Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams’ app reportedly raises $2.5m in funding – CNET -Hexbyte Glen Cove News

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams’ app reportedly raises $2.5m in funding – CNET -Hexbyte Glen Cove News

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News Belfast Premiere for Game of Thrones Maisie Williams

Maisie Williams’ app Daisie has reportedly hit 100,000 users and raised $2.5 million from investors.


Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO via Getty

The artists’ collaboration app created by Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams and film producer Dom Santry has reportedly raised $2.5 million in seed funding and hit the 100,000 user milestone.

Daisie’s funding round was led by Founder’s Fund, which kicked in $1.5 million, TechCrunch reported on Monday. In total, Daisie has now raised around $3 million, the report said.

Daisie is a social-networking style app-based community designed to “make it easier and better” for people to enter the creative industry and collaborate on projects, according to Williams and Santry.

“Daisie is … providing creators with everything they need to make their ideas happen,” the website’s About page says. “Nurturing fresh visions, incredible collaborations, total creativity and a diverse and positive community.”

Its categories include film, music, fashion, photography, art, literature, design, makeup, digital, gaming and stage.

Daisie’s 100,000 users are mainly located in London, TechCrunch said.

Daisie was officially launched earlier this month, on May 8, after being released in private beta back in August 2018. Within 24 hours, 35,000 creators had signed up for early access.

It’s available on iOS and desktop.

Daisie didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Mirrorless Users Will Switch Back to DSLRs, Ricoh Executive Claims -Hexbyte Glen Cove News

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Mirrorless Users Will Switch Back to DSLRs, Ricoh Executive Claims -Hexbyte Glen Cove News

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A Post By: Jaymes Dempsey

Imaging Resource recently released an interview with a group of executives from Ricoh, the company that produces Pentax cameras.

When discussion turned to mirrorless cameras versus DSLRs – and decreasing DSLR sales – things got especially interesting.

Said Hiroki Sugahara, General Manager of the Marketing Communication Department:

Currently, mirrorless is a newcomer, so of course many users are very interested in the new systems, they want to use [them]. But after one or two years, some users who changed their system from DSLR to mirrorless [will] come back to the DSLR again.

When questioned by the interviewer, Sugahara further explained:

The mirrorless camera is very convenient to shoot, because users can [preview the final] image before shooting. But I believe the DSLR has its own appealing point, because users can create their own image from the optical viewfinder. People can see the beautiful image through the optical viewfinder, and then think how they can create their pictures–for example, exposure level setting or white balance or ISO [sensitivity]–and then imagine how they can get [the result they’re seeking].

Sugahara concluded:

So the DSLR market is currently decreasing a little bit, but one year or two years or three years later, it will [begin] getting higher.

Could Sugahara be right? Might DSLRs soon be making a comeback?

Personally, I don’t think so. While some people do follow the latest trends, mirrorless cameras have the specs to back up their popularity: they’re lightweight, they’re compact, and they produce top-notch images. And mirrorless systems will just keep getting more and more appealing, as electronic viewfinders improve and mirrorless lens-lineups expand.

Of course, there are reasons to stick with a DSLR. For one, DSLRs tend to be more rugged than mirrorless cameras. And electronic viewfinders can have lag issues. But mirrorless technology is improving, and how many photographers will switch back to DSLRs for a more rugged body?

Not to mention the questionable reasoning employed by Sugahara. Sure, the occasional photographer may not be happy with an electronic viewfinder. But will photographers really prefer the greater challenge provided by a DSLR optical viewfinder, as Sugahara seems to be implying? In my experience, capturing stunning photos is hard enough. Photographers won’t want to make it harder on themselves.

What do you think? Will DSLRs rebound? Or is mirrorless the system of the future?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News Mirrorless Users Will Switch Back to DSLRs, Ricoh Executive Claims

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Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Tips to Take Better Photos in Direct Sunlight [video] -Hexbyte Glen Cove News

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Tips to Take Better Photos in Direct Sunlight [video] -Hexbyte Glen Cove News

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A Post By: Caz Nowaczyk

Sometimes, as photographers, we don’t always have the luxury of shooting in the lovely early morning/late afternoon light. We just have to shoot in the middle of the day where the harshest light of the direct sun exists.

In this video by Peter McKinnon, he shares his tricks on how to take better photos in direct sunlight so you don’t end up with a bunch of photos that are super-contrasty and leave your model with harsh shadows around their eyes etc.

1. Bounce the light

You could use a reflector or bounce card. Consider using natural reflectors such as light-colored concrete. Concrete acts as a natural reflector for the sun.

2. Diffuse the light

Have someone hold a diffuser in the line of the light source coming from the sun. This will defuse the harshness of the direct sun and soften it on your subject’s face.

Find areas of shade and if

3. Use the shadows to your advantage

If you don’t have a diffuser or a friend to hold one for you and you just have to shoot in the direct sunlight, take advantage of the shadows.

Find great spots (like a staircase) that have interesting patterned shadows to create interesting effects on your subject.

4. Move your model around

Keep in mind the direction your model is facing. Have them move around, and watch how the sunlight hits their face. Have them move until you get the most flattering/even light.

You may also find the following helpful:

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News Tips to Take Better Photos in Direct Sunlight

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Caz Nowaczyk
– the dPS Managing Editor, lives in Wollongong, Australia and has worked as a photographer, filmmaker, and designer in her business, Exposure Arts and Media, for 15 years. Her background extends to Digital Content Management, and Editorial Design. In her spare time, she composes music as Dreamgirl and the Motorist. Since the age of 12, she knew she would be a photographer – the other stuff came as a surprise!

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Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News How to Achieve Cool Urban Cityscapes -Hexbyte Glen Cove News

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News How to Achieve Cool Urban Cityscapes -Hexbyte Glen Cove News

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Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News

Cool Urban Landscapes through post-processing

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Creating an emotional response

How you present your images can really affect one’s emotional response to them. Certain styles of image lend themselves to stylistic changes because they can create a specific emotional response when the viewer sees them. For example, film-based black and white images, when done well, present a sense of timelessness and can make things seem more serious. Similarly, high dynamic range images (HDR), when done well, can add “pop” to landscape photography. One particular style of image that lends itself to stylized treatments through post-processing is urban landscapes. Particularly if you are trying to make an already interesting image look more appealing based upon the lighting already present.

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News

Crushed black and blown highlights on a street scene

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Gritting and moody

Similar to black and white images, a high-contrast, selectively saturated look works well to create urban landscapes with a gritty and moody feel.

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Using filters for effect

Nowadays, smartphone and some consumer cameras, have a great deal of pre-packaged stylistic treatments available that you can apply to photographs to try to evoke an emotional response. Someone, somewhere, has spent a great deal of time creating those filters to make your images feel as though they are from a different time or place.

For example, the classic 1970s snapshot look is full of color shifts and light leaks. They were common at that time because of the use of unstable film stocks and cheap cameras. Digital cameras don’t suffer the same issues that were present at that time. So, to simulate these conditions, adding light leaks and color shifts can make images feel vintage. There are many filters out there – each with their own effects.

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Lit up Las Vegas

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Make your own filters

To put the idea of emotional response to images in context, think about a familiar treatment that you are probably already aware of: black and white images. These photographs are rarely just images with the color drained. Good black and white images are contrast-rich with deep blacks and bright whites. The grey middle ground of many images can lose their impact when drained of color. Many black and white films had specific response curves that created the contrast-rich images. So now, with digitally-captured images that are black and white, they can appear a little sterile and plain. Adding high-contrast effects and grain to simulate film black and white tends to create an emotional response and mood.

To improve as a photographer, most people start, at some point, to try to take a more artistic approach to their images. Many newer photographers may start with simple prepackaged filters and presets, and apply them to their images. Currently, there is no end to the filters available in pretty much any photo sharing application and many cameras. From terms like “cool,” “50s,” “vintage,” and “grunge,” all these filters are stylizing the image for an emotional effect. Instagram was built on filters. People are very used to stylized images.

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Old Montreal

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Creating your own style

Becoming a better photographer involves the deliberate use of styles to create your desired effect. You may find there are particular filters you gravitate towards; styles that evoke an emotional response you like.

This is the beginning of finding your own style of image making. As you advance, you might explore manipulating images with Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Skylum Luminar or some similar program.

When you get to the point where you are working with and creating your own filters, you create your style. You can start by playing with filters or dissect other photographer’s images that you really like to see if you can recreate that style.

Surprisingly, creating set styles in many photo imaging software packages is quite easy. It allows you to recreate your style and apply it repeatedly to multiple images.

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Notre Dame in Montreal

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Create your filter

Let’s consider the urban, gritty look for urban landscapes.

Here are two treatments of the same image, split for comparison. On the right is the Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC) jpeg and on the right is the treatment with the blacks crushed, highlights blown, oranges highlighted and an almost selective color approach.

It is easy to create for yourself with whatever tweaks you like to create a style for yourself.

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Comparison of straight out of the camera to the final product

A word of warning is necessary at this point. When you start stylizing your images with intentionally weird effects, you may generate some negative comments from people who don’t like the look you create. This does not mean you have failed to create something interesting. However, it means you have generated an emotional response to your image by someone who doesn’t care for that look.

Remember that some people find that they can only validate their work by diminishing others. Whereas, most find growth in encouraging others to take risks with their art. A true artist picks their vision and follows it. Sometimes it can be a bumpy road if you are only expecting validation from others.

It is important at some time for you to consider yourself an artist and not just a recorder of images.

All art is about creating an emotional response. Beyond capturing a moment, it is how that moment makes you feel. Emotional responses can be positive or negative.

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Atwater Market in Montreal

It turns out this crushed-blacks, blown highlights, contrasty, desaturated, and the almost selective color look isn’t that tough to create for yourself. However, for this particular effect, you may do some damage to your photos by intentionally making some parts too black and other parts too bright.

So let’s look at the images I think work for this type of treatment. Shots typically taken at dusk/night, with artificial illumination present, add interesting artistic character for the urban landscapes shot.

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Use a Raw Image Processor or Lightroom

I use Adobe Camera Raw to do most of the edits to these images, but you can use Lightroom or any image processing software to create a similar style. My suggestion is you modify and tweak it to your liking to get the desired effect.  The tools are similar, but just in different places. Also, even though I process these images with a raw converter, you don’t have to use a RAW image (although that is always the best starting point) and can use a JPEG or DNG file.  The treatment will look very similar.

To start, open your image with the raw converter.

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Opening up the Raw Processor

With your raw converter, you have access to many parameters that act globally on your image.

Change the sliders as shown on the panel below.

Specifically, you want to make sure you have the desired white balance (it may be fine from what your camera selected, or you may want to resample).  You want to up the Contrast hard, more than you probably have done previously to make those hard edges at the light and dark parts of your image. You then do two things that seem contrary – you are going to pull the details out of the shadows (increase the Shadow slider) and make the Blacks blacker (crushing the blacks).

Finally, boosting the Clarity increases the midtone contrasts, boosting the Vibrance boosts the midtone colors and toning down the Saturation prevents them from looking too candy-colored.

Here’s my panel for example:

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Adjustments for the effect

Once you have made a look that you like the effect of, you can make this a repeatable look by creating a user preset.

Switch to the presets tab and then make a new preset.

You will be prompted to add a preset name. Pick something relevant to your style and save it. Next time you pull up an image (or multiple images) in your raw processor, you can simply highlight them all and apply the presets at once.

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How to save the effect

A lot of these settings may cause parts of your image to clip. The crushed blacks mean that much of the detail in the blacks disappear. The boosted colors lead to clipped highlights. However, in the end, that’s okay because that is the desired effect.

Here’s a Pro-Tip: All those presets you can buy for Lightroom and Photoshop essentially do a version of this. You can create those presets if you have the time and the inclination to do it yourself. By doing it yourself, you create an image style that appeals to you.

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Edmonton Skyline

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Conclusion

Art is about evoking an emotion. Sometimes photographers try too hard to make an image that looks too lifelike and loses emotional impact. You can create urban landscape images that are moody and gritty by making them dark with blasted colors and blown highlights. It also opens doors to other types of manipulations used for images warranting other types of emotional reactions.

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Old building in the Westmount area of Montreal

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Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News How to Achieve Cool Urban Cityscapes

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Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired Essential PS4 Games Every Player Should Try

Hexbyte Tech News Wired Essential PS4 Games Every Player Should Try

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

Crawl dungeons, hunt dinosaurs, and learn to be a dad with our favorite PlayStation 4 games.
We may be approaching the release of Sony’s next PlayStation, but the PS4 isn’t going anywhere. This generation’s top-selling console is home to a rather vast library of excellent big budget and indie games. We don’t have the words or pages to list them all, but we’ve highlighted a few of the absolute best PS4 games available today. Every player has their preferences, but these titles are worth some time no matter what kind of gamer you are. Be sure to check out our list of the best PS4 accessories and best gaming headsets, as well. Updated for Summer 2019: We’ve added some of the latest releases and a few classics.


(Note: When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Read more about how this works.)

Risk and Reward

From Software

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a lot of things: It’s gorgeous, challenging, an homage to one of From Software’s earliest games. But more than anything, it’s a game of brutal beauty. Set against the backdrop of feudal Japan, you take on the role of Wolf, a shinobi who cannot die. Well, you’ll die a lot, actually—but you come back! This is a game built around the tension of confrontation. When do you draw your sword and when do you sneak past opponents? What do you do when you have no choice but to fight? These are the questions Sekiro seeks to answer.

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Activision

With Great Power…

Sony

Marvel’s Spider-Man

Open-world games are a dime a dozen, but if you just need something to scratch that itch, Spider-Man is easily among the best ever. Wrapping its broad, if occasionally dull, open world in all the energy and verve of the best Spider-Man storytelling in any media, Insomniac’s latest is an impressive and engaging bit of superheroic fun. Swinging around NYC on precarious threads of webbing has never felt so good, and Spider-Man’s relationships—to his city, to Mary Jane Watson, to his nemeses—have never been as compelling as they are here.

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Sony

Colossal Classic

Sony

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus is one of the best games ever made, period, and if you’ve never played it you owe it to yourself to check out this remaster. Set in a barren, beautiful wasteland, SOTC makes drama out of minimalism, combining action-adventure gameplay with a series of breathtaking and harrowing boss encounters. Books have been written about how brilliant this game is, and the remaster renders it all in an enhanced graphical style. Purists may prefer the original, but if you’ve never played either, there’s no good reason not to grab this one.

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Sony

Couch Co-Op

Asteroid Base

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is one of the most frantic, frenetic multiplayer co-op games around. Up to four players (no online play, sadly) work together to pilot and defend a circular spaceship from hordes of baddies. It’s your job to explore the galaxy to rescue kidnapped “space-bunnies” and defeat the forces of “anti-love.” It’s a goofy story that fits with Spacetime‘s beautiful neon colors, but don’t let the look fool you—this is a tough 2-D game. Your teamwork will be tested as you each run between stations to man the engine, shield, four guns, map, and special attack cannon.

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Asteroid Base

Team Player

Blizzard

Overwatch

Three years after release, Overwatch is still one of the most popular games to hit PS4. It even has a professional esports league build around it, and for good reason: It’s a game that has managed to capture some of the character-based zaniness of something like Super Smash Bros. while adding in addictive team-based play. Every character has unique skills and weapons, and every match has a different goal, like capturing a flag or guiding a tank through a map to safety. Blizzard continually adds new characters, maps, and modes, making it as good a time as ever to jump in and be a hero.

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Blizzard

City Sim

Paradox Interactive

Cities: Skylines

EA’s SimCity franchise has struggled in the last decade, and Swedish publisher Paradox Interactive thought the idea was worth another shot. Cities: Skylines plays almost exactly like SimCity, but with more realism. Skylines simulates things like traffic congestion and mass transit lines incredibly well, which is fun to watch, and occasionally maddening as mayor. Even though it’s complex, it feels as natural to build cities on a controller as it does a mouse and keyboard, and that’s impressive.

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Paradox Interactive

Big Swords, Bigger Food

Capcom

Monster Hunter: World

If you’ve ever wanted to fight a dinosaur with a giant sword made out of its own bones, you should give Monster Hunter: World a try. In the latest incarnation of this beloved series you are a Monster Hunter exploring the wild unknowns of the New World, hunting gigantic monsters for “research” … and loot, of course! There are also cat-people who make you truly enormous platters of improbably large food before every expedition. Seriously. They even dance while they do it.

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Capcom

Spirited Away

Sony

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

This is a game without weapon-toggling, shooting, or even running. In it, you walk around a lifelike British Village and try to figure out why all the people are gone. Clues are all around, and you can experience the story at your own pace, in your own way. Rapture isn’t for every gamer, but according to our review, if you let it, it “may leave you a little different than when you found it.”

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Sony

Anime Adventures

Atlus

Persona 5

Persona 5 is a uniquely bizarre game, and it’s even weirder if you’ve never played a Persona game. In short, it’s a Japanese RPG about a normal teenager and his abnormal life. Alongside taking part-time jobs, and worrying about girls, you’ll spend your time in the supernatural metaverse breaking into the psyches of dangerous criminals and changing their hearts with arcane magic and the help of a talking cat. You know, normal high school stuff. It’s like playing your way through a quirky high school anime or manga series with the slick visuals to match.

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Atlus

Super Dad

Sony

God of War

This might be the dadliest game ever made. It’s a story about Norse legends, grappling with a personal history of violence, and a father trying to raise a son. Admittedly, this game, with its scenes of intense violence, is not for everyone. But M-rating aside, you’ll find a lush action game built with a surprising amount of heart in Sony Santa Monica’s God of War.

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Sony

Tetris Evolved

Enhance Games

Lumines Remastered

Lumines got its start on the ill-fated PlayStation Portable, and had a sequel on Vita. Those are two reasons you may not have have played it, and if you haven’t, you’ve missed out. Lumines Remastered comes from the developer behind cult classics Rez and Child of Eden. It plays like a clever twist on Tetris, demanding that you group like-colored blocks together in time for a line to come and erase them. Think of it as a classic game with a fresh coat of HD paint, all set to a groovy techno beat.

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Enhance Games

Horror Masterpiece

Capcom

Resident Evil 2

The original Resident Evil 2 was the first survival horror game I (Jess Grey) ever played. I spent countless nights hunched over the controller, heart thundering in my chest. I think I even cried the first time I ever saw the Licker (a skinless monster-man with claws for hands and a whip-like tongue) crawling across the ceiling at me. The modern remake is a loving recreation of these delightfully horrifying moments, with updated visuals and gameplay. It’s a head-to-toe remake of the game in the best way. This is a modern classic, regardless if you played the original.

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Capcom

Mansion Mystery

Annapurna Interactive

What Remains of Edith Finch

What Remains of Edith Finch (WIRED review) is a bit like Gone Home. It’s another game where you walk around a creepy home and try to piece together a mystery. It’s oddly chilling and more cinematic than some of its peers, offering unconventional flashbacks that act as minigames, letting you interact with the past in peculiar ways. If you haven’t played a game like this, it’s not a massive investment. You can plow through the story in a few hours, but try to take your time. You won’t regret it.

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Annapurna Interactive

Lost In Space

Hello Games

No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky is astonishing, endlessly vast, and controversial. Because it had limited gameplay at launch, it was easy to kvetch about everything that was left out. But since then, developer Hello Games has worked tirelessly to add depth to that world, letting players build bases and work together with friends. It’s far from perfect, but it’s continually updating and this unique title is definitely worth a look.

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Hello Games

Dungeon Defeater

Motion Twin

Dead Cells

Roaring wildly out of the gates, Dead Cells is an infinite combustion engine, all energy and power and motion. A roguelike in the vein of Spelunky, it’s one of the most accessible and entrancing games in its genre. The premise is simple: wake up in a prison cell as an undead warrior. Get a weapon. Get out. Keep going. Each death is another opportunity to delve deeper into the gnarled web of crypts, sewers, and rooftops that make up the prison colony you’re trying to escape, and the path is thick with monstrosities and obstacles. There are a lot of action games that feel and look like Dead Cells. But few play like this.

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Motion Twin

Robot Raptors

Sony

Horizon Zero Dawn

Ever wondered what the world would be like if it was filled with robot animals? In Horizon Zero Dawn you’re a hunter and an outcast sneaking and fighting robotic creatures in a vast open world. It’s an outstanding third-person adventure set in a post-apocalyptic world, and one of the best single-player PS4 exclusives bar none. Even better, it’s not a sequel to anything. It’s a creation all its own by developer Guerilla Games—and if you own a PS4 Pro, it does a good job showcasing the upgraded system’s graphical prowess.

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Sony

Difficult Decisions

Square Enix

Life Is Strange

Tired of shooting baddies? Life Is Strange is a fresh take on the adventure game genre. You play a young girl in a new school who’s trying to uncover a threatening mystery and do the right thing. The decisions you make greatly affect the narrative, as does how you use her secret power. Thanks to the game’s multiple award wins and strong sales, a sequel was greenlit and is now coming out in episodes, making it a perfect time to catch up on the story.

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Square Enix

Left Behind

Sony

The Last of Us Remastered

The Last of Us looks like your typical post-apocalyptic zombie game, and in some ways it is, but it’s also deeper than that. It tells the story of a teenage girl who grew up in the ruins of the world, and the man who takes her across the US to safety. It builds a world better than most games and the remastered version also comes with the Left Behind campaign that made waves a few years ago by shifting the game’s focus to its female protagonist.

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Sony

Plagued

Sony

Bloodborne

A bloody weapon, an army of horrendous monsters, and one very bad night. Bloodborne is possibly the best game made in the vein of Dark Souls. It’s a spiritual successor that takes what worked about the original—ultra-hard combat, ingenuous storytelling, atmosphere oozing out of all corners—and weds it with unspeakable cosmic horror. There’s a little Lovecraft in here, and a little Mary Shelley, and a little Bram Stoker. And a lot of genius.

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Sony

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Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired 5G Is Coming, and It’s Fortified With Fiber

Hexbyte Tech News Wired 5G Is Coming, and It’s Fortified With Fiber

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

The next generation of wireless tech, 5G, promises a frictionless future: We’ll be able to do whatever we do on our phones much, much faster, and more devices can come online without slowing down the works. Self-driving cars, smart meters that track electricity usage, and health-monitoring devices may all take a big leap from childhood to adolescence.

5G will happen in the airy realm of radio waves. To get there, big telecoms have to harness underused parts of the spectrum. But there’s another crucial part underlying this system: lowly cable. Huge numbers of new transmitters will be needed to relay all that data to your phone, and many of those transmitters will still connect to the internet through fiber-optic cable—glass as thin as strands of hair carrying pulses of light.

To make it all work, companies, including OFS Optics, a fiber-optics and cable company, are now being commissioned to produce millions of miles of new cable holding twice as many fiber pairs—two strands, one for the uplink and one for the downlink—as the old stuff.

LEARN MORE

The WIRED Guide to 5G

In each cable are the glass fibers, which are unspooled using a device called a payoff machine. At OFS, these machines are massive—6 feet tall, 25 feet long, and 4 feet wide. Color coding lets technicians know which fibers to splice when connecting two cables. When displayed on giant bobbins at the OFS cable factory in Carrollton, Georgia, the fibers create an unintentional artist’s palette of yellow, coral, aqua, forest green, and gray. The glass fibers are then laced through weather-resistant buffer tubes and swaddled in strong synthetic aramid yarn to protect the inner workings. The final step of production involves applying a black sheath made of durable polyethylene. A finished fiber-optic cable can be up to 30,000 feet long, or more than 5 miles.

Out in the world, these cables may be draped along utility poles or hidden in shallow trenches under city streets. Enormous lengths of cable carry the internet under the oceans between continents. In those places, mostly unseen, they may one day connect your 5G-enabled device and beam you into the future.


This article appears in the June issue. Subscribe now.


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Hexbyte  News  Computers Spain: Unfinished Gaudí church gets permit after 137 years

Hexbyte News Computers Spain: Unfinished Gaudí church gets permit after 137 years

Hexbyte News Computers

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Property owners have a new yardstick by way of Spain for measuring frustration over building permit requests they suspect got lost in a local government bureaucracy.

Barcelona City Hall finally has issued a work permit for the unfinished church designed by architect Antoni Gaudí 137 years after construction started on La Sagrada Familia Basilica

The city said Friday it granted the current builders a license that is valid through 2026. The builders think that will be enough time to finish raising the landmark Roman Catholic church’s central towers.

The basilica’s first stone was laid in 1882, but Barcelona officials said there was no record showing a building permit first requested in 1885 ever was granted or rejected.

Barcelona officials said the city will be paid 4.6 million euros ($5.2 million) in fees under an agreement negotiated with a foundation devoted to completing and preserving La Sagrada Familia.

The agreement between the city and the foundation puts an end to “a historical anomaly in our city,” Barcelona official Janet Sanz.

Over 4.5 million visitors pay 17-38 euros each to tour the cathedral-sized church every year. The Barcelona government estimates 20 million tourists stand outside to marvel at the bell towers; Gaudí envisioned 12, one for each of Christ’s disciples, but they all may never get built.

When completed, work on one of the central towers that is expected to get done while the building permit is valid will make La Sagrada Familia the tallest religious structure in Europe at 172.5 meters (566 feet) tall, according to the builders.

Barcelona has the largest concentration of buildings designed by Gaudí, whose bold modernist aesthetic still inspires architects. A fervent Catholic, he dedicated much of his professional life to Sagrada Familia, for which he incorporated elements of Christian symbolism along with the organic forms he often employed.

Gaudí died in 1926 after being struck by a trolley when just one facade was complete. He is buried in the church crypt.

Ongoing construction work is based on the architect’s plaster models, and photos and publications of his original drawings, which were destroyed in a 1930s fire, according to Sagrada Familia foundation.

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Hexbyte  News  Computers The RadioInstigator: A $150 Signals Intelligence Platform Consisting of a Raspberry Pi, RPiTX, 2.4 GHz Crazyradio and an RTL-SDR

Hexbyte News Computers The RadioInstigator: A $150 Signals Intelligence Platform Consisting of a Raspberry Pi, RPiTX, 2.4 GHz Crazyradio and an RTL-SDR

Hexbyte News Computers


Circle City Con is a yearly conference that focuses on information security talks. At this years conference Josh Conway presented an interesting talk titled “SigInt for the Masses Building and Using a Signals Intelligence Platform for Less than $150”. Josh’s talk introduces his “RadioInstigator” hardware which is a combination of a Raspberry Pi, CrazyRadio and an RTL-SDR all packaged into a 3D printed enclosure with LCD screen. The idea behind the RadioInstigator is to create a portable and low cost Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) device that can be used to investigate and manipulate the security of radio signals.

The RadioInstigator makes use of the RPiTX software which allows a Raspberry Pi to transmit an arbitrary radio signal from 5 kHz up to 1500 MHz without the use of any additional transmitting hardware – just connect an antenna directly to a GPIO pin. Connected to the Pi is a CrazyRadio, which is a nRF24LU1+ based radio that can be used to receive and transmit 2.4 GHz. And of course there is an RTL-SDR for receiving every other signal. Josh has made the plans for the RadioInstigator fully open source over on GitLab.

In his talk Josh introduces the RadioInstigator, then goes on to discuss other SDR hardware, antenna concepts and software installed on the RadioInstrigator like RPiTX, GNU Radio, Universal Radio Hacker, Salamandra, TempestSDR and more.

[First seen on Hackaday]

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Track 3 07 SigInt for the Masses Building and Using a Signals Intelligence Platform for Less than 15

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Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | The Catch-22 that broke the Internet

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | The Catch-22 that broke the Internet

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica |

Hexbyte - Tech News - Ars Technica |

A Google Cloud outage that knocked huge portions of the internet offline also blocked access to the tools Google needed to fix it.

Casey Chin

Five days ago, the internet had a conniption. In broad patches around the globe, YouTube sputtered. Shopify stores shut down. Snapchat blinked out. And millions of people couldn’t access their Gmail accounts. The disruptions all stemmed from Google Cloud, which suffered a prolonged outage—which also prevented Google engineers from pushing a fix. And so, for an entire afternoon and into the night, the internet was stuck in a crippling ouroboros: Google couldn’t fix its cloud, because Google’s cloud was broken.

The root cause of the outage, as Google explained this week, was fairly unremarkable. (And no, it wasn’t hackers.) At 2:45 pm ET on Sunday, the company initiated what should have been a routine configuration change, a maintenance event intended for a few servers in one geographic region. When that happens, Google routinely reroutes jobs those servers are running to other machines, like customers switching lines at Target when a register closes. Or sometimes, importantly, it just pauses those jobs until the maintenance is over.

What happened next gets technically complicated—a cascading combination of two misconfigurations and a software bug—but had a simple upshot. Rather than that small cluster of servers blinking out temporarily, Google’s automation software descheduled network control jobs in multiple locations. Think of the traffic running through Google’s cloud like cars approaching the Lincoln Tunnel. In that moment, its capacity effectively went from six tunnels to two. The result: internet-wide gridlock.

Still, even then, everything held steady for a couple minutes. Google’s network is designed to “fail static,” which means even after a control plane has been descheduled, it can function normally for a small period of time. It wasn’t long enough. By 2:47 pm ET, this happened:

See if you can spot where Sunday’s Google Cloud outage started.

ThousandEyes

In moments like this, not all traffic fails equally. Google has automated systems in place to ensure that when it starts sinking, the lifeboats fill up in a specific order. “The network became congested, and our networking systems correctly triaged the traffic overload and dropped larger, less latency-sensitive traffic in order to preserve smaller latency-sensitive traffic flows,” wrote Google vice president of engineering Benjamin Treynor Sloss in an incident debrief, “much as urgent packages may be couriered by bicycle through even the worst traffic jam.” See? Lincoln Tunnel.

You can see how Google prioritized in the downtimes experienced by various services. According to Sloss, Google Cloud lost nearly a third of its traffic, which is why third parties like Shopify got nailed. YouTube lost 2.5 percent of views in a single hour. One percent of Gmail users ran into issues. And Google search skipped merrily along, at worst experiencing a barely perceptible slowdown in returning results.

“If I type in a search and it doesn’t respond right away, I’m going to Yahoo or something,” says Alex Henthorn-Iwane, vice president at digital experience monitoring company ThousandEyes. “So that was prioritized. It’s latency-sensitive, and it happens to be the cash cow. That’s not a surprising business decision to make on your network.” Google says that it did not prioritize its services over customers, but rather the impact Sloss noted in his blog related to each service’s ability to operate from another region.

But those decisions don’t only apply to the sites and services you saw flailing last week. In

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Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | BGP event sends European mobile traffic through China Telecom for 2 hours

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | BGP event sends European mobile traffic through China Telecom for 2 hours

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica |

THANKS, BGP. —

Improper leak to Chinese-government-owned telecom lasts up to two hours.


Hexbyte - Tech News - Ars Technica | A graphical depiction of Thursday's BGP leak.

Enlarge / A graphical depiction of Thursday’s BGP leak.

Traffic destined for some of Europe’s biggest mobile providers was misdirected in a roundabout path through the Chinese-government-controlled China Telecom on Thursday, in some cases for more than two hours, an Internet-monitoring service reported. It’s the latest event to stoke concerns about the security of the Internet’s global routing system, known as the Border Gateway Protocol.

The incident started around 9:43am UTC on Thursday (2:43am California time). That’s when AS21217, the autonomous system belonging to Switzerland-based data center colocation company Safe Host, improperly updated its routers to advertise it was the proper path to reach what eventually would become more than 70,000 Internet routes comprising an estimated 368 million IP addresses. China Telecom’s AS4134, which struck a network peering arrangement with Safe Host in 2017, almost immediately echoed those routes rather than dropping them, as proper BGP filtering practices dictate. In short order, a large number of big networks that connect to China Telecom began following the route.

The result: much of the traffic destined for telecommunications providers using the affected IP addresses passed through China Telecom equipment before either being sent to their final stop or being dropped during long waits caused by the roundabout paths. Traceroutes taken by Doug Madory, a security analyst at Oracle who first reported the leak, show just how circuitous the paths were. The following screenshot shows traffic starting at a Google Cloud server in Virginia passing through China Telecom’s backbone network before finally reaching its intended IP address located in Vienna, Austria.

A second screenshot shows a similar route between an Oracle data center in Toronto and an affected IP address in France.

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | Leak or hijacking?

It’s not clear if the mishap was an accidental leak or at least in some part an intentional hijacking. Some of the affected IP address blocks were smaller and more specific than those listed in legitimate announcements. Besides increasing the likelihood the modified announcement overrides the legitimate ones, the more specific routes may indicate use of route optimizers, which are designed to improve network traffic but can sometimes inadvertently result in the kind of route leaks seen on Thursday. What’s more, Safe Host is widely regarded as a trustworthy provider making it unlikely its faulty announcement was made intentionally.

On the other hand, China Telecom has a habit of accepting and propagating BGP announcements that later turn out to be improper. Last November, for instance, when a major African ISP updated tables in the Internet’s global routing system to improperly declare that its AS37282 was the proper path to reach 212 IP prefixes belonging to Google, the Chinese telecom accepted the route and announced it worldwide. The event intermittently made Google’s search and other services unavailable to many users and also caused problems for Spotify and other Google cloud customers.

China Telecom has been especially suspect since last November, when Oracle’s Madory reported that it improperly misdirected big chunks of Internet traffic through its backbone for more than two years. As a result, traffic passing from California to Washington DC often traveled to Shanghai first. That incident involved China Telecom incorrectly handling the routing announcements of AS703, Verizon’s Asia-Pacific autonomous system.

“It’s hard to say definitively,” Rob Ragan, a principal security researcher at security consultancy Bishop Fox, told Ars in assessing whether Thursday’s routing incident was intentional. “It’s suspicious. Either way, that’s not good.”

Much of today’s Internet traffic is encrypted and that makes it difficu

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