#26 Space Station Got Hole?

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Skype rolls back its redesign by ditching stories, squiggles and over-the-top color

Just over a year after Skype introduced a colorful, Snapchat-inspired makeover which included its own version of “stories,” the company says it’s now going to refocus on simplicity – and it’s ditching stories along the way. The redesign had been met with a lot of backlash. Skype had clearly wanted to appeal to a more youthful demographic with its update, but in doing so, it cluttered the user experience with features no one had asked for or needed.

Japan to conduct first test as part of space elevator project

A team of researchers from Japan’s Shizuoka University and other institutions will conduct the first test in space this month as part of a project to build a space elevator, Japan’s The Mainichi reported last week. The space elevator essentially ferries people and cargo shipments in an elevator car travelling on a cable connecting Earth to a space station.

Astronauts find hole in the International Space Station, plug it with thumb

You think you woke up on the wrong side of the bed today? Spare a thought for the crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). On Thursday morning, they woke up to the news that the station was slowly leaking air. Flight controllers had been monitoring the small drop in pressure overnight, deciding to let the crew sleep as the hole presented no danger.

Will 2018 be the year small phones die?

Sony is perhaps the last bastion of smaller smartphones. Or at least, it used to be. For years now, Sony has been making “Compact” versions of its top-tier handsets that are more or less flagships in their own right. Each generation of Sony’s latest XZ series of phones hasn’t deviated from this tradition until IFA 2018, where Sony announced the new Xperia XZ3, but no XZ3 Compact. Has the appetite for smaller phones finally vanished? Or are manufacturers content to let the hungry starve either way?

Doom II’s final secret unlocked after 24 years

It took nearly 24 years for someone to discover how to unlock Doom II’s last remaining secret without using cheats. The feat, recently shared on YouTube by user Zero Master, has since been confirmed by John Romero, one of the game’s original programmers.

Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Glitch Discovers Unseen Area Where Water Turns To Lava

By executing a glitch during the game’s The Master Trials DLC, YouTube user Mety333 has found a way to explore new, unseen areas within the game. Of course, these areas were never intended to be seen by players or even function correctly as any part of natural gameplay, and this results in some very strange, creepy, but fascinating finds.

Playing as Magneto in Grand Theft Auto V is as awesome as it sounds

This new mod enables virtually every superpower Magneto possesses. You can fly, create a bullet shield and pull off various melee attacks but the real fun, of course, involves manipulating the environment around you. Taking command of cars and creating a metal storm is easy. Pull lampposts and wind turbines from the ground and hurl them at innocent bystanders. Heck, you can even snatch a plane out of the sky and thrust it at a helicopter or derail a train.

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#25 September 2018 Video Game Releases

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The best tech of IFA 2018

From 8K TVs, to crazy custom PCs, to phones, to wireless headphones, there was a little bit of everything at IFA. We walked the labyrinthine halls of the Messe Berlin, clocking in well over 10,000 steps per day, to find only the stuff worth talking about.

All New Video Game Releases for September 2018

The summer is drawing to a close, and September marks the beginning of the hectic video game release schedule that runs up until Christmas. With Insomniac’s Spider-Man and Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age coming to PS4 in the first week of September 2018, it’s starting big and quickly, and the likes of Shadow of the Tomb Raider arrives not long after. Here are all the games that are due to release in September 2018:

Battlerite Royale Closed Beta

 

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#24 Rollable Touch-Screen Tablets

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THE (SOMETIMES DANGEROUS) POWER OF THE VIDEO GAME COMMUNITY

In the ‘90s and early aughts, the relationship between those who made video games and those who bought and played them had a very clear beginning and end. Publishers and studios would work together to push a game out, consumers would buy the game (or rent it, which was often the case), play it, and that was essentially that. There was no Beta, no external feedback, and little transparency from behind the scenes. The game was done, the transaction made, and you liked it or you lumped it.

Wireless headphones are improving faster than anything else in tech

If you’re in the market for new wireless headphones, IFA 2018 has been an absolute treat for you. If, on the other hand, you just bought a pair, well… this is going to be an upsetting read. At this year’s IFA in Berlin, headphones manufacturers brought out a litany of meaningful, tangible, delightful improvements that have made the wireless audio market much more exciting than it was just a few days ago. Let’s take each new change in turn.

Razer Unveils Big Mouse, Keyboard and Headset Upgrades

PAX West is just a few days away, but Razer wants to give customers a taste of its new gadgets early. Next month, Razer will release three new products that put a new spin on old favorites: the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headset, the Razer BlackWidow Elite keyboard and the Razer Mamba Wireless mouse. If you’re a Razer aficionado, you’ve probably seen the previous versions of these peripherals, but each one will get a handy new feature or two.

Lab unveils the world’s first rollable touch-screen tablet, inspired by ancient scrolls

A Queen’s University research team has taken a page from history, rolled it up and created the MagicScroll – a rollable touch-screen tablet designed to capture the seamless flexible screen real estate of ancient scrolls in a modern-day device. Led by bendable-screen pioneer Dr. Roel Vertegaal, this new technology is set to push the boundaries of flexible device technology into brand new territory.

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#23 LEGO Built A Drivable Bugatti

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Samsung’s 8K QLED TV looks great, but who needs it?

Samsung’s 8K ambitions became a bit more real today with the announcement of the Q900R, its first 8K QLED set that you’ll be able to buy. It’s the company’s follow-up to the Q9S concept we saw at CES, complete with the same AI processing to upscale content into something resembling 8K. That feature is particularly important, since it gives Samsung a reason to deliver an 8K TV before there’s any real content available. Based on my short time ogling the Q900R at Samsung’s IFA booth, it certainly looks great. But at the end of the day, I wonder who really needs it.

The upcoming Acer Predator Triton 900 laptop has a display that flips

Although it wasn’t included in Acer’s product announcements during the IFA 2018 show in Berlin, the company provided a sneak peek for a gaming laptop called the Predator Triton 900. We don’t know any hardware specifics just yet, only that it sports a unique display frame that enables you to “flip” the screen 180 degrees.

LEGO built a life size, drivable Bugatti from over a million Technic pieces

In what just might be the wildest thing anyone has ever built with Lego, the company behind the bricks has built a full-size, drivable model of the Bugatti Chiron supercar. Seriously. Built partly as a passion project amongst Lego’s creative team and partly as a promo to show off at the Italian Grand Prix, the model’s final piece count clocks in at over one million Technic pieces.

Battlefield 5 Delayed, New Release Date Announced

Battlefield V has been delayed. The World War II shooter will now launch for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 20, publisher EA confirmed in a statement. The company says the delay will give developer DICE additional development time to fine-tune the game as it sees fit.

RUMOR: PlayStation 5 Codenamed “Erebus”

Thanks to a recent post over on Resetera, the codename was found hidden away in the latest version of Unreal Engine 4. Additionally, they also found the abbreviation “TST2” also tied to what could be the next platform.

Every Xbox One and Xbox 360 game you can download for free in September

SCUM

SCUM aims to evolve the multiplayer open world survival game with unprecedented levels of character customization, control and progression, where knowledge and skills are the ultimate weapons for long-term survival. Just released in Steam Early Access.

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#22 The Predator Thronos Gaming Chair

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The Predator Thronos Gaming Chair Is Absolutely Insane — And We’ve Tried It

The main feature of the Predator Thronos an overhead arc that spans over your head to suspend up to three 27-inch panoramic monitors right in front of your face. It also has a motor that allows you to incline the chair up to 140 degrees, a foot rest, space to integrate a gaming PC, and rumbling motors that are synchronized with the games you play so you can feel the action.

The FTC is investigating a crowdfunding campaign that disappeared with more than $700K

The Federal Trade Commission might have a renewed interest in justice for crowdfunding backers. Emails seen by The Verge show that the agency is investigating at least one crowdfunding campaign gone bad — the iBackPack — which raised more than $700,000 across both Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

Zens aluminum wireless charger offers a potential cheaper alternative to AirPower

The latest report suggests that Apple may finally be launching its long-delayed AirPower wireless charger next month.What isn’t yet known is the cost, rumors so far pointing to somewhere in the $160-190 range. If that turns out to be rather more than you might want to pay, Zens has a new product that may make a suitable alternative …

 

Free PS4 PlayStation Plus Games For September 2018 Confirmed; One Is Out Now

Currently, the big one is Destiny 2 as they prepare for the Forsaken expansion due September 4th. The other PS4 game free to PS Plus members in September is God of War III Remastered, a souped-up version of the PS3 classic. September’s PS3 games (also playable on PS4) are Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition and Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut. The PS Vita games (again, playable on PS4) are Sparkle 2 and Foul Play.

Fortnite’s mysterious, giant cube continues to do weird things

Fortnite, for all its pop culture success, remains a deeply strange game. Take, for instance, the giant cube that has been rolling over the map and now resides on a small hill and is currently making players glow when they’re near it. Here’s the latest update and rumors…

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#21 Blue Unveils The Yeti Nano

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Is The 2019 BMW Z4 Super Sexy Or A Giant Misfire?

The 2019 BMW Z4 had the unfortunate luck of images leaking at least three times, which means most people had already formed their opinion of its new design direction before the car was even revealed. But now it’s here, so does it look good or did BMW overdo it?

Blue’s Yeti Nano is built for simple, high-quality desktop recording

When it comes to podcasting and livestreaming, USB microphones are a great option due to their plug-and-play design. And perhaps no name is more synonymous with these recording devices than Blue Microphones. The company that’s best known for it’s popular Yeti and Snowball modes (in addition to a line of pro-level studio mics) is introducing its first new product since it was purchased by Logitech for $117 million last month. Meet the Yeti Nano.

‘OVERWATCH’ NANO COLA CHALLENGE: HOW TO UNLOCK FREE D.VA SKIN

At the end of Overwatch’s new “Shooting Star” cinematic, we briefly see a new D. Va skin. Now, you can unlock the skin yourself with D. Va’s Nano Cola Challenge. Starting today until Sept.10, you will unlock special in-game rewards for playing Quick Play, Competitive or Arena. For winning three games, you’ll get two new sprays, for six you’ll get a new icon and for nine you’ll unlock the Nano Cola D. Va skin. Click the image below for a larger version.

Bad North, a Real-Time Tactics Roguelite, is Available Now on Xbox One

Bad North is a minimalistic, real-time tactics roguelite where you defend a series of small islands from hordes of Viking invaders. That genre description is a bit of a mouthful, so let’s break it down and explain what this game really is. The core gameplay is real-time tactics which (in Bad North) is a mashup of real-time strategy, turn-based tactics, and tower defense. You defend small, charming islands (and the houses on them) against wave after wave of Vikings using just a handful of adorable soldiers.

Overwatch Pulls Loot Boxes in Belgium After They Were Declared Gambling

From Blizzard…

In April 2018, the Belgian Gaming Commission published a report that was endorsed by the Belgian Ministry of Justice in which they concluded that paid loot boxes in Overwatch are considered gambling under local law. While we at Blizzard were surprised by this conclusion and do not share the same opinion, we have decided to comply with their interpretation of Belgian law. As a result, we have no choice but to implement measures that will prevent Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm players located in Belgium from purchasing in-game loot boxes and loot chests with real money and gems.

No matter what, we want to make sure that our players around the world have the best entertainment experience possible. While players in Belgium will no longer be able to purchase paid loot boxes in Overwatch and loot chests in Heroes of the Storm, they’ll still be able to earn them by playing the games, and they’ll still have access to all in-game content.

These measures will be implemented shortly. We also remain open to further discussions with the Belgian Gaming Commission and Ministry of Justice on this topic.

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#20 What’s With The Purple Cube?

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Microsoft announces All Access, a sweet Xbox financing plan with a not-so-sweet catch

Just a few days ago, we were hearing rumors about a service, called Xbox All Access, which would allow users to rent an Xbox One console for a monthly fee, getting access to the console itself as well as Xbox online services. Today we learned it’s very real, via a Microsoft blog post the company put up and swiftly deleted. It’s since moved the information to a new page on the main site.

All of the details reported earlier this month appear to be correct. For a monthly fee paid over the course of two years, you can essentially rent an Xbox One, with access to Game Pass and Xbox Live. The prices are $22 for a One S, and $35 for a One X. After the two year period, you own the console outright.

First Apple Computer Goes Up For Auction, Expected to Fetch More Than $300,000

Pre-bidding for the rare computer starts on September 13, 2018 and continues until the live auction, which will begin on September 25, 2018 at 1pm ET. As the Associated Press points out, the first Apple computer was sold for $666, or about $2,950 adjusted for inflation. But if you want to own this particular computer, you’re going to have to drop considerably more money.

YouTube is making it very easy to see how much time you spend watching videos

In keeping with Google’s push into digital well-being, YouTube is continuing to roll out more tools that give users a clearer overview of their usage habits. When users open their account menu, they’ll now see an updated profile that shows the amount of time they’ve viewed videos that day, the previous day, and over the last week.

Fortnite purple cube appears on map after mysterious lightning strikes

This all happened while popular Twitch Fortnite streamer Ninja was in the middle of broadcasting from the Fortnite Summer Skirmish Series. As he was farming cacti in the video above, he suddenly saw a continuous stream of lightning hitting the mountain in front of him. Then, something unexpected happened: A giant purple cube appeared on the mountain, and the crack that’s been in the sky since the end of season 4 mysteriously disappeared.

Donut County Review (PS4)

How many developers can say their game was inspired by a tweet from a parody Twitter account? Donut County’s central premise of controlling a hole in the ground and swallowing up objects is wonderfully novel, and has resulted in a game that’s more entertaining than you’d think. In the best possible way, it’s one of the silliest games on PS4, wrapping a truly daft story around a mechanic that’s a pleasure to toy with.

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#19 Don’t Upgrade Your iPhone Yet

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PS4 PRO 500 MILLION SELLS OUT, HERE’S HOW TO GET THE LIMITED EDITION ACCESSORIES

If you weren’t one of the lucky few able to get your hands on a 500 Million Limited Edition PlayStation 4 Pro this morning, there is a silver lining: the limited edition accessories can still be obtained.

Because only 50,000 of these beauties were produced, chances of getting one were always slim. However, Sony is also selling the 500 Million Limited Edition DualShock 4 and the Gold 500 Million Limited Edition Headset separately and they are still up for grabs.

Windows 95 Is Now Available as an App for Windows, macOS and Linux

Felix Rieseberg, a software engineer at Slack has released Windows 95 as an app for Windows, Mac or Linux. It’s a 100MB Electron app that you can install and run on Windows, Mac or even Linux computers.

In a GitHub post, developer Felix Rieseberg explains that you’ll get the full Windows 95 experience after installing and running the new Electron app. The size of the Windows 95 Electron app is around 100MB and it actually works well on Windows 10 devices.

Sony’s cute — and super smart — robot dog is coming to the US

The company announced on Thursday its popular robot dog Aibo is returning to the US in September for the first time since 2006. The dog debuted in the 1990s in Japan, but excitement fizzled as cheaper robots entered the market.

Last year, the company debuted a smarter version with OLED eyes, facial recognition technology and the ability to develop a personality through artificial intelligence. It’s also packed with cameras and image sensors to detect and analyze sounds and images. Sony says Aibo’s main purpose right now is to be a companion robot.

How Google’s rumored ‘Campfire’ dual-boot Chromebooks may burn Microsoft

The rumored “Campfire” code name for a solution that brings Windows and Chrome OS together on Chromebooks resonates with the concept of a real campfire that brings people together. In a twist consistent with the adage of keeping your friends close but your enemies closer, Google bringing Windows to Chromebooks is a self-serving strategy to amplify its attacks against Windows PCs.

Now is the worst time to buy a new iPhone

In other words, if you want an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus now, you might want to wait a few weeks until the new models come out. You’ll save hundreds of dollars. There’s just one caveat: some reports have suggested Apple will retire the current version of the iPhone X and replace it with the newer models. Even still, in a few weeks you’ll find great deals on gently used versions of the iPhone X.

Dying Light Bad Blood hands-on: possibly the most interesting battle royale copycat to date

Ultimately, this is still about a helicopter dropping you onto an island, but there’s a few catches and wrinkles to this standard formula. For one, the island is infested with NPC zombies. Second, you’re not just tasked with surviving – your mission is actually to collect blood samples from hives, gross little fleshy mounds growing out in the world. These hives obviously become a focal point for rival players, but they’re also guarded by swarms of zombies – with more valuable hives guarded by multiple high-end, meat-sponge undead. Samples can also be collected from the corpses of slain players.

Here’s around 50 minutes of raw World War 3 gameplay

World War 3, at least in its current state, is a much darker and more drab looking game than Battlefield 4, but there’s no denying where the game takes inspiration from. But it’s not just Battlefield, either, there are certainly some light-ARMA in there with the more realistic approach to weapons and recoil.

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#18 Fortnite Adds Rift-To-Go

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Jeffree Star, Laura Lee, Gabriel Zamora and YouTube’s issue with problematic faves

Keep in mind there is some language on this article, but I wanted to share it to drive home a point in the rant I had today on the topic.

DJI’s Mavic 2 Series Drones Come With More Powerful Cameras and So Many Sensors

We’ve known for some time that the future of consumer drones would be tiny, high quality, and mostly crash-proof. DJI just revealed its best attempt at all three with the new Mavic 2 series. There are two of them: the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom. They fold up. They have great cameras. And in a first for DJI, they have omnidirectional obstacle sensing.

Fiik Drifter

The FiiK Drifter is the first of its kind, it is the only rear wheel drive electric drift trike on the market. The FiiK Drifter is able to drift not only downhill like the original drift trikes but can also drift on flat ground and even up hill at speeds of up to 28mph. The FiiK Drifter also comes with a set of our purpose built drift sleeves, we have the only sleeves on the market that are molded to fit the average front go kart wheel.

5 things to know from Fortnite patch v5.30

Fortnite’s newest patch is here, and it’s bringing with it a few big changes, including a new area on the map and one of the most powerful pieces of equipment ever added to the game.

The marquee change of patch v5.30 is the brand new Rift-To-Go, which allows players to create their own escape routes from just about any situation imaginable. Also new in this patch is the Tomato Temple area on the map, which appears to add an entirely new type of environment to Fortnite.

Destiny 2’s new Gambit mode will be available early on September 1st

Destiny 2’s next big Forsaken expansion launches on September 4th, and one of its big additions is a new Gambit mode. It’s a mixture of the game’s player-versus-environment and player-vs-player modes, and the combination sees players battle enemies in two separate zones with the ability for one player from each team to teleport into a rival’s zone and cause carnage. It’s one of most highly anticipated parts of Destiny 2 Forsaken, and now fans will be able to play it a little earlier than expected.

Here’s What Happens When A Car Actually Runs Over Banana Peels Just Like In Mario Kart

Remember when all of your problems could be solved by throwing down a banana peel, causing your opponent to comically spin out behind you, leading you to victory and temporarily broken friendships? Well that was just Mario Kart, and now you’re an adult, but could it still work in real life?

‘Sekiro’ continues the work that ‘Bloodborne’ started

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice doesn’t represent a seachange from the formula that Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki has been refining over the past decade, but it does take that blueprint in a welcome new direction.

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#17 Valve Changes Everything

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Parents worry about their teens’ smartphone habits. But what about their own?

Take the dinner table, the cliched scene where a parent tries to have a conversation with their cell phone-wielding teen, headphones in and distracted. Seventy-two percent of parents feel their teens are often or sometimes distracted by their phones while trying to have a conversation. But when Pew asked teens the same question about their parents, 51 percent of them said they believe their parents are either often or sometimes distracted by their phones during real-life conversations.

Analyst says Apple’s App Store could take $16B hit as commissions under fire

Some game developers feel that the commission levels charged by both Apple and Google are unfair, and they may take a strong stand. Epic Games already opted out of the Google Play app store when it launched Fortnite on Android, though it does sell the iOS version through Apple’s App Store.

Valve Changes Everything: Windows-Exclusive Games Now Run On Steam For Linux

Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed and run directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support.

Yup, we know exactly when Apple’s 2018 iPhones will be released

Despite the fact that Apple’s iPhone lineup will be completely different in 2018 than it has been in previous years, the events that have taken place in the lead up to their unveiling is exactly the same. First, a few rumors start to trickle out, then the world’s top Apple insider weighs in and tells us exactly what to expect, then as months go by the picture he painted gets more and more clear as subsequent leaks back up all of his claims.

Zynga to Develop ‘Star Wars’ Mobile Game

The developer has struck a multiyear deal with Disney to develop a mobile game based in the Star Wars universe. New Star Wars titles will be managed by the San Francisco company’s NaturalMotion studio, which is based out of the U.K.

No New Assassin’s Creed Coming In 2019

Reflecting on the decision to stop Assassin’s Creed’s yearly launch schedule and give Ubisoft’s developers the time to reinvent the series for Assassin’s Creed Origins, Guillemot said it was ultimately worth it.

“[The time] gave the team the possibility to really bring what they wanted to. The community has been responding very well to it and when I see what we are bringing with Odyssey I know that the community that got back in with Origins will be amazed.”

Overwatch’s D.Va Gets Her Own Animated Short, Watch It Here

Blizzard has released a new animated short for Overwatch called “Shooting Star” and this time the focus is much-loved Meka pilot D.Va. With Gamescom 2018 going on in Germany, the short was shown at Korea Fanfest, where Blizzard also debuted a brand-new Overwatch map. The video starts with a news report about D.Va, who has become a national hero by defending her nation from the Omnics.

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