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Intel Confirms DRM Impacts Over 50 Games

Intel DRM Issue

Intel has acknowledged that over 50 games are incompatible with some Digital Rights Management (DRM) software on PCs powered by its 12th-generation Core processors. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Far Cry Primal, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order are just a few of the games that have been affected by the DRM issue. A software remedy for the vulnerable DRM software is being rolled out, according to Intel. Meanwhile, the chipmaker has released a solution that allows players to manually launch and play the affected games.

Intel’s 12th-generation Core processors (codenamed Alder Lake) split the CPU workload between high-powered “performance” cores and low-powered “efficiency” cores, unlike previous-generation models. Some third-party game DRM software wrongly recognises the efficiency cores as a separate system, according to Intel. In a help website, the business stated, “This prohibits games utilising that DRM software from running effectively.”

Some games are crashing on launch or even shutting down unexpectedly, according to Intel, due to a problem with the DRM software.

The vulnerable DRM software’s seller has found a software remedy, which is currently being rolled out, according to the business.

The first patch will be rolled out to 11 games in the middle of November as part of the next Windows 11 release. Anthem, Bravely Default 2, Fishing Sim World, Football Manager 2019, Football Manager Touch 2019, Football Manager 2020, Football Manager Touch 2020, Legend of Mana, Mortal Kombat 11, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, and Warhammer I are among the games in this category.

Intel is working with developers to tackle DRM issues with the other games, in addition to the first batch of games receiving the patch. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Far Cry Primal, Fernbus Coach Simulator, For Honor, Lost in Random, Madden 22, Maneater, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered, Sea of Solitude, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and Tourist Bus Simulator are the titles in question.

The DRM software issue with Windows 11 and Windows 10 affects all of these titles.

Intel has supplied a list of 29 more games that are experiencing issues with Windows 10. Users should remedy the issues by upgrading to Windows 11 according to the company.

Ace Combat 7, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Code Vein, and Assassin’s Creed III are the games in question. eFootball 2021, F1 2019, Far Cry New Dawn, FIFA 19, FIFA 20, Football Manager 2021, Football Manager Touch 2021, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Immortals Fenyx Rising, Just Cause 4, Madden 21, Monopoly Plus, Need For Speed Heat, Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Shinobi Striker, Soulcalibur VI, Starlink, Team Sonic Racing, Total War S

According to Intel, the list of titles with faults will be updated as they are patched. In the meanwhile, players are advised to use Legacy Game Compatibility Mode to manually address issues. The mode can be found in the BIOS settings.

In a developer guide published last month, Intel mentioned the potential issues caused by mismatched DRM software. Early assessments of Intel’s Core i9-12900K and other 12th-generation processors noted the same difficulties.

Intel’s Alder Lake processor family was released in late October to compete with AMD. It has up to 16 heterogeneous cores, resulting in enhanced performance.

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Google Maps Reaches 10 Billion Play Store Downloads

Google Maps
Photo Credit: Google

Google Maps, the world’s most popular navigation tool, has now surpassed the 10 billion download mark on the Google Play Store. According to 9To5Google, there are very few “free” mapping applications that can equal Google Maps’ accuracy and feature set, thus it’s a must-download no matter what mobile OS you use.

According to Android Police, it has joined a very small and exclusive club of apps that have reached the 10 billion download milestone, which includes Google Play Services and YouTube.

Google Mobile Services has Maps pre-installed, but that doesn’t account for all of the downloads on the Play Store.

According to the research, even as the “default” mapping service on Android, 10 billion downloads or installs is still a huge number.

Google does offer “Maps Go,” which is effectively a Progressive Web App that is an instance of the Chrome browser that is up to 100 times smaller than the full-fat Maps app, for users with Android Go-powered handsets or low-end hardware.

This streamlined version of Google Maps has only recently surpassed 500 million downloads.

Live AR navigation, a dedicated dark theme, real-time public transit data, and recently added eco-friendly routing options are just a few of the modifications and options that Google Maps has added in the last few years to help you travel from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

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FaceTime App New Features on iOS15

FaceTime App

For most iPhone owners, FaceTime is already their preferred video chat medium. But, with the latest iOS 15 upgrade, these brand new capabilities improve on an already excellent experience.

1. Portrait Mode

The blurred bokeh effect has long been popular in photography, but now you can use it in video chats as well! While on a call, simply tap on your own bubble to view an icon in each corner. Toggle Portrait Mode on and off by tapping the icon in the upper left corner. You may also set Portrait Mode on or off by pulling down your Control Center and tapping where it reads “Video Effects.”

2. Mic Modes

You may now customise your sound settings in FaceTime to improve your calling experience. Pull down your Control Center and tap the upper right corner where it says Mic Modes. You can choose between Voice Isolation, which eliminates all background noise and only allows your speaking voice to be heard, and Wide Spectrum, which employs artificial intelligence to choose ambient noise from your surroundings as well as your voice.

3. SharePlay

This most recent feature debuted with iOS 15.1, so make sure your phone is up to date before trying it out. In just a few steps, SharePlay allows you to share whatever is on your screen with your conversation buddy. To bring up the toolbar, tap the symbol furthest to the right on your screen. This should bring up a menu with the option “Share My Screen.” Tap there, then swipe into whatever you want to watch and share with your friends. It’s handy for watching TV shows and movies, as well as instantly sending a photo to someone without having to text it.

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US Government Blacklist Pegasus Spyware Group

Pegasus Spyware Group

The US Department of Commerce has issued an order prohibiting American companies from selling technology to NSO, citing reports that the group’s Pegasus spyware is being used against journalists, government officials, activists, and others. The corporation has been added to the Entity List, according to the regulator, since its tool undermines “the rules-based international order” when supplied to repressive foreign regimes.

Pegasus is a tool that infects people without their knowledge, giving police and intelligence services access to a phone’s text messages, photographs, and passwords while leaving no trace. The Washington Post reported in July that the malware could infect a target’s phone with a single, invisible text message: the target wouldn’t have to click on a link or take any action to be infected, and their fully updated phone would be infected.

The Pegasus Project, a group of journalists who disclosed a list of names allegedly tied to the spyware, brought NSO’s Pegasus spyware into the spotlight recently. Journalists, activists, leaders of state, and others from throughout the world were among those on the list, whom NSO claims its software should not be used to target. The Pegasus Project also examined the phones of a few journalists and discovered evidence of spyware installation – almost probably by a government agency, given NSO claims that government agencies are the only clients it will sell its software and services to.

Pegasus had made news in the past as well. Journalists in Mexico were apparently targeted by the programme, WhatsApp sued NSO for allegedly utilising a vulnerability in the messaging service to hack people’s phones, and the FBI is believed to have investigated the company in connection with Jeff Bezos’ phone being hacked.

NSO has been added to the entity list, which prevents US companies from exporting products to it, because it “poses a significant risk of being or becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the United States’ national security or foreign policy interests,” according to the Department of Commerce (pdf).

This is most likely related to US foreign policy – NSO has stated that its tool can’t be used to target American phone numbers, and the Department of Commerce and Pegasus Project haven’t refuted that claim.

On Thursday, NSO isn’t the only corporation to be added to the entity list. Another Israeli IT firm, Candiru, has been blacklisted for selling malware (which is purportedly used for identical purposes). Two new companies, one from Russia and the other from Singapore, have been named by the Department of Commerce as being involved in the sale of hacking tools.

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Microsoft Passes Apple to Become the World’s most Valuable Company

Microsoft

On Friday, Apple lost its title as the world’s most valuable public corporation to Microsoft, as the iPhone maker’s stock dropped around 2%.

Apple’s sales fell by $6 billion (approximately Rs. 44,940 crore) in the fiscal fourth quarter as a result of ongoing worldwide supply chain issues, falling short of Wall Street projections. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, predicted that the impact would be considerably greater during the current holiday sales quarter.

“Apple is also a lot more sensitive to supply chain disruption than its less hardware focused FAANG peers,” said Sophie Lund-Yates, equities analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Apple’s stock fell 1.8 percent to $149.80 (approximately Rs. 11,200) at the close of the day, giving the company a market worth of $2.48 trillion (roughly Rs. 1,85,75,202 crore). Microsoft shares, on the other hand, climbed 2.2 percent to a record high of $331.62 (approximately Rs. 24,800), giving the company a market valuation of $2.49 trillion at the close of the day (roughly Rs. 1,86,49,489 crore).

Apple announced a hefty $90 billion (approximately Rs. 6,74,077 crore) share buyback in April, after repurchasing $421.7 billion (about Rs. 31,53,186 crore) worth of stock over the years. As a result, the company’s outstanding stock pool continues to decline, with 16.4 billion shares at the conclusion of the fiscal fourth quarter.

Microsoft’s stock has risen 49 percent this year, owing to increased demand for its cloud-based services as a result of the epidemic. Apple’s stock has increased by 13% so far this year.

In 2010, Apple‘s stock market valuation surpassed Microsoft’s, thanks to the iPhone, which made it the world’s most valuable consumer technology business. In recent years, the businesses have alternated as the most valuable company on Wall Street, with Apple holding the position since mid-2020.

Analysts say Apple has handled the supply chain issue successfully, but with Cook predicting further pressure, the company’s performance could suffer as the holiday season approaches.

Microsoft, on the other hand, predicted a good conclusion to the calendar year on Tuesday. However, it cautioned that supply-chain issues will continue to afflict important units, including as ones that manufacture Surface laptops and Xbox gaming consoles.

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Metaverse: All You Need to Know about Meta’s Vision and Mission

Metaverse
Photo Credit: Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, is banking his company’s future on the metaverse.
“I believe that the metaverse is the next chapter for the internet,” he stated at Facebook’s annual Connect conference on Thursday, when he also announced that the company’s name had been changed to Meta to reflect its devotion to all things metaverse. “It’s also the next chapter in our company’s history.”

You’re not alone if you have no idea what the term “metaverse” implies. Until now, it was largely a word used by futurists to define the next step in computing and the web after the introduction of personal computers and smartphones.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse doesn’t exist yet, at least not in its current form. As of right now, there isn’t anything that could be considered a metaverse. The story of how telecoms pioneer Craig McCaw first heard about the internet may be a valuable metaphor for understanding its maturity — with a hat-tip to technology analyst Benedict Evans for the reference.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is said to have spoken on the implications of a worldwide distributed network of networked computers on communications, business, and information. “Let’s purchase that!” McCaw exclaimed once Jobs concluded.

You can’t invest in the internet, and you can’t recognize the metaverse as a distinct product, technology, or service either. What might be a better question is: what could the metaverse become?

What is Facebook’s vision of the metaverse?

The metaverse, according to Zuckerberg, is the next step in social networking, moving beyond static user profiles that only allow individuals to submit comments and photographs. People would need to wear virtual reality headsets or augmented reality glasses to get there, which superimpose the digital environment onto the real world. Cutting-edge projection technologies might also be used to transmit lifelike holograms into the actual world.

“When you play a game with your pals, you’ll feel like you’re right there in a separate world with them, not simply on your computer alone,” Zuckerberg added. “And when you’re in a metaverse meeting, it’ll seem like you’re in the same room as each other, making eye contact and sharing a feeling of space, rather than staring at a grid of faces on a screen.”

Architects would be able to use their real workplaces to display digital building ideas. Friends would be able to attend concerts via the metaverse without needing to physically attend the event.

People may employ a variety of digital avatars to represent themselves, including a more serious one for business, a more laid-back and comical one for hanging out with friends, and a fantastical one like a robot for gaming.

People would be able to buy and sell goods and services using new economic systems based on cryptocurrencies and digital collectibles known as NFTs.

According to Zuckerberg, the metaverse will transform how people interact with smartphones and AR glasses. People would be able to “say a few words or even just make things happen by thinking about them” using hand gestures.

Is the metaverse just a Facebook project?

No. Microsoft and chipmaker Nvidia are two more corporations that are promoting the metaverse.

“We believe that many firms will construct virtual worlds and environments in the metaverse, just as there have been many companies doing things on the Web,” said Richard Kerris, vice president of Nvidia’s Omniverse platform. “It’s critical to be open and expandable so you can teleport to multiple worlds, whether they’re created by one firm or another, just as I do when I move from one web page to another.”

Companies that make video games are also taking the lead. Epic Games, the maker of the famous video game Fortnite, has received $1 billion from investors to help fund its long-term metaverse aspirations. Another major player is game platform Roblox, which describes the metaverse as a place where “people can come together within millions of 3D experiences to study, work, play, create, and socialise.”

Consumer brands are also attempting to capitalise on the trend. Gucci, an Italian fashion business, teamed up with Roblox in June to sell a line of digital-only accessories. Coca-Cola and Clinique both sold digital tokens that were marketed as a way into the metaverse.

The metaverse’s characteristics and challenges

Even though all of this explains the metaverse’s roots, it can’t predict exactly how it will appear. Indeed, the metaverse is still in its conceptual stages.

Investor Matthew Ball, on the other hand, has identified seven key characteristics that may assist interested minds in imagining how it might take shape. These include its permanence (no evident ‘on’ or ‘off’ to access), synchronisation (existing in real-time), and interoperability, as well as the fact that it is inhabited by both personal and business content and experiences.

Of course, there are concerns about what the metaverse will imply for privacy, whether it would be inclusive, and how to minimise potentially dangerous content and surroundings. Because the metaverse is still in its early stages of development, there is still time to design these attributes in.

Many of the world’s major technological corporations are investing in the creation of the metaverse because it appears to be a promising concept. It is possible that if it is successful, it will change consumer and business behaviour.

What happens if Meta succeeds?

One problem with Meta’s attempt to be the sole firm supporting the metaverse is the significant role it would play in our lives if its vision of the future becomes a reality. In recent months, the firm has struggled with outages on its core apps, which have rendered big portions of the world unable to interact — and the ramifications of such an event in an all-pervasive VR reality like the metaverse might be enormous.

“The metaverse is presented in such an idealistic and naive way,” adds Bucher. “It makes a lot of broad assumptions about how individuals spend their lives,” says one reviewer. I’m sure it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea to have it in their living room.”

“They aim to conquer yet another world,” Chander explains. “Now that they’ve conquered the physical world, they aim to dominate the virtual metaverse.”

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