Get Your System Back From Petya Without Paying a Penny!

When it comes to security threats and risks, the community as a whole is at its best when it has a common goal. An example of this was two weeks ago when a new ransomware was found going by the name Petya. Petya didn’t act like normal ransomware but instead decided it would go after your master boot record, often locking people out their entire system until they received their password after paying a nice little fee. That was until some clever people got together to create some tools to get your system back from the ransomware without paying a single penny!

The original web tool came from the twitter account @leostone and lets you retrieve your file by providing it with a selection of data from the infected hard drive. Getting the data may seem like something difficult but a separate researcher went and created a tool titled Petya Sector Extractor that can find and retrieve the required data in seconds.

By removing the hard drive and plugging it into another computer, these tools can work together to retrieve the password required to unlock your master boot record from the clutches of Petya. The sector extractor tool is hosted by Bleeping Computer, a computer self-help forum, and reports that not only does the technique work but has also provided a step-by-step tutorial for anyone who isn’t 100% regarding how to return all their family photos at zero cost.

Verizon Looking to Switch Everyone From Copper to Fiber

Internet speeds are going up and up, but the US still lags behind the rest of the world leaving many upset. Some companies charge for the bigger internet, but internet provider Verizon looks to be one of the first to encourage users to switch to fiber optic cables.

Fiber is the only fix” was revealed by a document that seems to suggest that those who request fixes to any copper line will be told that the only way to fix the problem is by taking up the fiber optic lines. This will fall in line with the companies new official stance is to refuse repairs on any copper lines with the document stating that their official response when asked to fix a copper line “do not fix trouble with copper lines”.

If you don’t have a problem with copper lines, but someone near you has, then Verizon is making steps to improve and upgrade other people’s lines, perhaps in a move to help defer and delay future problems.

Some have felt like Verizon has been rather hostile in their actions to upgrade users from copper to fiber cables, with this being but the latest in a slew of moves to force users to upgrade to the latest technology. While people are happy for faster internet and connections, being forced to do anything is often seen with reluctance and anger.

Adobe Releases Emergency Update to Fix Flash Ransomware Exploits

Adobe’s flash plugin has rapidly become extremely unpopular with web users due to its buggy nature and propensity to make browsers hang. As a result, HTML5 is the modern standard for viewing video content or animations which has made Adobe’s flash superfluous. Despite this, Flash can still be used to display adverts or video streams via certain services. The plugin’s reputation is abysmal and various companies including Google have snubbed Flash in recent months. On Thursday, Adobe released an emergency update after researchers discovered an exploit could deliver ransomware to PCs.

The company implored users to install this update as a matter of urgency because ‘drive-by’ attacks were causing havoc. Respected security software maker, Trend Micro warned Adobe about this phenomenon known as ‘Cerber’ in March. This particularly nasty form of ransomware employs a ‘voice tactic’ which reads a ransom note to create a sense of panic. Unfortunately, Adobe’s response wasn’t that swift if the reports regarding Trend Micro’s warnings are correct. This isn’t going to do Flash’s reputation any favours and I can’t see it being used for much longer in consumer applications. The majority of users required Flash to watch YouTube content. Thankfully, this isn’t the case any more and Google automatically sets to plugin to HTML5.

The most important thing to remember from this story is to either uninstall Flash altogether or update to the latest version. Ransomware can be extremely worrying for users who aren’t familiar with how PCs operate and it’s imperative for company’s to stamp out any exploits. I do feel the future of Adobe Flash looks very bleak and I can’t imagine many people are going to miss using it. HTML5 is better for consumers in every possible way and an evolution of better software.

What kind of experience have you encountered using Adobe Flash?

Quantum Break Dev Investigating PC Version’s “Potential Issues”

Quantum Break was the catalyst which sparked Microsoft’s new plans to launch major Xbox One exclusives on their new Windows 10 store. The Universal Windows Platform is designed to bring PC gamers and console players together while offering an alternative to the Steam store. Unfortunately, the UWP’s launch has been pretty disastrous due to the lack of basic features including mod support, an uncapped frame-rate, ability to use frame-rate monitoring software and lots more! Thankfully, Microsoft acknowledged that it’s unacceptable and work needs to be done. However, why release it in such a state? Surely, that’s going to create a negative reputation and it would have been a better idea to delay the UWP’s release.

Not only that, the UWP games thus far have suffered from huge performance problems. For example, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on launch was full of hitching and became unplayable on AMD graphics cards. The latest title, Quantum Break is an absolutely breathtaking game but the PC version features an abysmal level of optimization. As a result, it’s ridiculous challenging to even obtain 30 frames-per-second using a 1920×1080 monitor with extreme hardware. Increasing the resolution to 2560×1440 and 4K exacerbates these issues even further.

In a post on the NeoGAF forums, Remedy Entertainment head of PR, Thomas Puha reassured fans opting for the Windows version and said:

“We are monitoring the discussion and what is going on. I had written a longer response, but it’s just gonna be misunderstood etc, so what I will say is that, rest assured, lot of work went into the Win10 version and we are looking at the reactions now as well as potential issues.”

Remedy are also working on a bug which covers the screen with intermittent blinking lights. Apparently, this will be fixed in the latest patch. I’m honestly really surprised by the technical ineptitude of Quantum Break considering Remedy’s reputation and love for the PC platform. To me it suggests one clear notion, that the PC version was rushed and approved at the last possible moment.

Lottery Terminals Hacked To Print Winning Tickets

The lottery is all about odds, from your numbers being picked to choosing to stay with your classic numbers or go for a lucky dip this weekend. It seemed that a group of people didn’t quite want luck to factor in and had in fact hacked lottery terminals in order to print winning tickets.

A group of six people has been charged with the crime in which they worked or owned retail stores that took part in the 5 Card Cash game in Connecticut. The only reason they got caught? They were winning too much.

Typically the state average for winning the lottery was 24 percent, but in one of the stores, there was a 76% chance of winning. They were able to do this by tampering with the terminals used to print lottery tickets and then cash them in. They might not be all of it though as investigators are claiming that “more arrests may be made in the future”.

The Hartford Courant stated the hack worked:

“An investigator for the Connecticut Lottery determined that terminal operators could slow down their lottery machines by requesting a number of database reports or by entering several requests for lottery game tickets. While those reports were being processed, the operator could enter sales for 5 Card Cash tickets. Before the tickets would print, however, the operator could see on a screen if the tickets were instant winners. If tickets were not winners, the operator could cancel the sale before the tickets printed.”

The 5 Card Cash game was cancelled after several months when the lottery officials realised that it came with more winning tickets than the system should have allowed. To this day, the game has remained suspended and looks to remain that way with the revelation of how many people were able to break the system for profit.

Volkswagen’s US Chief “Stepping Down”

Volkswagen (VW) is a well-known car manufacturer, or more recently due to the revelation that their cars had a system in place to produce “lower emissions” if it was tested at the time. The latest in a string of events for the company, the head of the United States branch of the company, Michael Horn, is stepping down.

With the revelation that at least 30 people knew about the illegal practise of fixing text results and the result being that certain cars are having to be pulled from the market before a “fix” can be implemented, losing the head of a branch isn’t a good sign for the company.

It should be noted that Horn isn’t listed in any of the investigations being carried out regarding this matter, and VW is still saying that senior management didn’t know about the software update that would cause it to produce “better” results for emission tests.

Following on from the concept that they could “fix” the cars that were producing illegal amounts of nitrogen oxide (including removing the illegal software update), the chief of California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) stated that it “may not be possible” to actually fix these vehicles.

With more and more cars being pulled and banned from sale due to the illegal software, one can only imagine the impact these vehicles are having both on the company and the environment.

Firaxis Working on XCOM 2 Fixes

People can’t wait for their new favourite game, with trailers and advertisements teasing and tempting you into saving every world from a threat or every road for a quick race. One of the former games is the eagerly anticipated XCOM 2, a game which has had some issues with their initial release version.

According to lead designer, Jake Solomon, the game’s technical problems are “the first thing we talk about when we come in in the morning”. With such a high-profile release, when the game runs badly for people they get upset quite vocally, as is the case with XCOM 2. While they are working on fixes for a range of things, with small hotfixes being released commonly, large fixes for things such as the framerate issues are “coming soon”.

In fairness, the game seems to only have problems at rare and random intervals, with most players being able to enjoy the game with no issues (or at least, minor ones). Some of the things that bugged players was the camera pauses for a second after kills or certain events in-game, something which Solomon claims responsibility for saying “that stuff’s on me… if things can be sped up they certainly will”.

It’s nice to see people making games that feel so passionate about their creation, even after the initial paychecks. With releases such as Aliens: Colonial marines damaging companies reputations beyond repair for a lot of fans and gamers, having a good aftercare package is essential these days.

Windows Fixes Issues With Games but Still Unclear With Mobile OS

Build 11102 of Windows 10 came to the public attention in a big way recently when it was discovered that the build would crash when running games. Ranging from starting up a game to swapping out from a full-screen application, many were put off updating when they discovered this bug; this has now been fixed as of Microsoft’s latest build.

Build 14251 follows on from build 11102 in fixing the problems that led to crashes when playing games. The significant jump in build numbers doesn’t reflect the level of work or number of features included in the new build. The new number is actually just to synchronise their mobile and PC versioning.

In a blog post, they reaffirm that they want to release builds faster to Windows Insiders, people who will be testing out and using the latest “version” of the operating system, often finding these little bugs in the process. The reminders in the blog post ask that people be aware, faster deployment of code means you will often find these little bugs and they may take several builds to fix.

Stating that they will be releasing builds for the Lumia 950, 950XL and 550, it is then said that they will “release Windows Mobile 10 to other devices”. Windows mobile received bad reviews, with some being fixed in the update to mobile 8.1 and more recently windows 10, although the speed at which handsets have been updated is too slow for some.

Do you use Windows 10, either on mobile or on your PC? How have you found the latest updates and patches? Was your phone or PC originally windows 10 or did you upgrade to it? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

ASRock Releases BIOS Update to Fix Skylake Instability Bug

Intel’s Skylake architecture has received a number of negative headlines regarding its high cost compared to the previous generation, flexing with high pressure coolers and most recently, stability issues during heavy workloads. The stability bug predominately revolves around demanding software like Prime95 and caused systems to hang on a regular basis. Thankfully, motherboard vendors including ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI and now ASRock have quickly identified the problem and launched BIOS fixes. Here is the original statement from Intel:

“Intel has identified an issue that potentially affects the 6th Gen Intel® Core family of products.  This issue only occurs under certain complex workload conditions, like those that may be encountered when running applications like Prime95.  In those cases, the processor may hang or cause unpredictable system behavior.  Intel has identified and released a fix and is working with external business partners to get the fix deployed through BIOS.”

As you can see, Prime95 is now completely stable across every ASRock 100-series motherboard, and all you have to do is apply the latest BIOS update. It’s great to see manufacturers release bug fixes so quickly especially when the issue impacts on system stability. Clearly, it’s only a minority of people who use complex workloads such as Prime95. On the other hand, I’d theorize that most Z170 customers overclock their CPU and require stress testing programs to gauge if a certain frequency/voltage combination is stable.

Personally, I’d recommend using AIDA64’s stress test because it appears to have fewer issues with Skylake CPUs. Although, it’s safe enough to run OCCT or Prime95, especially after the BIOS update. It seems Skylake has disappointed users and prices definitely need to come down to respectable levels. In the UK, an i7-6700K can cost upwards of £350, which almost defies belief!

Have you upgraded to Skylake or moved to the X99 platform instead?

MSI Releases Fix For Skylake Bug Causing Instability

Intel’s Skylake architecture has received a barrage of negative publicity after reports suggested the CPUs could bend under the weight of high pressure coolers and now, a bug was discovered during intensive workloads which causes the system to freeze. The root cause of this is hyperthreading and the use of CPUsupportsFMA3. Intel responded to the claims with an official statement which reads:

“Intel has identified an issue that potentially affects the 6th Gen Intel® Core family of products.  This issue only occurs under certain complex workload conditions, like those that may be encountered when running applications like Prime95.  In those cases, the processor may hang or cause unpredictable system behavior.  Intel has identified and released a fix and is working with external business partners to get the fix deployed through BIOS.”

Thankfully, MSI has released a very swift BIOS update to eradicate the issue although this only covers the Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM and Z170A GAMING M7 so far. However, the rest of MSI’s Skylake line-up will receive a fix pretty soon and be avaliable via MSI’s website. Please note, if you desperately need to apply the latest BIOS now for either the Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM and Z170A GAMING M7, navigate to this page.

Clearly, Intel’s latest release hasn’t gone as smoothly as the company expected, and issues have arisen which could deter consumers from upgrading. Despite this, it’s great to see such a fast response to any technical problems and helps to reassure users that Skylake is a worthwhile investment. Customer service is key in the technology industry, and once again MSI is displaying their commitment to providing the best communication possible. It will be interesting to see if any other technical problems arise from Skylake, but it’s important to remember that the freezing bug only really comes into play during extreme stress workloads.

Juniper Releases Second Patch To Fix Flaws

Juniper has been in the news a lot recently, after discovering that their firewalls exposed virtual private networks ‘secure’ data. It was then revealed that this went one step further, with groups like the NSA and GCHQ working together to hack Junipers firewalls. If this wasn’t bad enough, Juniper fell silent on the matter before it was revealed that the software that was vulnerable was still located within their software.  This is set to change though with Juniper releasing a second patch, designed to remove the software responsible for their “insecure” software.

In a post titled “Advancing the Security of Juniper Products“, the use of Dual_EC and ANSI X9.31 will be replaced with a different number generator, one that is used in other products. Dual_EC is the software that is considered flawed and therefore, the greatest security risk, even though it was only added to the software a year after the issues were publically revealed.

This action comes as part of a “detailed investigation” of their software’s code, resulting in patches and the removal of “unauthorized code”. While these actions are well welcomed the questions remain as to why this all started. Where did the “unauthorized code” come from and if Stephen Checkoway, a computer science lecturer from the University  of Illinois in Chicago, is correct, the addition of Dual_EC actually reduced the security on Juniper’s software, making it easier to access it through a backdoor.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 361.43 WHQL Driver With Fixes and VR Improvement

Nvidia is ready with a new WHQL certified driver just in time before Christmas. The new driver fixes quite a few bugs such as the wrong clock speeds and higher power consumption on 144 Hz monitors when a GM20x-based card is used. The main focus of the driver is however on the VR part of things and it contains the latest GameWorks VR tweaks, bug fixes, and optimizations to ensure you have the ultimate VR gaming experience.

Nvidia added support for GameWorks VR 1.1 including VR SLI support for OpenGL applications and support for the latest Oculus SDK and as of Windows 10 November Update, Fermi GPUs now use WDDM 2.0 in single GPU configurations. As always, there was a list of new SLI profiles added for compatibility and this time that includes profiles for Bless, DayZ, Dungeon Defenders 2, Elite Dangerous, and Hard West.

Other than the previous mentioned things, Nvidia also added some more fixes for flip timing and event notification bugs, fixed a driver bug where the hot-plugging the output would result in any following hotplug device to be ignored, and what many might be looking forward too, a fix for Star Wars Battlefront SLI lag that started with driver 359.06.

You can read the full change logs here or download the fresh drivers here. If you got your Nvidia Experience installed, then you can also use that instead for a convenient upgrade.

Apple Sued For Data Consuming “Bug”

Apple is known for a lot of things but none more than their iPhones, for better or worse. In this case, it’s again for the worse. Apple has had some problems regarding their software and just like almost a year ago when it was revealed that Siri shared your conversations with other companies, they have been caught yet again relating to their data usage. Apple had the issue in October when they went to court that iOS’s 9 WiFi assist would use mobile internet alongside their WiFi, without alerting the user that they were now using their data roaming. Why not face another lawsuit for the same problem?

Hagens Berman Sobol Shaprio LLP have filed a class-action lawsuit relating to iPhone 5 and 5’cs using iOS 6 and 7. The issue relates specifically to these models because when users were streaming video for even a couple of minutes the phone would switch off its CPU allowing the phone to save power and battery life. The problem being is that doing this would also silently turn off the WiFi and start streaming the video data from a cellular signal.

The suit claims that they violated California consumer laws given that while Apple were aware of the defect they not only failed to fix or warn customers about the issue but that it was fixed for Verizon users back in September 2012 but wasn’t fixed for AT&T users until October 2014.

Streaming data is a costly activity and having your data drained without being warned, because of a known bug, has to annoy anyone. Have you ever gone over your data allowance or found you’ve used your phone data more than you expected?

NVIDIA Releases 359.12 Hotfix Driver to Resolve GTX 860M Stability Issues

A significant number of NVIDIA GTX 860M owners have been experiencing random freezing during certain games which made it impossible to use their hardware as intended. For example, one user said:

“Just tried battlefront. My Y50-70 with 860m 4gb completely locks up as soon as I loaded a game.”

This seems to be a fairly common occurrence as most of the complaints revolve around general instability. Patching any major faults via driver updates is a difficult process and requires a great deal of testing. Although, the gaming experience shouldn’t be like this in the first place and consumers expect much better from NVIDIA. Thankfully, NVIDIA has now released a hotfix which theoretically resolves the regular crashing. While it’s too early to say if the hotfix has been a resounding success, early reports are positive:

“The new hotfix is working fine. Tested on Fallout 4, Witcher 3 and Cities Skylines. Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition 860M, i5 4210H.”

Please note, the hotfix is specifically designed to fix issues with the GTX 860M and not other solutions like the GTX 870M. If you’re interested in giving the hotfix a try I’d strongly recommend uninstalling the older drivers via Display Driver Uninstaller. Once complete perform a fresh install of the 359.12 located here.

AMD Releases Hotfix for Crimson Edition Software and Fan Issues

AMD’s new Crimson Edition software that replaced the old Catalyst Control Center ran into some trouble over the weekend as users reported their fan speeds malfunctioning. For some users it would be stuck on maximum while other people experienced them throttled to 30% speed at all times.

AMD was quick to respond and promised a fix for the issue on Monday, and they delivered. The new AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.11.1 Hotfix is available for download and it should take care of those nasty fan issues. AMD hasn’t had the best track record in the past when it comes to frequent and swift updates which make this double nice to see and something that count point towards a better driver support with Crimson than we had with CCC.

The new driver doesn’t just fix the fan issues, it also brings some improvements along at the same time. There were some language and software display features fixed as well as a row of game issues.

  • [82050] Star Wars: Battlefront – Snow flickers in a few locations in the game
  • [82240] Star Wars: Battlefront – Sky rendering may be broken in some game locations
  • [82645] Fallout 4 – The compass may flicker during gameplay on AMD Radeon R9 390 series products. We continue to investigate the issue with AMD Radeon R9 290 and AMD Radeon R9 295X2 series products
  • [82667] Star Wars: Battlefront – Shadowy textures are visible around hills/structures/caves
  • [81890] Just Cause 3 – Texture corruption may be experienced during gameplay
  • [54874] Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 – Poor AMD Crossfire performance may be experienced
  • [82338] The driver installation may fail while installing the ACP component
  • [82426] The font size in Chinese language installations may be too small
  • [82438] The label range values in some AMD Freesync installations may be incorrect
  • [82536] The Radeon Settings dropbox does not close when it is clicked on a second time
  • [82603] The AMD Overdrive fan settings is always set to ON after first edit on reboot
  • [82586] Language shows up as Chinese Simplified when Chinese Traditional is selected in Windows 7
  • [82656] Radeon Settings crashes on the Display tab when cloning a display via HDMI on some notebooks
  • [82671] Overdrive fan speed is reset to Manual on exiting from a 3D game or application
  • [82766] Radeon Settings does not get upgraded in some install scenarios
  • [82691] AMD Overdrive cannot revert to default settings in some situations

You can download the new driver fix and view the full release notes on AMD’s support pages.

AMD Acknowledges Crimson Editions Fan Issues and Releases Patch Today

AMD was quite proud when they released the new Crimson Edition software and it was a great success for the biggest part. The new interface was welcomed by most users where others ran into some trouble. The issue is in regards to the graphics cards fan, a vital component on your graphics card. There are two separate issues in regards to the fan speed where one will let the graphic card spin up to 100% at all times, even when idle, and the other one holds the fan speed at 30%, again at all times. AMD acknowledged this issue over the weekend and promised to release a fix today.

“We’re aware of isolated reports of low fan states following the installation of Radeon Software ‘Crimson Edition’ on select Radeon GPUs. Our engineering teams have identified and addressed this issue, and we intend to release a hotfix on amd.com this coming Monday, November 30th.”

So it looks like the problem has been found, but it could be too late for some users. While the 100% fan speed isn’t as serious as it is annoying, the 30% speed can become problematic. A few users have reported their GPU dying and named this as the reason. It seems logic, if you tax your GPU for full load for an extended period of time, it will get very hot. And if it isn’t cooled properly because the fan doesn’t spin up, then we got a problem. But whether these reports are people that actually had this happen or if they’re just opportunistic in order to try and get a new graphics card that they killed themselves is something that is up to everyone’s own speculation.

Video From Volkswagen Shows Emissions Cheating Fix

Today, a video from Volkswagen was released on Youtube, outlining their planned fixes their EA 189 1.6 and 2 litre diesel engines, which have been at the center of their recent emissions scandal.

There are two parts to the solution outlined in their video: The first is an update to the engine control software of the car, the second the installation of a flow transformer, a grated plastic tube that “stabilizes the air flow and allows for a more precise measurement of the incoming fresh air” and according to Andreas Krause, “the fuel can be metered more precisely and will improve emissions”. VW state that the fix will be quick for the vehicles, with the 1.6 litre engines taking less than an hour and 2 litre as little as 30 minutes.

Unfortunately for American owners of offending VW vehicles this fix is only for European vehicles, where the regulations in place regarding diesel emissions are less strict. And while VW claim that the fix to their 3-litre engines is only a software upgrade to the engine, no fixes that have been submitted by the German company have yet to be approved by US regulators. Until a solution is approved, the countless Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen cars that are fitted with an offending engine remain suspended from sale.

Despite this, Volkswagen assure consumers that the cars remain “technically safe and roadworthy until the respective technical measures can be implemented”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKN8danpIfE

Dell Sorry and Rushes To Fix Security Issue

Yesterday we reported on a security issue that came pre-installed on Dell machines, resulting in a potential security risk to both your details and opening up your system into being tricked about if a website is ‘secure’ or not. It would seem that they have been quick and keen to fix this issue, releasing information on how to fix the problem on machines.

First up, if you are using a Dell machine we recommend you use the test site that’s been set up. If this website appears fine, with a padlock in your browser, without displaying a warning then it means that your computer is currently running the eDellRoot certificate.

In order to remove it, you can either use the following process listed below or you can use the uninstaller app provided here. If you want to remove it manually then follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the start menu, type “mmc” and press enter
  2. Go to File -> Add/Remove Snap
  3. Pick certificates and press add
  4. Choose computer account and press next
  5. Choose local computer and press finish
  6. Press Ok
  7. Expand Certificates and Trusted Root Certification Authorities
  8. Pick the certificates folder and check to see if eDellRoot is present
  9. If eDellRoot is present, right click and press delete.

If you want to see the full steps listed provided by Dell you can find the file here. With these steps, you can ensure one less threat to your machine and as such your digital life. It will be interesting to see how Dell reacts to this issue and moves forward in the coming weeks.

First Fallout 4 ENBSeries Mod Now Available for Download

Have you been enjoying Fallout 4 on PC? I know I haven’t! That’s right, I’m one of the few people who is willingly waiting until after the new year to enjoy the latest Bethesda has to offer, as I know there will be a few important patches, driver updates and most importantly, the first wave of performance and graphics enhancing mods available.

We already reported on the first “mod” for the game, with the release of a SweetFX update, which you can view here. Now we’ve also got our hands on the first ENBSeries mod courtesy of modder Boris Vorontsov, who released the update earlier today.

“This is patch without any graphic enhancements. It fixes game specific bugs or at least designed for that as i don’t have bugs for test them myself. Please post here results, if it helps, on the contrary CTDs or new kind of bugs with it, incompatiblity with other software.”

The mod only includes a few simple features for now, but let’s give the guy a break, it’s only been out a few days and updates are bound to start rolling out soon. If you want to download the mod, hit up the ENB page here.

As you can see in the video below, the mod helps fix some of the major issues that have been plaguing PC gamers, such as the high-framerate glitch and other issues.

https://youtu.be/R3PypteocPs

Fallout 4: How to Fix FOV, Mouse, Aiming and 21:9 Issues!

Have you been enjoying Fallout 4 so far this week? The game has gotten off to (mostly) positive feedback from gamers and the wider gaming industry, but as with any game launch, there have been a few issues. From the game running too fast due to high FPS, mouse acceleration issues, poor FOV and more. Fortunately, fixes are coming thick and fast courtesy of some proactive redditors.

First things first, make sure that you download the latest Nvidia drivers (sorry AMD fans, nothing yet) which were released today.

Next up, the FOV is looked on Fallout 4, but a few simple tweaks can allow you to change it.

Open both Fallout4.ini and Fallout4Prefs.ini
In the [Display] section of both files, add the following lines:
fDefaultWorldFOV=90
fDefault1stPersonFOV=90
90 is the default FOV of most FPS games, but you can change that to whatever makes you happy

What about that god awful mouse acceleration issue?

Open both Fallout4.ini and Fallout4Prefs.ini
In the [Controls] section of both files, add this line:
bMouseAcceleration=0

Although why bMouseAccelration=0 would ever be set to anything higher than zero is beyond me… silly Bethesda. Then we’ve also got the fact that vertical mouse sensitivity is set to half the horizontal, and once again, I have no flipping idea why! Here’s how to fix it.

Open Fallout4.ini
In the [Controls] section, find fMouseHeadingXScale
On the next line, make fMouseHeadingYScale 2x the amount of fMouseHeadingXScale

If you’re having trouble with 21:9, mostly from not being able to select your resolution from within the game. Follow these simple steps

Add these values to ‘Fallout4Prefs.ini’ in your documents, my games etc AND to ‘Fallout4Prefs.ini’
bTopMostWindow=1
bMaximizeWindow=1
bBorderless=1
bFull Screen=0
iSize H=1080
iSize W=2560

Now go forth and enjoy the wasteland once more!

Fallout 4 Xbox One Pre-Load Can Contain The Wrong File

Digital games are becoming more popular on consoles as consumers feel less attached to physical media. Many users originally perceived digital as an inconvenience due to huge download sizes and overloaded servers on launch. Thankfully, the advent of pre-loading means gamers can instantly access the latest titles once unlocked. However, digital console games can be massively overpriced which deters people from ditching physical media altogether. On another note, the process can encounter technical glitches. For example, if you’ve pre-loaded Fallout 4 on the Xbox One, it’s possible the wrong ‘stub file’ might have been downloaded.

This occurs on systems with the Instant On power mode disabled. There’s no need to be overly concerned though as Bethesda released a guide to solve the weird pre-loading error:

To do so, follow the process below:

  • Navigate to My Games & Apps.

  • Find the title’s tile in Games.

  • With the tile highlighted, press the [Menu] button on your controller.

  • Select Manage Game.

  • In the Manage Game screen, select the storage device the game is currently installed to.

  • Select Uninstall.

  • Once the game has uninstalled, return to My Games & Apps.

  • Scroll right to the “Ready to Install” section under Games.

  • Highlight the title’s tile.

  • Press [A] to select.

  • Choose Install.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3IlHBBGCIw

Facebook App Update Delivers iPhone Battery Life Fixes

Recently we brought you news that the Facebook app was one of the main culprits for poor battery life on iPhones. Even when the app was not being used the app remained active in the background whilst continuing to zap your battery.

We shared our concerns on eTeknix regarding Facebook causing bad iPhone battery life and this isn’t the first time that the Facebook iPhone app showed up as a potential battery hog. Back in 2013 users discovered that the Facebook app stayed active in the background, draining the battery faster and it seems a similar bug had crept its way back in. Facebook’s engineering manager Ari Grant, has acknowledged it with a post apologising for the issue:

“We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. We are committed to continuing to improve the battery usage of our app and you should see improvements in the version released today.”

The new update for the iPhone includes two main fixes aimed at delivering better iPhone battery life to users by optimizing the CPU usage and solving a frustrating bug that kept silent audio playing in the background after you closed the Facebook iPhone app.

There is a new Facebook app update for the iPhone every two weeks, so users may see additional and more refined improvements in early November.

Possible Fix Found For Windows 10 Error With Taskbar and Cortana.

The release of Windows 10 has been rather odd in many respects, yes it’s an improvement over the much maligned previous OS in terms of user interface, but privacy concerns coupled with a monitoring tool that allows parents to effectively spy on their children’s browsing habits by default has led to a rather mixed reception. Among the many errors and glitches that have befallen consumers is the rather annoying bug that has led to the failure of both Cortana and the taskbar for many individuals, who have been subsequently privileged to a “Critical Error” when attempting to launch both applications. So much so that the official Microsoft answers board has seen consumers vent their frustrations concerning the problem.

Well, this error might have been in part clarified by a redditor that goes by the moniker “Xeasar”, who has seemingly found a fix when this individual attempted to uninstall Avast Anti-Virus. It was found that as soon as this software had been removed, both Cortana and the Taskbar returned to full functionality, leading to the conclusion of compatibility issues with this particular program. Whether this is the sole cause of the problem or down to a variety of incompatible applications remains to be seen.

According to “Xeasar”, Microsoft is aware of the problem and as a result is working on a patch for the issue. On occasions software developers view consumers with suspicion even though in many cases it’s those same people who find a way to fix issues with certain products. It will be interesting to note how and when Microsoft patches this issue and it also conveys the unstable nature of a new OS in its first year.

Thank you Reddit and answers.microsoft for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of techworm

AMD Releases Catalyst 15.9.1 Beta Driver With Memory Leak Fix

AMD has released the latest Catalyst 15.9.1 Beta driver which offers enhanced optimization for the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront Beta and Fable Legends preview. The 15.9.1 update also implements a wide array of other tweaks including an essential fix to address the memory leak issue. In the last driver version, re-sizing any browser would cause the memory utilization to spike to 100%. Here is a complete rundown of the changes in the latest Beta:

Performance Optimizations

    • Star Wars: Battlefront Beta – Performance and quality optimizations
    • Fable Legends : Includes the latest DirectX® 12 optimizations for the Fable Legends: Benchmark

Resolved Issues:

    • [77609] A video memory leak can occur when browser and other windows are resized
    • [59474] Diablo 3 crashes in the Act 2 Desolate Sands area of the game
    • [59081] The AMD Catalyst Control Center ‘update’ option fails to download the latest driver
    • [58800] Dragon Age: Inquisition may crash if launched in Mantle mode
    • [58781] The DirectX® Diagnostic tool does not report DirectX® 12 available on supported products
    • [58677] World of Warships may crash on some AMD Radeon HD5000 and HD6000 series products
    • [58646] Assassin’s Creed® Unity may experience minor frame stutter when AMD CrossFire mode is enabled
    • [58485] Anti Aliasing settings not being retained after changes are applied
    • [58450] Some BENQ 144hz Freesync monitors may lose the signal while uninstalling the driver
    • [58495] DiRT Rally crashes during gameplay and benchmarking when launched in DirectX® 11 mode on some BENQ 144HZ Freesync monitors

Known Issues:

    • [57189] GTA V crashes on some AMD Radeon R9 390X GPU’s
    • [76899] Star Wars: Battlefront Bata –  Flickering may be experience if AMD Crossfire is enabled
    • [56099] Corruption may occur in DiRT Rally with CMAA enabled with Portrait SLS and AMD CrossFire mode enabled
    • [59792] A black screen may be encountered on bootup on Windows 10 systems. The system will ultimately continue to the Windows login screen.
    • [76930] Intermittent playback issues with Cyberlink PoweDVD when connecting to a 3D display with an HDMI cable
    • [76924] A TDR error may be experienced while toggling between minimized and maximized mode while viewing 4K Youtube content
    • [59475] Elite: Dangerous – poor performance may be experienced in SuperCruise mode
    • [59298] Final Fantasy XIV – Heavensward may crash when run in DirectX 11® mode and borderless window mode
    • [58870] Some applications may fail to launch on some Mobility platforms when launched in High Performance mode
    • [425417] Windows 10 driver installation may halt on some systems with an AMD 990FX chipset and AMD CrossFire enabled
    • [58506] Mad Max – Color corruption is observed when Alt+Ctrl+Del is pressed followed by the Escape key

To download the latest Beta driver please navigate to this link.

Windows 10 Long Term Plan Revealed – Supporting the Operating System For 10 Years

Windows 10 has been the forefront of the big news for Microsoft since its official announcement earlier in the year. After some confusion (okay, a lot of confusion) over who would have immediate access free, what it would entail and especially regarding those running less than legitimate copies of windows 7 any news about the new system has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

The latest news about the soon to be released operating system is mostly about how long-term the operating system plans to be. With recent news that windows 10 will force you to download updates automatically (therefore making sure you have the most up to date software) you are now entitled to the free updates for a total of 10 years. That’s right, a full ten years full of customer support regardless of how you’ve acquired your copy of Windows 10. This means that windows 7 and 8 users will be getting a total of 10 years service when the new operating system on July 29th when it’s released.

This means that no matter what, you can expect at least 10 years of security fixes and patches, a feature which XP has stopped receiving and is costing some companies millions to keep the operating system running.

With so many people using outdated and insecure operating systems a lot will be tempted to try out the new system, and 10 years of support will help people believe in promises that this system will not just be replaced within the next few years.

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Redmond Magazine.

Batman Arkham Knight PC Update Coming August

Batman Arkham Knight was released almost a month ago and by this time there has only been one tiny patch that was released for the PC version which didn’t fix a lot, however PC fans have been angrily voicing their opinions demanding fixes and patches.

Thankfully a patch is on its way in August, which aims to eliminate framerate issues and improve the overall performance of the game. Here is a list of following features that will be added in the upcoming patch for august

  • Support for frame rates above 30FPS in the graphics settings menu
  • Improve overall performance and framerate hitches
  • Fix for low resolution texture bug
  • Improve overall performance and framrate hitches
  • Add more options to the graphics settings menu
  • Improvements to hard drive streaming and hitches
  • Adds full screen rendering bug on gaming laptops
  • Improvements to system memory and VRAM usages
  • NVIDIA SLI bug fixes
  • Enabling AMD Crossfire
  • NVIDA and AMD updated drivers

So far the list of items for the following patch sound very promising and should hopefully clear up most of the issues PC gamers have been experiencing since launch of the game. While it has been almost a full month since release and PC has only had a minor patch update, it is very good news for those that are still playing batman on PC as recently Warner Bros announced that the game would go back on sale for PC with every issue addressed in the fall, which may have left those still playing annoyed.

Are you looking forward to playing Batman Arkham Knight the way it was meant to be played?

Thank you DSOG for providing us with this information.

See How Many Popular Apps Failed to Protect Your Password

When using an app developed by a big company, you might think that it is trustworthy and ensures your security and privacy. Well, a recent test proved how easy and vulnerable a lot of popular iOS and Android apps are to crack and have your passwords nabbed.

According to security firm AppBugs, a huge number of popular apps are allowing users to make a large number of login attempts without any type of restrictions. Why is this so important? Well, hackers may as well try to guess your passwords this way. There are a lot of methods involving apps that can randomly generate and test passwords, and since we are talking about mobile devices, I don’t think people will use something they can barely remember, yet alone type, as their passwords.

AppBugs found that out of 100 apps, 53 were found vulnerable. Apps such as Songza, Pocket, Wunderlist, iHeartRadio, WatchESPN, Expedia, Dictionary, CNN, Domino’s Pizza USA, Zillow, AutoCAD 360, Slack, SoundCloud, Kobo and Walmart are just a few of the one found. The security firm gave the developers 30 days to fix the issues, but only a couple of the latter mentioned apps were actually patched. The full list of vulnerable apps will be revealed on the 30th of July, according to AppBugs.

If you wish to protect your data further, users are encouraged to start considering using apps that manage all your stored passwords if you forget them, or even activate 2-factor authentication in apps, if it’s available.

Thank you 9to5mac for providing us with this information