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eSports final shares bill with UEFA Champions League

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Konami Digital Entertainment will use this year’s UEFA Champions League Final in Milan to host the 2016 PES World Finals of the UEFA Champions League eSports event.

It will also use the event to showcase the next addition to the Pro Evolution Soccer Franchise, PES 2017, for the first time.

“Exclusive to Pro Evolution Soccer, it is fitting that we use the UEFA Champions League Final, the world’s greatest club competition, and the culmination of another hugely successful PES League season to reveal PES 2017,” said Tomotada Tashiro, President at Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. “As 32 of the world’s best PES players gather to compete, our commitment to reaching new heights of realism and fun will also be demonstrated. May 27 and 28 will be a celebration of all that is great about football – and the first showing of PES 2017 will elevate the series to a whole new level.”

The top PES players from around the world will head to Milan for a two-day competition across May 27-28, where Konami will also debut an early version of PES 2017. With the previous two iterations securing the Gamescom ‘Best Sports Game’ accolade, Konami returns to the field with a game that builds on the strong on-field performance of its predecessors and with a detailed focus on control and reproducing the skills and possibilities afforded in a top-flight match.

Konami provided the following information:

Konami’s Fox Engine features a host of key gameplay advances. The focus of PES 2017 is the fun in playing against another player, and all the new features support this ethos. Central to the new game is ‘Real Touch’, which authentically reproduces a wealth of ways to receive and control a pass. Different players use varying techniques and Real Touch mimics these using complex ball physics and subtle control nuances as the pass is met. The new system is then complemented with the advent of the new ‘Precise Pass’ system. Precise Pass extends the Real Touch basis of using the ability of the player with the ball to determine the accuracy of each pass. The movement of the ball in relation to the position of the player and the intended target for the pass all contribute towards its accuracy, adding a genuine feeling of excitement when a defence is split with an inch-perfect ball. For a full listing of features and details on the newly announced PES 2017, please visit: https://www.konami.com/wepes/2017/

Taking place on May 27th – 28th, the 2016 PES World Finals of the UEFA Champions League eSports event give two finalists an incredible opportunity to play a match pitch-side at the Stadio Guiseppe Meazza (otherwise known as San Siro) stadium, ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final. The initial heats between all 32 entrants take place at the Terrazza Martini located near the UEFA Champions League festival area. Entrants are competing for a total prize pot of 23,000 Euro, with the winner receiving 15,000 Euro and tickets to the UEFA Champions League Final, with second and third place receiving 5,000 Euro and 3,000 Euro.

Following huge growth during the 2014/15 season, PES League is truly a global tournament opening the competition to players from Peru, India, and Saudi Arabia, and hundreds of thousands of people have entered this season. French reigning champion, Rachid Tabane, will return to defend his title, having emerged victorious in Berlin last year.

PES League originally started in 2001 by Konami as a national tournament in France, and later broadened its scope to become a full-scale global tournament. With the PES World Finals taking place on the same weekend as the UEFA Champions League Final, it’s one of the biggest football spectacles in the world and draws a great deal of attention each year.

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Huge appetite for foldable phones – when prices fall

Samsung, Huawei and Motorola have all shown their cards, but consumers are concerned about durability, size, and enhanced use cases, according to Strategy Analytics

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Foldable devices are a long-awaited disrupter in the smartphone market, exciting leading-edge early adopters keen for a bold new type of device. But the acceptance of foldable devices by mainstream segments will depend on the extent to which the current barriers to adoption are addressed.

Major brands have been throwing their foldable bets into the hat to see what the market wants from a foldable, namely how big the screens should be and how the devices should fold. Samsung and Huawei have both designed devices that unfold from smartphones to tablets, each with their own method of how the devices go about folding. Motorola has recently designed a smartphone that folds in half, and it resembles a flip phone.

Assessing consumer desire for foldable smartphones, a new report from the User Experience Strategies group at Strategy Analytics has found that the perceived value of the foldable form does not outweigh the added cost.

Key report findings include:

  • The idea of having a larger-displayed smartphone in a portable size is perceived as valuable to the vast majority of consumers in the UK and the US. But, willingness to pay extra for a foldable device does not align with the desire to purchase one. Manufacturers must understand that there will be low sell-through until costs come down.
  • But as the acceptance for traditional smartphone display sizes continues to increase, so does the imposed friction of trying to use them one-handed. Unless a foldable phone has a wider folded state, entering text when closed is too cumbersome, forcing users to utilize two hands to enter text, when in the opened state.
  • Use cases need to be adequately demonstrated for consumers to fully understand and appreciate the potential for a foldable phone, though their priorities seemed fixed on promoting ‘two devices in one’ equaling a better video viewing experience. Identification and promotion of meaningful new use cases will be vital to success.

Christopher Dodge, Associate Director, UXIP and report author said: “As multitasking will look to be a core selling point for foldable phones, it is imperative that the execution be simplified and intuitive. Our data suggests there are a lot of uncertainties that come with foldable phone ownership, stemming mainly from concerns with durability and size, in addition to concerns over enhanced use cases.

“But our data also shows that when the consumers are able to use a foldable phone in hand, there is a solid reduction of doubt and concern about the concept. This means that the in-store experience may more important than ever in driving awareness, capabilities, and potential use cases.”

Said Paul Brown, Director, UXIP: “The big question is whether the perceived value will outweigh the added cost; and the initial response from consumers is ‘no.’ The ability for foldable displays to resolve real consumer pain-points is, in our view critical to whether these devices will become a niche segment of the smartphone market or the dominant form-factor of the future. Until costs come down, these devices will not take off.”

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New exploit exposes credit cards on mobile phones

Check Point Security has found that handsets using Qualcomm chipsets that hold credit and debit card credentials are at risk of a new exploit.

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Now it’s more important than ever to update your phone.
Check Point security has found a vulnerability in mobile devices that run Android, which allows credit card details to be accessed by hackers.

Mobile operating systems like Android offer a Rich Execution Environment (REE), providing a hugely extensive and versatile runtime environment, which allows apps to run on the device. However, while bringing flexibility and capability, REE leaves devices vulnerable to a wide range of security threats. A Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) is designed to reside alongside the REE and provide a safe area on the device to protect assets and to execute trusted code. Qualcomm makes use of a secure virtual processor, which is often referred to as the “secure world”, in comparison to the “non-secure world”, where REE resides. 

But Check Point “fuzzed” a “hole” into this secure world 

In a 4-month research project, Check Point researchers attempted and succeeded to reverse Qualcomm’s “Secure World” operating system. Check Point researchers leveraged a “fuzzing” technique to expose the hole. Fuzz testing (fuzzing) is a quality assurance technique used to discover coding errors and security loopholes in software, operating systems or networks. It involves inputting massive amounts of random data, called fuzz, to the test subject in an attempt to make it crash.

Check Point implemented a custom-made fuzzing tool, which tested trusted code on Samsung, LG, and Motorola devices. Through fuzzing, Check Point found 4 vulnerabilities in trusted code implemented by Samsung (including S10), 1 in Motorola, 1 in LG, but all code sourced by Qualcomm itself. To address the vulnerability, the runtime of Android needs to be protected from both attackers and users. This is typically achieved by moving the secure storage software to a hardware-supported TEE.

Check Point Research disclosed its findings directly to the companies and gave them time to patch vulnerabilities. Samsung patched three vulnerabilities and LG patched one. Motorola and Qualcomm responded, but have yet to provide a patch, and there is no confirmation of a release date yet.

Check Point Research has urged mobile phone users to stay vigilant and check their credit and debit card providers for any unusual activity. In the meantime, they are working with the vendors mentioned to issue patches.

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