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  • PC News

    by Published on February 16th, 2021 22:04
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News

    Major tech firms are protesting against Nvidia's $40 billion acquisition of UK semiconductor firm Arm.
    The deal was announced back in September and is currently under review by antitrust regulators in the US, UK, European Union and China.
    Bloomberg reports several companies -- including Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm -- are asking for these regulators to intervene.
    According to the site's sources, at least one of these companies wants the deal to be stopped altogether.
    The concern centres around Arm's work providing semiconductors and essential chips to companies such as Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Huawei and Intel.
    The firm currently provides its services to all clients across the tech industry, but the likes of Microsoft and Google are concerned that the acquisition would allow Nvidia to limit supply to rivals or increase prices.

    Nvidia acquisition of Arm under fire from Microsoft and Google | GamesIndustry.biz
    ...
    by Published on February 16th, 2021 22:03
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News

    Consumer spending in the US for PC gaming hardware and accessories reached $4.5 billion in 2020.
    That's a 62% increase compared to 2019, and more than double the total sales of 2017, NPD said in its latest report.
    Digital PC games content also grew 19% in 2020, reaching $7.5 billion in revenue. PC gaming accessories overall grew 81% year-on-year, while hardware grew 57%.
    All categories of gaming hardware and accessories encountered double-digital growth, NPD continued, with a particular boom for headsets, monitors and keyboards, likely driven by the working-from-home shift due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    PC gaming hardware and accessories spending grew 62% in the US in 2020 | GamesIndustry.biz
    ...
    by Published on January 25th, 2021 22:47
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News

    OpenTTD v1.11.0 beta1 is released. OpenTTD is an open source simulation game based upon the popular Microprose game "Transport Tycoon Deluxe", written by Chris Sawyer. It attempts to mimic the original game as closely as possible while extending it with new features.

    Features
    OpenTTD is modelled after the original Transport Tycoon game by Chris Sawyer and enhances the game experience dramatically. Many features were inspired by TTDPatch while others are original.

    Significant enhancements from the original game include:
    bigger maps (up to 64 times in size)
    stable multiplayer mode for up to 255 players in 15 companies, or as spectators
    dedicated server mode and an in-game console for administration
    IPv6 and IPv4 support for all communication of the client and server
    in game downloading of AIs, NewGRFs, scenarios and heightmaps
    new pathfinding algorithms that makes vehicles go where you want them to
    autorail/-road build tool, improved terraforming
    canals, shiplifts, aqueducts
    larger, non-uniform stations and the ability to join them together
    mammoth and multi-headed trains
    different configurable models for acceleration of vehicles
    clone, autoreplace and autoupdate vehicles
    the possibility to build on slopes and coasts
    advanced/conditional orders, share and copy orders
    longer and higher bridges including several new designs, plus fully flexible tracks/roads under bridges
    reworked airport system with many more airports/heliports (e.g. international and metropolitan)
    presignals, semaphores, path based signalling
    support for TTDPatch NewGRF features offering many options for graphics and behaviour configuration/modification
    drive-through road stops for articulated road vehicles and trams
    multiple trees on one tile
    bribe the town authority
    many configuration settings to tune the game to your liking
    save games using zlib compression for smaller sizes, while not interrupting gameplay
    significant internationalisation support. OpenTTD has already been translated into over 50 languages
    dynamically created town names in 18 languages, plus NewGRF support for additional languages
    freely distributable graphics, sounds and music
    framework for custom (user) written AIs
    zooming further out in the normal view and zooming out in the small map
    Lots of effort has been put into making OpenTTD easy to use. These include:

    convert rail tool (to electrified rail, monorail, and maglev)
    drag&drop support for almost all tools (demolition, road/rail building/removing, stations, scenario editor, etc)
    sorting of most lists based on various criteria (vehicle, station, town, industries, etc.)
    mouse wheel support (scroll menus, zoom in/out)
    autoscroll when the mouse is near the edge of the screen/window
    sell whole train by dragging it to the dynamite trashcan
    cost estimation with the 'shift' key
    advanced options configuration window, change settings from within the game
    Graphical/interface features:

    screenshots can be in BMP, PNG or PCX format (select in game options menu)
    more currencies (including Euro introduction in 2002)
    extra viewports to view more parts of the game world at the same time
    resolution and refresh rate selection for fullscreen mode
    colourful newspaper after a certain date
    colour coded vehicle profits
    game speed increase (through fast forward button or by pressing the TAB key)
    snappy and sticky windows that always stay on top and neatly align themselves to other windows
    more hotkeys for even less mouse-clicking
    support for 32 bit graphics
    support for right-to-left languages
    support for other (sized) fonts where the user interface scales based on the font and translation

    OpenTTD Changelog:
    Feature: [GS] Ability to set some extra text in the industry window (#8576)
    Feature: Show rainforest under vegetation on smallmap (#8562)
    Feature: Automatically determine window size on new install (#8536)
    Feature: Towns can build tunnels (#8473)
    Feature: Make maximum length of town bridges depend on population (with a minimum limit of 4) (#8439)
    Feature: New icons for renaming and go-to-location on GUI windows, and improve consistency of usage (#8455)
    Feature: Support for ARM64 on Apple Silicon and Windows (#8340, #8577, #8583)
    Feature: Add an option to disable tree growth completely (#8415)
    Feature: Support for Emscripten (play-OpenTTD-in-the-browser!) (#8355)
    Feature: Show group name as part of the default vehicle name (#8307)
    Feature: "Frozen" economy setting that stops production changes and industry closures (#8282)
    Feature: New velocity unit "tiles/day" (#8278)
    Feature: Option to automatically remove signals when placing rail (#8274)
    Feature: Increase max possible distance from border for oil refineries and rigs (#8237)
    Feature: Improve tree planting window, and allow planting 'clumps' of trees by dragging in the scenario editor (#8234)
    Feature: Indian Rupee (INR) currency (#8136)
    Feature: [GS] Ability to give a company exclusive access to an industry (#8115)
    Feature: Hotkeys for Land Info window, News window & close error window (#8053, #8266)
    Feature: Improve rendering of large viewports (#7962)
    Feature: [GS] Influence industry production changes from GameScript (#7912)
    Feature: [GS] Push-buttons on storybook pages (#7896)
    Feature: Option to group vehicle lists by shared orders (#7028)
    Feature: Drag-and-drop vehicles in group GUI for shared order groups (#7028)
    Add: [GS] A tile parameter to GSCompany::ChangeBankBalance for showing changes more visually (#8573)
    Add: [NewGRF] Allow NewGRF vehicles to query the current rail/road/tram ...
    by Published on January 11th, 2021 22:28
    1. Categories:
    2. Apple News,
    3. PC News,
    4. Android News,
    5. Apple iPad,
    6. Apple iPhone

    The WebAssembly portable binary format will now have wider support from Wasmer, the server-side runtime which "allows universal binaries compiled from C++, Rust, Go, Python, and other languages to run on different operating systems and in web browsers without modification," reports InfoWorld:Wasmer can run lightweight containers based on WebAssembly on a variety of platforms — Linux, MacOS, Windows, Android, iOS — from the desktop to the cloud to IoT and mobile devices, while also allowing these containers to be embedded in any programming language. The Wasmer runtime also is able to run the Nginx web server and other WebAssembly modules...

    Wasmer was introduced in December 2018, with the stated goal of doing for WebAssembly what JavaScript did for Node.js: establish it server-side. By leveraging Wasmer for containerization, developers can create universal binaries that work anywhere without modification, including on Linux, MacOS, and Windows as well as web browsers. WebAssembly automatically sandboxes applications by default for secure execution, shielding the host environment from malicious code, bugs, and vulnerabilities in the software being run.

    Wasmer 1.0 reached "general availability status" with its release on January 5, and its developers are now claiming "out of this world" runtime and compiler performance.

    "We believe that WebAssembly will be a crucial component for the future of software execution and containerization (not only inside the browser but also outside)."

    https://news.slashdot.org/story/21/01/10/0242244/wasmer-10-can-run-webassembly-universal-binaries-on-linux-macos-windows-android-and-ios ...
    by Published on January 11th, 2021 22:25
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News

    "With the runaway success of the new ARM-based M1 Macs, non-x86 architectures are getting their closeup," explains a new article at ZDNet.

    "RISC-V is getting the most attention from system designers looking to horn-in on Apple's recipe for high performance. Here's why..."RISC-V is, like x86 and ARM, an instruction set architecture (ISA). Unlike x86 and ARM, it is a free and open standard that anyone can use without getting locked into someone else's processor designs or paying costly license fees...

    Reaching the end of Moore's Law, we can't just cram more transistors on a chip. Instead, as Apple's A and M series processors show, adding specialized co-processors — for codecs, encryption, AI — to fast general-purpose RISC CPUs can offer stunning application performance and power efficiency. But a proprietary ISA, like ARM, is expensive. Worse, they typically only allow you to use that ISA's hardware designs, unless, of course, you're one of the large companies — like Apple — that can afford a top-tier license and a design team to exploit it. A canned design means architects can't specify tweaks that cut costs and improve performance. An open and free ISA, like RISC-V, eliminates a lot of this cost, giving small companies the ability to optimize their hardware for their applications. As we move intelligence into ever more cost-sensitive applications, using processors that cost a dollar or less, the need for application and cost-optimized processors is greater than ever...

    While open operating systems, like Linux, get a lot of attention, ISAs are an even longer-lived foundational technology. The x86 ISA dates back 50 years and today exists as a layer that gets translated to a simpler — and faster — underlying hardware architecture. (I suspect this fact is key to the success of the macOS Rosetta 2 translation from x86 code to Apple's M1 code.)

    Of course, an open ISA is only part of the solution. Free standard hardware designs — with tools to design more — and smart compilers to generate optimized code are vital. That larger project is what Berkeley's Adept Lab is working on. As computing continues to permeate civilization, the cost of sub-optimal infrastructure will continue to rise.

    Optimizing for efficiency, long-life, and broad application is vital for humanity's progress in a cyber-enabled world.

    One RISC-V feature highlighted by the article: 128-bit addressing (in addition to 32 and 64 bit).

    https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/21/01/10/2020208/rediscovering-risc-v-apple-m1-sparks-renewed-interest-in-non-x86-architecture ...
    by Published on January 11th, 2021 22:23
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News

    Mozilla developers plan to remove support for using the Backspace key as a Back button inside Firefox. From a report:The change is currently active in the Firefox Nightly version and is expected to go live in Firefox 86, scheduled to be released next month, in late February 2021. The removal of the Backspace key as a navigational element didn't come out of the blue. It was first proposed back in July 2014, in a bug report opened on Mozilla's bug tracker. At the time, Mozilla engineers argued that many users who press the Backspace key don't always mean to navigate to the previous page (the equivalent of pressing the Back button).

    https://news.slashdot.org/story/21/0...as-back-button
    ...
    by Published on January 8th, 2021 16:41
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News

    Ootake v3.00 is released. Ootake is a PC Engine emulator for Windows. Ootake is the most frequently updated PC Engine emulator available for windows, and Ootake is also one of the more complete. Also, Ootake is FREE unlike Magic Engine.

    Ootake v3.00 Changelog::
    - When playing a game in Full-Screen on Windows10/8.1/8/7/Vista, fixed a bug
    that the dialog to open the ROM image file ([O] key or "File-> Open" menu)
    was not displayed. *This is the only change, so if you are using Windows
    XP, you can leave v2.99 as it is.


    http://www.ouma.jp/ootake/

    http://www.emucr.com/2021/01/ootake-v300.html ...
    by Published on January 8th, 2021 16:19
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News

    Microsoft is making a big change to its Windows 10 taskbar soon, with the addition of a news and weather widget. The Verge reports:
    The new feature is available to testers today, and it will allow Windows 10 users to access a feed of news, stocks, and weather information straight from the taskbar. You'll be able to quickly glance at the weather without having to open the Start menu, install a third-party app, or check online. The taskbar feature will pop out into a mini feed of content that can be personalized with the latest sports news, headlines, and weather information. Microsoft is using its Microsoft News network to surface news and content from more than 4,500 sources. The company has been curating this through artificial intelligence in recent months, and this particular feature will also learn what news is relevant to you when you dismiss or like stories in the feed.


    This new taskbar feature will also require Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge to be installed on a PC. That means any link you click within the feature will force you into Edge to read it, and Microsoft is presenting content in the reading view by default. You can of course disable this new taskbar feature, and Microsoft says it will be an ad-free experience.

    https://tech.slashdot.org/story/21/0...nd-news-widget ...
    by Published on January 8th, 2021 13:27
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News
    Article Preview

    Epic Games isn't stopping their trend of giving games away anytime soon, going by what they have on offer for next week. Star Wars: Battlefront II's Celebration Edition is set to be the latest giveaway game on Epic's launcher, starting later this month. EA and DICE's 2017 shooter has been under much controversy and criticism since even before launch, due to the game's lootbox mechanics, which were removed and later refined to not impact gameplay. You can grab the game when it becomes available for free on January 14th.

    Currently, Crying Suns is the free game on tap from Epic--a tactical roguelite game that considers itself as "FTL meets Dune". It's normally priced at $24.99, and can be gotten for free until January 14th.

    Source
    Star Wars: Battlefront II will be free next week on the Epic Games Store | GBAtemp.net - The Independent Video Game Community ...
    by Published on January 3rd, 2021 11:58
    1. Categories:
    2. Apple News,
    3. PC News,
    4. Sega Game Gear News,
    5. Sega Master System News

    GearSystem v3.2.0 is released. GearSystem is a Sega Master System / Game Gear emulator written in C++ that runs on iOS, Raspberry Pi, Mac, Windows and Linux. The main focus of this emulator is readability of source code with very high compatibility.


    Features:
    - Highly accurate Z80 core.
    - Multi-Mapper support: SEGA, Codemasters, and ROM only cartridges.
    - External RAM support with save files.
    - Automatic region detection: NTSC-JAP, NTSC-USA, PAL-EUR.
    - SMS2 only 224 mode support.
    - Internal database for rom detection.
    - Sound emulation using SDL Audio and Sms_Snd_Emu library.
    - Integrated disassembler. It can dump the full disassembled memory to a text file or access it in real time.
    - Compressed rom support (ZIP deflate).
    - Multi platform. Runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Raspberry Pi and iOS.

    https://github.com/drhelius/Gearsystem

    http://www.emucr.com/2020/12/gearsystem-v320.html ...
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