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Hard Reboot: The Excellent Season 2 Makeover of 'Halt and Catch Fire'
by Andy Greenwald
Grantland

Despite an interesting premise, AMC's Halt and Catch Fire never really took off during its first season. The show that chronicles the effort to reverse engineer an IBM PC in a Texas garage got a full revamp for season two, though, and Grantland's Andy Greenwald explains how the changes have drastically improved the series for version 2.0.

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From one bug-ridden console game to another -- Halo: Master Chief Collection owners should check their Xbox One inbox this morning, as redemption codes for the Halo 3: ODST add-on are going out now. Arriving as an apology for problems gamers reported with the massive Halo bundle since it launched months ago, ODST is a simpler update instead of a full rebuild, with all the original bits but running at 1080p and 60fps, and without the co-op Firefight mode. There's also an update for the main bundle that adds Halo 2: Anniversary map "Remnant" to the bundle and makes a few additional tweaks.

Halo Senior Communications Manager Rob Semsey confirmed the rollout on Twitter, so if you played the game between November 11th and December 19th last year expect a message (if you didn't, but still want the add-on, it will go on sale soon for $5). The title update is about 2GB plus 8.1GB for ODST so you'll have time to think -- is this reason enough to get back on the Halo bandwagon or are you through trying with Master Chief Collection?

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The launch of Ultra Street Fighter IV on the PlayStation 4 hasn't exactly gone as planned, with gamers complaining of input lag, shoddy netcode, glitches, a start screen that refers to a button on the controller that doesn't exist and other issues. Tonight Sony announced that a patch is "expected to land next week," but did not provide any other details on exactly what it's addressing. While some reported the issues waned after the game was fully installed, others still report problems. The PS4 was slotted as the system of choice for the Evo 2015 event in July, but event co-founder Joey Cuellar tweeted that it is "evaluating" what system to use.

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According to Bloomberg Business, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an incident wherein Google's solar-powered Solara 50 plane reportedly crashed shortly after takeoff. The event occurred on May 1st at a private airfield outside of Albuquerque and no injuries were reported. Recent Google acquisition Titan Aerospace built the 50-meter-wide (164 ft) drone as part of an ambitious Google plan to deliver global internet connectivity via stratospheric drones.

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A Black Hornet nano helicopter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).  The Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Air Vehicle measures around 4 inches by 1 inch (10cm x 2.5cm) and provides troops on the ground with vital situational awareness.  The Black Hornet is equipped with a tiny camera which gives troops reliable full-motion video and still images. Soldiers are using it to peer around corners or over walls and other obstacles to identify any hidden dangers and the images are displayed on a handheld terminal.

There's no standard set for the shape or form of drones, and the Army plans to use that to its advantage. Here's where the Black Hornet Nano comes in. This micro drone, designed by Norway-based firm Prox Dynamics, is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, measuring in at a mere 4 x 1 inches and weighing only around 0.04 lbs. What's more, the PD-100 UAV features regular as well as thermal cameras and has a range of roughly 0.6 miles -- in other words, it's perfect for those missions that require stealth surveillance.

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Google debuted its larger and more robust Cardboard VR headset at I/O yesterday, now it needs some apps that actually run on it. However, designing a program in a virtual 3D environment is quite different than designing one to run on a 2D touchscreen. That's why Google has also released the Cardboard Design Lab, an app that teaches you the basics of VR design from within a VR environment. The program runs through 10 fundamental design aspects -- from "Using a Reticle" and "Keeping the User Grounded" to "Guiding with Light" and "Gaze Cues" -- all from within the confines of the Cardboard headset. It won't transform you into an VR hacking wizard overnight (as it's not designed to) but CDL will give neophyte coders a solid overview of what they're getting themselves into. And while the lessons learned here can just as easily be applied to designing for the Rift as Cardboard, the app is currently only available on Android.

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Even though Google started the whole mobile payment thing years ago with Google Wallet, it never really took off with the masses. Google's newly announced Android Pay, however, might. Instead of relying on you to load the app and unlock it with a PIN, Android Pay lets you simply tap your phone on an NFC terminal to approve the purchase. In addition, Google is also allowing Android Pay to be integrated in apps like Lyft, Grubhub and Wish, so users can easily use that to pay for things. I just used Android Pay here at Google I/O, and I can say this: If it's as easy to use in real life, then I suspect mobile payments are about to be a lot more ubiquitous.

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Acclaimed developer Frictional Games has fully taken the wraps off SOMA, it's super-hyped new sci-fi horror title. The company, which built it reputation on terrifying first-person games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Penumbra, that focus on atmosphere, exploration and hiding (a lot of hiding). And you can expect more of the same from SOMA apparently. In the first extensive gameplay trailer released an unnamed protagonist wanders around what appears to be an abandoned factory, talking to a robot that thinks its a person, redirecting power through the crumbing facility and generally avoiding a frightening robot that's not terribly unlike the Big Daddies from the Bio Shock series. We won't spoil all the fun though. You can watch the full video after the break and pick up the game on September 22nd for PC and PS4.

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Wall of speakers.

Windows 10 won't have Media Center included but this week Microsoft revealed that it will have support for surround sound in some new ways, and it could make Netflix streaming even better. Beyond supporting Dolby Digital Plus in the Windows 10 OS -- similar to Windows 8 -- its Edge browser (formerly known as Project Spartan) will be the first one with built-in support for the surround sound audio codec. Microsoft and Dolby are explaining to developers how they can not only create 5.1 audio mixes for content, but also include the code to make it fall back to stereo on other we browsers.

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A line up of North Korean flags situated by the Taedong River near the Kim Il Sung Square. The flag of North Korea was adopted o

Iran wasn't the only country that had its nuclear ambitions targeted by a sneaky US cyberattack. It turns out the American government also tried to take down North Korea's nuclear programs with the Stuxnet worm five years ago, Reuters reports. But there was one major difference: That attack ultimately flamed out. While the US managed to get Stuxnet into Iran's nuclear facilities (reportedly by hacking suppliers), which ultimately led to the destruction of more than a thousand uranium enriching centrifuges, it never managed to get it into North Korea's core systems. It turns out having an extremely isolated network worked in North Korea's favor. That's particularly ironic since Stuxnet quickly made its way out of Iran and wreaked havoc across the web.

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