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By Elric

Wolcen: Major Content Patch

If you haven't already heard, Wolcen just dropped a huge 1GB content patch yesterday (6/24/2019). They added a lot of good stuff, and they are really moving along in the development path.  If you haven't heard of "Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem" before, it is an Action RPG similar to Diablo III that is being developed for Steam by Wolcen Studios.  On a side note, it is on sale this week for 20% off!
https://store.steampowered.com/app/424370/Wolcen_Lords_of_Mayhem/
 
 
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By Throne

ATLAS: Present and Future

We have been at it since day one, that ugly and...well, let's just stick with ugly...launch. Even through the lag muck and server instability, you could read the stars and see the potential.  Right off the bat it was only for the tough, and we barreled through the glitchy log-ins, the shaky starter zones and the wretched "lawless" starting areas and found our way to the rafts.  Some were able to get to our island after 3-4 hours of learning how to tack, zig zag and fight through server borders and with a full stack of human hides, and then some were finally rescued after what seemed like days of being eaten alive by scorpions and crocodiles, only to quickly get used to dying to the cold, the wolves, the alpha horses, the water, the sharks and each other's general noob mistakes.
Yes, with the known developer, we did try to ARK it, or Dark and Light it...hell, we've even tried to Life is Feudal this one....and Atlas is just NOT those games.  Some visuals and sounds are there, but the depth and options and functionality is just SO much more.  What really took the game from just another ARK expansion to, the potential mmo of the decade, was getting out on our first schooner, the SS Skjoldr (video below).  The experience was entirely PvE, but when you have 13 people packed on to a single vessel and the guys repairing the ship are as vital as the helmsman steering and the deckhands manning the sails, it became something I haven't seen in a game since our friday night flights on the Decimator back in SWG.
We have had just a blast learning the game and surviving our island and our neighbors over the past couple weeks.  Though it may appear as if we are well off enough, growing from 30 actives day one, to more than double that now, we absolutely could use more folks interested in living the Atlas life.  Whether you are interested in navigating the high seas, captaining a brigand, farming the tundra, mucking through politics, taming elephants or exploring the massive (30-40 hours of sailing from one end to the other) world, it is all here and we have many members willing to help you get started.
Here is a few screencaps and videos to give you an idea of what we have been up to:
 
 




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By Throne

Xalt defeats Elric for 2018 Fantasy Football Crown

Xalt's Zappers smirk at expectations, knock off Elric's Arksters in 171.07-127.47 rout

Both teams exceeded their projected point totals, but it was Xalt's Zappers who got the victory, cruising to a 171.07-127.47 win over Elric's Arksters. Elric's Arksters earned a 3.86-point lead on Saturday behind Joey Bosa (2.18 points) and Mike Williams (1.68), but Xalt's Zappers held the lead the rest of the way. They were led by Matt Ryan (25.46 points) and Damien Williams (22.53). Ben Roethlisberger (42.22 points) and T.Y. Hilton (19.4) led the charge for Elric's Arksters in the loss. This marks the second time this season Xalt's Zappers have beaten Elric's Arksters, after winning 118.28-117.7 in their last matchup. Xalt's Zappers end the season at 12-4, while Elric's Arksters finish the campaign at 9-7.
 
Matchup Highlights

Sunday Early    There were players with standout moments on both teams early Sunday, after which Xalt's Zappers owned a 125.41-53.13 lead. Matt Ryan had a 75-yard touchdown pass and a 44-yard touchdown pass for Xalt's Zappers, while David Njoku had a 66-yard catch. T.Y. Hilton made the highlight reel for Elric's Arksters with a 55-yard catch.

Sunday Late    Both teams had players with big-time moments on Sunday afternoon, but it was Xalt's Zappers who took the lead, 148.54-96.80. For Xalt's Zappers, Robert Woods had a 39-yard touchdown catch. Ben Roethlisberger made the highlight reel for Elric's Arksters with a 20-yard touchdown pass and a 49-yard pass.

Sunday Night    Harrison Butker had a 54-yard field goal for Elric's Arksters, who trailed 171.07-118.27 after Sunday Night Football.
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Ztuke

Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerability

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Background

As many of you know by now, a quite serious vulnerability was discovered in early 2018 that affected both INTEL and AMD cpu's!

This discovery has sent SHOCK WAVES throughout the entire PC industry.

These flaws have been called SPECTRE and MELTDOWN.

There are patches made available by the CPU manufacturers and supplied to the hardware maker's that address this critical flaw but these are NOT applicable to all CPU's going back to the very earliest affected. (The very earliest affected CPU's would have been manufactured sometime during 1998.) The patches affect a very special instruction layer known as MICROCODE.

 

Response

The CPU manufacturers and most affected hardware manufacturers have responded by releasing patches that close access to this critical vulnerability. In the cases of INTEL and AMD, the changes have to be made at the microscopic level within the construction of the CPU its self and since this is not something that is ever undertaken without the most serious of consideration and rigorous of testing, it WILL TAKE TIME!

Microsoft, the Windows developer, and nearly all Linux system developers have produced and released software fixes to block this vulnerability. HOWEVER, it must be noted that on older hardware these patches and fixes CAN AND DO have a performance impact. On the most up to date hardware this performance hit is barely noticeable, on older hardware it can have visible penalty.

These patches/fixes are mandatory in the case of Windows users and in the case of newer Linux builds with, in the case of older Linux builds are very highly rated patch to be applied. 

 

Point of this post

Other than to make everyone aware of this and try to warn of the utmost serious nature of these flaws it is also to inform you that there is a small windows utility available that will inspect your system and inform you if your hardware is vulnerable or protected, if the software patches have been installed by Microsoft and if a software base MICROCODE update issued by Intel/AMD has also been installed. It will also indicate if your hardware is too old for these patches.

I will add at this time that NOT ALL CPU's are being patched, in general if the design of the CPU is up to roughly speaking, 5 years old then you have a high chance of there being a patch. CPU's of between 5 to 7 years have a reasonable chance with anything older than 7 years being unlikely!

The utility is produced and made available by the Gibson Research Corporation (GRC), founded by Steven Gibson,  and is called INSPECTRE.

 

Conclusion

If you wish to check your system for these critical security flaws, the above utility will give you a fast and clear indication.

 

NOTES

1) An effort has been made to avoid technical speak and many generalities have been made which will read as incorrect to the informed. It is this writers intent to inform and not confuse those who do not have the technical knowledge or understanding to read the more precise descriptions involved in the technical papers for these issues.

2) A certain amount of information and capabilities of the above mentioned patches, fixes, workaround's and utilities has been deliberately left out so as not to cause confusion OR allow the incautious to put their systems at risk!

3) The writer in no way endorses, nor implies that the community or site operators of the Covenant of the Phoenix Community endorse these comments or the software/application talked herein.

4) Use of the above utility is made solely at the users discretion, since if they are using it then they have made the conscious decision to use it!

 

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This is a good write up, Z. Thank you.

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Intel had a vulnerability that could be used by the US Government to acquire state secrets from a number of bad actors; China, Russia, Terrorists.  Instead;, Intel informs its customers in China, before informing the US Government.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/28/intel-reportedly-notified-chinese-companies-of-chip-security-flaw-before-the-u-s-government/


They should have called the NSA and handed over the information to the NSA, so much good could have been done to thwart bad actors on the world stage.

Intel has serious governing issues, as most of their R&D and major technology comes from their Intel Israel team - the same country that was going to sell one of our AWACS aircraft to the Chinese until we complained back in 2000, to today where Israel sold the software to Saudi Arabia that allowed them to hack a Washington Post reporters phone and ambush him at their embassy and murder him, and whom purchase significant political influence over US politics, for such a small group.  Israel's track record is not good.
Most of Intels manufacturing is done overseas in Asia, including China.  Hence their telling their Asian customers before the US Government.

As unlikely as it may be to happen, boycotting Intel in your purchase decisions is what is needed here.
There is a shortage of CPUs globally, AMD has become more wanted only to fill the gap, AMD chips are not better than Intels, but they don't come with all the baggage of selling out the US government to the Chinese and American reporters and our R&D to the Israelis.

AMD for the win.

Edited by Relaed

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