Multilingual blink for Raspberry Pi Pico

A year ago today we launched our Raspberry Pi Pico board, the first product powered by the RP2040 microcontroller, a brand-new chip developed right here at Raspberry Pi. A year later we’ve sold nearly 1.5 million Picos, and thousands of you have used RP2040 in your own electronic projects and products.

Source: LXer – Multilingual blink for Raspberry Pi Pico

PlatinumGames’ long-awaited shoot ’em up ‘Sol Cresta’ arrives February 22nd

PlatinumGames will release Sol Cresta on February 22nd, the studio announced this weekend. The developer had hoped to have the shmup ready by the end of 2021, but made the last-minute decision to delay it to give its development team more time for polish. With a new release date locked in, Platinum says fans will have the chance to pick up Sol Cresta on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 for $40.

The Cresta series has been around since the 1980s. You can play Moon Cresta and Terra Cresta, two of the franchise’s more recent entries, through the Arcade Archives collection on PS4. What makes Sol Cresta interesting is that it started life as an April Fools’ gag. After playing such a cruel joke on fans in 2020, Platinum came back exactly one year later to announce it was actively developing the game.



Source: Engadget – PlatinumGames’ long-awaited shoot ’em up ‘Sol Cresta’ arrives February 22nd

Researchers Find Evidence of Boulders Tumbling After Recent Earthquakes on Mars

“If a rock falls on Mars, and no one is there to see it, does it leave a trace?” jokes the New York Times, answering “Yes, and it’s a beautiful herringbone-like pattern, new research reveals.”
Scientists have now spotted thousands of tracks on the red planet created by tumbling boulders. Delicate chevron-shaped piles of Martian dust and sand frame the tracks, the team showed, and most fade over the course of a few years.

Rockfalls have been spotted elsewhere in the solar system, including on the moon and even a comet. But a big open question is the timing of these processes on other worlds — are they ongoing or did they predominantly occur in the past?A study of these ephemeral features on Mars, published last month in Geophysical Research Letters, says that such boulder tracks can be used to pinpoint recent seismic activity on the red planet. This new evidence that Mars is a dynamic world runs contrary to the notion that all of the planet’s exciting geology happened much earlier, s aid Ingrid Daubar, a planetary scientist at Brown University who was not involved in the study…

To arrive at this finding, Vijayan, a planetary scientist at the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmadabad, India, who uses a single name, and his colleagues pored over thousands of images of Mars’ equatorial region. The imagery was captured from 2006 through 2020 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and revealed details as small as 10 inches across. “We can discriminate individual boulders,” Vijayan said. The team manually searched for chain-like features — a telltale signature of a rock careening down an incline — on the sloped walls of impact craters. Vijayan and his collaborators spotted more than 4,500 such boulder tracks, the longest of which stretched more than a mile and a half…

Roughly one-third of the tracks the researchers studied were absent in early images, meaning that they must have formed since 2006… The researchers suggest that winds continuously sweeping over the surface of Mars redistribute dust and sand and erase the ejecta. Because boulder fall ejecta fades so rapidly, seeing it implies that a boulder was dislodged recently, the team suggest. And a common cause of rockfalls, on Earth and elsewhere, is seismic activity…. Since 2019, hundreds of marsquakes have been detected by NASA’s InSight lander, and two of the largest occurred last year in the Cerberus Fossae region.

Today the Mars lander InSight is back in operation after a two-week break to avoid dust storms, while dust storms also delayed the 19th flight of NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter.

And elsewhere on Mars, the Perserverance rover successfully dislodged two pebbles stuck in its sample-collecting apparatus.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Researchers Find Evidence of Boulders Tumbling After Recent Earthquakes on Mars

I Can't Wait for a New Age of Character Motifs

Shortly before the weekend, director Matt Reeves unveiled the full musical theme for The Batman. While it’s been heard in thunderous snippets in recent trailers, the full piece itself from the film’s composer Michael Giacchino is a blast. For as “dark and broody” as people have been calling Robert Pattinson’s upcoming…

Read more…



Source: Gizmodo – I Can’t Wait for a New Age of Character Motifs

Activision Blizzard Employees Form First Game Dev Union, Is It About Time?

Activision Blizzard Employees Form First Game Dev Union, Is It About Time?
In and industry worth about $138.4 billion dollars as of 2021, how well do you think the workers are represented? Activision Blizzard’s Subsidiary, Raven Software’s Quality Assurance (QA) employees believe not well enough.
Game developers often feel over-worked and under paid — a common theme in many industries. This has been a common complaint

Source: Hot Hardware – Activision Blizzard Employees Form First Game Dev Union, Is It About Time?

Halo Infinite Devs Can't Replace XP Boosts Wasted During Server Outages

Some Halo Infinite players are frustrated that they wasted useful XP boosters by activating them right before server outages knocked the Xbox shooter offline and now it sounds like 343 Industries won’t reimburse players wasted boosts.

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Source: Kotaku – Halo Infinite Devs Can’t Replace XP Boosts Wasted During Server Outages

Google claims court ruling would force it to 'censor' the internet

Google has asked the High Court of Australia to overturn a 2020 ruling it warns could have a “devastating” effect on the wider internet. In a filing the search giant made on Friday, Google claims it will be forced to “act as censor” if the country’s highest court doesn’t overturn a decision that awarded a lawyer $40,000 in defamation damages for an article the company had linked to through its search engine, reports The Guardian.

In 2016, George Defteros, a Victoria state lawyer whose past client list included individuals implicated in Melbourne’s notorious gangland killings, contacted Google to ask the company to remove a 2004 article from The Age. The piece featured reporting on murder charges prosecutors filed against Defteros related to the death of three men. Those charges were later dropped in 2005. The company refused to remove the article from its search results as it viewed the publication as a reputable source.

The matter eventually went to court with Defteros successfully arguing the article and Google’s search results had defamed him. The judge who oversaw the case ruled The Age’s reporting had implied Defteros had been cozy with Melbourne’s criminal underground. The Victorian Court of Appeals subsequently rejected a bid by Google to overturn the ruling.

From Google’s perspective, at issue here is one of the fundamental building blocks of the internet. “A hyperlink is not, in and of itself, the communication of that to which it links,” the company contends in its submission to the High Court. If the 2020 judgment is left to stand, Google claims it will make it “liable as the publisher of any matter published on the web to which its search results provide a hyperlink,” including news stories that come from reputable sources. In its defense, the company points to a 2011 ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada that held a hyperlink by itself is never a publication of defamatory material.

We’ve reached out to Google for comment.



Source: Engadget – Google claims court ruling would force it to ‘censor’ the internet

All Charges Dropped Against MIT Professor Accused of Hiding Ties to China

Remember that MIT professor accused of hiding the work he did for the Chinese government? (He was arrested for not disclosing it on federal grant applications, with a U.S. attorney announcing “It is not illegal to collaborate with foreign researchers. It is illegal to lie about it.”)

All charges have been dropped. Mass Live reports:
Chen, 56, was arrested a year ago for failing to disclose millions of dollars in contracts, appointments and awards from the Chinese government when he applied for a grant from the Department of Energy. Among other charges, he was accused of wire fraud and making a false statement on a tax return, according to prosecutors. He pleaded not guilty to the full slate of charges.

On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said the federal government would drop its case against Chen. After assessing new evidence, Rollins said in a statement her office found it could not meet the burden of proof in a trial. “As prosecutors, we have an obligation in every matter we pursue to continually examine the facts while being open to receiving and uncovering new information,” Rollins said. “Today’s dismissal is a result of that process and is in the interests of justice….”

Prosecutors had claimed Chen used the U.S. government’s money to benefit the Chinese government, while failing to disclose any relationship with Chinese leaders. Colleagues protested Chen’s arrest, saying grant disclosure violations had been treated as a serious crime, such as espionage or intellectual property theft, the New York Times reported. Recently, Department of Energy officials said they would awarded a grant to him even if he had disclosed his ties to China.

MIT Technology Review adds:
From the start, Chen had maintained his innocence, while MIT had indicated that he was working to establish a research collaboration on behalf of the institution and that the funding in question was actually for the university rather than Chen personally. MIT also paid for his defense….

“The government finally acknowledged what we said all along: Professor Gang Chen is an innocent man,” Robert Fisher, Chen’s defense attorney, said in a statement. “Our defense was never based on any legal technicalities. Gang did not commit any of the offenses he was charged with. Full stop. He was never in a talent program. He was never an overseas scientist for Beijing. He disclosed everything that he was supposed to disclose and never lied to the government or anyone else.”

For his part, Chen said, “While I am relieved that my ordeal is over, I am mindful that this terribly misguided China Initiative continues to bring unwarranted fear to the academic community, and other scientists still face charges.”

“I will have more to share soon,” the scientist added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – All Charges Dropped Against MIT Professor Accused of Hiding Ties to China

Google Search Pays Tribute To Wordle With A Cool Little Easter Egg

Google Search Pays Tribute To Wordle With A Cool Little Easter Egg
If you have done a Google search lately, you may have noticed an Easter egg that pays tribute to the insanely popular on-line game Wordle. The daily word puzzle has garnered a massive following in the last few months.

Wordle is a simplistic puzzle game that went viral late last year. Other devs tried to take advantage of its popularity,

Source: Hot Hardware – Google Search Pays Tribute To Wordle With A Cool Little Easter Egg

SiFive Shifting Production Focus To Next-Gen HiFive Development Board

SiFive’s HiFive Unmatched is the best, readily available RISC-V developer board at the moment with enough horsepower for modest development/porting work and continues seeing improvements with the mainline Linux kernel. But availability on HiFive Unmatched is beginning to dry up and SiFive isn’t planning on any further production runs as it begins focusing on the board’s successor.

Source: LXer – SiFive Shifting Production Focus To Next-Gen HiFive Development Board

Final Fantasy VII's Tifa Lockhart Should Have Her Own Solo Adventure

Though Final Fantasy games often place the focus on lead characters with comically large swords and steely gazes, the other members of their party are nothing to shrug at. This is especially true for Final Fantasy VII and its stellar 2020 remake. Seeing Cloud Strife and the Avalanche crew realized with better graphics…

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Source: Gizmodo – Final Fantasy VII’s Tifa Lockhart Should Have Her Own Solo Adventure

Blender 3.0 Released With More New Features and Improvements

Long-time Slashdot reader Qbertino writes: The Free Open Source 3D production software Blender has been released in version 3.0 (official showreel) with more new features, improvements and performance optimizations as well as further improved workflows.

In recent years Blender has received an increasing rate of attention from the 3D industry, with various larger businesses such as Epic, Microsoft, Apple and most recently Intel joining the blender foundation and donating to its development fund. Blender has seen an increasing rise in usage in various industries, such as animated feature film production, architecture and game development.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Blender 3.0 Released With More New Features and Improvements

How to Rid Your Secondhand Furniture of That Thrift Store Smell

While some people have always loved vintage (i.e. secondhand) furniture, others are new to the thrift store, flea market, and yard sale game, thanks to current furniture shortages and shipping delays. But shortages or not, there are many benefits to buying secondhand furniture and other items for your home, including…

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Source: LifeHacker – How to Rid Your Secondhand Furniture of That Thrift Store Smell

Heads-Up, A Nasty Dark Souls 3 Exploit Could Give Hackers Full Control Of Your PC

Heads-Up, A Nasty Dark Souls 3 Exploit Could Give Hackers Full Control Of Your PC
This week, a security vulnerability in Dark Souls 3 was discovered, allowing remote code execution (RCE) and any threat actor to wreak havoc on your PC. As this vulnerability only affects players who play online, potentially across the Dark Souls series, servers have been switched offline, and it seems Dark Souls developer FromSoftware and

Source: Hot Hardware – Heads-Up, A Nasty Dark Souls 3 Exploit Could Give Hackers Full Control Of Your PC

Bitcoin drops to six-month low as investors dump speculative assets

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Source: Ars Technica – Bitcoin drops to six-month low as investors dump speculative assets

Dark Souls Servers Down Due To Exploit That Could Give Someone Control Of Your PC

Earlier this morning, Bandai Namco and From Software announced that all the servers for Dark Souls Remastered, 2, and 3 were temporarily shut down because of an “issue with online services.” While the publisher didn’t share more details, it’s believed the “issue” is a recently publicized PC exploit that would allow a…

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Source: Kotaku – Dark Souls Servers Down Due To Exploit That Could Give Someone Control Of Your PC

State Farm Goes All In On TikTok For Super Bowl Ads And You Could Co-Star With Jake

State Farm Goes All In On TikTok For Super Bowl Ads And You Could Co-Star With Jake
Have you ever wanted to star in a TV commercial, and one that airs during the Super Bowl no less?  As it turns out, State Farm is giving folks the chance to show off your TikTok chops for an opportunity to do just that.

TikTok is a social media platform that allows users to post short video clips of their creative abilities. Some people

Source: Hot Hardware – State Farm Goes All In On TikTok For Super Bowl Ads And You Could Co-Star With Jake

WhatsApp is nearly ready to migrate Android chats to iPhone

WhatsApp may soon release two highly-requested features. The first is one iPhone users have been waiting for since the company made it possible for Samsung Galaxy owners and later those with Pixel phones to migrate their chat history from an iOS device. Per a post spotted by The Verge, WABetaInfo found evidence in the latest WhatsApp iOS beta release of a feature that lets you migrate your chat history from Android to iOS. The discovery builds on an earlier one the outlet made in September.

WhatsApp
WABetaInfo

Screenshots shared by WABetaInfo suggest the app will ask for your permission before it starts migrating your chat history. We also know from the earlier leak you’ll need to use Apple’s Move to iOS app as part of the transfer process. On Android, that same process can be convoluted, as you need a Lightning to USB-C cable and phone that’s either brand new or has been recently factory reset.

In a separate articleWABetaInfo published over the weekend, the website found that WhatsApp is also working on a two-step verification feature for its desktop and web clients. Should the company move forward with a release, the tool will allow you to add a personal pin to your account. In that way, anytime you want to access WhatsApp either through your computer or online, you’ll need to input that passcode, as well as the six-digit pin WhatsApp sends to your phone, to do so. That’s something that will help protect you from SIM swap attacks.

It’s unclear when the company plans to release either feature. A month before the migration one launched on Samsung devices, WhatsApp head Will Cathcart said it would arrive on iOS phones “soon.”



Source: Engadget – WhatsApp is nearly ready to migrate Android chats to iPhone

KDE-Powering Qt's New Framework Lets Developers Bring Ads Into Their Apps

“Qt, the framework that powers the KDE desktop, is announcing support for ads in client-side applications,” reports Neowin:

This means that application developers will now be able to serve ads in traditional desktop applications…. Windows users have been dealing with this in Metro UI apps since Windows 8 and it’s something that’s never gone over well on the desktop.

While it’s doubtful you’ll see ads in KDE’s core applications, it would be possible for distributions that wish to further monetize their work to fork these applications, placing ads in them…. According to the documentation, the advertising plugin supports a variety of platforms. They are as follows:

– Windows 10
– Ubuntu 20.04
– Raspbian Buster
– macOS
– Android 7.0
— iOS

“Our offering aims to disrupt the IoT industry,” explains Qt’s press release, “enabling new business models and business cases that before were not possible.”

Reactions have been mixed. Comments on Phoronix ranged from calling it “a great way for boost development on KDE” to “Not sure if I like this.”
Thanks to Slashdot reader segaboy81 for sharing the story

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – KDE-Powering Qt’s New Framework Lets Developers Bring Ads Into Their Apps

Linux 5.17 Features From New AMD P-State To Xilinx Drivers, Lots Of New Hardware

This morning marked the release of Linux 5.17-rc1 that officially ends the merge window for this next stable kernel series. Linux 5.17 won’t see its stable debut until around the end of March but there is a lot to get excited about for this open-source kernel in 2022.

Source: Phoronix – Linux 5.17 Features From New AMD P-State To Xilinx Drivers, Lots Of New Hardware