If you’re wondering exactly what the demo for World of Warcraft Classic will be like, then wonder no longer, because Blizzard has imparted a good deal of info about how the experience will play out, and what limitations will be in place.The demo is set to be playable at BlizzCon 2018, while people at home can also play if they have virtual tickets.In a forum post, Blizzard revealed that players will start the demo at level 15, with levelling capped at 19. That decision was taken to give folks a chance to experiment with the likes of talents and professions, which wouldn’t have been an option if players began at level 1.There will be a time limit on each play session, meaning you’ll be logged off after a certain amount of time to give someone else a chance to get on the servers. That time period hasn’t been determined yet, but nonetheless, when you get back on, your demo character will still be there and your progress will be saved.You’ll play the demo in either Westfall or the Barrens, depending on your faction, although you won’t be able to go into the Deadmines or Wailing Caverns dungeons. Furthermore, the only PvP action will be duelling.
Blizzard also noted that you’ll find the WoW Classic demo boasts support for widescreen monitors, so it’ll look right in 16:9 aspect ratio, rather than being stretched out to fit.And all the modern trimmings will arrive with the Classic version of the MMO, including Battle.net chat being delivered in-game. You’ll also be able to simply right-click on a player to report them, along with anti-cheat measures (and various potential exploits blocked off).As we mentioned at the outset, those who buy a virtual ticket to BlizzCon (which kicks off on November 2) will be able to enjoy the same demo that will be aired on the show floor, from the comfort of their own home. Also, the demo will remain playable for a full week.
Maybe you’ll play the demo using one of the best gaming laptops of 2018
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The Roman poet Juvenal famously posed the question “who will guard the guards themselves?”, with regard to the checks and balances required to control the actions of those in power. Two thousand years later, the same could be asked of artificial intelligence (AI). As machines begin to make decisions on our behalf, sometimes without human oversight, who should keep them in check? Will humans, or are we engineering the machines to do this well enough themselves? Indeed, earlier this year, the UK Government launched the Centre for Data and Ethics Innovation, an advisory body charged with building a common understanding of how to ensure the safe, ethical and innovative deployment of AI.We’re a long way from the sentient AI of The Terminator’s Skynet, however. Beyond the adoption of virtual assistants such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, AI’s influence on the human condition has not yet been particularly significant. That said, its importance shouldn’t be downplayed. Analysing very large data sets to find patterns in areas such as healthcare, or making rapid trades for financial institutions, and media buys for brands, AI is delivering value across a range of industries. And as businesses look to find meaning within an ever growing volume and variety of data – much of it generated by machines – AI will only become more valuable.
We’ve also highlighted the best AI platforms for business
Managing a world of data
The introduction of millions and, eventually, trillions of connected ‘edge’ devices that will make up the Internet of Things, virtually mapping every detail of the physical world in real time, will generate an amount of data eclipsing anything produced today. These devices, and the yottabytes of data they will produce – each equivalent to a trillion terabytes – will enable innovative new technologies such as autonomous vehicles which, themselves, will each produce gigabytes of data every day. With traditional computing unable to cope with such huge volumes of data, AI will be key to managing this new environment. This includes making decisions on factors such as what is and what isn’t relevant, what’s alarming, and what should be ignored or deleted.
Abiding by Asimov’s Three Laws
The time will soon come when machines will become trusted advisors. By truly understanding us, and the wealth of data that surrounds us, AI will be able to help manage and even improve our lifestyles, augmenting our poor decisions with something more informed, and making us smarter, healthier, and more productive, much as foreseen by science fiction pioneer Isaac Asimov.Asimov believed robots would be integrated into society, constrained and controlled by the Three Laws of Robotics, which he introduced in his 1942 short story, Runaround, and which would make them largely benign – serving and protecting their human masters. Likely to be software and rely on complex algorithms, machine learning and AI, the majority of today’s robots are in a form that Asimov simply couldn’t have imagined. Could his Three Laws therefore still apply over 75 years after they were devised? And what if they were overruled, either deliberately and maliciously, or as a result of over-reaching ambition? It’s important that we guard against this possibility, and ensure the checks and balances are in place to prevent it occurring. Much of this, however, comes down to how we choose to use AI in the first place. Zachary Jarvinen, Product Marketing Lead for AI and analytics at OpenText
This is how to successfully manage an AI system
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HTC has fully taken the wraps off its blockchain-powered Exodus phone for the first time.The Taiwanese phone maker has revealed the official launch of the HTC Exodus 1, which is available as an early access edition for fans in 34 countries today, including the US, UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. However you’ll only be able to get your hands on the device by spending hard-earned cryprtocurrency, with the device costing 0.15 BTC or 4.78 ETH through HTC’s own site, and shipping sometime in December.
Everything you need to know about the HTC Exodus
HTC Exodus 1 launch
HTC, which is marking 10 years since the unveiling of its first Android phone, is labelling the launch as a “1.0 version” of the Exodus, and is now inviting the cryptocurrency community to evaluate and help improve the device with its feedback.”EXODUS 1 is a foundational element of the crypto internet,” says Phil Chen, decentralized chief officer at HTC. “For digital assets and decentralised apps to reach their potential, we believe mobile will need to be the main point of distribution. We look forward to partnering with developers in the blockchain community to usher in this vision.”HTC is looking to support and build upon the initial launch by releasing APIs to allow third-party services to access the Exodus’ secure hardware systems.The device is unique in offering what HTC calls a “secure enclave” away from the Android operating system (the phone will run Android Oreo) directly into the hardware itself.This means it is even harder for anyone to gain access to your cryptocurrency wallet, and could even be used to store user data such as fingerprint and facial scans in the near future, offering a locked-down space to safeguard your most personal information.If anything does happen to your device, you can breathe easy, as HTC has imbued the Exodus with a social-themed security protocol that sees users nominate several contacts to hold a piece of a unique security key – and only bringing all of these pieces together will unlock the device.
What is blockchain? Everything you need to know
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PC gaming audio has come a long, long way since when sound cards and digital surround sound were a big deal – to the point that you can get quality audio from a relatively affordable PC gaming headset. But, just how low can you go?The HyperX Cloud Stinger, once lauded as one of the best PC gaming headsets on this very site, is an over-ear gaming headset that calls for just $49/£49 for what’s honestly a rather quality set of headphones. That price nets you a surprising amount of features for both comfort and function. So, will just 50 bucks or quid – a relative pittance in the grand scheme of your Black Friday expenses – be enough to upgrade your PC gaming audio experience?
HyperX’s Cloud Stinger is slightly rudimentary in its design, a solid piece of black plastic (with an adjustable steel slider for sizing) connecting two large ear cups with the HyperX logo emblazoned on them. These ear cups can rotate 90 degrees for a better fit that can more easily rest on your shoulders when it’s break time.Inside, you’ll find memory foam cushions beneath leatherette ear cup pads, which wrap around 50mm audio drivers. On the left ear cup rests a microphone on a swivel that, when moved upward, automatically mutes itself – that’s a super convenient feature that not even some high-end headsets include.Finally, gamers that like to play on Mac every once in a while (maybe at work?) will appreciate that this is a multi-platform headset supporting both Windows and macOS.
While the HyperX Cloud Stinger goes for just $49/£49, so do a few other competing budget gaming headsets. Most notably, those include the $49/£49 Corsair HS50, which features a more adjustable microphone that’s detachable (though, it doesn’t auto-mute).This one, too, is a multi-platform headset, however it’s more widely so with support for Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch, too.We’d say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger is definitely the more feature-rich – and PC-friendly – of the two, but not quite as widely applicable to your various gaming devices as Corsair’s. That said, the HyperX also has the super-neat (and useful) auto-muting feature, which is a rarity at this price point. So, if it’s quality PC gaming audio on a budget that you seek, the HyperX Cloud Stinger certainly gets you there.
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