Updated: Aug 18, 2018 1:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Saturday, Aug 18, 2018

Valve on Steam.TV's Inadvertent Launch

Last night's momentary launch of Steam.tv was unintended, as Valve explains they are updating the Steam Broadcasting beta for The International. They offer a brief explanation to The Verge: "We are working on updating Steam Broadcasting for the Main Event of The International, Dota 2’s annual tournament,” a Valve spokesperson tells them. "What people saw was a test feed that was inadvertently made public.." We may see these changes live soon enough, as The International is currently underway, and the five-day main event begins on Monday.

Play Overwatch for Free Next Weekend

The Overwatch Website announces another free weekend for Overwatch will commence on August 23rd for the Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 editions of their multiplayer shooter. Here are the details, with enough advance notice to decide whether you're a Genji main, or a Hanzo main:

There’s never been a better time to become an Overwatch agent. If you’re ready to join your friends on the payload, now's your chance.

From August 23–27, we're calling on all prospective agents: assemble your teams and dive in during the Overwatch Free Weekend on PC, PlayStation®4, or Xbox One!

For this free weekend, we're making Overwatch's full roster of 28 heroes—along with the newly released Wrecking Ball—and 18 maps available for play in a variety of modes, including Quick Play, Custom Games, and the Arcade. Players will also be able to level up, earn seasonal Summer Games Loot Boxes, and unlock a variety of different customization options for their heroes. Plus, if you decide to purchase Overwatch after test driving the game, you'll get to keep any progress that you made during the weekend—just be sure to use the same Blizzard, Xbox Live, or Sony Entertainment account that you played on.

Gatherings & Competitions

Saturday Mobilization

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Safety Dance

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Seems there's a Chipotle Free Burrito Deal Today, though a purchase is required in a buy one get one promotion. It's a little odd this only comes a couple of weeks after their latest food poisoning fiasco, but I guess you have to start trying to get on the positive side of the public relations wave as quickly as possible. I can't personally make a recommendation about this, as I've never eaten at one, so buena suerte and vaya con Dios.

R.I.P.: Kofi Annan- Former UN Secretary-General dead at 80.
R.I.P.: Korn Frontman Jonathan Davis' Estranged Wife Deven Dead at 39. Thanks RedEye9.

BOGO Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Cartapult.
Keeper of Balance.
Story: Mr. Robot Is Probably Ending After Season 4.
Science: Low-carb diets could shorten life, study suggests. Thanks RedEye9.
What Happened To The Mosquito-Zapping Laser That Was Going To Stop Malaria?
Media: Winning An Argument With A Kid.
If English were Phonetically Consistent. Was?
Follow-up: NASA admits Mars Opportunity rover could be lost forever. Thanks RedEye9.
The Funnies: Adult Children.

Established 1995. Over a billion visitors since 1997.

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

Valve Tunes in Steam.TV

A tweet from Pavel Djundik reveals Valve has registered the domain Steam.tv, which is already live and showing a Dota 2 stream as of this writing. In response to questions about the legitimacy of this, the SteamDB creator points out the site's certificate is registered to Steamcommunity.com. We are not aware of any announcements from Valve on this topic, so we'll just have to stay tuned. Thanks VentureBeat.

Space Hulk: Deathwing Free DLC

Focus Home Interactive now offers Infested Mines, new free DLC for Space Hulk: Deathwing - Enhanced Edition, adding new content to the Warhammer 40K first-person shooter. To celebrate the free DLC, the game is on Sale in Steam's Daily Deal for 50% off. Here's word on the freebie:

Enjoy new free content for Space Hulk: Deathwing – Enhanced Edition! Lead your squad through dark, xenos-filled corridors and caverns in the imposing new environments of the Infested Mines.

The Mines map offers a totally new setting to purge the Genestealer hordes in, filled with striking locations and rich with details taken from Warhammer 40,000 lore. The map is unlocked by default and playable in both Solo Special Missions and Multiplayer Coop.

The Infested Mines DLC is free for all Space Hulk: Deathwing – Enhanced Edition owners.

Deployment Free Weekend

A free weekend is underway on Steam for Deployment, the competitive top-down shooter for Windows from Whale Rock Games. This promotion ends Sunday, but you can extend your deployment on the cheap, since the game is on sale for the next two weeks. Here's a rundown on what this involves:

Explore a randomly-generated maze and fight against other players or the AI in a fast-paced, intense action gameplay that will put your skills and reflexes to the test. Capture and defend System turrets to gain a tactical advantage. Gain experience to upgrade your classes. Climb the leaderboard with your friends and become the best infosoldier in the world!

Gunner: powerful infosoldiers with high-speed weaponry, Troopers deal lots of damage with their combat-tested rifles.

Pyro: fast infosoldiers with light armor, Pyros absorb damage and transform it into firepower.

Sniper: accurate infosoldiers with high-tech long range bullets, Snipers can become invisible and get stealth kills.

Cyclops: insidious support infosoldiers, Lasers use their abilities to steal enemy's health.

Rocketeer: armored infosoldiers, RPG Gunners can take a lot of damage and fire powerful, area-of-attack projectiles to defend their teammates.

Railway Empire - The Great Lakes Released

Railway Empire - The Great Lakes is now available for Windows and macOS on Steam, offering the first DLC for Railway Empire, Gaming Minds Studios' transportation simulation. Word is this comes along with a patch for the base game: "In addition, as part of Railway Empire’s ongoing development, the game has just been updated to version 1.5, which introduces a new warehouse feature for supplying cities more easily and with less congestion on your network, as well as a range of other fixes and improvements." As for the DLC, pack your wool socks, because it's set to take off for the great white north, which is a beauty way to go:

Rail tycoons, it’s time to expand your empire into new and exciting territories. After heading south to Mexico for the first DLC, Kalypso Media is thrilled to announce that the next update for its ambitious strategy title takes players north into the wilds of Canada in Railway Empire: The Great Lakes.

Budding entrepreneurs will make their journey into the wilds of Canada circa 1860, a country dominated by forest and tundra and where only a few sparsely populated settlements have managed to develop into larger towns. In order to further extend their rail empire, players must bridge the distance between the British colonies and reach economic independence by creating an effective infrastructure for the Great Lakes region in the all new scenario ‘Dominion Day’, spanning 1860-1880. Heading into Canada offers its own new challenges to players, as a new enhanced weather system has been implemented for all northern regions. However, this also allows for new tradeable goods such as fur and winter clothing to be transported to the 19 new cities on the Great Lakes map extension as you take stock of two new engines, Achilles (0-4-0) and Canadian (2-8-0), both only available in this DLC.

Metro Exodus Preorders

Deep Silver and 4A Games announce preorders are now underway for Metro Exodus "across all major physical and digital retailers in North America." They outline plans for an Aurora Edition (which seems to be console only) and a Standard Edition, as well as a Gold Edition which includes a season pass. They also reveal preorder bonuses, but they stress that no content is being reserved for these, so all customers will experience the same version of their shooter sequel. Here's word:

Deep Silver and 4A Games announced today that Metro Exodus is available to pre-order across all major physical and digital retailers in North America.

For those who prefer physical products, two versions are available:

The Aurora Limited Edition contains a copy of the game in an exclusive Steelbook®, a beautiful 32-page art book, and the Metro Exodus Expansion Pass, all contained within a bespoke metal outer case inspired by The Aurora, the steam locomotive that Artyom and his companions use to journey across post-apocalyptic Russia. The Aurora Limited Edition represents fantastic value and will be in limited supply at select retailers worldwide.

Meanwhile, the Standard Edition contains the game disc in a standard box and will be widely available.

On digital storefronts, you can choose between the Standard and Gold Edition of Metro Exodus; both contain the game itself, while the latter also includes the Metro Exodus Expansion Pass.

Pre-Order any edition of Metro Exodus to earn the following additional bonuses, depending on the platform:

  • All Xbox One pre-orders, physical or digital include a copy of Metro 2033 Redux – the first game in the Metro saga, remastered for the Xbox One.
  • All PlayStation 4 pre-orders, physical or digital, include a stunning Dynamic Theme based on the Metro Exodus ‘Winter’ artwork.
  • All physical PC pre-orders and Steam pre-orders include a digital art book and the Metro Exodus OST.

No upcoming in-game content has been reserved for pre-order – gamers can order with the knowledge that no matter where, how, or when they buy Metro Exodus, they are getting the full experience as 4A Games intended it.

Metro Exodus will be released on Feb. 22, 2019 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Pre-order now from www.metrothegame.com/preorder

Din's Legacy Trailer

The first trailer from Din's Legacy offers a look at gameplay from this action/RPG sequel in the works at Soldak Entertainment. These are accompanied by a batch of new screenshots taken during alpha testing. For those who like what they see, they won't have to wait long for the chance to play, as Soldak says they hope to launch Early Access next month. Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: ‘Watchmen’ Ordered to Series at HBO. Alan Moore is probably (more) apoplectic.

GTA Online Cheat Injunction

A U.S. federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction to stop David Zipperer of Georgia from selling programs to help cheat in GTA Online (thanks [H]ardOCP). This online version of Grand Theft Auto V is so prone to exploits one could make the case that Take Two should sue Rockstar's own coders, but it hasn't come to that yet. The judge dismissed an unfair competition claim against Zipperer in spite Take-Two's claim that is programs cost them at least a half-million dollars (perhaps they tallied the cost of enough Shark Cards to cover ill-gotten loot?). Word on the litigation includes an advertisement for the exploits that would make Barbra Streisand proud:

Take-Two had accused David Zipperer of selling computer programs called Menyoo and Absolute that let users of the “Grand Theft Auto V” multiplayer feature Grand Theft Auto Online cheat by altering the game for their own benefit, or “griefing” other players by altering their game play without permission.

U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in Manhattan said Take-Two was likely to show that Zipperer infringed its “Grand Theft Auto V” copyright, and that his programs would cause irreparable harm to its sales and reputation by discouraging users from buying its video games.

Stanton also said an injunction would serve the public interest by encouraging Take-Two to invest more in video games and was appropriate because of the “high risk” that Zipperer, who claimed to be unemployed, could not afford damages.

The judge dismissed an unfair competition claim against Zipperer, who according to court papers lives in Ellabell, Georgia, west of Savannah.

Far Cry 5 Dead Living Zombies This Month

Ubisoft announces Dead Living Zombies will be the third bit of post-release DLC for Far Cry 5, their first-person shooter sequel. This will be released on August 28th as an individual DLC, but this is also included for season pass or Gold Edition owners. For those unfamiliar with this new concept of zombies, they offer this trailer featuring cinematics and gameplay to help get you up to speed. Here are details on the new pack and a Title Update 10 that will come with it:

Today, Ubisoft announced that Far Cry® 5: Dead Living Zombies, the third post-launch adventure, will release August 28 for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X and Windows PC. Guy Marvel, legendary film director from Far Cry® 5, is back with over-the-top zombie experiences that will be playable across seven unique maps. Dead Living Zombies can be purchased as add-on content for $7.99, as part of the season pass for $29.99 or the Gold Edition for $89.99.

Far Cry 5: Dead Living Zombies pairs players with D-tier film director Guy Marvel as he pitches his vision for an epic zombie saga. On maps built from the powerful Far Cry Arcade Editor, players will explore seven different film scenarios as they face hordes of the undead across rooftops, farmlands, military bases and more. After completing each map, players can unlock Score Attack to achieve 3-star ratings, which will unlock weapons and gear to bring back to Hope County.

All Far Cry players will receive additional tools in Far Cry Arcade that unlock even more potential for map builders, including scripting tools and destructible objects. These additions will be available to players along with more new assets in our next update, Title Update 10.

Continue here to read the full story.

Burnout Paradise Remastered Next Week

Criterion Games tweets about the release of Burnout Paradise Remastered (thanks DSOGaming). They say the driving game remake is now available on Origin Access and Premier, and will be officially released on Origin on Tuesday. Here's a refresher on what to expect:

Make action your middle name as you rule the streets in Burnout™ Paradise Remastered. Tear up the town from hectic downtown avenues to wild mountain roads. Relive the high-octane stunts and wanton destruction of one of the greatest arcade-driving games ever!

Burnout Paradise Remastered provides the ultimate driving playground for you and your friends to play online. This remaster includes all add-ons from the Year of Paradise, including the Big Surf Island update, meticulously recreated and ready to wreck in 4K.

Blood Ancestors Early Access

Blood Ancestors is now available in Early Access on Steam, offering a new phase of development for this team-based first-person melee and ranged combat game for Windows. This post discusses the end of open alpha testing, while this one announces the Early Access launch. Here's word:

Today we're closing the Open Alpha, and we really want to thank everyone who has participated in the test. The open alpha was the last phase for us to have the base for Blood Ancestors. We've been doing closed tests and semi-open tests with many many people during more than 8 months now, and the feedback we've got from this has been very valuable.

Now is time to move to Beta and time to release the Early Access of Blood Ancestors, for those that really believe in us or who want the game to improve to become a big game, just be ready to contribute your grain of sand and become part of this game, this studio and this family.

Thanks again to all for giving us your sincere feedback and for being so awesome. See you all tomorrow in the new era of Blood Ancestors.

Bus Simulator 18 Free Mission Pack #1

This announcement heralds the release of a free Mission Pack #1 for Bus Simulator 18, the mass transit simulation from stillalive studios and astragon entertainment. Word is: "Mission Pack #1 expands Bus Simulator 18 by adding three brand-new missions, along with a number of challenging sub-tasks that focus on boosting tourism in the city of Seaside Valley. In addition to special points of interest and hiking tourism, the nightlife of Seaside Valley plays a crucial role, too. As a reward for completing the new tasks, players can look forward to three brand-new decals, a complete bus skin, and a range of new colors they can use to customize their bus fleet." Here are the patch notes:

  • 3 new missions presented by Max Klein added.
  • Camera lag is now also disabled in third person. This should fix some bus stuttering issues while the framerate is not stable.
  • Parked car license plates set to not cast shadows, to be culled at 50 meters, and to not keep their instance buffer in the main memory.
  • A construction site in the inner city was moved slightly so cars no longer clip through it.
  • Streamlined loading screen visuals.
  • License plates no longer glow in the dark.
  • Mission info UI no longer automatically opens when the driver and bus assignment menu is open.
  • Toggling between third and first person view now places the camera at a maximum distance instead of in the center of the range.
  • Fixed issue of the player name hovering in maps showing the wrong name.
  • Improved how NPC cars drive onto the highway.
  • Customization items now show if they are unlocked by a mission or by a level up.
  • Some very dark areas lit up.
  • Loads of smaller bugfixes and general performance improvements.

Morning Patches

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

It seems Windows Update is going through one of its rough periods. At least I've been having problems the past few weeks, and I don't think it's just me. Yesterday I had a Windows 10 update break a bunch of Microsoft bundled apps like the calendar and calculator. It took hours for this self-inflicted wound to clear itself up, as the service seemed to be sending itself mixed messages about what was wrong. And on my Windows 7 machine there's this update for Explorer 11 that just keeps failing. I don't use that browser, but the error Windows Update throws is bugging my OCD streak. There's an error code with no explanation, so I guess I'll try deleting the browser and letting it try again. Or maybe just delete it and forget about it altogether... it's probably only a matter of time before they come out with a Win7 edition of Edge to harass me about.

R.I.P.: Tekken and Yakuza voice actor Unsho Ishizuka has passed away.
R.I.P.: Jill Janus, Frontwoman of Band Huntress, Dies By Suicide at 43. Thanks RedEye9.

Harassed Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Crystalmancer.
Links: The Super Bowl of Beekeeping. Thanks RedEye9.
100 Best Horror Novels And Stories. Thanks RedEye9.
Story: Prince Estate and Sony Release 23 Long-Unavailable Albums Digitally.
Science: Engineers create most wear-resistant metal alloy in the world. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Images: Before and after the Italy bridge collapse.
Media: Avengers VS Thanos - 16 Bit Scenes. Thanks GamesRadar+.
LOCAL58 - Show For Children.
Dude, aren't you cold? Even pictures of snow provide some relief.
Follow-up: Aretha Franklin Died on Same Day as Elvis Presley, Babe Ruth.
Years after Mylan’s epic EpiPen price hikes, it finally gets a generic rival.
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.
Sunny Street.


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