Xbox Series X can add HDR and 120fps support to older games

See the original posting on The Verge

Microsoft is planning to automatically add HDR support to games played on its upcoming Xbox Series X console. While existing games will automatically play better on the Xbox Series X, Microsoft is also doing some work to add HDR support and even improve some games from a 30fps locked framerate to 60fps, or 60fps to 120fps.

“In partnership with the Xbox Advanced Technology Group, Xbox Series X delivers a new, innovative HDR reconstruction technique which enables the platform to automatically add HDR support to games,” explains Jason Ronald, a partner director of program management for the Xbox platform team. “As this technique is handled by the platform itself, it allows us to enable HDR with zero impact to the game’s performance and we…

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Evercade is a slick gaming handheld that shows why cartridges are still cool

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Photo: Evercade

It’s not exactly hard to play old games. There are plenty of ways to get a retro fix outside of collecting the original hardware: plug-and-play consoles, classic game collections, and subscription services like Nintendo Switch Online. Even so, Evercade’s solution is something different. At its most basic, Evercade is a solid handheld device, sort of like an updated version of the Game Boy Advance that can also connect to your TV. But instead of having a big collection of old games built in or available for download, Evercade supports proprietary cartridges. The result is an $80 device that straddles the line between modern and retro in a way that’s very satisfying.

The Evercade is a pretty slick piece of hardware. It features a bright…

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Color in your favorite hard rockers with these Kerrang! cover coloring books

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If you’re looking for more quarantine activities — for yourself, or your kids, or something to do together! — the British rock magazine Kerrang! is now offering coloring book variants of some of their covers, featuring famous rock bands:

We have turned seven Kerrang! magazine covers (plus a bonus My Chemical Romance photo) into elaborate colouring-in pages for you to turn into Technicolor masterpieces. We’ve got Slipknot, Lemmy, BABYMETAL and Ozzy Osbourne [and more] to choose from.

Not only will it give you (or your young ones) a chance to practice your artistic skills, colouring-in is ideal for relieving stress and improving mental health.

 

You can download all available Kerrang! coloring book pages here. And if you email your best designs to the magazine, you could get featured in an upcoming issue!

Design your own Kerrang! Magazine Cover Read the rest

Listen to the original NPR radio drama adaptations of the first STAR WARS trilogy

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In my 90s childhood Star Wars obsession, I remember hearing a lot about the fabled NPR radio drama adaptations (read: “podcast”) of the original trilogy. They were supposed to be canonical, in-as-much as they were Lucas-approved stories that expanded on the familiar ones we already knew.

Now, someone has finally compiled them all on YouTube (although apparently you can find the MP3s on Archive.org as well). And wow, they are expanded — the A New Hope radio drama is 13 hours long!

It’s quite a stark departure from the movies I’m used to. The first chapter focuses exclusively on Luke, and highlights his relationships with his friends at Tosche Station — Cammie, Fixer, Deke, and the OG prodigal son, Biggs Darklighter (there’s a version of some of this material floating as a deleted scene, but it’s not nearly as expansive as this). Chapter Two turns more attention to Leia and her relationship with her father, as well as the information that lead them to the Death Star plans in the first place. It’s not even until the third chapter that we get to the opening scene of the movie (that’s as far as I’ve listened yet). It definitely conflicts with the newly established canon, especially Rogue One, but I’m enjoying the experience of re-discovering this world in a different format, with different and exciting details filling out the edges. I’m eager to find out what other ancillary characters might get more of a spotlight treatment here.

From the editor who posted these compilations on YouTube:

I have combined all episodes of the original radio drama using excerpts from John Williams’ original soundtrack and Ben Burt’s sound effects for a more seamless blending from one episode to the next.

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Microsoft copied its new Windows Package Manager from rival AppGet, claims developer

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Image by Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft surprised everyone with its new Windows Package Manager (winget) last week, but it looks like the company copied the core mechanics from a developer it interviewed and ghosted. Keivan Beigi, the developer behind package manager AppGet, has provided a detailed account of Microsoft reaching out to him last year with interest in his work before going quiet and then launching its own winget rival. It sounds like Sherlocking — a term that refers to Apple undercutting third-party apps by building their functionality directly into macOS or iOS — but in the Microsoft and Windows world.

AppGet is a free and open source package manager for Windows, which automates installing software on Windows PCs. It caught the attention of Microsoft…

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The most powerful Raspberry Pi now has 8GB of RAM

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Aside from having more RAM, the new miniature PC is functionally unchanged. | Image: Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has doubled the maximum amount of RAM available in the Raspberry Pi 4 to 8GB with a new device it’s selling for $75. To take advantage of the RAM increase, the foundation is also releasing a new 64-bit version of its operating system in early beta. The new Raspberry Pi 4 is otherwise identical to the device that was announced in June last year, meaning it has the same ARM-based CPU, and HDMI, USB 3, and Ethernet ports.

8GB is a lot of RAM considering the Raspberry Pi’s size and price. It’s the same as many flagship smartphones released this year, and enough for an entry-level gaming PC. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says the additional memory should be useful for compiling large pieces of software, running…

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A bleakly touching webcomic compares our apocalyptic fantasies to the real experience of coronavirus quarantine

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Nate Powell is the writer and artist behind About Face, a brilliant webcomic about America’s obsession with fascist fashion. His latest comic, Hide Out, is less of a macro-scale political analysis, and more of a quiet, reflective, internal piece about life in apocalyptic scenarios — but it’s just as powerful, and just as much worth reading.

 

This Isn’t My Fantasy Apocalypse [Nate Powell / The Nib] Read the rest

Philips Hue TV sync box now supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision

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Image: Signify

The box that syncs Philips Hue lights with whatever’s on your TV is getting a big update today: it now supports two major HDR standards: HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.

At launch, the longly named Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box could analyze content playing at up to 4K at 60Hz, but it only supported regular HDR10. For people with newer TV sets or who are serious about home theater, that’d be a major miss, since the HDR10+ standard and Dolby Vision are now more common and offer better image quality. Until now, the box has just done nothing when those higher-quality signals were passed through.

After today’s update, the box should work with a lot more systems and content. The device analyzes pretty much any video content that’s being passed to…

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Should You Use Express-Session for Your Production App?

See the original posting on DZone Python

While being Node’s most popular session management library, express-session has its set of flaws and weaknesses – especially when it comes to security. This article will analyze the good and bad parts of express-session so that you can make an informed decision for your next app. We will be using a point system where one point will be awarded for performing well on a metric, and one will be deducted for bad performance. At the minimum, we want a positive number at the end of the analysis (and the higher the number is, the better). Here are the metrics we will be using:

  • Security: This is especially relevant because we’re talking about user session management.
  • Reliability and Correctness: It is imperative that the library takes care of technical issues like keeping its state consistent despite network or server failures and taking care of synchronizing its logic in a clustered environment.
  • App User experience: We want to use a library that can provide the right experience for your app users – for example, does the library enable a user to be logged in for weeks or months whilst also providing good security?
  • Time to production: We will look at factors such as time to integrate the library into an app, available support, and ease of understanding of the library code.
  • Maintenance cost: We will assess the costs of maintaining the library over time.

SecuritySecurity

For a background on why session security is important, read this blog post (Facebook, Docker, Gitlab have all had session vulnerabilities in the past 2 years). Session attacks can occur across 3 attack vectors; the frontend, in transit (over the internet), or on the backend.

Topography of U.S. states in ridgeline (Joy Division ‘Unknown Pleasures’) style

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IMGURian @KRANKARTA6 did an awesome topography visualization project in the “Ridgeline Style” that reminds us of the album cover for Joy Division’s classic LP ‘Unknown Pleasures.’

USA states’ topography in ridgeline / stack plot / joy plot style.

These map artworks are created from SRTM elevation data and processed in QGIS and python.

All images have the same elevation scale.

See all of the work here at IMGUR:
USA States Topography in Ridgeline Style – equal scale

USA States Topography in Ridgeline Style – equal scale

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You can no longer subscribe to HBO via Apple TV Channels

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HBO is no longer available as an Apple TV Channel for people who want to subscribe to it though the Apple TV app (via 9to5Mac). The change follows today’s launch of the new streaming service HBO Max.

Apple TV Channels first launched last year as a way to watch content from many different service providers all in one app, meaning you wouldn’t have to bounce around between different third-party apps to watch different content. Now, though, it seems HBO wants to push users to watch HBO Max content on the HBO Max app instead of through Apple’s.

If you already subscribe to HBO through Apple TV’s Channels, you can apparently still see it in the Apple TV app, but it won’t…

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