Deutsch-türkische Allianz: AKK trifft Akar

Die deutsche Verteidigungsministerin Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer war am Donnerstag zum Amtsbesuch in der Türkei. Was bedeutet die Unterstützungszusage für Ankara?

Die deutsche Verteidigungsministerin Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer war am Donnerstag zum Amtsbesuch in der Türkei. Was bedeutet die Unterstützungszusage für Ankara?

Game Boy Advance game gets split-screen multiplayer through new FPGA core

No link-cable needed for this emulated single-machine, single-display solution.

Developer Robert Peip shows off some split-screen Game Boy Advance multiplayer gaming through his new FPGA core.

Here at Ars, we're big fans of situations where emulation creates a classic gaming experience that's actually better than what you could get with original hardware in some way or another. In the past, that has meant upsampling rotated sprites in SNES' "Mode 7" games or adding "widescreen" support to NES games or mitigating the controller lag that was built into certain older consoles or overclocking an emulated SNES to remove slowdown without ruining gameplay timing.

The latest emulation-powered retro-gaming upgrade to cross our paths greatly simplifies an oft-overlooked capability built in to many Game Boy Advance titles. Namely, it adds the ability to play multiplayer titles in split screen on a single display.

This upgrade is the work of Robert Peip, a developer who's spent years working on field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). These days, Peip works primarily on the MiSTer FPGA an open source project that recreates classic gaming hardware extremely accurately through emulation "cores" that replicate every single logic gate involved in the schematics of the original system (most of Analogue's high-end retro hardware is similarly powered by FPGA cores). Such cores are currently available for consoles ranging from the Odyssey 2 through the Neo Geo era and more.

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Game Boy Advance game gets split-screen multiplayer through new FPGA core

No link-cable needed for this emulated single-machine, single-display solution.

Developer Robert Peip shows off some split-screen Game Boy Advance multiplayer gaming through his new FPGA core.

Here at Ars, we're big fans of situations where emulation creates a classic gaming experience that's actually better than what you could get with original hardware in some way or another. In the past, that has meant upsampling rotated sprites in SNES' "Mode 7" games or adding "widescreen" support to NES games or mitigating the controller lag that was built into certain older consoles or overclocking an emulated SNES to remove slowdown without ruining gameplay timing.

The latest emulation-powered retro-gaming upgrade to cross our paths greatly simplifies an oft-overlooked capability built in to many Game Boy Advance titles. Namely, it adds the ability to play multiplayer titles in split screen on a single display.

This upgrade is the work of Robert Peip, a developer who's spent years working on field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). These days, Peip works primarily on the MiSTer FPGA an open source project that recreates classic gaming hardware extremely accurately through emulation "cores" that replicate every single logic gate involved in the schematics of the original system (most of Analogue's high-end retro hardware is similarly powered by FPGA cores). Such cores are currently available for consoles ranging from the Odyssey 2 through the Neo Geo era and more.

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Lilbits: An ePaper dev board, a small(er) BlackBerry clone, and Amazon’s continued crackdown on pay-to-play reviews

Another day, another set of products disappeared from the Amazon website as the company continues to take actions against sellers that pay for positive user reviews. This time it looks like TaoTronics and Vava devices have been removed… which is…

Another day, another set of products disappeared from the Amazon website as the company continues to take actions against sellers that pay for positive user reviews. This time it looks like TaoTronics and Vava devices have been removed… which is unsurprising since they share the same parent company as RAVPower, whose products were also removed […]

The post Lilbits: An ePaper dev board, a small(er) BlackBerry clone, and Amazon’s continued crackdown on pay-to-play reviews appeared first on Liliputing.

Newly discovered Vigilante malware outs software pirates and blocks them

Most malware tries to steal stuff. Vigilante, by contrast, takes aim at piracy.

A warning sign on a grid-style metal fence.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

A researcher has uncovered one of the more unusual finds in the annals of malware: booby-trapped files that rat out downloaders and try to prevent unauthorized downloading in the future. The files are available on sites frequented by software pirates.

Vigilante, as SophosLabs Principal Researcher Andrew Brandt is calling the malware, gets installed when victims download and execute what they think is pirated software or games. Behind the scenes, the malware reports the file name that was executed to an attacker-controlled server, along with the IP address of the victims’ computers. As a finishing touch, Vigilante tries to modify the victims’ computers so they can no longer access thepiratebay.com and as many as 1,000 other pirate sites.

Not your typical malware

“It’s really unusual to see something like this because there’s normally just one motive behind most malware: stealing stuff,” Brandt wrote on Twitter. “Whether that’s passwords, or keystrokes, or cookies, or intellectual property, or access, or even CPU cycles to mine cryptocurrency, theft is the motive. But not in this case. These samples really only did a few things, none of which fit the typical motive for malware criminals.”

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Amazon joins Apple, Google by reducing its app store cut

Developers with revenues under $1 million are getting a new deal.

The Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet, which runs Amazon's Fire OS.

Enlarge / The Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet, which runs Amazon's Fire OS. (credit: Amazon)

Apparently following the lead of Apple and Google, Amazon has announced that it will take a smaller revenue cut from apps developed by teams earning less than $1 million annually from their apps on the Amazon Appstore. The same applies to developers who are brand-new to the marketplace.

The new program from Amazon, called the Amazon Appstore Small Business Accelerator Program, launches in Q4 of this year, and it will reduce the cut Amazon takes from app revenue, which was previously 30 percent. (Developers making over $1 million annually will continue to pay the original rate.) For some, it's a slightly worse deal than Apple's or Google's, and for others, it's better.

Amazon's new indie-friendly rate is 20 percent, in contrast to Apple's and Google's 15 percent. Amazon seeks to offset this difference by granting developers 10 percent of their Appstore revenue in the form of a credit for AWS. For certain developers who use AWS, it could mean that Amazon's effective cut is actually 10 percent, not 15 or 20 percent.

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Amazon Prime Day 2021 Tech Deals

Amazon Prime Day takes place from June 21 to 22 this year, and while Amazon promises discounts on over 2 million items, it’s a safe bet that some of those deals will be a lot better than others. One thing we do know is that Amazon has made a hab…

Amazon Prime Day takes place from June 21 to 22 this year, and while Amazon promises discounts on over 2 million items, it’s a safe bet that some of those deals will be a lot better than others. One thing we do know is that Amazon has made a habit of offering some of its […]

The post Amazon Prime Day 2021 Tech Deals appeared first on Liliputing.

A number of recommended Nintendo Switch games are on sale today

Dealmaster also has early Prime Day discounts, Philips Hue deals, and more.

A number of recommended Nintendo Switch games are on sale today

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

Earlier this week, we highlighted an excellent deal on Nintendo Switch Online memberships. Today's Dealmaster is headlined by a range of discounts on Nintendo Switch games, including several titles we've recommended in the past. The deals are currently available at several retailers—including Amazon, Target, Walmart, GameStop, Best Buy, and Nintendo's own eShop—and primarily apply to digital codes, not physical cartridges.

Among the sale's highlights is Hades, which is discounted to $17.49, the lowest price we've tracked for the Switch version of the stylish roguelike we named the best game of 2020Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, the adorable XCOM-style RPG whose sequel was announced at E3 this past week, is down to $10The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the modern classic whose sequel was also teased at E3, is down to $42.

Other first-party games like Paper Mario: The Origami King and Fire Emblem: Three Houses are also discounted, as are notable indies like the roguelike Dead Cells, the hard-as-nails run-and-gunner Cuphead, the puzzle game/trolling simulator Untitled Goose Game, and the hardcore Metroidvania Hollow Knight, among many others. You can see our full list of recommended offers from the sale below; not everything is the cheapest it's ever been, but each of our picks is priced lower than its typical going rate on the Switch.

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Microsoft’s Linux repositories were down for 18+ hours

The outage prevented Linux installation or upgrade of any Microsoft software.

Close-up photograph of a hand holding a toy penguin.

Enlarge / In 2017, Tux was sad that he had a Microsoft logo on his chest. In 2021, he's mostly sad that Microsoft's repositories were down for most of a day. (credit: Jim Salter)

Yesterday, packages.microsoft.com—the repository from which Microsoft serves software installers for Linux distributions including CentOS, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and more—went down hard, and it stayed down for around 18 hours. The outage impacted users trying to install .NET Core, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft SQL Server for Linux (yes, that's a thing) and more—as well as Azure's own devops pipelines.

We first became aware of the problem Wednesday evening when we saw 404 errors in the output of apt update on an Ubuntu workstation with Microsoft Teams installed. The outage is somewhat better-documented at this .NET Core issue report on Github, with many users from all around the world sharing their experiences and theories.

The short version is that the entire repository cluster that serves all Linux packages for Microsoft was completely down—issuing a range of HTTP 404 (content not found) and 500 (Internal Server Error) messages for any URL—for roughly 18 hours. Microsoft engineer Rahul Bhandari confirmed the outage roughly five hours after it was initially reported, with a cryptic comment about the infrastructure team "running into some space issues."

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Of course Windows 11 has been ported to the Lumia 950 XL smartphone

Microsoft is holding an event on June 24 to unveil the future of Windows… but the future is already here for some folks thanks to a leaked Windows 11 build that’s been floating around the internet for the past few days. Some folks have alr…

Microsoft is holding an event on June 24 to unveil the future of Windows… but the future is already here for some folks thanks to a leaked Windows 11 build that’s been floating around the internet for the past few days. Some folks have already installed it on PCs or in virtual machines. But at […]

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