM capable smartphone houses a 3,000mAh battery, which the company says can go from 0 to 60 percent in just 30 minutes. In its review (the media received the device a week ahead of the launch), CNET finds the OnePlus 3 to be an "excellent performer", and its nearly stock Android operating system a refreshing change. The publication concludes that at $400 price point, OnePlus 3 is a great purchase.
Yahoo!

Legacy Yahoo Messenger App Being Retired (pcmag.com) 61

Reader Irishman writes: Looks like August 5, 2016 is the last day for people clinging to the old desktop version of Yahoo Messenger. A new version is supposedly in the works but otherwise, it will be the mobile app or the web version. From a PCMag report: According to a new announcement from Yahoo, the company is officially killing off the old version of Messenger for good. You might be able to find it to download from some software archive website, but you won't be able to use it to chat with your friends. Yahoo is also switching up how it archives previous conversations. Any conversation histories you currently have (from using Messenger) are archived in Yahoo Mail, but they'll be going away on August 5 as well. You'll be able to export them to your desktop or laptop if you really need to save whatever it is you have typed to your friends.
Privacy

Thousands of Email Addresses Accidentally Disclosed By Let's Encrypt (letsencrypt.org) 81

An anonymous reader writes "Let's Encrypt, the certificate authority best known for offering free SSL/TLS certificates, has reported that it accidentally disclosed thousands of user email addresses due to a bug with an automated emailing system." Executive Director Josh Aas posted this announcement: On June 11 2016 (UTC), we started sending an email to all active subscribers who provided an email address, informing them of an update to our subscriber agreement. This was done via an automated system which contained a bug that mistakenly prepended between 0 and 7,618 other email addresses to the body of the email... The problem was noticed and the system was stopped after 7,618 out of approximately 383,000 emails (1.9%) were sent. Each email mistakenly contained the email addresses from the emails sent prior to it, so earlier emails contained fewer addresses than later ones.

We take our relationship with our users very seriously and apologize for the error... If you received one of these emails we ask that you not post lists of email addresses publicly.

Google

Google To Deprecate SSLv3, RC4 in Gmail IMAP/POP Clients (threatpost.com) 25

Michael Mimoso, reporting for Threatpost: Google said that it will initiate on June 16 a gradual deprecation of SSLv3 and RC4 for Gmail IMAP/POP mail clients. Both the crypto protocols cipher are notoriously unsafe and are being phased out in big chunks of the Internet. Google, for its part, had already announced in May that it would no longer support SSLv3 and RC4 connections for Gmail SMTP. Google does note that most mail clients already default to safer TLS connections, and most will not be affected by the impending changes."Unlike Gmail SMTP, this change will be rolled out as a gradual change, where it may take longer than 30 days for users to be fully restricted from connecting to Gmail from SSLv3 or RC4 connections; however, we recommend updating your clients soon in order to avoid any potential disruption," Google said in an announcement.
EU

Norway Agrees On Banning New Sales Of Gas-Powered Cars By 2025: Report (electrek.co) 249

If you live in Norway, an all-electric future is likely closer than you think. The country's four leading political parties have agreed to a plan to stop selling gas-powered cars by 2025, according to a report. Electrek reports: The four main political parties, both from the right and the left, have agreed on a new energy policy that will include a ban on new gasoline-powered car sales as soon as 2025 -- making it one of the most aggressive timeline of its kind for such a policy. What's probably most remarkable here is that Norway is currently one of the world's largest Oil exporters.Tesla CEO Elon Musk was rather pleased with the announcement. He said, "Just heard that Norway will ban new sales of fuel cars in 2025. What an amazingly awesome country. You guys rock!!"
Biotech

Scientists Announce Plans For Synthetic Human Genomes (washingtonpost.com) 57

An anonymous reader writes: After it was reported three weeks ago that scientists have held a secret meeting to consider creating a synthetic human genome, the participants of that meeting have officially published their plans. They announced a plan to launch a project that would radically reduce the cost of synthesizing human genomes -- a revolutionary development in biotechnology that could enable technicians to grow human organs for transplantation. The Washington Post reports: "The announcement, published Thursday in the journal Science, is the latest sign that biotechnology is going through a rapidly advancing but ethically fraught period. The promoters of synthetic genomes envision a project that would eventually be on the same scale as the Human Genome Project of the 1990s, which led to the sequencing of the first human genomes. The difference this time would be that, instead of 'reading' genetic codes, which is what sequencing does, the scientists would be 'writing' them. They have dubbed this the 'Genome Project-write.'"
Businesses

Comcast Users Must Now Pay $50 Per Month Extra To Avoid Caps (dslreports.com) 218

Karl Bode, reporting for DSLReports: In a letter being sent to Comcast customers in usage capped markets, the company says that with the recent announcement of usage caps being bumped to 1 terabyte, the company is also capping the amount of additional charges capped users can incur -- to $200 in a single month. As it stands, customers that cross the 1 terabyte limit face overage fees of $10 per each additional 50 GB consumed. But under the revised plans, customers have to pay $50 (up from $30 to $35) extra per month to avoid usage caps entirely. "Because you are an unlimited data customer, we will maintain your current rate of $35 until the end of 2016," the letter reads. Comcast's recent decision to bump their caps to 1 terabyte weren't driven by altruism. With the FCC preventing Charter from imposing caps for seven years as a merger condition, the agency has signaled that it may start getting more serious about cracking down on usage caps in the broadband market.

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