3ba3e590-acd1-11e9-bfe7-33959e5f25ae

by Mike Bebernes via Yahoo News 360

What’s happening: Anyone who used a social media site last week saw the images — photo after photo of faces that had been digitally altered to look older or younger or with different hair color. The images were created by FaceApp, an app that includes a variety of filters to change a person’s appearance.

FaceApp has been around for a couple years, but recently saw a surge in popularity. More than 100 million people have reportedly downloaded the app, including many celebrities.

Shortly after last week’s viral surge, experts were vocal about their privacy concerns. By agreeing to the app’s terms of service, users grant its creators “perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide” ownership of images used in the app and the freedom to “use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish [and] translate” them however they see fit.

There were also questions that the app might scrape data from a user’s mobile photo album, location, messages or other private information. These worries intensified when users learned that FaceApp’s development team is based in Russia. The Democratic National Committee warned presidential candidates not to use the app. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on the FBI and the FTC to investigate its national security risks.

Why there’s debate: Reports about FaceApp’s potential privacy issues led many people to worry they had unwittingly handed personal information to Russian hackers, but so far there’s little evidence that has happened. FaceApp’s terms of service may sound troubling, but they’re similar to agreements used by platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, experts say. The issues with Faceapp are seen by some as a microcosm of the way online privacy is routinely undermined.

Some argue that the backlash to FaceApp is a good thing because it shows that the public is becoming more aware of the importance of protecting digital data. Recent incidents in which high-profile brokers either failed to protect or deliberately gave away mass stores of personal data, some say, have taught consumers to be more careful about who they trust with their online lives.

What’s next: Privacy experts recommend deleting FaceApp, though they concede there’s no way to get back what the app has already sent to developers. When it comes to the broader issue of online privacy, some firms have started to receive pushback from lawmakers.

The credit bureau Equifax is expected to face a $650 million fine for exposing the sensitive information of 145 million people. Facebook recently received a $5 billion fine for its mishandling of privacy issues, although some argue that the fines are far too small to make the tech industry take privacy more seriously.

The terms of service give FaceApp’s developers too much power over personal data.

“It’s also worth noting the company’s extremely broad terms of service, which appear to give FaceApp permission to do anything it wants with your images.” — Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

FaceApp’s terms of service are scary — but it’s not the only app that should worry you.

“FaceApp isn’t unique here. Many apps use similarly vague ― and frighteningly far-reaching ― boilerplate language in their terms and conditions. This should concern you about all apps, not just FaceApp” — Ryan Grenoble, HuffPost

FaceApp may be specifically designed to trick users into giving away data.

“There is the very real possibility that applications like these are simply honeypots designed to get you to give up information about yourself. You just sent them close-up, well-lit images of your face. Now they know your name and vital details and can create an annotated image record of you as a human.” — Marc Boudria, Hypergiant vice president of technology, to Popular Mechanics

The reaction to FaceApp shows how worried users are about data privacy.

“[Experts] also have concluded that the heightened panic was not based on the evidence, but rather anxiety after multiple cataclysmic data breaches in recent years that have made people proactively — and reflexively — protective of their privacy.” — Davey Alba, BuzzFeed

Big Tech shares some responsibility for allowing apps like this in their online stores.

“The bigger lesson was how much app-makers and the stores run by Apple and Google leave us flying blind when it comes to privacy.” — Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post

FaceApp shows that consumers are learning about the importance of data security.

“We care about our digital privacy but still don’t quite understand it. Which is what makes the last week potentially heartening in the long term. Privacy is complex and often dull and hard to get even concerned internet dwellers to pay attention to. This week, however, we’re paying attention.” — Charlie Warzel, New York Times

Focusing on privacy issues with one app lets the rest of the industry off the hook. “Singling out individual viral trends is no different from shaking a fist at a banker when you’re mad at capitalism: We direct our ire at one another, and the noose continues to tighten.”
— Sidney Fussel, The Atlantic

Visit us at http://www.gamersoutpostll.com/

Advertisements

 

halo-4

by Tyler Fischer via ComicBook.com

As you may remember, last week a report surfaced claiming that Xbox once wanted to bring Halo: The Master Chief Collection to PlayStation 4, but eventually the deal broke down. Now, fast-forward a bit, and a new interview between Kotaku and Xbox boss Phil Spencer has posted, and one of the topics that came up was putting Xbox-published games on other platforms beyond PC, something it has begun to do with the Nintendo Switch and some smaller titles.

According to Phil Spencer, the big focus for Xbox is cross-play and letting gamers play with each other. Further, Xbox isn’t a console company, it’s a platform company. Does this mean Xbox will go third party? Well, Spencer thinks that’s an odd way to phrase it. Again, Xbox is a platform, not a console, and Microsoft needs to think “how that platform infrastructure could grow.”

That said, when pressed specifically about having titles like Halo on PlayStation or Switch, Spencer seemed to downplay the chances of all of its games — but more importantly its bigger games — coming to other consoles, at least for now.

“The games themselves are critically important to players and people playing. But ensuring that you have a connected ecosystem with the players, where people’s save game and their state and their friends list and their entitlements move seamlessly from every ecosystem—from every device—that they want to play on is critical,” said Spencer. “There aren’t other systems where we can go do that today.”

As you can see, Spencer more or less suggests that in order for Xbox’s games to come to say PlayStation or Nintendo devices in bulk, Xbox Live also needs to come to said devices, which is probably where the talks between PlayStation and Xbox break down at the very least.

“Today on the Switch, what we’re able to do is we have Xbox Live on the Switch so we can keep those communities connected,” added Spencer. “And we have, as you pointed out, a certain number of franchises that have shipped over there.”

Continuing, Spencer noted that if it’s bringing some of its games to other platforms that doesn’t mean the Xbox as a piece of hardware is going anywhere anytime soon.

“In the end we think us having a native platform in the home for years is going to be critical for to continue to push our vision of where the gaming platform should be,” said Spencer.

If any of this sounds a bit non-committal and hazy to you, it’s because it is. But from the sounds of it, no, big franchises aren’t coming to Nintendo or PlayStation systems anytime soon. However, Microsoft is clearly experimenting, which is why Cuphead is available on Nintendo Switch now. If Halo or Gears of War or Fable were to ever come to PlayStation or Nintendo systems, Xbox Live has to come with them, and I think for that reason Sony isn’t going to be interested anytime soon. Nintendo on the other hand, well they obviously seem to mind less, so who knows what will happen there.

Spencer has noted in the past that Microsoft’s current focus is bringing its platform to Android due to its larger install base. In other words, if you’re looking for the next place to play Xbox games, it’s going to be on Android devices.

Visit us at http://www.gamersoutpostllc.com/

jumanji-1200x600

by Mike Sousa via Gaming Union

Publisher Outright Games and developer Funsolve, in collaboration with Sony Pictures, today announced Jumanji: The Video Game, the officially licensed game set in the world of the massively successful Jumanji film franchise.

Jumanji: The Video Game puts you in control of Jumanji’s greatest heroes as they seek to find the precious Jewels of Jumanji, save the world and find a way home. What’s stopping them? Only a deadly array of exotic creatures, dangerous locations and an army of evil marauders.

Unite with up to three friends on this hilarious adventure in online or split-screen modes, as you tackle all new Jumanji environments and choose your hero from Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Ruby Roundhouse, Franklin “Mouse” Finbar or Professor Shelly Oberon and combine their unique abilities to keep one another alive.

This is a dream come true for our studio. Adapting the exotic, dangerous and hilarious world of Jumanji into a video game has pushed us to create something truly special. We’ve got some incredibly exciting features and reveals coming soon, but for now let’s just say the game is coming this November, and puts you in the shoes of iconic Jumanji heroes.

Funsolve Founder and Director, Richard Tawn

Jumanji: The Video Game will launch on the 15th of November for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Visit us at http://www.gamersoutpostllc.com/

ghostbusters-1000x562

by Mike Sousa via Gaming Union

Saber Interactive today announced Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered, an HD re-release of the acclaimed action-adventure game featuring the original cast of Columbia Pictures’ classic films. Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered delivers a unique story from Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis that captures the supernatural comedic fun and fright fans love from the franchise, which celebrates the 35th anniversary of Ghostbusters this year.

As the new rookie on the Ghostbusters crew, you’ll team up with your favorite characters from the films, reunited by the voices of Aykroyd, Ramis, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson as Stantz, Spengler, Venkman and Zeddemore, alongside Annie Potts, Brian Doyle-Murray, William Atherton and Max von Sydow. Manhattan is overrun once more by ghosts, demons and other paranormal creatures unleashed by a mysterious force, and only the Ghostbusters can drive this evil back to whatever dimension it crawled from and save the Big Apple.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered equips you with cool gadgets and upgradeable weapons to play with in huge boss fights and destructible environments. Scan and analyze targets with the P.K.E. Meter and Paragoggles, then strap on your Proton Pack to wear ghosts down with the blast stream before wrangling them with the capture stream.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered launches later this year on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC via the Epic Games store.

Visit us at http://www.gamersoutpostllc.com/

Contra-Mobile

by Tyler Fischer via Comicbook.com

It looks like Konami is getting ready to either release a brand-new Contra for PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One, or at the very least, is getting ready to release a remake, remaster, or the previously announced Contra Anniversary Collection, which is poised to arrive sometime this summer. Put more simply, Konami is doing something with Contra, which naturally has retro gaming fans quite excited. The news comes way of a retail listing out of Germany. More specifically, big German retailer NetGames has gone up with multiple listings for “Contra” across the PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. Unfortunately, no further details are disclosed.

As you may know, retail listings — unless you’re dealing with Amazon, Best Buy, or one of the huge retailers — aren’t always reliable. However, NetGames is a pretty big retailer in Germany, so it probably would be in the know if Konami was cooking up a Contra announcement. Further, there’s no red flags. The release date that accompanies the listing is August 29, 2019, which is a Thursday. While Tuesday and Friday are the most common release dates for games, plenty release on Thursday. At the very least, it’s not a Saturday or Sunday, which would be a major red flag.

That said, still proceed with caution. In other words, don’t take this to the bookies. There seems to be something to this leak, but even if there is, who knows what it could be.

For those that don’t know: Contra debuted all the way back in 1987 as a coin-operated arcade game. A run n’ gun shoot-em’ up from Konami, the series has produced 13 releases. However, the most recent release came all the way back in 2011, meaning we haven’t seen the series in quite some time. But it looks like that could be changing soon.

Anyway, as always, feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you think or hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fisher_ and let me know over there. What do you think this? What would you like to see Konami do with Contra?

Visit us at http://www.theofficialgamersoutpost.com/

ccef59475ca7395e35fb3673828dc1f9

by Juilian Benson via LAD Bible

Microsoft has emailed Xbox Live Gold members to say that from May 8 the price of a subscription is going to increase by more than 15%.

12-month subscriptions will increase from £39.99 to £49.99, three-month subscriptions will go from £14.99 to £17.99, and monthly prices will rise from £5.99 to £6.99. Six-month subscriptions will remain the same at £29.99.

Microsoft says these increases are being made to “address changing market conditions”. Over the past three years the value of the pound has dropped significantly – against the US dollar, the pound has dropped in value by more than 15% since June 2015. In large part the devaluation of the pound has been due to the uncertainty and confusion linked to Brexit.

The move makes the price of membership more consistent across Europe, too. “This new pricing is aligned to the changes we made in the region in 2016 as we strive to offer our members premium gaming and entertainment services at a fair price,” Microsoft said in a statement.

It also makes Gold Membership similar to PlayStation Plus membership, which also had a price hike back in 2017. No word yet as to if the same hike will happen to our North American counterparts.

Visit us at http://www.gamersoutpost.net/

iron-man-vr_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqfmWw8ZtkYoKgUQYLfpqhYmYPAgq2_cdxw1mtzYi4m58

by Tom Hoggins via The Telegraph

PlayStation 4 maker Sony had its first ‘State of Play’ livestream, highlighting the console’s upcoming slate of games. Taking a leaf out of Nintendo’s fuss-free ‘Nintendo Direct’ streams, State of Play was a fast, lean look at what is coming to the PS4 in the next few months.

There was nothing particular revelatory or surprising –no new PS5news or new footage from The Last of Us 2 or Death Stranding– but we did get glimpses of promising titles like Days GoneConcrete Genie, multiplayer dungeon-crawler ReadySet Heroes and NoCode’s fabulous looking sci-fi thriller Observation.

But there was a clear focus on PlayStation VR, Sony’s virtual-reality headset that has proved a considerable success for the company — even if the lack of headlines betray it. Sony announced that as of 3 March 2019, PSVR has sold 4.2m units worldwide. A considerable number bolstered by an impressive 2018 that saw sales of VR headsets jump by 30pc after a slow 2017 for the technology. PSVR lead the way in the last quarter of 2018, with 463,000 PSVR headsets sold, while Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive sold an estimated 300,000 and 230,000 headsets respectively.

VR, then, may not have been the overnight success that some of the hype suggested a few years ago, but headsets are making headway and Sony are clearly keeping the faith. It announced a slew of its ‘next wave’ of virtual reality games in its stream.

First up was Iron Man VR, placing you in Tony Stark’s famous suit. Space sim No Man’s Sky is getting a significant update called No Man’s Sky Beyond, which will drop in VR support on both PS4 and Steam. There was also a VR announcement for grotesque horror favourite Five Nights At Freddy’s and a release date for British crime thriller Blood and Truth.

These were just a few of the VR games announced in the stream (along with the news that Concrete Genie and Observation will have their own VR modes), making the headset an area of focus for Sony. PSVR has never garnered the headlines of more high-profile video games, but with a selection of new titles adding to an impressive 2018 —which included Tetris Effect, Astro Bot and From Software’s Deracine— Sony are looking to keep its quiet momentum going.

Visit us at http://www.gamersoutpost.net/