What is the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal?

As you may have heard, Volkswagen is embroiled in a growing scandal over the emissions produced by a diesel engine used in a variety of its models. It’s been less than a week since the news broke, and the company is already in disarray: the CEO is out, and many more senior executives are expected to get the axe on Friday and beyond.

But what exactly is the scandal? What happened, how, and why? Let us explain in a quick video — we promise it’ll only take two and a half minutes of your time.

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Author: Chris Ziegler

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Destiny Update Addresses Three of Coins' Effectiveness

Bungie today released a hot fix for Destiny, the most noteworthy aspect of which centers around the recently added Three of Coins item.

Most of update 2.0.0.4 deals with resolving various bugs. These include an issue with Year 1 Strikes not dropping Uncommon and Rare gear properly and another involving players who reached level 40 without first turning in the quest for hitting level 30.

But it’s the change to the Three of Coins that should be the most impactful part of the update. The Three of Coins is a new consumable item sold by Xur each week which increases the likelihood of an Exotic engram dropping from your next Ultra kill. Bungie says the item “now provides a smaller increase in Exotic engram drop chance when rapidly killing Ultras.”

This is likely in direct response to a technique that emerged last week shortly after the Three of Coins went on sale for the first time. This involved players killing a particular Strike boss with an explosive that also killed them; this allowed them to return to a recent checkpoint and kill the boss again, making it easy to rack up Ultra kills–and quickly earn Exotics.

If you’re using the Three of Coins in a more normal fashion, it sounds as if you shouldn’t expect to see a difference. “When used with more time between kills (for example, on Strike bosses), they remain as effective as before,” Bungie’s weekly update explains. It also looks as if there are more ways than we previously realized to earn Exotics.

The full patch notes follow below.

Destiny 2.0.0.4 patch notes:

General

  • Fixed an issue with Year 1 Moments of Triumphs in which Golden Chest node completions were disappearing after TTK release

Activities

Quests

  • Fixed an issue where players who reached Level 40 before turning in the Reach Level 30 objective did not properly receive the Level 40 quest
  • Fixed an issue where the quest “High Value Targets” did not correctly reward Legendary Marks upon completion

Strikes

  • Fixed an issue where Year 1 Strikes were not dropping Uncommon and Rare quality gear as intended

World

  • Some treasure chests in the Dreadnaught are now in a location that only allow them to be looted once per spawn

Xur

  • Three of Coins now provides a smaller increase in Exotic Engram drop chance when rapidly killing Ultras

Inventory

  • Dismantling leveled-up Exotics now have a reduced chance to produce 2 Exotic Shards

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Author: Chris Pereira

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White House considered bypassing encryption with malware disguised as updates

How do you serve a warrant on an encryption algorithm? For 20 years, governments have been struggling with that question, putting pressure on tech companies to build backdoors into security systems as the companies increasingly tell them it simply can’t be done. The tension has grown particularly strong after the Snowden revelations caused companies to tighten up, leading the government to look for ever more creative ways to break the deadlock.

A new report from The Washington Post details some of the latest ideas, including some that already have civil libertarians raising the alarm. The news comes from a draft memo from the president’s encryption working group, which was tasked with finding solutions that would be acceptable to tech…

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Author: Russell Brandom

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Minecraft Adding Oculus VR Support Next Year

Virtual reality support is coming to Minecraft next year, Oculus and developer Mojang announced this morning.

During the Oculus Connect conference today, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey talked about the time he spent playing Minecraft in lieu of college homework. This in turn led to him revealing that the sandbox building game is coming to Oculus.

Mojang’s Lydia Winters then appeared on-screen to share a few of the particulars. The Windows 10 Edition of Minecraft will add Oculus compatibility sometime next spring. This version of the game will be available from both the Windows Store and Oculus Store; you can also still get Windows 10 Edition for free if you own the previous computer version. Keep in mind that this VR version of Minecraft is not what Microsoft showed at this year’s E3.

Further details regarding VR support weren’t shared. We’ll have more information as it’s made available.

Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of Minecraft, canceled a planned Oculus VR version of the game last year after Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus.

Also during today’s Oculus Connect conference, Samsung announced a new, $99 Gear VR headset.

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Author: Chris Pereira

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Inside Epic’s incredible first attempt at real VR gaming

Walking through the darkened hallways of Epic Games, I know three things about the secret project I’m about to see.

The first is that it bears the promisingly straightforward title Bullet Train. The second is that it’s an experience built for Oculus Touch, arguably the most advanced motion control system that ordinary people stand a chance of using. The third is that it’s the biggest step Epic has taken into the emerging medium of virtual reality.

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Author: Adi Robertson

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