Avast! It’s time to play pirate in Microsoft’s fun-filled ‘Sea of Thieves’ Xbox MMO

Bill Roberson
Get your sack and pillage on with the not-so-serious Xbox pirate game Sea of Thieves, Monero miners target Android smartphones users, jet maker Airbus thinks small with Skyways drone delivery system.

Ahoy, me mateys

Been working hard and ready for some R and R? Well, we think you should spend some time pillaging and questing on the high seas! It’s Tuesday, February 13gth and no, we don’t condone pulling an Ocean’s 11 on a cruise ship, but we have been playing Sea of Thieves, which is almost as fun and doesn’t risk jail time. The MMO pirate adventure game is all kinds of good fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously – or very seriously at all – which we’re fine with.

DT’s Will Fulton got a chance to get his feet wet in the new Xbox game from Microsoft’s Rare studios, and it’s worth the wet socks. You choose your pirate avatar from a field of eight characters that you can customize to a fair degree, put together a crew, and then off you go on a mission of conflict, conquest… or maybe both. The setting is tropical, the beaches are sandy, and the gameplay is as fun as… being a pirate should be.

Don’t get shafted

A new warning today for Android phone users: cryptocurrency miners are targeting your smartphone through malware, browser redirects and other nefarious schemes to turn your shiny handset into a temporary currency mining rig. According to security outfit Malwarebytes, Android users clicking on malicious links and downloading trojanized apps that redirect phones to those mining links are getting hijacked for a short time, usually four minutes or so.

Users are shown a warning message that tells them to solve a CAPTCHA to “prove they are human,” and it’s always the same CAPTCHA: W3FASO5R. Until it’s entered, your phone will start mining away at 100 percent of the CPUs capacity in order to mine cryptocurrency Monero. Malwarebytes says nearly a million people a day are getting hit by the request. That’s a lot of mining.

From drone (to locker) to you

Still think drone delivery schemes are a distant dream? Doesn’t look like it as more companies are getting into the mix with Amazon, Boeing, Google, Walmart and others. The latest entry is this 55-pound flying robot called “Skyways” from jet airline giant airbus. And it’s not just the drone that’s interesting, but the whole roboticized delivery system, which includes robotic package sorting and loading, lockers for package pickup, and even this robotic drone positioning system.

The Skyways system would use “parcel stations” for pickup and drop off, and the eight-prop octocopters can lift nine pounds of cargo into the air, but for how long or how far, Airbus didn’t say. Obviously, this is a concept program at this point, but the idea of delivering to a safer “locker” system instead of navigating directly to your home through trees, telephone wires and other obstacles seems to be gaining favor.

Amazon is already using lockers at convenience stores and other neighborhood locations close to customers, so adding in a drone delivery element to an unmanned self-sorting facility seems like a logical expansion of the idea. It could be here sooner than you think.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.