Local Edmonton peeps- cofounder of Lady Geeks uNite and overall cool person Sylvia has posted an open casting call for her short film, Without

A bad app, or bad actors, may be using your phone for nefarious purposes! Dunkey has a new Best of the Year video. Alan has a movie recommendation we missed earlier. Josh answers last weeks Bad Description of a video game, and gives a new one.

Dunkey has his Best of 2018 Video out

  1. God of War – Dunkey says its a rare example of a triple A studio actually making a triple A game. We did a whole history leading up to it and don’t wanna spoil anything! https://www.ps2jshow.com/ps2j-196-history-5-30-2018/
  2. Celeste – Help Madeline survive her inner demons on her journey to the top of Celeste Mountain, in this super-tight platformer from the creators of TowerFall. Brave hundreds of hand-crafted challenges, uncover devious secrets, and piece together the mystery of the mountain.
  3. Into The Breach – Control powerful mechs from the future to defeat an alien threat. Each attempt to save the world presents a new randomly generated challenge in this turn-based strategy game. From the creators of FTL.
  4. Zeroranger – Bullet hell shoot em up with beautiful pixel graphics down with minimal colour palette, and an amazing soundtrack.
  5. Enter the Gungeon – A bullet hell dungeon crawler following a band of misfits seeking to shoot, loot, dodge roll and table-flip their way to personal absolution by reaching the legendary Gungeon’s ultimate treasure: the gun that can kill the past.
  6. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze – Help Donkey Kong and his friends get back their home from Vikings.
  7. Super Smash Bros Ultimate
  8. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – Set 3 years after the events of Uncharted 3, Nathan Drake has apparently left the world of fortune hunting behind. However, it doesn’t take long for adventure to come calling when Drake’s brother, Sam, re-emerges asking for his help to save his own life and offering an adventure Drake cannot resist.
  9. Lumines – The critically-acclaimed puzzle game produced by legendary creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi comes to PC.
  10. Monster Hunter World – Enjoy the ultimate hunting experience, using everything at your disposal to hunt monsters in a new world teeming with surprises and excitement.
  11. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon – Battle with swords and whips in this retro-style action game brought to you by game creator Koji Igarashi and Inti Creates! Play as Zangetsu, a demon slayer bearing a deep grudge, who must travel through perilous lands to defeat a powerful demon lurking in a dark castle.
  12. Downwell – A game about a young man going down an endless well with gun-boots.
  13. Jack Box Party Packs – The team behind YOU DON’T KNOW JACK presents FIVE guffaw-inducing party games in one pack! You’re gonna need more than one party for this. Your phones or tablets are your controllers! For 1-100 players!
  14. Monolith – A top down action shooter with procedurally generated elements. Explore a large, abandoned facility in search of incredible power, fighting dangerous foes and gaining new weapons and upgrades as you progress.

PS2J 202 (June 2018) News Update

  • Bethesda’s lawsuit against Warner Bros accusing the Westworld mobile game of copying Fallout Shelter has been quietly resolved
  • Terms weren’t disclosed, but both sides are covering their own legal fees and Bethesda called the resolution “amicable”
  • My guess? WB found that the company they hired to develop the game copied code and paid to make the problem go away

There’s a sneaky package tracking app that’s crowd-sourcing its data in the worst way possible

  • The app is called “Parcels – Track Your Packages” (not to be confused with the popular “Parcel” app)
  • As soon as you download and open it, it starts sending requests to its server looking for packages to track
    • The weird part here is that you may not have registered any packages yet
  • What it’s actually doing is downloading the details for shipments that other users have registered, including tracking number and courier details
  • Then the app uses your device’s resources and connection to get the status of those packages and send the info back, presumably to be forwarded on to the person that’s actually asked for it
  • This is likely a way to get around any limiting that the tracking websites may have, since the requests are coming from a large number of devices instead of a single group of servers
  • The problem is that, even if it was done with good intentions, the developers have created a botnet
    • They could easily leverage this framework to have all the devices perform DDoS attacks or falsify ad-clicks
  • Besides that, it’s also an issue because there’s no security involved
    • There’s no encryption on the data that’s being sent or received, or even on the instructions your phone gets from the server
    • 9to5mac had the app running on a test device for an hour and managed to capture tracking info for 52 different shipments because they knew how to look

AT&T has found an easy way to upgrade all their mobile users from 4G to 5G- change the logo!

  • Background: actual 5G is using a completely new chunk of the wireless spectrum which requires new modem and antenna tech as well as more cell towers due to shorter range (because fun fact, some of the new spectrum is blocked by oxygen)
  • A much easier strategy, as AT&T has shown, is to just call 4G LTE “5G E”, and roll out software updates to reflect that
    • As a bonus, some of the phones that got this super-important update are still months behind in security patches
  • Their justification is that the new name will be applied to areas that have advanced LTE features, and actual 5G will be called 5G+. Because this just isn’t confusing enough

Psyconauts 2 coming out 2019
Looks like Raz in actively in the Psyconaut Organization. Agent Nein is doing experiments on the mind of the villain from the first game. It looks like Raz’s family may have accepted their powers and be more a part of the story. An overhead shot of the common enemies you face show a couple new types: a worm thing with yellow eyes, a evil bunny with flame on their back, and a giant Judge with a gavel as a warhammer. Some teaser shots of game play shows the wonderful ascetic of the game remains intact.

Tidbits

  • Shout out to fellow APN member I Have Some Notes for the tip
    • It looks like the fourth film in the Star Trek reboot has been quietly shelved
    • But hey, at least we got some odd-numbered Star Trek movies that were good!
  • Vive is introducing new hardware later this year called Vive Pro Eye, that includes eye-tracking from inside the headset
    • The idea is that you can make menu selections by looking at them instead of having to move your head, and computers can focus resources on rendering the best graphics exactly where you’re looking
  • Hobbyists have resurrected Kojima’s PT as a free download in Unreal PT
    • Nearly identical to the PS4 original, just missing the intro and closing cutscene
    • Also includes a helpful guide.txt for the game’s more obtuse moments

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Were back and there is free games of the month! Josh talks about some new things for the future. Alan recommends something for your health. Josh has his first Bad Description challenge.

Today’s bad description:
“After his girlfriend is abducted by the stubborn antagonist. Tradesmen is forced to pursue through a dangerous construction site.”

A new year means a new list of the top 50 worst passwords of the year!

  • Bad news, #49 is joshua
  • Then we have some classics, like #43- letmein
  • New ones, like #39- harley
  • A new twist on qwerty at #26- zxcvbnm
  • The double-devil at 1#4- 666666
  • Down from #4 last year to #9 this year- qwerty
  • And for the 5th consecutive year:
    • Exactly what it says on the tin at #2- password
    • And continuing its reign as the #1 worst password- 123456

Bethesda just keeps shooting themselves in the foot over Fallout 76 – and I’m not even talking about the game itself!

  • First there was the Power Armor Edition of the game that came with a functional power armor helmet (which was pretty cool) and a bag to carry it that was supposed to be durable canvas, but was instead cheap, flimsy nylon
    • Even after shipping the product listing showed the original canvas bag that was advertised
    • Eventually the listing was updated to say nylon, but the picture still has not been updated
    • The initial response from Bethesda support? “We are sorry that you aren’t happy with the bag. The bag shown in the media was a prototype and was too expensive to make.”
    • They then offered 500 Atoms (about $5 worth of their in-game currency) to people that contacted support with proof of purchase
    • Then a week later they finally announced plans to make things right and manufacture proper canvas replacement bags
      • If you bought the Power Armor Edition you have until January 31st to submit a ticket at beth.games/2QDropM to get the replacement when they’re ready
    • But wait, there’s more!
      • Many users, after submitting tickets for the replacement, were shown all of the other users’ replacement tickets including addresses, emails, and partial credit card info
      • The problem was fixed in about 45 minutes, but they confirmed that 65 tickets containing personal information were exposed in that time
      • Apparently they’re contacting customers that were affected, but that’s not really a genie you can put back in the bottle
  • Then, to cap it all off, Nuka Dark Rum brought us a whole new fiasco
    • The idea here was that it would be a dark rum in the iconic Nuka Cola rocket bottle- pretty cool, right? Maybe even worth the $80 they were charging
    • Well after they started shipping, a note appeared at the tail end of the website talking about “the story of the intentional and complex design of the Nuka Dark Rum product”
      • Because you know any time you have to tell people something was intentional that really inspires confidence
    • It goes on to say how no corners were cut, and “it cost over 2X what it would have if we would have simply cast a glass mold”
      • Concerned yet?
    • They apparently decided that a glass bottle alone wouldn’t be dramatic enough, even though I think a glass rocket bottle would be pretty great all on its own
    • Which brings us to my favourite line- “Over 100 hours were spent just writing the code to create the 3D-printed prototype of the shells”
    • So they 3D printed a giant novelty plastic shell for a standard bottle- 13 inches tall and 6 inches wide
    • The cap is kind of neat, where instead of a screw-top it’s an integrated cork, but I’ve seen some videos of people trying to pour the rum and the plastic shell definitely doesn’t play nice with the glass bottle inside

Tidbits

  • According to the New York Times, Facebook is selling even more of your personal info than we thought!
    • Not only did they give companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Sony access to data on all your friends, but they also gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read your private messages
  • The FCC in the US has reclassified text messages as an “information service” instead of a telecom service
    • What does this mean? They basically just repealed net neutrality for your text messages
    • Masked as a way to allow telecom companies to block spam messages, it also dismantles protective regulations and gives them the ability to censor or favour speech as they choose, potentially blocking or editing your message if they feel like it