Categories
Game

Nintendo Switch Online gets three special version Kirby games

Nintendo has been boosting its Switch Online retro library at a fast pace, recently adding Congo’s Caper, Rival Turf and Kirby 64. Now with version 3.3.0, it’s adding three more Kirby titles, all special SP versions with secret modes unlocked: Kirby Super Star, Kirby’s Dream Land 3 and Kirby’s Dream Course.

Kirby Super Star originally launched on Super NES with eight side-scrolling platform games, including two minigames. Secret modes available include Meta Knight, Milky Way Wishes and the Arena. SNES platformer Kirby’s Dream Land 3, meanwhile, includes extra options like Play Extra Course and the Dance Select option. Finally, with the miniature golf game Kirby’s Dream Course (SNES), you automatically get 100 percent completion and access to all stages if you choose.

A Nintendo Switch Online subscription unlocks online play, cloud saves and access to a library of NES and SNES games on the Switch. To gain access to N64 and Sega Genesis titles, you’ll need an additional paid tier called the Expansion Pack. Switch Online costs $20 annually, while the Expansion Pack is $50 per year.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
AI

Dataiku releases new version of unified AI platform for machine learning

Hear from CIOs, CTOs, and other C-level and senior execs on data and AI strategies at the Future of Work Summit this January 12, 2022. Learn more


Dataiku recently released version 10 of its unified AI platform. VentureBeat talked to Dan Darnell, head of product marketing at Dataiku and former VP of product marketing at H2O.ai, to discuss how the new release provides greater governance and oversight of the enterprise’s machine learning efforts, enhances ML ops, and enables enterprises to scale their ML and AI efforts.

Governance and oversight

For Darnell, the name of the game is governance. “Until recently,” he told VentureBeat, “data science tooling at many enterprises has been the wild west, with different groups adopting their favorite tools.” However, he sees a noticeable change in tooling becoming consolidated “as enterprises are realizing they lack visibility into these siloed environments, which poses a huge operational and compliance risk. They are searching for a single ML repository to provide better governance and oversight.” Dataiku is not alone in spotting this trend, with competing products like AWS MLOps tackling the same space.

Having a single point of governance is helpful for enterprise users. Darnell likens it to a single “watchtower, from which to view all of an organization’s data projects.” For Dataiku, this enables project workflows that provide blueprints for projects, approval workflows that require managerial sign-off before deploying new models, risk and value assessment to score their AI projects, and a centralized model registry to version models and track model performance.

For its new release, governance is centered around the “project,” which also contains the data sources, code, notebooks, models, approval rules, and markdown wikis associated with that effort. Just as GitHub went beyond mere code hosting to hosting the context around coding that facilitates collaboration, such as pull requests, CI/CD, markdown wikis, and project workflow, Dataiku‘s eponymous “projects” aspire to do the same for data projects. “Whether you write your model inside Dataiku or elsewhere, we want you to put that model into our product,” said Darnell.

ML ops

Governance and oversight also extend into the emerging field of ML ops, a rapidly growing discipline that applies several DevOps best practices for machine learning models. In its press release, Dataiku defines ML ops as helping “IT operators and data scientists evaluate, monitor and compare machine learning models, whether under development or in production.” In this area, Dataiku competes against products like Sagmaker’s Model Monitor, GCP’s Vertex AI Model Monitoring, or Azure’s MLOps.

Automatic drift analysis is an important newly released feature. Over time, data can fluctuate due to subtle underlying changes outside the modeler’s control. For example, as the pandemic progressed and consumers began to see delays in gym re-openings, sales of home exercise equipment began creeping up. This data drift can lead to poor performance for models that were trained on out-of-date data.

What-If scenarios are one of the more interesting features of the new AI platform. Machine learning models usually live in code, accessible only to trained data scientists, data engineers, and the computer systems that process them. But nontechnical business stakeholders want to see how the model works for themselves. These domain experts often have significant knowledge, and they often want to get comfortable with a model before approving it. Dataiku what-if “simulations” wrap a model so that non-technical stakeholders can interrogate the model by setting different inputs in an interactive GUI, without diving into the code. “Empowering non-technical users as part of the data science workflow is a critical component of MLOps,” Darnell said.

Scaling ML and AI

“We think that ML and AI will be everywhere in the organization, and we have to unlock the bottleneck of the data scientist being the only person who can do ML work,” Darnell said.

One way Dataiku is tackling it is to reduce the duplicative work of data scientists and analysts. Duplicative work is the bane of any large enterprise where code silos are rampant. Data scientists redo the work because they simply don’t know if it was done elsewhere. A catalog of code snippets can provide data scientists and analysts greater visibility on prior work so that they can stand on the shoulders of colleagues rather than reinvent the wheel. Whether or not the catalog can work will hinge on search performance — a notoriously tricky problem — as well as whether search can easily identify the relevant prior work, therefore freeing up data scientists to accomplish more valuable tasks.

In addition to trying to make data scientists more effective, Dataiku’s AI platform also provides no-code GUIs for data prep and AutoML capabilities to perform ETL, train models, and assess their quality. This feature is geared at technically-proficient users who cannot code and empowers them to do many of the data science tasks. Through a no-code GUI, users can control which ML models are available to the AutoML algorithm and perform basic feature manipulations on the input data. After training, the page provides visuals to aid in model interpretability, not just regression coefficients, hyperparameter selection, and performance metrics, but more sophisticated diagnostics like subpopulation analysis. The latter is very helpful for AI bias, where model performance may be very strong overall but weak for a vulnerable subpopulation, leading to bias. No-code solutions are hot, with AWS also releasing Sagemaker Canvas, a competing product.

More on Dataiku

Dataiku’s initial product, the “Data Science Studio,” focused on providing tooling for the individual data scientist to become more productive. With Dataiku 10, its focus is shifted to the enterprise, with features that target the CTO as well as the rank and file data scientist. This shift is not uncommon among data science vendors chasing stickier seven-figure enterprise deals with higher investor multiples. This direction mirrors similar moves by well-established competitors in the cloud enterprise data science space, including Databricks, Oracle’s Autonomous DataWarehouse, GCP Vertex, Microsoft’s Azure ML, and AWS Sagemaker, which VentureBeat has written about previously.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact.

Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:

  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more

Become a member

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

The latest version of NVIDIA’s DLSS technology is better at rendering moving objects

NVIDIA has released a major update for its technology. With of the software, the company says the AI algorithm makes smarter use of motion vectors to improve how objects look when they’re moving. The update also helps to reduce ghosting, make particle effects look clearer and improve temporal stability. The latter has traditionally been one of the weakest aspects of the technology, so DLSS 2.3 represents a major improvement. As of today, 16 games feature support for DLSS 2.3. Highlights include Cyberpunk 2077, Deathloop and Doom Eternal.

If you don’t own an but still want to take advantage of the performance boost you can get from upscaling a game, NVIDIA has updated its Image Scaling technology to improve both fidelity and performance. Accessible through the NVIDIA Control Panel, the tool uses spatial upscaling to do the job. That means the result isn’t as clean as the temporal method DLSS uses, but the advantage is you don’t need special hardware. To that end, NVIDIA is releasing an SDK that will allow any GPU, regardless of make, to take advantage of the technology. In that way, NVIDIA says game developers can offer the best of both worlds: DLSS for the best possible image quality and NVIDIA Image Scaling for cross-platform support.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Animal Crossing Version 2.0 update surprise: Here’s what’s inside

Animal Crossing: New Horizons fans have received a rather pleasant surprise, as the game’s version 2.0 update has gone live a little bit early. Initially, we expected the version 2.0 update to go live on Friday, November 5th, alongside the Happy Home Paradise DLC. While it seems we still have to wait until Friday for the DLC to land, the version 2.0 update is available now and ready to be played.

What’s included in Animal Crossing: New Horizons version 2.0

While the Happy Home Paradise expansion is paid DLC, the version 2.0 update is not and is free to everyone who owns Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Perhaps the most significant addition in the update is Brewster, who will open a cafe called The Roost in the museum after players complete a task for Blathers. Players can join island residents and friends in the cafe for some coffee, and they can even use amiibo cards to summon coffee drinking companions as well.

Brewster isn’t the only returning character in this update, as Kapp’n will be making a return as well. He’ll ship players off to new islands that may be home to unique flora or islands in the midst of different seasons. Essentially, it sounds like Kapp’n could be a good way to obtain items that wouldn’t usually be available on home islands.

Gyroids are also making their return with this update, and players will be able to dig them up just like they do fossils. Gyroids can be discovered buried in the ground after rain showers, or players can bury gyroid fragments that grow into full gyroids overnight. As in previous Animal Crossing games, gyroids will make various sounds when placed, and they’ll react to music as well. They can even be customized this time around to match the design of the room they’re placed in.

With this update, Harv’s Island is also getting some renovations as players will be able to contribute bells to turn the island into an open-air market featuring shops from numerous peddlers. Cooking has also been added to New Horizons with this update, and players will be able to grow a variety of vegetables to help further their cooking ambitions.

So, even though the Happy Home Paradise DLC packs a lot of content, this update is no slouch either. You can check out the video we’ve embedded above for details on everything included in this update.

A surprise release or a mistake?

Interestingly enough, there seems to be no official confirmation from Nintendo that this update is indeed live. The page that catalogs all of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons updates on the Nintendo support site hasn’t been updated at the time of this writing and instead shows the most recent version as 1.11.1. Likewise, neither the Nintendo of America nor the official Animal Crossing Twitter accounts have made any mention of this update.

The radio silence from Nintendo has left us wondering if this surprise release was actually a planned one or if it was a mistake. If it was a mistake, it’s unlikely that Nintendo would confirm it, so we’ll likely never know what the truth is; we’d just assume there would be a little more fanfare trailing this launch.

In any case, our Switches confirm that the update is live, and while it was automatically downloaded for us, you may need to manually update Animal Crossing: New Horizons to get it. Doing so is easy – simply highlight Animal Crossing: New Horizons in your Switch library, press the “+” button, and then select “Software Update.” We’ll let you know when the Happy Home Paradise DLC is live, but while we wait, New Horizons players can dive into the new update and see what it has to offer.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

The Chinese version of ‘Fortnite’ will shut down on November 15th

Epic Games and Tencent are shutting down the Chinese version of Fortnite. Would-be players are no longer able to register or download the game, and the servers will be closed on November 15th, according to an announcement on the battle royale’s Chinese website.

“The test of Fortress Night has come to an end,” the message reads (via Google Translate). “We will shut down the server in the near future.” No reason was given for the game’s closure.

Players who dropped into that version of Fortnite had a different experience to those elsewhere, as PC Gamer notes. There was a separate health bar for damage sustained in the storm, and several players could earn a Victory Royale if they survived for long enough.

Though it’s not clear how many Fortnite players there were in China, it never officially launched in the country, according to analyst Daniel Ahmad. Fortnite‘s Chinese incarnation was in beta testing for over two years and the government didn’t grant Tencent, which published the game there, a license. As such, Tencent was unable to monetize Fortnite with in-app transactions. Engadget has contacted Epic and Tencent for comment.

Ahmad also pointed out that battle royale titles are “strictly regulated” in China. The original version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds had no monetization functions in the country. Tencent launched a more patriotic, gore-free replacement in 2019 called Game for Peace, to which regulators gave the green light.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Returnal version 2.0 update adds a long-requested feature

Returnal made some waves when it launched for PlayStation 5 earlier this year, and now the game is being updated to version 2.0. Returnal developer Housemarque detailed the version 2.0 update today, and while it doesn’t seem to be an extensive update, it does add two big features. The first is a “Suspend Cycle” feature that will allow users to save their progress in the middle of a cycle and return to it later.

To be clear, this is not a traditional save system, so you won’t be able to save scum your way to victory if you encounter a cycle that’s giving you problems. Instead, the Suspend Cycle feature will create a single suspend point that is deleted once you resume playing. It’s good for people who have to walk away in the middle of a cycle and don’t want to lose their progress, but beyond that, it has pretty limited functionality.

For instance, Housemarque says that you won’t be able to suspend a cycle during boss battles, cinematics, intense combat scenarios, or the game’s first-person sequences. Housemarque noted that this approach to suspend points allows it to “keep the roguelike spirit and ‘high stakes’ commitment to your run intact, while still providing some quality-of-life convenience for players who like to experience Returnal in shorter bursts.”

In addition to the new Suspend Cycle feature, Returnal version 2.0 adds a Photo Mode to the game. Even though Returnal can be a dark game, there are plenty of visually impressive moments, so Photo Mode allows you to capture those moments. With the exception of first-person sequences, it sounds like Photo Mode can be activated at any time by pausing the game.

Players can use the analog sticks and triggers to change the camera angle, and then after finding the right angle for the shot, they’ll be able to change settings like focal distance and saturation before applying filters and effects. After that point, all you’ll need to do is hit the Capture button to take the screenshot. Returnal‘s version 2.0 update is live today on PS5, so give it a download and take these new features for a spin.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Switch Online’s Expansion Pack Costs Double The Base Version

While today’s Animal Crossing Direct was largely about the game’s upcoming 2.0 update and newly revealed DLC, Nintendo also snuck in pricing details for its new version of Nintendo Switch Online. Titled Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, the service will cost individual users $50 per year, while a family plan version that lets up to eight accounts use the service will cost $80.

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack was revealed during Nintendo’s last Direct showcase. The upgraded version of Nintendo Switch Online will give its users access to a library of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis titles, as well as to the new Animal Crossing: New Horizons paid DLC, Happy Home Paradise. While pricing for the service has been revealed, Nintendo has not revealed when users will actually be able to subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.

It’s worth noting that Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s pricing is a fair leap from what users pay for the base version of the service. A yearlong individual membership for Nintendo Switch Online costs only $20, while a family plan runs customers just $35. In both cases, Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack is more than twice the cost of its basic counterpart.

For users, that pricing might be a bit high. Nintendo Switch Online itself has drawn criticism over the years for its lackluster library of games and Nintendo’s own subpar multiplayer service, which doesn’t offer any voice chat capability. Users may be hesitant to shell more money out to the company without being assured that the service’s base issues will also be addressed in the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
AI

Streamlit, which helps data scientists build apps, hits version 1.0

Streamlit, a popular app framework for data science and machine learning, has reached its version 1.0 milestone. The open source project is curated by a company of the same name that offers a commercial service built on the platform. So far, the project has had more than 4.5 million GitHub downloads and is used by more than 10,000 organizations.

The framework fills a vital void between data scientists who want to develop a new analytics widget or app and the data engineering typically required to deploy these at scale. Data scientists can build web apps to access and explore machine-learning models, advanced algorithms, and complex data types without having to master back-end data engineering tasks.

Streamlit cofounder and CEO Adrien Treuille told VentureBeat that “the combination of the elegant simplicity of the Streamlit library and the fact that it is all in Python means developers can do things in hours that normally took weeks.”

Examples of this increased productivity boost include reducing data app development time from three and a half weeks to six hours or reducing 5,000 lines of JavaScript to 254 lines of Python in Streamlit, Treuille said.

The crowded landscape of data science apps

The San Francisco-based company joins a crowded landscape filled with dozens of DataOps tools that hope to streamline various aspects of AI, analytics, and machine-learning development. Treuille attributes the company’s quick growth to being able to fill the gap between data scientists’ tools for rapid exploration (Jupyter notebooks, for one example) and the complex technologies companies use to build robust internal tools (React and GraphQL), front-end interface (React and JavaScript), and data engineering tools (dbt and Spark). “This gap has been a huge pain point for companies and often means that rich data insights and models are siloed in the data team,” Treuille said.

The tools are used by everyone from data science students to large companies. The company is seeing the fastest growth in tech-focused enterprises with a large base of Python users and a need to rapidly experiment with new apps and analytics.

“Every company has the same problems with lots of data, lots of questions, and too little time to answer all of them,” Treuille said.

Improvements in v1.0 include faster app speed and responsiveness, improved customization, and support for statefulness. The company plans to enhance its widget library, improve the developer experience, and make it easier for data scientists to share code, components, apps, and answers next year in 2022.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact.

Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:

  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more

Become a member

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Retro Games is making a mini version of the Amiga 500

Commodore’s Amiga 500 was one of the most popular home computers in the era just before the PC swallowed the world. Now, thirty years and change since its heyday, Retro Games is making a “mini” version of the computer and games console. Much like Retro Games’ last machine, a “mini” version of the Commodore 64 that can’t use the Commodore name, this will be branded as THEA500 Mini.

Retro Games has said that the console will include 25 titles from the vast (and excellent) Amiga library including Another World, Worms, Simon the Sorcerer and The Chaos Engine. The full list of titles hasn’t been released, but if Bart vs. The Space Mutants and Dalek Attack aren’t on there, I will cry.

Much like pretty much every other retro console, a glossy software layer will smooth out the rougher edges of this software. Users will be able to save and resume titles part-way through play, and you’ll be able to side-load titles you (ahem) own over the included USB port.

Rather than simply emulating the vanilla Amiga 500, the hardware will also run the Enhanced Chip Set (ECS) layers found in the Amiga 500 Plus, a short-lived revision released in 1991. You’ll also be able to harness the advanced graphics architecture (AGA) of the much-pricier flagship model, the Amiga 1200.

Looks more like a CD controller to me.

Retro Games / Koch Media

Hardware-wise, it’s likely to be a similar sort of moulded-plastic-around-a-mini-board situation as found in THEC64 Mini. But on the accessories front, it’ll ship with the Amiga’s famous two-button mouse, and a joypad that, to my eyes, seems to be based on the Amiga CD32’s gamepad rather than the 500’s (which, to be fair, was more famously a joystick-led machine).

Image of Retro Games' THEA500 Mouse

Retro Games / Koch Media

THEA500 Mini will launch at some point in early 2022, and is expected to cost $140 (£120, €130) when it arrives. The only misgivings I have at this point is that Retro Games’ previous work with the THEC64 Mini made that a hard product to love in several ways. Hopefully, however, many of those issues have been resolved for the new model, which was the object of lust for many people soon be knocking on 40.

Oh, and here’s the greatest advert for a computer ever made:

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Computing

Microsoft Edge Version 92 Has New Password Health Dashboard

Microsoft’s Edge web browser just got a new feature that ensures you’re a bit safer when browsing the web.

Now rolling out in version 92 of Edge is a new password health dashboard, to help you decide if the password you’ve saved is strong enough, or used on another website.

Once Edge is updated to version 92, you can try out this feature by tapping the Profile section in Edge’s settings menu. Then, you can look under Saved Passwords. From there, you’ll see a health meter that showcases how strong and healthy your password is. Edge will let you know if the password is leaked, if it is weak and reused, or if it is a weak password or reused password. There will also be an indicator for no known issues, and if you’ve decided to hide the health of the password.

In addition to this feature on the desktop version of Microsoft Edge, there’s the ability to use saved credentials in Edge on mobile to sign in to other apps and browsers. This works with apps like Instagram, Pinterest. “All of this is designed to put you first and help you — and the ones you love — stay safer online,” said Liat Ben-Zur, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft.

Though not directly related to the Edge 92 release, Microsoft is announcing the new Microsoft Outlook browser extension. With the extension, you can enjoy mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks from within Edge without having to open a new tab. It is available for download on the Edge Add-Ons store.

Edge 92 also brings some improvements for the Collections feature. You can now save web captures, which are in-browser screenshots, into the Collections area in Edge. This should make it easier to revisit web captures, and stay in the flow of looking for recipes or even shopping.

Another small feature in this release is the ability to share your response to the news and headlines on the New Tab Page. Microsoft says you’ll be able to use emojis to like, love, or share thoughts about news and content feeds. You even can read comments from others, or sign in, set up a profile, and take part in the conversation.

Microsoft Edge should auto-update to version 92 when it is available for download. You can manually download today by clicking the three dots at the top right of your screen, choosing Settings, and then clicking About Microsoft Edge.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link