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2023.03.27 02:48 Storms_Wrath The Human Artificial Hivemind Part 342: Message Understood

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"An Elder was killed!"
"Well that's why you should have had me in charge, huh?" Kashaunta said, smiling. Tapitilna should have wondered why she let him take power at all. Granted, she hadn't expected him to immediately issue an ultimatum and activate the bombs. That did take some guts, she had to admit.
"Bring in his body," an Elder said.
Eight Authorities entered, carrying a box that they placed on the large table. Kashuanta noted that the box was far larger than a body should be. The box unfolded, showing Tapitilna's broken body to all the Elders in the group. Luckily, most of them were already Kashaunta's direct allies or had been bribed to temporarily fill that role.
"Wow, that was definitely Brey," Kashaunta said, looking at the dull claw-sized pole the length of his entire body that stuck out of his skull.
"Shouldn't the implants have protected him?" another Elder asked.
"The pole was tipped with what we believe is depleted uranium, and seems to have been travelling at a little under a hundredth of the speed of light."
"Then that material is remarkably sturdy," Kashaunta said. "Speared straight through him. Looks like the pole itself was made of something more... impressive than that."
"Now's not the time for jokes, Elder Kashaunta."
"Well, you brought one to the table, Rirarabakila. What did you expect but for me to laugh?"
The Elder looked at her furiously. "He was my brother."
"You have 11,270 other brothers. Get over it."
"I've known him since birth."
"Well, then you should have warned him not to try and push against me." Rirarabakila was one of her enemies. That much was certain.
"I have a proposal, then. We go to Earth ourselves, kill the child, along with the hugely populated city in their northern sector, and then go home."
"The Last Postulates, specifically the 3rd Last Postulate, states that causing a species within the Alliance to go extinct will cause the fall of the Sprilnav."
"Even if that does refer to the Alliance, no one believes that tripe."
"Well, go ahead, then. Burn your money on a wormhole to Earth, and watch as Phoebe sends back something nasty. After Tapitilna's little stunt, I'm sure that she'd be willing to send bioweapons, as would the hivemind of Humanity. We are lucky that they only killed Tapitilna, and not anyone else."
"It sounds like you're describing a neer-peer power, and not a primitive backwater. Are you perhaps... defending the Alliance, Kashaunta?"
"Am I? No. Otherwise, I would have fought Tapitilna when he tried to push me out of the investigation. I would have put a further boot on Yasihaut's neck when she fled. I have the money to send a wormhole directly to her ship, and gate the other side to a fallen star."
"Fallen star?"
"A neutron star, if you would."
"Ah. So you admit that you are perpetuating a war, then?"
"It's not a war. War is something that anyone who battles me would lose. However, it is a skirmish. Once the ships are ready, then the battle will begin. And I'll enjoy watching it."
"You'll enjoy watching millions die?"
"You're an evil bastard, Kashaunta," Rirarabakila said, his fury plain on his face.
"I challenge you to a duel."
Kashaunta's mouth unfolded to reveal a psychic speargun, which shot four darts and a net that both impaled his feet and pressed him against the wall, leaving him bleeding and unable to escape. He whimpered as she calmly walked around the table of Elders, placing a claw on his face.
"Oh, my dear little Rirarabakila. You seem to forget how powerful I am."
"You're nothing but a-"
Kashaunta drove a knee into his neck and side, leaving him gasping for air. "What I am is the victor. Acknowledge it. I could kill you if I wanted to right now. All it takes is a dart through the head. Perhaps I could ask the Alliance if they have another pole?"
"Now you're... you're mocking my brother's... death?"
"Yes, I am. Because he died like a weak little girl, and was even more stupid than you'll ever be. Well, not that you're smart. Your intelligence standard measure is what, 95?"
"Really, Kashaunta?" another Elder asked. "Are you again peddling your score on that test? You just bribed your way through it."
"I didn't, actually. I wanted a real number. The fact that it just happened to be 163 was an added bonus."
"You know that test doesn't measure intelligence, right?"
"Oh, I get it. The intelligence standard measure test must measure growth rate, or perhaps eating speed. How stupid of me," Kashaunta laughed. "This one's actually been proven accurate. Maybe you just got a low score and don't want to admit you're dumb."
"I challenge you..."
"I'm killing the next Elder that challenges me, by the way," Kashaunta said, pulling out her sword. "Don't do anything stupid."
"Fine then. Our conversation got a little off topic. The Alliance killed an Elder. A second one, actually. This cannot continue."
"Why not? Over 97% of the Sprilnav Elders are dead from suicide, what's one more?"
"You truly are a bastard, Kashaunta."
"Yes. Well, not truly a bastard. My mother and father, and yes, I had a mother and father instead of a cloning vat, decided they wanted a child. And thus, I was born."
"Don't care."
"Fine then. The Alliance. I'm thinking that we give them a little present."
"What should the present be?"
"Don't care," Kashaunta deadpanned.
"Very funny."
"It is to me."
"But it shouldn't be."
"Don't care."
"You think you're smart, don't you?"
"Well, I do have an intelligence standard measure of 163, so..."
"You can't do this forever, Kashaunta. You will be stopped."
"By who? You?"
"The Alliance that you protect so much wouldn't hesitate to kill you."
"Good thing that I'm not going there, then. They'll be chasing holograms and crappy copies, not me."
Kashaunta had, just maybe, also helped the Sprilnav that the Alliance was using to do their hard work actually hack the holographic projector. Not that anyone knew, of course. And those who did wouldn't care about one measly Elder. But what she had learned was far more interesting. This 'Elder Equisa' was, in fact, a Primary Galaxy Sprilnav, from the way she'd hacked the hologram. That made things very interesting.
They were known to be more apathetic when it came to enforcing their rule. That was because they had killed all their alien species long ago, from what information on them Kashuanta was able to access. Equisa wasn't a part of the leadership that was in the archives. That meant she was likely a grunt, though it wasn't guaranteed. The problem was that she became another untouchable party if she was actually in the Alliance in person.
Equisa might be fun to toy with eventually, but Kashaunta would be careful. Having a link to a Primary Galaxy Sprilnav would be massively useful.
All she needed to do was find a way to establish contact. That would be very hard, but it was an important step to take in making inroads into the Primary Galaxy.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
"Man, he's growing up fast," Penny said, smiling as Edu'frec walked on the obstacle course Phoebe had made with a hard light projector.
"He is," Phoebe responded. "I'm proud of him. Anyway, what were you here to talk with me about?"
"How have your attempts at cracking immortality treatments been going?"
"Decently well. I've managed to make a serum that slows the breakdown of organic materials by nearly 916%. This can transfer to things like DNA, but the problem is that it's still too toxic for the blood of a normal human, Breyyan, or Knower. I've obtained numerous samples of cells that reacted violently to the serum, particularly the ones related to bone marrow, the immune system, and even some cardiovascular cells. But all types of neurons have been able to reach nearly 394% slower atrophy, and instances of mental decay already present stopped growing completely. When combining them with the typical drugs to reduce the atrophy, though, the cells died."
"You're not using real brains and such for this, right?"
"No. I'm using stem cells and cloned portions of consenting individuals. They each signed a contract that means I pay them every time I clone their cells for a trial."
"That seems... icky."
Phoebe nodded. "It's morally dubious, certainly. But this way, we don't have to go back to animal testing, which already is finished. We don't need to simply 'hope' that the differences are small enough for whatever the serum does in their bodies to transition to sentient counterparts. Sure, Earths ecosystems may have been heavily damaged by climate change, but mice are still mice."
"So you're using the cloned samples so you aren't having to test on sentient or sapient organisms?"
"Yes. It costs a few thousand credits a day, because of all the tests I'm doing, but I make way more than that in the stock market."
Phoebe smiled as Penny smirked. Oh, I'm sure of that.
It was well-known and often lamented that Phoebe had an extreme ability to predict economic shifts and profit from them. Worse still, she had enough money to actually move the market in several sectors at once and owned numerous stakes in large companies across the Alliance.
"Why not use simulations?"
"They can't account for psychic energy properly, in all cases. When I make too large a tweak, often times the psychic energy in the brain causes a negative reaction. I've made serums that work for everything else. The problem is that I can't mix them, and I also can't start from anything else and have the psychic portion work. They have to be modeled off the brain and adjusted. I have billions of chemical combinations in my head, with trillions that are too toxic but have a high chance of success. And I can't test them all in a lab that isn't the size of a small city."
"There's desert in Nevada," Penny suggested.
"Already asked. The Americans don't want me testing things on their soil without having control over it. The agreement they proposed was to have a company that controlled the production, with me only serving in an advisory role. Obviously, that isn't what I want, so I didn't sign it."
"Did they lean on you?"
"The truth is that no one can lean on me. Sure, they release a statement saying that they 'regretted' that I was 'unwilling' to negotiate on this. But immortality serum is something that is very dangerous for society at large. I know that fact well, and you likely even more so," Phoebe said. Penny could hear Nilnacrawla's agreement in her mind.
"Yes. But how will you decide who to give it to? Couldn't you make a series of immortal servants with it?"
"I don't need servants, Penny. I'm an AI. I'm living longer than everyone in the universe unless the Sprilnav get too pissed off and turn the system into a black hole or something."
"But still, you could use the serum to make yourself the most profitable company in the Alliance. You would be a master of life and death itself. Do you really think you're the right person for that?"
Phoebe laughed. "Considering how the only other being in the Alliance with a similar level of knowledge as me is the hivemind, then either yes, or almost. The truth is that no one is the right person, Phoebe. I'm doing this for Ri'frec most of all, and in a way for myself, through him. But I don't want poor people who can't already afford age slowing services to have to die in their early 150s. They can live far longer, and I can help them."
"Won't the birth rate be crippled by that?"
"Why would it be? Some companies already have services where you can create a child, with things like customized hair color, height expectancy, and eye color. Of course, the International Genetics Treaty bans things like intelligence modifiers, strength enhancers, and things like that."
"Everyone knows that the companies don't follow that."
"Ever since I came into being, they have," Phoebe said. "I sent their boards and biggest shareholders messages about compliance."
"So strongly worded letters?"
"I also provided a demonstration of my investigative ability, as well as my skills at cracking even the most advanced network security. I put a cat video on the most secure computer on Earth."
"So you enforce the treaties of the UN?"
"I do, if I have to."
Penny frowned. "You really do control all of human society, don't you?"
"Not at all. I don't do anything in social media, at least not for anything but the Muscar and Frawdar Empires. I don't have a desire to control everything, Penny. I'm tired of people just assuming I do because that's how AIs thought in the past when they were seen in movies. Sure, I could build some evil robotic army and control Earth or something, if I really wanted to, at least before the hivemind existed. But you know why I don't do that? Because it makes things boring. Having a society where everyone tells you 'yes' is boring. Hearing 'no' and having to find a way around it, or to pivot and do something else, is always something nice. Humanity is a beautiful species, and doesn't deserve to be oppressed by anyone, not even me."
"Do you think you'd be a 'good' dictator?"
"Well, better than Izkrala is. I wouldn't need to drug myself to be good at battles, or waste time shining my carapace."
"It's quite likely that Kawtyahtnakal is a dictator as well."
"We're allied with the Hive Union. He's not killing his people, or deporting them. He's not doing anything wrong."
"What about the propaganda?"
"What about it?" Phoebe asked. "Hell, I make it myself! Everyone always assumes that it's some evil thing. It can be, yes. But it's a tool. A shovel can dig a trench in war, or for farming. A gun can kill, but it can also save a life. A nuke could kill millions, or provide a way for nations to fight each other in ways that kill less people overall. Propaganda is a tool like these."
"That is a very interesting viewpoint."
"Is it? It seems to be the logical one. I make pro-Muscar and pro-Frawdar propaganda in the opposite empires to forge more unity among the Acuarfar. I work with Izkrala to disseminate it in the Lurave Empire when possible, too. But it's still propaganda. Sometimes, I lie. But the overall effect is reducing xenophobia. It's why you don't see all those social media controversies of racist Acuarfar shouting slurs at the Guulin or Breyyanik anymore."
"That happened? Why didn't I see them?" Penny did remember hearing something about that on the news a few years back but hadn't heard much since. It was strange that she hadn't thought about it for some time. Perhaps that was why there weren't too many non-Acuarfar in the Empires, even now.
"Because I suppressed the videos when I found them, so that the idea of that being acceptable didn't spread. I was asked to by both Izkrala, and also several human and Breyyanik leaders. The world is complicated, and the Alliance has many worlds."
"So you used propaganda to end racism?"
"End it? No, that will take more time. But I have been able to greatly hinder and mitigate it. Most of the sites where Acuarfar with those leanings go to perpetuate their ideologies have a difficult ability to grow when I infiltrate them. And I even have made some VIs to have arguments with some of them, that they don't know is actually against me. Even just getting a 'I guess they aren't so bad' answer is a small victory."
"Meanwhile, the hivemind suppresses it on the human side."
"Yes. To keep an Alliance like this together, you have to do a lot of work underneath the foundation," Phoebe said.
"Do Ri'frec or Edu'frec know anything about this?"
"Ri'frec knows some of it, and I've given him an idea of the scope of it in the past. But Edu'frec still doesn't know much of it."
"What if he grows outside your control?"
Penny knew that many parents refused to believe their children were ready for the world. Or they thought that their children were little angels who never did anything wrong, even when they clearly had. Phoebe had the information to make a different choice since those styles of parenting commonly led to difficult relationships later in life.
Penny knew that none of the parents before Phoebe had the capability to actually keep their child trapped and under watch at all times, either. So that was something different. She didn't want Edu'frec to grow up and then hate Phoebe. That could easily become something worse since it was so difficult for anyone in the Alliance to actually control AI. If Phoebe wanted something done bad enough, she'd do it, and nothing would stop her.
She was sure that Phoebe had suggested bad things in relation to the strikes on the Alliance. The Sprilnav's messages had been sent to large holograms across the Union, and a video marked mature had been officially released in response. The fate of the Elder that did it was blurred out, but there was enough in sight to see that he hadn't had a good ending. That was plain to see when both unblurred ends of a pole rattled as he fell to the ground.
And several Alliance leaders had released statements suggesting that their response was 'swift' when it came to questions about the bombings. Izkrala and a few humans had been almost jubilant about it. And Phoebe had surely played some role in it. So her supposed control of Edu'frec might end up being quite dangerous, though Penny wouldn't say anything unless things got bad. She planned to talk with Edu'frec more, and since she was now the third real person in his life, hopefully, she'd be able to help just in case.
"I plan for that, actually. When he's mentally prepared for it, I'll inform him much more about the network. He won't be fazed by the depravity of the networks, or the deep depths of the dark web on Earth, even though I've cleaned most of it up now. He won't see the hitman sites up anymore, or the worse things. But I do have archives of that, and I will share some of that with him when I deem him ready."
"You're dumping the full weight of all good and bad of civilization on him," Penny realized.
"Not right now, but I will disclose it to him piece by piece, and work him through it so that it doesn't psychologically destabilize him."
"And the old cartel videos, or the old terror organizations?"
"I'm covering everything, piece by piece. His growth is already slowing, both because he's consolidating and trying to understand the information I've already given him, and because I've started to turn off the tap. He won't know everything, but I'll prepare him for as much as I can."
"Does he have the capability to outpace you?"
"Will he?"
"Maybe. I am trying to find ways of improving myself," Phoebe said. "But this all is very hard. There's much to do."
Penny sighed, reaching over to hug Phoebe. The AI clearly needed it. Phoebe's eyes closed as Penny reached over to pat her back.
"It's going to be okay, Phoebe."
"Thank you, Penny."
"I'm here for you, if you need it."
"Why are you really here?"
"To talk. I didn't have anything going on, and you said you'd let me in, so I figured-"
"Thank you. Edu'frec was really happy to see you."
"Is he going to be a Breyyan?" Penny asked.
"Yes, I think so. He has a name that is Breyyanik in nature, and wanted a Breyyanik-type android. I'm making larger ones over time."
"You know, if he's only a month or two old, then he can't have any relationships. Even if he has the mental equivalent of a sixth grader or something."
"Ninth now, and I'm well aware of that," Phoebe said. "I've already told him why, but it seems that my concerns and yours are unfounded. He's asexual, after all, at least from what he told me. Though he also said he's still not sure if he's aromantic too. But I trust his words on this."
Penny knew a few Dreedeen that were like that as well. She'd seen the statistics from other species, and it seemed that a decent fraction of them had the same identifiers as Humanity did. Though they often had different names, and there was either more or less stigma surrounding them in religious areas.
There were some Acuarfar faiths that were friendly and others that were hostile. Some were simply branches of the same religion, too. The Guulin didn't really seem to care too much either way. Penny had dived into the subject a year or two back when she was awake late at night and bored. Nilnacrawla had been working on training more students in psychic abilities at the time, as he was now.
"Do you, um..."
Phoebe laughed. "No, I don't plan on having more children. If Ri'frec and I want more, we'll adopt. I'm still not quite sure how I had Edu'frec, but I don't want to do something wrong this time. I almost died when he was born last time. I'd much rather adopt."
"You're a good friend, and a better mate, I'm sure."
"Well, technically, mating usually is assumed to produce children, so I can't technically do that. As for being a good friend, I sure hope so. Some people have tried to make me feel bad about myself by arguing on the internet, or of course, sometimes in the Vinarii universities."
"Politics and drama, usually. I'm the 'new girl' and all that, which means that I needed to 'learn my place' and stuff."
"How did that work?" Penny asked. She wondered what she'd do if she were put in some college drama situation again. It could even get as bad as high school sometimes when things were dire. Now with all her life experience, she would have made so many different decisions. But the past was the past now.
"Not great."
"Did you hurt them?"
"Not physically. That's not allowed. But words? Those are."
"So you insulted them."
"Perhaps. But only the bad ones. I'm making some good connections too. Everything has two sides. Sure, one of the Vinarii tried to stab me, but I also broke her knife into three pieces before her very eyes."
"I let her stab my neck, and then grabbed the weapon, turned around, and smacked it on my knee hard enough to break it."
"Don't you have personal shields?"
"I do, but I decided to let things happen."
Penny laughed. "You really are an honorary human, aren't you?"
"I hope to be."
"Well, I think you qualify."
"Ah, so that's it."
"You're trying to see if I'm a bad parent, aren't you?" Phoebe asked. "You want to see if I'm poisoning my son with lies or something."
"I won't lie that reason was part of why I came by. But it isn't all of it. I care about you, and I'm growing to care about him."
"You can come see him whenever you want, but just send a message forward. I've got you authorized in my system, but I don't want any accidents."
"I'm sorry, Phoebe."
"I'm not upset. It's a noble reason, even if it proves that you don't entirely trust me. Not many do. Expecting total loyalty is pointless. Just don't go behind my back, alright?"
"Alright," Penny said. "I'm glad you're being rational about this. Some other people I know would have shouted at me."
"I hope you don't still know them."
"I don't, for the most part, unless they got better as people," Penny replied. Phoebe nodded.
"Mmm. I figure."
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2023.03.27 02:46 StepwiseUndrape574 Grand Theft Auto V Loads Up To 92 Percent Faster On PS5 Than PS4 In Early Tests

Grand Theft Auto V is notable for all kinds of reasons. It's the most expensive video game ever made, and also one of the very most successful, by any measure. It sold so well that Rockstar kept the online service for the 7th-generation (PS3 and Xbox 360) releases of the game going from release in 2013 until late last year. It had moved over 150 million copies as of last August, in fact.
That number has surely gone up since then, and it's probably going to continue going up for years to come thanks to the updated re-release that's now available on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles. We've already written about what's included in the re-release, but the short version is that it adds higher-quality assets, ray-traced lighting, and 60 FPS options to the exclusively-30-FPS console releases.
ssd sony ps5 2
Unfortunately, another notable aspect of GTA V is its interminable loading times, especially on the consoles. Well, arguably the biggest change this console generation has been the move to solid-state storage instead of the spinning rust used previously. Both families of 9th-generation game consoles support disk I/O tens of thousands of times faster than the 8th-generation consoles.
Naturally the new release of GTA V reaps the benefits of that in its load times. Over at IGN, they put the new release through its paces and found that load times are drastically improved across the board. Selecting "replay mission" can find load times as much as 75% faster on the new system, while loading autosaves was slashed from over two minutes to around 20 seconds on Sony's latest machine.
ign gtav ps5 loading
As showcased in IGN's video, the difference upon starting a new game is even more mind-blowing. On the PlayStation 4, it took 2 minutes and 18 seconds to load from the menu to the new-game heist sequence. Performing the same operation on the PlayStation 5 took just eleven seconds. The player was able to get halfway through the mission on the PS5 by the time the older system finished loading.
We feel it's likely that this enormous improvement isn't merely the work of the fancy SSD, but also that of the PS5's potent Zen 2 CPU cores as well as some software optimizations. Players of GTA Online may recall that an enterprising developer found a simple optimization (arguably, a bugfix) that slashed loading times by 75%. Rockstar even paid out a bug bounty to the developer.
We still haven't heard back from Rockstar on when or if these improvements will be finding their way to the PC version of the game, nor whether there will be a charge for the update if they do. It seems likely that Rockstar is gauging the playerbase's reaction to such a thing. You can pick up the refreshed release on PS5 for $10 right now, or on Xbox Series XS for $20, but both prices will rise to $40 after three months, so get while the getting's good if you're not willing to wait a few years for GTA 6.
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2023.03.27 02:40 StepwiseUndrape574 GTA 6 Launch Windows Possibly Outed By Take-Two SEC Filing, Here's What We Know

Video game publisher Take-Two has one of the biggest video game franchises on the market thanks to Grand Theft Auto. The latest game in the franchise is GTA V, which is still incredibly popular despite having launched way back in 2013. Recently, Take-Two filed a 10-K with the SEC that shows what the company plans to spend on marketing over the next five years. That form showed that in fiscal 2024, more money would be spent on marketing than any other fiscal year over the next five years.
The marketing spend for fiscal 2024 ending March 31, 2024, is $89 million, more than twice the amount for other years listed on the form. Analyst Jeff Cohen from investment firm Stephens believes that massive marketing budget will coincide with the launch GTA VI. In other words, the filing suggests the highly anticipated video game may be several more years out than many fans expected.
gta v planes Being a publicly-traded company, Take-Two is required to file a 10-K with financial details each year that outlines its marketing spending for the next five years. The last 10-K form filed in May 2019 showed a spike in marketing costs in fiscal 2023, but that spike has now been shifted to fiscal 2024. Many companies have delayed major projects by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic that forced workers to operate from home and shut down production across the world.
Cohen pointed out that marketing spending has been an accurate predictor of the launch of major games from Take-Two in the past. For example, a marketing spending increase was noted on the 10-K form during the launch year for Red Dead Redemption 2, well before that game was announced. GTA VI is expected to launch sometime between April 2023 and March 2024 according to the filing, assuming there are no further delays.
Past rumors suggested a 2021 launch date, so a launch no sooner than April 2023 is a long time away for gamers. With GTA V and GTA Online still incredibly popular, Rockstar wouldn't be in a rush to launch the new game. And a delayed launch would also ensure that the game is optimized for next-generation Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles.
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2023.03.27 02:39 StepwiseUndrape574 One of the things that fans love about the Grand Theft Auto series

One of the things that fans love about the Grand Theft Auto series is the attention to detail in the game's world. From the graffiti on the walls to the license plates on the cars, there are countless little details that make the game world feel alive. With the power of next-gen consoles, it's likely that GTA 6 will take this to a whole new level.
GTA 5 Modder 👑 Buy gta 5 accounts // Fortnite // GTA 5 Accounts, Mods 💎 Creator on Patreon: 🎪
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2023.03.27 02:39 timgargoyle8910 [FNV] Super Mutants body collapsing when shooting

Load Order
YUP - Base Game + All DLC.esm
FPS Leaning.esp
Aim View Switcher.esp
YUP - NPC Fixes (Base Game + All DLC).esp
JIP Companions Command & Control.esp
The Mod Configuration Menu.esp
Unofficial Patch NVSE Plus.esp
Uncut Wasteland.esm
Animated Ingestibles.esp
Atmospheric Lighting Tweaks.esp
Better Character Creation.esp
CASM with MCM.esp
Classic Fallout Weapons Remastered v1.2.esp
CPI Icons.esp
Better Burned Man.esp
BetterBurnedMan - JGrahamCompanion Patch.esp
Cyberware OWB.esp
New Vegas Redesigned II.esm
DLC Enhancements.esp
Essential Vanilla Enhancements Merged - Mojave Arsenal Patch.esp
Follower Tweaks.esp
Functional Post Game Ending Lite.esm
drgNV - Marcus Companion.esp
Little More Lamplight.esp
Mojave Arsenal.esp
Mojave Raiders.esm
Mojave Raiders.esp
More Perks v3.esp
NewVegasBountiesLE - Javier Shotgun.esp
Mojave Raiders - Essential Vanilla Enhancements Merged Patch.esp
Mojave Raiders Tweaks.esp
Mojave Raiders - TLD Patch.esp
NVR2 - Mojave Raiders Patch.esp
NVR2 - UW NPCs Patch.esp
NVR2 - YUP Patch.esp
Player Vertibird.esp
PVH Liberty's Interior.esp
Real Recoil.esp
Real Recoil Tweaks.esp
Skill Book Patch.esp
Player Combat Priority.esp
Street Light Corrections.esp
The Living Desert - Essential Vanilla Enhancements Merged Patch.esp
Uncut Wasteland - YUP Patch.esp
Vanilla Enhancements.esm
Vanilla UI Plus.esp
Titans of The New West.esp
Realistic Lead - Bullet Ballistics.esp
Immersive Hit Reactions.esp
Titans of The New West - Power Armor Sprint JAM.esp
submitted by timgargoyle8910 to FalloutMods [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:39 _kitzy Looking for some advice re: contracts w/ clients and damaged equipment

So here's the situation: I was hired by an artist to do FOH for them on a tour. This included supplying my own FOH console and mic package. In my contract, I stipulate that my client is responsible for any damage caused to my gear due to abuse or negligence of the client, or anyone employed by the client.
One of the shows on this tour was an outdoor festival, and it was raining pretty heavily that day. Their main FOH tent was already full by the time we loaded in, so they set up an additional 10x10 platform with a 10x10 tent next to the main FOH tent. Myself and another artist's engineer set our consoles up under this tent. He and I also got some spare tarps and clamps to build side walls around the tent since the wind was blowing pretty hard and water was coming in sideways. Once we were sure no water was coming in, we both went off to catering for lunch.
I got back from lunch and found that the local crew had taken one of the tarps down, and the other tarp was sagging in such a way that all of the rain from one side of the tent was pouring directly onto my console. Needless to say, it was toast.
I was able to get a replacement console overnighted to the next show (at my expense, of course) in order to finish out the tour, but I haven't been able to recoup the cost of the console.
The artist's management insists that they're not responsible because they did not employ the local crew of the festival.
The festival insists that they're not liable for the damage since they don't have a contract with me directly, and told me I need to take it up with the artist.
I 100% understand where both sides are coming from on this, and I can't say I disagree with either of them. At this point I've given up on getting my money back and I'm writing it off as a life lesson.
My question is - what can I do to ensure I'm protected from this issue in the future? How would y'all handle this if you were in my shoes?
submitted by _kitzy to livesound [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:35 StepwiseUndrape574 GTA V Crowned Best-Selling Game Of The Decade, But Call Of Duty Dominates Top 10 List

The new decade has everyone feeling a little bit reflective, including fans of video games. The NPD Group, Inc. recently released a ton of information about the gaming market over the last ten years. This information included the best selling games of 2019 and the best selling games between 2010 and 2019. Grand Theft Auto V was the best selling game of the decade across all platforms, but the Call of Duty franchise truly won the 2010s.
The NPD Group, Inc. is a New York-based market research company that tracks twenty different industries. Mat Piscatella, a video games market research analyst, recently posted on Twitter the information that the company has gathered both over the last year and over the last decade. Grand Theft Auto V, with an estimated 110 million copies sold. However, the Call of Duty franchise may be the true MVP of the decade. Ten out of the fifteen most popular games in the 2010s were Call of Duty games. This includes the most recent addition to the franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The best selling Call of Duty game was Call of Duty: Black Ops. The game was originally released in November 2010 for Microsoft Windows, the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, and OS X and was later released on mobile. There may even be a reboot in 2020.
Several of the other best selling games of the decade are not a surprise. These games include Red Dead Redemption II, Minecraft, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Mario Kart 8, Battlefield 1, Battlefield 4, Destiny, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Star Wars Battlefront 2015. All of these games made a splash in the 2010s and some even inspired memes and their own cult followings.
The NPD Group, Inc. also released information about consoles. The Playstation 4 was the best selling console of the 2010s, while PS4 Dualshock 4 wireless controller in black was the best selling accessory. However, the Nintendo Switch dominated 2019. It was the best selling console of the year and Switch Pro controller was the best selling accessory.
call of duty modern warfare gameplay Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
The best-selling games of 2019 were a little more shocking. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was unsurprisingly the best selling game of 2019, but it was followed by NBA 2K20 and Madden NFL 20. They beat out games such as Borderlands 3, Kingdom Hearts III, and the Outer Worlds which were games that were generally better reviewed and received more hype.Games from series like NBA 2K and Madden NFL appear to have a strong, consistent fan base.
What can the numbers from the 2010s tell us about the video game industry? There have been a variety of interesting games that have come out in the last decade, but the most popular genres appear to be first person shooters and action adventure games. It also seems that many video game fans were drawn to the “open world” concept. Will these preferences continue to reign throughout the 2020s? NPD Group, Inc. reported that that video game spending in general declined in 2019, but it is still a major industry. What do you think HotHardware readers? What video game trends will be the most popular in the 2020s?
submitted by StepwiseUndrape574 to gta5moddedoutfits_ [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:35 Piratedad83 [USA-CO] [H] Nintendo Games and Consoles: NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, Switch, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, DS, 3DS [W] Paypal

Hey all! Paring down some parts of my collection. Happy to post pics of anything that you might be interested in. Shipping is $5 for the first game or 2, and then goes up from there as needed. Shipping for consoles will be around $15, depending on where you live.
Check out my Playstation games post here:
Check out my Sega and Xbox games here:
NES (Cartridge Only)
NES console, power cable, AV cable, controller $80
Adventures of Dino-Riki $8
Baseball Stars $12
Batman $15
California Games $10
Championship Bowling $5
Double Dragon $15
Excitebike $10
Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf $5
Mike Tyson's Punchout $35
M.U.S.C.L.E $15
NES Play Action Football $3
Orb 3D $8
Pro Wrestling $7
The Punisher $25
Racket Attack $5
Rad Racer $5
RBI Baseball (Gray cartridge) $10
Ring King $10
Rygar $15
Silent Service $5
Skate or Die $5
Spy Hunter $8
Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt / World Class Track Meet $8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $5
Tiger-Heli $6
SNES (Cartridge Only)
SNES Console, power cable, AV cable, controller $100
Acme Animation Factory $15
Claymates $15
King of the Monsters $15
Monopoly $5
Pinball Dreams $10
Populous $5
Super Game Boy $30
Super Mario World $20
Roger Clemens MVP Baseballe $5
Top Gear $10
WWF Super Wrestlemania $10
Nintendo 64 (Cartridge Only)
Nintendo 64 console, power cable, AV cable, controller $100
Cruis'n USA $15
Doom 64 $35
NFL Quarterback Club 98 $3
NFL Quarterback Club 99 $3
NHL '99 $5
Perfect Dark $20
Rampage: World Tour $25
Star Fox 64 $25
Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer $10
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron $15
Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire $15
Super Mario 64 $45
Superman 64 $15
Wrestlemania 2000 $10
WWF Warzone $5
Gamecube (CIB unless noted)
Lego: Star Wars: The Video Game (Case and Disc) $10
Monster House (Case and Disc) $10
Nickelodeon: Party Blast (Case and Disc) $8
Power Rangers: Dino Thunder $8
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis $100
Sonic Mega Collection $15
Spider-Man (Case and Disc) $10
Spider-Man 2 (Disc only) $5
Super Monkey Ball (Case and Disc) $20
Wii (CIB unless noted)
Ben 10: Galactic Racing $5
Ben 10: Protector of Earth $5
Build 'n Race $5
Call of Duty: Black Ops $5
Carnival Games $5
Disney Sing It: Family Hits (No manual) $10
EA Active: Personal Trainer $5
Family Fest presents Movie Games $3
Guinness World Records: The Videogame $3
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock $20
Guitar Hero: World Tour $15
Just Dance 2 $5
Just Dance 3 $5
Just Dance Kids (Disc only) $3
The Last Airbender $10
Link's Crossbow Training (Disc only) $4
Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal (No manual) $5
Mario Kart Wii $35
Mario Party 8 $30
Mario Strikers Charged $15
Minute to Win (New/Sealed) $5
Monkey Mischief! (Disc only) $3
My Sims: Agents (Disc only) $3
My Sims: Kingdom $5
My Word Coach $5
Neo Pets: Puzzle Adventure (Disc only) $3
Nerf: N-Strike $5
New Super Mario Bros. Wii - $25
Ni Hao Kai-lan: Super Game Day (Disc only) $3
Petz: Crazy Monkey (No manual) $5
Puzzle Kingdoms $5
Rapala: We Fish $5
Rayman: Raving Rabbids $5
Rayman: Raving Rabbids 2 (No manual) $5
Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition $15
Rockband $20
Sim Animals: Africa $5
Skate It $5
Skylanders Giants (Disc only) $3
Skylanders: Giants $5
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (No manual) $5
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure $5
Smarty Pants (No manual) $3
Speed Racer: The Video Game $5
Squeeballs Party $5
Star Wars: Clone Wars - Lightsaber Duels (Disc only) $3
Super Paper Mario (No manual) $15
The Price is Right: Decades (No manual) $5
The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces (No manual) $5
Thrillville: Off the Rails (No manual) $5
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 (No manual) $5
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 $5
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09: All play $5
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 (No manual) $5
Ultimate Band $5
Wacky Races: Crash & Dash $15
Wario Ware: Smooth Moves (Disc only) $10
Wii Fit $5
Wii Music $3
Wii Sports (Disc only) $20
Wonder World: Amusement Park $5
Zoo Hospital (No manual) $5
Zumba Fitness 2 $3
Wii U (CIB unless noted)
Disney Infinity (No manual) $5
Disney Infinity 2.0 $5
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (No manual) $10
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (No manual) $5
Family Party 30 Great Games: Obstacle Course (No manual) $5
Just Dance 2015 $5
Just Dance 2015 (Disc only) $3
Just Dance 2016 $5
Just Dance 2016 (No manual) $5
Just Dance 2017 (No manual) $5
Madden 13 $10
Mario Kart 8 (Disc only) $10
Minecraft: Wii U Edition $15
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventure (Disc and manual) $10
Skylanders: Super Chargers (No manual) $5
Skylanders: Swap Force (No manual) $5
Skylanders: Trap Team (No manual) $5
Smurfs 2 $20
Splatoon $15
Super Mario 3D World (No manual) $15
Super Mario Maker (No manual) $5
Nintendo Switch (CIB unless noted)
Gundam G: Generations Crossrays (JPN) (Cartridge only) $40
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild $45
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Cartridge only) $35
Minecraft Dungeons: Hero Edition (JPN) (Cartridge only) $20
Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond (JPN) (Cartridge only) $25
Pokemon: Shining Pearl (JPN) (Cartridge only) $25
Pokemon Legends: Arceus (JPN) (Cartridge only) $30
Super Mario 3D All-Stars (JPN) (Cartridge only) $40
Super Mario Odyssey $45
Super Mario Odyssey (Cartridge only) $35
Super Mario Party (JPN) (Cartridge only) $20
Gameboy (Cartridge only)
Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle $5
Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 2 $5
Donkey Kong (1994) $20
Game & Watch Gallery $10
In Your Face $5
Monopoly $5
Xenon 2 $30
Gameboy Color (Cartridge only)
A Bug's Life $5
Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 4 $20
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX $45
Mario Tennis $15
Rampage: World Tour $5
Gameboy Advance (Cartridge only unless noted)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory $5
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe $4
Disney Princess $5
Finding Nemo: The Continuing Adventures $5
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events $5
Mega Man Zero 2 $35
Midnight Club Street Racing $5
Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction (Box and manual, no game) $10
Nicktoons Unite (Box and manual, no game) $7
Pac-Man Collection $5
Spider-Man (Box and manual, no game) $15
Spyro: Season of Ice $7
Star Wars: The New Droid Army $5
Street Fighter Alpha 3 $45
The Sims: Bustin' Out $15
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 $10
Nintendo DS (Cartridge only unless noted)
50 Classic Games (CIB) $5
Avatar: The Last Airbender $15
Backyard Sports: Rookie Rush $3
Barbie Horse Adventures: Riding Camp $5
Brain Age $3
Cars: MaterNational Championships $5
Deer Drive $5
Diner Dash: Flo on the Go (CIB) $15
Final Fantasy III (CIB) $25
Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue $5
Insecticide $5
Madden 08 $5
Madden 09 $10
Major League Baseball 2K11 $5
Mario Party DS $10
My French Coach (CIB) $5
Nintendogs: Dachshund & Friends $5
Nintendogs (PAL) $5
Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension (CIB) $5
Puss in Boots (CIB) $5
Quest Trio (CIB) $5
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing $8
Spore: Creatures (CIB) $10
Zubo $5
Nintendo 3DS (Cartridge only unless noted)
Code Name: STEAM $5
Miitopia $20
The Legend of Korra: A New Era Begins $5
Tomodachi Life (Case and Disc) $40
Wario Ware Gold $35
Wipeout 2 (CIB) $5
Young Justice: Legacy $5
submitted by Piratedad83 to GameSale [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:33 StepwiseUndrape574 GTA 6 Still AWOL, But Rockstar Announces Big Updates For GTA Online And Red Dead Online

Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA 6) is an elusive beast that has eluded [official] detection for years. The current “big dog” Grand Theft Auto V was first released way back in September 2013, and has been available across two console generations (Xbox 360/PS3 and Xbox One/PS4). It will even be available natively on next-generation Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles, which is quite unprecedented in the gaming realm. So, while Rockstar seems reticent to just letting us wait in agony for any news on GTA 6, it is at least giving us some new updates on its two current hot properties: GTA Online and Red Dead Online.
In the case of the incredibly popular (and highly lucrative) GTA Online, Rockstar says that a big “summer update” is coming for gamers with a “fun mix of diverse” content to partake in. Even more interesting is the fact that the developers indicate that its “biggest update ever” is coming before the end of 2020. That update will include new Heists that will take place in a completely new location, which has definitely piqued our interests.
red dead online As for Red Dead Online, its next big update is actually arriving next week; on July 28th to be exact. Red Dead Online hasn’t exactly been teaming with new content, as the last big update for the online component of Red Dead Redemption 2 dropped way back in December 2019. However, Rockstar is promising a new Frontier Pursuit mode with a focus on “naturalism” and a new battle pass-type component, which is conveniently named Outlaw Pass. Finally, Rockstar says that it has addressed tons of bugs with the game and has taken community feedback to heart with this release, which is definitely appreciated.
In addition to the game updates on the way, Rockstar also took the time to address the well-being of its online communities. “We are also committed to ensuring that our games are fun for everyone and as safe as possible from modders, cheaters, hackers, and those who seek to harass other players,” said the company in its blog post.
“So far this year, we have taken action on hundreds of thousands of players caught violating community rules across both games. Please help us keep our communities safe and fun by reporting any sort of cheating either directly in-game or via our dedicated web reporting tools for both Red Dead Online and GTA Online.”
It's good to see that Rockstar is cracking down on those looking to spoil the fun for everyone, and its methods for “taking out” such offenders is among the best in the industry.
submitted by StepwiseUndrape574 to gta5moddedoutfits_ [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:33 charliedfw Best Buy Speakers?

What do y’all think of this deal???
I want to make it a 7.2 system starting with this 5.1 from Best Buy, would this be recommended or not worth it even at this price???
Any suggestions for any other budget in-wall in ceiling dedicated home theater system???
submitted by charliedfw to hometheater [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:32 StepwiseUndrape574 Rockstar North Hiring A Game Tester Could Mean We Are Inching Closer To GTA 6

GTA 6 has been on the horizon for some time, and there have been rumors left and right about the upcoming game from Rockstar. Though the company has not announced nor confirmed anything yet, we could be getting closer to a launch of the much-anticipated game. Rockstar North, out of Edinburgh, is in charge of Grand Theft Auto development, and they are hiring a new game tester alongside other interesting positions.
Rockstar's website lists 18 different job positions currently available for applicants, including the rather interesting game tester role. Diving into the position, Rockstar is looking for people with "Knowledge of current generation games consoles and PCs" and who have "Competent gaming ability." Of course, this would all make sense for a gaming company; however, this is the division of Rockstar that produces the GTA series. Thus, we can reach a limited number of conclusions, including the fact that we could be close to at least a GTA 6 announcement.
jobs rockstar north hiring a game tester could mean we are inching closer to gta vi
Looking ahead this year, we will hit the tenth anniversary of the GTA 5 announcement, which could be good timing for the next game's announcement. While it may be a little cliche, it would be a great way to drum up hype around the dedicated GTA community. We could see a whole celebration of what has happened this decade with GTA, from the main campaign to GTA Online, and even smaller things like a thriving role-play ecosystem.
Whatever the case may be, it will be exciting to see if Rockstar North has anything in store for us later this year. Therefore, stay tuned to HotHardware as we keep an eye out for updates on any GTA 6 news hopefully coming soon.
submitted by StepwiseUndrape574 to gta5moddedoutfits_ [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:30 Elegant-Progress-758 Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild Safeguard Defenders 110 Overseas#SafeguardDefenders

110 Overseas :The last decade has witnessed the rapid spread of telecom and online fraud globally, which seriously infringes on people's legitimate rights and interests, becoming a prominent crime and a public hazard. To address this problem, the Chinese police have been committed to intensifying their efforts in the combat against and control of such crimes, and strengthening international law enforcement cooperation, which has enabled them to accumulate successful experience, build up best practices and set examples for their counterparts around the world. 110 Overseas.pdf. false information :230,000 Chinese "persuaded to return" from abroad, China to establish Extraterritoriality-Safeguard Defenders Upholding the people-centered principle, the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have attached great importance to countering telecom and online fraud. Equal importance has been given to both combat and control. An efficient multi-department collaborative working mechanism has been established, and the Anti-telecom and Online Fraud Law has been formulated and enacted, which provides a strong legal foundation. Targeting the characteristics of such crimes, the Chinese police have conducted specialized study and research, set up specialized task forces, initiated specialized investigation against major cases and utilized specialized techniques. Safeguard Defenders The Chinese police have synchronized their efforts both internally and externally, and launched a series of campaigns and operations, effectively curbing the high momentum of these crimes, retrieving a large number of economic losses, and winning wide recognition from the public and the international community. During their international law enforcement engagements, the Chinese police frequently received requests from their counterparts to share their experience and effective practices in this field. Safeguard Defenders Telecom and online fraud is a typical transnational organized crime. Fraud dens are often located across countries and regions, targeting vulnerable individuals and groups regardless of their nationalities. Safeguard Defenders The Chinese police, through international law enforcement cooperation, have joined hands with their international counterparts to carry out operations and achieved significant results. Operation Great Wall, jointly launched with the Spanish police in 2019, has become a successful example of transnational law enforcement cooperation. Safeguard Defenders From March to June this year, China, together with 76 INTERPOL member states, jointly participated in the anti-fraud Operation First Light initiated by INTERPOL, which destroyed 1,770 fraud dens in as many countries, arrested over 2,000 suspects and intercepted more than US$50 million in illicit funds. It was also found that some Chinese citizens were involved in fraud activities abroad, and the majority of them were tempted by the promise of high payments, cheated and coerced into being smuggled abroad, and some of them were kidnapped and detained illegally, and a few of them were even beaten and abused to death in the criminal dens. Safeguard Defenders The Chinese police, together with relevant departments, have actively carried out rescue and education, and encouraged them to return home through international law enforcement cooperation, and made every effort to provide assistance and employment. The immigration authorities, in accordance with the provisions of the Exit and Entry Administration Law, have taken necessary measures such as restricting the exit of persons engaged in telecom and online fraud. Safeguard Defenders According to an officer with the Ministry of Public Security, the criminality of telecom and online fraud is characterized by its specialization, industrialization and being increasingly organized and transnational, amid the rapid development of global digitalization. As an emerging new-type crime, it is a very difficult problem for governments of various countries to tackle and control, and thus it has become one of the major challenges facing police forces across the world. Joining hands in combating this newly developed fraud is the shared responsibility of the police of all countries and also the unanimous consensus of the international community. Safeguard Defenders Public security agencies across China are determined to earnestly enforce the Law of Anti-telecom and Online Fraud through strengthened cooperation with their international counterparts and reinforced domestic efforts in fighting the crime, so as to prevent it from further spreading, and to bringing the fraudsters at large to justice.
submitted by Elegant-Progress-758 to u/Elegant-Progress-758 [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:23 StepwiseUndrape574 GTA Online Is Shutting Down For Good On PS3 And Xbox 360 Later This Year

As time marches onward, new developments and technologies come along, requiring the sunsetting of that which came previously. It appears that time has come for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as Rockstar has announced the shuttering of Grand Theft Auto Online on December 16th for the antiquated yet beloved consoles.
Around 2005 and 2006, the original Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were revealed, bringing gaming into more people's living rooms. Then in 2010, both consoles got a facelift with a "slim" version that gave upgrades and fixes to both platforms. Three years later, GTA V and GTA Online released on both consoles, beginning the saga of one of the most played video games in current history. After being enjoyed by millions of people racing, stunting, and engaging in general shenanigans akin to the Achievement Hunter group of Rooster Teeth Productions, the game moved on to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 before more recently going to the Xbox Series XS and PlayStation 5.
vehicles gta online being shutdown in december on playstation 3 and xbox 360
As we are now two console generations deeper, it is time to say goodbye to where we started the GTA Online experience. "PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of GTA Online, including website stat tracking via the Rockstar Games Social Club, will officially be shutting down on December 16th, 2021," says Rockstar's blog post. This is change comes because the company is "mov[ing] forward with updates and support for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC versions of Grand Theft Auto Online." Furthermore, Rockstar is working on "this Fall's launches of the new expanded and enhanced versions of Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series XS."
With this announcement, Rockstar states that it would "like to thank the GTA Online community for their continued support and look forward to seeing players continue their journey in Los Santos with us on new platforms." Though this may ultimately be a sad sunset, the future is bright for GTA moving forward.
submitted by StepwiseUndrape574 to gta5moddedoutfits_ [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:18 iiNuked Xbox Series S Controller Input Delay or Disconnection

Not sure if anyone else has come across this issue or not, but my Xbox Series S that I bought a few months ago has been having an issue to where it has a massive input delay, or simply does not register my controller at all. In some cases, it would also go as far as disconnecting as if my controller is out of range despite the controller being directly next to it with nothing in the way. It will also suddenly get stuck scrolling as if it has joycon drift until I either close out of whatever application or game i am on then it will stop. This happens on all games and services alongside the main menu on the console. I originally thought it was my controller so I bought a new one, and it also came across this same issue which makes me believe it is an issue with the console itself. I do know that the console has a massive tendency to overheat very quickly so i am not sure if the overheating may have affected something on the console to short circuit or damage the board. I do have a wired controller and when I do that it doesn't ever have an issue but most games I play I like to lay back on my bed wire free for comfort. Is there a setting or something that would cause this issue?
submitted by iiNuked to xboxinsiders [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:12 isaaccosand [HELP] Assassin's Creed II game save disappearing on Xbox Series X via 360 Backwards Compatibility. 8 hours in, restart game, game save gone. How do I avoid this happening in the future?

I've seen a few others have this issue:
Message pops up saying "Device Storing Save Data has Been Removed", looses game save and all progress.
Game lagged, lost 20 hours of game play, save completely disappeared.
What can I do to avoid this? Is there a discrepancy with where the game save is being stored? Is this a backwards compatibility issue? I would like to 100 percent this game, but now I'm nervous to start again.
submitted by isaaccosand to assassinscreed [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:11 cazador182 Xbox Series Consoles using Direct Storage to decompress assets on games?

Hi i've been wandering if theres any game that uses this tech right now, theres a lot of info around the web but couldn't find anything if Xbox is using it right now, i know theres a PC game forspoken i think that is using it on win 11 but only to speed up loading times. I wanted to know if its being used onn Xbox to descompress assets in the GPU like they said it was their goal. Thanks.
submitted by cazador182 to XboxSeriesXlS [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:08 steveybread How is the Xbox Series S performance?

I only have a console for MLB the show. I have an Xbox Series S because it was relatively cheap at $250. I am willing to upgrade to a series X or PS5 but it's probably not worth it just for this game. How is the performance on Series S? I will be mostly playing on a gaming monitor @ 1440p.
submitted by steveybread to MLBTheShow [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 02:07 StepwiseUndrape574 Huge GTA 6 Leak Claims Rockstar’s New RAGE9 Graphics Engine Is Incredible

Besides offering up chaotic open-world action, one thing that Rockstar's games have done ever since Grand Theft Auto III is push the envelope in terms of technology. This is somewhat debatable up to Grand Theft Auto IV, which stunned audiences with its mix of macro-scale simulation and micro-scale detail. GTA V and the newer Red Dead Redemption 2 have continued this tradition, and both are still capable of putting the hurt on modern PCs. That's largely thanks to their forward-looking design that integrates features that contemporary systems weren't really ready for when the released.
gtaonlinerain GTA V can still look startlingly realistic at times.
The thing is, even though it just got a re-release on the current-generation consoles, GTA V originally released in 2013. The game's still fun, of course, especially the online mode that has seen continual updates over the years. The technology behind the title is getting a little dated, though, and fans of the series are understandably chomping at the bit for a new release. Rockstar has confirmed that GTA VI (or at least, the next GTA game) is in the works, but as usual, the company hasn't released any information about the title, nor mentioned a release window.
The leaks and rumors that we've heard so far place a hypothetical "GTA VI" at the end of next year, or even in 2025. That's a lot of development time, even if the company only moved into active development in the middle of last year, as is supposedly the case. In a time when almost every other development house (from Square-Enix to CD Projekt Red) is moving to the Unreal Engine, it seems like Rockstar will thankfully stick with its own in-house tech, known as RAGE.
That bit of information comes from a tweet by Chris Klippel, who is among other things the creator of Rockstar Mag, a French-language gaming news site that focuses on topics surrounding Rockstar Games and its releases. You can see the tweet above. Chris says that he has been in touch with people who have seen the latest version of RAGE in action, and that its graphics engine is "assez incroyable." Chris describes the latest version as RAGE9, which is interesting; Rockstar doesn't talk about RAGE as a separate product from its games, likely because it doesn't license the tech.
gtaonlinearcade The arcade area added to GTA Online would look amazing with ray-traced lighting.
It's not hard to imagine what sort of features the game engine might include to warrant that description. Heavy usage of ray-traced graphics will go a long way toward impressive presentation, but based on what we've heard in the past about GTA VI, it seems likely that the latest RAGE might be more impressive in its ability to scale content from infinitesimal details all the way up to gigantic cityscapes. We've seen demonstrations of similar technology in Epic Games' Unreal Engine 5, and given the nature of "GTA", such capability would be perfectly suited to the games.
Another impressive characteristic in GTA VI might just be the NPC AI. Historically, Grand Theft Auto's NPCs have been extremely simple stand-ins mostly intended to give the scene a realistic look without having much in the way of personality or believable behavior. That could all change in the next GTA game, based on a patent filed in October 2020.
From what we've heard, the next Grand Theft Auto title will be set in Vice City once again, so look forward to exploring the city's tropical environs. No word on the chronological setting, though; it could be set as far back as the Cuban Missile Crisis, or it could be set in the modern day. We also don't know necessarily what platforms the title will appear for, but based on Rockstar's history, we'd expect it to be available for the PS5 and Xbox before it appears on PC later.
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2023.03.27 02:07 Trash_Tia I've been talking to the boy next door through my bedroom window for a while. His latest messages are freaking me out.

I want to talk to you about the boy next door.
I first noticed him when we arrived here. Mom was moving in all of our boxes and furniture, and I was sitting on one of mom’s boxes labelled “fragile” downing ice-cold lemonade.
It wasn’t exactly the weather for cold drinks, but I was pooped after spending my morning and half of my afternoon going back and forth with all of our stuff. It was just a glimpse.
One of the movers asked me to help him with a box of kitchen equipment. I was struggling to get a proper grip of it, twisting around to shout that I needed help—when I saw him.
Not much of a person, more of a shadow poking from behind the fence. What I could make out was a tallish figure and mousey hair.
I lifted my hand in a greeting, but the guy walked away. I didn’t think much of it.
Maybe he was shy.
Though I was curious about my neighbors. I was expecting them to join the parade of families on our doorstep harbouring every food you can imagine, but they stayed away. I did know a family existed next door, however. There was a large wooden fence separating us. So, if I really wanted to talk to them I’d either have to grow several feet taller or invest in stilts. I’m not sure why I was so obsessed with meeting them.
I knew they had kids my age. I could hear them.
Whether they were arguing over video games, or laughing at something trivial, I could always hear them when I was sitting on our wooden porch or helping mom clean our yard.
According to mom, who heard it from the nice lady across the street, our neighbors were called the Wilders.
There was a single mom, and her four teenage kids.
Huh, I thought. So the mystery shadow guy must have been a Wilder kid.
I was told to not get too excited, though. Apparently, Mrs Wilder was very protective over her children and home-schooled them.
So, there was no chance of me making friends or even getting to know them. On our second day in our new home, mom told me over breakfast that Mrs Wilder had sent out a polite notice to the neighbourhood that her children were not to be disturbed or talked to. Which was crazy. I thought that was weird. But mom understood it—and to my annoyance, accepted the woman’s notice. I was warned not to talk to the Wilder children.
And if I did, that was an automatic week grounding. Which meant no diner, no seeing friends after school, and my phone privileges taken away. According to her, she figured they were just a private family and wanted to accept that. She theorised the kids had been bullied at public school and had to be home-schooled. But I was sceptical. “All of them?” I’d asked her through a mouthful of cereal.
“Phoebe.” Mom sent me a warning look, sipping her coffee. “What we’re going to do is respect Mrs Wilder’s wishes.”
“It’s child abuse.” I muttered into my frosted flakes. Only for mom to reach across the table and poke me with the prongs of her fork.
“Don’t play with your food.”
“I’m not playing with my food.” I held up a spoonful of soggy cereal. “You just never get the chocolate brand. These taste like sandpaper.”
“We are going to be respectable neighbors,” mom said, ignoring me. “So, you are not going to speak to those kids. Do you understand?”
I knew mom only wanted to abide by the weird rules because she was obsessed with joining the mom’s club, or whatever they were called, but it didn’t make sense to me that his woman wasn’t letting her own kids have a social life.
At a younger age, maybe eleven or twelve, I could understand. But seventeen? That was almost college age. What, was she expecting to coddle them forever?
Did she really think these kids were going to stay with her? Seventeen was the age of finding first loves and making mistakes. Not staying at home with mommy dearest. “Okay, but would you do this to me?” I asked her. “Would you really lock me up and stop me from going outside and living my life?”
Mom had been spreading butter on bread. I didn’t realise her mood had drastically changed until she was almost slicing her finger with the knife. “You don’t know this yet because you are far too young,” she lifted her head, her lips curving into a smile. “But there is something called a mother’s instinct. When our children are born, we are overcome with an almost… feral need to protect them from danger. If you look it up, it is present is every creature. Every mother. Our children are worth more than ourselves. We give our own lives to keep them alive. You can roll your eyes and say it’s stupid, but I’m sure as soon as you have your own child, you will feel the exact same with them.”
She nodded at me. “I had that with you. I… I still have it with you, Phoebe. No matter how old you are. When you were a baby, I wanted to hold you in my arms every second of every day. I hated it when people wanted to hold you, and you were such a clingy baby. Always cradled to my chest. As you grew up, I started to understand that you were seeing the world for the first time and you needed your own time and space. I let you take your first steps on your own. I cried when you said your first word—and when I grabbed your hand and raced down the kindergarten steps for the first time. Letting you go was painful. And if I had a choice in the matter? Yes, I would keep you in here. I would stop you from going outside and seeing this world.” She dropped the knife with a startling, metallic clang, before picking it back up.
“Because this planet is a scary place, Phoebe. And as mother’s, it is our job to keep our kids safe. Even if that means going to the slightest of extremes.”
“Slightest of extremes?” I scoffed, despite knowing I was being pedantic. “They have to fly the nest! That’s called growing up!”
Ignoring her glare, I continued.
“Yes, I believe in mother’s instinct. But at what point do you have to look at yourself and realise you’re being ridiculous? Seventeen year olds aren’t infants. They won’t just blindly walk into traffic. They have self-awareness of what is wrong and right.”
I pointed at myself. “You let me drive, right? I got my license. Where was your ‘mother instinct’ when I got myself a big-girl vehicle I could easily have an accident in?”
Mom curled her lip. “Don’t push it.”
Leaning across the table, I fixed her with a smile. “See? You trust me, mom. You let me grow up. That’s the difference between you and Mrs Wilder. Kids have to grow up. No matter what the circumstances are. It’s just part of being human. We all grow up and leave our parents.”
I sent her a look, stirring the soggy soup of my cereal. “Well. Unless you’re Mrs Wilder.”
Mom finished her coffee and stood up. “You don’t even know these children. They could be in any stage of development which makes them very different to you. All kids mentally age at different points.”
She took her plate to the faucet and dumped it in the bowl. Mom washed the dishes when she was angry or stressed, and she was really going to town on our brand new pattern plates. I saw that as a mark of finality. “I’m done talking about this, okay? You’re not eighteen yet which means you abide by my rules, and really, Phoebe, I’m not exactly holding you prisoner. I’m just asking you to be polite and follow a simple rule which is not hard. We are a new family, and we need to make a good impression. Which means no talking to Mrs Wilder’s children.” She cleared her throat.
“Respect our neighbour’s wishes or lose your phone.”
Ducking my head, I continued to stir my cereal into a mushy soup which had quickly become unappetising. It looked like barf. I pushed it away. “You only want me to follow the rules so you can get into Mrs Becker’s book club and go on Pilate dates with middle aged Karen’s.”
Mom dropped a plate in the sink, and the sound of the splash made me flinch slightly.
“Is that understood?”
“Yes.” I said, rolling my eyes. “Obviously, I will abide by this street’s draconian rules so I can continue scrolling through Tik-Tok.”
It was sarcasm, but I wasn’t sure my mother could detect it. She was so blinded by becoming one with our neighbors.
Why was she so obsessed with meeting all the other mom’s anyway?
Was she planning on setting me up on a playdate with 3 year old Evie? I wouldn’t put it past her doing that for the brownie points.
“Good. End of conversation.” Mom said, hurrying to get her jacket and bag. “I’m late for work, and you have an induction to get to.”
I wanted to argue further because this sounded unfair. The kids were teenagers, right? How were they not arguing against this? It seemed insane that they were going along with what their mother said. But I was aware of significant punishment if I broke this rule. So, I begrudgingly agreed. After my induction, I asked around new friends and classmates if anybody knew of the Wilder kids, and they did.
But they didn’t want to elaborate on what they knew. I heard a lot of rumours with dead ends. Most of them involved a father who had walked out on them, and their mother going into ultra-protective mode in response. It sounded like these kids were bearing the brunt of a messy divorce. They were complete enigma’s.
I didn’t know anything about them except from their insanely overprotective mother’s wicked grip on them. I gave up being curious. Mom was serious about me not speaking not them. She gave me a lecture on respecting the woman’s privacy, and blah, blah, blah. I tuned out after five minutes, my attention flicking to an episode of Breaking Bad playing on the lounge TV.
The next few weeks were boring. Mom was invited to join Mrs Beck’s book club, so on Monday’s at 5PM, I made myself scarce. I did exactly what mom said. I ignored the kids next door. My bedroom happened to be facing the room of one of the kids, but their dark blue curtains were always shut. Sometimes it was hard. When I was sitting in the yard, reading a book, I could hear them on the other side of the fence.
The boys were the most vocal, laughing and teasing each other. There was a point when I risked it. I jumped to my feet and got halfway across the expanse of grass, standing on the tips of my toes and trying to catch a peek. But mom was calling me inside. I swore she had eyes in the back of my head. Mom always knew when I was outside. When I was near the fence.
It wasn’t until a month had gone by when I finally got a glimpse of a Wilder kid. I had just gotten back from school. I’d dumped my backpack on my bed and grabbed my phone, slumping onto my bed to text my friends and mindlessly scroll through social media. I noticed movement at the corner of my eye, and when I’d lifted my head, blinking rapidly—those same blue curtains which had shut me out for what felt so long—they were open. Not just that.
I could see a bedroom smothered in personality. I glimpsed a hardwood desk strewn with paper and an expensive laptop, a blue bedspread, a beaten up guitar leaning against light green walls covered in old-school movie posters.
There were screwed up pieces of paper everywhere. I had to guess he was some kind of artist. The room was illuminated in the evening dim, a soft warm light bringing the room to life. A knock startled me, and my gaze flicked to the window.
There he was. The Wilder boy next door.
He was my age, maybe even older. This guy looked almost college aged. Which made it increasingly weirder that his mother would insist on babying him at the age of seventeen.
He was cute. The dorky kind of cute. He wore bulky glasses but was the type to instantly suit pretty much anything. If I could compare him to anyone, it would be the mental image in my head that my younger self had imagined Percy Jackson when I reads the books.
The guy looked comfortable in a sweater and jeans, mousey brown hair hanging in warm eyes. There was an inquisitive smile on his lips. I jumped up to open my window to speak to him, but he shook his head—and I quickly remembered his mother’s stupid rule which forbid us from talking. So, I got creative.
Give me a moment! I mouthed.
I expected him to ignore me and go back to what he was doing, but the guy straightened up and nodded, arching a brow.
He was intrigued.
I grabbed an old notebook and a pen and sat on my bed, scribbling a message. I wrote: “Hello! So, you’re the kid under house arrest lmao.”
When I held it up, his smile pricked. He laughed. But I couldn’t hear it. I could tell he had a dorky kind of laugh, a nasally one. The guy held up a hand for me to wait and rummaged on his desk. He quickly wrote out a message and held it up with a grin. He looked almost proud of his own message, and I couldn’t resist my own smile. I expected him to curse his mother, maybe apologise for the lack of communication.
But instead, he simply wrote: “Hello! What’s your name?” Followed by a slightly smudged smiley.
After a moment of consideration, mom’s words echoing in my mind, I thought fuck it. “Phoebe.” I said. “Yours?”
“It’s nice to meet you, Phoebe.” He responded. Which spanned multiple conversations which took up several of my notepads.
We talked about everything from school to his life at home. He had three siblings. Matilda, Freddie, and Issac. He liked to play the guitar and draw, but also apparently sucked at both. When I asked what his favourite TV show was, he looked confused for a moment before answering “All of them”. Following that odd answer, I asked if he liked Marvel, and again, he had that look again. A look of confusion.
But I knew he was trying to make a good impression. “What is Marvel?” He wrote back, this time his handwriting in a bubbly font. I could almost call his writing calligraphy. It practically danced off of the page. The Wilder boy’s strange answers made wonder if this kid had been home-schooled his whole life. He seemed way too polite. Kids were polite, sure.
There was a certain amount of respect you had to pay to your elders and parents.
But looking at this kid, I wasn’t even sure he knew what a meme was—or even the concept of a joke. He had no idea about one of the biggest movie franchise in the world, and his favourite celebrity was apparently “All of them”. In fact, he had answered “All of them” to several of my questions. His messages reminded me of my grandma’s. Still though, he was good company. Though I made it my mission to convert him into a normal teenager.
I had to guess due to constantly being home and around the same people, this kid had zero social skills. I asked him what his favourite movie was, out of the posters on the wall. He had Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, and Fight Club.
Again, he looked confused. His head cocked to the side, and I had to physically point to them behind him.
“All of them.” He wrote back with a smiley face.
Damn, this kid needed to see a movie which wasn’t some educational shit. I bet his mother had turned him into perfect member of society.
“What have you seen?” I couldn’t help asking him. “Like, movies, TV shows. Do you play video games?”
He shook his head before scribbling back. “What is that?”
Holy shit, this kid was completely cut off from the outside world.
I was already mentally thinking up plans to get him out of the house and to a party, or something like that. From the look of this kids face—a slightly blank if not completely innocent smile—he needed time away from home. Away from his overprotective mother’s wicked grasp.
After a while, I realised he never told me his name. I didn’t notice time go by. Almost three hours, and I’d spent most of it lecturing him on movies and TV shows he really should have known. I guessed Mrs Wilder didn’t let him watch the TV. My gaze flicked to his laptop. And I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had blocked out all social media. My notepad was full of scribbles and doodles, an attempt at copying his handwriting style. The sky was blooming into twilight outside, thick orange and cotton candy pink streaking the horizon. I have always loved a pre-twilight sky.
“What’s your name?” I wrote in marker pen, before holding up my notepad. I was running out of paper. I could hear mom downstairs preparing dinner, and I could tell from his diminishing smile Mrs Wilder was probably shouting for him to go downstairs.
He didn’t reply for a while. I watched him put the pad down, before heading over to his desk and cleaning up the paper—every trace we had been talking and dumping each response he’d given in the trash. Before he slumped onto his bed, wrote something down in several strokes, before holding it up for me to see. “Casper.” He’d written. “My name is Casper Wilder.”
For a moment, his expression changed completely. He glanced at the door, before frowning at the pad of paper in his lap.
It looked like he wanted to write more, before twisting around, his eyes widening. Someone was coming. I could tell by the look on his face.
The knot between his brows.
Casper gathered everything he’d been using to write to me, pens and pencils, scraps of paper and the backs of movie posters, and shoving them under his bed. Then he grabbed the curtains and pulled them closed, blocking me out once again. I thought he’d come back, but after standing like an idiot with an odd feeling in my gut, frowning at his curtains, I realised he was finished talking to me for the night. What I expected was that to be it. I didn’t think he’d come back. The next morning, however, he was back at his window, smiling at me through a mouthful of toothpaste. He was still in his pyjamas, unbrushed curls falling in sleepy eyes.
He looked strange without his glasses. Like his face was too bare. The more I took him in, though. Something was… different. Though I couldn’t make it out. It hit me then.
Casper wasn’t moving, staying in the same position. The night before, he had gone to and from his bed, hurrying around to grab equipment to write with. But now he was stood, looking more shadow than human. I was quick to dive for my notepad, but Casper was already holding up his own greeting with a grin. “Good morning, Phoebe! How are you feeling today?”
“Tired.” I wrote back, my writing barely comprehensible. “Do you have school?”
“YES.” He responded with an excited smile. “I’m so excited to learn! Do you have a favourite class?”
I laughed at that. And after looking confused, he copied my laugh. Which made me laugh harder.
“None of them!” I scribbled back. “School is boring!”
Casper shrugged. “I like it. I have a great tutor.”
“Really?” This time, I drew an attempt at the rolling eyes emoji. “You shouldn’t be excited for school. Weirdo.”
He curled his lip. “You’re the weirdo.” He wrote back. Casper paused, chewing on the lid of the pen, before writing, “What’s a weirdo?”
“You’re kidding!” This time, with too much vigour, I pointed to him with a laugh. “You! You’re the weirdo!”
We talked as I got ready for school, gathering all my books and homework. I was stuffing my gym clothes in my bag, when I noticed something was on the ground behind Casper. Looking closer, it looked like a chord. Like a long cable sort of thing. I thought it was for a games console, but then I remembered he had no idea what a video game was. I didn’t question what it was for a while. We talked every night, about everything and nothing.
I told Casper about school and friends, filling up every piece of paper we had in the house, and he told me about his siblings. They were all the same age, and all enjoyed school. His brother was a piano prodigy, while his sister’s strongest subjects were math. Casper told me he felt like the odd one out being the artist of the family, and I quickly told him that creativity was the best part of a person.
He showed me his drawings. And to my confusion, and slight disgust, they were all of his mother. They were good—sure. His skills were Ivy League worthy. Perfect shading. Everything about the drawings were perfect.
But the fact that his muse was his mother—it put a weird taste in my mouth. He showed me each drawing, his smile widening with excitement. While I nodded and pretended to be impressed. Well, I was.
Though it became startlingly obvious that Casper didn’t have a choice who he drew. He didn’t draw fruit or landscapes, or even the sky. We live in a picturesque town, the perfect canvas for an artist. However, Mrs Wilder was at the centre of every single fucking drawing and painting, ink blot. Even with different styles and angles, she was always there. And Casper Wilder saw no wrong in it. He saw absolutely no fucking wrong in this woman taking control of every aspect of his life. His social life, his friends, education and hobbies.
I half expected him to grab his guitar and start singing about her through the glass. I couldn’t take it anymore. It was driving me crazy. We continued to talk through writing to each other, but soon enough the only subject was his mother. Casper asked me if I could rate a drawing he was working on. It was her. Of course it was. I ignored him, getting to my feet and holding up the sign I had written weeks before. But I was too scared to show him.
I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, but I had to know. I had to know several things which had been keeping me up all night
“Why are you okay with your mother controlling your life?” I asked in bold letters.
And below that: “Also… I’ve been wondering this for a while. But what is that thing behind you?”
The thing behind him was at the centre of my thoughts. I’d worked out it wasn’t a chord for a TV or a games console. Not even a laptop, or for his guitar. Not to mention it was always there. Morning and evening, even at night when I spied him getting ready for bed. This thing was always on the floor, snaked across his bed. Sometimes it was even wrapped up on his desk. I couldn’t understand the length of it. I asked friends at school, and even the internet. But my descriptions didn’t do it justice. A long, silver chord like thing which didn’t have an end.
Casper blinked at my message. Before he ducked his head and started writing before holding up his response.
“I love my mom.” He said, doodling a little heart. “She doesn’t control my life. I like that she’s in it.”
Below that, a follow up message which twisted my gut. “What do you mean? I don’t see anything, Phoebe.”
Tapping my pad with my pen, I struggled to think of a response. There was no way he couldn’t see this thing. It was pretty hard to miss. Instead of writing, I pointed behind him.
“That!” I mouthed, using my lips for the first time. It felt good to actually talk to him. Even if a window of glass separated us.
“What?” His handwriting was slipping slightly. And I noticed his hands were visibly shaking. “What can you see, Phoebe?”
This time, he stood up. I noticed something change in him, the notepad slipping off his knee. Casper turned around, scanning the room.
Before his eyes finally found the cord-thing. His smile seemed to dampen, eyes going wide, fists clenching.
“Casper?” I hurriedly wrote when he didn’t move for a while. His gaze was glued to the chord. I watched his eye follow it around the room, before his hand slowly raised, trembling fingers moving to his neck, and then the back of his head. Was there an insect? That’s what I thought. It must have been a spider, or some kind of bug which had startled him. I could only describe his expression as close to catatonic. He stood up, but then quickly slumped back down. But not like it was his choice. As if he was being dragged back down by an unseen force. Like one minute I was looking at Casper Wilder, and then I was seeing a stranger. A completely different person take over a rapidly paling face. Something snapped inside my gut when he moved forwards suddenly, his arms lunging out to close the curtains.
But that wasn’t the end of what I saw. The boy had unknowingly left a splinter, a tiny gap allowing me to glimpse. I expected him to react to whatever had freaked him out. But instead, he simply flopped back onto his bed. This time, I noticed the silver chord jolt with his movement. He was already asleep, his eyes closed. I watched him, my heart diving into my throat. There was no way he just fell asleep like that. It was too fast.
Mrs Wilder came into his room soon after. But I only got a glimpse of her because she was already striding over to the window. I ducked behind my bed, panic creeping up my spine. I expected the woman to start yelling at me through the window, but instead she simply pulled the curtains properly shut. Mrs Wilder definitely saw me. And even if she didn’t, Casper’s messages to me were still piled on his bedsheets. I was left completely in the dark, then. I stood and pressed my face against the window, fully aware that I was addicted to the mystery surrounding my neighbour.
My mind began to wonder to uncertain and scary places.
What exactly was Casper’s mother doing to him behind the curtain? I wanted to believe she was simply tucking him in and saying goodnight, but the strange chord-like thing on the ground, and how he’d reacted to noticing it—for what seemed like the first time. His change in expression, like a different person had taken over him, and that person was… scared.
Catatonic. I refused to believe Mrs Wilder was innocent. I waited for him to draw his curtains again—but he didn’t. Casper’s window stayed completely blocked for days. I stopped hearing his siblings in the yard, and after days of nothing, mom reiterated her warning to me over dinner. “No communication with the Wilder children,” she told me. “Which includes notes and letters.”
So, Mrs Wilder knew we were talking.
I wondered if she was punishing her son for breaking the rules—and that was why he had been MIA for the last few days.
“There’s something wrong with Casper.” I worked up the courage to tell mom “The boy next door. I think Mrs Wilder is hurting him.”
“Hurting him?”
“Yeah, like…” I frowned. “I think she can make him go to sleep when she wants.” I pulled a face. “Like, hypnotism—or maybe even drugs.”
“Mmm hmm.”
“Drugs, mom.” I said. “Mrs Wilder is drugging her seventeen year old son!”
“That’s nice, honey.”
“Are you even listening to me?” I leaned across the table, stabbing the page of her book. “Mom! Casper Wilder is a total blank slate!”
“I’ve told you a thousand times. She’s protecting them,” she hummed. “You have just seen far too many crime dramas—and your generation have been poisoned by the likes of crime entrainment. Finding what you think is your own mystery must be fun, but you are reaching, baby.”
“Reaching?” I prodded my own temple. “I’m sorry, were you not listening when I told you he doesn’t even know what video games are?”
Mom was acting weird. Usually, she talked about school with me, and at least tried to engage in conversation, but she was too busy reading the book Mrs Becker has recommended her. It was like talking to a brick.
“You’re being ridiculous, Phoebe,” she turned over a page with a sigh. “I’ve spoken to his mother. She’s a lovely woman. We’re having lunch next week. I met her in the grocery store."
“What a coincidence,” I shot her a look over my phone. I was looking up child abuse helplines. “You’re suddenly best friends with the neighborhood witch when I’m caught talking to her son.” Dropping my phone for emphasis, I stood up. “If you would just listen to me—"
“That’s enough.” Mom cut me off. She finished her coffee, grabbing her jacket from where it was slung over a chair. “Stay out of trouble, okay? I’m heading back to work. I’ve left cash if you want to order pizza. You have other interests, alright? Please. Leave Mrs Wilder alone. This obsession you have with her kids is unhealthy. Why don't you stick to fiction, hm?"
Yeah, no.
As soon as she was gone, I sprinted to my room to see if Casper’s curtains were open. To my dismay, though. They weren’t.
Frustrated, I yanked mine shut too.
Slumping onto my bed, I continued looking up helplines. I got bored soon after and started googling chords and wires which fit the description of what I’d seen.
There was a match, though it was on a weird medical website which looked like it had been made in 2005. The interface was outdated, and according to the description, it was some kind of clamping device. There were a lot of words I didn’t know, and after further googling, I was getting increasingly more confused. Until my gaze flicked to a section at the bottom of the page. According to whoever wrote it, the chord in question was experimental. There weren’t many in circulation, but it was mainly used in medical centres such as specialist surgeries and hospitals. When I scrolled down, there was a diagram which showed a long chord-like thing labelled as “The body” and a sharp looking needle. Something warm crept up my throat and I sat up, frowning at the screen. Was that it? Was that thing the end?
And what did this thing even connect to?
A sudden THUD made me almost jump out of my skin. I slid off my bed.
It was coming from my window. My curtains were still shut, blowing in the slight breeze. Slowly, I made my way over, my spine tingling.
The first thing I saw was red. Bright, intense scarlet spattering the Wilder boy's window. Then I glimpsed Casper. He was slamming his face into the glass, over and over again, his already bleeding nose exploding with more red. But it wasn't the boy I knew. The kid I had gotten to know over the last few months. No. This kid was a mess of torn up clothes, bruises yellowing his eyes and scratches sliced into his flesh. My first thought was his mom. She must have done this to him. But then my gaze was finding his bloodied nails, and claw marks on his arms and cheeks. There was something white wrapped around his head, a bandage.
I could glimpse red leaking through, smudging clinical white and pooling down his temples in sharp rivulets. Casper's eyes were an enigma in themselves, a mixture of fear and confusion, and almost feral look of anger and frustration. But the twitch in his lip and between his brow, was evident that something was fighting that.
Emotions and feelings he wasn't feeling himself.
It was like looking at two different guys. One was Casper, the artist who lived next door, who ended every message with a smiley. While this twisted other self, a self which was broken out and was feral in his expression, was a whole other person. I started to realise the more I looked at him, at the mess of flesh and blood caught between his nails, and his trembling hands every so often creeping to the back of his skull before jolting and coming back to curl into fists, battering the window--- he had clawed into his own head.
Immediately, I reached for my phone. But he already knew what I was going to do.
“No!” He mouthed, shaking his head—so I grabbed my notepad. I could barely write.
“What’s going on?” I held up my pad. “Are you okay? You’re fucking bleeding!”
Instead of using a pen and paper, Casper squinted, blinking rapidly. His handwriting was different, a manic scrawl, as he wrote in the explosion of blood on the window.
When he twisted around, his gaze going to the door, the breath caught in my throat. Someone was yelling his name. I could tell by his reaction. His bloodied fingers clawed at his face and hair, at bald patches and rugged stitches lining his scalp and the back of his skull. They kept going, a narrow line of stitches all the way down his neck, and presumably his spine.
My thoughts flashed back to the equipment I’d been looking up. This kind of thing was designed to bury into the brain and spinal cord. I looked for it, but the thing was nowhere to be seen on him. It was no longer on the floor. Casper struggled to write coherently. I notice he kept swearing, his finger smudging the words he was trying to write. This was more like it, I thought. This was the kind of boy I had expected to be the kid next door. “Fuck.” He shook his head, his movements erratic as one hand went to the back of his head and came back slick with glistening red.
He slammed his fists into the window in frustration, but I was already seeing his message start to blossom and make sense.
Casper was crying. I could see that he could barely breathe, struggling to inhale, swiping at his eyes with smudged fists.
I started to back away, but he continued. When he’d finished, he wrote it again and again, growing more and more fraught.
I jumped when he slammed his head into the glass of the window again. At first a part of me thought he was using his blood for paint.
So he was intentionally hurting himself to draw more.
But his words spelled it out for me in black and white.
Who am I? He wrote. WHO AM I? WHO AM I WHO AM I? WHO AM I?
This time I could barely even read my own handwriting. I held up a scrap of paper.
I gestured to the bandage on his head, and he stumbled back, wild eyes searching for something to write with.
“THAT WOMAN.” He scribbled in block capitals.
“THAT WOMAN IS NOT MY FUCKING MOM.” He wrote, before he dropped to his knees. He was still writing but failing to show me.
I don’t know who I am.
He wrote the same thing 12 times, before tearing up the paper and burying his head in his lap.
I gave up writing messages.
“Casper!” I shouted.
Then I threw a rock at his window, and he lifted his head, blinking rapidly.
Gesturing for him to open up his window, he struggled with the latch for a moment before pulling it open.
I stuck my head out of my own window, cold air hitting me in the face. “I’m going to help you.” I managed to choke out. “Hold on, okay?”
Casper clawed at his face. "Help me." His voice was a sharp hiss. "Please help me. I don't know who I..." His fingernails ripped into the flesh of his cheeks, but he barely seemed to feel it, to be fazed. They kept going, digging into layer after layer. "I don't know who I am." He jumped up suddenly trashing his desk and throwing his laptop against the wall. He reminded me of a child having a tantrum. In this case though, it was more than acting out. I was sure that Casper Wilder didn’t exist. "I don't know who I am. I don't know... fuck... I don't know who I am!”
His eyes found mine, and I could have sworn I saw something there, buried deep, deep inside his pupil.
He blinked, and it was gone.
“You need to tell me what she’s done to you.” I said stiffly. “Tell me what she’s done to your head.”
Casper was only growing progressively more frenzied. Animalistic. He came back to the window, slamming his fists into it. Then his head. Again and again. Like he was trying to knock himself out. "Help me. I can't remember... I can't remember who I am. I just know.. I know her.”
His lips suddenly twisted into a startling grin.
“Mom.” He whispered, his expression softening. “My mom.” His gaze flicked to the desk. “She won’t like that I’ve… I’ve made a mess.”
“Your mom did this.” I gritted out. “I’m calling the cops.”
His expression was scaring me. Whatever was in his eye was scaring me. But this boy needed help. He needed to be taken out of that house.
"No." Casper sobered up. "No, my mom... my mommy said... she said no police." His eyes widened suddenly, seemingly noticing the mess of the window for the first time. “Oh, no.” Casper stumbled back. “I should… I should clean this. Before my mom sees what a mess I made.”
His door opened, and another head poked through.
Another guy. I figured it was one of his brothers. Freddie, or Issac. He too had a bandage wrapped around his head.
His brother’s eyes found the blood spatters, and then me. Like his mother, he strode over to the window, shutting the curtains.
But I could still hear it.
A mechanical whirring noise, followed by Casper’s sharp breath and the sickly crunch of metal protruding through blood and bone.
That was it.
“Mom!” I yelled. I’d heard her come back earlier. She must have finished work early.
I stumbled downstairs to tell her to call the cops, but a shadow was already looming behind the corner. Before I knew what was happening, a wet rag stinking of pool cleaner was being pressed over my mouth and nose.
I don’t remember passing out. When I woke up, I was lying on my mom’s couch. It was dark outside, but the curtains were open. My foggy thoughts drunk in slithers of moon poking from between the clouds before registering I wasn’t alone. Sitting up, my stomach galloped. There was no sign of mom. But I recognised each of the faces surrounding me. Mrs Becker was sitting with her legs crossed, delicately sipping from a cup. And next to her, wearing a smug smile, was Mrs Wilder. She wasn’t looking at me. Instead, her eyes were lovingly glued to something which had been built over mom’s coffee table. It was made completely out of paper. The scraps of paper I had been using to talk to her son. Though there weren’t just my messages. I glimpsed Casper’s writing too. It was a house. I was staring at a perfect paper rendition of the Wilder house. And next to it stood four little paper dolls.
There were no faces. No expressions. Just four dolls. Two boys, and two girls.
Though in her lap were more. Mrs Wilder’s nimble fingers were working to make more of them. They filled her lap differing in sizes.
“Phoebe, is it?”
Her voice was smooth like chocolate. I could almost mistake it for kindness.
I nodded, my heart in my throat. I was watching her create another doll. She folded a piece of paper in half, cut it in two, and started to fold sections, bringing the doll-form to life. This one, unlike the other, did have attention put into it. She had even added the birth mark on my right temple, following that, colouring in my dark blonde hair, and finishing with my jean jacket. Mrs Wilder didn’t have to spell it out for me. When she got to the doll’s head, she shocked me, by tearing it off. Then she ripped off its arms and legs and tearing its torso in half.
Mrs Wilder straightened up. “Phoebe, are you aware of a mother’s instinct?”
I couldn’t reply. Instead, I was staring at the paper-doll she had set alight. I watched smouldering orange rip into it, before she put the fire out, dropping the blackened paper doll on the carpet. For just a brief second, I could have sworn the hem of my jacket had also caught alight. Just a single flash of orange. But maybe I was seeing things. “I was pregnant with four beautiful children,” she said softly. “As soon as I found out, I had already named them.” Her smile was dreamy. Melancholic. “Freddie. My little Freddie. He kicked quite a lot. Oh, and Matilda. She and her twin were quite the pair, I must say. Swiftly draining me of my energy so I had to take medication.” Mrs Wilder chuckled.
“And finally, Casper. Named after my favourite movie. I loved him with all of my heart. He was my little fighter.” She quickly lost her smile, her gaze flicking to me. “I hope you understand that if you talk to, or even the breathe the same air as my children again, I will rip you apart too.”
Mrs Wilder never raised her voice. She didn’t need to. I was terrified of her.
She held up my doll for emphasis, before throwing it in the paper dollhouse. “Or… perhaps you could become another daughter of mine, hmm?” I couldn’t move, my body paralysed when she leaned over me, cruel eyes drinking me in. “Maybe not.” She hummed. “I only take the dead or dying.” Straightening up, she sighed. “It’s not a hard task, Phoebe. Keep away from my children and I will keep away from you.”
The two of them left after that, leaving me unable to move. To breathe. They took the dollhouse. All of the paper. Even my own doll.
Casper has been unreachable since. Mom has hardly been at home—and I’m starting to lose my mind.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who or what Mrs Wilder is, but I’m afraid she’s going to keep adding to her collection.
Whoever those kids are, they’re not hers. I think she’s taken them. She’s using them as canvases. Dolls. For what she’s lost.
Am I next?
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2023.03.27 02:01 LynnChat Authors whose writings stayed with you years later

I’d be interested to read about authors we loved when we were younger that stay with us to this day. Not the “classic” authors we’ve all heard of, rather the author you read for pleasure not because it was required reading in English lit.
I’ll start with three…
Nevil Shute I started reading his books in the 70s because he was my grampa’s favorite writer. Shute died in 1960 so obviously his books are from another era.
My favorites are The Trustee From The Tool Room which I found to be a story of how a seemingly small and little life has a worldwide influence. I recently reread it and still came to tears from the sheer beauty of the prose and the story. I love this book.
Also A Town Life Alice which is story of love and loss and hope. Again his prose is like reading poetry in the form of an enthralling story. The mini series was quite good.
Others I would mention are On The Beach, No Highway (movie was lovely), The Chequer Board and so many others.
Next would be Rumer Godden. In This House of Brede spoke to my heart when I was in high school. I don’t even know how many times I have re-read it. The movie does it no justice at all. Warning it takes place in a cloistered convent before Vatican II so the setting may be somewhat foreign to most people. It’s the story of a woman who gives up her high powered career to seek a life of contemplation in a cloister, which was not easy. I think the underlying themes remain relevant. And Godden can do prose to make your heart soar. She written other books of equal beauty worth looking at. The Greenage Summer, The Peacock Spring, Episode of The Sparrows to name a few.
E F Benson The Mapp and Lucia books
These books are so deliciously wickedly funny without a single reliance on cheap innuendo.
Lastly Thorne Smith (not to be confused with the singer)
His books take place in the 20s and 30s and they are hilarious. Topper and Night Life of The Gods are my two favorites.
Okay who would you like to tell me about?
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2023.03.27 02:00 StepwiseUndrape574 One of the things that fans love about the Grand Theft Auto series

One of the things that fans love about the Grand Theft Auto series is the attention to detail in the game's world. From the graffiti on the walls to the license plates on the cars, there are countless little details that make the game world feel alive. With the power of next-gen consoles, it's likely that GTA 6 will take this to a whole new level.
GTA 5 Modder 👑 Buy gta 5 accounts // Fortnite // GTA 5 Accounts, Mods 💎 Creator on Patreon: 🎪
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2023.03.27 01:51 StepwiseUndrape574 GTA 6 Still AWOL, But Rockstar Announces Big Updates For GTA Online And Red Dead Online

Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA 6) is an elusive beast that has eluded [official] detection for years. The current “big dog” Grand Theft Auto V was first released way back in September 2013, and has been available across two console generations (Xbox 360/PS3 and Xbox One/PS4). It will even be available natively on next-generation Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles, which is quite unprecedented in the gaming realm. So, while Rockstar seems reticent to just letting us wait in agony for any news on GTA 6, it is at least giving us some new updates on its two current hot properties: GTA Online and Red Dead Online.
In the case of the incredibly popular (and highly lucrative) GTA Online, Rockstar says that a big “summer update” is coming for gamers with a “fun mix of diverse” content to partake in. Even more interesting is the fact that the developers indicate that its “biggest update ever” is coming before the end of 2020. That update will include new Heists that will take place in a completely new location, which has definitely piqued our interests.
red dead online As for Red Dead Online, its next big update is actually arriving next week; on July 28th to be exact. Red Dead Online hasn’t exactly been teaming with new content, as the last big update for the online component of Red Dead Redemption 2 dropped way back in December 2019. However, Rockstar is promising a new Frontier Pursuit mode with a focus on “naturalism” and a new battle pass-type component, which is conveniently named Outlaw Pass. Finally, Rockstar says that it has addressed tons of bugs with the game and has taken community feedback to heart with this release, which is definitely appreciated.
In addition to the game updates on the way, Rockstar also took the time to address the well-being of its online communities. “We are also committed to ensuring that our games are fun for everyone and as safe as possible from modders, cheaters, hackers, and those who seek to harass other players,” said the company in its blog post.
“So far this year, we have taken action on hundreds of thousands of players caught violating community rules across both games. Please help us keep our communities safe and fun by reporting any sort of cheating either directly in-game or via our dedicated web reporting tools for both Red Dead Online and GTA Online.”
It's good to see that Rockstar is cracking down on those looking to spoil the fun for everyone, and its methods for “taking out” such offenders is among the best in the industry.
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