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About Guest_Jim_*

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  1. Humble Book Bundle: Work From Home by Wiley: Office 365 For Dummies (3rd Edition) Virtual Teams For Dummies Unlocking Creativity: How to Solve Any Problem and Make the Best Decisions by Shifting Creative Mindsets Power of An Hour: Business and Life Mastery in One Hour A Week How To Sell When Nobody's Buying: (And How to Sell Even More When They Are) $8.00+: Office 2019 All-in-One For Dummies Excel 2019 All-in-One For Dummies Faster Disaster Recovery: The Business Owner's Guide to Developing a Business Continuity Plan Train the Brave: Tame Your Fear, Take the Chance, Dare to Live Big Cyber Smart: Five Habits to Protect Your Family, Money, and Identity from Cyber Criminals Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better (3rd Edition) $15.00+: The Cybersecurity Playbook: How Every Leader and Employee Can Contribute to a Culture of Security Rituals for Work: 50 Ways to Create Engagement, Shared Purpose, and a Culture that Can Adapt to Change Online Teaching at Its Best: Merging Instructional Design with Teaching and Learning Research Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience The Busy Leader's Handbook: How To Lead People and Places That Thrive Noise: Living and Leading When Nobody Can Focus The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work Microsoft Teams For Dummies. Featured charity is Book Industry Charitable Foundation
  2. Next Day: Survival at 90% off: $1.00. Weeklong Deals
  3. Out of the Park Baseball 21 at 25% off: $29.99. while True: learn() at 26% off: $9.61 to $11.02 (21% off) depending on Edition.
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  5. Nearly forgot because it felt like it was Saturday for some reason, but I just finished recording the video that will go live tomorrow at the usual time. Back in Darksiders II since I finished off the time-sensitive projects I had so had no excuse to play something else. (Though I do want to get more generators going in Satisfactory.)
  6. Between the Stars at 33% off: $16.74 or $19.03=7 (36% off) with the Soundtrack. Soundtrack also on sale at 33% off. PAC-MAN 40th Anniversary Sale
  7. PAC-MAN is 40 years old now, so naturally there is some celebration for this anniversary and NVIDIA decided its tribute to the classic would be to use an example of fairly new technology. By leveraging the power of generative adversarial networks, or GAN, a form of artificial intelligence, NVIDIA has recreated PAC-MAN just by having its new GameGAN system watch as it is played. Generative adversarial networks are a kind of neural network that can be applied to accelerate the machine learning process. Typically the process for training a network would require providing it with reference information, and potentially that information has been first filtered by humans to make sure it is all accurate. That human component can slow the process down because if a neural network may require thousands of images to finally learn to identify whether a specific object is contained in an arbitrary image, each image would need to first be looked at by a human. By using a GAN this process is sped up because it gives a pair of neural networks the task of defeating each other. One network tries to generate information accurate enough to fool the second, so it is called the generator, and the second network tries to find the flaw to expose the fake, so it is called the discriminator. Though they are adversaries, some information is shared between the networks so both can improve until you eventually have the ability to generate information that cannot be distinguished from actual reference information. NVIDIA has previously deployed GANs with GauGAN, a technology that can take in rough images from a user and generate detailed scenes that will appear realistic. The potential here would be to ease the amount of effort required by those who need to supply synthetic yet realistic images, such as architects, landscape designers, and game developers. Now the company has put together GameGAN with PAC-MAN as one of its first examples. What GameGAN has done is taken in about 50,000 PAC-MAN episodes to learn from so it could then imitate the original. It watched both the screenplay of the game as well as keyboard actions for its training. From this information, GameGAN was able to determine the rules of the game as well as its mechanics, such as how consuming a capsule causes the ghosts to change color and run from Pac-Man, instead of chasing him. It also had to learn something that might seem obvious, but as it was not starting from a game engine even realizing how keyboard input controls Pac-Man was important to achieve. While just imitating the original game via an AI method is important on its own, GameGAN did something else with this process that was important, and that was disentangling the static and dynamic components visible in the image. One reason this is important is that it allows the system to create a more interpretable model that can also be better applied to tasks later on that explicitly relate to dynamic and not static elements. In PAC-MAN the map would be one of the static elements and by separating it from the dynamic elements, like the ghosts, the map could be more easily replaced. For training the researchers behind GameGAN used a modified version of the game to work with random mazes, so that ability to distinguish between static and dynamic undoubtedly helped it. In addition to working with PAC-MAN the researchers also worked with ViZDoom, an AI research platform actually developed to teach AI to play DOOM using just visual information. Thanks to the disentangling of components, GameGAN can replace elements from both, such as allowing one to play as Mario in either game or changing the environment of ViZDoom without compromising the gameplay. Though this research shows GameGAN being used to effectively reverse-engineer a classic game, its potential uses include automated generation of game levels as well as easier creation of simulators for training autonomous machines. For those wondering about playing the GameGAN version of PAC-MAN, it will be made available later this year in NVIDIA's AI Playground     Source: NVIDIA and NVIDIA GameGAN Paper Back to original news post
  8. Spiderweb Software Sale Tower of Time at 75% off: $6.25. Weekend Deals: Sekai Project Sale Planet Zoo at 25% off: $33.74 to $52.96 (31% off) depending on Edition. Two DLC on sale at 10% and 20% off. The World of Curve Save DayZ at 40% off: $26.99 or $34.36 (42% off) for the Livonia Edition. DayZ Livonia DLC on sale at 20% off. Free weekend. DJMAX RESPECT V at 25% off: $37.49 to $62.95 (40% off) depending on Edition. Most DLC on sale at 25% off. Spring Cleaning Event
  9. When AMD released the Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 3 3300X quad-core processors, it also shared a slide showing the X470 and B450 chipsets would not support future Zen 3 Ryzen 4000 CPUs. This slide indicated it would only be the X570 and yet-to-be-released B550 chipsets that will support those next-generation processors, but these chipsets would also lack support for the original Ryzen 1000 family of CPUs. This revelation concerning the 400-series chipsets upset many as it meant those who purchased some of the better designed B450 motherboards would not have an upgrade path outside past the Ryzen 9 3950X. Of course a 16 core/32 thread processor is likely going to be powerful enough for most (speaking as a Threadripper 1950X owner) but one would still miss out on any IPC improvements expected to come with the Zen 3 architecture. It also did not help that AMD had previously promised to support the AM4 platform through 2020, which many assumed meant the platform would therefore support all AM4 supports made through 2020. There was likely some miscommunication with that promise but when it comes to the decisions of a company, it not always matters what was intended compared to what was believed. It hardly helps that the B550 chipset is taking so long to come out, leaving the B450 chipset as the only lower-cost option for users wanting a new Ryzen 3000 build. Now, after the public has responded to the slide, AMD has announced it has changed its decision and will try to provide Zen 3 support on 400-series chipsets. The company does not yet know how it will accomplish this, but it will update people closer to the Ryzen 4000 series launch later this year. At the heart of the issue of CPU support is the BIOS chip used to store all of the necessary microcode, as well as every component of the UEFI systems we enjoy today. These chips are typically just 16 MB in size, which is not enough to support every family of Ryzen CPU, which by Anandtech's count is currently 84 or 86 processors when you include the Ryzen Pro parts. This count includes the A-Series, Zen, Zen APU, Zen+, Zen+ APU, Zen 2, and Zen 2 APU families, and each of these have their own AGESA platform to deal with. On top of that, AMD cannot go right up to the 16 MB limit of the chip because motherboard manufacturers need room for their UEFI. To address this issue, some companies have been using larger BIOS chips on their motherboards, such as MSI with its B450 Max series motherboards, but even this is not a perfect solution. For one thing, it means only specific motherboards may support additional families potentially leading to confusion (for example, the MSI B450 Mortar in my test system would not support what the B450 Mortar Max can), and apparently some of the early AM4 processors are only able to address the first 16 MB of the BIOS chip. A 32 MB chi would then need to work like two partitioned BIOSes, making the situation much more complicated. The solution that would likely work best then would be for AMD to provide what is necessary to the motherboard manufacturers to create forked BIOSes, with the fork being Ryzen 3000-series support. One BIOS would be up to and including Ryzen 3000 for the 400-series, and the other would be for Ryzen 3000 and beyond, though that might only prove to be Ryzen 3000 and Ryzen 4000. (There is some expectation that Zen 4 in Ryzen 5000 will add support for DDR5 and a new socket.) It would then be up to the board maker to create both BIOSes for its boards, and potentially on the user then to select and install the one they need, as the Ryzen 3000 and above BIOS may be treated as a beta BIOS. This solution presents its own problems as well, such as how to install the BIOS for newer CPUs. When the Ryzen 2000 series CPUs were released, AMD sent out APUs people could install temporarily so the motherboard would still boot up to receive an update. Anandtech asked AMD if this lending of CPUs may happen again, and the company stated it might be a possibility, but details have not been worked out yet. In its statement, AMD also said it would try to verify customers wishing to upgrade do in fact have a Zen 3 CPU so they will not be left in no-boot situation. The statement also says this will serve as the final pathway for the 400 series chipset, so we cannot expect support beyond Zen 3 and will need a newer motherboard for that. It will be interesting to see what the solution comes to be, and also if we might come to see a shift to using larger BIOS chips in general, so the issue can be avoided in the future. In some situations motherboard cost needs to be carefully controlled though, so larger chip adoption may prove slow if there is a push for that. Source: Anandtech Back to original news post
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  12. Those who are already fans of the Mafia series of games, and those interested in them should be happy with this news as 2K and Hangar 13 have announced Mafia: Trilogy, a new collection of the series' three titles. All three games will also be available separately as Definitive Editions, with Mafia II: Definitive Edition and Mafia III: Definitive Edition available today and all owners of Mafia II on Steam will receive the new version free. Mafia III owners on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 will see it upgraded to its Definitive Edition.Mafia: Definitive Edition will be released on August 28. Mafia II: Definitive Edition is an ultra HD remaster of the classic from 2010. Being the Definitive Edition, it will contain all of the game's original DLC in addition to its remastered 4K visuals. Mafia II: Definitive Edition likewise also includes all of its original DLC content along with remastered 4K visuals. Purchasing Mafia: Trilogy any time before August 28 will automatically get you both of these games on the selected platform immediately. I do not have a copy of Mafia III, but Mafia II has been in my Steam library for some time, and the original is now marked as "Classic." A quick check shows that while this original version is 7.85 GB in size, the Definitive Edition will take some 44.89 GB to install, to give you an idea of the impact The standout of the trilogy is Mafia: Definitive Edition as it is more than just a remaster of assets but a complete remake. In the press release, it states this was a "comprehensive, rebuilt-from-the-ground-up" remake of the original game from 2002, which would entail as much work and investment as creating a developing a completely new game. Naturally it is going to use a new engine, the same engine as Mafia III, enabling its improved graphics, but this new version will feature more than that as the story has been expanded, the gameplay has been refined with modern features, and the orchestral score has been re-recorded. The expansion to the story includes new dialogue, expanded backstories, and additional cutscenes. Pre-ordering Mafia: Definitive Edition or Mafia: Trilogy will get you "The Chicago Outfit bonus content that includes The Don exclusive player outfit, the Smith V12 Limousine, and Gold Semi-Automatic weapon skin. Signing up for a 2K Account will get you the Black Cats Motorcycle Pack for the first game, Made Man Pack for the second, and Classico Three-piece Suit & IL Duca Revolver for the third. The suggested price for Mafia: Trilogy is $59.99 while both Mafia II: Definitive Edition and Mafia III: Definitive Edition will be priced at $29.99. Mafia: Definitive Edition will be available at $39.99. In Mafia: Definitive, the player will be in Lost Heaven, Illinois during the 1930s. As Tommy Angelo, a cab driver that has been pulled into the deadly underworld of the Italian Mafia during Prohibition, you will get to rise through the ranks of the Salieri crime family. Owning this game will unlock Tommy's suit and cab in both of the other two games. Mafia II: Definitive Edition is set during the 1940s and 1950s in Empire Bay, New York. Vito Scaletta, a war hero, has had his life entangled with the mob in an effort to pay off his father's debts. With the help of his friend Joe, he can climb the ladder of the mafia. Owners of this game will get you Vito's leather jacket and car in the other titles. Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam veteran will be you character in Mafia III: Definitive that is set in 1968, New Bordeaux, Louisiana. In this game, you will seek vengeance against the Italian Mafia after it destroyed your surrogate family. To help your efforts, you will need to build a new family and criminal empire. Mafia III: Definitive Edition owners will see Lincoln's army jacket and car in both Mafia: Definitive Edition and Mafia II: Definitive Edition. In addition to coming to Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 we can also expect these titles to come to the Epic Games Store and Google Stadia at some point in the future. Source: 2K Games Back to original news post
  13. Humble BANDAI NAMCO Bundle 4: PAC-MAN 256 (Steam for Windows, Mac, Linux) ENSLAVED: Odyssey to the West - Premium Edition (Steam for Windows) Get Even (Steam for Windows) BTA: .hack//G.U. Last Recode (Steam for Windows) Katamari Damacy REROLL (Steam for Windows) RAD (Steam for Windows) $15.00+: TEKKEN 7 (Steam for Windows) Tales of Berseria (Steam for Windows) $25.00+: The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man Of Medan (Steam for Windows) Featured charity is Make-A-Wish.
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  15. Humble Book Bundle: Learn You Some Python by No Starch Press: Teach Your Kids to Code: A Parent-Friendly Guide to Python Programming Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, 4th Edition Black Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters Gray Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Reverse Engineers $8.00+: Mission Python: Code a Space Adventure Game! Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming Cracking Codes with Python: An Introduction to Building and Breaking Ciphers Python Playground: Geeky Projects for the Curious Programmer Math Adventures with Python: An Illustrated Guide to Exploring Math with Code $15.00+: Python Crash Course, 2nd Edition: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, 2nd Edition: Practical Programming for Total Beginners Python Flash Cards (PDF ONLY) Serious Python: Black-Belt Advice on Deployment, Scalability, Testing, and More Impractical Python Projects: Playful Programming Activities to Make You Smarter Featured charities are Book Industry Charitable Foundation and The No Starch Press Foundation.
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