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Using a PlayStation 4 controller with your PC

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Microsoft’s Xbox controller has been the default gamepad for PC gamers for some time now, but you may prefer Sony’s competing — and also quite good — DualShock 4 controller. The good news is, you can easily configure it to work on Windows or macOS.

The PlayStation 4 gamepad’s ergonomic and efficient design cannot be denied. Whether you play first-person shooters, roleplaying games, or any other genre, the DS4 is crafted to feel comfortable in button placement, weight, and grip. Long-time PlayStation gamers may wish to use it on their PC games because of its familiarity. Others opt for it instead of spending money on a new controller. And, of course, the DualShock 4 controller is perfect for playing games with the Remote Play app on your computer.

Whatever the case may be, it is relatively simple to connect and use the DualShock 4 with your computer. There are a few quirks, though, which is why we thought a primer on setting up and using them would be prudent.

TL;DR

  • First: Unpair the PS4 controller from your console. Then connect it to your PC or Mac using the original cable (or buy a longer one) or use Bluetooth. More instructions on how to use Bluetooth can be read below.
  • On Windows: Download DS4Windows and use this to map the DualShock 4 controller and emulate an Xbox controller, so you gain native-like OS support. Steam Big Screen mode also has support for the PS4 controller.
  • On Mac: Using the most recent release of macOS Catalina 10.15 is highly encouraged as that will provide with the easiest integration. Steam for Mac and few other apps provide native controller support. More detail on that below.
  • PS4 Remote Play: Using the DualShock 4 with PlayStation’s Remote Play app is relatively painless since both PC and Mac have built-in support.

The DualShock 4 is more or less plug-and-play. It can be connected to both PCs and Macs via a compatible micro USB cable. The one that comes with the controller is fine but is a tad short and may not suit your computer set up. You can buy a 20-foot cable that should be more than enough for anyone’s needs.

However, who needs a cable when the controller is equipped with Bluetooth? Therefore this article will mostly focus on pairing it wirelessly.

Unpairing from PS4 and Pairing Mode

Whether you are planning to use your DualShock 4 with PC or Mac, you will first have to unpair it from the PlayStation, unless you bought it new, and it has never been paired. If that’s the case you may skip this step.

To unpair it, turn on your PS4 and go into the Settings menu. Scroll down and open the Devices sub-menu. Select Bluetooth Devices and then DualShock 4, and click on Disconnect. With your DS4 now unpaired, you are set to connect it with your Mac or PC via Bluetooth, but first, you need to get the controller into pairing mode.

To initiate pairing, simultaneously press and hold the PS and the Share buttons on the DS4 for about three seconds. You will know it is in pairing mode when the light on the front of the controller begins blinking white in a double flash pattern (above).

Connecting the controller to Mac and PC is a similar process, but setting it up with macOS is a bit more straightforward, so let’s start there.

Connecting the DS4 in macOS

With the controller in pairing mode, go to your Mac’s settings and open Bluetooth Preferences. It might take a few seconds or more while the Mac searches for the signal, so be patient. Eventually, a listing for it will appear.

We have seen various labels show up here — “wireless controller,” “DualShock 4 wireless controller,” even the raw MAC address has shown up before. Regardless of how it is listed, it will be obvious which device is the controller.

Next to the listing, click the Connect button. After a few seconds, the wireless controller will move to connected status. Also, the light on the front of the DS4 will be a steady light blue. Now you are good to go — well, almost. Skip to the Quirks and Game Support section to see what caveats we encountered.

Connecting the DS4 in Windows

With the controller in pairing mode, go into Windows Bluetooth settings. Click on “Add Bluetooth or other device.” A window will pop up with the top option to connect to a BT device. Click it, and on the next screen you should see an entry for “wireless controller.” Click that, and it will pair the controller.

Once the DS4 is connected, you would think that you are ready to go. After all, it will clearly show that the computer is connected and receiving a signal from the controller — it may have even run some driver installs. However, the DualShock will be useless when trying to run native games.

Since Windows does not have native support for the DS4, you will have to trick it into thinking you are using an Xbox 360 controller, which it does support. You can do this by downloading and installing an open-source program called DS4Windows. Features are listed on the official website, and you can download it from TechSpot Downloads. You won’t need this app if you plan to play only Steam games, which we will get to in a minute.

DS4Windows comes in a zipped file. Extract it and you will see two .exe files. DS4Udater.exe just downloads the latest drivers. For now, you should be good, but keep this in mind if you have problems down the road. The main program is DS4Windows.exe. Run this, and your DualShock will immediately have functionality in Windows. You can even use the DS4’s touchpad as a mini trackpad to move the cursor around. Pushing in on the pad emulates left-clicking.

With DS4Windows running in the background, you should not have any trouble playing games natively on your PC using the DualShock 4. However, you may wish to customize settings in-game to suit your button preferences.

Quirks and Game Support

Now for the “bad” news. Using a DualShock 4 on your computer can be a bit tricky at times. A lot of it depends on your system setup and what you are trying to do with the controller.

Windows users relying on DS4Windows should be good to go as long as the game you are playing has controller support. DS4Windows transforms the signals from the DS4 into Xbox 360 code, so it’s effectively remapped across the OS.

We also tested the DualShock 4 with Steam on PC, and it works great in “Big Screen” mode after a bit of tinkering. After starting the Steam launcher in Big Screen mode, you want to click on the Settings icon (the gear in the upper right). Click the Controller Settings tab and check the “PlayStation Configuration Support” box.

Using the DualShock 4 with PlayStation’s Remote Play app is relatively painless since the apps for both PC and Mac have built-in support. However, if you are running a version of macOS earlier than Catalina 10.15, you will need Sony’s DS4 Bluetooth dongle. This is unfortunate because the officially supported adapter goes for about $65 on Amazon, although you can find them for less on eBay.

Some Redditors have reported that you can use any Bluetooth adapter, and this may be true, but we have not tested to confirm this. We have tested the official dongle, and it solves Remote Play compatibility issues on older iterations of macOS.

With the Mac version of Steam, we encountered a few more problems and the solutions can vary a lot. The safest bet here is to run the latest macOS and Steam’s 64-bit launcher which are both new and are still catching up on receiving full support. For games that we could start, the DualShock worked fine. Big Screen mode gives you a very console-like experience with the benefit of PC-powered graphics, and any game you can launch in that mode will recognize the controller. Running Steam games outside of Big Screen mode, the DS4 didn’t work at all. It would seem that Big Screen works similarly to the PC’s DS4Windows app, translating controller input to the game.

All-in-all, the DualShock 4 is a great controller for your PC with just a few caveats. It would appear that Windows users have it easier than Mac gamers, but that is somewhat to be expected. With that said, Apple is making strides as of late and even native Xbox controller support recently was made available for its desktop OS.

Source: https://www.techspot.com/article/1923-playstation-4-controller-on-pc/

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The Motivator

YouTube’s new policy creates uncertainty among content creators

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Online streaming service, YouTube seems to have instilled fear in content creators with its newly updated Terms of Service scheduled to take effect from December 10, 2019.

Although the new terms do not change the way YouTube treats or uses content uploaded by users, it has clarified some policies that were making users get worried that their accounts could be deleted.

According to the section titled ‘Account Suspension & Termination’ with the subheading ‘Terminations by YouTube for Service Changes’, “YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube reasonably believes that its provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.”

What this means: This means accounts of YouTubers, who aren’t making enough money nor generating enough views, may be deleted. This is one of the updates that are not in YouTube’s current policy.

The new policy gives YouTube the power to delete a creator’s account if they upload or livestream video that doesn’t pull in enough advertising revenue. It is pertinent to note that apart from content creators, YouTube could also remove accounts of viewers as the terms do not explicitly state content creators alone.

Reactions: Since the pop-up window of notification for the new policy started showing when users log on to the app, YouTube has been criticized as YouTubers have been lamenting on Twitter.

Nevertheless, some think the policy applies to users who make videos without following the rules and regulations of YouTube and so hurt the brand, instead of users who do not make enough money for the company.

napkin 252@napkin_yaboi

THE END IS HERE, THE END OF YOUTUBE IS HERE!

Starting around December 10th, YouTube’s new terms of service basically says if your channel doesnt make enough money, it has a chance of being terminated. this is legit unacceptable, i dont use that word often. spread the word please

View image on Twitter

5313:58 – 10 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacy40 people are talking about this

Tori Wesley@WesleyTori

YouTube is deleting channels that don’t make enough money (or any money at all) as of December 10. This takes away our freedom of expression, and I will not stand for it! https://weirdmixofweirdness.tumblr.com/post/188951126067/as-of-december-10th-youtube-will-add-a-new-policy …As of December 10th, YouTube will add a new policy to their terms of service.According to these new terms, if you do not make enough revenue (or none at all) for YouTube, your account will be deleted. This means that… If you run a small channel, your account will be…weirdmixofweirdness.tumblr.com317:24 – 10 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacySee Tori Wesley’s other Tweets

Bunty(Thanksgiving Month)ジョシュア@GalacticalCrew

GUYS STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THE NEW YOUTUBE TERMS OF SERVICE!

I wanna let yall know that in reality, they have the right to take your account down if they no longer make money, so we’re ok.1016:50 – 10 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacySee Bunty(Thanksgiving Month)ジョシュア’s other Tweets

 ADG  @captain_adg

@YTCreators @YouTube @SusanWojcicki

Your new terms of service have actually revealed your true colors. There’s thousands of content creators who do this for fun, and you might actually terminate them cause they don’t give you enough money?!?!

Disgraceful
Selfish
Pitiful314:37 – 10 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacySee  ADG  ‘s other Tweets

Sophie  BM@boopstawista

😠

@TeamYouTube Dear YouTube,

I’m pretty offended after reading your new Terms of Service.

Basically what this means is that you are terminating small accounts for no reason!

This is not acceptable and I don’t like the direction you are going at all.

-Angry YouTuber114:31 – 10 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacySee Sophie  BM’s other Tweets

Christian Maracle@MaracleMan · 9 Nov 2019

YouTube has new Terms Of Service on December 10th. This basically says that if channels don’t make enough money, THEY WILL POSSIBLY TERMINATE THEM!!!

Looks like I fought to the very end but now I may be close to losing my livelihood, losing my passion, my audience and my…

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CartoonFan12@CartoonFan12

If provision of the service is no longer commercially profitable for YOUTUBE, it’s not that if you don’t make money, is if YouTube Loses money by allowing your channel to exist. It means don’t make hate videos that hurts YouTube as a brand.6320:22 – 9 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacy16 people are talking about this

The company was said to have sent a mail to inform content creators first before throwing it out to the general public. This move by YouTube could either make or mar the company as it now seems it is focusing more on its biggest, most profitable creators while giving smaller creators fewer chances of monetizing their work.

Source: https://nairametrics.com/2019/11/11/youtubes-new-policy-creates-uncertainty-among-content-creators/

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Lasers can silently issue ‘voice commands’ to your smart speakers

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Laser pointers can apparently trick smart speakers, phones and tablets into following voice commands to open doors or make purchases, even from hundreds of feet away. Researchers from Tokyo and the University of Michigan have revealed that they were able to take over Google Assistant, Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa devices by shining laser pointers or flashlights at their microphones. One of the researchers, Daniel Genkin, was also part of the team that discovered the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities.

The team has published a paper detailing the light flaw after seven months of experimentation. They were able to hijack smart speakers 230 to 350 feet away by focusing lasers using a telephoto lens. In fact, the Google Home they tricked into opening a garage door was inside a room in another building. The laser modulation they beamed at its microphone port through the window is equivalent to the voice command “OK Google, open the garage door.”

They explained that there’s a small plate called a diaphragm inside devices’ microphones that moves when hit by sound. Lasers can replicate that movement and convert it into electric signals that the device can understand. They said opening the garage door by taking over Google Home was easy to do, and they could’ve easily made online purchases, opened doors protected by smart locks and even remotely unlocked cars connected to voice AI-powered devices by using the same method.

The researchers have already notified Tesla, Ford, Amazon, Apple and Google about the issue — a move that’s highly important to get the problem fixed, since simply covering microphones with tape wouldn’t solve it. Most microphones, they said, would have to be redesigned. The team was able to hijack Google Home/Nest, Echo Plus/Show/Dot, Facebook Portal Mini, Fire Cube TV, EchoBee 4, iPhone XR, iPad 6th Gen, Samsung Galaxy S9 and Google Pixel 2 devices using the technique. It was much easier hijacking smart speakers from afar, though. The method only worked on the mobile devices from a maximum distance of 16 to 65 feet.

This is far from the first digital assistant vulnerability security researchers have discovered. Researchers from China’s Zheijiang University found that Siri, Alexa and other voice assistants can be manipulated with commands sent in ultrasonic frequencies. Meanwhile, a group from the University of California, Berkeley found that they can take over smart speakers by embedding commands, which aren’t audible to the human ear, directly into recordings of music or spoken text.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/11/05/lasers-voice-commands-smart-speaker/

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Gender-neutral emojis hit screens in new Apple update

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Apple has put out new gender neutral emojis of most of its people icons — including punks, clowns and zombies — as part of an update to its mobile operating system.

The tech giant has offered growing numbers of inclusive emoji designs in recent years, putting out a range of skin tones and occupations, with Google’s Android publishing its own non-binary faces in May.

A wheelchair, guide dog and a flexing prosthetic arm are among Apple’s latest batch — put out on Monday with the iOS 13.2 upgrade — that users can slip into messages to get their points across.

The new gender-neutral emojis differ slightly from the male and female ones.

In some, the style and colour of their clothes are changed. In others the haircuts are different and a “gender-neutral facial structure” is used, says the Emojipedia website.

The attempt at on-screen inclusivity has not pleased everyone however, with some suggesting the icons indicate how gender-nonconforming people should look.

“How do u determine that these emojis are how gender-neutrality should be represented or that these emojis even represent most gnc people,” wrote one Twitter user.

“I don’t understand why they weren’t just all neutral to begin with,” wrote another.

“Regular old smileys were neutral. I don’t know why we had to go and start gendering everything in the first place.”

When it unveiled the designs earlier this year, Apple said they would “bring even more diversity to the keyboard” and “fill a significant gap” in the selection of emojis.

“Users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone, in addition to gender,” it said.

Apple also serves up some niche offerings in the new update including a plate of falafel, a skunk and a banjo.

Businesses have paid increasing attention to becoming more inclusive in recent times.

Toymaker Mattel, for example, released gender-neutral dolls last month with none of the curves or large muscles of the traditional Barbie or GI Joe, while many small fashion brands and make-up companies are marketing non-binary products.

Source: https://punchng.com/gender-neutral-emojis-hit-screens-in-new-apple-update/

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