The New York Times feverishly reported on August 10 that the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is about to issue another scary climate report. Dismissing the recent 17 years or so of flat global temperatures, the IPCC will assert that: “It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010.”
At some level, you’d think that Twitter should have an easier job than most at thwarting spam. While you can get an e-mail address almost anywhere and use that to dispatch junk correspondence through carefully cloaked servers, you can’t get a Twitter account without going through Twitter’s servers and being counted in the exhaustive analytics the company runs to track what happens on its service.
Yet Twitter’s more than 200 million active users continue to see obvious fake users in their timelines, all proffering the same dumb come-ons—Weight loss! Make money from home!—as the cretins who have been polluting our inboxes for the last few decades.
A study presented at last week’s Usenix Security Symposium in Washington—“Trafﬁcking Fraudulent Accounts: The Role of the Underground Market in Twitter Spam and Abuse”—uncovered some contributing factors to the problem and found potential signs of hope.
If you’ve stuck with Diablo III this long (and bully on you if you have), chances are good that you’re desperate for some new content beyond grinding the end game for better and better loot and slightly increased stat numbers. Blizzard feels your pain. Today, the company announced an expansion called Reaper of Souls that promises to extend the game with significant new content past the already significant patches and tweaks currently available.
The most notable addition is likely the new Crusader class, described in press materials as a “warrior of righteousness” that uses “battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes.” (That Crusader is in no way similar to a plain old Paladin from Diablo II. Nope. No siree.) The expansion also introduces a fifth act to the game’s story and increases the base level cap to 70 (though the Paragon system already functionally raised it to 160, so…).
There’s a brief bit of Crusader gameplay in the video below, showing the new class charging into battle with a phalanx of clones and casting a lot of area-of-effect spells. There’s also a preview of an extended, pre-rendered opening cinematic, outlining some previous Diablo lore and showcasing a new flying antagonist (a “reaper,” if you will) wielding a pair of punishing scythes. Watching it won’t make the wait for the game’s still unannounced release date any shorter, but you should do it anyway.
The US soldier convicted of handing a trove of secret government documents to anti-secrecy website Wikileaks is sentenced to 35 years in prison.