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    The jockeying to replace Neera Tanden has begun – POLITICO - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Tandens selection to run the OMB was always viewed as a risky one for Biden, given her bare-knuckled approach to dealing with Republicans and particularly inflammatory Twitter account. But after Democrats took control of the Senate, Biden allies believed the president would get her confirmed.

    Manchin, a moderate Democrat, likely blew up those plans Friday afternoon.

    I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget, he said in a statement. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.

    The White House said it had no intention from withdrawing Tandens nomination, with the president telling reporters after a trip to Michigan that, I think were going to find the votes to get her confirmed. Democrats believe its critical the Biden administration does not quickly relent on Tanden after Manchins opposition, if only to demonstrate they will not cower immediately to any opposition, including from within the party.

    But with no Republicans signaling they would support Tanden, activists and allies are already scrambling for the potential opening.

    Sperling, whose potential bid was mentioned in a Friday night article in The American Prospect, has boosters through the party owing to his service in the Clinton and Obama administrations and the relationships hes built both with Bidens top economic advisers and within progressive intellectual circles.

    Bidens orbit believes he would be easily confirmed if nominated. But there are concerns about Sperlings potential ascension because of the presidents stated commitment to build a diverse cabinet. Tanden is an Indian American woman, one of only two women of Asian descent nominated for the cabinet other than Vice President Kamala Harris.

    Its difficult for them not to put a woman in the job because of the commitments the president made to having a balanced cabinet, said one former Obama official.

    Reached for comment, Sperling praised Tandens nomination to OMB.

    I have worked with Neera for over 20 years and have never stopped being impressed by the breadth of her policy expertise, her work ethic and commitment to helping Americans in need, Sperling said. She is supremely qualified to be OMB Director. I have been and remain 100% supportive of her confirmation.

    OLeary is a longtime Democratic policymaker with close ties to top Biden aides in particular, White House chief of staff Ron Klain owing to her years of experience in Clintonworld. She worked in the Clinton White House and then joined Hillary Clintons Senate office as legislative director. She later served as a top policy adviser on Clintons 2016 campaign, along with Jake Sullivan, now Bidens national security adviser.

    Her policy work has been widely praised by Democrats, but her chances at the slot may be bogged down by her most recent stint in the Newsom administration.

    OLeary served for two years as Newsoms chief of staff, and it was well-known in Democratic circles that she was angling for a job in the Biden administration. But she left Newsoms staff before she landed a job. Her departure came around the time the governor began to face a recall effort over criticism of how he has handled the Covid-19 pandemic. People in Newsoms camp felt OLeary was not the right person to lead the governor through the turbulence of a recall.

    Does the White House want to have Senate hearings that are going to examine the Gavin Newsom administration in California? Thats the baggage, the Obama alum said. Theres a lot of concern.

    OLeary and the White House declined to comment, but after this story published, O'Leary tweeted her support for Tanden's nomination.

    "For years, Ive worked side-by-side with my dear friend @neeratanden fighting for more inclusive and equitable economic policies," she wrote. "Yes, shes a tough cookie, but its because shes fighting so hard for the most vulnerable. @POTUS is going to get her confirmed and Ill be cheering!"

    Given the concerns surrounding Sperling and OLeary, the White House could decide to elevate Shalanda Young, who has been nominated to serve as deputy OMB director. Young, a Black woman, is widely respected by both parties on the Hill, where she has worked as the staff director for House Democrats on the Appropriations Committee.

    Still, the White House is insistent they will continue to push for Tandens confirmation, touting her more than 35 meetings with senators from both parties, her outreach to Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations and the business community and bipartisan support she earned outside the Beltway, including from former OMB Director Mitch Daniels, a Republican.

    Neera Tanden is an accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent budget director and we look forward to the committee votes next week and to continuing to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said in a statement Friday night.

    While most Democrats argue its too early to completely desert Tanden, they also worry about waiting too long to fill the top post at OMB, especially as the administration is expected to produce a budget in the coming weeks or months.

    I wouldnt want to go another month without an OMB director, the former Obama official said. Its an incredibly important time. Either lets get Neera confirmed, or youre going to have to move quickly.

    Kevin Yamamura contributed to this report.

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    The jockeying to replace Neera Tanden has begun - POLITICO

    Hearthstone’s Year of the Gryphon will start with Forged in the Barrens expansion – Shacknews - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Hearthstone's new Year of the Gryphon is about to begin and it will launch with the Forged in the Barrens expansion.

    BlizzConline continues on with what's next for Hearthstone. Blizzard's collectible card game is in a unique place for this latest BlizzCon, because a new Standard year is about to begin. That Standard year will be known as the Year of the Gryphon. And it will kick off with the game's latest expansion, Forged in the Barrens.

    Forged in the Barrens will feature 135 new cards inspired by the beloved World of Warcraft setting. The latest keyword is Frenzy, but the biggest feature is ten new Legendary Mercenary minions, each representing one of the game's classes. The Mercenary stories will play out throughout the Year of the Gryphon, culminating with a new single-player roguelike game mode called Hearthstone Mercenaries. More information on Hearthstone Mercenaries is expected in the future.

    The Year of the Gryphon promises to shake up Hearthstone in ways never imagined. For one thing, the new Core set will replace the Classic set, shaking up the foundation of the game as everyone knows it. This includes taking Classic cards and reimagining some of them entirely. The Core set will be ready for the start of the new Standard year, as will the new expansion.

    The Core set will include reimaginings for three of the game's Legendary Dragons, including:

    For those who think this is too much change, players will have an option to turn back the clock with a special Hearthstone Classic mode. This features the Basic and Classic sets as they were in 2014, complete with all cards having their nerfs and buffs erased. Classic will be available for play alongside Standard and Wild and will feature its own rewards and rankings.

    We'll have a lot more to say about Hearthstone's upcoming year in the days ahead. Stay tuned to Shacknews for the latest on BlizzConline.

    Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but hes also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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    Hearthstone's Year of the Gryphon will start with Forged in the Barrens expansion - Shacknews

    Wonder Woman Deepfake Replaces The Superhero With Danny Trejo – GameRant - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Danny Trejo faces down an army in World War I in a hilarious video that replaces Gal Gadot with the Machete star as DC's Wonder Woman.

    It seems like everybody and their grandmother is making funny Deepfake videos these days. It's almost gotten to the point where the novelty has worn off due to it basically being the same joke told over and over. But sometimes an idea comes along that impresses due to its sheer absurdity and Wonder Woman is the latest subject of such an unusual concept.

    YouTube user Pooj's Variety Hour apparently looked at the dramatic "no man's land" scene from 2017'sWonder Woman and decided to put their own twist on it. Rather than simply replacing the face of Amazonian hero Diana with someone who looks like her, like theDeepfake video of Sebastian Stan as Luke Skywalker, they decided to go several steps further by instead inserting the face of legendary scowler Danny Trejo. The results are somehow both exactly as expected and also still very much worth watching.

    RELATED:Star Wars Deepfake Puts A Young Harrison Ford In Solo

    While nothing else about the scene is changed, the face replacement alone is enough to draw attention. Seeing Trejo wordlessly deflect bullets and mortar shells is more than worth the effort put in, and based on how technically complicated Deepfakes tend to be, there was likely a good amount of effort behind this video. It perhaps wasn't quite as involved as theStar WarsDeepfake that tried to outdoThe Mandalorian, but it's still impressive in its own right.

    This particular scene is notable as the being first time Diana (a.k.a Wonder Woman) truly acts as a hero, walking out into the middle of a battlefield to draw the enemy's fire and give the soldiers a fighting chance. Even though she hadn't exactly lived a sheltered life up until that point, she had lived an isolated one, making her decision to fight for a cause like this all the more significant. It's dramatic, epic, and really takes on a whole new vibe when the face of Machete himself unexpectedly shows up on the screen. Apparently,Wonder Woman is a popular target for spoof videos.

    It's almost as if the scene itself was tailor-made for this sort of comedy, as the first few shots refrain from showing Wonder Woman's face. This effectively builds up anticipation and makes it so the video could easily catch someone unaware that it involves a Deepfake, quite possibly resulting in a spectacular double-take when Trejo's face appears for the first time. It's just a flash at first, but that's enough to make any unsuspecting viewer think, "wait, what?"

    Videos like this really make this seem like a technological future, and the proficiency will only get more and more precise as time goes on. So look forward to the next few years, when it likely won't be surprising to see something like Trejo, an avid gamer himself, inserted perfectly into something likeGrand Theft Auto.

    Wonder Woman 1984 is now playing in select theaters.

    MORE:Heath Ledger's Joker & 9 Other Memorable Movie Villains

    Source: Pooj's Variety Hour/YouTube

    WandaVision Behind-The-Scenes Photos Reveal [Spoiler]'s Corpse

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    Wonder Woman Deepfake Replaces The Superhero With Danny Trejo - GameRant

    Rumor: Call of Duty Warzone Verdansk Map Could Be Coming to an ‘End’ – GameRant - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A new rumor makes the shocking claim that Call of Duty: Warzone could very well be removing its Verdansk battle royale map from the game.

    Call of Duty: Warzone first debuted in March of 2020, and it was a massive success right away. A free-to-play battle royale using the popularCall of Duty: Modern Warfare as its foundation,Call of Duty: Warzonehas earned mostly positive reviews from critics and fans alike, even though it has admittedly struggled with balancing issues and technical problems. Over the past year,Call of Duty fans have spent countless hours exploringWarzone's Verdansk map, but a new rumor suggests that Verdansk may actually be leaving the game.

    The rumor stems from the Twitter account WarzoneNewz, who claims trusted sources have said that the "end" of Verdansk is coming on March 11. March 11 is a Thursday, and that's whenCall of Duty: Warzone updates come, so the dates line up, though WarzoneNewz did not provide any concrete evidence to back up their claims. It seems unlikely thatCall of Duty: Warzone will be getting rid of Verdansk, but then again, it could be a way to give the game a serious shot in the arm for its one year anniversary.

    RELATED: Study Determines Which Games Have the Most Hackers

    SinceCall of Duty: Warzone launched, Verdansk has been the only large-scale map in the game. The much smaller Rebirth Island map was added a couple of months ago, but it is a much different experience than what's found in Verdansk. With the one year anniversary ofCall of Duty: Warzone coming up, maybe the developers will be removing Verdansk to replace it with the long-rumored new map that's supposedly be in the works for some time.

    It seems like a safer bet would be to simply add the new map along with Verdansk. Whatever the case may be, there have been rumors for some time now thatCall of Duty: Warzone would be adding a new map. Typically, the claim has been that the new map will be based onCall of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Fireteam maps, similarly to how Verdansk is based onCall of Duty: Modern Warfare Ground War maps.

    While it's certainly possible thatCall of Duty: Warzone could remove Verdansk from the game and replace it with a brand new one (other battle royales have done something similar), it seems highly unlikely. After all,Call of Duty: Warzone is adding a new Cargo Tanker location next week, and it seems strange for the developers to keep adding new content to a map just to remove the entire thing.

    If a newCall of Duty: Warzone map is coming, the likelier scenario is that it will be added alongside Verdansk instead of replacing it outright. For now, though, fans should take all of this information with a massive grain of salt and wait for something official from Activision.

    Call of Duty: Warzone is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

    MORE:Call of Duty: Warzone KSP 45 Submachine Gun Loadout

    WWE Video Game Tier List

    Dalton Cooper is an editor for Game Rant who has been writing about video games professionally since 2011. Having written thousands of game reviews and articles over the course of his career, Dalton considers himself a video game historian and strives to play as many games as possible. Dalton covers the latest breaking news for Game Rant, as well as writes reviews, guide content, and more.

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    Rumor: Call of Duty Warzone Verdansk Map Could Be Coming to an 'End' - GameRant

    Boris Johnson urged to reshuffle Cabinet with Michael Gove, Matt Hancock and Gavin Williamson facing job – The Sun - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    BORIS Johnson could reshuffle his Cabinet as soon as May, The Sun can reveal.

    The Prime Minister is being urged by allies to rejig his top team after the local elections.

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    It would coincide with a major speech Mr Johnson has started to write to herald an era of recovery after the pandemic.

    One scenario discussed in No10 would see Matt Hancock move to Education and Michael Gove replace him at Health.

    Education Secretary Gavin Williamson could be on his way out, sources say.

    Allies also claim that Mr Johnson was furious with reports that he has lost faith in Minister for the Cabinet Office Mr Gove and instead wants to see a reformer in his prime be handed a major new challenge.

    Insiders say the major efforts in extending the school year and pupil catch-up mean a new broom is needed after relations between Mr Williamson and the Education sector hit rock bottom.

    One Whitehall source said: Gavin has lost the teachers, the unions, the parents and frankly the trust of the PM to be able to fix this.

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    The insiders are split on whether his four-year Cabinet career would end, or whether he would be demoted to a more backroom role where he has previously thrived.

    Another scenario would see Mr Gove take over at the Home Office should Priti Patel have to fall on her sword over legal action around bullying claims.

    But Mr Johnson is said to be not keen on changing any of the Great Offices of State jobs.

    There is also mounting tension between his aides, with Brexit talks veteran Oliver Lewis quitting after just two weeks in charge of the SNP-fighting Union unit.

    Sources say he had threatened to walk multiple times since the departure of mentor Dominic Cummings.

    And some inside No10 are not impressed with Mr Cummingss replacement as head adviser.

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    BIG STEP 4WARDPM's four-step plan to ease lockdown as he ditches hated regional tiers

    OPE FOR THE BESTRoyals told to hide behind the sofa for Harry & Meghans Oprah chat

    KNIFED TO DEATHBoy, 15, charged over murder of cabbie stabbed to death by passenger

    COVID TRAGEDYTeen, 16, with no underlying health conditions dies after Covid infection

    FAMILY'S AGONYGirl, 9, dies of blood clot on heart days after GP sent her home with Calpol

    Latest

    FAMILY CRISISCharles shows strain as he visits ill father Philip a day after Megxit drama

    One said ex-Treasury official Dan Rosenfeld was obsessed with process and paperwork rather than politics and people.

    A colleague claimed: It seems he wants to be the Chief of Stuff rather than the Chief of Staff.

    Another compared Mr Rosenfelds management style to David Brent from TVs The Office.

    GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAILexclusive@the-sun.co.uk

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    Boris Johnson urged to reshuffle Cabinet with Michael Gove, Matt Hancock and Gavin Williamson facing job - The Sun

    Where Will Rush Limbaughs 15 Million Listeners Go Now? – The New York Times - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Its starting over, Mr. Harrison said in an interview, noting that conservative radio consumers can simply switch to other popular Limbaugh-like hosts, including Mr. Hannity, Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. (iHeartMedia might not mind: It also syndicates Mr. Beck and Mr. Hannity.)

    Mr. Limbaughs success may have ensured his shows eventual obsolescence.

    He was the first conservative icon in national media, bringing an ideology more closely associated with elite organs like National Review to a mass audience. His shock-jock antics infuriated Democratic presidents and endeared himself to Republican ones; as early as 1992, President George Bush invited him to spend a night in the Lincoln Bedroom.

    Before Fox News and the MAGA internet, Mr. Limbaughs program was the only megaphone for his divisive, hyperpartisan brand of commentary. Theres something magical about the intimacy of radio that younger readers simply cannot possibly appreciate, the commentator Matt Lewis wrote in The Daily Beast after Mr. Limbaughs death, echoing other conservatives who reminisced about childhood listening sessions.

    There is no doubt his show remained influential with the Slightly Less Online set, particularly among working-class listeners whose jobs might not afford nonstop access to a social media platform during the business day. Mr. Limbaugh even scored some headlines in December when he mused that the nation might be trending toward secession.

    But Mr. Limbaughs latter-day commentary while still ribald and unrepentant was often indistinguishable from that of dozens of other pundits.

    He created the genre, which then flooded the market with competitors, some less talented, some more, said Ann Coulter, the conservative provocateur. Only one person can be the pioneer but after that, its dog-eat-dog. (Even Fox News, which long enjoyed a monopoly on conservative TV, has now been forced to contend with upstart rivals, like Newsmax, that appeal to far-right viewers.)

    Because he depended on a publicly traded conglomerate for his paycheck, Mr. Limbaugh was also beholden to the kinds of corporate guidelines that fringier online platforms could happily ignore. After the election, Mr. Limbaugh defended President Trumps lies about voter fraud and as late as Inauguration Day insisted that Joseph R. Biden Jr. didnt win this thing fair and square but he stopped short of explicitly calling for violence. It was a guest on The Alex Jones Show who explicitly called for supporters to occupy the Capitol.

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    Where Will Rush Limbaughs 15 Million Listeners Go Now? - The New York Times

    Aristocrat Gaming’s New MarsX Portrait Cabinet is the Picture of Innovation – PRNewswire - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    VIDEO: Click to watch the MarsX Portrait in action.

    Click here to download hi-res game images

    Advanced technologyMarsX Portrait boasts a wealth of advanced technology that creates a more intuitive and fun gaming experience. Gen9 components drive MarsX Portrait's ability to spin fast, and the action plays out on the 43" curved ultra high-definition monitor, tall enough to allow for exciting growing reels action. And while the action may be hot, the MarsX Portrait never is, thanks to a specially designed chimney that redirects heat quietly away from both the player and critical components.

    Technology for playersMarsX Portrait gives players an experience they have been craving. The curved screen is a 4k display capable of showing 16.7 billion colors for unsurpassed visuals. Sight meets sound with MarsX Portrait's 4.1 Spatial KineticSound that creates a perfect soundscape for every game's unique journey. A virtual button deck has a dynamic bash button and wireless USB charging. Players will also love the portrait's game action, including growing reels, Cash on Reels, Hold & Spin, and multiple jackpot levels.

    Technology for operators and slot techsOperators and slot floor staff will appreciate MarsX Portrait's super hi-def toppers and vibrant wedges that create visual destinations and attract players. Slot techs will love several innovations that are a dramatic leap forward in cabinet design. The virtual button desk is constructed of Corning's Gorilla Glass for a near indestructible quality, and the bash button design allows for quick and easy in-field replacement. The front door is positioned on hydraulic hinges, a patented electro-mechanical latch provides greater security with an embedded optic coupler, and a secondary power switch is located on the front of the cabinet door. MarsX Portrait addresses BVs and printers with dedicated cash drop doors, and a pop-up track for ticket printers.

    Innovative new game libraryAristocrat created a new games library specifically for the MarsX Portrait, leading with three new game families. The Cash Across family was created for core players who thrill to the excitement of big wins, reel expansion, and jackpot potential. Launch titles are Horses of Helios and Savanna Lion.

    The player-favorite Fu Dai Lian Lian gets an added persistent boost mode to enhance the fun in FU DAI LIAN LIAN BOOST PEACOCK and FU DAI LIAN LIAN BOOST TIGER.

    The fun and excitement is tripled in the new Triple Grand Fortunes family of games with game titles Triple Grand Fortunes Fu Grand, Triple Grand Fortunes Lu Grand, and Triple Grand Fortunes Shou Grand.

    For more information on the MarsX Portrait and its library of launch titles, visit http://www.aristocratgaming.com.

    ABOUT ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES INC.Aristocrat Technologies Inc. is a subsidiary of Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL), a global games leader with more than 6,000 employees. The company is licensed in over 300 gaming jurisdictions, operates in more than 90 countries, and offers a unique blend of products and services. The company is the leading designer, manufacturer, and distributor of Class III games as well as Class II Innovations for Native American casinos and emerging markets. The company's mission is to bring joy to life through the power of play. Its values are rooted in creativity and technology, and the company has a rich history of innovation that has shaped the gaming industry over many decades. For further information, visit the company's website at http://www.aristocratgaming.com.

    Media Contacts:Paul Speirs-Hernandez, [emailprotected]Meghan Sleik, [emailprotected]

    SOURCE Aristocrat Technologies Inc.

    http://www.aristocratgaming.com

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    Aristocrat Gaming's New MarsX Portrait Cabinet is the Picture of Innovation - PRNewswire

    After 45 years, the Navy is planning to ‘recycle’ a first-of-its-kind missile submarine – Business Insider - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    In December, the US Navy released its 30-year ship-building plan, which called for building 404 new vessels to reach a 541-ship fleet by 2051, with 304 current vessels retired over that period.

    Fourteen of the vessels to be retired are nuclear-powered and thus need to be recycled as part of the Navy's Ship-Submarine Recycling Program to ensure safe disposal of their nuclear reactors and fuel.

    Those ships include the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and 13 nuclear submarines: 11 Los Angeles-class attack subs and two Ohio-class cruise-missile submarines, known as SSGNs.

    USS Ohio, lead ship of the class, will be one of the two SSGNs recycled. It will be the end of a four-decade career for the first sub of its kind.

    USS Ohio was commissioned in November 1981. Ohio and the boats that followed were ballistic-missile submarines, classified as SSBNs, and meant to replace the aging boats of the five previous SSBN classes, known as the "41 for Freedom," which were commissioned between 1959 and 1967.

    The SALT I and SALT II treaties between the US and the Soviet Union put limitations on their nuclear forces, including the number of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBMs) silos each could possess. As a result, a number of SSBNs were retired or refitted and reclassified as attack subs to make room for Ohio-class subs to enter service.

    As the newest SSBN in the Navy, Ohio was a considerable upgrade. At 560 feet long and 42 feet wide, Ohio and its follow-on boats are the largest submarines in US history. It was originally armed with four torpedo tubes and 24 missile silos eight more than its predecessors capable of firing UGM-96 Trident I SLBMs.

    Its nuclear reactor enabled Ohio, like other SSBNs, to stay submerged for months at a time. It also gave Ohio the ability to dive deeper than diesel-electric submarines and allowed it to have a virtually unlimited range, restricted only by its food supply.

    At Ohio's commissioning, then-Vice President George Bush said the vessel was "a new dimension in our nation's strategic deterrence," while Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, known as the "father of the nuclear Navy," said Ohio should "strike fear in the hearts of our enemies."

    All but one of the Ohio-class boats were named after US states, a tradition the Navy previously reserved for battleships and cruisers.

    After training and shakedown operations, Ohio was transferred to the Pacific Fleet, arriving at its homeport of Bangor, Washington, in August 1982. In October that year, Ohio began its first strategic deterrent patrol, the first such patrol with a Trident I SLBM, which lasted 70 days.

    Ohio would conduct strategic deterrent patrols out of Bangor for the next 20 years and did a number of Trident test launches in that time. After a brief overhaul from 1993 to 1994, Ohio returned to patrol duties in 1995.

    In 1994, the Nuclear Posture review determined that the Navy only needed 14 of its 18 SSBNs. As a result, the first four Ohio-class submarines were to be converted to SSGNs to assist ground operations in a more tactical role.

    Ohio's conversion lasted from 2002 to 2005. Ohio and its fellow SSGNs are now equipped with 22 Vertical Launching System tubes, giving them the ability to fire up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles.

    The four SSGNs have more than half of the US Navy's submarine vertical-launch payload capacity, with Ohio alone carrying more Tomahawks than a single Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

    The remaining two missile tubes were converted into swimmer lockout chambers, which, combined with its ability to carry a dry deck shelter, allows the Ohio to deploy up to 66 Navy Seals or Force Reconnaissance Marines for special operations.

    Returning to active service in 2006, Ohio continued to conduct patrols in the Pacific and participated in a number of exercises with the US's Asian allies. In 2010, Ohio and two other SSGNs surfaced simultaneously in the Western Pacific in response to Chinese missile tests in the East China Sea.

    In April 2017, Ohio entered a two-year refit, which upgraded most of its onboard systems, and returned to service in August 2019.

    To ensure continuous operation at peak performance, Ohio is operated by two rotating 155-man crews, dubbed Blue and Gold. Each crew deploys for 70 to 90 days before returning to port to swap places with the other.

    Ohio is currently operating in the Pacific with the US 7th Fleet. It recently conducted an exercise with Force Reconnaissance Marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, who practiced deployments via submarine and rubber raiding craft.

    Ohio is expected to enter the recycling process in 2026, along with sister boat USS Florida. For submarines, the process has four stages: inactivation, missile compartment dismantlement, reactor compartment disposal, and recycling.

    Inactivation begins after the sub has been disarmed and put into a dry dock. The reactor is shut down and completely de-fueled. The main storage battery is then removed.

    The submarine is cut open to allow easy access to the reactor. The fuel is moved to a shielded transfer container that is placed in a specially designed shipping container before being sent to the Naval Reactors Facility in Idaho.

    After this, the missile launchers are removed from the submarine and cut apart to ensure their destruction in accordance with the terms of the SALT II Treaty.

    When this is done, the rector is thoroughly cleaned, sealed in a protective case, and removed by crane to be sent to the Department of Energy's Hanford waste disposal site in eastern Washington.

    Any remaining parts of the submarine that can be used in active subs is removed and stored. The hull is then scrapped.

    Eventually, all Ohio-class SSBNs will be replaced by the Columbia class. The four SSGNs, meanwhile, will be replaced by the Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine, which will have vertical-launch systems capable of firing 12 to 40 Tomahawks or Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

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    After 45 years, the Navy is planning to 'recycle' a first-of-its-kind missile submarine - Business Insider

    Grand Theft Auto 6 Ought to Embrace GTA Online’s RP Servers – GameRant - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Even as Grand Theft Auto Online's massive popularity persists, GTA Roleplay servers are also contributing to the game's success significantly.

    For the longest time, Rockstar Games' 2013 blockbuster has continued to break sales records and player numbers.Shortly afterGrand Theft Auto 5 released, Rockstar Games introduced a simple-but-fun online mode titledGrand Theft Auto Online. Many theorized this would be the start of a serious expansion ofmultiplayer for the game, and after a short period of lacking multiplayer content, suddenlyGrand Theft Auto Online exploded in popularity. Gameplay features like heists and office management added a ton of depth and complexity to the game. However, more recently,Grand Theft Auto "roleplay" has been the most popular offering forGTA 5.

    Supported largely by community efforts and the mode's insane popularity on Twitch, roleplay servers like NoPixel and Eclipse RP have become huge. Even thoughGrand Theft Auto Online proper is still incredibly popular among the majority of the game's fanbase, PC players have been enjoying roleplay a lot more in recent years.Players apply and jump into these modded custom servers for roleplay, pick and choose what character they'd like to be, and then they jump in. It's a surprisingly varied and deep gameplay experience that's caught a lot of fans' attention. Rockstar Games in particular has virtually no connection to roleplay, though it'd be interesting ifitdid.

    RELATED:GTA Online Reaches Highest Player Count Yet in 2020

    Firstly, by no means doesGrand Theft Auto Online roleplay need to replace or supplant the current foundation or model ofGrand Theft Auto Online. From its humble beginnings, theGrand Theft AutoOnline multiplayer experience has burgeoned into something far more complex than anything in its predecessor. All of a sudden, with the release of offices, clubs, heists, apartments, and various other collectibles and activities, progression inGrand Theft Auto Online started resembling an MMO. Players started organizing teams for heists, micro-managing shipments for businesses, among the many other sub-activities available throughout the game.

    Other than pre-Heist content,Grand Theft Auto Online has had a consistently rising playerbase and community. Even after the last big casino update for the game, players have stuck around for all of the new content additions. As recently as this winter,Grand Theft Auto Online received the first ever map expansion in the game's long-running history with the Cayo Perico Heist, bringing with it a slew of new missions on the new island. For a game nearing eight years old to still be going strong after all this time is nearly unprecedented, save for examples likeWorld of Warcraft. Then again, that game is actually an MMO, butGrand Theft Auto Online isn't too dissimilar.

    However, while first-party updates toGrand Theft Autohelped build the game's massive playerbase, "RP" has arguably helped cultivate an even larger playerbase. The many roleplay mod servers available forGrand Theft Auto Online, like NoPixel and Eclipse RP, have arguably extendedGrand Theft Auto Online's capabilities farther beyond anything Rockstar Games implemented. Browsing Twitch under theGrand Theft Auto 5 category will show that nearly all of the top channels are streamers playing in the aforementioned roleplay servers. Various Twitch personalities are donning Grand Theft Auto personas, all fulfilling a small role in the huge RP game worlds.

    Obviously, none of this is supported, financed, or actually designed by Rockstar Games: Roleplay mods forGrand Theft Auto Online are entirely community-driven efforts that have since exploded in popularity. EvenRed Dead Redemption 2fans are beta-testing several roleplay servers, though it's not even close to the quality and sheer amount of content inGrand Theft Auto Online RP servers. Rockstar Games is likely fully aware of roleplay servers like NoPixel and Eclipse RP, and they probably don't condone playing in them either, but it's hard not to imagine what a first-party/Rockstar-supported roleplay offering would be like inGrand theft Auto Online.

    RELATED:Grand Theft Auto Video Game Universes Explained

    By no stretch of the imagination are roleplay servers rudimentary or lacking without Rockstar Games' support. For such a community-driven server infrastructure,roleplay inGrand Theft Auto Online is insanely rich with features. Everyone gets to pick their role in the game's microcosmic society, with a variety of different gameplay options and functionality to help realize the immersion of roleplay.Grand Theft Auto roleplay servers are effectively like becoming a more detailed version of the base game's NPCs, with players living out their lives as they see fit. Rockstar Games could even help expand these servers over time as an official offering.

    Rockstar Games has to understand that alarge amount of its playerbase now utilizes these mods. The company doesn't even need to necessarily make their own version of roleplay, but should at least create some options for the highly modded servers to become legitimate. Whether that's through simply opening up a partnership with the developers of the modded servers, or taking a far more proactive approach. That could range anywhere from Rockstar being more lenient on roleplaying and bans, or even Rockstar itself implementing roleplay servers for all platforms, including consoles. Roleplay has become a big part ofGrand Theft Auto, and Rockstar should embrace it.

    Grand Theft Auto Online is available now on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

    MORE:How Cyberpunk 2077's Multiplayer Could Be CD Projekt Red's GTA Online

    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies Adding New Field Upgrade and Ammo Mod

    Not actually a distant relative of Bob Dole, Rob Dolen is a Features Writer for Game Rant. Big fan of expansive lore and game analysis, video games are cool. Freedom Fighters is underrated. Probably not good at competitive Halo anymore.

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    Grand Theft Auto 6 Ought to Embrace GTA Online's RP Servers - GameRant

    Diablo II: Resurrected will hit PC, consoles and Nintendo Switch – CNET - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Diablo II: Resurrected will release sometime in 2021.

    BlizzCon may have been ushered online because of everything 2020 had to throw at the world, but that doesn't mean there isn't news coming out of the gates at Blizzard this year.

    One of the best, worst-kept secrets has been the remastered edition of the iconic Diablo II, complete with the Lord of Destruction expansion. Widely regarded as a genre-defining game, Diablo II set the bar for dungeon crawlers and still holds up pretty well given it hit a lofty 20 years old last year.

    Get the latest tech stories with CNET Daily News every weekday.

    "To be clear, it's not a remake," executive producer Rod Fergusson told CNET. "It's not us trying to reverse engineer it, not trying to build it from the ground up and make it look and sound like Diablo II. This is Diablo II. This is the same core gameplay you know and love."

    Except it's in 4K resolution, with brand-new 3D visuals replacing the 2D sprite-based models and with 27 minutes of completely rebuilt cinematics. The sounds and voices you remember are all the same, complemented by brand new sound effects and quality of life enhancements to bring the game firmly into 2021.

    It's also playable across all platforms. If you're the type of person who wants to play on the go, you can sneak some game time in on your lunch break on PC, use a Nintendo Switch on your commute home, then boot up your console of choice and continue playing without a hitch.

    Principal designer Rob Gallerani told CNET, "[Cross progression] basically has to keep you confined to a certain kind of rule set across everywhere,"

    "So, if we were to say, 'Oh look, you know what, inventory management is tricky to do with a controller so let's not worry about that, let's make it a list.' How would we know how you organized your items when you played on your console and then brought it back?"

    Thankfully, due to the move to modern Battlenet, characters and gameplay will be hosted on dedicated servers and kept in the cloud, so you can pick it up easily enough.

    According to Fergusson, "The actual cross progression side of being able to access the same character for multiple platforms was actually relatively straightforward, the hard part is making sure the experience felt the same across all platforms."

    For those seeking a truly authentic Diablo II experience, there will still be a button you can press to toggle the graphics back to the original 2D sprite-based models and shave the new sounds away. But the intention behind Diablo II: Resurrected really seems to be 'the original, but better'.

    "The way that we approached the process, at least from the art perspective, was this idea of the 70% nostalgic, 30% new," said Fergusson. "We realised we could go too far and it wouldn't feel like D2 anymore, so embracing that 70% nostalgia means that when you play the game you'll still feel a bit of the clunkiness it's all about that authenticity of what the original game was."

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    Diablo II: Resurrected will hit PC, consoles and Nintendo Switch - CNET

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