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Nvidia Stops Promotional Game Resales By Tying Codes To Hardware

Slashdot - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 1:00pm
Nvidia is putting a stop to the resale of bundled promotional game keys by tying them to a specific graphics card purchase, according to Ars Technica. Users will now have to redeem codes via the GeForce Experience (GFE) app, which is directly linked to third-party services like Steam and Uplay. Users must also ensure that the requisite graphics card is "installed before redemption." GFE then performs "a hardware verification step to ensure the coupon code is redeemed on the system with the qualifying GPU." From the report: Previously, retailers sent promotional game codes to customers that purchased a qualifying product. Those codes could then be redeemed on Nvidia's website, which spit out the relevant Steam, Uplay, Origin, or Microsoft Store key. Since the promotional game codes were not tied to a specific account, many users took to either gifting spare keys to friends or selling them on eBay in order to offset the cost of the graphics card purchase. [Ars Technica has updated their report with additional information:] Nvidia has confirmed that while GFE checks to ensure a user has installed a qualifying graphics card like a GTX 1070 or GTX 1080, the game itself is not permanently linked to the hardware. GFE's hardware check is based only on the wider product range, and not on a specific serial number. The company has also confirmed that the redemption process permanently adds the game to the appropriate third-party service. For example, if users redeems a promotional game key through to Steam, that game will be useable on any other device, just like normal Steam games. Users can also opt to uninstall GFE, or install a different graphics card, once the promotional code has been redeemed and still retain full ownership of the game. A full set of instructions for redeeming codes is now available on Nvidia's website.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Who do you want to be <i>Who</i>? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 12:33pm
Decisions, decisions. Lucky number 13?

Poll  Peter Capaldi will demateralise as the 12th Time Lord this Christmas after four years.…

Guess who's suffering an email outage. Go on, it's as easy as 123-Reg

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 12:02pm
The highest levels of service

Another month, another problem with comedy outfit 123-Reg whose long-suffering customers are this time suffering from an email outage.…

Changes To Look Forward To With Firefox 52

Phoronix - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 11:36am
Firefox 51 was released last week and like clock work there was a new Firefox beta for the next release issued shortly thereafter...

UK defence secretary: Russian hacks are destabilising Western democracy

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 11:33am
And no one has any idea what to actually do about it

The UK defence secretary has accused Russia of using hacking to destabilise the West.…

OpenCL With An Intel Celeron: HD Graphics 610 / Kabylake GT1

Phoronix - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 11:18am
Yesterday I published Linux benchmarks of the Celeron G3930, Intel's lowest-end Celeron CPU at the moment in the Kabylake family. This CPU goes for about $40 USD and you get a dual-core 2.9GHz processor with HD Graphics 610 (GT1). I had published a few OpenGL benchmarks in that review while for this article are some OpenCL compute numbers...

Ofcom splashed 11% more cash on legal costs with £4.9m war chest

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 11:06am
Spending fluctuates on how 'companies respond to our decisions'

Communications regulator Ofcom splashed an extra 11 per cent on legal costs in 2015/16 compared with the previous year, spending £4.9m seeing off threats from operators.…

Mesa Is Now Lighter By 58,000+ Lines Of Code

Phoronix - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 10:57am
Waking up this morning, Mesa has been trimmed up by over 58,000 lines of code...

Would you like to know why I get a lot of action at night?

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 10:32am
I'm an 'early riser', if you know what I mean

Something for the Weekend, Sir?  I've been up all night, doing the business like hammer and tongs, going at it again and again. I can be relentless when I'm on the job – a man of action and drama.…

Electric Car Battery Prices Fell By 80% In the Last 7 Years, Says Study

Slashdot - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 10:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Electrek: A new study published this month by McKinsey and Company looks into how automakers can move past producing EVs as compliance cars and "drive electrified vehicle sales and profitability." Unsurprisingly, it describes battery economics as an important barrier to profitability and though the research firm sees a path to automakers making a profit selling electric vehicles as battery costs fall, it doesn't see that happening for "the next two to three product cycles" -- or between 2025 and 2030. That's despite battery costs falling from ~1,000 per kWh in 2010 to ~$227 per kWh in 2016, according to McKinsey. The company wrote in the report: "Despite that drop, battery costs continue to make EVs more costly than comparable ICE-powered variants. Current projections put EV battery pack prices below $190/kWh by the end of the decade, and suggest the potential for pack prices to fall below $100/kWh by 2030." Automakers capable of staying ahead of that cost trend will be able to achieve higher margins and possible profits on electric vehicle sales sooner. Tesla is among the automakers staying ahead of the trend. While McKinsey projects that battery pack prices will be below $190/kWh by the end of the decade, Tesla claims to be below $190/kWh since early 2016. That's how the automaker manages to achieve close to 30% gross margin on its flagship electric sedan, the Model S. Tesla aims to reduce the price of its batteries by another 30% ahead of the Model 3 with the new 2170 cells in production at the Gigafactory in Nevada. It should enable a $35,000 price tag for a vehicle with a range of over 200 miles, but McKinsey sees $100/kWh as the target for "true price parity with ICE vehicles (without incentives)": "Given current system costs and pricing ability within certain segments, companies that offer EVs face the near-term prospect of losing money with each sale. Under a range of scenarios for future battery cost reductions, cars in the C/D segment in the US might not reach true price parity with ICE vehicles (without incentives) until between 2025 and 2030, when battery pack costs fall below $100/kWh, creating financial headwinds for automakers for the next two to three product cycles." UPDATE 2/3/17: We have changed the source to Electrek and quoted McKinsey and Company -- the company that conducted the study.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

UK.gov slammed by Parliamentary types for 'dysfunctional' infosec

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 9:35am
Report warns of 'inconsistent' and 'chaotic' response to routine data breaches

A scathing parliamentary report into UK.gov’s infosec practices has called for the government to step up its efforts to protect Britain from cyber attacks in the face of today’s “chaotic” practices.…

HPE raises 'at risk' flag over hundreds of Brit services techies

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 9:04am
Firm still Helping People Exit ahead of the CSC spin merger

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is bundling hundreds more UK Enterprise Services (ES) staff out of the door ahead of the looming ‘spin merger’ with CSC.…

David Hockney creates new <i>Sun</i> masthead. Now for <i>The Reg</i>...

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 8:33am
Over to you, dear readers. Start your MS Paint engines!

Logowatch  Artist David Hockney has redesigned the masthead of The Sun newspaper – and in the spirit of free expression and artistic endeavour we want you, dear Reg readers, to join us in honouring this beacon moment in the cultural life of Great Britain.…

For $deity's sake, smile! It's Friday! Sad coders write bad code – official

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 7:56am
Boffins urge bosses to keep their developers cheerful

Miserable software developers produce miserable software, to the further detriment of organizational productivity and personal health.…

Humanity needs you... to build an AI bot that can finger rotten headlines

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 7:42am
Identifying fake news is too hard at the moment, say developers, but we can spot lies in headings

Two AI researchers are behind a daring open challenge to fight the spread of outrageous headlines that are completely detached from reality. (As if anyone would write such things, tut-tut.)…

Super-cool sysadmin fixes PCs with gravity, or his fists

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 7:19am
Happy days as reader impersonates The Fonz

ON-CALL  Welcome to another Friday and therefore to another edition of On-Call, The Register's regular recycling of readers' recollections!…

GCHQ cyber-chief slams security outfits peddling 'medieval witchcraft'

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 7:03am
It's not Advanced Persistent Threats, it's Adequate Pernicious Toerags

Usenix Enigma 2017  The chief technical director of GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre has rebuked infosec companies for spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about hackers to sell products.…

Hacker Dumps iOS Cracking Tools Allegedly Stolen From Cellebrite

Slashdot - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 7:00am
Last year, when Apple refused to unlock the security on an iPhone 5c belonging to the San Bernardino shooter, the FBI turned to an Israeli mobile forensics firm called Cellebrite to find another way into the encrypted iPhone. Now Motherboard reports that a hacker has released files allegedly from Cellebrite that demonstrate how cracking tools couldn't be kept private. From a report: Now the hacker responsible has publicly released a cache of files allegedly stolen from Cellebrite relating to Android and BlackBerry devices, and older iPhones, some of which may have been copied from publicly available phone cracking tools." The ripped, decrypted and fully functioning Python script set to utilize the exploits is also included within," the hacker wrote in a README file accompanying the data dump. The hacker posted links to the data on Pastebin. It's not clear when any of this code was used in the UFED. Many of the directory names start with "ufed" followed by a different type of phone, such as BlackBerry or Samsung. In their README, the hacker notes much of the iOS-related code is very similar to that used in the jailbreaking scene -- a community of iPhone hackers that typically breaks into iOS devices and release its code publicly for free.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

AI vuln-hunter bots have seen things you people wouldn't believe

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 6:33am
New classes of bugs found by machine-learning-powered tools

Usenix Enigma 2017  Machine-learning systems are unearthing new classes of bugs in operating systems and apps, according to bods from America's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).…

Tablets become feebleslabs as sales spiral down

El Reg - Fri, 03/02/2017 - 5:58am
Even detachables like the Surface are making buyers snooze

The tablet computer market has slumped into “spiraling decline”, according to box-counter IDC.…

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