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Posts Tagged ‘Hunter’

Microsoft details space-saving WIMBoot for Windows 8.1

Microsoft details space-saving WIMBoot for Windows 8.1

Microsoft’s WIMBoot functionality, added in Windows 8.1 Update 1, can dramatically cut down the storage space required of a Windows installation by using a compressed image file.


Microsoft has announced a previously hidden feature of the recently-released Windows 8.1 Update 1, which promises to boost available storage on lower-end tablet and hybrid devices: Windows Image Boot (WIMBoot).

Introduced into the Windows platform for the first time with Windows 8.1 Update 1, WIMBoot offers a secondary method of installing Windows on a storage device: instead of the traditional method of extracting the contents of the installation media into directories on the storage drive, WIMBoot sees an image being copied into a dedicated partition with symbolic links being created to offer the illusion that the files are in the expected folders within the main system partition.

The advantage of this method, Microsoft explains, is that the WIMBoot image can remain lightly compressed – not enough to harm overall performance, but enough to mean that the user is given a little more storage space with which to play. ‘Let’s assume the WIM file (INSTALL.WIM) is around 3GB and you are using a 16GB SSD,‘ explains Microsoft’s Ben Hunter of the feature. ‘In that configuration, you’ll still be left with over 12GB of free disk space (after subtracting out the size of the WIM and a little bit of additional “overhead”). And the same WIM file (which is read-only, never being changed in this process) can also be used as a recovery image, in case you want to reset the computer back to its original state.

‘How does that compare to a non-WIMBoot configuration? Well, on that same 16GB system there might be only 7GB free after installing Windows – and then only if you don’t set up a separate recovery image.’

Available storage capacity on Microsoft’s Windows-based Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets has long been a concern, despite the presence of an SD card slot for expansion. The discovery that the 32GB model of Surface RT offers only 16GB of usable space led to numerous complaints; WIMBoot offers the potential to dramatically reduce the ‘wasted’ space, while also offering Microsoft and its customers the option to build cheaper 16GB models – something the hefty storage demand of Windows 8 and Windows RT had previously precluded.

Instructions for performing a WIMBoot install yourself are available on the company’s Technet knowledgebase.

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Predator DLC confirmed for Call of Duty: Ghosts

Predator DLC confirmed for Call of Duty: Ghosts

Guest star Predator was teased last week in an Instagram video but rumours have been confirmed by the DLC’s launch trailer.


Call of Duty: Ghosts is soon to include Predator from the film of the same name as of a new piece of downloadable content launching this week.

The new DLC pack, Devastation, will feature an appearance by the methodical alien hunter in a jungle-based multiplayer map set in a ruined Mayan temple. The Predator’s inclusion was first teased by developer Infinity Ward last week over Instagram.

Predator’s cameo is only a small part of the Devastation pack which will also include four new multiplayer maps and part two of the four-player co-op story mode Extinction. The second part is called Mayday and will include a gargantuan Kraken for players to fight against.

A new small machine gun, the Ripper, will also be introduced to the game which Ghosts season pass holders already got their hands on earlier in March.

Devastation launches on April 3 on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The DLC is currently part of an exclusivity deal with Microsoft and it is unclear when the time limit on this expires, allowing release on other platforms.

Call of Duty: Ghosts launched in November 2013 and was one of the launch titles for both the Xbox One and the Playstation 4. Hype building up to the game’s release often focused around Infinity Ward’s decision to finally put female playable characters into the multiplayer and the inclusion of a dog in the single player campaign. Ghosts was generally well received critically bu with a few comments that the single player was tedious and derivative.

At present, Ghosts has seen its first piece of DLC, Onslaught, which was released in January. After Devastation, a further two DLC packs are planned for the title.

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May the ‘Star Wars’ March Madness be with you!

Yoda, R2-D2, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and Boba Fett return to compete in This is Madness: The Star Wars Character Tournament 2014.


(Credit:
Screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET)

Yoda triumphed last year as the most popular “Star Wars” character, but who will win this year’s geekiest bracket tournament in the galaxy? Darth Vader, R2-D2, Admiral Ackbar, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Yoda, and other fan favorites compete for fan votes in This is Madness: The Star Wars Character Tournament 2014, which started earlier this month and runs through April 7.

Upgrades to this year’s online competition include real-time voting results, social-media sharing functionality, and new character divisions such as Rebels, Jedi, Scoundrels, Republic, Empire Separatists, Sith, Bounty Hunters, and Underworld. There’s also an “Attack of the Play-Ins” round, which allows four wild cards to enter the main tournament.

To kick off this year’s fan-voted competition, Jedi Master Yoda spoke exclusively with ESPN SportsNation’s Max Kellerman about his championship win last year, his thoughts on this year’s tournament, and more.

“Excited I am, to defend my title,” Yoda said of this year’s competition. “New divisions and entrants there are. Make the tournament even better, they will. Fun, it will be, to see who wins.”

Fans can visit This is Madness: The Star Wars Character Tournament 2014 daily to vote on new matchups. May the best character prevail.

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Transform your toilet into a ‘Star Wars’ sarlacc pit

Sarlacc toilet

You might think twice about using this toilet.


(Credit:
Robbie Rane)

When geeks discuss euphemisms for going to the bathroom, you end up with some oddball entries. One of Robbie Rane’s buddies suggested “toss Boba Fett in the sarlacc” as a reference to doing your doo-duty. That was all it took to set Rane off on a quest to turn his toilet into a sarlacc pit.

In case you need a quick refresher, the sarlacc is a tentacled, spiny, burping, large-mouthed creature known to eat just about anything that gets near its pit. Bounty hunter Boba Fett once very nearly got munched to death by a sarlacc on Tatooine.

Transforming a toilet into the Pit of Carkoon, complete with hungry sarlacc, requires Rane’s decal set and a willingness to completely drain the water out of your commode in order to apply the decals. The set includes sarlacc tentacles and teeth, a falling Boba Fett, Tatooine’s two suns, a sail barge, and Chewbacca and Han Solo rescuing Lando.

The instructions also include this disclaimer: “The maker of these decals is in no way responsible for anything bad that happens to your toilet or plumbing. I am only responsible for the joy of turning every bowel movement into a galactic battle.”

The toilet sarlacc kit has proven so popular that the first run, which went on sale just last week, is already sold out. Rane is working on launching a second round, which he expects to come in lower than the original set’s $25 price tag. He is accepting names for a wait list in the meantime.

Perhaps this project will inspire even more immature geeky bathroom-related phrases, such as “Pardon me, I need to take the Enterprise out of dry dock,” or “Excuse me a moment, I have to go release the Golden Snitch.” Of course, it may only be a matter of time before someone figures out how to turn a toilet into the gaping toothy maw of a sandworm from “Dune.”

Sarlacc toilet

Boba Fett falls into the pit of despair.


(Credit:
Robbie Rane)

(Via Nerd Approved)

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Transform your toilet into a ‘Star Wars’ sarlacc pit

Sarlacc toilet

You might think twice about using this toilet.


(Credit:
Robbie Rane)

When geeks discuss euphemisms for going to the bathroom, you end up with some oddball entries. One of Robbie Rane’s buddies suggested “toss Boba Fett in the sarlacc” as a reference to doing your doo-duty. That was all it took to set Rane off on a quest to turn his toilet into a sarlacc pit.

In case you need a quick refresher, the sarlacc is a tentacled, spiny, burping, large-mouthed creature known to eat just about anything that gets near its pit. Bounty hunter Boba Fett once very nearly got munched to death by a sarlacc on Tatooine.

Transforming a toilet into the Pit of Carkoon, complete with hungry sarlacc, requires Rane’s decal set and a willingness to completely drain the water out of your commode in order to apply the decals. The set includes sarlacc tentacles and teeth, a falling Boba Fett, Tatooine’s two suns, a sail barge, and Chewbacca and Han Solo rescuing Lando.

The instructions also include this disclaimer: “The maker of these decals is in no way responsible for anything bad that happens to your toilet or plumbing. I am only responsible for the joy of turning every bowel movement into a galactic battle.”

The toilet sarlacc kit has proven so popular that the first run, which went on sale just last week, is already sold out. Rane is working on launching a second round, which he expects to come in lower than the original set’s $25 price tag. He is accepting names for a wait list in the meantime.

Perhaps this project will inspire even more immature geeky bathroom-related phrases, such as “Pardon me, I need to take the Enterprise out of dry dock,” or “Excuse me a moment, I have to go release the Golden Snitch.” Of course, it may only be a matter of time before someone figures out how to turn a toilet into the gaping toothy maw of a sandworm from “Dune.”

Sarlacc toilet

Boba Fett falls into the pit of despair.


(Credit:
Robbie Rane)

(Via Nerd Approved)

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/5Pjb6qGsyo8/

Categories: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

NASA asks citizen scientists to become ‘asteroid hunters’

If dangerous asteroids are discovered, NASA may be able to plan asteroid-capturing expeditions.


(Credit:
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office)

NASA is looking for citizen scientists to help save planet Earth.

The space agency announced Monday that it is launching an “Asteroid Data Hunter” contest series to reach out to people to help create algorithms to identify asteroids zooming around outer space. NASA will give away $35,000 in awards to competition winners.

Millions of asteroids are thought to be currently orbiting the sun and scientists want to be sure to identify as many of them as possible. Why? So humans don’t go the way of the dinosaurs.

While NASA deemed Earth safe last year from a colossal asteroid that was slated to hit the planet in 2036, there have been other near misses and small-asteroid collisions over the past few years. A previously undetected 20-meter asteroid crashed into Russia last year with the force of 500,000 tons of TNT, which injured roughly 1,000 people.

“Current asteroid detection initiatives are only tracking one percent of the estimated objects that orbit the Sun,” Planetary Resources president and chief engineer Chris Lewicki said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with NASA in this contest to help increase the quantity and knowledge about asteroids that are potential threats, human destinations, or resource rich.”

NASA’s goal is to discover those unknown asteroids and then track and characterize them. For the contest, citizen scientists will be allowed to study images taken from ground-based telescopes to see if they can develop improved algorithms for identifying asteroids. If dangerous asteroids are found, NASA could determine if they’d be viable for a re-direction into a lunar orbit.

“Protecting the planet from the threat of asteroid impact means first knowing where they are,” Prizes and Challenges Program executive Jenn Gustetic said in a statement. “By opening up the search for asteroids, we are harnessing the potential of innovators and makers and citizen scientists everywhere to help solve this global challenge.”

NASA’s contest kicks off on March 17 and will continue for the next six months.

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Mini Museum puts skulls, gold, London Bridge in your pocket

The Mini Museum displays fragments of 33 unusual specimens, like a dinosaur egg and a mummy wrap, in resin for a unique, portable collection.

The Mini Museum displays fragments of 33 unusual specimens, like a dinosaur egg and a mummy wrap, in resin for a unique, portable collection.


(Credit:
Hans Fex)

You don’t have to be a globe-trotting explorer to obtain a fragment of the oldest matter ever collected (C. 4,568,200,000 years old), an insect in amber (C. 3,430,000,000 years old), or even an ancient mummy wrap (C. 350 BCE). There’s no need to trek across the desert to an archeological dig in hopes of laying your hands on a triceratops’ brow horn, or a T. rex tooth.

Thanks to collector Hans Fex, avid natural history fans can be curators of their own Mini Museum via his successfully funded Kickstarter campaign. These portable collections of fossils, bones, lunar rocks, and pieces of history are painstakingly assembled by Fex who broke these covetable specimens into smaller pieces, then embedded them in resin. The Mini Museums are handcrafted, individually numbered, and extremely limited.

“My father, a brilliant scientist, came home and put a little piece of something from Malta into epoxy so he could keep it safe and on his desk or window ledge and carry it around for inspiration,” Fex told Crave. “I think some of us love to have or at least hold things that make us want to imagine. I think also when we hold these items we have an even greater desire to learn more about them.”

Fex added, “When I saw my father putting a specimen into transparent epoxy it just clicked that I can make the epoxy mold bigger, put just small bits of each of the most iconic species [and] relics and then he and a bunch of other people can carry something in their pockets that — well — blows one’s mind!”

The Mini Museum makes for a great learning tool and a wonderful piece of historical art for your desk.

The Mini Museum makes for a great learning tool and a wonderful piece of historical art for your desk.


(Credit:
Hans Fex)

The Mini Museum features a wide array of fragments of items including lunar rock (meteorite from the moon), Chelyabinsk meteorite, Martian rock (meteorite from Mars), Apollo 11 Command Module foil from the first manned lunar landing, dinosaur egg and dung, duckbilled dinosaur bone, pterosaur wing bone, sauropod vertebrae, K-Pg boundary layer (sediment from the time of the dinosaur mass extinction event), surviving tree from the Tunguska Event, and Trinitite from the first nuclear bomb test.

“I asked museum curators and university researchers where they get their specimens,” Fex told Crave. “They would get them directly from the professional ‘meteorite hunters’ who find the meteorites or the specialists who dig up the dinosaurs.

“Triceratops brow horns might not be rare, but I wanted one that was nice but not so nice that it belongs in a research collection.”

Other unusual items in the Mini Museum are fragments from a human skull and brain, Corinthian leather, foundation brick from Abraham Lincoln’s house, the Berlin Wall, London Bridge, coal from the wreck of the Titanic, a ladder rung and rock from Mt. Everest, and even soil from Vlad III’s castle in Transylvania.

The human skull is made up of 44 separate bony elements, and a small segment of one is included in the Mini Museum.

The human skull is made up of 44 separate bony elements, and a small segment of one is included in the Mini Museum.


(Credit:
Hans Fex)

“I think the artifacts that at first shock people to see are the human brain and the Martian rock — a meteorite that NASA agrees contains actual Martian atmosphere!” Fex told Crave.
“I have a friend who couldn’t believe that I would put in a sample from a tree that survived the Tunguska blast,” Fex added. “I put it there because it is exciting to imagine these things can happen, but that the people who witnessed it and the scientists who have been researching it have always believed it to be a meteorite or comet.”

People can order three different sizes of the Mini Museum: small, which is 2x3x1 inches with 11 specimens; medium, at 3×4.5×1 inches with 22 specimens; and large, at 4x5x1 inches with 33 specimens.

Each Mini Museum comes with a detailed online companion booklet with photographs and information about the provenance of all available specimens. The booklet also includes a few awesome stories about adventures Fex had while collecting these unique specimens. With only a few days left to go in the Kickstarter, Fex has already more than met his pledge goal of $38,000. In fact, with over 4,000 backers, Fex has raised over $1 million dollars for his Mini Museum project!

“The Universe is amazing and realizing this collection has been one of the biggest accomplishments of my life,” Fex wrote on the Mini Museum Kickstarter page.

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Science declares this is the funniest joke in the world

What makes you laugh?


(Credit:
Tripp and Tyler/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Science is poking its nose into every part of human life.

While some laugh at the very notion of us all soon becoming robots, the Googlies and their ilk continue toward their serious goal of coding humanity.

Sadly, there has to be a collision. Thankfully, science has taken it upon itself to discover which joke is truly the funniest in the world.

As the Huffington Post reports, British researcher Richard Wiseman worked hard to understand the core of humor. His story is told in a new book by Scott Weems called “Ha!: The Science Of When We Laugh And Why.

Wiseman reached some fascinating and very scientific conclusions. The funniest animal is, allegedly, a duck. The Brits apparently prefer their humor dry, while the Americans are allegedly fond of aggression in their humor. Oh, that’s funny.

But the most important part of this work was surely the search for the funniest joke in the world. Wiseman asked 1 million people to offer their ratings.

I am conscious of the dangers involved in asking 1 million people about anything. We have often seen the difficult results inherent in any democracy or popularity contest.

Here, though, I present the winner:

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He’s not breathing and his eyes are glazed, so his friend calls 911. “My friend is dead! What should I do?” The operator replies, “Calm down, sir. I can help. First make sure that he’s dead.” There’s a silence, then a loud bang. Back on the phone, the guy says, “OK, now what?”

(pauses for reaction)

So, your keyboard or screen has now either been covered by a cocktail of coffee and spittle. Or you are sitting there considering the meaning of life and the worth of your fellow man.

I will only offer one small observation about humor. Context means so much. There are times of the day, moments of an evening, when certain forms of humor seem to work.

There are other occasions when the very same joke, even told to the very same people, descends like a stricken owl.

Often, there’s no controlling these moments. I was once at a dinner with 20 female professional golfers. They began to tell jokes. Each was a touch more filthy than the last.

When it came to my turn, I had no idea what to do. My pinot noir had every idea. So I told a joke that, I confess, plumbed one or two depths.

When I got to the punchline, there was a pause. Several nanoseconds of fear. Then, laughter.

I was lucky. They were drunk.

I think Wiseman’s 1 million would have hated it.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/uJ99jqrmopg/

Science declares this is the funniest joke in the world

What makes you laugh?


(Credit:
Tripp and Tyler/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Science is poking its nose into every part of human life.

While some laugh at the very notion of us all soon becoming robots, the Googlies and their ilk continue toward their serious goal of coding humanity.

Sadly, there has to be a collision. Thankfully, science has taken it upon itself to discover which joke is truly the funniest in the world.

As the Huffington Post reports, British researcher Richard Wiseman worked hard to understand the core of humor. His story is told in a new book by Scott Weems called “Ha!: The Science Of When We Laugh And Why.

Wiseman reached some fascinating and very scientific conclusions. The funniest animal is, allegedly, a duck. The Brits apparently prefer their humor dry, while the Americans are allegedly fond of aggression in their humor. Oh, that’s funny.

But the most important part of this work was surely the search for the funniest joke in the world. Wiseman asked 1 million people to offer their ratings.

I am conscious of the dangers involved in asking 1 million people about anything. We have often seen the difficult results inherent in any democracy or popularity contest.

Here, though, I present the winner:

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He’s not breathing and his eyes are glazed, so his friend calls 911. “My friend is dead! What should I do?” The operator replies, “Calm down, sir. I can help. First make sure that he’s dead.” There’s a silence, then a loud bang. Back on the phone, the guy says, “OK, now what?”

(pauses for reaction)

So, your keyboard or screen has now either been covered by a cocktail of coffee and spittle. Or you are sitting there considering the meaning of life and the worth of your fellow man.

I will only offer one small observation about humor. Context means so much. There are times of the day, moments of an evening, when certain forms of humor seem to work.

There are other occasions when the very same joke, even told to the very same people, descends like a stricken owl.

Often, there’s no controlling these moments. I was once at a dinner with 20 female professional golfers. They began to tell jokes. Each was a touch more filthy than the last.

When it came to my turn, I had no idea what to do. My pinot noir had every idea. So I told a joke that, I confess, plumbed one or two depths.

When I got to the punchline, there was a pause. Several nanoseconds of fear. Then, laughter.

I was lucky. They were drunk.

I think Wiseman’s 1 million would have hated it.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/uJ99jqrmopg/

Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas

Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas

New top-down images of Titanfall maps show the scale of the game.


New images of all 15 Titanfall maps have been leaked, showing a top-down view of each gaming arena. The source has also detailed a new game mode and provided details of the single player campaign.

The new images come from Reddit user FallenFusion and they reveal the full layout of each of Titanfall’s 15 maps and include screenshots of highlighted areas.

As previously revealed, the 15 maps will include environments that incorporate coastline, deserts, cityscapes, a large skyscraper and even giant animal bones. What these new images also reveal is that the maps will, in keeping with the general philosophy of the game, all be relatively compact, making for intense close-quarters combat rather than the larger-scale warfare of the likes of Battlefield 4.

Also revealed in these leaks is that some of the maps will include features such as a zip line and turrets, making the maps more interactive.

Players will also be able to reset their XP progress with the Generations feature, which sees players ‘reborn’ as part of a second generation of Pilot. This puts players’ XP and all rewards – except Burn Cards – back to zero but they will earn XP at a 10% higher rate. With up to 10 generations on offer, the rate of increase will go up with each generation. Players that choose to do this will also have a marker put on their avatar to let other players know that they’re a 2nd, 3rd… generation player.

The campaign mode will apparently be a “completely new experience” but based around the same combat modes as the multi-player mode, with nine different matches – five rounds of Attrition (team deathmatch), and four of Hardpoint – with both Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation and Militia playable.

A new game mode, called Pilot Hunter, has also been revealed. As its name suggests the whole emphasis is on killing enemy Pilots (i.e. non-AI players) with no points awarded for taking down AI opponents, though the latter does lower the time to earn Titans and regenerate the Titan core ability.

Titanfall is set to be one of the big multi-player FPS titles of the new console generation, with its exclusive availability on the Xbox One and PC being seen as a key fillip in Microsoft’s fight to grab market share from the PS4. The release date of the game is 11 March in the US and 13 March in the EU.

Read more about Titanfall in our Titanfall preview or watch our Titanfall preview video below.

Titanfall Maps

Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas
Leaked Titanfall maps reveal diverse but compact arenas

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