#68 RIP Stan Lee

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Marvel and Disney Remember Stan Lee

Today, Marvel Comics and The Walt Disney Company pause and reflect with great sadness on the passing of Marvel Chairman Emeritus, Stan Lee. With a heavy heart, we share our deepest condolences with his daughter and brother, and we honor and remember the creator, voice and champion of Marvel. “Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created. A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. Stanley Martin Lieber, a.k.a. Stan Lee, loved the written word from an early age, and wanted to craft stories like those in his favorite books and films, which he consumed voraciously. From a simple upbringing in the teeming landscape of Manhattan, young Stanley worked his way through a succession of jobs until the day he found himself an assistant at a comic book publishing company — Timely Comics.

TO FEEL LESS DEPRESSED AND LONELY, LIMIT SOCIAL MEDIA USE TO 30 MINUTES A DAY, RESEARCHERS SAY

A number of studies have by now correlated social media use with mental-health risks, such as loneliness and depression. But correlation isn’t causation, leaving a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem: Is social media actually behind these issues, or are people who are already depressed and lonely just more likely to spend time on social media? A new study being published in December’s Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has tried to look into the causal side of things, and see whether people may actually feel better when they cut down on social media. Its conclusion: “Our findings strongly suggest that limiting social media use to approximately 30 minutes per day may lead to significant improvement in well-being,” the authors write.

Xbox One Receiving Mouse and Keyboard Support Next Week

During its big X018 event over the weekend, Microsoft confirmed that support for mouse and keyboard support will be arriving for Xbox One next week, with a bunch of titles to receive the feature right off the bat. Among these will be Fortnite and Warframe, as well as Bomber Crew and Deep Rock Galactic. Strange Brigade, Vermintide 2, War Thunder, and X-Morph: Defense will also have mouse and keyboard support patched in later this month, while Children of Morta, DayZ, Minion Master, Moonlighter, Vigor, Warfare, and Wargroove will also receive support “in the future”.

Domino’s is making fun of the Diablo Immortal reveal to sell pizza

Domino’s Pizza – yes, the pizza joint – has had a jab at the Diablo Immortal reveal during BlizzCon 2018 in a Facebook promotion for its ‘Treasure Chest’ deal. A Facebook post by Domino’s Pizza Malaysia contains an image that, at the top, reads, “This is not an out-of-season April Fool’s joke.” This is a reference to the moment during the Q&A session for the Diablo Immortal reveal when one member of the audience asked, “Is this an out-of-season April Fool’s joke?”

Steam bug allowed unlimited free downloads

A man has been given $20,000 (£15,500) for discovering a bug in the Steam video games store that let people download any game for free. Security researcher Artem Moskowsky found a flaw in Steam’s portal for games developers that let anybody generate licence keys without paying. Millions of people use Steam to buy and download games on PC and Mac computers. Mr Moskowsky told Steam owner Valve about the bug and it awarded him the money as part of its bug bounty scheme.

Five Nights at Freddy’s movie delayed, new ‘AAA’ game in the works

Scott Cawthon’s Five Nights at Freddy’s series shows no signs of slowing down, with a feature film, a new sequel, updated console ports and a new “big-budget game” in development. Cawthon outlined the future for Five Nights at Freddy’s on Steam earlier today, starting with the bad news: The movie based on the horror games has been delayed (even though it didn’t have an announced release date). Earlier this year, Blumhouse Productions announced that it was developing a live-action Five Nights at Freddy’s movie with director Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) at the helm. But Cawthon said that this movie will take a little longer to complete, as he’s thrown out his original script.

How to connect and transfer Pokemon from Pokemon GO to Pokemon Let’s GO

Hello trainers! Today the Japanese site for Let’s GO has been updated with details on how to connect Let’s GO and Pokémon GO, along with information on what can and can’t be transferred along with the restrictions caused by transferring. As we know, in Pokémon Let’s GO: Pikachu! and Let’s GO: Eevee! once you get to Fuchsia City, you will unlock GO Park, which allows you to transfer Pokémon to the games from Pokémon GO. There are 20 Parks, and each can hold 50 Pokémon. That makes it to where you can have 1000 Pokémon in GO Park at any given time! The GO Park complex in the games will be where the Safari Zone was in Pokémon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow, which is in the northern area of the city, it’s gonna be hard to miss.

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#66 Kevin & The NFL Blew Up Fortnite

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Social media growth is over in the U.S. — which is its most valuable market

Social media companies aren’t growing as quickly as they used to. In some cases, they aren’t growing at all. In the United States, things are even worse for them: They’re shrinking. Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are no longer adding new users in the United States. Facebook’s daily user base has been the same for the past three quarters. Twitter and Snapchat have both lost users in the U.S. or North America, respectively, in back-to-back quarters.

NINTENDO SWITCH MIGHT GET A YOUTUBE APP AS SOON AS THIS WEEK

Nintendo’s marketing strategy for the Switch has involved positioning the device as a games console and little else. But if an apparent leak is accurate, the Switch is about to get a new video-streaming option. On Saturday, French website NintendHome tweeted what it claimed was a screengrab of a Switch YouTube app teaser from Nintendo of America’s website. According to the image, Switch will get a YouTube app on Thursday.

Niantic revives ‘Ingress’ for the post–’Pokémon Go’ world

Niantic has a problem. It’s the king of GPS/AR/Maps–based “exergaming,” but it’s leasing its empire. Pokémon Go is built on IP it doesn’t own or control, and a portion of the profits are sent back to Japan. A chunk of the proceeds from its forthcoming Harry Potter game, already a likely blockbuster, will go to J.K. Rowling. It’s why Niantic is taking the time to remind the world that its own, original IP, Ingress, still exists. Launched in 2013, Ingress was Niantic’s first game, and one of the first to ask folks to wander around their locale and hunt for goodies. Six years and several million players later, the company has decided to relaunch the game, titled Ingress Prime. It’s hoping that a fresh start, a cleaned-up game and a deeper storyline will help coax back all of those people who tried Ingress once but never came back.

Red Dead Online beta start date, battle royale mode, rumours, leaks and more

Now that Red Dead Redemption 2 is out in the wild, fans are asking when the Red Dead Online beta is likely to begin. Much like GTA 5 and its predecessor, Red Dead Redemption 2 will have an online multiplayer feature called Red Dead Online. Access to the public beta is free for anyone who has purchased Red Dead Redemption 2, though not many details are available about it just yet.

Fortnite will start selling NFL skins this week

It’s not unusual to see a Fortnite dance celebration after a goal in any sport, so it was only a matter of time before the battle royale game officially brought that connection in-game. Today, Epic Games announced a partnership with the National Football League that will bring a variety of jersey cosmetics that players can wear. According to Epic, these outfits can look like any of the 32 NFL teams on the roster, though players will be able to choose their own number. There will also be a made-up Fortnite team jersey. All jerseys will be available on November 9th in the in-game shop, though the price is unknown. Based on the video accompanying the announcement, it seems that this tie-in will also have some new emotes for purchase, too.

If you missed Fortnite’s strangest live event yet or just want to see it again, it’s all right here

Fortnite’s giant purple cube named Kevin died on Sunday roughly 30 meters above Leaky Lake after an extended struggle with levitation. Memorial services were held immediately afterward in an endless white expanse where friends and family were invited to float weightlessly amongst themselves and in the company of abstract forms that coalesced into crystalline butterflies. Kevin was 72 days old.

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#57 Ghostbusters World is Pokemon Go With Ghosts

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Why women check social media more than men

If you’re a social media holdout, you are an increasingly rare breed. D.C.-based business news and how-to website The Manifest says 86 percent of Americans now use social media every day. Women are more likely than men to check in repeatedly throughout the day. Facebook remains the most-used social media channel, but The Manifest says use of other social platforms is growing faster, particularly YouTube and Instagram. Nearly two-thirds of social media consumers report they are using YouTube and Instagram more this year than they were last year, compared to 52 percent of Facebook users who said so.

REPORT: APPLE TO TAKE A BITE OUT OF NETFLIX AND AMAZON BY MAKING ITS CONTENT FREE FOR DEVICE OWNERS

In a move that appears to take a page from Amazon’s Prime playbook and one-up it by removing price as an entry barrier, Apple reportedly plans to offer completely free of charge at least some of the content it’s developing for its long-awaited streaming service — so long, that is, as you’re a part of Apple’s device ecosystem. Citing unnamed inside sources, CNBC reports that Apple plans to feature its launch-day streaming content at no cost for Apple device owners, who would access the platform via a dedicated app icon in much the same fashion as they currently access iTunes or the App Store.

Oculus Co-Founder’s Departure Could Mean Bad Things for Facebook VR

Facebook made a splashy entrance into VR when it purchased fledgling startup Oculus back in 2014 for $2.3 billion. However, even after putting out the first consumer-ready Oculus Rift in 2016, which was followed up by this year’s Oculus Go and the upcoming Oculus Quest, today’s departure of Oculus co-f0under and former CEO Brendan Iribe casts doubts on the future of Facebook’s VR efforts.

Razer Phone 2 review: Still fun, still niche

It’s not easy to turn heads in the mobile industry in 2018. At best, we see new handsets come out to critical acclaim but also a sense of stifled boredom. Maybe it is the best of its kind yet, but so what? Apart from the fact that it ticks every box, what does it bring to the table that’s new? Fortunately, for those of us seeking something different (if a bit quirky), Razer has decided to get into the mobile market. The gaming hardware company is now on its second generation smartphone, the Razer Phone 2, and it’s staying true to its original vision: a handset for elite mobile gamers. This puts the device in an interesting position. It’s vying to be a luxury product — so it should not only compete with the best but somehow achieve more. That’s where the 120Hz refresh rate display comes in, and the RGB light-up logo.

‘Ghostbusters World’ combines ‘Pokémon Go’ and turn-based battles

Ghostbusters World is a mobile game from Ghost Corps — the Sony company that “owns” Ghostbusters — and South Korean game developer [4:33]. The developer is no stranger to big-name franchise games, and released DC Unchained earlier this year. Here, however, the company has sought to bolt the franchise onto something more successful: Pokémon Go. It won’t take players long to spot the number of similarities between Ghostbusters World and Pokémon Go, surely the apex predator of GPS-based mobile AR games. In Go, users wander around their locale catching monsters Pokéballs. In World, players wander around catching ghosts with their Proton Packs and Ghost Traps. Both games can be played in either a simulated environment or using your phone’s camera for augmented reality, too.

These Nintendo Piranha Plant Slippers Release This December And We May Have Fallen In Love

Nintendo’s surprisingly wide range of merchandise options often has us drooling over the latest and greatest thing, and this is usually amplified when we see the sorts of goodies available in Japan. Joining that list in style are these lovely Piranha Plant slippers and we can’t wait to get multiple sets for ourselves.

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Facebook Surprisingly Losing Steam Among Teens – Here’s Why

And just when you thought that it couldn’t be more popular (or controversial), Facebook according to the Pew Research (Internet and Technology) is losing its foothold in this demographic to Youtube, Snapchat, and Instagram. The teens are speaking out and expressing their ambivalence over social media. Some say it makes them feel connected, others say that the “closeness” is superficial and that it encourages isolation, while others fear bullying and the pressure to go with whatever is popular at the moment.

In a prior Pew Research study in 2015, 71% of teens (12-17 years old) were still on Facebook. Today, that has dropped significantly to  51%. But why are American kids abandoning the ship and migrating to Youtube (used by 85% of teens),  Instagram (72%), and Snapchat (69%). Coincidentally, these three more popular platforms are primarily “camera-based” platforms. Facebook is more popular among kids from lower income families: 70% came from those with incomes of $30,000 and lower. Those who patronized Facebook like the fact that it is easier to connect with friends and families from different age groups, find people with the same interests and ferret relevant news. But for those who don’t use Facebook or had reduced their exposure, some claimed that a lot of it had to do with parents “shutting down Facebook”. A disturbing finding is that over a quarter of users find bullying and spreading false rumors rampant on Facebook. One fifth complained that it actually destroyed relationships because of decreased interaction and led to some sort of digital”addiction”.

When asked which social media platform they used the most, only 10% chose Facebook while 35% chose Snapchat followed closely followed by 32% who preferred Youtube. Girls were more loyal to Snapchat while boys gravitated to Youtube more. The slide is so serious that E-Marketer predicts that ” Facebook would lose a further 2.1 million American users under the age of 25 this year”. With 95% of U.S. teens owning smartphones currently, that’s a huge number that can be lost through the cracks – advertising wise since 45% claim to be on the Internet constantly. The Pew Research also revealed 83% of girls play video games while 97% play video games; another reason why the quality and safety of games should be monitored.

“When the 17-year-old turned 13, getting a Facebook account was a rite of passage. Not long after she got the account she realised she didn’t have much use for it.” – Paul Verna (E-marketer analyst)

Personally, although ensuring privacy is now a battle cry at Facebook, the fact that they are playing “matchmaker’ soon is in some weird way, anti-teen and possibly could open a whole new can of worms. Perhaps if Facebook kept it more simple and not push its dendrites into all directions like battling Google on the “apps for business” end, Youtube for video and Match.com for pairings then it could focus on what had made it extremely popular in the first place. Some habits die hard and the older demographics are apparently still happy with the appeal of Facebook; but the downside is that tweens may skip Facebook together and flock to Snapchat and Instagram making the user population an aging one.

 

 

Papua New Guinea Is Banning Facebook For One Month

Papua New Guinea is planning to shut down the social media site in its effort to identify fake accounts and blocks fake news.

Papua New Guinea has decided to ban Facebook for a month while the government tries to block fake news. They are also strengthening their efforts to identify fake accounts.

According to Communications Minister Sam Basil, the shutdown will “allow information to be collected” about people using the social media site. Those who upload porn and defamatory information will be removed from Facebook.

“This will allow genuine people with real identities to use the social network responsibly,” said Basil.

The government is looking into developing a local alternative to the social media giant.

“If there need be then we can gather our local applications developers to create a site that is more conducive for Papua New Guineans to communicate within the country and abroad as well,” Basil was quoted as saying by local media.

There is no announcement yet on when the government will carry out the shutdown. The capital Port Moresby is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit later this year. The government might schedule the ban to coincide with this event.

 

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Leaked Facebook Training Manual Reveal Special Pepe The Frog Meme Policy

According to internal Facebook documents, certain images of Pepe the Frog are to be banned.

Facebook isn’t really in the business of banning fictional characters but a particular frog made an exception.

Pepe the Frog is a cartoon illustration of a frog by Matt Furie for a comic called Boy’s Club. In the last couple of years however, it has become the mascot of the alt-right for intolerance. This led to the cartoon being labeled as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Now it is making news again Motherboard as obtained a training document where Pepe was highlighted. Entitled Dangerous Organizations, the section highlights the anamorphic frog as something to look out for.

“Pepe the Frog has been endorsed by many hate groups to convey hateful messages.”

Normally, the social media giant allows users to post cartoons or video game characters in the context of hate. An example of this in its training manual is an image of Homer with a swastika. Apparently, this sort of image can be ignored if flagged by a user.

But Pepe is to be treated differently. According to the document, moderators should delete the image when “he is shown in the context of hate.”

ADL’s chief executive Jonathan A Greenblatt explained why they made him as a hate symbol. “They are abusing the image of a cartoon character, one that might at first seem appealing, to harass and spread hatred on social media.”

 

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Facebook Marketplace Expands To Add Home Services

You can now hire cleaners and plumbers from the Facebook Marketplace.

The social media giant is expanding its Marketplace coverage to help users find local contractors for home improvement. This means you can now hire a plumber, an electrician, a plumber or a contractor right off of Facebook.

Marketplace is a separate commerce section on Facebook that is similar to Craigslist. It allows users to connect with others for buying and selling. According to Facebook, it decided to add this service because a lot of U.S. users are actually looking for recommendations for in-home services.

Facebook has also added quick quoting to make it even more convenient to use the service. This allows users to send a project request to multiple service providers on Marketplace at once. You can also chat with them through Facebook Messenger.

To access the feature, choose Marketplace Services from the Marketplace menu. Once you have chosen the service you need, Facebook will ask you service-specific questions to narrow the search results. You also need to put in your ZIP code so that Facebook can give you a list of the companies or individuals near you that offer the service you require.

The Marketplace Services is rolling out today and will be available across the US over the next couple of weeks. There’s no information yet as to when or whether this service will also be available in other countries with Marketplace.

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Instagram Now Allows You Hide Posts Of Your Friends with Mute Feature

Instagram now let’s you avoid seeing posts you don’t like on your feed through the mute option.

We all have that one friend (or ten) that we follow on Instagram that we actually don”t like. Maybe your sister who keeps posting selfies or your boss who keeps posting pictures of her cat. Or how about that friend who posts twenty pictures of her daughter everyday? We can’t really unfollow them for fear of hurting or offending them.

Luckily, Instagram now allows you to mute your friends and have their posts not show up on your feed. It is basically the “unfollow” version of Facebook. The mute option helps you free up your feed of those annoying posts while preserving your relationship with that person.

To use the feature, simply tap the three dots on the upper right corner of a post you want to mute. From there, you can choose whether to mute posts, or mute posts and stories from that user. And don’t worry, the user will not know you’ve muted them.

According to the company, this feature will help you personalize your feed as they aim to make it “the best place to share and connect with the people and interests you care about.”

The mute feature will be rolling out “in the coming weeks”. Now if only there’s a mute button for those annoying ads on my feed..

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Facebook Is Planning To Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency

Facebook users may soon be able to make payments using its own cryptocurrency.

It was recently confirmed that Facebook has put together a team to work on Blockchain. Now, fresh media reports also claim that the social media giant is dipping its toes in developing its own cryptocurrency.

A report by Cheddar claims that the company “is quite serious” about this new venture. According to their source who asked to remain unnamed, it will potentially be geared towards payment transactions.

Although there aren’t any clear details as to what Facebook will really do with its own cryptocurrency, there’s one thing we know. The company isn’t planning to hold any initial coin offerings (ICO) with a limited number of tokens for purchase.

A Facebook spokesperson released a statement to The Verge but didn’t deny the possibility of developing their own crypto.

“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology,” the spokesperson said in an email. “This new small team will be exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”

Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts are currently being lead by David Marcus. The team’s responsibility is “to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.” The team would come under “New platforms and infra” run by Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mike Schroepfer.

 

Launch of Vine 2 Postponed Indefinitely According to Founder

Don’t hold your breathe for Vine 2, it won’t be coming anytime soon.


The company’s co-founder, Dom Hofmann, announced on Friday the indefinite postponement of Vine 2’s launch.

Hofmann outlined the reasons for coming to the “very difficult decision” of postponing the project on the v2 forums. Among those, and probably the biggest reason, is the financial aspect.

When he first revealed Vine 2, which was dubbed V2, he announced that it would be a personal project and will be personally funded. Apparently the response was overwhelming and the larger-than-expected audience for the project would cost A LOT to run. Way more than his personal funding could cover. Legal issues have also surfaced and the “legal fees have been overwhelming.”

“Long story short, in order to work, the V2 project needs to operate as a company with sizeable external funding, probably from investors.”

However, investors weren’t too keen to jump in on the project. “I already run an early-stage company that is in the middle of development. Very few backers would be happy with the split attention, and I wouldn’t be either. This is potentially solvable, but it’s going to take time for the space and resources to become available.”

Hoffmann explains what their future plans are.

“We take a step back. The code and ideas still exist, but until everything else comes together, we can’t move forward. Again, this is indefinite, which means that it could take a long time. But it’s necessary.”

I guess fans of the 6-second clip app would have to make do of Instagram Stories, or Snapchat for now.