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      Trust, but verify: introducing user verification into Jitsi

      Mathias Poujol-Rost ✅ · Sunday, 11 June, 2023 - 10:07 edit

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      Friday Squid Blogging: Injured Giant Squid and Paddleboarder / Schneier · Thursday, 22 December, 2022 - 19:52

    Here’s a video —I don’t know where it’s from—of an injured juvenile male giant squid grabbing on to a paddleboard.

    As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven’t covered.

    Read my blog posting guidelines here .

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      War Stories: How Crash Bandicoot hacked the original PlayStation

      Kyle Orland · / ArsTechnica · Sunday, 5 September, 2021 - 12:45 · 1 minute

    Shot by Sean Dacanay, edited by Jeremy Smolik. Click here for transcript .

    When you hear the name Crash Bandicoot , you probably think of it as Sony's platformy, mascoty answer to Mario and Sonic. Before getting the full Sony marketing treatment, though, the game was developer Naughty Dog's first attempt at programming a 3D platform game for Sony's brand-new PlayStation. And developing the game in 1994 and 1995—well before the release of Super Mario 64 —involved some real technical and game design challenges.

    In our latest War Stories video, coder Andy Gavin walks us through a number of the tricks he used to overcome some of those challenges. Those include an advanced virtual memory swapping technique that divided massive (for the time) levels into 64KB chunks. Those chunks could be loaded independently from the slow (but high-capacity) CD drive into the scant 2MB of fast system RAM only when they were needed for Crash's immediate, on-screen environment.

    The result allowed for "20 to 30 times" the level of detail of a contemporary game like Tomb Raider , which really shows when you look at the game's environments. Similar dynamic memory management techniques are now pretty standard in open-world video games, and they all owe a debt of gratitude to Gavin's work on Crash Bandicoot as a proof of concept.

    Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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      Mass Effect Legendary Edition now playable on Linux with Proton GE

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 17 May, 2021 - 15:04 · 2 minutes

    The big new release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition from BioWare and EA is only supported for Windows on PC, but with Proton GE you should now be able to play it on Linux. Should being the keyword, as Proton can be a little fiddly at times.

    If you're not clear on what Proton and Steam Play are, be sure to check out our constantly updated dedicated page . It's a special compatibility layer for running Windows games and apps from Steam on Linux. Proton GE is the community-made version which has a number of extras.

    Proton-6.8-GE-2 is officially out now with these changes:

    • Mass Effect Legendary Edition Launcher and ME1 fixes added. All 3 games should be playable.
    • DOOM Eternal should no longer hang and resolution change should work again
    • Forza Horizon 4 frequency patch added, however this does not seem to improve the crashing :/
    • RE8 REENGINE Logo audio is fixed and no longer plays static (game is still crashy)
    • RE8 Display menu fixes ported from proton experimental
    • Nioh 2 hang fixed (videos still don't play)
    • Fallout: New Vegas audio looping fixed
    • 2k Launcher fixes ported from proton experimental (fixes mafia, mafia II, and others)
    • Yakuza 0 - fsync disabled (thanks tgurr!)
    • Yakuza Kiwami - fsync disabled (thanks tgurr!)
    • LEGO The Lord of the Rings d3dx9_41 override added (thanks alkazar and FigoFrago!)

    Also of note is that you may need to remove your Wine/Proton prefix for Persona 4 Golden to work, see how to do that in our previous article .

    To use it here's what you do:

    1. Download the Proton-6.8-GE-2.tar.gz file from the release notes .
    2. If this folder does not exist, create it: ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d/
    3. Extract the archive downloaded in Step 1, and place the contents into the above directory.
    4. Restart Steam if it's open which refreshes the Steam Play list for Proton-6.8-GE-2 to show up.
    5. Right click on your game, go to Properties, Compatibility and ensure the box is ticked named "Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool" then select it from the dropdown box that appears.

    Want to see how Mass Effect Legendary Edition runs on Linux with Proton GE? See below:

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    Note: the stuttering you see is pretty common for running Windows games through Proton, as it needs to manually build up a cache to pull from. Usually not an issue on Windows, as games are directly made for it and build it themselves. Over time it becomes smoother and this is what the Steam Shader Pre-Caching system is supposed to be helping with.

    Spoiler alert though for older players: apparently the face of Tali was changed from a stock photo you could see in-game to a unique and more appropriate image, it does make me laugh that such a small change has generated big headlines across the major gaming sites.

    For me, Mass Effect is one series that holds an immensely special place. I played through the entire series back when I was a big console gaming fan (before truly diving fully into Linux) and I loved the story and the whole experience. Being able to do it again, enhanced and on Linux is just beautiful.

    You can buy it on Steam , just remember though that running it in this way on Linux is not actually supported. The usual caveats apply: it can break any time and the developer doesn't need to ensure it continues working this way.

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      Mojang talk about new Minecraft mobs in the Caves & Cliffs update in a fresh dev video

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 17 May, 2021 - 10:13

    Excited for the huge Caves & Cliffs upgrade coming to Minecraft? Even though it's being split in half , we certainly are and you can get a little more behind the scenes info in a new video.

    Caves are one of the most unloved areas in Minecraft, so to see Mojang put some effort into sprucing them up a bit is quite exciting. Digging deep for riches should be much more enticing than it currently is and there's a lot of new goodies coming. What about the mobs though? There's plenty of new there too.

    Interested in knowing more? Watch the below video:

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    As a reminder the first part of Caves & Cliffs arrives "mid-2021" bringing with it the new blocks, mobs, copper and more with the second part due towards the end of the year to include the expanded world generation for new caves, increases to the height and depth world limits, new mountain generation, new biomes and so on. There's a seriously huge amount to look forward to for Minecraft this year.

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      Check out the first Total War: WARHAMMER III gameplay reveal, coming to Linux late in 2021

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 13 May, 2021 - 18:23 · 1 minute

    Today we've seen the first official gameplay of the upcoming Total War: WARHAMMER III from Creative Assembly, SEGA and porting studio Feral Interactive.

    Before it gets into the gameplay though, it also shows off the Trial By Fire trailer that was released by itself yesterday which gets you in the mood for some action. This is the final game in the Total War Warhammer trilogy, and it's pleasing to see that we will have all three officially on Linux.

    Have a look below:

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    Some much bigger sites than us (Hi Eurogamer , IGN and so on) also got a hands-on preview. Sounds like all the previews were played across Parsec , which is pretty intriguing to see streaming tech used more like this.

    "I think what I could say is that this is the final in a series of games, a trilogy, and this one is bigger, badder, better than the rest. We’ve had time to look over Warhammer 1, 2 and the DLCs. We've taken fan feedback and we’ve really improved on this game in terms of functionality and usability", says designer James Martin.

    You can pre-purchase on Steam . The release will be sometime late this year.

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      Open source video player VLC will get a new UI this year with 4.0 launch

      Samuel Axon · / ArsTechnica · Friday, 12 February, 2021 - 18:44

    An orange traffic cone has long been the logo and symbol for VLC media player.

    Enlarge / An orange traffic cone has long been the logo and symbol for VLC media player.

    News website Protocol ran an extensive piece on the history and status of the popular open source video player VLC, and the story includes new details about the next major version of the software. Among other things, VLC 4.0 will bring a complete user interface overhaul.

    "We modified the interface to be a bit more modern," VideoLAN foundation President Jean-Baptiste Kempf told the publication. Kempf had previously shown some version of a new interface about two years ago, but it's unclear at this point how much that one resembles the one the team plans to introduce with VLC 4.0.

    While the article doesn't list every change coming, it does outline a couple other possible directions and priorities for VLC.

    Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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      À Brighton, des nuées d'étourneaux filmées au dessus de la Manche

      Claire Pian · / HuffingtonPost · Thursday, 11 February, 2021 - 11:12 · 2 minutes

    ANIMAUX - Mystérieuse coordination. Mercredi 10 février sur son compte Twitter, une Britannique a publié des images aussi majestueuses qu’impressionnantes. Des groupes d’étourneaux se déplacent en parfait synchronisme, formant des nuées sombres au-dessus de l’eau. Un phénomène qui reste encore énigmatique pour les chercheurs.

    Cette vidéo a vraisemblablement été tournée lors du coucher du soleil à Brighton au Royaume-Uni , dont on reconnaît la célèbre jetée en arrière-plan. Comme vous pouvez le voir dans la vidéo en tête de cet article, le déplacement simultané d’une centaine, voire de milliers d’étourneaux au ras de la Manche donne l’impression d’une nuée noire, d’un essaim d’abeilles.

    On appelle ces mystérieux regroupements synchronisés d’ oiseaux en vol des murmurations. Ce phénomène se produit en hiver, entre les mois de novembre et février, le plus souvent au crépuscule.

    Une première hypothèse, développée par Guy Théraulaz, directeur de recherches au Centre de recherche sur la cognition animale à l’université Paul-Sabatier de Toulouse, dans Le Journal Du Dimanche, voudrait que ces murmarations permettent aux étourneaux “de créer des superorganismes afin de collecter plus efficacement l’information et d’accroître la survie des individus”.

    Si l’un des oiseaux repère un abri il pourrait facilement communiquer l’information en se dirigeant vers l’objet, puisque tout le groupe suivrait. Si c’est un prédateur, il sera plus difficile pour lui “de se focaliser sur un individu particulier”. Pourtant, aucun leader dans ces groupements. N’importe quel oiseau peut prendre l’initiative d’un nouveau déplacement.

    Leur capacité à changer de direction très furtivement, sans ne jamais casser le rythme de cette danse, serait due à des comportements d’attraction et d’alignement”, semblables à celui d’un ressort. L’oiseau ne voyant que sur un seul plan, les mouvements de “ses sept voisins les plus proches” seront assimilés et reproduits très rapidement, avait expliqué Lionel Maumary, ornithologue et président du Cercle ornithologique de Lausanne dans le quotidien Le 24 heures .

    À voir également sur Le HuffPost : Aux Pays-Bas, cette tempête de neige a transformé les dunes en pistes de ski

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      Interested in Godot Engine and games made with it? GodotCon is up on January 23

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Friday, 22 January, 2021 - 18:26

    Tomorrow, January 23 there's going to be an online GodotCon that's going live on YouTube. This is a chance for anyone interested to learn more about the free and open source game engine Godot Engine.

    Interestingly, it won't be live. The talks are pre-recorded according to the announcement. However, to help with that and so you can chat with the Godot team and other users and developers using Godot, the team has now set up their own dedicated social chat area using

    Schedules available as a PDF and Google Sheet . Looking over it, some of the talks are quite exciting! Lead developer Juan Linietsky for example, will be giving a talk on the new rendering coming with Vulkan in Godot 4.

    It's happening between 8:45 UTC to 16:00 UTC. You can watch it right here! The livestream is embed below:

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    See the full announcement here .

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