Tech News

  • Inside the Box: A look at Borderlands 2 Mission Editor

    Articles like this are really good on a number of levels.  First you get to see a glimpse into what it takes create a mission after it has been storyboarded.  This would include actual game programming and take into account art direction (at some point).  This is followed up with a look at actual game engine programming and how things are timed.  The one thing I have discovered about games after playing Borderlands 2 is that no matter how good the level design is there are always repeated elements based on "time".  For instance when you have completed the game every time you visit the "Bank" in Sanctuary you hear Lilith, Brick and Mordecai talking about what to do next. 

    This happens every time and its because the game time hasn't advanced.  Every time you come back after exiting the game the interaction is reset.  This quote kinda sums it up.

    If the level just loaded was Sanctuary, but Hunting the Firehawk isn't yet complete, then the Lilith that lives in Sanctuary is destroyed. This is because even though her Pawn is placed in the Sanctuary level, the story says she isn't supposed to be there yet. Likewise, if the level just loaded was Frostburn Canyon, but this mission is complete (i.e. the story says she's moved to Sanctuary), then the Lilith in Frostburn Canyon is destroyed. Don't worry, I'm told the process is humane and she doesn't feel a thing.

    The article is a little long but worth a read if you are interested, or just love all Borderlands 2 related stuff.

  • The Onion tells how Syrian Electronic Army hacked its Twitter

    It is not every day that you can say "Pwned by The Onion" but we can say that The Onion got pwned, for being very relaxed in their security procedures.

    ArsTechnica has the story.

    On Monday, the "hacktivist" group Syrian Electronic Army briefly took over the Twitter account of the satirical news publication The Onion, posting a series of anti-Israeli "joke" stories and an anti-Obama "meme" image. The Onion returned fire with its own joke story, "Syrian Electronic Army Has A Little Fun Before Inevitable Upcoming Death At Hands of Rebels."

    Putting all jokes aside, The Onion's technology team yesterday made a post describing how the SEA had managed to compromise the accounts of a number of employees and take control of the Twitter feed-a series of phishing attacks that took advantage of the organization's use of Google Apps.

    phishing is one of the leading causes behind identity theft and all it takes is a single person clicking on a bad link to have everything stolen from you.  As you can imagine even emails from trusted sources cannot be trusted since embedded malware can send messages to your entire contact list an even use existing emails as a template. 

    Lesson to learn here is to learn how to spot the fake and if all else fails never NEVER click on a link in an email especially when that email is asking you to verify your account information or sending you status updates.  Those URLs are easy to swap in the source code and without peaking at the URL you may never know.

  • How Intel Builds Custom Chips for Giants of the Web

    This is a great article that proves you can sometimes cut out the middle man and go directly to the source.  The Facebook servers are still assembled in Asia (likely by Foxconn or Gigabyte) and then shipped back for use in the datacenter.

    According to Frank Frankovsky — who oversees hardware design at Facebook — this started as far back as 2009. That’s when the company first asked Intel for certain changes to the design of the silicon chips it builds for computer servers — the machines that drive the internet and the private computer networks inside the world’s businesses. Since then, Frankovsky says, Intel has worked hand-in-hand with the company to accommodate such changes.

    For the most part, he explains, these changes are rolled into the same processors that Intel sells to the world at large, though there are cases where the changes are unlikely to benefit anyone but Facebook. “The more insight we can give our technology suppliers about what makes our software work the best, the more we’re able to influence their design roadmaps,” Frankovsky says. “We do influence their roadmaps — way upstream — but then they are able to bring these changes out to all of their customers.”

    -- snip --

    This is really the best part of the whole article, Intel releasing purposefully overclocked CPUs.

    He also says that there are cases where Intel will crank the chip clock speeds to unusually high levels at the request of certain buyers — if the buyer is willing to deal with the extra heat this generates. 

    I guess we now know where the K and X edition processors got their start. big grin smile

  • Welcome to the New Hardware Asylum

    Hardware Asylum is a computer hardware review site that will bring you the latest product reviews and current industry and gaming news.  This site has been established by computer hardware enthusiasts with backgrounds in professional gaming, overclocking, system building and even web programming and design.

    We are sure many of you share a similar passion or simply want to learn more about your computer, if that is the case then Hardware Asylum is the right site for you.

    As with any new website it will take some time to get the various sections populated so stay tuned!