Xbox boss Phil Spencer has commented extensively for the first time on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the planned launch of Xbox Series X later this year and more. Speaking to IGN, Spencer said he wants people to know that first and foremost, the safety and security of its teams is what is most important to him during this time of crisis.
"The thing I'm going to put front and center is the safety and security of the team," Spencer said. "There is no decision that I will make, or frankly anybody at Microsoft would even ask me to make, that would compromise the safety and security of the teams for a near-term financial or product gain. The teams are the most important thing."
Pragmatically, Spencer said he has observed that the supply chains in China have "started to come back," which would enable the parts to be assembled for Xbox Series X for launch this holiday.Continue Reading at GameSpot
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's next Spirit Board event is themed around Animal Crossing, Nintendo has announced. The event kicks off at 11 PM PT on April 2 and adds four new Spirits from the recently released Animal Crossing: New Horizons to the game.
Spirits based on the major new characters introduced in New Horizons--Flick, CJ, Daisy Mae, and Orville & Wilbur--will appear on the Spirit Board at certain times during the event. On top of that, all of Smash Bros. Ultimate's previous Animal Crossing Spirits will also be featured periodically throughout the event, giving you a much better chance of encountering them.
The Animal Crossing Spirit Board event runs until 11 PM PT on April 7. You can learn more about the event on Nintendo's website.Continue Reading at GameSpot
As the US and other countries mobilize to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, more and more people are finding themselves stuck at home these days, effectively ending normal social interactions with friends and loved ones unless they live with you. Because of this, online games and platforms like Netflix Party have become crucial links to friends and family, and one 2015 PC game is even helping people have virtual board game nights with friends they can't meet with in person.
Tabletop Simulator has been around for years, but it feels even more needed right now. The indie game from developer Berserk Games allows you to play digital versions of board games in a player-driven physics sandbox, with classics like chess, poker, and dominoes included in the base version. You can also create your own digital board games with Tabletop Simulator, which lets you import custom assets, automate games with scripting, and more. And players have done just that, with thousands of fan-created board games and card games available in the Steam Tabletop Simulator workshop that you can play for free.
Berserk Games has also partnered with some board game publishers to create official DLC for Tabletop Simulator, and there are currently 41 games available as DLC, including some of our all-time favorites like Blood Rage, Scythe, and Wingspan.Continue Reading at GameSpot
Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Bunny Day event revolves around collecting eggs in a variety of ways, and while you can eat them like fruit, their primary purpose is to be used in crafting. If you're able to craft all of the new items from the event, Zipper T. Bunny promises a special gift of some sort, so there's a reason to make even items you may not care for.
There are a ton of new DIY recipes you'll earn during the course of the event, and they all call for the use of eggs. But how do you get recipes, and which ones are there to collect? We've assembled some tips on where to find recipes and amassed a list of every one we've seen so far so you can cross-reference with your own crafting list and see how many you might still need to hunt down.
Much like eggs, recipes are acquired in a number of ways that mostly align with regular activities. You'll want to scavenge your beaches each day, as you may find a special message-in-a-bottle with a recipe inside. Likewise, your neighbors may have some to share--if one of them excitedly approaches you, be sure to chat with them. You'll make their day and potentially get something to show for it.Continue Reading at GameSpot
With all of the visually stunning games on the way this year, such as Resident Evil 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, upgrading your PC can sound rather enticing, especially now that most of us are stuck inside. Over the past couple of weeks, Newegg has had a number of great deals that help with that, and their latest is one of the best. The Gigabyte RTX 2070 8GB is currently $380 with promo code 4NFJSPC54.
The RTX 2070 is great for 1440p gaming and shines at 1080p, especially if you're looking for frame rates that exceed 60 FPS. I currently have a comparable RTX 2070 and run the vast majority of games at High to Ultra settings at 1440p with frame rates ranging from 60-144 FPS. Of course, performance will vary based on the rest of your PC's hardware. Gigabyte's RTX 2070 features three DisplayPort outputs and a fourth for HDMI, so make sure you have the appropriate cables if you're looking to hook up multiple monitors.
$380 with promo code 4NFJSPC54Continue Reading at GameSpot
Now celebrating a decade and a half on air, The Challenge returns to TV screens this week, pitting 21 of the show's most notorious former contestants against seven newcomers plucked from the world of reality television.
This landmark 35th season is subtitled Total Madness and MTV promises the current run will feature the most extreme challenges ever in the show's history. Ready for all of the action? Keep reading to find out how you can watch The Challenge: Total Madness online no matter where you are in the world.
Host and BMX rider T. J. Lavin returns once more to helm proceedings, while this season’s competition features familiar faces from Ex on the Beach (US and UK), The Real World, Are You the One?, Geordie Shore, and So You Think You Can Dance.
Yes, 90s kids...that really does read The Real World.
Gone are the luxury mansions and lavish pools of past seasons, instead the cast this time find themselves isolated and living in a bunker which is somewhat appropriate for the times we currently find ourselves in.
Veterans of past seasons returning for the 35th series include CT, Johnny 'Bananas' Devenanzio, Wes, Jenna, Tori and Nany, plus there's some new competitors that will be familiar to viewers of Survivor, Big Brother and Amazing Race.
Ready to see who will win a share of the $1 million prize? Keep reading to find out how to watch The Challenge: Total Madness online from anywhere, and what to do if you find yourself stranded far from home.
If you find yourself away from home for business or on an extended vacation when the latest episode drops, don’t despair. You can still enjoy all the latest action from The Challenge.
Utilising a VPN will let you stream Total Madness no matter where you’re watching from. This basic bit of software can change your IP address so you can access each episode live or on demand as episodes become available, just as if you were at home.
Alternatively, you can buy no less than 20 seasons of Total Challenge from Amazon Prime Video, with last year's season 34 priced at $19.99 for all episodes in HD quality.
Sadly, MTV doesn't play nice with Hulu - but between loads of amazing Hulu shows and the current FREE trial offer, it might be worth checking out as well. Because stockpiling content is every bit as important as stockpiling ammo, right?
Remember that should you find yourself outside of the US during these unprecedented times for whatever reason, you can always use a VPN to access the streaming service you would normally use to watch Total Challenge and other shows -
I am both surprised and not at all surprised. Star Wars Jedi Knight – Jedi Academy, a game from the year 2003, has recently been ported to the Nintendo Switch and PS4. That’s all well and good but apparently players who’ve been mastering the blade for 17 years have found a way to worm into console players’ multiplayer lobbies. You’ll not be shocked to hear that they aren’t delivering gifts when they do so. Aspyr Media say a fix against invading PC players is incoming.
Landorus, the third and final member of the Forces of Nature trio from Pokemon Black and White, has finally arrived in Pokemon Go. The Legendary Abundance Pokemon will be available until 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET on April 21, so you'll only have a limited time to capture it. If you're hoping to add one to your collection before it leaves the game, we've rounded up some tips on how to battle and catch Landorus below.
The most common way to encounter Landorus is in Gyms as a five-star Raid. While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to physically travel to one of these Raids, Niantic has temporarily doubled the distance from which you can interact with Gyms, and it will soon roll out an option to participate in Raids from home.
Beyond that, Landorus will also be available as a Go Battle League reward encounter. You'll have a chance to catch the Legendary Pokemon if you are able to hit rank 4 in the Go Battle League PvP mode. You normally need to walk 5 km before you can participate in the Go Battle League, but Niantic has dropped that restriction given the current circumstances.Continue Reading at GameSpot
Need something new to play this month? PSN’s Spring Sale has all sorts of PS4 titles on sale… you just need the hard drive space to download them.
The PSN Spring Sale is live in both the US and UK, and there are some great titles you can grab for cheap. Some of the standouts are Metal Gear Solid V: Definitive Experience for $5.99 (which unfortunately isn’t available in the UK), Two Point Hospital for $29.99/£27.99, and Final Fantasy XIV Complete Edition for $35.99/£37.49. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though, with over 400 items to sift through with this huge sale.
Need more games to consider? Well, we got them:
As you can see, the games on offer change depending on what region you’re shopping in. But, you can create an account in another region and grab a gift card (like the £20 PSN Card from Amazon UK) if there’s something you really, really want that’s not on sale. It’s almost always the same game anyway!
Just make sure to clear up some hard drive space if you want to play any of these titles right away… or grab an external hard drive like the WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive for $64.99 at Amazon US to solve your storage woes.
The post PSN’s Spring Sale lets you stock up on PS4 titles, if you have the hard drive space appeared first on VG247.
If you're anything like us, you rarely need to think about where to buy a printer because your office has one. However, now that so many people are working remotely, potentially without the critical IT infrastructure they're used to, you might be on the market for a printer of your very own. We're here to help.
But because so many people are currently on the lookout for supplies for working from home, supply is a little bit short at the moment. Luckily, we here at TechRadar are pros at scavenging the web to find the best deals around, and we went ahead and did just that.
So, whether you're looking for something that can keep up with your office printer or you just want something that can spit out some shipping labels every now and then we've got you covered.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that all mobile carriers and phone companies must adopt the STIR/SHAKEN protocol by June 20, 2021.
This regulatory requirement is aimed at combating robocalls, especially those that try to hide their phone numbers by allowing carriers to authenticate caller IDs.
According to the FCC, widespread adoption of the STIR/SHAKEN protocol will make illegal spoofing less effective, help law enforcement agencies identify those behind these schemes and allow mobile carriers to identify spammers before they call people's phones.
The agency also estimates that fraudulent call schemes cost Americans approximately $10bn each year.
Back in 2018, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai started putting pressure on carriers to adopt the STIR/SHAKEN protocol. In a press release, Pai commented on how he and the American people are tired of receiving robocalls, saying:
"American consumers are sick and tired of unwanted robocalls, this consumer among them. Caller ID authentication will be a significant step towards ending the scourge of spoofed robocalls. It's time for carriers to implement robust caller ID authentication."
Last year Congress passed the TRACED Act which mandated the use of STIR/SHAKEN. However, the FCC's new regulatory requirement for mobile carriers and phone companies to support the protocol won't make robocalls disappear overnight.
Carriers can't simply enable the protocol on their own as they also have to test that their implementation works with other networks. Additionally consumers must own a device capable of displaying the “Caller Verified” notification when they receive a call. Most modern smartphones already support this feature but some will need to be updated to do so.
Xbox Game Pass subscribers of both the Standard and Ultimate tiers have a brand-new quirky ragdoll game to play on Xbox One with the release of Totally Reliable Delivery Service.
Here's a Totally Reliable Tweet to let you know that Totally Reliable Delivery Service is available today pic.twitter.com/wwHO2Lb5LV— Xbox Game Pass (@XboxGamePass) April 1, 2020
The multiplayer physics game--which just launched on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One for $15--tasks you and up to three friends either online or offline with delivering packages across an expansive world using any means necessary. This includes taking to the skies in a helicopter, traversing the ocean on a speedboat, darting around the world on a rocket, and more.
TRDS was developed by We're Five Games and published by TinyBuild. It features very cartoonish visuals akin to No Brakes Games' Human: Fall Flat, hilarious ragdoll physics, and an irreverence to ensure it doesn't take itself too seriously. You can push your duties to the side in favor of playing with the game's many toys, complete deliveries on-time to earn various rewards, or otherwise just cause absolute chaos in totally bonkers ways.Continue Reading at GameSpot
Back in early March, AT&T unleashed its new streaming service called AT&T TV that is set to rival the likes of YouTube TV, Sling TV and Hulu. Unlike the services already on the market, though, AT&T TV is both a streaming service and the name of the Android TV hardware that AT&T sells you with each subscription.
The service allows you to stream more than 170 channels of TV with 40,000 on-demand titles and 500 hours of DVR storage space, making it probably the most robust live TV streaming service on the market.
The internet-delivered streaming service is available now throughout the US to both non-AT&T and AT&T cable subscribers alike in multiple tiers, with pricing plans that start at $49.99 per month and rocket up to $130 per month for packages that include HBO, Cinemax and additional sports channels.
So what's the catch? The first year of the service is heavily discounted with a big price bump after the first year is over... unless you commit upfront to a two-year contract.
Should you cut the cord, and should you do so with AT&T's new streaming service? Here's everything you need to know about AT&T TV.
AT&T is a live TV streaming service from AT&T that can replace your cable package. It requires AT&T's Android TV-based player, but you don't necessarily need AT&T's internet package to subscribe to it.
AT&T recommends a minimum of 8Mbps per stream for optimal viewing, which it says would pair nicely with its Internet 25 plan, but again, it's not absolutely necessary to get internet service from AT&T to use AT&T TV.
Although it's competing against AT&T's other services like DirecTV Now and the upcoming HBO Max, AT&T TV will be the company’s flagship service – one that you can expect to see pretty highly publicized from here on out. (According to Variety, the service won’t be outright replacing DirecTV Now, AT&T’s previous streaming endeavor, but the latter won’t see much screen time.)
The good news is that you’re welcome to stay with DirecTV Now – the upfront cost is more expensive, but there’s no price jump after the first year like with AT&T TV.
How you see AT&T TV as a viable alternative to cable will depend on whether you see its introductory price as a reprieve from your costly cable bill or merely the oil used to lure the fly to the trap.
In some ways, the low up-front cost and bundled hardware – capable of acting as a 4K streaming device for Netflix, Disney Plus, YouTube, Spotify and Pandora, plus built-in Google Assistant – make it a decent deal.
That said, that deal isn't nearly as good at $135 per month for the Xtra package in its second year or, if you ever need a second box that costs $120... in fact, it's probably more expensive than traditional cable at that price.
Like your regular cable package, AT&T TV is divided into a number of packages that offer a different set of channels based on how much you pay.
Right now, the service is divided into four plans (six if you count the HBO extras), but that's something that could change down the road as AT&T decides to cut packages or add more to match the needs of its users.
AT&T Entertainment is the basic package that includes ESPN, TNT, Nick, Home & Garden and your local channels plus many, many more that we'll cover below. The plan currently costs $49.99 per month for the first two years of the contract, and then shoots up to $93 per month once that contract expires.
AT&T Choice is better for sports fans as it includes a lot of the Fox Sports, NBC Sports and Travel and Cooking channels. The plan currently costs $54.99 per month for the first two years of the contract, and then shoots up to $110 per month once that contract expires.
AT&T Xtra is going to look like the cable package you're used to seeing with pretty much all the channels you'd get on your cable package available without the cord. Specifically it adds a lot of the niche channels like MTV Classic, Golf Channel and Nat Geo Wild. The plan currently costs $64.99 per month for the first two years of the contract, and then shoots up to $124 per month once that contract expires.
AT&T Ultimate is everything Xtra has plus the Starz network of channels. This plan currently costs $69.99 per month for the first two years of the contract, and then shoots up to $135 per month once that contract expires.
AT&T Plus adds HBO to the mix. It starts at $110 per month and doesn't have a set price yet after that contract ends.
AT&T Max is the ultimate streaming package and includes all the premium channels. It has HBO, Starz, Cinemax and all available sports channels. This one starts at $130 per month and doesn't have a set price yet after that contract ends.
For the complete channel offerings, check out AT&T TV's website.
Probably the biggest question you'll have about AT&T TV is whether it's the best TV streaming service on the market... and while we'd love to give you a definitive answer, it's going to depend largely on what your monthly budget is, how many channels you feel you need and whether you want a dedicated box.
If you compare AT&T TV to, say, YouTube TV, the latter is cheaper and doesn't require any sort of contract. That's great if you see yourself not being able to commit to the service long-term and just want something to watch for a few months.
That being said, YouTube TV does have fewer channels than AT&T TV and it doesn't come with any dedicated hardware - which is nice for folks who don't have a streaming box in their home already. AT&T TV also has more flexibility in how many channels you can add to the service, with the option to include every premium TV channel and all the extra sports channels.
We believe that YouTube TV is probably going to be the better fit for most people, but it's worth considering AT&T TV if you want the most channels and don't mind paying a hefty premium for them.
Zoom Video Communications has seen usage of its video conferencing service spike as a result of the coronavirus but a new report from The Intercept has shed light on the fact that its claim that its meetings have end-to-end encryption are not true.
On its website and in a security-related white paper, the US-based video conferencing company boasts about end-to-end encryption. However, The Intercept discovered that the service actually uses transport encryption instead.
Transport encryption is a Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol which secures the connection between a user and the server they are connected to. TLS is also used to help secure connections between users and any website they visit with HTTPS protocol.
However, the main difference between transport encryption and end-to-end encryption is that while others won't be able to access your data, Zoom will still be able to.
In a statement to The Intercept, a Zoom spokesperson revealed that the service is unable to provide end-to-end encryption at the moment, saying:
“Currently, it is not possible to enable E2E encryption for Zoom video meetings. Zoom video meetings use a combination of TCP and UDP. TCP connections are made using TLS and UDP connections are encrypted with AES using a key negotiated over a TLS connection.”
Basically the company clarified that its use of the phrase “end-to-end” in its white paper is in reference to the connection being encrypted between Zoom endpoints. This means that other people can't access the data shared during Zoom video calls but the company itself still can.
Despite its recent surge in popularity, a number of privacy issues have come to light surrounding the service such as how its iOS app was found to be sending data to Facebook without explicit user consent. Thankfully Zoom recently removed the code that was sending data to the social network.
Additionally a new report from Bleeping Computer revealed that it is possible for hackers to steal passwords through Zoom's Windows client.
In 2019, 50% of employees globally worked away from their office for at least two and a half days a week, and in the UK 70% of employees think flexible working makes a job more attractive. Whilst businesses have been making good headway towards flexible working, recent events may have meant that some businesses have had to pivot quickly to flexible working sooner than they would have planned for.
In order for a more disparate workforce to work effectively, individuals must have the knowledge and skills to make the most of working outside of the traditional office environment, as well as the technology and tools in place to support them. There are four key areas for both remote workers and employers to consider:
When you aren’t in the office, there’s a risk of forgetting to keep team mates or managers in the loop. Rather than taking an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality, checking-in regularly and asking questions if anything is unclear is crucial. You could share to-do lists at the start of the day or have a mid-day team call to catch up on how the day is going, and work on a basis that it’s better to over communicate than forget to share what you are doing.
Making good use of an instant messaging system is a good way to share a quick message, or better still, jump on a video call. As social creatures it’s important for us to see the expressions and emotions of those that we communicate with, and whether it’s reaching a decision or sharing a joke, doing either whilst seeing the reaction of a colleague will provide a big boost to a remote worker’s morale and mood.
Regular communication is also a way to ensure the efforts of remote workers are acknowledged and rewarded when they aren’t physically in the office. Motivation and productivity levels can slip if team members are not encouraged and thanked for their efforts.
It can also be harder to maintain close working relationships with co-workers from a remote location, so encourage employees to carve out time to let each other know they are available to help them if needed. Simply asking how a colleague’s day is going, or video-calling for a ‘digital coffee’ or informal meeting can massively help maintain connections between colleagues. And if the lack of face-to-face interaction feels like a barrier to relationship building, again our friend video calling can be a great way to catch up for an easy and informal chat.
Ideally, you'd make sure that all employees are familiar with their tech as soon as flexible working patterns are put in place. If employees haven't been able to become familiar in time, it may be worth introducing them to 'power users' in the company - friendly and approachable colleagues that have been allocated as technology champions. These power users can answer any questions that they may be too shy to ask the IT department about, or show them nifty features that could be a huge productivity booster.
It’s also worth checking that remote workers have everything they need to be as productive and comfortable as possible, such as having ergonomic peripherals. For example, a vertical mouse or keyboard with wrist padding can make computer users more comfortable, and ensure everyone is able to maintain the levels of productivity they would achieve from the office. This will differ from person to person - there isn't a ‘one size fits all’ set up, so take the time to understand what each employee needs.
Video calling and conference calls are an important part of remote working, as they allow individuals to communicate in a way which most closely mimics face-to-face communication and supports collaborative working. As a result, everyone involved must know how to dial in, enable their camera and audio, frame themselves well with the camera at eye level and tidy surroundings, and put speakers on mute when not speaking. Otherwise, there is a risk of delayed meetings, confusion around participants and individuals talking over one another.
To keep the meeting prompt and productive, it’s also important to ensure everyone has strong, stable internet connection to avoid streaming delays. It’s also good practice to circulate an agenda ahead of time and stick to it, and designate someone to chair the meeting to give the call structure, and minimise participants talking over each other. Finally, ensure participants give themselves extra time to make sure they have done all of the above before the meeting is due to begin. Delays to a call commencing can be frustrating for others and embarrassing for the culprit.
Remote and flexible working options have the potential to be productive and effective for employees, and in the current situation have provided a lifeline to many service businesses in facilitating a continuity of their services. However, the above steps must be considered in order for this way of working to be effective. Ensuring that employees understand how to use and maximise the technology needed to collaborate, and keeping up communication when not working face-to-face are both important - otherwise, productivity and motivation may suffer.
Anne Marie Ginn is Head of Video Collaboration EMEA at Logitech