Tag Archives: Mess

Borderlands 3 Is a Rocky Mess, Gearbox Promises ‘Final’ DX12 Update

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Borderlands 3 launched last week, and the game is in wretched condition. Reviews of the title have been good on the merits, though pretty much everyone agrees that Borderlands 3 is, at best, a retread of previous titles. Whether that’s a good thing depends entirely on how much you enjoyed those previous games, but the consensus seems to be that the game doesn’t do a great job with expanding on core gameplay mechanics or reinventing the wheel.

Unfortunately, the merits of the execution have been swamped by technical issues. Borderlands 3 players have been unhappy enough with how the game plays to swamp various online forums, including Steam’s forums for Borderlands 2. Borderlands 3 is an Epic Games Store title, not a Steam game, but that hasn’t stopped players from opining on the game. But there are performance issues galore, on both consoles and PCs. Digital Foundry recommends playing the game in 30fps locked mode on the Xbox One X because frame rates are too erratic to justify unlocking them. Players have also reported heavy lag.

PC gamers often like to crow about how superior components lead to superior gaming experiences, but that’s not proving to be the case here. The situation with DX12 has proven to be so bad, some gamers are reverting back to DX11 in order to improve stability. Gamers who want to shift the title back into DX11 instead of DX12 may find that the game performs better that way.

In some cases, there are reports that Borderlands 3 won’t even boot in DX12 mode. If you’re having that problem, you can manually set the game to DX11 by heading for your Documents folder in Windows 10. From Documents, navigate through “My Games,” “Borderlands 3,” “Saved,” and “Config.” There’s a “GameUserSettings.ini” file in this directory. Open it using Notepad and locate the “PreferredGraphicsAPI” setting. It’s probably set to DX12. Change this to DX11, and the game should boot in that mode instead.

AMD has said that its latest driver is supposed to improve performance by up to 16 percent, and the company has introduced support for Radeon Image Sharpening on its Polaris GPUs with the new 19.9.2 driver release. But the performance issues we’re seeing crop up are dwarfing these improvements overall, and the problem seems to be the overall state of the game — Nvidia users aren’t being spared. AMD told Overclock3D that “2K and Gearbox are planning to release a final DX12 implementation in a future patch,” which raises serious questions about why the game was kicked out the door with a non-final implementation of its renderer. The answer, of course, is that it had to be on store shelves by such and such a date. When a game has this many issues at launch, it’s not as if the dev team didn’t know about them. It’s always the case that the dev team didn’t have time to finish fixing them before a must-ship deadline.

At this point, it might be wise to wait a few weeks before diving into Borderlands 3, even if you’re a longtime fan of the series. It definitely sounds like Gearbox has plenty of work to do to bring the title into some kind of playable condition, and even AMD’s just-launched drivers don’t seem to be fixing the problem for everybody. Again, the issues don’t seem to be hitting any specific GPU vendor or CPU configuration — the reports thus far suggest the game is buggy for everyone.

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Environment is a deadly mess, but 'there is every reason to be hopeful,' UN says

Earth is sick with multiple and worsening environmental ills killing millions of people yearly, a new UN report says.

Climate change, a global major extinction of animals and plants, a human population soaring toward 10 billion, degraded land, polluted air, and plastics, pesticides and hormone-changing chemicals in the water are making the planet an increasing unhealthy place for people, says the scientific report issued once every few years.

But it may not be too late.

"There is every reason to be hopeful," report co-editors Joyeeta Gupta and Paul Ekins told The Associated Press in an email. "There is still time but the window is closing fast."

The sixth Global Environment Outlook, released Wednesday at a UN conference in Nairobi, Kenya, painted a dire picture of a planet where environmental problems interact with each other to make things even more dangerous for people. It uses the word "risk" 561 times in a 740-page report.

Russ Lewis covers his eyes from a gust of wind and a blast of sand as Hurricane Florence approaches Myrtle Beach, S.C., in 2018. Almost all coastal cities and small island nations are increasingly vulnerable to flooding from rising seas and extreme weather linked to climate change, the UN says. (David Goldman/Associated Press)

The report concludes "unsustainable human activities globally have degraded the Earth's ecosystems, endangering the ecological foundations of society."

But the same document says changes in the way the world eats, buys things, gets its energy and handles its waste could help fix the problems.

The report is "a dramatic warning and a high-level road map for what must be done to prevent widespread disruption and even irreversible destruction of planetary life-support systems," said University of Michigan environment dean Jonathan Overpeck, who wasn't part of the team producing the report.

Several other scientists also praised the report, which draws on existing science, data and maps.

"This report clearly shows the connections between the environment and human health and well-being," said Stuart Pimm, a Duke University ecologist.

Motorists ride through a thick blanket of smog and dust on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, in 2017. Polluted air is another problem cited by the new report. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press)

Gupta and Ekins, environmental scientists in Amsterdam and London, said air pollution annually kills seven million people worldwide and costs society about $ 5 trillion US. Water pollution, with associated diseases, kills another 1.4 million.

The scientists said the most important and pressing problems facing humankind are global warming and loss of biodiversity because they are permanent and affect so many people in so many different ways.

Climate change

"Time is running out to prevent the irreversible and dangerous impacts of climate change," the report says, noting that unless something changes, global temperatures will exceed the threshold of warming — another 1 C (1.8 F) above current temperatures — that international agreements call dangerous.

The report details climate change impacts on human health, air, water, land and biodiversity. Almost all coastal cities and small island nations are increasingly vulnerable to flooding from rising seas and extreme weather.

Biodiversity

"A major species extinction event, compromising planetary integrity and Earth's capacity to meet human needs, is unfolding," the report says, listing threats to ecosystems, fisheries and other major systems. It notes conservationists are divided on whether Earth is in a sixth mass extinction.

Air pollution

Not only are millions of people dying each year, but unhealthy air especially hurts "the elderly, very young, ill and poor," the report says.

In a 2017 photo, pyres of elephant tusks are set on fire in Nairobi National Park, Kenya, in a dramatic statement against the trade in products from endangered species. A global major extinction of animals and plants is one of the problems making the planet an increasing unhealthy place for people, the UN says. (Ben Curtis/Associated Press)

Water pollution

While 1.5 billion people now have the clean drinking water they lacked in 2000, water quality in many regions has worsened, the report says.

Plastics and other litter have invaded every ocean at all depths, the report says.

Antibiotic resistance

People getting sick from diseases caused by antimicrobial resistant bacteria in water supplies could become a major cause of death worldwide by 2050, unless something can be done about it, the report says.

Land degradation

Land is getting less fertile and useful. The report says degradation "hot spots," where it's difficult to grow crops, now cover 29 per cent of all land areas. The rate of deforestation has slowed but continues.

"The report provides a roadmap to move beyond 'doom and gloom' and rally together to face the challenges and take the future in our hands," said former U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco, who wasn't an author on the report. "This is an all-hands-on-deck moment."

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Peter Chiarelli inherited a mess he made worse

There are many reasons that factor into the sorry state of the Edmonton Oilers, a predicament that resulted in the firing of president of hockey operations and general manager Peter Chiarelli on Wednesday.

The 54-year-old former Harvard forward inherited a mess, but he left the once-proud organization in worse shape. It's a team that has no secondary scoring and a weak supporting cast behind superstar Connor McDavid and his reliable sidekicks, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl.

The Oilers have no top-three defencemen, only a few No. 4s and a pile of castoffs. They also don't have a bonafide frontline netminder.

There will be no quick fixes for this club. Chiarelli's successor will take over a team in salary cap difficulty because of some troublesome long-term contracts.

Yes, the Oilers sit only three points out of the final playoff spot in the West with 32 regular-season games remaining. But they also are only six points from the league basement, a spot the Oilers have become all too familiar with.

WATCH | Bob Nicholson details Peter Chiarelli firing:

Oilers Entertainment Group CEO/vice chair Bob Nicholson announced that Peter Chiarelli has been relieved of his duties as president of hockey operations and general manager. 2:33

Edmonton has finished 21st, 30th, 30th, 29th, 24th, 28th, 28th, 29th, eighth and 23rd, respectively, since pharmacy billionaire Daryl Katz purchased the team in July 2008. There have been eight coaches in 10 seasons and the general manager chair has changed from Kevin Lowe to Steve Tambellini to Craig MacTavish to Chiarelli.

The latter, a lawyer from Nepean, Ont., took over the Oilers 45 months ago, hired by the team's new CEO Bob Nicholson. Chiarelli had been fired nine days earlier by the Boston Bruins, the club he had steered to the 2010-11 Stanley Cup championship. He hired a capable coach in Todd McLellan the next month, and in June 2015 selected McDavid, the obvious first-overall choice at the draft.

Bad decisions started early

Chiarelli's good decision-making ended a week later when he signed unrestricted free agent Milan Lucic to a salary-cap strangling seven-year, $ 42-million US deal. While many teams saw the light, turning from big and physical to speed and skilled, Chiarelli and his staff were blind to the transition.

Chiarelli further damaged the organization with the Taylor Hall-for-Adam Larsson trade with the New Jersey Devils in June 2016. Ironically, Larsson had one of his worst games for Edmonton in a 7-4 loss at home to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. It proved to be Chiarelli's penultimate game.

The Oilers made the playoffs without Hall in Chiarelli's second year. But goalie Cam Talbot had a spectacular season and masked many of the team's defensive deficiencies. Meanwhile, Hall won the Hart Trophy last season at the NHL's most valuable player.

Chiarelli stumbled again when he dealt Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders in exchange for centre Ryan Strome in June 2017. The outgoing GM gave up on Strome two months ago, dealing him to the New York Rangers for forward Ryan Spooner, who was placed on waivers earlier this week.

Panic on this season set in for Chiarelli when he brought Sherwood Park, Alta., native Ken Hitchcock out of retirement to replace McLellan after the Oilers 9-10-1 start. But the Oilers haven't exhibited any signs of improvement under their eighth coach in 10 years, going 14-14-2 under Hitchcock.

In the last two games — losses to non-playoff teams in the Hurricanes and the Detroit Red Wings — the Oilers simply couldn't catch their swifter opponents. As Hitchcock said, his team was "chasing, too much."

The Edmonton Oilers have failed as an organization despite having the NHL’s best player in Connor McDavid. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

Oilers never adapt

It seems odd that the team with the best skater in the league, McDavid, is slow. But the Oilers are slow in a lightning-quick league.

Nicholson's next choice has to do a better job drafting. Eberle, Hall, Darnell Nurse, Draisaitl and McDavid were no-brainers. But they could have had Ryan Ellis instead of Magnus Paajarvi in 2009, Morgan Rielly instead of Nail Yakupov in 2012, Matthew Tkachuk instead of Jesse Puljujarvi in 2016. They have to make better selections in all rounds — not just the first — and develop these prospects.

Another knock against this team that has only one playoff appearance since losing in Game 7 to the Hurricanes in the 2005-06 final, is its poor record of development.

The new boss also will have to find out for himself whether or not the persistent whisper is true that too many Oilers alum from the glory days have influence. It's always dangerous when ministers without official portfolios have a say.

That doesn't change the fact Chiarelli inherited a mess and made it worse with the Lucic signing, the Hall and Eberle trades, poor drafts and development, as well as not doing enough to improve the blue-line and goaltending situations.

There were just too many missteps to keep him at that helm as the trade deadline nears.

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CBC | Sports News

Bolton to Russia: 'Don't mess with American elections'

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton says Russian meddling in U.S. elections had backfired on Moscow, providing a lesson to the Kremlin: "Don't mess with American elections."

Speaking during a visit to Moscow, Bolton said there was no evidence that the meddling — which Russia has denied — materially affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, but that it did create mistrust toward Russia.

U.S. intelligence agencies say Russia carried out a campaign of hacking and propaganda targeting the 2016 poll in an attempt to sow discord, discredit Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and boost support for Republican Donald Trump.

The U.S. Department of Justice and Congress are investigating the interference and any possible collusion by Trump's campaign. Trump has repeatedly denied collusion.

Quitting nuclear pact

Washington is also pressing ahead with its plan to quit a nuclear arms control pact, Bolton said on Tuesday, signalling that a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin had not deflected the White House from its plan.

Bolton had a 90-minute meeting in the Kremlin with Putin, at which the Russian leader had taken the White House to task over what he said were a series of unprovoked steps against Moscow.

Bolton says the U.S. is going ahead with its plan to pull out of the nuclear arms pact, calling it outdated. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

Russia has said that if Trump makes good on his threat to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF), Moscow will be forced to respond in kind to restore the military balance.

But speaking at a news conference after his talks with Putin, Bolton gave no indication of any change of course on the INF treaty.

"There's a new strategic reality out there," Bolton said, saying that a Cold War-era treaty no longer met the demands of the world as it is now.

"In terms of filing the formal notice of withdrawal, that has not been filed but it will be filed in due course."

Signed by then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan and reformist Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, the INF treaty required the elimination of all short- and intermediate-range land-based nuclear and conventional missiles held by both countries in Europe.

Its demise could raise the prospect of a new arms race and of Europe once again hosting U.S. land-based ballistic and cruise missiles.

Gorbachev, now 87, has warned that unravelling it could have catastrophic consequences. Countries such as Poland have, however, backed Trump's move.

Bolton has said he thinks the treaty is outdated because it does not cover countries such as China, Iran and North Korea, which he says remain free to make intermediate-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

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CBC | World News

Inside Erika Jayne’s Ultra-Glam, ‘Pretty Mess’ Clubhouse (Exclusive)

She’s a princess, a temptress, a pretty mess — and a businesswoman.

Only ET got an invite up to Erika Jayne’s ultra-glam, ultra-private workspace, the Pretty Mess Clubhouse, for an exclusive tour with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Mess.

“Well, hey, this is where we do interviews, we have photo shoots, we create,” Erika explains. “We have everything right here and it’s a great spot, and I can thank Los Angeles traffic for that, because, you know, this is a central point. This is the office. Erika Jayne needed an office.”

As Erika’s brand and team got bigger, she had to move the “Erika Jayne Project,” as she calls it, out of her Pasadena, California, mansion and into a proper office. Or, as proper of an office as Erika Jayne can handle. The space is actually a nearly 2,000 sq. foot, one-bedroom condo converted into a workplace, with the vibe of a Hollywood crash pad.

Erika Jayne's 'Pretty Mess Clubhouse,' located in the heart of Hollywood.

ET

“Fortunately, things are good, so I can afford it,” the 46-year-old reality star jokes, artfully dodging the question of how much the space actually cost her to rent and redesign. The decor is a mixture of leftover artwork from the condo’s landlord, including a ceiling covered in framed artwork and a structural column wrapped in The Notorious B.I.G.’s face, and Erika’s own personal touches, like a blown-up portrait of herself, nude in a bathtub.

“Biggie was one of the conditions of me getting the space,” Erika says. “I said, ‘Biggie has to stay,’ and then, you know, I blew this [portrait] up. This was in Flaunt, [shot by] Dennis Leupold.”

A life-size portrait of Erika Jayne resides next to a larger-than-life column rapped in The Notorious B.I.G.'s image in Erika Jayne's clubhouse.

ET

From the second you walk into the space, you’re immersed into Erika’s perfectly imperfect playground. Almost immediately you’re greeted by a Barbie-pink pedestal surrounded by three full-length mirrors. It’s all so Erika and her team can inspect her costumes, which is how she describes outfits for everyday life and the stage. Next to the tailoring station is a rolling rack filled with clothes for both Erika Jayne and Erika Girardi, including some iconic catsuits from Erika’s performances and music videos.

“I mean, this definitely says, ‘Erika Jayne lives here,’” she notes.

Take a small turn around the corner and you’ll find yourself in Erika’s “glam room.” It’s the biggest splurge in the space, but again, Erika won’t share numbers. All she’ll say is, “This is where the money is.” Even so, she’s quick to point out that not one bit of the room is custom. The cabinets and fixtures all come from Ikea and Home Depot!

Erika Jayne's

ET

Above those aforementioned cabinets, which are filled with thousands of dollars worth of products, is a signed photo of Marilyn Monroe (Erika’s “guardian angel of glam”) and the space’s pièce de résistance: a giant mirror surrounded by the brightest bulbs Erika and her glam squad could find. When she flicks on the light switch, the room turns almost completely white, as if you were standing inside a lamp.

“It’s a little intense in here,” she jokes. “But if you look good in this light, you look good anywhere. And let’s face it, HD is no one’s friend. Not even a fetus looks good in HD, because it’s just really intense.”

Erika says it takes $ 40,000 a month to be her, and glam is a big part of that cost.

“You realize that’s low, for some people,” she says. “It’s low. Yeah. You’re talking hair, makeup, wardrobe. Stuff like that. It sounds big, and it isn’t.”

“They don’t understand my business,” she continues, addressing critics of her spending habits. “And that’s what it is. They don’t understand, and that’s OK …. When it’s showtime, it’s showtime and when it’s not, it’s not. And that’s what people need to understand. When you have this ‘persona,’ that all gets put away and that’s done. When you’re working, you’re working and when you’re not, you’re not.”

Back out in the main workspace is a small desk for Erika, featuring chairs covered in her favorite print, banana leaf, a la Erika’s favorite Los Angeles hangout, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and a wall of collectibles, including copies of her book, awards and gifts from fans. Then, in the center of the room, is an acrylic conference table where Erika says the real work goes down. That’s where she penned a lot of Pretty Mess and some of her new music! The singer let it slip that she’ll drop a new single in a couple weeks, called “Cars.”

“It’s Erika Jayne, over-the-top fun,” she dishes of the track. “It’ll be great. Trust me. You’ll love to dance to it … I would say it’s more in the sound of ‘XXPEN$ IVE.’”

The song will make its stage debut at Jeffrey Sanker’s 29th Annual White Party in Palm Springs, California, on April 28. For more Erika, pick up a copy of her memoir, Pretty Mess, and tune into The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills every Tuesday on Bravo.

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'Scandal': A Proper Fitz and Olivia Reunion Finally Happened — But Who's Threatening to Mess It All Up?

This pairing can get a little complicated. Scandal has seemed to be setting this one in motion since the season started, but the potential costs have certainly been raised. “I have feelings for him, President Rashad. He means something to me,” Mellie told Olivia, asking her to give him safe haven in the US while his country is in turmoil. “This time, I want it to be my call. Just one time.” 

Yes, Mellie and Rashad are both presidents, but as Olivia pointed out, she is the leader of the free world, he is not, and things can get sticky real fast. 

Now, for the one we’ve all been waiting for…. 

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