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Dupe | Trying to cheat the Raffle System | Stay the fuck away :)

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  1. Amazon acquired video streaming platform Twitch almost six years ago, and two years later, the service launched Twitch Prime - a premium subscription service that's included as part of Amazon Prime. Despite already being launched under Amazon's ownership, Twitch Prime has always been linked to Twitch itself, but today the company is rebranding it to be more clearly integrated into Amazon Prime subscription. The service is now called Amazon Prime Gaming (via Gamespot), and it includes all of the same benefits as before. Prime Gaming gets users access to exclusive loot in certain games, including Grand Theft Auto Online, Red Dead Online, Doom Eternal, and Apex Legends, plus it includes some free PC games, with a big focus on titles from SNK such as Samurai Shodown II, Metal Slug 2, and SNK 40th Anniversary Collection. Additionally, Prime Gaming lets users subscribe to one Twitch channel for free, allowing members to support their preferred creator at no additional cost. The change is mostly in the name, and it helps cement gaming as a core part of Amazon's efforts, rather than linking it to Twitch specifically. As noted by Gamespot, one significant change that comes with this rebranding is that you'll no longer need to link a Twitch account to claim your free loot and games - instead, it'll all be done through your Amazon account. Amazon has been rumored to be readying a cloud gaming service to compete with the likes of Google and Microsoft, but those reports have failed to materialize so far. The company has published titles such as Crucible, but hasn't seen tremendous success with them. There's a chance that this rebranding is preparing a bigger investment in gaming later down the road.
  2. Epic Games' Fortnite has been kicked out of the Play Store as well after it was removed from Apple's App Store a few hours ago. Now, the game studio has filed a lawsuit against Google for engaging in a "monopolistic behavior". Google's decision to boot the game from the Play Store came after Epic released an update to Fortnite that violates the platform's payments policy. That update allows players to pay Epic directly for in-app purchases instead of using Google's official system. Apps and games are required to give 30% of any transaction that goes through the Play Store (and the App Store). Epic has retaliated by suing Google. In its complaint, the studio claimed that Google's policy is detrimental to both developers and consumers since it allows the search giant to act as a "mandatory middleman in every in-app transaction". Epic also filed a lawsuit against Apple for the same incident. Interestingly, in both lawsuits, Epic Games makes it clear that it is not seeking any monetary relief from the companies. That said, Fortnite remains available for download on Android via the official Epic website. In a statement, Google said it remains open to negotiating with Epic in order to bring the game back to the Play Store. Last month, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney criticized Apple and Google over what he described as monopolistic and anti-competitive policies of their respective stores.
  3. During the Rainbow Six Siege North America Six Major tournament hosted by Ubisoft today, the developer gave fans a look at what's incoming to the tactical shooter in its next major content update. Dubbed Operation Shadow Legacy, the update will see Splinter Cell series protagonist Sam Fisher enter the game as its newest operative, while also gaining match replays, a map rework, new gadgets, gameplay updates, and much more. Starting off with Sam Fisher, who goes by the name Zero in Siege, he will be joining the attacking team equipped with a camera gadget. Once fired into a wall, either soft or reinforced, this lets players watch both the inside and outside out of the attached room, and it also comes equipped with a single-shot laser to either remove a gadget or deal a tiny amount of damage to an enemy. The map being reworked this time around is Chalet, which now has roof access, a new staircase in the Trophy Room, plus switched up bombsites for better tactical gameplay. See the gameplay video below for a look at both the new operator and the rework. Ubisoft also announced a whole host of new mechanics, features, and gadgets that are coming to the game with this season. The biggest of these is probably the highly requested replay viewer, which lets players watch their 12 most recent matches from any perspective. This will be very useful for detecting hackers, for instance. The feature will be coming out in alpha, and Ubisoft is looking for player feedback on what sort of additions it needs.An overhauled ping system similar to battle royale games like Apex Legends is being introduced too, where players can now ping gadgets to notify teammates of the exact danger and its position. Moreover, instead of each player having 2 reinforcements for walls and hatches, a pool of 10 will be available for the entire team. A map ban system is being introduced as well, letting teams pick what map is being chosen for their unranked or ranked match before diving in. Other changes and additions include automatically reinforced roof hatches at the start of rounds (though this may be reverted if player feedback is negative), Thatcher EMP grades now only disabling all gadgets, a slow-acting Hardbreach Charge as a new secondary gadget for operators, two new optics for guns, reticle colors, and sensitivity adjustments per zoom level. Out of the game, Ubisoft is also introducing an online Siege statistics tracker, plus a teammate finder. Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shadow Legacy does not have a definite release date yet, but it is landing on the test server tomorrow, August 17, letting players try out the new operator, map rework, and all of the other features before it is pushed to everyone on the live track.
  4. Last month, Microsoft announced that the new Flight Simulator will finally become available on PC for users starting August 18. The latest iteration of the simulator was announced during E3 last year, and pre-orders began on July 13, 2020. Now, the Redmond giant has provided the release times for various regions, providing users more information on when they will be able to begin downloading and playing the game. Those that pre-ordered the game from the Microsoft Store will be able to start downloading it on a rolling release schedule, meaning that the availability will differ depending on the region and time zone. The game is going live at midnight across 25 time zones around the globe, with users in countries like New Zealand already beginning to be eligible for the download. Here is the complete list of time zones and the associated countries for those that purchased the game from the Store: Time Countries 17 August 10:00 UTC Kiribati 11:00 UTC American Samoa, The Marshall Islands, Mauru, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, The United States Minor Outlying Islands, Wallis and Futuna 12:00 UTC Antarctica, Fiji, New Zealand 13:00 UTC New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu 14:00 UTC Australia, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, The Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea 15:00 UTC Japan, The Republic of Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Palau, Timor-Leste 16:00 UTC Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan 17:00 UTC Cambodia, Christmas Island, Indonesia, The Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Thailand, Viet Nam 17:30 UTC The Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Myanmar 18:00 UTC Bangladesh, Bhutan, The British Indian Ocean Territory, Kyrgyzstan 18:15 UTC Nepal 18:30 UTC India, Sri Lanka 19:00 UTC The French Southern Territories, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan 19:30 UTC Afghanistan 20:00 UTC Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Mauritius, Oman, Qatar, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy, Seychelles, The United Arab Emirates, Yemen 21:00 UTC Åland Islands, Belarus, The Comoros, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mayotte, The Republic of Moldova, Palestine, Romania, The Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine 22:00 UTC Albania, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Eswatini, France, Germany, Gibraltar, The Holy See, Hungary, Italy, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of North Macedonia, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe 23:00 UTC Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, The Central African Republic, Chad, The Democratic Republic of the Kongo, The Congo, Equatorial Guinea, The Faroe Islands, Gabon, Isle of Man, Ireland, Morocco, The Niger, Nigeria, Portugal, Saint Helena, Ascension, and the Tristan da Cunha, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island 18 August 00:00 UTC Bouvet Island, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, Jersey, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo 01:00 UTC Cabo Verde, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 03:00 UTC Anguilla, Anguilla and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Dominica, Brazil (BRT), The Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 04:00 UTC The Bahamas, Brazil (AMT), Plurinational State of Bolivia, Canada, The Cayman Islands, Chile, Curaçao, The Falkland Islands, Georgia, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, The Turks and Caicos Islands, The United States of America (Eastern), Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela 05:00 UTC Belize, Brazil (ACT), Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, The United States of America (Central) 07:00 UTC Pitcairn, The United States of America (Western) 10:00 UTC The Cook Islands French Polynesia Those that opted to purchase the game from Steam will be able to access the complete download at 4AM UTC (4AM GMT, 12AM EST, 11PM CST (17 August), 9PM PST (17 August), 5AM BST). This means that some regions will be able to download the simulator before midnight. While the announcement does not explicitly mention the timelines for users of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or Xbox Game Pass for PC subscribers, it is safe to assume that the timelines for the Store purchases also apply to the subscription holders, since the Standard version is included in the subscription. Additionally, there is no information on when the company aims to launch the simulator on consoles. The game is offered in three versions: Standard ($59.99), Deluxe ($89.99), and Premium Deluxe ($119.99). The difference between the versions includes a greater number of airports and airplanes in the higher tiers. The latest offering from Microsoft leverages technologies from DirectX 12 and offers real-time weather and dynamic scenery.
  5. Electronic Arts' subscription services across all platforms are getting a rework, with the mega-publisher today announcing that Origin Access and EA Access services will soon be taking the name EA Play, and receiving some new perks on top of current offerings. The PC exclusive Origin Access Premier service will take the name EA Play Pro. The change is set to occur on August 18. Regarding the name change, EA said that "moving all the benefits to a single brand is an important step in streamlining our services to ensure that being an EA Play member is the best way to play." On top of current benefits members already enjoy such as access to the large library of titles, 10% discount, and early access to upcoming entries, EA Play will introduce exclusive in-game challenges and rewards for players as well as member-exclusive content. The new benefits will be different for each game, and can include rewards like "Ultimate Team Packs, exclusive vanity items and cosmetics." Since EA Play is also what the publisher's annual E3-week conferences are named, EA Play Live will be these events' official new name. We already saw this title being used for the all-digital EA Play event from earlier this year. The Steam version of the subscription is coming online very soon, and the EA Access wording on the new subscription should get some changes applied to it before long. Moreover, we recently covered that EA is building a new Origin store and client, which could also be a part of this entire makeover.
  6. We've all been waiting to find out the price of the Xbox Series X, and it seems that Microsoft might be waiting to announce a lesser Xbox Series S to launch alongside it before actually telling us their respective prices. But the cat may be out of a bag, thanks to a Monster Energy contest. The contest involves collecting Halo Infinite-themed cans of Monster Energy, but more interesting is what's in the fine print. According to that, the total of all first prizes is $119,998, and there will be 200 first prizes awarded. That works out to $599.99 each. The prize includes both an Xbox Series X and a copy of Halo Infinite, so if you take away the $59.99 retail value of the game, you're down to $540. It seems unlikely that Microsoft would sell the Xbox Series X for $540, and $499 or $599 just seems more common. It's possible that the value doesn't include the game, as the original press release only lists the console as first prize. The grand prize, however, is being awarded to 10 participants. That includes a trip for two to Paris, including a hotel stay and $1,000 cash. If you want to take part in the contest, you'll need to be on the lookout for those Halo-themed energy drinks. As for the price of the Xbox Series X, the console is just a few months away from launch, so we should find out soon.
  7. In an update to its national censorship tool, known as the Great Firewall, China has reportedly started blocking HTTPS connections with Encrypted Server Name Indication. The ban has been in place for over a week now, three organisations tracking Chinese censorship -- iYouPort, the University of Maryland, and the Great Firewall Report - said this week in a joint report. "We confirm that the Great Firewall (GFW) of China has recently begun blocking ESNI - one of the foundational features of TLS 1.3 and HTTPS," said the report. TLS is the foundation of secure communication on the web (HTTPS). It provides authenticated encryption so that users can know whom they are communicating with. It also ensures that an intermediary does not read or tamper with your information. But even though TLS hides the content of a user's communication, it does not always conceal with whom the user is communicating. The TLS handshake (a process that kicks off a communication session) optionally contains a Server Name Indication (SNI) field that allows the user's client to inform the server which website it wishes to communicate with. Nation-state censors have used the SNI field to block users from being able to communicate with certain destinations, said that report, adding that China has long been censoring HTTPS in this manner. TLS 1.3 introduced Encrypted SNI (ESNI) that encrypts the SNI so that intermediaries cannot view it, said the report. The Great Firewall of China blocks ESNI connections by dropping packets from client to server, it added.
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