Cyber Warfare Could Become A Specialist Combat Unit In The US

The saying goes that “to be prepared is half the victory”, this is never more the case in the modern day when everything can change in a split second. With the modern day battle happening months and even years before the first shot is fired, warfare happens every day on the internet attacking the minds and systems of countries with no warning. In response to this growing threat, cyber warfare could soon become a specialist combat unit within the United states military.

Currently, anything relating to cyber warfare is united as part of a “sub-unified command” beneath the U.S. strategic command, but reports are coming in that Defence Secretary Ash Carter may be looking at turning the cyber command unit into a full combatant command.

This would put cyber warfare on bar with the nine that currently operate within the U.S. military including six commands based on their geographical areas (Pacific, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Central and Southern command) and three based on their areas of specialty, such as the transportation command, strategic command (those in charge of nuclear forces) and special operations command groups. Moving out from strategic command to become the 10th COCOM (Combat Commander Exercise combatant command) would be a big step in realising the threat of cyber warfare and the steps that countries need to take to protect people beyond the lines of maps.

Apple Vs The FBI is Over!

The legal case of the year is over already. Apple vs the FBI is over in a court case that saw the question of security vs privacy raised on a national, and even global, level. After cancelling a court hearing with Apple, the FBI have officially closed the court case.

It would seem that even without their assistance, the FBI claim to have managed to break into and access the data required on the iPhone in question. In their response, the FBI stated that the new hack was “sufficiently plausible” to a point where they could stop pursuing Apple’s assistance.

Currently, there is no information about who performed the hack or how many iPhones the hack works against. With so little information about the hack, it’s hard to tell if the court case could reemerge in the future with over a hundred phones in government control still locked.

In their response the Department of Justice reminded us that they would continue to gather information from encrypted devices, saying that “It remains a priority for the government to ensure that law enforcement can obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public safety”, and then there is a small reminder that with or without help, “either with cooperation from relevant parties or through the court system”.

Minecrafts Next Update Is A Combat Upgrade

Minecraft is a popular game, with people building everything from a castle to a self-farming industry with everything from lasers to spells. One thing that has barely changed since the game was released was the combat, with every player dashing around with sword and shield dodging the other players bows. This is all set to change in Minecraft 1.9, the combat upgrade.

Designed to shake up Minecraft combat system, weapons will be getting specific special attacks, a cooldown delay between each swing of a weapon and duel weaponry. Alongside the close-quarters combat, new shields and special arrows will force you to switch up your combat with every battle.

Other changes include The End being extended and the infamous Ender Dragon now being able to return to the world of the living to strike at you once again. Beware, a new mob, the Shulker, joins the battle alongside the skeleton riders, all looking to make you fight harder for greater rewards in a game that were seen as a builders fantasy.

Do you play Minecraft? Are you a creative player, building castles in the sky or someone who likes to hunt down the undead and creepers as they let out their final hiss? Did the combat need updating and if so, what do you want to see updated next?

Apple Ordered To Unlock iPhone

Apple is known for their court battles, after having the latest revelation reveal an agreement with Google. One of the things Apple is keen to go to court for is the encryption on smartphones, and they have now been told they must help unlock an iPhone by a judge.

The iPhone in question is a 5C running iOS9, it belonged to Syed Rizwan Farook, who attacked an office party in December 2015 in a terrorist attack. The judge presiding over the case,  Sheri Pym, cited the all writs act and ordered Apple to provide the FBI with a custom firmware file that will enable them to brute force the passcode lockout that is currently on the phone.

Since iOS 8, Apple has made it so that it enabled full encryption by default, meaning that the company cannot be forced to extract data or grant access. Likewise, it is not the first time that the all writs act has come out in court against Apple. The 18th-century act makes it that a company or person must assist the government in that way, and is seen as a dangerous precedent for the future. After being asked for what is essentially custom software to disable the protection on a smartphone, what’s to stop Facebook or other companies being forced to provide agencies with access? There is no point in security if it only applies to certain people while others can keep trying over and over again without any risk of alerting or being locked out an account.

This is a scary way around the “we can unlock this device” answer, and if using an 18th-century act in such a way is allowed, then anyone could be “ordered” to provide back doors or restrict security measures so that their protection can be forced open.

Nerf’s Fully Automatic Blasters Fire at 30MPH!

Nerf are well-known toys for both grown-ups and children alike. From a fun play around in the back garden to all out warfare (without the bruises) Nerf are the go to for foam projectiles.  From foam bullets to the more recent foam ball based systems you can enjoy the battle in several ways, and it only looks to get better this year!

Nerf’s latest creation is the Rival Blaster series, rather than the traditional pellets that Nerf guns use, the rival series uses small balls more akin to musket balls or giant soft bb’s. The only hold back to the series though was that the first model, similar to the first models of the classic nerf guns, was spring-loaded. This changed in the Zeus, which used batteries to automate the gun to fire at 30MPH, but could still only fire one ball at a time. The next upgrade you can experience is the Khaos, designed for release in late 2016.

The Khaos will be the first fully automatic in the new Rival series. With a 40 round magazine, the gun will fire all of them with a single long press of the trigger. Be warned, you will require six D-sized batteries so it won’t be the lightest or easiest on your arms or your foes!

Other releases this year will include the Mastodon, a Mega blaster that will fire all 24 of the extra-large Nerf darts at the press of a button.

The Modulus series lets you chop and change your weapon based on your needs and preferences, but the Tri-Strike will let you do more than that. Supporting not just the elite darts, the Tri-Strike lives up to its name and lets you also fire four Mega darts and even a foam missile for those really tight spaces!

If you are not one for the strategic or modular approach then maybe the Hyper-Fire will tickle your interest. Featuring a drum which will hold 25 darts the Hyper-Fire will unleash up to five darts per second while in its fully automatic mode. Ouch.

So the only question we have left is where do we pre-order?

Overwatch Reveals Three New Characters

Overwatch has been a keenly anticipated game that was recently released in closed beta for PC. With a wide variety of characters available at the moment and more being announced all the time, it’s not hard to see how the multiplayer arena game could soon see you staring at your screen for hours.

First up in the new characters is titled Mei and seems in part inspired by Mr Freeze. With a fluffy coat and large framed glasses, Mei’s unique attribute is that she is (surprise surprise) an ice type attacker, with her primary allowing you to slow and eventually freeze enemies before piercing them with her secondary attack. With the ability to summon ice walls to protect her allies and grant them access to hard to reach places, while her ultimate, Blizzard, will not only freeze but decimate an area of enemies; given her three seconds of invincibility, she can become a quite deadly defender.

Next up is D.vva, a meka pilot with fusion cannons that can be continuously fired at the cost of a slower movement speed. If that wasn’t bad enough her boosters grant her limited flight that can be used to fly around and bring destruction to anyone she sees fit. Built as a tank with a protecting wall against incoming projectiles her ultimate is a last resort, granting her access to the self-destruct matrix on her mech, after leaving it and repositioning just in time to call down her next suit.

Finally we have Genji, the cyber ninja. Left for dead by his brother Hanzo, overwatch brought the ninja into the fold after patching up with cybernetics. With the ability to throw shurikens in a steady line or a sprayed out collection, coupled with his ability to double jump and scale walls, you could soon see a white ninja sweeping down on your team with devastating effects. The high mobility continues with his dash which also inflicts bleeding damage, making his approach all that more terrifying while his reflect ability will protect his approach. While his ultimate will enchant his sword, bringing out both mystic power and cyber technology to a deadly cumulation.

Recreating a Lord of The Rings’ Battle In Elder Scrolls V

Replicating, editing, and re-imagining gaming graphics has been transformed from the exclusive domain of high-end developers to your average fan, from the likes of Minecraft and many 3D software modelling packages have offered the platform to crazily creative designs and characters. This is no different as a Youtube channel by the name of “Tyroine” who has released a new video which conveys Lord of The Rings’ Battle of Helm’s Deep, the only difference is it has been being recreated in The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim.

According to the channel, “Tyroine” produces “amateur videos parodies, skits designer and editor and is especially fond of Machinima, Minecraft, Skyrim and Fantrailers” The Channel has a whopping 10,432+ subscribers and 4,345,581+ views.

Now for the screenshots, as you can probably gather, this is both creative and fantastic. in order to achieve the desired results, “Tyroine” implemented the recording process by using Fraps, which is a real-time video capture and benchmarking that has the ability to capture “audio and video up to 7680×4800 with custom frame rates from 1 to 120 frames per second”

The editing was achieved by using a software package by the name of “Sony Vegas Pro 12” which has the ability to edit video and audio material to various specifications.  Right at the end of this video, Sauron and Balrog are featured which I am sure will be spotted by fans.

Thank You Tyroine Youtube channel, FRAPS and Sony Vegas Pro 12 for providing us with this information.

Welcome to the Future: USA Challenges Japan to Giant Mech Fight!

You think this article is going to be boring don’t you? Well feast your eyes on this bad boy below, this is a life-size MegaBot which employs cutting edge tech to operate a life-size piloted robot, by life-size I mean for a 15 foot robot which fires paintballs at 120 miles an hour, which coincidentally is faster than an F-35 jet, read my previous article for the reference.

MegaBot is challenging fellow robot maverick builder Suidobashi who is from Japan and has created Kuratas, which is equally insane as the image below demonstrates to a robot battle. Suidobashi is quoted to have hinted at a duel by stating that “we have a giant robot, you have a giant robot; you know what needs to happen” This offer was accepted by MegaBots co-founder Matt Oehrlein who replied “we challenge you to a duel.”

So how heavy are these two fighters at a pre fight weigh in? MegaBot breaks the scales at six tons while Kuratas barely moves the needle and is a measly 4.5 tons. As of writing the date of battle where two mighty steel warriors clash heads has yet to be confirmed.

By all means check out the creators of these robots websites, it’s stunning what can be achieved with an imagination to create the impossible on paper and turn it into a reality. Oh and before I sign off, is your reaction to real life MegaBots similar to that of an 8bit dancing Carlton from 90s sitcom the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air in Gif form?

 

 

Thank You MegaBot, suidobashijuko and CNET for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of primeirahora, CNETAmazon and GIF Central

Ozone Strike Battle Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Ozone are one of the coolest names in the peripheral business. Time and time again, they’ve shown us that they can create some great gaming products, packed full of features, that have proven very popular with both gamers at home and with this eSports/pro gaming communities. So when I found out that they’ve created one of the sleekest, lightest and coolest looking mechanical keyboards I’ve ever seen, I simply couldn’t wait to get it in for review.

The new Ozone Strike Battle is a packed with all the features you would expect from a good quality mechanical gaming keyboard. It has an aluminum top panel, a TKL (ten keys less) design, fully mechanical keys with a choice of Cherry MX switches, full LED backlighting and much more!

“Strike Battle offers the best selection of cherry MX keyswitches, a short-body and an ergonomic design to ensure a comfortable use. Its high-quality aluminum layout gives you the best materials and performance to improve your gaming skills. It also features a minimalist design and a compact style that makes it perfect for competitive use, travelling gamers or anyone who needs more work space on their desk. Take it to the battlefield.” – Ozone

The Strike comes hard-wired with a braided cable and gold-plated USB connector. What’s interesting is that this is an incredibly thin and lightweight cable. The whole keyboard is as minimalist in terms of materials as possible, making it the lightest mech keyboard I’ve ever handled and the addition of the light cable means it’s really easy to carry around, or maneuver on your desktop.

As you can very obviously see, the aluminum coating behind the keys is finished in bright red, with a keyboard chassis that is literally no bigger than the layout of the keys, giving it a bezel free appearance.

The key caps are really nicely designed and have a jet black appearance with a fine laser etched typeface. Despite the keyboards compact size, the key spacing is pretty standard, so it’s unlikely you’ll have any ergonomic issues. On the F1-F4 keys, you’ll find controls for on-the-fly adjustments of the polling rate.

They keyboard is a TKL design, which means no number pad. This may be a deal breaker for some who rely on the number pad, but it does mean the keyboard is smaller, lighter, more portable and frees up a lot of desk space that you can use for your mouse. The F5-F12 keys are equipped with multimedia shortcuts, which can be accessed via the Fn-Shift key, while the top right keys will help you toggle through lighting effects and brightness levels; off / breathing / 10% / 30% / 70% / 100%. You’ll also notice these keys are labeled M1-M6, which can be used as macro keys over five profiles, giving you access to 30 macros that can be stored on the keyboards 64KB of internal memory; perfect for LAN gaming tournaments.

The arrow keys are tucked right down into the corner, which on most keyboards would be a little bit of a concern, but the low profile chassis negates any ergonomic issues and they’re actually perfectly comfortable to use. They’re actually even closer to my desk than the arrow keys on my normal keyboard; a Mionix Zibal 60.

Here you can see that lovely low profile design; I’m already falling in love with this keyboards ergonomics.

The keys have a slow sweep from front to back to give you better ergonomics and you can see that the key caps have been specially crafted to further enhance this; such as the slightly raised space bar.

There’s very little to see around the back, just the cable connection and a small Ozone logo on one side.

One the base, you’ll find five rubber grips, three at the front and two on the kick stands; more than enough to prevent it from sliding around your desktop.

The kick stands are only plastic, but they feel surprisingly durable, at least compared to most keyboards which have rather flimsy kick stands.

There’s no key-cap removal tool included, but you can easily pull them off to maintain your keyboard or to install custom keycaps if you so desire. As you can see, we have Cherry MX Red keys, which are equipped with red LED lighting.

The lighting is nice and vivid at the maximum setting and also provides a gorgeous under-glow that illuminates the red backplate, giving a really nice glow to the whole keyboard.

U.S Judge rejects Apple’s injunction against Samsung

In the latest fight of the ongoing patent war between Apple and Samsung, a U.S. judge has rejected Apple’s latest bid for a permanent injunction against Samsung, and it seems the blows they two are dealing to each other are getting smaller and smaller.

In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, said that Apple’s reputation as an innovator “has proved extremely robust” despite Samsung’s patent infringement. “Apple has not demonstrated that it will suffer irreparable harm to its reputation or goodwill as an innovator without an injunction.”

An Apple spokesperson declined to comment while Samsung said it welcomed the ruling. “We remain committed to providing American consumers with a wide choice of innovative products,” Samsung said.

The U.S is the last battlefield that is left for the two giants, after they decided to end all global patent lawsuits outside of the U.S earlier this year.

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Reuters.

 

Virtual Space Battle Worth $300,000 Erupted In Eve Online, All Due To An Unpaid Bill

It is said that EVE Online had the most colossal battle, and the most expensive one, which all started because one alliance forgot to pay the most common thing we all have to face in life, namely a bill. The N3 coalition failed to make a hugely important system, allowing other alliances to attempt complete takeover, leading to all hell breaking loose and losing an estimate of $300,000 in the process.

“An alliance in the N3 coalition missed a bill payment for the system where Pandemic Legion is staging and storing their fleets. This missed bill caused sovereignty to drop across the system leaving the station vulnerable to capture. Seizing the opportunity, the CFC (Goonswarm Federation, Razor Alliance, Black Legion and the Initiative) and Russian Coalition (Solar Fleet, Darkness of Despair and Against ALL Authorities) captured the station.” CCP explained in an e-mail.

N3 and Pandemic responded in force, with more firepower, then CFC and Rus responded as well with even more force. And so on, until the whole thing escalated beyond the point of no return. In the process, the various factions involved lost a total of around 70 titans, and given that titans are massive god ships, as they describe them “the blue whales to everyone else’s guppies”, which cost somewhere in the area of $3,000 a ship, losses were huge. With another 4,000 ships tossed into space’s deadliest rave, it all adds up to approximately $284,500, and numbers are still rising.

It ended with N3 and Pandemic losing 40-50 titans while CFC, Rus, and co managed a slightly less catastrophic 20-25. CFC won, but obviously not without some serious damage taken as well.

Thank you Rock, Paper, Shotgun for providing us with this information

CyberpowerPC Show Off The Fang Battle Box At CES 2014

CyberpowerPC are taking this years show by the horns and are giving us a whole heap of toys to look at and play around with. We’ve already seen their Steam Box offering but there is yet another system in their suite that has caught my eye. Tucked away to the side of the room is a system that looks somewhat like a took box or flight case, but with LEDs inside. This is the coveted Fang Battle Box.

Packed inside this mighty little box is a whole LAN gaming system with more than enough grunt to pwn those n00bs with ease. After going to many LAN events, it’s apparent that some people could do with a more robust system to carry from home to the gaming halls and this is exactly the design path that CyberpowerPC have gone down with the Battle Box.

Obviously with a system of this sort, having an easy way to transport it is paramount and on the top a chunky handle is provided – as one would expect with a flight case design and next to this we find two USB3.0 ports, power and reset buttons and the case latch to open the system up,

The underside of the case features some large rubber feet on one end of the system is a full arrray of I/O ports so as soon as you arrive at LAN, all you need to do is plug it in and play!

Opening the case up we find that this is more than just a LAN ready chassis, Alongside a GTX 780 Ti and a 4770k topped with a Corsair closed loop water cooling unit is a 120GB SSD paired with a 1TB mechanical drive, 16GB Dual-Channel memory, cooler master fans and a 500W power supply from Corsair.

The Fang Battle Box is due for release around now and I am certainly looking forward to getting this rather unique system in for review, after all it’s not everyday you see a system in a flight case available to buy off the shelf.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/QEH6GgDu_9U[/youtube]

Turn Based RPG ‘Blackguards’ Gets New Trailer And Steam Early Access

Daedalic Entertainment have just released the first sinister chapter of their upcoming turn-based RPG Blackguards, and the game is now available via the Steam Early Access program. To celebrate the start of Blackguards on Early Access, the Hamburg based studio have released a new trailer to give players a taste of the brutal battles they will encounter.

Starting three months before the official launch, Daedalic Entertainment will release each chapter of the five chapters of Blackguards in three week intervals, giving the community the chance to influence the game’s development prior to release.

Three different packages of Blackguards are available through Early Access, all of which include the final version of the game upon launch. Players are also able to buy additional extras exclusive to the Early Access*:

  • · Blackguards Standard Early Access Edition – £18.99: Includes each Early Access chapter of Blackguards for PC at the earliest availability as well as the final version of the game at launch for PC and Mac.
  • · Blackguards Early Access Deluxe Edition – £26.99: Includes the Standard edition and a 150-page digital art book of the game, bonus developer interview videos and six exclusive wallpapers.
  • · Blackguards Early Access Contributor Edition – £29.99: Includes the Deluxe edition and the first Blackguards DLC, a copy of point & click adventure Chains of Satinav as well as the buyers name featured in the game credits.

*The bonus items won’t be available until the final release of Blackguards.

The game is already shaping up to be quite the epic and while I’ve not been much of a fan of hexagon based battles before, I do love some good turn based action and given how awesome the game looks in the new trailer, we really can’t wait to get this one in for review!

[youtube]http://youtu.be/0CBGhGymP8Y[/youtube]

For more information, head on over to the official Steam page here.

Thank you Blackguards for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Blackguards.

What Games Would you Like us to Benchmark in our Graphics Card Reviews?

As you know, eTeknix are always the first to have newly released graphics card reviews from both AMD and Nvidia and every so often we find ourselves updating our suite of games and applications to cater for the latest technologies, and to bring the latest games to our readers. Now the biggest problem with choosing games is making it as fair as possible, as some games (Dirt Showdown) are geared towards AMD, while others (Batman) is geared towards Nvidia, and obviously we want our tests to be clear cut and to give both GPU manufacturers the best chance to shine.

This is why we’ve sat down and got hold of some new games, and decided to bring the choice to our readers with the poll below. So if you’d be so kind, please cast your vote below as to what 7 games you’d like us to benchmark in our graphics card reviews, and by all means, comment below regarding your choices, but for the most part remember that some games do have issues benchmarking such as Hitman Absolution and occasionally Dirt Showdown.

[poll id=”15″]

Many thanks for assisting eTeknix on this.

PS3 Overtakes Xbox 360 As Top Selling Console In The US

The battle between Microsoft and Sony over who’s console is better is one that has had the two rival companies wanting to find ways to prove their offering is better. In the US, one of the biggest console buying nations, The Xbox 360 has, for the last 32 months – that is nearly two and a half years – been the top-selling console month-on-month, however after one impressive run of being at the top of its game, the 360 has finally fallen to the feet of the PS3 as it takes top spot for the first time since 2011.

According to the console sales figures released by NPD, the release of Grand Theft Auto V, which itself broke sales records, may have been part of the reason why the PS3 became more popular in September as Sony bundled in the games with their specially branded consoles.

Sales of consoles are not the only part of the market to see improvements due to Rockstar’s latest game title, whilst the Xbox 360 is still [for this year] going to be the top-selling console ahead of the launch of the Xbox One and the PS4, sales of console accessories and other gaming related hardware have also shot up by 27% (Vs. Sept 2012) as the market can’t get enough of GTA V.

Seeing as the Xbox One and the PS4 are very close to hitting the shelves, only to be quickly snatched off as everyone rushed to get the latest consoles, the slate can be wiped clean and by the end of the year we will see who is the top manufacturer.

Xbox One or PS4? Which are you rooting for? Have you got a pre-order or waiting for launch prices to fall, let us know in the comments section below.

Source: GeekWire