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Lego builds up to the Rowling magic

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has released six expansion packs for Lego Dimensions, the Lego toy and videogame hybrid and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Story Pack.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has announced the release of six expansion packs for Lego Dimensions, the Lego toy and videogame hybrid, led by the Sonic The Hedgehog Level Pack and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Story Pack, just in time for the South African release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ all-new adventure in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

All expansion packs in this latest wave feature Battle Arenas with competitive split-screen local gameplay for up to four players. Lego minifigures included in the expansion packs come with special golden Toy Tags which unlock a free play Adventure World of the corresponding entertainment brand, as well as a battle arena that can be reached through Vorton. Players can explore Adventure Worlds for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemSonic The HedgehogGremlinsE.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and Adventure Time, and also play four exciting gameplay modes within the battle arenas, including Capture the Flag, Objective, Base Bash, and Tick, Tag, Boom!. Each arena comes with its own traps, defenses, and special powers that make every Battle Arena unique. Battles can be played competitively or cooperatively in multiple player configurations including 2 vs 2, 3 vs 1, and individually against the system AI to create fun for the whole family.

The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Story Pack provides a complete movie-based gameplay experience that is full of secrets and surprises. It includes six action-packed levels and new Lego Gateway bricks to build the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) atop the Lego Toy Pad.  Players can build the Newt Scamander Lego minifigure and help him find his escaped magical creatures in New York City using a variety of spells, including DiffindoReparo and Lumos.  The pack will also come with the Niffler, which can be rebuilt into the Sinister Scorpion and Vicious Vulture. The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Story Pack will be the exclusive Lego construction toy offering this holiday for the exciting expansion of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

Fans can also add the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Fun Pack with a Tina Goldstein Lego minifigure. She can cast Aguamenti to help solve puzzles and Protego to keep her safe from enemies. Players in need of rescue can build the Swooping Evil which can be rebuilt into the Brutal Bloom and Crawling Creeper.

With the Sonic The Hedgehog Level Pack, players can join Sonic and his friends in an epic battle against Eggman and Chaos and spin into action as they speed through iconic locations including Green Hill, Emerald Coast, Labyrinth and many more to collect all the Chaos Emeralds. Players can build the Sonic the Hedgehog Lego minifigure and use his Acrobat ability to swing off poles and avoid the Badniks, then use his famous grind rails move to make a quick escape.  The pack also includes a 3-in-1 Sonic Speedster which can be rebuilt into Blue Typhoon and Motobug, and a 3-in-1 The Tornado which can be rebuilt into Crabmeat and Eggcatcher.

Players wanting to bring Gremlins to life in Lego Dimensions can add the Gremlins Team Pack which includes popular rivals Gizmo and Stripe Lego minifigures. Each will unlock the Gremlins Adventure World, where players can explore the Cinema, Clamp Industries, the High School, and so much more. Gizmo’s Combat Roll and Dash Attack abilities can be used to get him out of sticky situations and Stripe uses his claws with his Vine Cut ability. Players can rebuild the 3-in-1 R.C. Racer vehicle into the Gadget-o-matic and Scarlet Scorpion and the 3-in-1 Flash ‘n’ Finish into a Rampage Record Player and Stripe’s Throne.

The E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Fun Pack includes an E.T. Lego minifigure with Illumination and Fix-It abilities, as well as special Stealth and Telekinesis skills to make his way around the LEGO multiverse.  With the corresponding Adventure World, players can build new experiences at Elliot’s house and in the suburbs, throughout the park and the forest, on the BMX trail, and even in E.T.’s spaceship. Players can build E.T.’s iconic Phone Home device, then rebuild it into the Mobile Uplink and Super-Charged Satellite for additional in-game abilities.

Fans of “Land of Ooo” can add a Fun Pack based on Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time with a Marceline the Vampire Queen Lego minifigure. Players can activate her Sonar Smash and Bolt Deflector abilities using the Marceline Axe Guitar to solve puzzles and battle enemies. They can also build and use Marceline’s Lunatic Amp to make some noise, and then rebuild it into the Shadow Scorpion and Heavy Metal Monster for extra in-game powers.

Developed by TT Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Lego Dimensions is now available for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

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Bring your network with you

At last week’s Critical Communications World, Motorola unveiled the LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. It allows rescue personal to set up dedicated LTE networks for communication in an emergency, writes SEAN BACHER.

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In the event of an emergency, communications are absolutely critical, but the availability of public phone networks are limited due to weather conditions or congestion.

Motorola realised that this caused a problem when trying to get rescue personnel to those in need and so developed its LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. The product is the smallest and lightest full powered broadband network to date and allows the first person on the scene to set up an LTE network in a matter of minutes, allowing other rescue team members to communicate with each other.

“The LXN 500 weighs six kilograms and comes in a backpack with two batteries. It offers a range of 1km and allows up to 100 connections at the same time. However, in many situations the disaster area may span more than 1km which is why they can be connected to each other in a mesh formation,” says Tunde Williams, Head of Field and Solutions Marketing EMEA, Motorola Solutions.

The LXN 500 solution offers communication through two-way radios, and includes mapping, messaging, push-to-talk, video and imaging features onboard, thus eliminating the need for any additional hardware.

Data collected on the device can then be sent through to a central control room where an operator can deploy additional rescue personnel where needed. Once video is streamed into the control room, realtime analytics and augmented reality can be applied to it to help predict where future problem points may arise. Video images and other multimedia can also be made available for rescuers on the ground.

“Although the LXN 500 was designed for the seamless communications between on ground rescue teams and their respective control rooms, it has made its way into the police force and in places where there is little or no cellular signal such as oil rigs,” says Williams.

He gave a hostage scenario: “In the event of a hostage situation, it is important for the police to relay information in realtime to ensure no one is hurt. However the perpetrators often use their mobile phones to try and foil any rescue attempts. Should the police have the correct partnerships in place they are able to disable cellular towers in the vicinity, preventing any in or outgoing calls on a public network and allowing the police get their job done quickly and more effectively.”

By disabling any public networks in the area, police are also able to eliminate any cellular detonated bombs from going off but still stay in touch with each other he says.

The LXN 500 offers a wide range of mission critical cases and is sure to transform communications and improve safety for first responders and the people they are trying to protect.

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Kaspersky moves to Switzerland

As part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland.

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This includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates. To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.

Global transparency and collaboration for an ultra-connected world

The Global Transparency Initiative, announced in October 2017, reflects Kaspersky Lab’s ongoing commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products. The new measures are the next steps in the development of the initiative, but they also reflect the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust. Trust is essential in cybersecurity, and Kaspersky Lab understands that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability.

The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for a number of regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of the first Transparency Center.

Relocation of customer data storage and processing

By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility, will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) an advanced, cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data.

Relocation of software assembly

Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code. Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide. The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organisation and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.

Establishment of the first Transparency Center

The source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates will be available for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Center that will also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year. This approach will further show that generation after generation of Kaspersky Lab products were built and used for one purpose only: protecting the company’s customers from cyberthreats.

Independent supervision and review

Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cybersecurity industry, Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organisation to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join.

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