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Valve’s “Steam Play” uses Vulkan to bring more Windows games to Linux

Ars Technica - 1 hour 49 min ago

(credit: Aurich Lawson)

Valve announced today a beta of Steam Play, a new compatibility layer for Linux to provide compatibility with a wide range of Windows-only games.

We've been tracking Valve's efforts to boost Linux gaming for a number of years. As of a few months ago, things seemed to have gone very quiet, with Valve removing SteamOS systems from its store. Last week, however, it became clear that something was afoot for Linux gaming.

The announcement today spells out in full what the company has developed. At its heart is a customized, modified version of the WINE Windows-on-Linux compatibility layer named Proton. Compatibility with Direct3D graphics is provided by vkd3d, an implementation of Direct3D 12 that uses Vulkan for high performance, and DXVK, a Vulkan implementation of Direct3D 11.

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It's official; satellite spots water ice at the Moon's chilly poles

The Register - 2 hours 9 min ago
Maybe future astronauts can finally enjoy a nice cuppa

Ancient water ice is hidden on the surface dotted around craters on the Moon’s poles, scientists have confirmed in a paper on Monday.…

UK police chief proposes £100 fine for speeding 1 mph over the limit - Roadshow - News - 2 hours 14 min ago
If this proposal for increased stringency in the enforcement of speed laws goes through, what effects will it have?

Logitech says its $150 G Pro Wireless mouse can last an entire tournament - CNET - News - 2 hours 22 min ago
High-end wireless gaming mice haven't always had big enough batteries -- but this one is rated for 60 hours.

Texas ISP slams music biz for trying to turn it into a 'copyright cop'

The Register - 2 hours 42 min ago
Grande Comms tells US court it's swamped with fake takedowns

An ISP based in Texas has complained to a judge that the music industry to trying to turn internet providers into the "copyright police."…

Italy’s famous dome is cracking and cosmic rays could help save it

Ars Technica - 2 hours 42 min ago

Enlarge / Florence's famed Il Duomo has been plagued by cracks for centuries. Muon imaging could help preservationists figure out how to fix it. (credit: CAHKT/Getty Images)

The soaring dome atop the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Flower justly dominates the Florence skyline and has stood for centuries, ever since Filippo Brunelleschi designed it in the early 15th century. But scholars aren't quite sure how this goldsmith with no formal architectural training managed to construct it. Brunelleschi built a wooden and brick model of his plan, but deliberately left out crucial details and left no comprehensive blueprints so his rivals could not steal his secrets.

Elena Guardincerri, a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory who grew up in a nearby town in Italy, thinks she can help resolve part of the mystery with the aid of a subatomic particle called a muon.

Inverted tension

Brunelleschi found inspiration for his design in the inverted catenary shape of the Pantheon, which is an ideal shape for domes because the innate physical forces can support the structure with no need for buttressing. Robert Hooke phrased it best in the 17th century: "As hangs the flexible chain, so but inverted stands the rigid arch." A chain suspended between two points will naturally come to rest in a state of pure tension; inverting that catenary shape into an arch reverses it into a shape of pure compression. Standard building materials like masonry and concrete would break fairly easily under tension, but they can withstand large compressive forces.

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MacBook Air 2018: All the rumors on specs, price, release date - CNET - News - 2 hours 51 min ago
Is Apple planning to refresh -- or retire -- the beloved MacBook Air? Here's everything we know.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate extended hands-on: A beefier Nintendo brawler - CNET - News - 3 hours 14 min ago
The fighter gets to the punch faster then ever, sending you (or your opponents) flying.

Parallels Desktop 14 is available now for Mac, and it includes Mojave support

Ars Technica - 3 hours 28 min ago

Enlarge / Parallels Desktop 14 running Windows 10 in macOS High Sierra. (credit: Samuel Axon)

A new version of Mac-based virtualization software Parallels Desktop was released today. Parallels Desktop 14 offers disk space efficiency improvements, faster application-launch speeds, macOS Mojave support, expanded Touch Bar support, better OpenGL graphics performance, and several other improvements.

Most people who use Parallels use it to run Windows within macOS, and the updates focus on that by improving performance and adding new features to make the two operating systems work more seamlessly together.

The key feature the Parallels team is pushing for this release is storage optimization. Virtual machines can take up a lot of space, and that can be a problem when you're working with limited solid-state storage in modern MacBooks. This release claims to free up significant disk space in most (but not all) cases—up to 20GB in some situations. There's also a "Free Up Disk Space" feature that will, in some cases, make it easier to pinpoint where you can achieve some savings. Some of the general space savings come from more efficient compression for states saved with the Snapshots feature.

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Flint water crisis: Michigan health director ordered to manslaughter trial

Ars Technica - August 21, 2018 - 10:37pm

Enlarge / Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon. (credit: Getty | Alex Wong)

A judge on Monday ordered Michigan’s top health official, Nick Lyon, to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter charges in two deaths linked to the Flint water crisis.

Genesee District Judge David Goggins determined that there was probable cause that Lyon committed involuntary manslaughter against Robert Skidmore and John Snyder in 2015. The two men died during an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease, which researchers have connected to the devastating use of improperly treated water in Flint starting in 2014.

Lyon, the director of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services, is the highest-ranking official in the state to stand trial in connection with the catastrophe. An additional 14 current or former state and local officials have been criminally charged in connection with the water issues.

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How Microsoft spotted another Russian hacking attempt - CNET - News - August 21, 2018 - 10:28pm
Also: How it all fits in with a larger campaign to influence elections.

Super-mugs: Hackers claim to have snatched 20k customer records from Brit biz Superdrug

The Register - August 21, 2018 - 10:23pm
Or just 386, according to chain

Hackers claim to have grabbed the personal details of almost 20,000 bods who shopped online at Superdrug, the British cosmetics retailer has confirmed. Payment card details are not said to be among the haul.…

Trump's CAFE rollback unpopular with consumers, survey says - Roadshow - News - August 21, 2018 - 10:19pm
Autolist's survey reveals that people want manufacturers to keep making fuel-efficient cars.

Cyberpunk 2077: Everything we know from Gamescom - CNET - News - August 21, 2018 - 9:47pm
CD Projekt Red showed us a bit more of Cyberpunk 2077 at Gamescom, but it's still all hush hush.

Need some good news? Ask Google: 'Tell me something good' - CNET - News - August 21, 2018 - 9:46pm
Google Assistant will now tell you uplifting news stories when asked.

MacOS Mojave won’t support Back to My Mac; Apple suggests pricier alternatives

Ars Technica - August 21, 2018 - 9:38pm

Enlarge (credit: Samuel Axon)

Mac users began receiving alerts that Apple will end support for its Back to My Mac feature when macOS Mojave comes out this fall. The iCloud feature lets users remotely connect one Mac to another for file transfers and screen sharing. Users could create a network of multiple Macs and access information from any of them on one of the connected devices.

In addition to alerting users to Back to My Mac's imminent end, Apple points users to a support document that explains alternatives. Apple suggests using iCloud Drive for file sharing, screen sharing for remote access, and Apple Remote Desktop for multi-device management.

However, those alternatives will be frustrating for some users who have used Back to My Mac consistently across their many Mac devices for years. Users may end up needing to pay for more storage in iCloud Drive to access all their files across multiple devices.

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Security MadLibs: Your IoT <i>electrical outlet</i> can now pwn your <i>smart TV</i>

The Register - August 21, 2018 - 9:30pm
McAfee finds new way to break thing that shouldn't be on your home network in the first place

A security vulnerability in "smart" power plugs can be exploited to infiltrate local computer networks.…

Apple imagines a world where self-driving cars come with 'countdown' clocks - Roadshow - News - August 21, 2018 - 9:30pm
Apple's patent hints at a self-driving car that will tell you every move it's going to make.

Let’s not wait another 25 years for the next Crazy Rich Asians - CNET - News - August 21, 2018 - 9:19pm
Commentary: The comparisons to Black Panther aren't exactly accurate. The cultural stakes are much higher for Crazy Rich Asians.

New bill would require paper ballots to secure election results - CNET - News - August 21, 2018 - 9:11pm
The bill, submitted by nine senators on Tuesday, would also mandate election audits.

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