#204 Taking a Look at Valorant

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#80 The Traveling Halo Amusement Park

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#58 Patreon Is Partnering With Reddit

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TO FIND NEW FANS (AND THEIR MONEY), PATREON PARTNERS WITH REDDIT

THE PROMISE OF Patreon, the membership platform for independent artists and creators, has always been simple: If your fans like your work, they will pay you for it. No need to slough off cash from advertisers, or make shady deals with brands. It’s just you, your fans, and the stuff you make for them. Patreon has slowly introduced new ways for creators to milk the most out of these fan relationships. They can give subscribers (called “patrons”) a peek into their lives behind-the-scenes with Patreon Lens, a Snapchat dupe specifically for creators. They can host live Q&As with fans on Discord, the voice-and-text chat app. Now, Patreon has another trick up its sleeve: It’s announcing an integration with Reddit, aimed at bringing creators closer than ever to the fan networks that support them.

Facebook Rolling Out Redesigned Messenger App With Simplified Interface and Customizable Chat Bubbles

Facebook today announced that it’s rolling out a redesigned, simplified version of the Messenger app on a global basis starting today. Messenger 4, as Facebook is calling it, will refocus on conversations, making it easier to navigate through the app. Instead of nine separate tabs, there will be three tabs, with conversations quickly accessible through the “Chats” tab. Quick access to the camera for sharing photos and for video chats is also included in the Chats tab.

Arcade1Up is next-level retro gaming with cabinets for Street Fighter and other classics

The retro gaming trend gives us many ways to spend new money reliving old memories. Systems like SNES Classic, C64 Mini and the upcoming PlayStation Classic top the gift charts as consumers yearn for the good ol’ days. But now, the company Arcade1Up is taking the craze to the next level with build-it-yourself home arcade cabinets. The machines are now on sale in retail stores, starting at $300 (which converts to roughly £288, or AU$420). There are several flavors of machines, with each cabinet featuring a handful of iconic arcade titles: Street Fighter, Rampage, Centipede, Asteroids and Galaga are among the first batch.

HP’s latest Spectre x360 has a new angular design and 22.5 hours of battery life

HP is updating its popular Spectre x360 convertible laptops today. Both the 13- and 15-inch versions are getting a new “gem cut” design with a more angular look and feel. The new design also includes a USB-C port that’s angled on the edge of the Spectre x360 to improve cable management. As you’d expect, HP is including Intel’s latest 8th Gen quad-core processors inside the 13-inch Spectre x360, and six-core options for the larger 15-inch model.

Alexa, be afraid

“What was your favorite thing today?” I heard the question from at least five different Amazon executives last month in Seattle, when the online megaretailer introduced us to about a dozen new Alexa gadgets. “What jumped out at you?” All of it? None of it? I really wasn’t sure. I didn’t see a new, breakout hit like I saw when Amazon first compressed Alexa down into a Dot-sized speaker that cost just $50. Instead, I saw a mess of tangents, an Echo for everything. Alexa, throw the spaghetti at the wall. Alexa, tell us what stuck.

Those painted sculptures in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey are true to history

When Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey debuted earlier this month, it received widespread praise for the quality of its world-building and narrative. Some historians say it also deserves high marks for its attention to historical detail in recreating ancient Greece. Notably, the game showcases colorfully painted statues, temples, and tombs dotted about the virtual city. Yes, it’s true: contrary to all those pristine, gleaming white marble sculptures we see all the time in museums—the ones we long thought defined the Western aesthetic of the Classical era—Greco-Roman art was awash in color. Art historians have known this for a while, of course, but the knowledge hasn’t really moved beyond the confines of that rarefied world. That might change, now that it’s a feature in a hugely popular game.

Monster Sanctuary – Monster Taming Metroidvania

Monster Sanctuary is a monster-taming RPG with party-based combat and metroidvania-like exploration. New monsters provide additional strategic options in combat and allow you to overcome obstacles to explore new areas and find hidden treasures. The turn-based combat focuses on team synergy and combos, distinguishing Monster Sanctuary from other popular monster collecting games.

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#43 Fortnite Cross-Play Announced For PS4

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Facebook is burying Snap, as Facebook and Messenger Stories hit 300 million daily active users

It’s not just Instagram Stories that Snapchat has to worry about. Facebook and Messenger Stories now have 300 million daily active users, the company announced Wednesday. A user counts as one person, meaning they would not be counted twice across both apps. Facebook did not share the breakdown between each app. By comparison, Snap-owned Snapchat reported 188 million daily active users in its second quarter earnings report in August.

OCULUS’ $399 QUEST TO TAKE VR MAINSTREAM

TWO YEARS AGO, Facebook-owned Oculus quietly began demoing a prototype of a stand-alone VR headset codenamed Santa Cruz. Unlike the Oculus Rift, this prototype didn’t need to be wired to a PC to work. Like the Oculus Rift, it promised an immersive quality that might help people actually understand why they’d want to hang out in a virtual environment, wearing a device on their face. Now that prototype is coming out. At its annual developer conference today in San Jose, Oculus unveiled the Quest, the official name for the Santa Cruz headset. Oculus plans to ship it next spring for $399.

Rematch: iPhone XS versus Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for ‘Fortnite’ gaming

About two weeks ago, AppleInsider compared the iPhone X to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 while playing Fortnite, but some complained putting a just-released phone against last year’s model. With the release of the iPhone XS and XS Max, is there as much of a difference between the flagship models of both companies as last time?

PlayStation 4 gets cross-play with Nintendo Switch and Xbox One

Sony Interactive Entertainment boss John Kodera announced the news in a blog post today. “The first step will be an open beta beginning today for Fortnite that will allow for cross platform gameplay, progression and commerce across PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Mac operating systems. We see the beta as an opportunity to conduct thorough testing that ensures cross-platform play is best on PlayStation, while being mindful about the user experience from both a technical and social perspective. ”

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Launch Trailer | Ubisoft [NA]

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Facebook Says Its New Online Dating Service Won’t Have Ads

Social media giant Facebook said that its in-app dating feature wouldn’t be including ads. The social media giant has assured its million users across the globe that the service would be ad-free.

 

An ad-free dating service feature?

It can be recalled that just last week, Facebook said it is targeting close to 200 million Facebook users who classified themselves as “single” to use the social media app’s dating feature.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who addressed the audience of the company’s F8 conference, emphasized that the dating service would focus on “real long-term relationships” and not just “hookups.”

 

Just recently, Facebook was involved in the latest data breach controversy with Cambridge Analytica. The company was heavily criticized for allowing third-parties to mine data and use for political agenda. This begs the question if such dating feature would do the same—sharing private data with other parties without the user’s approval and knowledge.

 

But Facebook also pointed out, in a statement sent to Recode, that it does not plan to run ads. The company said that it doesn’t have any intensions or plan to use data that is associated with user’s dating profile. This also includes the user’s behavior that would potentially target them with ads.

 

Regarding Messaging, the company also said that the app’s dating feature has a separate messaging platform. This means that users won’t be using WhatsApp or Messenger unless both users would decide to use exchange numbers or usernames.

 

Meanwhile, Facebook said that the testing of the dating service is expected to begin this year. And the result of the test would determine the official launching of the app’s dating feature.

Facebook To Roll-out ‘Unsend’ Feature in Messenger?

Social media giant Facebook is planning to roll-out an “unsend” feature to Messenger. The announcement came after an online report claims that retracting messages is possible. This feature is not actually availed by common Facebook users.

 

Messenger will have ‘unsend’ feature soon

 

The social media giant said that the Messenger’s unsend feature would be made available to all its users in the coming months. It also confirmed that it is now building this kind of product. While such feature is being built, Facebook vowed that it would not retract Zuckerberg’s messages anymore.

 

 

But now Facebook tells me it plans to make an “unsend” feature available to all users in several months and has already been considering how to build this product. Until the Unsend feature is released for everyone, Facebook says it won’t unsend or retract any more of Zuckerberg’s messages.

 

 

Tech users viewed the unsending of Zuckerberg’s messages to other company executive as a breach of trust. Now, Facebook’s plan to release the unsending feature could stem the tide of this new wave of controversy.

 

Meanwhile, a Facebook spokesperson, in a statement, told TechCrunch that the unsend feature is similar to the encrypted version of Messenger.

 

 

“We have discussed this feature several times. And people using our secret message feature in the encrypted version of Messenger have the ability to set a timer — and have their messages automatically deleted,” the spokesperson said.

 

“We will now be making a broader delete message feature available. This may take some time. And until this feature is ready, we will no longer be deleting any executives’ messages. We should have done this sooner — and we’re sorry that we did not.”

Facebook’s Marcus Says It Will Simplify Messenger App This Year

Facebook users will be expecting some changes on the social media giant’s messaging platform. This comes after Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus announced this week that it would simplify and streamline the Messenger app this year.

 

“The app became too cluttered,” Marcus said as reported by Tech Crunch and this would include “massively simplifying and streamlining Messenger this year.”

 

Facebook to streamline its Messenger app

 

David Marcus said that Facebook is planning to build artificial intelligence called the “M Suggestions.” The proposed AI works by reminding people of that some of the features were already cramming the app.

 

In case you didn’t know, Facebook’s Messenger app has several features. This includes My Day or Stories, augmented camera, a bot Discover section, games, among others. Facebook wants all of these to managed properly.

 

“Over the last two years, we built a lot of capabilities to find the features that continue to set us apart. A lot of them have found their product market fit; some haven’t,” Marcus admitted.

 

According to him, the move to stream line Messenger is “smart” because it became the major platform where people share many of their Facebook experiences as they shift from other social media apps like Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, among others.

 

He emphasized that Messenger should only focus on communication.

Facebook Rolls Out Messenger App For Kids

Children ages 6 to 12 years old can now communicate with their families and friends.  Facebook announced on Monday that an app will be rolled out in the United States.

Called as the Messenger Kids, this app is  a parent-controlled that allows children to use the messaging and video chat features.

Facebook has recognised the need to have a messaging platform for kids. The app was a product of a series of consultation to parents and parenting experts in the US.

The social media giant took several years to develop such app for kids. Why? Because federal laws prohibit companies to collect information from minors. Unless, of course, companies obtained permission from parents.

In a Facebook blog post, Loren Cheng, Product Management Director said Facebook has consulted the National PTA to discuss the Messenger Kids as a parent-controlled app.

“Messenger Kids opens up a new world of online communication to families. This preview is available on the App Store for iPad, iPod touch and iPhone,” Cheng said.

NTA conducted a study which involved more than 1, 200 parents in the US. It selected parents who have children under the age of 13.

The result of the study revealed that 3 out of every 5 American parents surveyed claimed that their children under 13 use a social media app.

Furthermore, the NTA study disclosed that 81 percent of  American parents reported that their children—between ages 8 and 13—are using social media app.

Children under 13 can install the Messenger Kids either in their tablets or smartphones. The parent’s Facebook account, however, controls the Facebook messaging app.

Messenger Kids will not be showing any ads. In addition, the app wouldn’t collect any data for marketing purposes.  The social media giant also added a facility that can detect sexual content, nudity or violence.

 

Facebook’s Messenger Kids is now available on Apple’s App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.