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Rivals arrives next month

Electronic Arts has announced that Command & Conquer will launch worldwide on December 4, 2018 for Android and iOS.

This is a fast-paced, real-time strategy (RTS) action game built for players on phones and tablets. Command & Conquer: Rivals will become the next official EA competitive gaming franchise to roll out a complete competitive program, including community tournaments and a championship pro scene.

In Command & Conquer: Rivals, a real-time player versus player (PVP) game, players lead their faction to victory in the war for Tiberium. True to RTS classics, preparation and planning are as pivotal to matches as tactical execution. Unlike games with “drop-and-watch” mechanics, players in Rivals maintain 100% control of their units at all times, adding immense strategy and depth to a fun, frenetic and fair gameplay experience.

“We set out to build an RTS game for mobile players that thrives on head-to-head competition and where strategy and skill matter. With continuous unit control and intense battles where comebacks are possible, Command & Conquer: Rivals delivers this and more,” said Michael Martinez, Redwood Studios GM. “We’ve been thrilled to see the early response from players during soft launch. Player feedback has made the game stronger for our launch in December and we’ll continue to work with the community as we accelerate into esports next year.”

Rivals Champions, a new weekend mode available at launch, is a signature in-game competitive experience inspired by the immensely popular FIFA Ultimate Team Champions in FIFA and will serve as the first step in working with the community to launch a multi-continent esports program in 2019. In this mode, players will go on a run of battles, competing in a unique matchmaking pool – competition is segmented by rank to ensure players of all skill levels can thrive and win. The better they perform, the bigger the rewards. Players can also make a name for themselves atop the Rivals Champions leaderboards and distinguish themselves for higher levels of competition.

Rivals is competitive to its very core,” said Evan Denbaum, Command & Conquer: Rivals Competitive Gaming Commissioner. “We’ve been working non-stop to create the best-possible in-game experiences no matter what your skill level, and Rivals Champions is just the beginning. Most importantly, we’ll be listening to our players and their feedback as they jump in, and we’ll work together with the community to build a full-scale esports program.”

There’s still a chance to join in before launch. Pre-register on Google Play and get the chance to play by visiting https://www.ea.com/games/command-and-conquer/command-and-conquer-rivals. Players who pre-register will also receive a special, limited edition bundle to begin commanding their units, available at worldwide launch.

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Eugene Kaspersky posts from 2050

In his imagined blog entry from the year 2050, the Kaspersky Lab founder imagines an era of digital immunity

In recent years, digital systems have moved up to a whole new level. No longer assistants making life easier for us mere mortals, they’ve become the basis of civilisation — the very framework keeping the world functioning properly in 2050.

This quantum leap forward has generated new requirements for the reliability and stability of artificial intelligence. Although some cyberthreats still haven’t become extinct since the romantic era around the turn of the century, they’re now dangerous only to outliers who for some reason reject modern standards of digital immunity.

The situation in many ways resembles the fight against human diseases. Thanks to the success of vaccines, the terrible epidemics that once devastated entire cities in the twentieth century are a thing of the past.

However, that’s where the resemblance ends. For humans, diseases like the plague or smallpox have been replaced by new, highly resistant “post-vaccination” diseases; but for the machines, things have turned out much better. This is largely because the initial designers of digital immunity made all the right preparations for it in advance. In doing so, what helped them in particular was borrowing the systemic approaches of living systems and humans.

One of the pillars of cyber-immunity today is digital intuition, the ability of AI systems to make the right decisions in conditions where the source data are clearly insufficient to make a rational choice.

But there’s no mysticism here: Digital intuition is merely the logical continuation of the idea of machine learning. When the number and complexity of related self-learning systems exceeds a certain threshold, the quality of decision-making rises to a whole new level — a level that’s completely elusive to rational understanding. An “intuitive solution” results fromthe superimposition of the experience of a huge number of machine-learning models, much like the result of the calculations of a quantum computer.

So, as you can see, it has been digital intuition, with its ability to instantly, correctly respond to unknown challenges that has helped build the digital security standards of this new era.  

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M-Net to film Deon Meyer novel

A television adaptation of Deon Meyer’s crime novel Trackers is to be co-produced by M-Net, Germany’s public broadcaster ZDF, and HBO subsidiary Cinemax, which will also distribute the drama series worldwide. 

Trackers is an unprecedented scripted television venture and MultiChoice and M-Net are proud to chart out new territory … allowing local and international talent to combine their world-class story-telling and production skills,” says MultiChoice CEO of General Entertainment, Yolisa Phahle.

HBO, Cinemax, and M-Net also launched a Producers Apprenticeship programme last year when the Cinemax series Warrior, coming to M-Net in July, was filmed in South Africa. Some other Cinemax originals screened on M-Net include Banshee, The Knick and Strike Back. 

“Cinemax is delighted to partner with M-Net and ZDF in bringing Deon Meyer’s unforgettable characters and storytelling—all so richly rooted in the people and spectacular geography of South Africa—to screens around the world,” says Len Amato, President, HBO Films, Miniseries, and Cinemax.    

Filming for Trackers has already started in  locations across South Africa and the co-production partners have been working together on all aspects of production 

Deon Meyer, whose award-winning crime novels have been translated into more than 20 languages, with millions of copies sold worldwide, serves as a supervising screenwriter and co-producer; British writer Robert Thorogood (Death in Paradise) is the showrunner. The team of South African writers on the project includes the Mitchell’s Plain playwright, screenwriter and director Amy Jephta (Die Ellen Pakkies Story) and local writer/directors Kelsey Egen and Jozua Malherbe. 

The cast for the six-part miniseries includes Ed Stoppard, Rolanda Marais, James Alexander and Thapelo Mokoena. 

Trackers will make its debut on M-Net 101 in October 2019 and will also be available on MultiChoice’s on-demand service, Showmax. The six-part drama series is produced by UK production company Three River Studios as well as South Africa’s Scene 23. 

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