A year after Meltdown and Spectre, security researchers are still announcing new serious risks from low-level chip operations

Spectre and Meltdown are a pair of chip-level security bugs that exploit something called "speculative execution," through which chips boost performance by making shrewd guesses about which computer operations are performed together. Read the rest

150-piece Fallout 76 Pip-Boy 2000 construction kit

From Thinkgeek, the $150 Fallout 76 Pip-Boy 2000 Construction Kit, a full-sized, wearable replica of the Pip-Boy 2000 Mark VI, in a vegan leather case, with a "completely in-world instruction manual." (via Wonderlandblog) Read the rest

Uncover the tragic history of Fallout Online: The MMO that could have been

Before Fallout 76 was a twinkle in Bethesda's eye, there were rumors of another Fallout MMO being whispered by gamers. Interplay, the company responsible for the now classic titles, Fallout and Fallout 2, had plans for a title called Project V13 – an installment in the Fallout franchise that would allow players to work together, online, to solve puzzles, finish quests and overcome overwhelming odds in the game’s post-apocalyptic universe. Other than some concept art (which later was used by modders to create some fabulous weapons and armor for Fallout 4), Project V13 never saw the light of day.

Mostly.

For a brief, shining moment (37 seconds, to be exact) there was hope. Project 13 was teased as Fallout Online. They even made a trailer announcing a beta for it.

From The Verge:

O’Green tells The Verge that the already post-apocalyptic Fallout Online was going to start with another apocalypse. By the time Interplay started serious development, it had settled on an American West Coast setting that would span parts of Oregon, California, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada, close to where Fallout and Fallout 2 took place. But around the beginning of Fallout Online, something would trigger an almost comically long series of disasters — potentially including asteroids, volcanoes, nukes, tsunamis, and a resurgence of the series’s powerful Forced Evolutionary Virus. “It wasn’t going to be completely torn down, but we were going to tear it up again a little bit,” says O’Green.

The idea behind the apocalypses was partly to create a world that was still believably chaotic after 200 years and partly to set up new storylines, some of which pushed the series’ science fictional limits.

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Bethesda reveals latest Fallout game

Bethesda released a teaser trailer for their next game in the Fallout series, Fallout 76, and man, I am so ready for it.

Having been around to play Fallout Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics in the late 1990s all I wanted was more Fallout. Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas definitely scratched that itch (New Vegas is one of the best RPGs of all time, and yes, I will fight you over it.) Fallout 4, I loved. It was a departure from the feel of the games that came before it, but it wasn't long until I got into the rhythm of the game. It's hands-down one of my favorite games of all time. Despite my love affair with the series, there's a VERY good chance that Fallout 76 will be an entirely different animal than anything that's come before in the franchise. A big clue to this is smack dab in the middle of the game's title: Vault 76. In Fallout 3, Vault 76 was listed in a Citadel computer terminal as being a "control" vault. It makes sense: with every other vault encountered in the Fallout Universe has been screwed with by Vault-Tec scientists, subjecting the vault's occupants to a wide array of social experiments. Vault-Tec would need a control vault to illustrate what sane, well adjusted vault dwellers who were left alone with everything they'd need to survive a nuclear disaster would look like. There's a good chance that anyone coming out of this vault would be healthy, mentally stable and well supplied. Read the rest

AMDFLAWS: a series of potentially devastating (but controversial) attacks on AMD processors

Israeli security research firm CTS-Labs has published a white paper detailing nine flaws in AMD processors that they claim leave users open to devastating attacks with no mitigation strategies; these attacks include a range of manufacturer-installed backdoors. Read the rest

Wasteland sequel kickstarted

Wasteland, the classic post-apocalyptic sandbox RPG, is to receive a sequel a quarter of a century later. "We wanted to make a Wasteland sequel, but didn't have the rights," says creator Brian Fargo of the publishing environment back then. "So we made Fallout instead." Read the rest