Connect with us


Electronic Arts Spotlights Accessibility Features In Motive’s All-New ‘Dead Space’ Revival – Forbes



In a blog post published this week, video game captain of industry Electronic Arts (referred to as EA henceforth) outlined several of the accessibility features included in Motive’s popular horror title Dead Space. The Redwood City-based EA’s announcement coincided with the release of the updated game late this week.

As noted on the game’s website, the story of Dead Space revolves around “the dark secrets behind the events aboard the USG Ishimura through the final logs of the ill-fated crew and your encounters with the few survivors that remain.” The new version of the game, available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, is a remake of the classic version with what the developer calls “jaw-dropping visual fidelity, suspenseful atmospheric audio, and improvements to gameplay.”

Dead Space is a classic that changed how horror games were perceived when it was released,” said lead senior experience designer Christian Cimon in a statement included in the post. “[It] made sense to revive that game and share it with a whole new generation. But the game came out 15 years ago, when accessibility features were less common. Things like subtitles, menu narration, control-remapping, and the like are pretty much expected now [by the disability community], so we wanted to make sure the remake aligns with today’s highest standards.”

EA notes Motive has made Dead Space more accessible and inclusive by building in a number of “customization options with some fine-grained control.” Amongst many others, they include colorblind settings, control customization, and aim assistance. There’s also the ability to have screen reader-like narration of menus, as well as options to reduce motion effects, enable subtitles for dialogue, and display content warnings in anticipation of more gruesome moments.


There’s a video demoing accessibility in Dead Space on its YouTube channel.

All told, Motive is acutely aware that supporting accessibility is an evergreen endeavor that never finishes. The company is committed to making Dead Space even more inclusive going forward, with Cimon astutely noting the inclusivity ultimately benefits gamers yet also helps the business too. Accessibility features, he said, help the game feel more accessible and approachable by making it appealing to the widest possible swath of potential players. Ergo, more players means more business for the development studio to pour into future innovations.

As the axiom goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

“[Working on accessibility is] about addressing and removing barriers that come between our players and games,” said EA’s program lead for game accessibility Morgan Baker in the post. “Accessibility improves experiences for people of all abilities and backgrounds, allowing for better products and ensuring that more players can have an enjoyable experience. And the work done by the Dead Space team shows that increasing accessibility continues to be a priority for us.”

For Baker, it’s heartening to see Motive so committed to accessibility.

“It’s so motivating to see a studio like Motive so invested in providing players more choices around how they consume horror content,” Baker said. “It’s inspiring. And we hope to see more studios consider the same. Because ultimately, when we can all play games, we all win.”


Source link

Continue Reading


Your candidates for the 2023 by-election – Pointe-Claire



The City of Pointe-Claire presents the candidates for the District 1 – Cedar/Le Village by-election that will take place on April 23.

Teodor DAIEV
François GIASSON

Your elected municipal officers are essential players, responsible for making decisions in the interest of the population they represent. Anyone on the list of electors for District 1 can vote. It is the voter’s responsibility to ensure that they are registered.


During the month of March, a notice of registration indicating the names of the persons registered on the list of electors at each address was sent by mail. If your name does not appear on this list, you must go to the board of revisors to proceed with your registration. The board of revisors will meet on April 3 and 4 at City Hall (451 Saint-Jean Boulevard).

For more information, visit the 2023 By-elections page of our website.

Adblock test (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading


Apple iOS 16.4 Release: Should You Upgrade?



Apple iOS 16.4 has been released six weeks after iOS 16.3.1, and it is both feature-packed and full of security fixes. Here’s everything you need to know.

Tip: bookmark this page because I will keep it up-to-date if/when new problems are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.

Who Is It For?

Apple iOS 16.4 is available for all iOS 16-compatible devices, which means the iPhone 8/iPhone X and newer. iOS 16 dropped support for the iPhone 6S and 7 ranges and the iPod Touch. Apple has also released a dedicated security update in the form of iOS 15.7.4 to protect older devices.


If you don’t receive an update notification, you can trigger the latest updates manually by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update. If you are running newer beta software (see ‘The Road Ahead’ section at the end), you must unenroll your device before publicly released updates will appear.

Note: this guide is not focused on older iOS updates, iPadOS or macOS, but I will touch upon pertinent issues in these guides.

The Deal Breakers

The first 24 hours after release have been relatively smooth for iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4 upgraders. There are no obvious deal breakers, though a number of graphical glitches appear to have made it through to the final release. These include isolated reports of the cellular strength icon disappearing, the Reminder widget not populating and wallpaper distortion.

Concerns also remain over iOS 16’s reporting of ‘system data,’ which again ballooned in several instances for users after updating to iOS 16.4. Apple needs to address this in iOS 17.

So What Do You Get?

Apple’s iOS 16.4 release notes list the following new features and fixes:

— 21 new emoji including animals, hand gestures, and objects are now available in emoji keyboard.

— Notifications for web apps added to the Home Screen

— Voice Isolation for cellular calls prioritizes your voice and blocks out ambient noise around you.

— Duplicates album in Photos expands support to detect duplicate photos and videos in an iCloud Shared Photo Library.

— VoiceOver support for maps in the Weather app.

— Accessibility setting to automatically dim video when flashes of light or strobe effects are detected.

— Fixes an issue where Ask to Buy requests from children may fail to appear on the parent’s device.

— Addresses issues where Matter-compatible thermostats could become unresponsive when paired to Apple Home.

— Crash Detection optimizations on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models.

These additions are actually just the tip of the iceberg. Even by Apple’s standards, the iOS 16.4 release notes are unusually incomplete, missing out a whole host of new features and tweaks, including:

  • Support for badges on home screen web apps.
  • Support for home screen web apps via third-party browsers.
  • PlayStation 5 DualSense Edge controller support comes to iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, tvOS 16.4 and macOS Venture 13.3.
  • Apple Podcasts UI changes, including a new profile icon, playback controls in the Up Next section and Channels access via the Library section.
  • CarPlay Up Next adds similar functionality as well as adding podcast discovery in Browse.
  • A new Always-on Display filter for Focus Mode
  • An order tracking widget has been added for Apple Wallet.
  • In Settings, AppleCare ‘Coverage’ shows all your active and expired AppleCare policies
  • 13 new and 11 updated Shortcut actions
  • The long-awaited return of the traditional page-turning animation in Apple Books.
  • Emergency SOS via Satellite adds support for Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Portugal.
  • 5G standalone support for T-Mobile (US).

It’s a substantial list (credit to MacRumors) and significantly longer than the official iOS 16.4 release notes. Why Apple would exclude so many new and useful additions is unknown.

iOS 16.4 Security

Apple’s iOS 16.4 security page reveals no fewer than 33 new security patches. The good news is none of the vulnerabilities are so-called ‘Zero Day’ threats, which means hackers were unable to exploit them before Apple came up with a fix.

That said, the new patches are extensive, covering the Apple Neural Engine, Calendar, Camera, CarPlay, Bluetooth, Find My, iCloud, Photos, Podcasts, Safari, Webkit (the browser engine behind Safari) and more.

There are also two fixes (CVE-2023-27969 and CVE-2023-27933) for the Kernel, the core of the iOS and iPadOS operating systems, which patch vulnerabilities that could have allowed hackers to execute malicious code on iPhones and iPads. In short: iOS 16.4 is an important update.

Apple iOS 16.4 Verdict: Upgrade

Major iOS updates tend to cause bigger problems, but as iOS 16 matures, it is no surprise to see iOS 16.4 introduce a stack of new features and security updates without any significant issues. Bear in mind that we are only 24 hours into the release, so problems may still be found as more iPhone and iPad owners update, but I am happy to recommend keen upgraders hit that button now.

If you are a cautious iPhone or iPad owner and prefer to wait, I will deliver my final verdict in a week. So bookmark this page.

The Road Ahead

While iOS 17 will be unveiled at WWC in early June, I would still expect several more ‘minor point’ updates to iOS 16 (such as iOS 16.4.1) before its successor launches in September.

I would also not rule out seeing iOS 16.5, though we should know about this in the next few weeks, given the 6-8 week testing process Apple carries out for major point updates. If you want to try iOS updates during the testing phase, you can join the Apple Beta Software Program, but be warned: there will be bugs!



Source link

Continue Reading


Microsoft unveils OpenAI-based chat tools for fighting cyberattacksa



Microsoft Corp., extending a frenzy of artificial intelligence software releases, is introducing new chat tools that can help cybersecurity teams ward off hacks and clean up after an attack.

The latest of Microsoft’s AI assistant tools — the software giant likes to call them Copilots — uses OpenAI’s new GPT-4 language system and data specific to the security field, the company said Tuesday. The idea is to help security workers more quickly see connections between various parts of a hack, such as a suspicious email, malicious software file or the parts of the system that were compromised.

Microsoft and other security software companies have been using machine-learning techniques to root out suspicious behaviour and spot vulnerabilities for several years. But the newest AI technologies allow for faster analysis and add the ability to use plain English questions, making it easier for employees who may not be experts in security or AI.

That’s important because there’s a shortage of workers with these skills, said Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft’s vice president for security, compliance, identity and privacy. Hackers, meanwhile, have only gotten faster.


“Just since the pandemic, we’ve seen an incredible proliferation,” she said. For example, “it takes one hour and 12 minutes on average for an attacker to get full access to your inbox once a user has clicked on a phishing link. It used to be months or weeks for someone to get access.”

The software lets users pose questions such as: “How can I contain devices that are already compromised by an attack?” Or they can ask the Copilot to list anyone who sent or received an email with a dangerous link in the weeks before and after the breach. The tool can also more easily create reports and summaries of an incident and the response.

Microsoft will start by giving a few customers access to the tool and then add more later. Jakkal declined to say when it would be broadly available or who the initial customers are. The Security Copilot uses data from government agencies and Microsoft’s researchers, who track nation states and cybercriminal groups. To take action, the assistant works with Microsoft’s security products and will add integration with programs from other companies in the future.

As with previous AI releases this year, Microsoft is taking pains to make sure users are well aware the new systems make errors. In a demo of the security product, the chatbot cautioned about a flaw in Windows 9 — a product that doesn’t exist.

But it’s also capable of learning from users. The system lets customers choose privacy settings and determine how widely they want to share the information it gleans. If they choose, customers can let Microsoft use the data to help other clients, Jakkal said.

“This is going to be a learning system,” she said. “It’s also a paradigm shift: Now humans become the verifiers, and AI is giving us the data.”


Source link

Continue Reading