Call of Duty: Warzone duos mode is finally here – GamesRadar+

A Call of Duty: Warzone duos playlist was added today as part of a surprise update. 

With this update, Warzone now supports solo, duo, trio, and quad playlists for its mainline battle royale mode, as well as a quad playlist for Plunder on the side. This is the first time a duos option has been available for the battle royale mode since Warzone’s release in March. Like trios and quads, the duos playlist does give players the option to join solo and disable auto-fill, in case you find yourself in the mood for a slew of 2v1 engagements.

Warzone players have been asking for duos mode for months, but whenever it came up in interviews or other discussions, Infinity Ward generally maintained that it was investigating the best way to offer and structure playlists while accommodating all players. The perception was that nobody wanted to split the player base too heavily, but with tens of millions of registered players, that doesn’t seem to be a concern for Warzone. Happily, it seems Infinity Ward is finally comfortable with adding a fourth playlist – and a permanent one at that, as there’s no sign that duos is going away anytime soon.

The update containing duos mode is now live on PC and should be ready to go on your platform of choice the next time you boot up the game. Thankfully, it’s a small one this time. No 30GB clunkers today. 

The Call of Duty: Warzone squads kill record is getting ridiculous – how high will players push the duos kill record? 

BioShock: The Collection upgraded for Xbox One X, appears to hit 4K resolution – Windows Central

BioShock: The Collection is composed of BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite for Xbox One. The titles launched on the console many years ago, and ran at 60 frames per second (FPS). It was one of the few collections to do so and it looks like it received another upgrade this week.

Today, when I turned on my Xbox One X, I noticed that BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite all had updates. I naturally assumed that it was just to fix performance, but when I launched them, I realized that they were Xbox One X Enhanced. It’s unclear when the updates rolled out, but they’re available right now if you own BioShock: The Collection.

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The games appear to be running at 4K resolution, or a resolution that’s very close to 4K, because they’re incredibly sharp. While the menus are a little blurry, the game looks amazing. It’s retained the 60 FPS presentation so playing BioShock: The Collection is an absolute treat.

BioShock: The Collection was a part of Xbox Game Pass, but it’s left the service. Sometimes, titles return so you never know. You can always purchase it for $50 on the Microsoft Store if you don’t own it already. The Microsoft Store is also now showing that the games are Xbox One X Enhanced.

The Sony Xperia 1 Mark 2 has a unique gaming feature other OEMs should copy – MSPoweruser – MSPoweruser

Sony’s Xperia 1 II (Mark two) smartphone is more a camera phone than a gaming phone, but it does have a powerful Snapdragon 865 processor and 8GB of RAM, making it more than capable of playing top-flight games.

The handset also features a  Game Enhancer mode, and it is there you will find a switch for a unique Sony feature which will have you gaming better and longer than with other handsets.

Heat is the enemy of smartphone gaming, very quickly leading to thermal throttling and reduced performance.

Sony’s H.S. Power Control feature (H.S.= Heat Suppression) will stop your battery from charging while plugged in, and power the handset directly from the USB-C cable, bypassing the battery.

This prevents the battery from generating additional heat, which delays thermal throttling, and also increases the longevity of your battery.

Owners, of course, need to remember to disable the feature at the end of their session.

Besides this great gaming feature, the handset features advanced camera features incorporated from industry-leading Sony Alpha cameras, including the following features:

  • Triple lens camera incorporating industry leading Sony Alpha technology, ZEISS optics calibrated specifically for Xperia with 3D iToF.
  • Industry-leading autofocus camera technology offers up to 20 fps burst shooting with 60 times per second AF/AE calculations and Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals.
  • Cinematography Pro “powered by CineAlta” can record in multiple frame rates and offer more manual controls such as touch auto focus and custom white balance to enhance your cinematographic shooting experiences
  • 21:9 CinemaWide 6.5” 4K HDR OLED display delivers unprecedented colour accuracy with Creator mode “powered by CineAlta”.
  • Watch a movie with Dolby Atmos sound, tuned in collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment, for a multi-dimensional surround sound experience
  • Audio quality as artists intended with sound tuned in collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment, front stereo speakers, and new 360 Reality Audio with unique hardware decoding to optimise sound quality
  • Next Generation 5G connectivity and Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G Mobile Platform, with high capacity 4000mAh battery with wireless charging for optimal speed and performance.
  • Xperia 1 II introduces DSEE Ultimate. This new technology utilises AI to automatically improve audio frequency and bit rate in real-time, taking each track close to high-resolution audio. It works with wired or wireless headphones, with local or streaming music.

Xperia 1 II will be available in Black and Purple for a rather high $1,199.99  and will hit shelves on July 24th and Sony is offering anyone who preorders the phone by June 28 a pair of Sony WF-1000XM3 headphones.

Screenshot and source: XDA-Dev

Tidal expands Dolby Atmos Music support to soundbars, TVs and AVRs – What Hi-Fi? UK

Dolby Atmos Music tracks on Tidal can now be experienced through Atmos-enabled soundbars, TVs and home cinema amplifiers.

Since the format’s launch late last year, the streaming service’s catalogue of songs either produced or remixed using Dolby Atmos surround sound technology has only been available to experience through the Amazon Echo Studio smart speaker (for Tidal HiFi subscribers). 

Now, however, Tidal and Dolby has thankfully opened up that support to include most Atmos-compatible kit, which includes the Award-winning Sony HT-ST5000 soundbar, the all-new Sonos Arc soundbar, our trio of Award-winning AVRs and the Philips 65OLED984 TV, to name just a handful.

Tidal four months subscription for £4/$4
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To play these immersive tracks, Tidal HiFi subscribers need to connect their Atmos-enabled device to a compatible streamer running the most recently updated Tidal app. Supported streaming devices include the Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick (2nd gen), Fire TV (3rd gen), Nvidia Shield TV and Nvidia Shield TV Pro (2019 or newer).

Owners of Dolby Atmos enabled Android TVs from Sony and Philips simply can simply update the Tidal app to allow playback of Dolby Atmos Music tracks through their TV’s built-in Atmos speakers, too.

While Tidal will automatically default to playing the Dolby Atmos Music experience when an Atmos mix and compatible device are available, Tidal HiFi users can find Atmos tracks in the “available in Dolby Atmos” section of the homepage or search for them in the search bar.

Dolby Atmos Music launched last year with 50 releases, including Kraftwerk’s 3D The Catalogue, Hans Zimmer’s Live in Prague and R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People (25th Anniversary Edition). Having since partnered with Universal Music Group (UMG) to release thousands of “new songs, current hits and legendary tracks” in Atmos, the catalogue now includes many more tracks such as Ariana Grande’s 7 rings, The Weeknd’s After Hours, and Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello’s Señorita.

To celebrate the expansion of hardware support for Dolby Atmos tracks on Tidal, the streaming service is offering an extended 60-day free trial to its HiFi tier for a limited time. Alternatively, you can still take advantage of Tidal’s Spring Offer, which offers new subscribers around the world four months of any subscription tier for just £4/$4. 


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Best speaker systems 2020: budget to premium, 5.1 and Dolby Atmos

Amazon is killing its fashion-oriented Echo Look – Android Police

Amazon’s Echo Look sounded like some kind of late April Fools joke when it landed back in 2017, offering smart “style assistant” functionality via Alexa. The whole gimmick was literally that it took photos and videos of you showing off your clothes you when you asked, and could run them past a “Style Check” for AI-automated fashion judgment. You really couldn’t make something that ridiculous up, and now Amazon is killing it. The Echo Look itself has been discontinued, and both it and its associated app will stop working in July.

Easy to confuse with an April Fools’ day joke.

The news comes courtesy of TechCrunch, and Amazon provided them with a whole huge statement regarding the Echo Look, explaining the rationale behind its decision:

When we introduced Echo Look three years ago, our goal was to train Alexa to become a style assistant as a novel way to apply AI and machine learning to fashion. With the help of our customers we evolved the service, enabling Alexa to give outfit advice and offer style recommendations. We’ve since moved Style by Alexa features into the Amazon Shopping app and to Alexa-enabled devices making them even more convenient and available to more Amazon customers. For that reason, we have decided it’s time to wind down Echo Look. Beginning July 24, 2020, both Echo Look and its app will no longer function. Customers will still be able to enjoy style advice from Alexa through the Amazon Shopping app and other Alexa-enabled devices. We look forward to continuing to support our customers and their style needs with Alexa.

In short, with the Style by Alexa functionality now integrated into the Amazon Shopping app and other Alexa-enabled devices, you can just as easily ignore this functionality on other hardware, making the Echo Look doubly superfluous, and hence its demise.

If you’re among those that spent $200 on an Echo Look (probably like twelve people), you may be able to snag a free Echo Show 5 to replace it. Android Central is reporting that some folks that bought one are getting an email with a coupon code (ECHOLOOK20) that will snag them one for free. It’s a limited-time deal, and who knows if it applies to everyone that bought one or just folks that got a follow-up email regarding the product’s end of life from Amazon, but you can give it a shot if you own one. Just be sure to use the coupon by September 24th.

PS4 YouTube error code NP-37602-8 is causing sign-in issues – but a fix is coming – TechRadar

If you’ve tried to use the YouTube app on PS4 recently, you’ve probably noticed that you’re being signed out, and that signing in again prompts an error code: NP-37602-8. Searching PlayStation Support when you get the error prompt yields no results, which is annoying, but now the issue is known to Sony and YouTube and they’re looking into fixing it.

YouTube tweeted out the following, which was retweeted by the Ask PlayStation help account. This hopefully means it’ll be fixed in the near-future – keep an eye on the account for more updates.

Can you fix the error code NP-37602-8?

As noted by our friends at GamesRadar, there is no fix for this specific issue at present, but there is still a way you can watch YouTube on your PS4 using your account. You can simply cast YouTube to your PS4 from a linked device on the same Wi-Fi network, like a phone or tablet. All you have to do is open the YouTube app, click the cast icon then select your PS4.

We’ve tested this solution and it indeed works as a temporary fix to the NP-37602-8 error code. Until a proper fix comes, that gives you the ability to watch YouTube on your TV through your account.

Which YouTube video did we watch to test this fix out, you ask? Well, it was this funky remix of Le Cassette’s Radio, because we never truly got over the synthwave movement.

Look out for a proper fix in the coming days.

Xbox Series X will make old games look prettier – The Next Web

Microsoft continues its campaign of putting out details on the Xbox Series X, and today revealed that, in addition to having backwards compatibility, the XSX will employ some techno wizardry to make the older games much better looking than they originally were.

Jason Ronald, Director of Program Management for the new console, revealed in an Xbox Wire update that Microsoft’s augmenting the launch line-up of the XSX with older games. We already knew the console would be backwards compatible with games from every previous Xbox generation, but Ronald adds that, through some process that sounds pretty complicated, the company will make the games look better on XSX than they did on the original consoles:

 Xbox Series X delivers a new, innovative HDR reconstruction technique which enables the platform to automatically add HDR support to games. As this technique is handled by the platform itself, it allows us to enable HDR with zero impact to the game’s performance and we can also apply it to Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles developed almost 20 years ago, well before the existence of HDR.

Ronald doesn’t mention how many games will get this next-gen glow-up, just that it can be applied to 360 and OG Xbox titles, which is pretty impressive considering how old those games are now. He also adds that “the compatibility team developed brand new innovations that could be applied to a hand curated list of titles to enhance them even further than what was possible when they were first created,” which includes bumping resolutions up to 4K and framerates up to 120fps.

Read: Sony announces a PlayStation 5 reveal — here’s what to expect

The Xbox One, for all that it touts the feature now, didn’t have backwards compatibility at launch. And when Microsoft did incorporate the feature, it did so gradually, over a long period of time. But it seems the company has fully embraced it and is using it in the marketing push, which means the feature must have gone over well with Xbox One gamers.

Compare and contrast the PlayStation 5, the creators of which have been rather cagey about backwards compatibility. Initial reports seemed to imply the console would be compatible with about 100 PS4 games, but the company quickly reassured users that the majority of PS4 games would work on the new system. Then, around the same time this XSX report was released, a cached page on the official PlayStation site seemed to imply the console would only be able to play those games with a system update (though this doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me).

Either way, PlayStation head honcho Jim Ryan has made it clear he’d prefer if games that were made on the PS5 were exclusive to the console to convince more gamers to jump ship. That attitude is diametrically opposed by Microsoft, which says it’s not going to bother with launch exclusives because gamers will transition when they’re able to.

While Microsoft has tried to say it’s no longer rivals with Sony, it seems the two companies still make for good comparisons to each other.

Xbox Series X: The Most Powerful and Compatible Next-Gen Console with Thousands of Games at Launch
on Xbox Wire

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Hackers burned my hand with computer virus – BBC News

Abdelrhman Badr

Image copyright
Yosof Badr

Bullets rained down from all angles but Abdelrhman Badr kept calm.

Suddenly an enemy burst through a window. Abdelrhman swung round to face the soldier and save his team. He lined up his sights for a fatal shot and squeezed the trigger but… his screen went black.

His computer had silently and suddenly shut itself down without warning.

Abdelrhman was confused. The game he was playing had never caused problems before.

Image copyright
Yosof Badr

Image caption

Abdelrhman Badr burned his fingers on the dangerously overheated computer

He reached down and looked inside his computer, which he liked to leave open and on display in his bedroom.

Instinctively he touched one of the components, cursed and pulled his hand back. The graphics card was so hot it had burned his fingers.

The 18-year-old from Sheffield hadn’t realised it yet, but this minor injury was caused by crypto-jacking.

Crypto-jacking is the unauthorised and illegal use of someone’s computer to collect Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies.

Image copyright
Getty/ South_agency

Image caption

Legitimate crypto-currency miners use powerful computers to collect the digital money

There are estimated to be more than 47 million crypto-currency users around the world, although it is difficult to be sure because of their anonymity. Users collect virtual coins by a complex process called “mining” which puts computers through a series of mathematical problems.

In a crypto-jacking operation, hackers fool victims into downloading a malicious file that surreptitiously forces their computers to mine for this money and send it back to the criminals who can spend it on crypto-currency marketplaces or turn it into mainstream cash.

Crypto-jacking attacks increase a victim’s electricity bill and can not only slow down infected computers but potentially cause irreparable damage to hardware.

Last week, at least a dozen supercomputers across Europe had to be shut down after hackers targeted them with crypto-jacking attacks.

Image copyright
Getty/ isa_ozdere

Image caption

Hackers used Abdelrhman’s computer to mine for the cryptocurrency Monero

Abdelrhman Badr has no idea how hackers got into his system. He thinks he must have accidentally downloaded the malware three weeks before he burned his hand, when he started noticing strange things happening to his computer.

“Whenever I put my PC to sleep the screens would go blank but I could still hear the fans running and when I came back to it, it would just open up to the main desktop with none of the usual login page or anything,” he says. “My computer wasn’t actually going to sleep at all.”

‘Shocked and embarrassed’

Even when he burned his hand, he didn’t at first consider he was the victim of a hack.

It was actually a mistake that led to his discovery.

“I was playing around with a program that monitors computer activity and everything looked normal but I accidentally left it on overnight,” he recalls.

“When I next checked I found that my computer had been sending loads of information back to a strange website I’ve never visited or heard of.”

The website was set up to collect the crypto-currency Monero. .

“I was shocked and also a bit embarrassed as I take pride in keeping my PC safe. It’s really frustrating to know that there could be a program running without me knowing and some guy secretly mining crypto, destroying my hardware and stealing my electricity.”

There could be hundreds, or even thousands of victims like Abdelrhman, who are unwittingly lining the digital wallet of this hacker or hackers.

Image copyright
Yosof Badr

Image caption

Abdelrhman had no idea hackers had got inside his computer

“Crypto-jacking attacks are becoming more sophisticated, using techniques to hide their behaviour,” says Alex Hinchliffe, a threat intelligence analyst at Palo Alto Networks.

“Cyber-criminals look for as many victims’ systems as possible. The more systems, whether it be PCs, servers, cloud services, mobile and other smart devices the better, as more mining can be achieved in a relatively benign and unobtrusive manner.”

Crypto-jacking ‘on the rise’

Experts say the threat of crypto-jacking rises and falls with the fluctuating price of crypto-currencies. According to research from Palo Alto Networks, the attacks are currently on the rise.

“It’s not as profitable as it used to be for hackers so crypto-miners are showing up in the weirdest places on the internet to maximise the number of victims. Sometimes we find them hidden inside the code of free programs, for example,” adds Ryan Kalember from Proofpoint, another information security company.

Security specialists say computer users should be vigilant and look out for changes to their computers, such as a slowing down of performance, or changed settings. It’s also a good idea to install some security software and do regular virus scans.

OnePlus McLaren phones are officially cancelled – TechRadar India

The rumors were true: a McLaren official has confirmed that there won’t be another OnePlus McLaren edition. 

The luxury automaker recently dropped the OnePlus logo from its Partners page, leading to speculation that the refined and pricey OnePlus McLaren editions had been cancelled. The car company finally confirmed that there wouldn’t be another partner-produced version of a OnePlus phone in a statement sent to Android Authority:

“Our partnership with OnePlus, which came to its scheduled conclusion recently, has been a highly successful collaboration between two iconic and innovative brands,” McLaren’s statement read. “Since the start of this partnership in 2018, OnePlus has been a supportive, valued partner and we wish them well and hope to see them in the future.”

We’d seen exactly two of the fancy editions starting with the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition in 2018 and followed with the OnePlus 7T McLaren Edition

At CES 2020, the phonemaker showed off the OnePlus Concept One that featured McLaren window tech to hide its rear cameras, but that wasn’t a consumer-ready device. Since we hadn’t heard whether a new McLaren Edition would accompany the next OnePlus 8T generation, we weren’t sure if we’d see another again. That question seems to have been answered.

The best time to cancel a fancy OnePlus McLaren edition?

Of course, we’re not in the best market for costlier versions of flagship phones anyway, and each generation of the once-affordable OnePlus handsets have been pricier than the last.  

Thus, it was probably time for the OnePlus McLaren editions to reach the end of the road anyway and stop trying to compete with the likes of the Huawei Mate 30 Porsche edition and the Oppo Find X Lamborghini. But given the seemingly amicable splitting of ways between OnePlus and McLaren, perhaps a partnership sometime in the future is possible – when the market’s ready for another luxury carmaker’s take on a smartphone.

  • OnePlus 8T: all we know about the next OnePlus flagship