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OnePlus 3 now available on O2 UK


Prices start at £28 per month, or £336 upfront on PAYG.

The highly-rated OnePlus 3 is now available on O2 in the UK, as part of an exclusive deal between the upstart manufacturer and the British network operator. Prices for the phone start at £28 per month with no upfront fee. That gets you a mere 500MB of data, as well as unlimited texts and 500 minutes. (You can knock this down to £23 per month by paying £119.99 upfront.) A more reasonable 5GB is available with unlimited calls and texts for £39 per month. And at the other end of the spectrum 20GB plan is available for £44 per month, or £39 per month and £119.99 upfront.

You can also get hold of the OnePlus 3 on Pay As You Go from O2, priced £336 for the phone — although you’ll need to buy a prepaid O2 SIM at the same time. That’s not far off the phone’s £329 SIM-free price direct from the manufacturer, so you’re paying a little extra for the convenience of being able to walk into a store. (As well as dealing with O2 for any aftersales support.)

O2’s only stocking the OnePlus 3 in grey right now — the rarer gold model is only available direct from the manufacturer.

See at O2

OnePlus 3

  • OnePlus 3 review: Finally, all grown up
  • OnePlus 3 specs
  • OnePlus 3 vs. the flagship competition
  • Latest OnePlus 3 news
  • Discuss OnePlus 3 in the forums



How to enable VoLTE on the Galaxy Note 7


How do I enable VoLTE on the Galaxy Note 7?

VoLTE is an underrated feature in smartphones today, especially if you make a lot of phone calls. The Galaxy Note 7 supports VoLTE, but depending on your carrier it may not be turned on by default. Here’s how to enable it.

How to enable VoLTE on the Galaxy Note 7

From the home screen or app launcher, open the Dialer.
On the top right, tap the three-dot menu button.

Tap Settings.


Tap on VoLTE.

Make sure that Use VoLTE when available is checked.


Note: Not all Galaxy Note 7 variants will have this feature in the same place, and may not have it at all if VoLTe isn’t supported by the carrier.

More: Best Galaxy Note 7 tips and tricks

Anything else?

The Galaxy Note 7 has great phone call quality from either 3G or LTE, but if your carrier supports VoLTE it’s a big improvement. How’s your experience been with VoLTE or HD Voice on the Galaxy Note 7?

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

  • Galaxy Note 7 recall: Everything you need to know
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
  • The latest Galaxy Note 7 news!
  • Here are all four Note 7 colors
  • Complete Galaxy Note 7 specs
  • Join the Note 7 discussion in the forums!



Amazon Video review: Hitting the Prime time

With Amazon becoming the almost default choice for DVD and Blu-ray purchases, it was perhaps no surprise to see the company offering this content in a different format.

With Lovefilm on the books providing the postal rental solution, the way that Amazon went about switching on a streaming service ruffled some feathers, initially bundling it into the company’s Prime subscription offering (primarily posited as a free next day delivery service on all Amazon orders).

The service has since changed, and continues to change – Amazon Video now encompasses 4K ultra-high resolution and HDR (high dynamic range) for some content – allowing Amazon to elbow its way alongside Netflix in offering a multi-platform video streaming service.

Indeed, Amazon’s streaming offering has become one of the most important services on the market. But is Amazon Video actually any good?

Amazon Video review: To Prime or not to Prime?

What Amazon offers that makes it different to Netflix is a fusion of subscription and purchase or rental video content. At first glance this makes Amazon Video seem a little more confusing, as you’re offered perhaps the first two seasons of the latest blockbuster series and you’re then asked to buy the third if you want to keep watching.

  • Netflix review: The leading light in home entertainment

This is in stark contrast to Netflix where you can watch everything you can see in its library (although that library is subject to change over time). On Amazon, you’re teased with content you’d have to pay more for, beyond your Prime subscription. That makes Netflix seem simpler, but Amazon’s approach is a little more dynamic in offering you a wider variety of content.


For those who subscribe to Amazon Prime for the faster free delivery and other benefits, Amazon Video is essentially a free service. As it’s part of the Prime deal, if you can justify the £79 a year subs to Prime, you’re effectively getting a premium video offering thrown in for good cause. 

Sure, there is the potential to get confused, but with Amazon there’s access to brand new content. For example, the service is offering series to purchase that are currently showing on broadcast TV, something that never happens on Netflix. You also have the option of renting the latest movie releases, adding more dynamism overall. 

If you’re not a Prime subscriber, you can still buy and rent content from Amazon Video through your Amazon account – much as you might do with iTunes or Microsoft Movies & TV. What you lose as a non-Prime subscriber is access to all that “free” content, your daily diet of Amazon Originals – the Amazon exclusive series that you won’t find on Netflix or elsewhere.

Amazon Video review: Not such an ‘appy story

Amazon Video is available on a wide variety of platforms thanks to a variety of apps. Where Netflix has been aggressive in bringing its apps to everything, Amazon has been a little more reluctant. There was a position recently where iOS (iPhone and iPad) had Amazon apps, but Android didn’t. Then Android tablets offered it and Android phones didn’t.

Apple iOS is the simpler option for Amazon Video watchers thanks to Apple’s rigorous app guidelines, while Android remains something of a circus act. As Amazon has its own ecosystem of Android-based devices (the Fire tablets), it has a vested interest in doing its own thing with Android. That’s the appeal of Android: it’s very open, but that doesn’t always make for the easiest approach.


To get Amazon Video on an Android device you have to jump through hoops, installing the app from Amazon itself, rather than through Google Play. For those literate with Android apps and how they work it isn’t a problem, but for a newcomer, you’ll need a decent guide to installing Amazon Video on Android. Which, lo and behold, we’ve already written for you, link below.

  • How to install Amazon Video on your Android device

The Fire tablets offer a simpler, more integrated experience than other Android tablets, while Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV are perhaps better placed than other third-party devices for playing Amazon content (which is where Amazon’s interests really lie).

Still, with all that said, apps are also available on many platforms, such as Roku and Xbox, and through a wide number of smart TVs and other connected devices like Blu-ray players. Where Amazon is less prevalent is in things like set-top boxes: unlike Netflix, it isn’t a defacto inclusion, it’s rather more limited.

In the same vein, Amazon hasn’t enabled support for Chromecast, Google’s simple HDMI dongle which allows for content to be pinged from smartphone/tablet to your larger TV screen. Again, we suspect that’s because Amazon would rather you use its own hardware, rather than encouraging easy access via a different platform. 

Amazon Video review: X-Ray benefits and downloads

In Amazon’s defence, its video service does have a lot of extras that could be overlooked. X-Ray, for example, sees a mirroring of the sort of additional information that Amazon offers through its Kindle books. A tap/click on the screen when you’re watching a video will bring up these details.


This gets around the need to query apps like IMDB (which provides this information) to find out where you’ve seen that actor before; you simply have to tap to see who is currently in the scene, who they are and access more information on that person. If you take a particular shine to one of Hollywood’s beaus, you can make sure you know where to find more of their work.

One service we do miss on Netflix, and one that gives Amazon Video the upper hand, is downloads. Netflix has repeatedly stated that it is a streaming service, but Amazon seems to understand that you travel, you go offline, or you might not have a data plan and that you want to download some shows. This option is available through the Android and iOS apps, as well as on Amazon’s own Fire tablets. 

You also get that smart connected feeling across Amazon Video. You can pause The 100 on your Samsung smart TV and resume watching on your phone in bed, with your progress synced to your account, for happy resumption of viewing.

Amazon Video: Prime cuts and quality fare

As we’ve said before, content is king and both Amazon and Netflix know this, hence each having unique original series.

While Amazon might not have had quite so many headline-stealing shows, there are some real quality offerings like Bosch, in full 4K and HDR, as well as The Man in the High Castle, and Mozart in the Jungle.


One show that will steal headlines in 2016 is The Grand Tour, which sees Top Gear’s three stooges reunited in motoring mayhem. The Grand Tour is the biggest play that Amazon has made so far and when it hits Amazon Prime in November, it will probably be a huge draw for fans in the UK who didn’t take to the BBC’s rebooted Top Gear.

  • Netflix review: The leading light in home entertainment

There is a lot of other TV on Amazon however – Mr Robot, Preacher, Ripper Street, Black Sails, Vikings – as well as a lot of movies. Even if you never buy or rent anything, and stick within the realms of included Prime Video, you’ll be well served and well entertained.

In many senses it’s worth having Amazon Prime full-time and dipping into Netflix when it releases new must-watch additional series; the two services almost complement one another.

Amazon Video review: 4K future, with an HDR glaze

There’s another string to Amazon Video’s bow: 4K HDR content. In our review of Netflix we talked about how important the service had been in offering content ahead of the curve – and Amazon sits in the same position. Alongside Netflix, Amazon has done more to push this next step in content quality than anyone else.


The big advantage that Amazon offers over Netflix is that you don’t have to pay more (only Netflix’s top-tier package of the three available offers it): all the 4K programming is available to you through your Prime subscription. Well, if you have a device that supports it. As we said before, that’s a little more tricky, as it’s likely to only be your smart TV or Ultra HD Blu-ray player that offers that option currently. 

  • What is HDR?

Amazon offers both 4K and HDR content on programmes and recent changes to players have brought more information into the display. Press pause and you’ll see what quality you’re watching at, which is really handy for confirming what your TV is showing you. 

Amazon Video vs Netflix: Which plays better?

Having used both services extensively and interchangeably for some time, we’ve found that Netflix is often the better performer. Amazon also uses a variable bitrate system so things start blocky and get better as the stream is established (Netflix used to do this but has gotten better).

That avoids the old buffering problem, but we’ve found that sometimes Amazon takes an age to get going and we’ve watched whole episodes which have never clicked into the top resolution. That’s not a bandwidth problem, because Netflix would perform perfectly. When push comes to shove, we think Netflix has the slight edge when it comes to playback.


While Amazon Prime might seem like an expensive option to get free next day delivery, it has evolved into so much more. For us, not only is it the express route to delivery for everything, but it delivers a first class entertainment service that not only has premium exclusive programming, but also brings cutting-edge Ultra HD quality to that massive new TV in the front room. 

Choosing to subscribe to Netflix is easy: it’s a small monthly cost. Choosing to subscribe to Amazon Prime is a bigger hit, but arguably it is better value for money, because you get so much more than just movies and TV.

If you’re in any doubt, there’s a 30-day trial, but if you dive into Amazon Video beyond the tempting offer of watching Clarkson et al make fools out of themselves in The Grand Tour, you’ll find yourself richly rewarded.


Paris Motor Show 2016 in pictures: The 16 best cars from the show floor

Every other year car makers, journalists and public descend on Paris for a few days in late September, to attend what is Europe’s largest motor show, or Mondial de l’Automobile if you’re feeling especially French.

Alternating with the Frankfurt show in Germany, Paris usually brings out the best in the French brands. Historically it’s been the launch place for many important cars, but you could find any brand you care to name in the halls in Porte de Versailles.

  • Show me the gallery of lovely Paris Motor Show cars already

Or that used to be the case – but it’s not this year. For times, they are a changing, and the Paris Motor Show was not what it once was.

Which means that Ford, along with Volvo, Mazda, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Bentley and Tesla have all chosen to skip this year’s Paris show – instead saving their money (it costs brands well over £10m to attend a show), or spending it on stand-alone events where they’ll dominate the new cycle. It’s leading some we’re speaking to here in Paris predicting that the Motor Show format is about to die.

But while it’s still with us, this year’s Paris show has some interesting debuts. Predictably the French brands are out in force, with Citroen showing a fun new C3 supermini that’s Cactus-inspired; Renault showing a wild, top-canopy-opening GT super coupe concept; and Peugeot showing a new 3008 and 5008 that are very different from before.

Yet it’s the German brands where the shake-up can be seen most prominently. After BMW’s i brand launch and Volkswagen’s dieselgate debacle, we see the Germans trying desperately to get together with electro-mobility.

Brands like VW and Mercedes are in the unusual position of playing catch up and promising real-world usable electric cars within two to three years – as previewed in Paris by concept displays.

It’s just a pity for them that at the same show, Renault has put a battery in the Zoe that’s been on the market for three years, which will take it 400km (250-miles) on one charge.

  • Click through our full page highlights gallery to see all the important unveils.

We’ll be updating this feature as we preen more from the halls of Paris, so come back for more.


A Game of Thrones gets digital book makeover

George RR Martin has announced his A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novel series will be republished as digital editions, available exclusively through Apple’s iBooks platform. So far only the first novel, A Game of Thrones, has been given the digital treatment, with the following books in the series to arrive in the coming months.

The new version will be known as A Game of Thrones: Enhanced Edition, and will offer a host of additional content to accompany the book to mark the 20th anniversary since it was first published.

George RR Martin said of the new versions: “We’re now entering a new period in the history of publishing”,

“The digital book gives readers the ability to experience all this rich secondary material that had not been possible before. These enhanced editions include sigils, family trees and glossaries”.

“Anything that confuses you, anything you want to more about, it’s right there at your fingertips. It’s an amazing next step in the world of books”.

A Game of Thrones: Enhanced Edition, is available to download now through iBooks for £5.99. A Clash of Kings, the second novel in the series is due for release on 27 October, A Storm of Swords lands on 15 December and A Feast for Crows and A Dance of Dragons will be released in February and March 2017 respectively.

A Game of Thrones will also come bundled with an excerpt from The Winds of Winter, the upcoming sixth novel in Martin’s fantasy series, although publisher HarperCollins isn’t revealing the release date for the full book.

Don’t expect it to be released any time soon though, as Martin said back in January this year that he hadn’t finished it yet and confirmed it wouldn’t be released before the sixth season of Game of Thrones airs on HBO in the US.


Pentax K-1 review: Full-frame underdog can teach the competition some new tricks

It’s been long, long overdue. But the time has come: Pentax has finally created a full-frame DSLR, the K-1. And at £1,600 this 36-megapixel monster is one competitively priced camera, certain to help Pentax make its mark in an already fiercely contested market.

Pentax is so often the dark horse; the company to silently release a cracker of a camera and for it to go, by and large, unnoticed. The K-1 could go the same way because it’s so late to the game – and at a time when cameras are on a downward turn.

However, Pentax users have been calling for a digital full-frame DSLR for years now, so for one to arrive now is great news. After such a long wait, just what new tricks can this underdog teach the competition?

Pentax K-1 review: Design and operation

Pentax likes to do things in Pentax ways. In addition to the usual manual and priority shooting modes, there’s the addition of TAv (where the camera auto controls ISO but you handle shutter and aperture), or the “green button” to quickly throw the camera into an auto mode (or Auto ISO).

And not content with two thumbwheels, the K-1 adds a third that, as paired with its dedicated top dial, can be used to control exposure compensation, ISO, drive mode, bracketing and more. And all of this stuff works brilliantly: it might sound superfluous, but it’s the kind of stuff that helps the K-1 stand apart from the masses.


Turn your attention to the rear and there’s a special surprise with the LCD screen: it’s mounted on a fully flexible bracket, meaning it can rotate between vertical, horizontal and combinations of these positions for all kinds of off-centre work.

It’s a super rugged screen too – you can hold the camera by this bracket without worry it’ll snap – and, again, the kind of thing other full-frame DSLR makers should really be putting into cameras. As positioning works in a two-fold way it can feel a bit fiddly, but you’ll get used to it.

Sadly, however, Pentax has foregone the decision to use touchscreen technology, which is a huge shame when cameras like the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV include it.

There are additional quirks too. Pull that screen out and four LED lights beneath can be used to illuminate the surrounding buttons to make night-time work a little easier. There are even LEDs positioned above the lens to read old aperture markings and make lens-changing easy, in addition to the dual SD card slot having one. Each of the three areas can be turned off individually, while the screen and lens options have two brightness levels. It’s all about the details.

Pentax K-1 review: Live view

The mention of that particular Canon DSLR puts the Pentax K-1 in its place – both is positive and negative light. On the one hand, the K-1’s body-only £1,600 asking price is some £2,000 less than the Canon; however, the K-1 isn’t nearly as capable as the Canon (and some of the competition) in a variety of areas.

With that flexible screen positioned at an irregular angle, the first thing we find to be behind the curve is the Pentax’s live view focus ability. It works, it’s fine, but it can mis-focus entirely and often has to hunt out finer focus. We’ve also had some final shots that aren’t bitingly sharp given where the camera has chosen to focus.


Live view is also where video capture happens. Pentax, compared to its peers, has by and large neglected this area of the specification: the K-1’s 1080p30 capture is a long way from 4K. Whether that matters on bit to you is another matter, of course, as this is a stills camera first and foremost.

Still, for the money this weather-sealed chunk of magnesium alloy has a strong feature set. If, that is, you can find the necessary lens line-up to join it. Pentax’s latest lenses are often weather-sealed (WR-designated), which is great, and while there are some spectacular old lenses in the range – they tend to be rare.

So where the K-1 appeals most, we suspect, is to someone who already has the glass and isn’t interested in starting from scratch. Otherwise the sheer breadth of Nikon and Canon lenses make those companies’ competitor models highly tempting alternatives.

Pentax K-1 review: Special features

Like we say, Pentax likes to do things in Pentax ways. In the case of the 36.4-megapixel sensor, being the same Sony-made one as found in the Nikon D810 wasn’t good enough; so the company has removed the low-pass filter and employed a 5-axis image stabilisation system (dubbed SRII) that, in essence, means the sensor floats in space. It’s why you’ll hear a kind of hissing sound when it’s active and surroundings are particularly quiet.


Predominantly this is used for image stabilisation to counter movement on any axis, countering pitch, yaw, roll, horizontal and vertical movements. This system will ensure any lens gets the best stabilisation – including K-mount legacy lenses right back to 1976 (the older ones will be manual focus only, though). That’s great news, although we’ve found some of our live view shots to not necessarily give the very sharpest results – which seems odd for a low-pass filter-free DSLR.

This feature can be used for all manner of other things too. Features like Horizon Correction, where the sensor itself moves to accommodate a straightened horizon; or Pixel Shift Resolution where the sensor uses its stabilisation system to move by a single pixel in four directions, capturing full RGB data per pixel (now with a movement detection algorithm to negate motion in such images).

There’s even an AA Simulator (for anti-aliasing) that can be used in situations where moiré might be an issue – the camera can use the SRII stabilisation system to produce micro-vibrations to move the sensor at a sub-pixel level during exposure.


And if you’re into astrophotography then the built-in GPS and digital compass might be of particular interest. By feeding the data from these sources a tripod mounted K-1 can use its Astrotracer function to physically move the sensor to trace the movement of celestial bodies without the need of an equatorial telescope for sharp, non-star-trail results. Now that’s smart if that’s your specialism. And you thought GPS was just about geotagging.

Pentax K-1 review: Performance

Before we get carried away with quirky details, however, let’s take a look at the autofocus system. The K-1 is the first to introduce Pentax’s SAFOX 12 AF system, complete with 33 autofocus points and low-light sensitivity to -3EV.


On paper that puts it up there as fairly competitive. In reality, however, the system just doesn’t have the same swiftness as you’ll find in Canon and Nikon competitors – and we’ve been using the new Pentax 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, which is no slouch.

That’s not to say the system is slow, though. It’s fine, so long as you’re not expecting the best of the best for fast moving action and continuous autofocus. But then at 36-megapixels this sensor, like that of the Nikon D810, is perhaps better suited to landscape and still life work anyway. And here the Pentax K-1 can certainly shine.

Of those 33-points, 25 are cross-type for heightened sensitivity, with full array, 9-point grid or a single point available for selection in either single or continuous autofocus. The arrangement of points is a fairly central one, with the two larger outermost points rarely used – but they are selectable.


Adjusting focus point position depends on the four-way d-pad to the rear, which works fine, but as we’ve become more accustomed to dedicated joysticks on recent DSLR cameras, such as the Canon 5D Mark IV, it’s a shame Pentax doesn’t provide a similar kind of experience. But then that wouldn’t be very Pentax, we suppose.

Pentax K-1 review: Image quality

With a proven sensor at its heart, the Pentax K-1 does a grand job when it comes to image quality. The balance of colour and exposure is different to its nearest rivals, but handled correctly and the depth available from full-frame is a sumptuous sight to behold.


Resolution at 36-megapixels might be a concern for some shooting action photos, which will require a bump in shutter speed to ensure absolute crispness. If Pentax had opted for a 24-megapixel sensor it might have been more versatile and dynamically capable than the Nikon D810, but then it would, no doubt, be accused of being behind the curve too. As it is, Pentax has made a sensible decision for this target market.

Sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 up to a head-in-the-clouds ISO 204,800 expanded range, the latter being overkill really. By default the camera attempts to operate in Auto ISO up to ISO 3200, but this can be adjusted and capped as you see fit.


And we wouldn’t fear shooting at ISO 3200 by any means: a shot of some kitchen oils (above) shows there’s ample detail and colour in the frame, with little visible image noise of any description visible. That goes to show that Pentax has got its high ISO processing under control, although we find it’s a little harsh by default: JPEG shots lack the biting detail and grain of their raw counterparts (which, as they’re available in DNG or PEF, can be opened in any Photoshop version from day one).

Even at higher sensitivity levels, such as ISO 12,800, the results look great. As the files are so physically large there’s plenty of scope to hide away any imperfections when not using images at a large scale. In an ISO 12,800 shot of a fireplace there is some colour noise – flecks of green and red are noticeable in the shadow areas – but it’s well controlled, and effectively invisible at small scale, as below.


Then there are the lower sensitivities, which is where the magic happens. From ISO 100 to ISO 800 everything looks great, with only some slight mottling being more present at the higher end of this range. The crispest results, inevitably, come from ISO 100 – and it’s great to see this present when some older Pentax DSLR cameras were only able to shoot from ISO 200 minimum.

Ultimately, if you want ultra-high resolution files that are on par with what you will get from the Nikon D810 then the Pentax K-1 achieves the job. It handles scenes in its own way, with a different balance of colour and exposure, but the information stacked into those raw files provide a far-reaching palette that is an excellent – and affordable – route into full-frame photography.


The Pentax K-1 is one of the more interesting DLSR cameras we’ve seen in recent years. One, because it’s the first digital full-frame camera from the company – and about time too. Second, because it crams in so many features – many of which its better-known peers could learn from. And third, because it’s so much more affordable than the near competition – approaching £800 less than the Nikon D810 and some £2,000 less than the Canon 5D Mark IV at the time of writing.

It doesn’t have the best autofocus system going, nor is it the fastest continuous shooter out there (at 4.8fps), while video feels like an afterthought. But features like the flex-tilt screen and 5-axis stabilisation (plus the many additional features this graces the camera with) ensure the K-1 stands out from the crowd in its own way.

It might be the underdog, but this full-frame pup sure can teach the established old dogs some new tricks. Take note Nikon and Canon: the Pentax K-1 has some enviable features and an alluring price point that will make it an obvious buy for so many wanting to get into full-frame photography.


Intel wearables show models’ stress levels on Paris runway

Intel’s continuing experiment with wearables is getting pretty serious. The company teamed up with British designer Hussein Chalayan to create smart glasses and belts for five models in Chalayan’s Spring/Summer 2017 show today. The devices are powered by Intel’s Curie module for wearables, and neither company has expressed plans for making them more widely available.

The glasses have capacitive EEG electrodes on both temples to read brainwaves, while the nose bridge houses an optical heart rate sensor and a microphone for measuring heart rate variability and breathing rates respectively. The information is combined by the onboard Curie module using what Intel calls “sensor fusion” for more accurate stress detection. It’s then sent to a 3D printed belt around each model’s waist over Bluetooth Low Energy. These belts also sport Curie modules to receive the data, as well as an Intel Compute Stick to process and visualize the stress metric. Finally, a pico projector on the waist casts the image and animations onto a wall in front of the models to show their real-time stress levels.

As they strut down the runway, models will be instructed to reduce stress by inhaling through the nose for six seconds and exhaling for four seconds. If all goes well and every gadget works as it should, the audience should see the projected animation change. Of course, having to focus on relaxing during such a high-stakes event is no easy feat, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the animations didn’t seem to change.

Based on the pictures, both the glasses and belts seem somewhat chunky, although they do house an awful lot of components. It’s hard to see a real-world application for this particular device pairing, but it certainly is a cool tech demonstration for Intel. The company is clearly hoping to encourage more wearable makers to adopt the Curie tech, and this does seem like an intriguing way to show off what it can do.


The more you play ‘Hello Neighbor,’ the smarter its villain gets

In an upcoming horror PC game called Hello Neighbor, you play a character with voyeuristic tendencies. You’re obsessed with sneaking into your suspicious next-door neighbor’s house to see what secrets he’s hiding in his basement, sort of like Tom Hanks in the ’80s film The ‘Burbs. What makes the thriller game fun to play, though, is that your secretive, shady neighbor AI will go after you if he sees you snooping. He even learns from the way you play, taking every mistake you make into account to get better and better at catching you.

He’ll install CCTV cameras if you once snuck in from his front door, for instance, and memorize the shortcuts you’d taken while running from him in the past. It’s as if you’re actually repeatedly sneaking into the house of a real person, who’s getting real tired of your antics. You win once you reach your neighbor’s basement and reveal his secret despite all the traps he laid out.

The game’s website explains:

“The Neighbor gathers all the information about the player’s actions, decisions, movements etc. Having analyzed it, he comes up with counter-actions, traps and a unique tactics against the player. The more one plays, the more experienced the Neighbor becomes.”

Hello Neighbor will be available in summer 2017 for Windows PCs, but you can sign up now for the alpha testing right here.

Via: Kotaku

Source: Steam


Amazon’s next game will have a Twitch-centric wager system

Ever since Amazon bought livestreaming website Twitch, the retailer has slowly but surely begun building video tools into its offerings. It’s new free game engine, Lumberyard, already lets developers quickly incorporate and scale community features from the outset, but Amazon has a lot more planned than that. At this years TwitchCon event, Amazon Game Studios confirmed that Breakaway, its new free-to-play multiplayer game made by Killer Instinct developer Double Helix, a company it acquired more than two years ago, will offer a new form of in-game Twitch currency and incorporate numerous Twitch features specifically aimed at building the video service’s reputation as the home of live eSports.

The new digital currency is called Stream+ and allows Twitch viewers to earn “loyalty points” as they watch live games unfold and use them to bet on the outcome of key moments. The longer they watch, the more they accumulate, but additional points can be earned by participating in public polls. Twitch is staying clear of real-money gambling on its service and instead showers fans with in-game rewards as they move their way up the loyalty point leaderboard.

Breakway will incorporate all of these new Twitch features, which include Metastream, a platform that provides players and viewers with access to a real-time stats that can be incorporated into streams; Broadcaster Spotlight, a notification system that tells players if their teammates or opponents are livestreaming the match they’re playing in; and Broadcaster Match Builder, a matchmaking feature that lets streamers build custom matches and invite their subscribers, followers and viewers to play against/with them.

Amazon Game Studios says that it is working on two other games that have been “built for Twitch broadcasters, viewers, and players.” New World is a MMO that lets you “carve your own destiny with other players in a living, hostile, cursed land” and Crucible is a six-on-six “battle to the last survivor on a hostile alien world. Players choose and customize heroes, making alliances and betraying allies on their path to victory.”

Via: Geekwire

Source: Amazon Game Studios


Zero-Day Acquisition Platform Triples iOS 10 Bug Bounty to $1.5 Million

Exploit acquisition platform Zerodium has increased its reward for a successful jailbreak of iOS 10 to $1.5 million, far surpassing Apple’s recent payout offer for discovering and reporting vulnerabilities in its software.

Late last year, Zerodium briefly offered and paid out $1 million to one hacking team for the successful creation of a browser-based jailbreak for iOS 9.1 and 9.2, but dropped the going rate for an exploit to $500,000.

Rather than report the vulnerabilities to Apple, Zerodium said that it would sell the exploit to its customers, which include major technology, finance, and defense corporations, as well as government agencies.

Instead of being limited to a specific timeframe, the new $1.5 million reward is a permanent offer that aims to compensate for Apple’s recently hardened security regime, said Zerodium founder Chaouki Bekrar.

We’ve increased the price due to the increased security for both iOS 10 and Android 7, and we would like to attract more researchers all year long, not just during a specific bounty period as we did last time.

At the same time, Zerodium’s decision to up its bug bounty can be seen as a response to the imminent launch of Apple’s own program.

Last month at the annual Black Hat Conference, Apple announced the launch of an invite-only Security Bounty Program that would offer rewards of up to $200,000 to researchers depending on the vulnerability discovered. Apple said the program would be limited to a few dozen researchers and would go live in September.

Earlier this week, several news media outlets were seemingly duped into reporting on an alleged ‘secret’ meeting of prominent hackers at Apple’s Campus in Cupertino, which was supposed to include a briefing on the company’s bug bounty program. The meeting was apparently a hoax perpetrated by the hackers themselves.

@qwertyoruiopz Forbes punk’d

— franz (@neozeed) September 28, 2016

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