Valve quietly hides Steam Machine section from its game store after years of neglect

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Valve has gone ahead and quietly hidden a link to its Steam Machines webpage from the Steam store itself, a move indicative of the ill-fated project to push a console-like transition for gaming PCs in the living room. The move, noticed by PC Gamer today, doesn’t mean Steam Machines can no longer be purchased. You can still find the live link here, and you can even purchase the recommended Alienware Alpha Steam Machine from Dell if so choose, as well as the Valve-designed SteamOS controller over on Amazon. But the “hardware” tab on Steam now only shows the Steam Controller, the HTC Vive headset, and Valve’s game streaming service Steam Link.

It’s clear Steam Machines are no longer a priority for Valve, which couldn’t overcome the product…

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Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ 128GB models quietly launched in India

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Samsung has quietly a launched the 128GB storage variants for its Galaxy S9 and S9+ flagships in India. The models carry a price tag of INR 61,900 ($ 955) and INR 68,900 ($ 1,065), respectively. For comparison, the 64GB S9/S9+ cost $ 895/$ 1,000, and the 256GB models cost $ 1,018/$ 1,125, respectively. The new variants are currently only available through offline channels, with no information on what color options are available. Via

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Oppo A1 quietly unveiled in China, goes on sale April 1

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Oppo is bolstering its entry-level range with the introduction of the Oppo A1. It has a tall-aspect 18:9 5.7-inch S-IPS LCD, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a 3,180 mAh battery. There’s a lone 13MP camera on the back and a fixed-focus 8MP selfie camera. The Oppo A1 lacks a fingerprint scanner but makes do with Face recognition entry. Oppo will start selling the A1 on April 1 in China in Cherry Red and Dark Blue for CNY 1399 – or around €179. Via

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US Quietly Allows Import of Some Elephant Trophies

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The Trump administration has decided to lift a ban on the import of African elephant trophies, allowing hunters to bring parts of the animals’ bodies back home.

The news was unexpected: The President himself, speaking with British broadcaster Piers Morgan, said that he “didn’t want elephants killed and stuffed and have the tusks brought back into this [country].”

So it’s no surprise that even when passed without fanfare, a lift on the ban on elephant trophy imports has caused quite a stir.

“The Trump administration is trying to keep these crucial trophy import decisions behind closed doors, and that’s totally unacceptable,” Tanya Sanerib, international legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity, told AP. “Elephants aren’t meant to be trophies, they’re meant to roam free.”

Through a memorandum on its website, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has announced the news, saying that the authorities will consider requests on a case by case basis with immediate effect. It will be legal to import trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia among others.

The ban elephant trophies was put in place by the Obama administration in 2014. In December 2017, a lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association and Safari Club International entered the courts. It found that proper procedures weren’t followed when the regulations were enacted, including the lack of an opportunity for the public to comment on the ban.

The FWS mentioned the lawsuit’s resolution in its announcement about the ban being lifted. It also confirmed that several other measures enshrined in the Endangered Species Act, focusing on elephants, lions and bontebok are being revoked.

The agency noted that the Endangered Species Act will inform its case-by-case decisions on whether to authorize trophy imports, however it hasn’t elaborated on the criteria that will be used to determine which imports will be allowed. “The confusion is not helpful,” said Jimmiel Mandima, a conservationist at the nonprofit African Wildlife Foundation, in an interview with NBC News.

Some argued that the decision to allow trophy imports might help animal populations, as fees paid by hunters to shoot selected animals can help fund wildlife conservation initiatives. However, the strategy may not be so effective should the money be siphoned away by corrupt authorities, as some fear.

The post US Quietly Allows Import of Some Elephant Trophies appeared first on Futurism.

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How Streaming Analytics Has Quietly Become Essential

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From startups to large enterprises, analytics play a critical part in driving today’s marketing strategies. The amount of data available — and what can be done with it — has changed. Yet, just like in the past, analytics most commonly remains static. As Zoomdata explained in its master class on Streaming Analytics and the Internet of Things, analytics often has centered on historical data gathered by transaction systems or has been compiled in data warehouses.

By the time that data was pulled back out and examined, it was likely no longer relevant. Today’s organizations need to respond, act, or pivot in real time based on the most current data. Decisions should be based on the most relevant information available; what a company received last week may no longer apply to the decisions it has to make.

What to Know About Streaming Analytics

For most businesspeople, the concept of streaming analytics is new. Companies like Zoomdata understand the challenge inherent in adopting new technology. Tony Baer, principal analyst at Ovum, broke it down by explaining that streaming analytics is “all about analyzing and making actionable decisions on data while it is in motion.” It focuses on “data that has a very short half life.”

Retailers, for example, use beacon technology in stores to learn what customers are doing. That way, they can make on-the-fly decisions about what to discuss with that customer while he’s in the store. This can ultimately direct the customer toward other products of interest while he’s still available and open to that messaging. Once he leaves the store, the retailer can’t do much with that data.

Technology Led to Streaming Analytics

According to Baer, the convergence of many types of technology helped propel the development of streaming analytics. From cheaper bandwidth to smarter software to the IoT, technology in other arenas has made it possible for streaming analytics to blossom. And it’s only going to move faster: Ovum believes smart devices will account for most of the data on IP networks by 2019.

The potential to use streaming analytics touches many industries, not just the ones that enabled it — and this includes industries in which the IoT is just beginning to find its way into processes. For example, Zoomdata cited industries like manufacturing. “We have machines that are so heavily instrumented that we have basically a huge amount of data coming in split second time, and the idea in manufacturing is that the one thing you really want to avoid is unplanned downtime,” Baer says. “And the idea is that if you basically can monitor all this data in real time as it’s happening and perform these, basically these analytics, you can start to basically nip symptoms in the bud.”

Then, of course, there’s the connected car. Data-oriented vehicles are common today; in the near future, however, they’ll deliver a lot more data. This will happen as more vehicles become connected through wireless networks. These vehicles will send data back to car dealerships and manufacturers and link to smart city grids for streetlights and traffic pattern monitoring. For all of this to work seamlessly, streaming analytics will be necessary.

Streaming analytics’ impact doesn’t just end with physical machines. Cybersecurity can stop hackers and fraudsters before online transactions are completed. The type of real-time data delivery and analysis offered by streaming analytics could end denial-of-service attacks, phishing, identity theft, and other cybercrimes. Hands-on industries like healthcare could also use streaming analytics to improve patient monitoring. Stream processing can assist online capital markets, trading systems, and algorithmic trading. The applications, for now, appear endless.

Using Batch and Streaming Data

According to Zoomdata, it’s important to ensure the analytics tools your business uses support both batch and streaming data. According to Wayne Eckerson, founder and principal consultant at Eckerson Group, “Ideally an analytics tool can analyze both data at rest and data in flight. And ideally they can virtualize between the two.”

By incorporating both types of data in your business, you can visual historical patterns as well as current trends. Plus, streaming information can address short-term and long-term messaging, meaning it can positively impact strategic business decisions. With the advent of new analytical tools and platforms, it’s not as challenging to succeed at using both types of data for new insights — and a true competitive advantage.

The post How Streaming Analytics Has Quietly Become Essential appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Android P will prevent apps from quietly hijacking your camera

The threat of someone hijacking your phone's camera to spy on you unawares is sometimes overstated, but it's definitely a possibility. Enough so, in fact, that Google is determined to do something about it. Recently discovered code submissions show t…
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Government websites have quietly been running cryptocoin mining scripts


A security researcher has discovered thousands of legitimate websites — many belonging to local governments and government agencies — running scripts that secretly force visitors’ computers to mine cryptocoins. In the UK, both the websites of the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Student Loan Company have found to be affected. The mining scripts were also found on the websites of the General Medical Council and NHS Inform. Ummm, so yeah, this is *bad*. I just had @phat_hobbit point out that @ICOnews has a cryptominer installed on their site… 😮 pic.twitter.com/xQhspR7A2f — Scott Helme (@Scott_Helme) February 11, 2018 On the other…

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Google Clips quietly went up for sale overnight

Google Clips official

Earlier this month, we saw the Google Clips pass through the FCC and we speculated that its release might be near. It looks like that was the case.

Google Clips went up for sale overnight. Customers that purchased the device were told that their orders would ship in early March, but now it looks like Google has stopped take orders and is letting anyone interested in Clips join a waitlist.

It’s unclear when Google Clips might be available again.

Announced late last year, Google Clips is a clip-on camera that can capture photos and seven-second moving images without audio. Google says that the camera is smart enough to recognize expressions on people’s faces as well as lighting and framing. Clips is also said to get smarter over time and that the more you’re with someone, the more it’ll learn to capture images of them. It can pick up pets, too.

Google Clips has a 130-degree field of view and 16GB of storage. It charges over USB-C and has 3 hours of smart capture battery life. To view your images, you can pair your Android or iOS phone with your camera.

Are you interested in Google Clips?

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NSA quietly deletes ‘honesty’ and ‘openness’ from mission statement


Since at least May of 2016, the National Security Agency prominently displayed a mission statement with “honesty” atop its core values. It appears its priorities have changed. On January 12, the NSA removed the mission statement before replacing it with a newer version. As The Intercept first noticed, the new “Mission & Values” statement not only removes “honesty” as its top priority, but strips any mention of “trust,” “honor,” and “openness” from the page. Other core values remain, such as “integrity,” “transparency,” and “respect for the law.” Replacing “honesty,” is “commitment to service” and “respect for people.” They read: Commitment…

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Twitter quietly added Notification Channel support to its Android app

One of the new features in Android 8.0 Oreo was Notification Channels. This gives users the ability to toggle categories of app notifications from the Android settings. WhatsApp was the latest high-profile app to add support for the feature, and now it appears Twitter is joining the club.

To be clear, we aren’t sure when Twitter added Notification Channels, because there was no announcement or changelog update. We tested different versions of the app, all the way back to v7.15.0 from September of last year, and all of those updates included Notification Channels.

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Twitter quietly added Notification Channel support to its Android app was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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