“There’s a quote in the book from one of the very few executives who was behind the idea at the time, Rick Arons, and he said, ‘Your grandmother might not understand what Magic: The Gathering is, but she’ll understand what a check for $10,000 is,'” Chalk says in Episode 252 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.The strategy paid off, helping to foster a group of professional Magic players like Jon Finkel and David Williams who grew up in the spotlight and were accustomed to high-stakes card games.“As soon as they turned 18 they showed up at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and made a huge impression,” Chalk says.“They blew this very staid gaming culture out of the water.”And while computer systems have been solving games like chess and Go, and handily beating even the top-ranked human players, Chalk says that a game like Magic, where the rules can change significantly with each new card, remains the province of flesh-and-blood champions.“There’s just enough of a random factor to make the game incredibly unpredictable,” he says.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is only just making its way into the hands of the first customers, and already there are problems with the phone.A number of early adopters have reported issues with the phone’s screen suffering from a red-tinting problem.The issue sees the displays of certain devices tainted by an unnaturally rosy hue.Samsung has now acknowledged the issue and is rolling out a fix for the problem.The Korean manufacturer has confirmed it will release a software-based patch next week that should address the issue.This will be backed up by a further update later this month.
Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has shot back against American crime TV series, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders' portrayal of Singapore with a brilliantly crafted Facebook post.The series received brickbats from locals after an episode, titled Cinderella and the Dragon aired, portraying the island republic as a caricature of orientalist features.The STB has sent its rebuttal with a Facebook post highlighting the various locales that the series got wrong with a tongue-in-cheek captions that directly references quotes in the episode itself.There were other responses to this debacle such as one by popular local blogger, Mr Brown, who posted not one but two videos about it.STB has been quick in posting responses to faux pas by foreign media, such as Buzzfeed London labeling ice cream sandwiches as disgusting.However, this merely highlights the issue of western media trying to lump Asia as a single homogenous culture.
The demand for top talent is monumental, and the process of finding and hiring the best workers can be excruciating.There are many marketplaces on the web where one can go to find talent, but how do you know that their work is quality?Reviews aren’t always reliable, and there is stiff competition on many gig platforms, making the prices undercut, the stakes lower and the work shoddy.Toptal, founded in 2010, aims to relieve the difficulties of hiring freelancers.The freelancers and consultants that contract through Toptal are getting better paying jobs, and the companies that hire them are getting vetted talent, solving both problems at once.I spoke with Toptal Co-founder and CEO Taso Du Val to find out more about how Toptal got started and his predictions for the future of the talent economy.
Square Enix has announced the first batch of downloadable content for NieR: Automata and it’s as crazy as you might expect.Announced over the easter weekend during a livestream featuring game director Yoko Taro, the content will add new bosses and costumes to the JRPG.Titled “3C3C1D119440927,” the DLC pack will launch in Japan for 1500 yen on May 2.While confirmed for North America and Europe, a date is yet to emerge.The highlight of the content pack appears to be boss battles with Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda and Platinum Games CEO Kenichi Sato.It’s utterly mental and we love it.
Editors note: This was contributed by Haley Gong, International Marketing Executive at Webpower.One of the most common statements we hear from international companies is that ‘China is so different!’ Yes, the Chinese market is unique and challenging, but also filled with many opportunities.To win the heart of Chinese consumers, you have to understand the differences and adapt to the local environment.To begin with, the online landscape in China is different.Forget about Google, Facebook and other worldwide platforms, most of them are not working in China due to the Internet censorship.However, there’s a counterpart for nearly everything: Google is replaced by Baidu, Twitter is replaced by Weibo, eBay is replaced by Taobao (with way more vendors & merchants)… Although these ‘doppelgangers’ bear similar functionalities, when it comes to marketing, the rules are completely different.Secondly, consumer behavior in China is also unique.Meanwhile, Chinese consumers are used to consult customer service BEFORE they make a purchase (asking about size, delivery, material…), therefore, a live chat tool is essential for your online sales in China.With all the differences and ‘culture shock’, how to approach Chinese consumers online?
For his latest stunt, sometime-actor and oftentimes performance artist Shia LaBeouf is isolating himself from society for an entire month in chilly Lapland, with no means of communication except for a video chat feed from an art museum in Finland.It’s part of the ALONETOGETHER project, which will see him, along with fellow artists Nastja Rönkkö from Finland and Luke Turner of the UK, hide away separately in remotely located cabins and communicate with visitors of the prestigious Kiasma museum in Helsinki via text.People can enter a cabin in the art gallery and video chat with the trio, while they can respond via messages that are displayed as a stream in real-time.This performance art piece, which is one among several by the collective that utilize emotion and social interaction to foster new forms of communality, ‘focuses specifically on the concept of separation from one another despite being constantly connected via the internet,’ notes Konbini.The piece goes live today at the Kiasma museum.You can watch a livestream from the gallery exhibit here.
Dearest Cartoon Dorks, Time Warner’s Boomerang TV channel now offers a $5 per month streaming service for shows like Bugs Bunny, the Smurfs, and Yogi Bear.Boomerang’s service launched yesterday in the U.S. on iOS, Android, and the web, starting with just a fraction of the channel’s massive catalog of shows.For now, Boomerang says it is hosting more than 1,000 episodes on the service, with more shows added weekly.The streaming service was clearly designed for kids — there’s even a “Grownups” button on the site — but Boomerang’s vintage shows will probably attract a much older group of cartoon diehards.The U.S.-only service arrives as other niche streaming services (like Filmstruck) seek to compete with industry giants Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.
As the whole world is watching China’s heated bike-sharing sector notably with ofo and Mobike as the market leaders, another sharing-economy business model may become the next big thing: power bank rentals.Beijing-based Xiaodian on Monday raised RMB 100 millions (USD 14.5 million) in Series A financing led by tech giant Tencent and Vision Capital.It is worth noting the speed with which the company obtained financing.Within two weeks, it was able to land millions of USD in financing for both the angel and the Series A round financing.The financing was led by GSR Ventures and Wang Gang, both of which also invested in Didi Chuxing’s angel round.It is crucial for players in the field to obtain as much financing as possible.The companies also need to act fast to capture the greatest market share by providing preferable services and prices to attract consumers.Players in China include aforementioned Xiaodian, Hidian, and Ankerbox.Xiaodian’s shared power bank.
With the Samsung Galaxy S8 having now been officially unveiled, attention has turned to Apple and the upcoming iPhone 8.A device shrouded in expectation, the iPhone 8 has been tipped to play host to a mass of high-end features and a radical new design.The feature in question is the same Smart Connector option currently present on the iPad Pro.The multipurpose connection will allow the next-generation smartphone to play nice with a mass of new accessories.We're not just talking about the usual collection of smart cases and keyboard docks either.Instead, according to new reports, the Smart Connector could allow the iPhone 8 to work with a selection of new VR/AR accessories.
One year ago HTC Vive started arriving for buyers.It was $200 more expensive than its chief competition, the Oculus Rift, but the headset also did a lot more than the initial PC-powered headset from Facebook when it first released.At the heart of Vive’s leap is a fundamentally different tracking technology which involves mounting little boxes to the walls just like you would speakers.These boxes disappear when wearing the headset and you find yourself with the freedom to walk several steps around a virtual world and use your hands to interact with it.The tracking innovation made by Bellevue-based Valve Software and manufactured by HTC gave the Vive headset and controllers a six month headstart on Facebook’s VR team in the roomscale race.In some ways this lead was actually quite a bit longer, because HTC and Valve started telegraphing to developers pretty early on that this was the plan.Compared with Rift, Vive was offered with fewer restrictions imposed on developers for a longer length of time.Vive creators could share their discoveries with others for much of 2016 while Oculus largely locked down discussion of the Touch controllers for much of the year.“We didn’t want to put any controls on people,” O’Brien said.While Oculus was advising developers to focus on forward-facing VR experiences and shipping a Rift and gamepad to consumers, Valve and HTC were shipping this:This moment taken from Valve’s launch video published one year ago captures the essence of Vive’s contribution to VR.
Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in.Starting this afternoon, Bottleneck Gallery is selling a beautiful, officially licensed poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Gabz, aka Grzegorz Domaradzki.It’s available in two editions and is a perfect compliment to his previous trilogy poster.Licensed by Lucasfilm and Acme Archives, the regular is a timed edition, meaning they will print as many as possible between 5pm BST April 6th through 4:59 am BST April 10th.It’s 24 x 36 inches and costs $50 (£40.07).The variant is limited to 250 and costs $60 (£48.09).
These driverless pods are the first autonomous vehicles to hit the streets of London.The vehicles, which are already being used on tracks at Heathrow Airport, have been adapted for use in Greenwich from today onwards, for a period of three weeks.Created by tech firm Oxbotica, the shuttle pods can travel at speeds of up to 10mph and are controlled by a computer.The shuttles are designed to carry four people, and have no steering wheel or pedals.So far, 5,000 members of the public have applied to take part in the trial - during which there will be a trained staff member on board to stop the pod if the need arises.Seven of the electric pods will be placed on the tarmac of the Greenwich Peninsula, with routes likely to include residential streets and areas close to the O2 Arena.
I joined Spotify during my sophomore year of college.For awhile, I enjoyed the playlists and didn’t mind listening to the ads every now and again.But once I was back home in New York City for the summer and away from the plentiful campus WiFi, I found myself burning through data.After a few weeks of warnings from Verizon that I was approaching my data limit, I decided to take the plunge and become a Spotify Premium member.For more than two years, I enjoyed my ad-free listening experience, and I made the most of my Premium membership.But everything changed a month ago when I decided to de-link my Facebook account from my Spotify.I thought it would be a simple process, but no matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find any way to do it.
The government has the ability to gain access to so much of your information, it’s scary to think what they might already know about you.We’ll give you a minute to delete your browser history ... OK, great!In an effort to get ahead of any personal info leaks, Jon Hamm and Jack McBrayer decide to spill some of their most embarrassing secrets in this Funny Or Die video.For example, Jack McBrayer is actually a mannequin created by Jon Hamm.You can support the ACLU right away.Text POWER to 20222 to give $10 to theACLU.
For centuries, humans have been fretting over “technological unemployment” or the loss of jobs caused by technological change.However, while AI continues to master an increasing number of tasks, we’re still decades away from human jobs going extinct.There’s an unprecedented shortage of programmers, data scientists, cybersecurity experts and IT specialists, among others.Teaching and learning has been the centerpiece of the human society’s evolution.This means we need more focus on computer science in schools and academic institutions.Governments and the private sector must also play a more active role in helping the workforce acquire tech skills.
New MAZE Blade model from the fresh on the market MAZE company is certainly one heck of a good looking smartphone, at least in the very few released pictures.And today they published another one, which at least reveals the available colors for the phone.Join GizChina on TelegramYes the title pictures spoils that MAZE Blade will be up for grabs in three color variants, black.Design of the phone is certainly the most exciting thing about this model, because the dated MT6753 chipset is really not going to cut it too much in 2017.At least some goodies like non-interpolated cameras (13 Mpix rear 8 Mpix front, both Sony-made), hardware smart button on the side or a special Guest software mode can provide some uniqueness.I think the potential success and good sale numbers of MAZE Blade are going to be ultimately decided by the pricing, because premium looks can still draw the customer base no matter the hardware.How much you think would be a realistic price point for this new MAZE ?
The U.S. Department of Justice is ready to indict four people in the 2013 hack of Yahoo in which data from more than a billion accounts were acquired, according to a Bloomberg report.I’ve reached out to the DOJ for confirmation and more details.Citing someone briefed on the indictments, Bloomberg reports that one of the alleged hackers is currently in Canada, and may face instant arrest.The other three are apparently in Russia, which does complicate things.Yahoo recently revealed in testimony to a Senate committee that it was in cooperation with state, federal, and foreign governments regarding the breaches, which seems only logical considering the volume of data compromised.Apparently the efforts have borne fruit.
There’s this thing called cloud computing, okay we already know that, but how do you actually do it?Key vendors in this space talk about "migration to cloud" as is if it was some technical coming of age, but we rarely hear enough about the guts of what happens when we decide to go cloudwards.Software applications have a different shape i.e.they can no longer just look back inside the system (desktop PC or laptop) that they run on for resources.Data analytics company Teradata has been (arguably) clearer than some in line with its latest release.The Teradata IntelliCloud (it’s intelligent, plus it’s a cloud, yeah we get it) managed cloud offering provides data and analytic Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
Most videos shared on Snapchat or Instagram are simple: selfies, streaks, or your surroundings.But increasingly, publications, brands, and people with large followings are creating a new kind of clip, with text overlays, slick production, and links to outside content — like what you can find in Snapchat Discover.A new app called Flyr is making it easier to create those kind of videos and share them to multiple platforms, including Snapchat and Instagram Stories.The iPhone app, which is free, is basically an editor for "stories," or rich interactive content you scroll through by tapping.The app is fast, especially rendering the videos, and the videos it creates look professionally done.Inside the app, there's a section that allows users to share their videos with other Flyr users.Flyr is also making its own videos, in its own version of Snapchat Discover.