Weekend tech reading: Prey's 22-year development history, 32 anti-virus products tested,...

Matthew

TS Evangelist

22 years. 3 developers. Only 2 games. The fascinating history of the Prey series Prey is out now on PS4, Xbox One and PC. That may sound like a simple, matter-of-fact statement, but it isn’t. This is only the second entry in a series that has spanned three decades, multiple developers and publishers, and many generations of gaming technology. The Prey franchise - originally conceived in 1995 - has managed to attract attention throughout its various development cycles, but in 22 years it has only managed to produce two, wildly different entries. Games Radar

Google was warned about this week’s mass phishing email attack six years ago For almost six years, Google knew about the exact technique that someone used to trick around one million people into giving away access to their Google accounts to hackers on Wednesday. Even more worrisome: other hackers might have known about this technique as well. On October 4, 2011, a researcher speculated in a mailing list that hackers could trick users into giving them access to their accounts by simply posing as a trustworthy app. Motherboard

Digital Economy Act: Illegal Kodi streams could now land users in prison for 10 years The Digital Economy Act has passed into law, meaning people could now face ten-year prison sentences for illegally streaming copyrighted content. It covers a wide number of areas, including broadband speeds, access to online pornography and government data-sharing. However, amid the rising popularity of Kodi, an increase to the maximum prison term – from two years to ten – for people guilty of copyright infringement is particularly interesting. The Independent

Cory Doctorow dreams of a DRM-free utopia – so he's suing the US government to get it Cory Doctorow fears for the future. Rising inequality, political instability and technological surveillance are merging to create a world, he says, in which "there are disasters - and those disasters are human-made". Most sci-fi writers might use this insight to create a dystopia, but Doctorow, 45, has been creating something more optimistic. His new novel Walkaway shows how catastrophes can create "the first days of a better nation". Wired

32 products put to the test: How good is antivirus software at protecting itself? For the third time now, the experts at AV-TEST examined a large number of the security software applications on the market in terms of their self-protection. The focus was on file protection with ASLR & DEP, which programmers can easily use – or foolhardily forget. Moreover, it was examined whether the distribution of test versions use secure channels so that attackers cannot distribute any manipulated software packages. AV-Test.org

Disks back from the dead In 2012, William Parker and his colleagues went hunting for a data set that tracked the growth of more than 50,000 carefully planted white spruce trees over a decade and a 1,500-kilometre range. They found a reel of computer tape, a relatively modern 3.5-inch diskette and a box of older 5.25-inch diskettes. These contained data from field trials in the late 1970s, which were set up to improve yields of commercial timber. Nature.com

Instant recall Inside Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters, the arrival of Instant Articles in the spring of 2015 was presented as a cause for celebration. Talking with reporters, executives described the fast-loading, natively hosted articles as a promising new creative format. A suite of publishing tools incubated in Facebook's now-defunct newsreading app Paper would find their way to Instant Articles, executives said, evolving the news posts shared on Facebook into immersive multimedia experiences. The Verge

Making 3-D printing as simple as printing on paper If you haven’t used a 3-D printer yet, you may be surprised to learn that it isn’t fully automated the way your office’s inkjet is. With paper printers, users queue documents from a computer, and each finished sheet drops neatly into a tray, waiting to be collected. With commercial 3-D printers, however, designs are manually programmed into the printer, and each finished part is manually removed before starting a new print, which is very time-consuming. MIT

How multiplayer games sync their state? Part 2 Let's start by defining what a server should do, typically a server should serve as a connection point for players. In a multiplayer game, players need to access a common endpoint to reach each other, this is one of the roles of a server program, even in the P2P communication model, there will be a connection point for players to exchange their network information before a P2P connection can be established... Cake Solutions (Part 1)

The end of Steam: imagining the future of how we buy games Over the past few years, Steam has added refunds, tried paid mods (and failed), integrated virtual reality tracking technology, and soon will let anyone publish games for a fee. Meanwhile, GOG shed the original meaning of its name, Good Old Games, and built a client while staying DRM-free. Itch.io appeared on the scene and let anyone sell games for free, only taking a cut if the seller offers one. PC Gamer

234 Android applications are currently using ultrasonic beacons to track users A team of researchers from the Brunswick Technical University in Germany has discovered an alarming number of Android applications that employ ultrasonic tracking beacons to track users and their nearby environment. Their research paper focused on the technology of ultrasound cross-device tracking (uXDT) that became very popular in the last three years. Bleeping Computer

Modern “Hackintoshes” show that Apple should probably just build a Mac tower Apple is working on new desktop Macs, including a ground-up redesign of the tiny-but-controversial 2013 Mac Pro. We’re also due for some new iMacs, which Apple says will include some features that will make less-demanding pro users happy. But we don’t know when they’re coming, and the Mac Pro in particular is going to take at least a year to get here. Ars Technica

Researchers develop 'seeing' bionic hand with 99p camera Scientists in Newcastle have developed a cheap way of helping amputees with prosthetic limbs reach out and grasp objects - a bionic "hand that sees". The hand was developed by bioengineers at Newcastle University who modified a standard NHS myoelectric hand with a cheap camera to provide upper-limb amputees with a more functional prosthetic. Sky News

Cities seek deliverance from the e-commerce boom Just before 3 in the afternoon on a rainy spring day, Keith Greenleaf busts out his “bricklaying” skills. That’s delivery-driver parlance for balancing an inordinate amount of cardboard boxes on a metal handcart. As high as his collarbone he stacks them, packages labeled HP, J. Crew, Amazon Prime. “This is probably one of the first days I don’t have Pampers or dog food,” he says. CityLab

Blockbuster has survived in the most curious of places — Alaska For families across the United States, driving to the local Blockbuster Video was a Friday night ritual. The kids fought over which movies to rent, parents had to pay off the late fees and all succumbed to the popcorn and candy buckets at the register. The Washington Post

It looks like Amazon’s Video app is finally coming to Apple TV this summer Amazon and Apple may have reached a truce. The tech giants, who are increasingly competing for customers’ time, eyeballs and money, are close to an agreement to bring an Amazon video app to Apple’s Apple TV set-top box, according to people familiar with the two companies. Recode

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Puiu

TS Evangelist
If you don't care about extreme protection, then just using Windows Defender and installing security updates should be enough for basic protection. I only install a "free" antivirus to people who are less tech-savvy and still want something to "feel safe" (although from experience I know they don't do much).
For everybody else I just tell them to buy a pro solution like Bitdefender.
 

EClyde

TS Evangelist
Been using Norton for 10 years. Ya can get it on the cheap and I like it. I also use Malwarebytes Pro that I bought when it was a forever license, I wouldn't buy it using their current pricing scheme
 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
I have been using Microsoft's Security Essentials for Vista and 7 since it was released in 2010. Once I switched over to Windows 10 Pro, everything went under Defender which 8 also using. I have not had a issue with a security breach or virus.
I do also have and use Malwarebytes free version. I use cause it works. I know some lately have said it's not as good as a few years ago but I have not had any issues using it. Still catches things most AVs don't.

So for the past 7 years I've had no issues using Microsoft's AV whether it be MSE or Defender. Add in Malwarebytes and you should be fine. Now this is what works in my house and I don't go running around the net like the world does or go on porn, religious or social media site.

I have never paid for a AV and never will. I have used F-Secure( was crap back in the back but so were most AVs), Symantec Corporate Edition(one of the best I used back in the day when I had it available), Trend Micro (was ok but nothing great) and used some others but can't remember the names, was a long time ago.
I have used McAfee or Norton, many many years ago. I've dealt with computers half my life and learned a long time ago never to use those. I've never really cared for them, same as with F-Secure. All 3 have more issues with either eating resources or in the world I play in, gaming.
 

ET3D

TechSpot Paladin
If you don't care about extreme protection, then just using Windows Defender and installing security updates should be enough for basic protection.
For everybody else I just tell them to buy a pro solution like Bitdefender.
It bothers me that the AV comparison didn't include the Microsoft solution. It's important for people to know how effective that is compared to other solutions.
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
It bothers me that the AV comparison didn't include the Microsoft solution. It's important for people to know how effective that is compared to other solutions.
I think it's because the tests done there can't really be done or require a lot more effort because windows defender comes included in windows 10.
 

nismo91

TS Evangelist
If you don't care about extreme protection, then just using Windows Defender and installing security updates should be enough for basic protection.
For everybody else I just tell them to buy a pro solution like Bitdefender.
It bothers me that the AV comparison didn't include the Microsoft solution. It's important for people to know how effective that is compared to other solutions.
Because they worry that those companies who sponsored them found that the built-in defender is 97% just as effective while being FREE and pre-installed.

I used to rely on free Avast until the arrival of Windows 8 and MSE for win7, which I remember reading on av-comparatives.org years ago that the Windows Defender that came with Windows 8 is more than 95% capable than the paid counterparts. Obviously it didn't win any sort of award nor did it rest on the top 10.

That free solution, combined with common sense on the internet has served me well. As recommended on Techspot, I did my due diligence by scanning my PC with malwarebytes once in a while just to be sure.