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New phishing scam puts your beloved Steam trading cards at risk

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New phishing scam puts your beloved Steam trading cards at risk

A new phishing scam has found a way around Steam Guard, Valve has admitted. Steam Guard requires a code sent to the Steam users registered email address before it lets users on unrecognised devices access the platform. 

This scam bypasses the security completely and Steam have been warning people not to send  their SSFN files to anyone, as this is what the cheeky perpetrators have been using to access users’ libraries. 

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Half-Life speedrun record smashed, video evidence is nauseating

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Half-Life speedrun record smashed, video evidence is nauseating

The original Half-Life game has been the running track for many speed runners over the years, with the usually 15-20 hour story being blitzed through in less than an hour. But now the fastest players alive have thrown down a new gauntlet and broken the existing speedrun record. 

Their new time: 20 minutes and 41 seconds. That’s nine minutes faster than the previous record. Nine. 

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Oculus recruit another Valve VR brain to work out of Seattle R&D Lab

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Oculus recruit another Valve VR brain to work out of Seattle R&D Lab

You can only expect some of the world’s greatest minds to sit tight for so long, knowing their work will never see the light of day. Especially when they’re on first-name terms with the people in charge of the commercially viable, Facebook-backed alternative. Another developer behind Valve’s astonishing VR tech has made the leap to Oculus.

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Michael Abrash joins Oculus as chief scientist; Valve down another big brain

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Michael Abrash joins Oculus as chief scientist; Valve down another big brain

Oculus VR is just gobbling talent up. A couple of weeks ago the company acquired Valve’s Atman Binstock, and today Valve’s VR guru Michael Abrash has joined the team as chief scientist. This could soften the blow from Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus a couple of days ago. 

“We're on the cusp of what I think is not The Next Big Platform, but rather simply The Final Platform – the platform to end all platforms – and the path here has been so improbable that I can only shake my head," said Abrash in a blog post.

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Dota 2 treasure chests no longer hold duplicate items

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Dota 2 treasure chests no longer hold duplicate items

Don’t you hate it when you’ve spent weeks tracking down a treasure chest, cursing the drunken pirate who inaccurately scrawled an ‘x’ on your laptop screen when you showed him a Google Gaps view of the area, only to find it contains a Tigger mug - the exact same Tigger mug you already owned!

Valve hate that, too. That’s why they’re changed the chests in Dota 2 to stop them giving duplicate rewards. Plus, there are lovely bonuses thrown into the mix.

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Steam in-home streaming users can now prioritise speed or quality

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Steam in-home streaming users can now prioritise speed or quality

There are a few big companies about right now who really want to let you play PC games through the screen and inputs of another device - if only you’re willing to pay a subscription, or buy their box, or wait for your bandwidth to catch up.

Of those, Amazon’s PC game streaming dongle is most exciting through merit of being new and unknown - but progress on Steam’s in-house streaming continues steadily. Beta users can now choose between speed or quality via a preference setting, and play with a new mouse emulation mode for controllers.

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Steam Reporting lets you tell games off for having naughty bits

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Steam Reporting lets you tell games off for having naughty bits

In what looks like a step towards an open unadministrated Steam marketplace, canny dataminers have spotted that Valve are working on a reporting system for the Steam client.

With all games currently sold on Steam going through an approval process there’s no great need to report games but if Valve were to start letting anyone upload games then giving players a way to point out pornography and child exploitation would be useful.

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Mirror's Edge and Dear Esther artist joins Valve to "be around people"

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Mirror's Edge and Dear Esther artist joins Valve to "be around people"

Rob Briscoe is one of two freelancers who’ve found a polite sort of fame after their work on Mirror’s Edge. While Rhianna Pratchett went on to scribe Tomb Raider (and in smaller font, Thief), Briscoe went on to splash Dear Esther with a liberal varnish of art and design.

The success of Dear Esther has allowed him to continue on in indiedom indefinitely - but an “increasing feeling of isolation" while working on a Unity port for the game has led him to seek a job in which he can be “in the presence of people". Genius people, at Valve.

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Oculus hire Valve VR man Atman Binstock, name him Chief Architect

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Oculus hire Valve VR man Atman Binstock, name him Chief Architect

You know all those shellshocked second-hand accounts that’ve been emerging from Steam Dev Days in recent weeks? Of imaginary fifty-foot drops and walls covered in serial killer QR codes?

All of that was the doing of Atman Binstock: sounds like a BioShock villain, actually one of the lead engineers and driving forces behind Valve’s internal VR projects. None of his work there will see the commercial light of day, sadly - but he’s just now moved to Oculus, where his knowledge and drive can power the Rift.

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Dota 2 makes Perfect World money in China, large-scale launch coming "soon"

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Dota 2 makes Perfect World money in China, large-scale launch coming "soon"

The fiscal year ends in a couple of weeks - which right now means it’s about Christmastime for money. Chinese MMO specialists Perfect World announced a $110.7 million drop in profits since last year, and so were rightfully reticent to break out the mulled wine - but still had something to celebrate with their shareholders.

Namely early revenue from Dota 2, which Perfect World are in the tentative stages of introducing to mainland China.

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Gabe Newell Reddit AMA: Take 2

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Gabe Newell Reddit AMA: Take 2

Gabe Newell vanished yesterday after arranging a Reddit AMA, certain sensationalist individuals might say that it was because he was busy with Half-Life 3 business. Whatever the reason, he returned today. For an hour, the Valve head honcho along with Greg Coomer, Ido Magal, Erik Wolpaw and Erik Johnson answered Reddit’s questions. Some of them. And no, they didn’t say anything about Half-Life 3. Which obviously means it’s on its way. 

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Valve’s VR prototype "lightyears ahead of the original Oculus Dev Kit", says dev - but won't be sold

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Valve’s VR prototype "lightyears ahead of the original Oculus Dev Kit", says dev - but won't be sold

Living in the wake of Steam Dev Days has been a little like watching the ships come into port in Elizabethan England - listening in awe as sailors struggle to describe potatoes.

You’ll never own one of Valve’s prototype VR kits; you’ll probably never see one. But according to the latest in a series of awestruck accounts from developers, it’s the best implementation the market will never see.

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Three nights only: final qualifiers for $250k crowdfunded Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament

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Three nights only: final qualifiers for $250k crowdfunded Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament

We are rapidly gaining on EMS One, the Counter-Strike tournament hosted in Katowice, Poland - best pronounced as a TV Batman “KATOW!", followed by a cool-as-you-like “-ice". It’s especially notable this year, not only because Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player numbers are on the rise, but because its sizeable prize pool has been composed entirely from the contents of the holey pockets of those very same players.

The main event is a couple of weeks away still - but six of its 16 team slots have yet to be filled. That’s what this evening’s European qualifiers are all about.

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Friendly fire: Valve launch Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's third community map initiative - Operation Phoenix

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Friendly fire: Valve launch Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's third community map initiative - Operation Phoenix

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community have spent the past few weeks - well, they’ve spent it shooting, haven’t they. But in between trigger squeezes, they’ve voted on the best maps from the last two Operations - limited-period initiatives in which players have been able to pay a small fee to play community-made maps on low-ping Valve servers.

They’ve pieced together eight favourites - now playable on official servers for the next few months of Operation Phoenix.

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Dota 2's very first tie-in promo item set is for Thief, it seems

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Dota 2's very first tie-in promo item set is for Thief, it seems

Team Fortress 2 has a long and rich history of in-game items bought with Steam copies of other games. That’ll continue in the coming week with new Thief-themed gear for the scout: a complicated-looking bow and matching hoodie.

Dota 2 remained aloof from its Steam Store fellows while in beta - but like so many times before, it’s learning its lessons from TF2. Early word on the next Dota 2 patch suggests that Steam Thief owners will get access to a new item set for Drow Ranger.

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Valve's Free to Play documentary launching on Steam March 19th

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Valve's Free to Play documentary launching on Steam March 19th

Valve’s Dota 2 documentary, Free to Play, will launch on March 19th via Steam. The feature-length movie follows a trio of Dota 2 players as they travel the globe in search of adventure and fights to bring honour to their respective villages, maybe learning a little bit about themselves in the process. 

Okay, so maybe it’s not that. It actually follows Dendi, HYHY and Fear as they compete in the Dota 2 International Tournament for a million dollar prize. 

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