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Cloning a MAC address to bypass a captive portal

If you ever attach to a WiFi system outside your home or office, you often see a portal page. This page may ask you to accept terms of service or some other agreement to get access. But what happens when you can’t connect through this kind of portal? This article shows you how to use NetworkManager on Fedora to deal with some failure cases so you can still access the internet.

How captive portals work

Captive portals are web pages offered when a new device is connected to a network. When the user first accesses the Internet, the portal captures all web page requests and redirects them to a single portal page.

The page then asks the user to take some action, typically agreeing to a usage policy. Once the user agrees, they may authenticate to a RADIUS or other type of authentication system. In simple terms, the captive portal registers and authorizes a device based on the device’s MAC address and end user acceptance of terms. (The MAC address is a hardware-based value attached to any network interface, like a WiFi chip or card.)

Sometimes a device doesn’t load the captive portal to authenticate and authorize the device to use the location’s WiFi access. Examples of this situation include mobile devices and gaming consoles (Switch, Playstation, etc.). They usually won’t launch a captive portal page when connecting to the Internet. You may see this situation when connecting to hotel or public WiFi access points.

You can use NetworkManager on Fedora to resolve these issues, though. Fedora will let you temporarily clone the connecting device’s MAC address and authenticate to the captive portal on the device’s behalf. You’ll need the MAC address of the device you want to connect. Typically this is printed somewhere on the device and labeled. It’s a six-byte hexadecimal value, so it might look like 4A:1A:4C:B0:38:1F. You can also usually find it through the device’s built-in menus.

Cloning with NetworkManager

First, open nm-connection-editor, or open the WiFI settings via the Settings applet. You can then use NetworkManager to clone as follows:

  • For Ethernet – Select the connected Ethernet connection. Then select the Ethernet tab. Note or copy the current MAC address. Enter the MAC address of the console or other device in the Cloned MAC address field.
  • For WiFi – Select the WiFi profile name. Then select the WiFi tab. Note or copy the current MAC address. Enter the MAC address of the console or other device in the Cloned MAC address field.

Bringing up the desired device

Once the Fedora system connects with the Ethernet or WiFi profile, the cloned MAC address is used to request an IP address, and the captive portal loads. Enter the credentials needed and/or select the user agreement. The MAC address will then get authorized.

Now, disconnect the WiFi or Ethernet profile, and change the Fedora system’s MAC address back to its original value. Then boot up the console or other device. The device should now be able to access the Internet, because its network interface has been authorized via your Fedora system.

This isn’t all that NetworkManager can do, though. For instance, check out this article on randomizing your system’s hardware address for better privacy.

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Ninja Theory announces innovative R&D project with a focus on mental health awareness

Today we are proud to announce The Insight Project, an innovative R&D project at Ninja Theory that we have grand ambitions for. In 2017, Ninja Theory released Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice on PlayStation and PC platforms and later to Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and VR. It was headed by Tameem Antoniades, co-founder and Creative Director at Ninja Theory under the guidance of Paul Fletcher, Psychiatrist and Professor of Health Neuroscience at University of Cambridge.

The game received universal acclaim for its depiction of a warrior with severe mental health issues and was described by Wellcome as the best representation of psychosis in any media. It went on to win widespread acclaim, including 5 BAFTAs, 3 The Game Awards and a Royal College of Psychiatrists award.

Subsequent to its release, Tameem and Paul have continued discussions on how games can go beyond representing mental illness and distress and how they play a role in promoting mental well being. These discussions have resulted in The Insight Project, an ambitious combination of technology, game design and clinical neuroscience brought together with the aim of generating strategies to alleviate mental distress.

The Insight Project will take shape over several years but is being announced early to encourage an open and transparent approach to its development.  It is an exploratory but experimentally guided project that aims to deliver a mainstream solution to help treat mental suffering and encourage mental well being.

We plan a programme of gaming, technological and scientific development that will lead to self-contained, individualised and absorbing game experiences within which people can become an expert at recognising, responding to and, ultimately, controlling their own fear, anxiety and other negative subjective experience. The work will be underpinned by rigorous scientific principles to ensure its effectiveness and validity and it will adhere to strict standards of ethics and data management.

This approach will be widely and conveniently applicable, flexible to the needs of the individual and, critically, enjoyable and absorbing in ways that will ensure enthusiastic engagement leading to marked and sustainable change.

Our goal is to create and inspire a movement and help mental health treatment to go mainstream. We hope you’ll join us on this exciting journey!

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Outer Worlds now available on Windows PC and Xbox One

The Outer Worlds, the latest game from renowned RPG developer (and recent addition to the Xbox family) Obsidian Entertainment, has been one of our most highly anticipated games of 2019, so we’re excited to share that it is now available for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. You can download the game on its own in the Microsoft Store or via Xbox Game Pass for Console and PC. The Outer Worlds is a single-player RPG that combines a darkly funny narrative with deep RPG elements and exciting combat to bring a new and unique universe to life.

We’ve taken a look at The Outer Worlds a couple of times here on Xbox Wire. I encourage you to check out our E3 preview and in-depth hands-on feature for details, but here’s the gist: You play as a galactic colonist who is awoken from a decades-long cryosleep after your ship was lost in space. You’ll spend your time gallivanting around the universe, making a name (good, bad, or somewhere in between) for yourself on a variety of unique, vibrant planets on which you’ll meet a bevy of memorable characters.

The choices you make in The Outer Worlds truly affects the way the game plays out, and you’ll be forced to make some tough ones as you navigate your way through this strange new universe. Sometimes, you’ll be able to talk your way through tough situations. Other times, you can sneak in and out of them. Or, if you’re not the sneaking or speaking type, you’ll be able to use one of the game’s many unique weapons to get your way.

The Outer Worlds is an exciting new entry in one of our favorite genres and we think RPG fans are going to love it. It’s available now physically and digitally for Xbox One and available for download on Windows 10 PC in the Microsoft Store. If you’ve got Xbox Game Pass for Console and PC (or are ready to subscribe), The Outer Worlds is available for download now!

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Razer introduces ‘world’s first optical laptop keyboard’ and Quartz Pink to Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop

Photo of the Razer 15 gaming laptop with next generation optical switches rising up from keyboard in different colors

Razer has debuted what it calls “the world’s first optical keyboard designed for gaming laptops,” meaning that it has added next-generation optical switches to the Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop. This keyboard has been designed for gaming enthusiasts who demand near instant key actuation, satisfying tactile feedback and rapid-fire inputs.

Under every key, an infrared light beam detects when a key is pressed (actuation), allowing for much greater precision and speed versus conventional laptop keyboards. Players can thus input more commands in less time in the heat of battle.

Close-up on the A key of the Razer 15 gaming laptop

The optical keyboard also features N-Key Rollover (NKRO) with anti-ghosting. Since the optical keyboard utilizes light to register inputs instead of a traditional physical contact, this ensures that only one stroke is registered instantly without any delay.

The new optical laptop keyboard is currently available only in the Razer Blade 15 Advanced for $2,649 with more models to follow in 2020. It’s available now from Razer.com and select retailers in the U.S., Canada and China. It will be coming soon to select countries in Asia-Pacific.

Back to back Razer 15 gaming laptops in Quartz Pink

Razer also announced the addition of a Quartz Pink color option, exclusive to the Razer Blade 15 Base model with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics. The base model features the staple CNC milled aluminum chassis and unibody design but with an anodized pink finish. It is decorated with a subtle tone-on-tone Razer logo and comes with a full Quartz Pink keyboard with Razer Chroma RGB lighting and a custom Quartz Pink OS theme.

Internally, the Razer Blade 15 Quartz Pink Base model packs a six core Intel Core i7-9750H processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU. The laptop also features a full array of connectivity options including Gigabit Wi-Fi speeds, Bluetooth 5, Thunderbolt 3 and Ethernet. It comes loaded out with 16GB DDR4 RAM and a 512GB PCIe SSD, both of which can be easily upgraded.

It’s now available for $1,999 through Razer.com and select retailers in the U.S., Canada and China.

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Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition now available for Nintendo Switch

Finally the wait is over and we’re thrilled to announce that Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition is available today for Nintendo Switch in the Nintendo eShop! We couldn’t be happier with the reception so far, especially from our fans!

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition is a unique action platformer that combines deep Metroidvania style gameplay with emotional storytelling. The forest of Nibel is dying and Ori must find courage to confront Kuru, the dark owl, in order to save the forest. Ori’s journey is a story about love, sacrifice, and the hope that exists in us all.

To our Switch friends, we’re excited for you to enjoy the same Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition experience that Xbox and PC players know and love. We can’t wait for you to share your stories of your time exploring Nibel!

Stay tuned for the latest game news and updates at orithegame.com.

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ID@Xbox launches new YouTube channel to show off independent games coming to Xbox One and Windows PC

Today marks the launch of the ID@Xbox YouTube channel! Click here to give it a visit. With this channel, we are going to present the very best in Independent games coming to Xbox One and Windows PC, and maybe even some fun original programming along the way. ID@Xbox has been around since 2013 (ed – holy cow has it been that long?). The very first ID@Xbox game, Strike Suit Zero, shipped on April 4, 2014, and since then we’ve helped Independent developers, both big and small, launch nearly 1,500 games on Xbox.

We know there’s a community out there that’s passionate about Independent gaming – we interact with them every day on social media, at shows and events, on Mixer, and in games. And we’re extremely passionate about Independent games ourselves, if you hadn’t guessed! With this channel we simply want to share stuff that we think is awesome and see what you think. Please feel free to jump in the comments and let us know what you like and want to see more of, and what games you’re excited about.

We’ve created a video to celebrate the launch – check it out to meet some members of the ID@Xbox and hear what some of our favorite games are. The ID@Xbox YouTube channel is live now and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the amazing content from Independent games going forward.

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‘ELEAGUE Gears Summer Series: The Bonds and Betrayals of Brotherhood’ debuts June 14

Last month, Xbox and ELEAGUE announced the “ELEAGUE Gears Summer Series: The Bonds and Betrayals of Brotherhood” – a six-part event series focused on the stories and players behind the world of Gears Esports. During our special E3 Edition of Inside Xbox on June 10, we teased the show with a two-minute trailer. If this left you wanting more, you’re in luck! The first episode will debut on TBS tomorrow, Friday, June 14, at 11 pm ET/8 apm PT.

 

With one-hour long episodes, the series will provide an unprecedented look into the uniquely passionate world of Gears Esports through the lens of six of the most well-known professional players, including Gilbert ‘Xplosive’ Rojo and Danny ‘Identivez’ Santillana. The six episodes will explore each player’s intense connection to the game and each other as they navigate to become the best players in the world on Gears 5 Escalation 2.0, the mode designed specifically for Gears Esports.

In addition to the TBS episodes, ELEAGUE will host Gears 5’s first-ever esports tournament, with new Versus gameplay, from July 13-14 (Saturday to Sunday), live on Twitch and the premium live sports streaming service B/R Live. The ELEAGUE Gears Summer Series tournament will feature eight of the world’s top teams – many of which will star in the TBS series – competing live within ELEAGUE Arena at Turner Studios in Atlanta. The final two episodes of the TBS programming will showcase the most exciting moments from the live tournament.

To stay updated, follow @EsportsGears on Twitter. Be sure to also check out ELEAGUE’s channels; @ELEAGUETV and www.ELEAGUE.com.

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Head of Xbox Phil Spencer shares 3 steps we’re taking to contribute to the thriving PC gaming ecosystem

We believe the player should be at the center of their gaming experience and be able to harness the unique benefits of the devices they choose to play on.

Nowhere is that belief more important than on the PC. As the creators of Windows, we have a unique responsibility to ensure we’re investing in experiences that benefit players everywhere, while respecting the PC community’s preference for an open, highly customizable platform.

We’ve not always lived up to our aspiration of keeping gamers at the center of everything we do when it comes to the experience they’ve had on Windows.

Today I’d like to share three steps we are taking to contribute to the thriving PC gaming ecosystem:

Introducing Xbox Game Pass Designed for PC Players

Two years ago, we launched Xbox Game Pass on Xbox One, and since then we’ve seen how valuable a curated library of high-quality games can be for players and game developers alike. It offers a great way to discover and play your next favorite game. We researched whether a similar opportunity exists for PC players and PC game developers, and we believe that it does. We also considered the importance of bringing something new and additive to the PC gaming ecosystem, and we believe that we can. So, we designed a service specifically for the needs of PC gamers and PC game developers. It’s called Xbox Game Pass, just like the original, but it’s a new experience that we are building together with the PC community.

Xbox Game Pass for PC will give players unlimited access to a curated library of over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows 10, from well-known PC game developers and publishers such as Bethesda, Deep Silver, Devolver Digital, Paradox Interactive, SEGA, and more. And just as we committed on the console, it is our intent to include new games from Xbox Game Studios in Xbox Game Pass for PC the same day as their global release, including titles from newly acquired studios like Obsidian and inXile. We’re working with over 75 developers and publishers to bring PC content to the service and we’ll ensure the library remains curated and full of great PC titles across a variety of genres, with new games added every month.

Xbox Game Pass for PC members will also receive discounts in the Microsoft Store on Windows of up to 20% on games currently in the library and up to 10% off related game DLC and add-ons.

We look forward to sharing more at E3, including the great games coming to the library, as well as more details on when and how you’ll experience the new Xbox Game Pass service for PC gamers.

More Choice in Where to Buy Xbox Game Studios Titles

Enabling gamers to play together, through cross-platform play and cross-network play across Windows 10 PCs and console, is vitally important.  Building communities across all of those players, regardless of the store or platform they’ve chosen (console or PC), is also vitally important because it helps bring players together, allows games to find their largest audience and allows gaming to deliver its true potential of uniting people around the power of play.

With that in mind, our intent is to make our Xbox Game Studios PC games available in multiple stores, including our own Microsoft Store on Windows, at their launch.  We believe you should have choice in where you buy your PC games.

In March, we announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will come to PC later this year, launching on Steam in addition to the Microsoft Store on Windows.  We will continue to add to the more than 20 Xbox Game Studios titles on Steam, starting with Gears 5 and all Age of Empires I, II & III: Definitive Editions.  We know millions of PC gamers trust Steam as a great source to buy PC games and we’ve heard the feedback that PC gamers would like choice.  We also know that there are other stores on PC, and we are working to enable more choice in which store you can find our Xbox Game Studios titles in the future.

We want to bring players together to create a shared player community regardless of where they play, so it’s our intent that new Xbox Game Studios titles include features such as voice and text chat, LFG, friends lists and cross-play across PC and console.  On Windows 10 you’ll find this functionality in the Xbox Game Bar, which we’ll continue to evolve and expand.

Supporting Win32 Games on Windows 10

We want creators to be inspired to bring their best content to Windows 10, and we want Windows 10 to be the place where gamers come to discover their next favorite PC game. We recognize that Win32 is the app format that game developers love to use and gamers love to play, so we are excited to share that we will be enabling full support for native Win32 games to the Microsoft Store on Windows. This will unlock more options for developers and gamers alike, allowing for the customization and control they’ve come to expect from the open Windows gaming ecosystem.

When I think about the role we play as a company to support and evolve gaming on Windows, it’s critical that we make decisions that reinforce the open nature of the PC, focusing on how best to unite players on all devices around the games they love. That philosophy will guide us as we introduce new ways to discover and play games on WThese are just a few of our steps in a journey to contribute to gaming on Windows 10. We know that PC gamers want to see games, so I hope you’ll join us at our annual Xbox E3 2019 Briefing on Sunday, June 9 to hear more, including the amazing lineup of new games and offers coming to PC players.

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‘Gears of War’ 2019 Funko Pop! collection available May 23

The next wave of Gears of War Funko Pop! figures are about to hit store shelves this Thursday, May 23! As we announced earlier this month, the mainline collection includes Kait Diaz in her winter gear from last year’s Gears 5 trailer, Marcus Fenix in his classic gear, Queen Myrrah, the Locust Boomer and the GameStop exclusive Skorge.

But that’s not all! Also releasing on Thursday is a limited-edition Collector’s Box which includes four Gears Pop! pins, a Gears Pop! baseball hat, a Gears Pop! artbook and four limited release Pop! figures: a red Skorge with shaded details, a gold-dipped of Marcus Fenix, a patinaed Myrrah, and Anya Stroud. The Collector’s Box is available exclusively at GameStop (in-stores and online) with limited quantities at EB Games, Sportscard Australia, select retailers throughout Europe and at E3.

All of these Pop! figures include a digital code for the upcoming Gears Pop! mobile game, which releases later this year. The code can be redeemed to your Xbox Live account starting May 23 – once the game has launched, the specific content associated with the code will unlock as it is released in game.

For more information on the Gears franchise, stay tuned to Xbox Wire, and to keep up to date with the latest information about Gears Pop!, you can visit www.gearspop.com and follow @GearsPop on Twitter.

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Video games: A unifying force for the world

My father, a chemical engineer, brought home our first computer, a Sinclair ZX81, which came out in 1981. We played games together and then later, we wrote games together.

Today, for many people around the world, gaming is the first entry point into technology, just like it was for me.

I believe in two fundamental truths about gaming:

First, gaming is for everyone. No one group “owns” gaming. Instead, whether you’re new to gaming or are a diehard e-sports fan, you are welcome to play and welcome to all the fun and skill-building that comes with gaming. In this way, when everyone can play, the entire world wins.

If you imagine gamers as predominantly men and specifically teen boys, think again. We are a 2.6 billion-person strong community of parents playing with our kids, adventurers exploring worlds together, teachers making math wondrous, grandmothers learning about their grandchildren through play, and soldiers connecting with their folks back home. Most gamers today are adults; nearly half are women.

Second, gaming must promote and protect the safety of all. Gaming must be a safe environment. Creating community is shared work, and protecting community is essential work, so, we all carry part of the payload of community safety – game industry and gamers alike.

This widespread embrace of gaming and its global communities have turned video games into the world’s leading cultural industry, bigger than movies or music. But it also comes at a time when digital life includes a growing toxic stew of hate speech, bigotry and misogyny.

No different from rock and roll, books and TV before them, video games are often dismissed or maligned as frivolous, fraught with violence or filled exclusively with hate-mongering. But gaming is uniquely designed for equality. We don’t just walk in someone’s shoes – we stand on equal footing, regardless of age, education, socioeconomics, race, religion, politics, gender, orientation, ethnicity, nationality, or ability. Gaming doesn’t just bring stereotype-defying gamers together; it unites us through our universal language of fun and answers our human need to play. Research has shown an effective way to battle polarization and prejudice is through relationships with people outside our own groups, known as intergroup contact theory. This is where gaming excels: forging unexpected friendships with people we might never meet in real life. Dr. Linda Tropp, a professor of psychology at University of Massachusetts Amherst, observes, “As an interactive form of entertainment, gaming environments have the potential to bring people together for collaborations across differences, and to build empathy and mutual understanding through play.”

When people call video games a waste a time, I point them to the well-documented health and social benefits of gaming. Beyond pure exhilaration, gaming helps children with autism make new friends and seniors with Alzheimer’s improve their memory. Researchers have found that gaming teaches adults leadership, improves decision-making and reduces stress and depression and also teaches kids computational skills and empathy. Gaming is the gateway to these 21st century skills and to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Just consider: teen girls who play video games are three times more likely to pursue a STEM degree. Among teenagers who play games online with others daily, 74% have made friends online and 37% have made more than five friends online. 

By uniting as an industry, we can thoughtfully and deliberately continue building a safe and inclusive gaming environment for everyone. Microsoft, Team Xbox, and I are personally committing to this, beginning with the following principles and actions:

We commit to be vigilant, proactive, and swift. Our Xbox Safety team is nicknamed the “Defenders of Joy” because we will defend you in every humanly and technologically possible way, so gaming remains fun. We will identify potentials for abuse and misuse on our platform and will fix problems quickly. We are also intent on expanding the composition of our safety team so wide-ranging perspectives can help us identify future safety problems and solutions. Because hate and harassment have no place in gaming, we recently published a refreshed version of our Xbox Community Standards to communicate how each of us can keep gaming fun and safe for all and detail the consequences when any of us break these standards. A welcoming community is the key to a safe community, so our 150,000 Xbox Ambassadors – community leaders, stewards, and allies – will be engaged to embark on new community missions to help create an inviting and safe environment for all gamers. We will also continue to roll out new programs for the health of our entire gaming community.

We commit to empowering you to safeguard your gaming experience the way you want. We believe in equipping you with the tools to customize your gaming experience fit for your personal comfort level. This summer, we are empowering our official Club community managers with proactive content moderation features that will help create safe spaces for fans to discuss their favorite games. We plan to roll out new content moderation experiences to everyone on Xbox Live by the end of 2019. Creating a Child or Teen Account is the easiest way for parents and guardians to manage who their kids engage with as well as their family’s screen time, content and spending. While more than 26 million Child and Teen accounts have been created to-date, we will make it easier for parents and guardians new to console and PC gaming to discover and create Child or Teen accounts. This year, Microsoft Stores rolled out a series of family workshops to help parents understand the tools available to them on console and PC, and this summer we are launching Gaming Summer Camps offering young gamers new ways to explore life skills and practice healthy habits that can be used in gaming and everyday life. Additionally, we recently launched a new “For Everyone” destination on Xbox.com where parents, guardians and players can learn how we’re making gaming more fun for everyone with our new inclusivity, accessibility, and safety features. We’re innovating now in these and other concrete ways to reduce, filter, and develop a shared understanding of toxic experiences, and to ultimately put our community of gamers, and their parents or guardians, in control of their own experiences.

We commit to working across the gaming industry on safety measures. Because we intend to protect all gamers, we will openly share safety innovations with our industry the same way Microsoft has made PhotoDNA technology universally available to everyone from the police to the tech industry to fight the spread of child pornography. Today, multiple teams working in areas like moderation, user research, data science, and others are already aligning with industry partners to share insights, and best practices in areas of safety, security and privacy.

The gaming community continues to grow rapidly, and the imminent roll-out of new game services such as Apple Arcade, Google Stadia and Microsoft’s Project xCloud, will make gaming available to even more people worldwide. Our industry must now answer the fierce urgency to play with our fierce urgency for safety.

We invite everyone who plays games, and industry partners, to join us in following these principles to help unify the world and do our part: make gaming accessible for everyone and protect gamers, one and all.

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