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A fan-made Halo PC patch meets Microsoft’s legal muscle—and apparently survives

Ars Technica - 1 hour 43 min ago

Enlarge / Want to play the canceled Halo Online project on your PC? Go through the right hoops, and you can still do so, even in spite of Microsoft's legal action this week. (credit: Microsoft / El Dewrito)

On Tuesday, Microsoft's Halo development studio 343 Industries posted about a fan-made modification to a PC version of the series—and the studio said that Microsoft would "protect its Halo intellectual property." This, for all intents and purposes, sounded like yet another story of a fan-made game-tribute project facing a swift, legal smackdown.

But the story of the ElDewrito patch, designed for 2015's Russia-only game Halo Online, appears to be a little more nuanced, if not complicated. The ElDewrito version of Halo Online is still online and functioning, with thousands of players matchmaking in its wholly free online multiplayer lobbies as of press time. Its Github repository is still online, which means the open source patch can still be downloaded. And the patch builders' official blog says the team did not receive a formal cease-and-desist order from either Microsoft or 343 Industries.

The result is fascinating: a solid, Windows-compatible version of classic Halo 3 combat is in the wild. Now Microsoft's required legal action is being announced alongside an apparent intent to do what the modders were already doing—to finally get more classic Halo games working for PC gamers.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Facebook puts ex-FCC Chair in charge of public policy - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 45 min ago
Former Republican FCC chairman Kevin Martin will take the lead on US lobbying efforts for Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, while chief privacy officer Erin Egan focuses on rebuilding trust in the company.

PC recycler gets 15 months in the clink for whipping up 28,000 bootleg Windows 7, XP recovery discs

The Register - 1 hour 46 min ago
E-waste activist's appeal fails as Redmond scores a win

PC reseller Eric Lundgren will spend the next 15 months behind bars after a US Court of Appeals upheld his sentence on charges of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and criminal copyright infringement.…

Bosch says it can fix diesel if you'll just give it one more chance, baby - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 51 min ago
The German technology supplier believes it has nailed the problem of diesel emissions using artificial intelligence.

Soft and silent eel-like robot can sneak around underwater - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 52 min ago
A transparent eel-like robot that swims with artificial muscles could one day lurk in the ocean to study the underwater world.

Behind the scenes with the hackers who unlocked the Nintendo Switch

Ars Technica - 1 hour 57 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

For end users, Monday's public disclosure of the Fusée Gelée exploit will make it relatively simple to run arbitrary code on the Nintendo Switch and other Nvidia Tegra X1-based hardware. For Kate Temkin and the hackers at Team ReSwitched, though, discovering and publicizing the exploit was full of technical and ethical difficulties.

ReSwitched's work on the Switch began last year, Temkin tells Ars, with an engineer going by the handle Hedgeberg working on "voltage glitching, a technique where we very, very briefly momentarily deprived the processor of power in order to make it misbehave. On Tegra X1 processors, if you precisely time that power 'glitch,' you can actually bypass the point where the system 'locks' the bootROM—effectively bypassing the mechanism that keeps the bootROM code secret."

By October, the team had used this method to extract a copy of that secretive bootROM, and by January, Temkin says she was spending weeks reverse-engineering and documenting that code. That process "involves comparing views of machine code we'd extracted to Nvidia's technical documentation and gradually inferring what the code was intended to do," Temkin said.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Fitbit restores Versa connectivity after earlier outage - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 4 min ago
Apps for the Versa and Ionic smartwatches are working again after a glitch made them unresponsive for several hours.

The iPhone X Plus could copy the Galaxy Note with an 'iPen' - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 6 min ago
Analysts claim that the premium 2018 iPhone will support Apple Pencil.

Lynk & Co 01 SUV will debut in Europe in 2020 as a PHEV - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 8 min ago
Chinese auto startup Lynk & Co lays out its plan for penetrating the European market and it hinges on the 01 PHEV.

Don't panic! Amazon, Google aren't in a NYSE meltdown - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 28 min ago
A suspension of trading for key tech companies had people wondering what was going on. It turns out to be a trading bug.

You say Halo and I say goodbye: Microsoft throws the book at unauthorised mod devs

The Register - 2 hours 34 min ago
Redmond unleashes DMCA barrage on ElDewrito team

Microsoft has come down hard on ElDewrito, a community-made mod for the cancelled Halo Online, lobbing DMCA takedown notices and sending its legal team to have a "brief conversation" with the modders.…

Europol shuts down largest cyberattack-for-hire website - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 39 min ago
Webstresser.org was allegedly behind 4 million distributed denial-of-service attacks before police in Europe arrested its administrators.

Roku Streaming Stick Plus vs. Amazon Fire TV 4K - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 47 min ago
We put the two most affordable 4K video streamers head-to-head.

Gmail gets a big reboot (The 3:59, Ep. 392) - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 54 min ago
Gmail introduces new features, hackers got Alexa to listen to you and digital money and cryptocurrency can help the poor.

Amazon is rolling out an Echo Dot that brings Alexa to kids - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 54 min ago
Starting May 9, customers can subscribe to a version of Alexa that has audio books, games and music catered to kids. Plus, there's the Echo Dot Kids Edition.

Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn? Doesn't matter – they may need to update their room key software

The Register - 2 hours 57 min ago
Eggheads craft skeleton cards to unlock doors in global chains

Infosec outfit F-Secure has uncovered security vulnerabilities in a hotel keycard system that can be exploited by miscreants to break into rooms across the globe.…

Comcast wages bidding war with Fox for Sky - CNET

cNET.com - News - 3 hours 9 min ago
Comcast submitted a nearly $31 billion bid for European broadcaster Sky, setting itself up for a bidding war with Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox.

ESA's new Milky Way map shines with 1.7 billion stars - CNET

cNET.com - News - 3 hours 13 min ago
The stars of our Milky Way are giving up their secrets to the European Space Agency's Gaia spacecraft and its stunning new star catalog.

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