The new Dragon Ball game is powered by Google’s cloud

Bandai Namco Entertainment announced the latest entrant in its series of Dragon Ball games this week. Dragon Ball Legends is a player versus player (PvP) mobile game that has players from all over the world battle with each other in real time by using their move cards. From all I’ve seen, it looks like a pretty fun game, though I know nothing about Dragon Ball and I have an unreasonable disinterest in card-based games. What made me perk up, though, was when I heard that Bandai Namco opted to use Google’s Cloud Network to host all the infrastructure for the game and that one of the main components of this system is Cloud Spanner, Google’s globally distributed database.

To make a real-time game work at all is hard enough, but Bandai Namco wanted players from all over the world to be able to play against each other. There’s a reason most games distribute players into regions based on their geography, though. In a real-time game, latency matters, as every hardened PUBG player will tell you, and the farther you get away from the game server, the higher your latency will likely be.

As Bandai Namco’s Keigo Ikeda and Toshitaka Tachibana told me ahead of the launch, the team opted to divide every game second into 250ms intervals, so while the game looks like it’s real-time to users, it’s actually a really fast turn-based game at its core. “Technically speaking, to the user’s eye, it’s real-time, but on the server, players have their own turn,” said Tachibana. By opting for the Google Cloud Platform and Cloud Spanner as the database to keep track of all moves, the average latency the team has seen during its tests is 138ms, which allows for plenty of wiggle room.

To make all of this work, the team spent almost two and a half years building out the necessary infrastructure, and Tachibana admitted that the team learned quite a bit more than it expected about network latency. During early tests, the team wanted to create a peer-to-peer connection to have players battle each other, for example, but depending on the carriers, the difference in user experience varied too much. The team also had to learn how to best route traffic between players, something that most gaming developers don’t really have to think about most days. “We were pretty frustrated with everyone who wasn’t Google,” said Tachibana.

Facebook has lost 60 billion in value

Facebook is having a bad day… for the second day in a row. Following the Cambridge Analytica debacle, Facebook shares (NASDAQ:FB) are currently trading at $164.07, down 4.9 percent compared to yesterday’s closing price of $172.56.

More importantly, if you look at Monday and Tuesday combined, Facebook shares are down 11.4 percent compared to Friday’s closing price of $185.09. In other words, Facebook was worth $537.69 billion on Friday evening when it comes to market capitalization. And Facebook is now worth $476.83 billion.

That’s how you lose $60 billion in market cap.

Read more:

Senate Intel Committee gives Homeland Security its election security wish list

In a press conference today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence presented its urgent recommendations for protecting election systems as the U.S. moves toward midterm elections later this year.

“Currently we have an election upon us, and the past tells us that the future will probably hold another set of threats if we are not prepared,” Senator Kamala Harris said.

The bipartisan committee offered a set of measures to defend domestic election infrastructure against hostile foreign nations.

Before launching into the findings from its committee-wide examination of current practices, written up in an accompanying report, the group emphasized that states are “firmly in the lead” in conducting elections, although the federal government should work closely to provide funds and information.

Although there are many factors that can mitigate the risk to U.S. elections, election equipment itself, particularly internet-connected systems, remains a core concern in the report:

States should rapidly replace outdated and vulnerable voting systems. At a minimum, any machine purchased going forward should have a voter-verified paper trail and no WiFi capability. If use of paper ballots becomes more widespread, election officials should re-examine current practices for securing the chain of custody of all paper ballots and verify no opportunities exist for the introduction of fraudulent votes.

Because financial need varies from state to state, the committee recommended legislation that would create a grant program through which states could apply for election security funds, including the funding needed to conduct system audits.

“States should use grant funds to improve cybersecurity by hiring additional Information Technology staff, updating software, and contracting vendors to provide cybersecurity services, among other steps,” the report states.

The rest of the report focused on how to bolster U.S. election infrastructure and practice against foreign attacks. Now that the potential vulnerability of U.S. election systems is widely known, Russia may not be the only adversary looking to poke holes in U.S. systems.

“It may not be the Russians next time,” Senator James Lankford said. “They have set a pattern that others could follow.” That means that Iran, North Korea or even domestic hacktivist groups could be following along.

The commit

Read more:

YouTube rolls out a new feature that lets you ‘go live’ from the desktop without an encoder

YouTube today is rolling out a new feature that will allow video creators to start a live stream from their web cam without downloading encoding software, which can be complicated to set up. Now, streamers will be able to click the “Go Live” button in the YouTube header to start the stream, or visit the URL No additional configuration will be required, the company says.

The feature currently works only on the Google Chrome browser, but will expand to other browsers in time.

Before today, YouTube users would have to use encoding software to capture content – including their desktop, camera, and microphone – and send it to YouTube to be live streamed.

The new feature is meant to make the process of live streaming from the desktop easier and quicker, which could potentially enable more YouTube users to take advantage of the functionality.

YouTube has already been testing an early version of the software with a handful of creators, including RawBeautyKristi, who used it for a beauty tutorial, saying, “normally, you have to do this encoder bulls*t…this is so much easier this way. I feel like I’ll live stream way more with this.”

Curtiss King TV used it for fan updates, and Kens Kreations tested it out for product reviews.

Today, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr announced the news of the feature on his YouTube channel.

The addition comes at a time when the live streaming market is heating up, with competitors like Twitch for game streams, Twitter’s Periscope, and Facebook Live, all vying for a piece of the action. Facebook, in particular, has been targeting the creator community, including with this week’s launch of a Patreon clone for subscription patronage, and other ways to allow creators to make money.

YouTube says that the new web cam feature is only one of several ways it’s planning to make it easier for creators to go live in the future.

The company has also scored deals with several device manufacturers including Asus, LG, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung who will add a live stream feature directly in their camera apps on select upcoming devices in the months ahead. The feature, which takes advantage of the new YouTube Mobile Live deep link, is ex

Read more:

Windows Server 2019 is now available in preview

Microsoft today announced the next version of Windows Server, which launches later this year under the not completely unexpected moniker of “Windows Server 2019.” Developers and operations teams that want to get access to the bits can now get the first preview build through Microsoft’s Insider Program.

This next version comes with plenty of new features, but it’s also worth noting that this is the next release in the Long-Term Servicing Channel for Windows Server, which means that customers will get five years of mainstream support and can get an extra five years of extended support. Users also can opt for a semi-annual channel that features — surprise — two releases per year for those teams that want to get faster access to new features. Microsoft recommends the long-term option for infrastructure scenarios like running SQL Server or SharePoint.

So what’s new in Windows Server 2019? Given Microsoft’s focus on hybrid cloud deployments, it’s no surprise that Windows Server also embraces these scenarios. Specifically, this means that Windows Server 2019 will be able to easily connect to Microsoft Azure and that users will be able to integrate Azure Backup, File Sync, disaster recover and other services into they Windows Server deployments.

Microsoft also added a number of new security features, which are mostly based on what the company has learned from running Azure and previous version of Windows. These include new shielded VMs for protecting Linux applications and support for Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, one of Microsoft’s flagship security products that helps guard machines against attacks and zero-day exploits.

With this release, Microsoft is also bringing its container technologies from the semi-annual release channel to the long-term release channel. These include the ability to run Linux containers on Windows and the Windows Subsystem for Linux that enables this, as well as the ability to run Bash scripts on Windows. And for those of you who are really into containers, Microsoft also today noted that it will offer more container orchestration choices, including Kubernetes support, soon. These will first come to the semi-annual channel, though.

You can find a more detailed breakdown of what’s new in this release here.


The Opinion Poll


National Weather

Click on map for forecast