One of the biggest gaming news stories so far in 2019 broke today when Activision and Bungie confirmed they are ending their publishing deal for Destiny. Going forward, Bungie will take on development and publishing duties for Destiny, while Activision will focus on its own franchises, like Call of Duty. Research firm Cowen & Company shared its thoughts on the news in a note to investors today, and one prediction the company made was that Bungie will release Destiny 3 in 2020. This is not an altogether surprising revelation, as the Destiny series normally releases new mainline entries every three years.
AI plays a huge role in how Spotify delivers personalized playlists to users, so it’s somewhat fitting that the company’s new partnership with Microsoft is focused on messages about how AI can impact all aspects of life — including education, healthcare and philanthropy. Those messages are going to be showing up in the Discover Weekly playlist for free users, the first time that Spotify has lets brands have full customization and control over advertising in that feed.
The creator of the wildly popular video game Fortnite has been given an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau after failing to address hundreds of complaints from concerned customers. The BBB said that over the past year, it has received more than 270 complaints about Epic Games, which has made a fortune from Fortnite and other popular video games. Most of the complaints regard customer service issues and problems with refunds and exchanges — and most of them were never addressed by the Cary, N.C.-based company, the BBB said in a statement.
Not to be outdone by its FAANG and other technology rivals, it appears Amazon has been secretly developing a game streaming service. It looks set to compete with Microsoft and Google with instant video games housed on powerful servers. Cloud-based gaming, which will negate the need for downloads or game cards, could be one of the next major advances for the gaming industry.
With new Xbox and PlayStation consoles on the horizon, backward compatibility with older games seems like not just a hope, but a must-have feature. In earlier console generations, this backward compatibility was common, but by the time Sony released the PlayStation 4 there was simply no built-in support for PlayStation 3 games, and the Xbox One didn’t have backward compatibility at launch either.
Security researchers have discovered a new way to hijack a Twitter user’s stream, and they’ve done it using a seemingly old-school method. They did it by sending SMS messages. A team from Insinia Security managed to post tweets (with permission from the account holders, of course) without having to directly access users’ accounts. It was done without logging in and without having to intercept a two-factor authentication code.
Depending on how paranoid you are, this research from Stanford and Google will be either terrifying or fascinating. A machine learning agent intended to transform aerial images into street maps and back was found to be cheating by hiding information it would need later in “a nearly imperceptible, high-frequency signal.” Clever girl!
So to make sure you’re making the most of your trusty voice-activated partner, we’ve gathered together nine handy but not necessarily obvious Google Assistant features that will help to make it genuinely useful in loads of situations you might not have expected.
Lawrence G. Roberts, the man whose work would eventually allow us to send each other cat GIFs and get into arguments in comments sections, has died of a heart attack in his California home. Roberts was a major force behind Arpanet, the direct precursor to the internet. He was 81.
It’s been a long time coming. While other analyst firms, such as StatCounter, have shown Windows 10 overtaking Windows 7 sometime ago, NetMarketShare has consistently shown the new OS to be lagging way behind the aging fan favorite. In December though, NetMarketShare finally has Windows 10 taking first position.
Now that Epic has launched its challenger to Steam, it’s apparently gearing up to launch a similar war on mobile. Epic is said to have plans to launch an app store all its own, again with the main selling point being that it takes a smaller cut of each sale than Google and Apple do. Unfortunately, Epic’s plans are rather vague at this point. The company only tells The Wall Street Journal that it will begin selling Android apps at some point in 2019, with the same 12% fee it charges developers and publishers on its PC storefront. Apple and Google, for the record, take keep 30% of each sale, just as Valve does with Steam.
During its 2017 announcement of the iPhone X, Apple didn’t just show off its vision of what the future of iPhones would look like, it also announced a new way to charge them. Called AirPower, the charging mat was meant to charge up to three devices at once including a new iPhone, an Apple Watch and a pair of AirPods (with a separate, optional wireless charging case). In its announcement, Apple promised that the new charger would be “coming in 2018.”
The SouljaBoy game console saga was one of the most confusing to watch in the gaming scene this month. The story began with the rapper selling “a game console” that included pirated ROMs of games. Fast forward until today and it seems like the time of reckoning for the rapper has come as the SouljaGame consoles have been retired from sale.
Mounting evidence suggests Apple’s iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR are not selling well even despite price cuts. We already know the crowd-pleasing innovation Apple has planned to win users back, but it might not be enough after a major source confirmed the most serious problem with the company’s new iPhones… Bloomberg reports Apple has fallen substantially behind its rivals and will not be able to equip iPhones with 5G until late 2020 at the earliest. And 5G is about to become a game-changer.
After self-driving cars and smart speakers, Russian search engine giant Yandex is getting into smartphones. Its debut handset, fittingly titled “Yandex.Phone,” is an entry-level Android device that’s hooked up to its massive ecosystem. That essentially means it comes pre-loaded with Yandex’s software — including its GPS, music, and weather apps. At the center of it all sits Alice: the company’s virtual assistant, which now boasts 34,000 localized skills and can understand Russian with a “near human-level accuracy.” Alice can also help you find local businesses and service providers from Yandex’s integrated business directory. The same database can identify unknown business callers or let you contact a business by searching for a name or service.
Without artificial intelligence there wouldn’t be much left of Facebook as we know it today. That’s according to Yann LeCun, who founded Facebook’s artificial intelligence research lab five years ago. “If you take the deep learning out of Facebook today, Facebook’s dust,” LeCun, Facebook’s chief AI scientist, recently told CNN Business. “It’s entirely built around it now.” The technology is included in everything from the posts and translations you see in your news feed to advertisements. When LeCun established the lab, Facebook was already dabbling in deep learning — a type of machine learning he’s worked on and championed since the 1980s. Deep-learning software, modeled after the way neurons work in the brain, ingests loads of data and learns to make its own predictions.
A team of researchers at the MIT Media Lab built a cyborg that combines a plant with electronics and ultimately allows the plant to choose when it would like to move to a brighter spot. The cyborg is the brainchild of team leader Harpreet Sareen, and he has named it Elowan. Plants have the ability to detect light—if you watch really carefully, for example, you can actually see a sunflower move to face directly into the sun as it moves across the sky. Prior research has shown that plants have many natural sensors and response systems—they respond to humidity and temperature levels, for example, or the amount of water in the soil in which they are planted. In this new effort, the researchers sought to give one plant more autonomy by putting its potted base on wheels fitted with electronics and an electric motor.
Rapper 2 Milly is suing the maker of Fortnite, Epic Games, for selling his signature “Milly Rock” dance as an emote called “Swipe It.” Pierce Bainbridge, the law firm representing 2 Milly, filed the complaint in the Central District Court of California today, accusing Epic of, among other things, copyright infringement, and exploiting African American talent for profit in the game.
Pokémon Go has introduced PvP with trainer battles, allowing players to compete against each other both locally and online. Not only can they fight each other one-on-one, but trainer battles introduce competitive trainer leagues as well, so that Pokémon masters can truly be named. It’s a huge change to a game that’s sorely needed multiplayer in the years since launch.
Google’s 2018 launch event was a piece of corporate theater, like so many before it, to unveil a new smartphone. I’ve watched and attended a lot of product launches in my time, dahlink, but this one was the least engaging for ages. Not because of the products, or the presenters, but because it lacked one key ingredient: surprise.
While Essential’s first device has a cult following among those who prioritize quick Android updates, it became clear in May that it would never see a follow-up. A report from Bloomberg revealed that the company had canceled a second Essential Phone and put itself up for sale. However, over the past several months, the company has quietly chugged along, continuing to push out lightning-fast security patches. Now, a new report from Bloomberg states that the company is indeed working on a second device — but it’s not at all like its first product. According to the publication’s tipsters, the handset is an anti-smartphone with a small screen that relies primarily on voice commands.
ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) announced the release date of its gaming-oriented smartphone today. The ROG Phone will be available for pre-order on October 18th for a starting price of $899 for the 128 GB version. The 512 GB model will cost $1,099. There isn’t any word on ship date yet, though accessories for the device will be available starting in Q4.
On Tuesday, a researcher for Google’s Project Zero security team published a report revealing how WhatsApp users could lose control of their account just by answering a video call from a bad actor. Natalie Silvanovich published her findings on Google’s Chromium blog and explained that the vulnerability was discovered in August and was promptly reported to WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook. Project Zero hunts down vulnerabilities and companies are given 90 days to fix them before the findings are made public. In this case, Silvanovich said that a patch rolled out for Android on September 28 and was applied for iOS on October 3.
Fallout 76 is a major new evolution for the long-running series, as we got to find out in our recent hands-on session. It takes the nuclear war ravaged wasteland that we’re accustomed to exploring in isolation and turns it into an always-online multiplayer game, opening it up for players to come together. Fallout 76 will enable dozens of players to explore and adventure together–either as friends or enemies, so naturally, the game world will have to be big enough to accommodate them. On top of that it also needs to have enough activities to keep them engaged for hours on end.
Now rogue from the Agency, in Just Cause 4 Rico Rodriguez travels to the South American inspired Island of Solís, hell bent on uncovering the truth behind his father’s death. Solís is a place ravished by powerful storms and tornados, it’s in a state of unrest and on the brink of war. The ruthless Black Hand militia, led by the dangerous Gabriella, is using everything they have to keep the situation under control. Rico soon forms an alliance with Mira, a rebellious dissident before finding himself leading an army as he fights, grapples and wingsuits his way through conspiracies and chaos.