John Nelson

John Nelson

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US
In January, the rumor mill began swirling with reports that Forza Horizon 3 studio Playground Games had begun work on a fourth Fable game.At the time, a few developers from the now-shuttered Fable studio Lionhead voiced their thoughts on the project, and now, series creator Peter Molyneux has weighed in with what he wants to see in a new Fable game.Speaking to IGN, Molyneux revealed that he’s interested in seeing a potential Fable 4 head back in time instead of trying to push the story forward.“The Fable story hinted at a dramatic time before [the first Fable] when the Guild was founded.This would be a perfect setting for Fable 4,” Molyneux said in the interview.Molyneux also stressed that changes needed to be made to the combat system, possibly with the ability to craft your own spells and “brutal, visceral, and fluid [combat] that left permanent scars.”
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Despite a stratospheric rise in value over the past year, the price of bitcoin could fall to $1,000 (£719, €816) per coin over the next 12 months, a major Wall Street investment chief has warned.The complex and volatile crypto market is unpredictable, and crackdowns from government regulatory authorities around the world led to a crash in value across the board – with the bitcoin price tumbling from an all-time high of over $19,000 in December 2017 to under $10,000.While it levelled out at roughly $11,000 per coin, where it currently remains, Bleakley Advisory Group's chief investment officer, Peter Boockvar, has said that the storm may not be over just yet."I think bitcoin is going to be around for a long time but the price itself I wouldn't be surprised if over the next year it is down to $1,000 - $3,000," he told CNBC in a recent interview.Boockvar is the latest mainstream financial expert to weigh in on the debate about whether bitcoin is in a bubble and on the brink of bursting.Many investors – seemingly caught up in the hype of the so-called 'crypto-boom' – appeared spooked following the dwindling prices.
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Photos present a practical privacy dilemma: Keep them stored on your phone, and they'll hog your storage and risk being lost forever the next time your phone falls into a toilet.Pixek plans to upload your camera roll, while still letting you keep your selfies and sensitive photo evidence secret.And yet thanks to some semi-magical crypto tricks, Pixek still allows you to search those photos by keyword, performing image recognition on your photos before they're uploaded, and then scrambling them with a unique form of encryption that makes their contents searchable without ever exposing those contents to Pixek itself.And they give up privacy because of it," says Pixek developer and Brown University cryptographer Seny Kamara, who presented an alpha version of the app at the Real World Crypto conference earlier this month.While the app is only being distributed in alpha on Android for now—with a public beta in the coming months and an iOS version to follow—Kamara says Pixek also aims to demonstrate that the form of encryption it uses is more broadly practical; that could even work for large-scale cloud platforms, even while keeping features like machine-learning-based recognition of image content and search intact.To enable its encrypted search feature, Pixek uses so-called "structured encryption," a form of searchable encryption that researchers have been refining for more than a decade but which rarely winds up in commercial software.
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However, last year Spain’s economy finally returned to its pre-recession size, with new opportunities for entrepreneurs promising to combat the still-high level of unemployment.This past year I had the chance to visit Spain with my Partner Eddie Arrieta, and while conversations about Spain may be still be dominated by stereotypical topics like tapas, soccer or flamenco, the county’s startup scene is now making a name for itself.After two years of double digit growth in the percentage of new startups, Spanish startups witnessed a milder 7 percent growth in 2017, pointing to signs of consolidation within the startup community.Moreover, Barcelona’s IESE has been ranked the number one executive education program by Financial Times three years running.However, as Spain’s economy stabilized and its startup ecosystem developed, more bright young minds came home to be involved in their local scenes once again.In a VentureBeat article, investor James Cameron of Accel Partners notes a surprisingly positive outcome of the economic hardship saying, “The recession that plagued Spain after 2008 seems to have created a new breed of entrepreneur — one that isn’t phased by a fear of failure or red tape, the two traditional Achilles heels of the Spanish startup ecosystem.”
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There was a time when Nintendo was almost synonymous with needless accessories: plastic tennis rackets, baseball bats and wheels that gave the company's Wii controllers a little more shape.Now it seems Nintendo's at it again, but this time it's not creating pointless accessories.It's building a Nintendo Switch-powered DIY cardboard creativity kit.It's called Nintendo Labo, and not only does it look fun, but kind of educational, too.Pop out the cut-outs in the variety pack, for instance, and you can build a toy fishing pole, drivable cardboard RC cars, a motorbike mount for the console's Joy-Con controllers or even a mini, but completely functional, 13-key piano.The robot kit, on the other hand, promises to let kids build a wearable exoskeleton that allows them to control an in-game robot with their own body.
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While castration hasn’t been tested on abusers in the Harvey Weinstein style, it’s been used with success on child molesters, bringing the recidivism rate, or so I’d read somewhere, from 75 percent to 2 percent.At the same time, something seemed sinister in my view.Because, look, as righteous as I felt, my conscience was also appalled that I wanted to disable the testicles of any mother’s son, however much that son liked to masturbate into potted plants and force frottage on colleagues at the vending machine.Change My View was the brainchild of Kal Turnbull, a musician who was just 17 when he launched the subreddit in 2013, roughly three years before intransigence became the guiding principle of all debate everywhere.He enlisted moderators from among the more fair-minded regulars, and for five years now they have policed not just name-calling, rudeness, and hostility but superfluous jokes and mindless agreement.Recently a poster called Sherlocked_ plowed into a time-honored lion’s den: “I lean left but believe abortion should be illegal in most cases.” What appeared, however, were not lions at all.
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A study being published in PNAS details research on brain activity patterns, specifically the patterns found in people who are creative and people who aren’t.According to the research, creative individuals have unique brain activity patterns that differ from those of less creative people; this goes for creative individuals across various fields, everyone from artists to scientists.The research comes from Harvard University psychologist Roger Beaty and colleagues who tasked individuals with thinking of creative uses for ordinary items like a sock and gum wrapper.The volunteers’ brains were scanned during these brief creative thinking sessions and the results analyzed.With this research came different, yet distinct, patterns of brain activity.For those who exhibited highly creative thinking, the brain scans showed heightened connectivity between a trio of brain networks: the executive control, default mode, and salience networks.
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One of the best things about hybrid smartwatches is that they strike a more reasonable balance in size somewhere between a proper smartwatch and an analog smartwatch.But at CES 2018, the Misfit Path puts forward an even smaller form factor than we’ve seen, making it an ideal fit for those with small wrists or just a particular tastes in time pieces.When it comes to tech, a reduction in size is always nice, but what’s even better is when there aren’t any features sacrificed in the process.In a nutshell, that’s what the Path.We got our hands on a non-functioning prototype of the hybrid wearable here at CES, and our early taste of the design and fit make us excited to try the final product.The Path very much looks like a Misfit project, with a bold, cohesive design that makes a statement without having to yell about it.
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If you use Facebook or Netflix, AI is used on you.The biggest, best and almost the defining search engine of our age – Google – uses AI to try to hunt-down the most relevant results from the web's billions of pages.In the last few years, Googling has become more contextual, and voice-friendly, but a crucial new part of the search algorithm, called RankBrain, is what makes Google search consistent.A machine learning tech that looks at the words in a search query and identifies others with a similar meaning, RankBrain attempts to guess what you mean.The four big players – Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, Google's Assistant and Microsoft's Cortana – all use voice recognition and natural language processing for hands-free searching.The AI in use by Netflix is all about creating 'taste communities', and it works like this; an algorithm records your viewing habits of a library of content that has already been tagged by actors, genres and themes.
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CES 2018 in Las Vegas is coming to a close, and we've seen the usual conveyor belt of weird and wonderful kit, from massive 8K TVs to concept electric cars.Despite the world's media descending on the Las Vegas Convention Center, however, the photographic industry has decided to keep a very low profile this year.The one big announcement has been Panasonic's Lumix GH5S hybrid mirrorless camera, while Nikon paraded a exotic super-telephoto 180-400mm zoom lens that costs about the same as a decent used family car.We perhaps shouldn't overlook the Lenovo Mirage and Yi Technology DayDream VR180 cameras, although while they certainly look fun they don't quite stir the photographer inside us.It was only a few years ago that our inbox would get clogged up with a multitude of CES camera announcements, while those of us on the ground at the Convention Center would spend our time dashing round trying to make sure we saw everything and everyone we needed to see.Nikon has used the show to announce the likes of the D3300, D5500, D4, D500 and D5, while Canon unveiled the PowerShot G9 X Mark II, Fujifilm the X-Pro1 and X100S and Sony the Alpha A5000.
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Dell unveiled "the world's most compact Thunderbolt 3 storage device."The Dell Portable Thunderbolt 3 SSD goes on sale February 28 with the 500GB model going for $439 and the 1TB model for $799.The drive is very compact, at only 16mm thick.It's fast, with transfer speeds up to 2650MB/second and it has no mechanical storage components so it's more resistant to drops and falls.
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When it comes to new headphones, Sony is mainly continuing its trend of announcing wireless noise-canceling models.At CES, its announced three new in-ear wireless sports headphones, one of which is a set of totally wireless earphones.The WF-SP700N is wire-free, while the WI-SP600N and WI-SP500 feature neckband designs and stronger battery life.All have sweat-resistant designs (IPX4 "splashproof" rating) and Sony's Extra Bass feature.Along with active noise-canceling, there's also an ambient sound mode (via Sony's Headphones Connect app) that allows you to hear the outside world, a good safety feature if you're running or biking outdoors near cars.The totally wireless WF-SP700N is essentially the sports version of the WF-1000X.
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Schlage announced Google Assistant integration for its Sense smart deadbolt at CES in Las Vegas on Sunday.The Schlage Sense Deadbolt's Google Assistant integration adds to the deadbolt's existing connectivity with Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.The Schlage Sense Deadbolt features:Up to 30 unique access codes for the lock's touchscreenRemote access via Wi-Fi adapter (sold separately)Time-stamped activity history for specific codes
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I love it when non-tech companies find a way to integrate technology into the fabric of modern life.That was evident when Carnival cruise lines came up last year with a wearable for ocean cruises.And it showed again this week as Germany’s Henkel, a 140-year-old company, launched its Salon Labs technology to bring hair salons into the digital age.Henkel Beauty Care will show the tech at CES 2018, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week.In an interview with VentureBeat, Henkel marketing executive Marie-Ève Schröder said the new tech brings objective and data-driven expertise to the subjective art of trying to take care of your hair.Even a company like ours should explore new things.”
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Above: The Fitbit Ionic, which uses another form of glucose-monitoring tech.We've long been used to hearing stories about massive companies like Apple and Google acquiring or investing in startups to further their own technology, but in a surprising move, Fitbit has now invested in the blood sugar-monitoring startup Sano.It's Fitbit's first-ever startup investment in the roughly 11 years it's been around.Fitbit is putting around $6 million into Sano, according to CNBC, which should help the company make its devices better fit for health monitoring than they already are.In the process, it will help give Fitbit an edge in the face of increasing competition from the likes of Apple.Fitbit actually already has some glucose-monitoring technology in its Ionic smartwatch, but Sano's small "patch" might be more efficient.
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Uber cofounder and ex-CEO Travis Kalanick is close to selling “nearly a third” of his equity in the company, Reuters reported late Thursday.Kalanick has so far retained his 10 per cent ownership of the company, even after resigning from his position as CEO in June.Reuters reports the sale, the first time Kalanick has ever sold his own stock, will earn Kalanick $1.4 billion (£1 billion).Kalanick’s sale is part of the multi-billion dollar deal Uber struck with investment companies SoftBank and Dragoneer.As Reuters reports, SoftBank is buying a 17.5 per cent stake in Uber, mostly by buying up shares from Uber investors, executives, and employees.The SoftBank deal values the company at $48 billion (£35 billion)—below its previous valuation of $68 billion (£50 billion), but still enough to make it one of the highest-valued startups in the world.
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Appcanary, a Y Combinator-incubated service that helps developers scan the third-party packages and libraries they use to write their code for potential security vulnerabilities, today announced that it will shut down its service on June 1 and that the team is joining GitHub.The two companies did not disclose the financial details of the transaction, but our understanding is that this is primarily an acqui-hire.“From when we cofounded Rubysec, to building (the now defunct) Gemcanary, to starting Appcanary, our goal from the beginning was to improve the world’s security by preventing the use of vulnerable software,” Appcanary founders Max Veytsman and Phill Mendonça-Vieira write in today’s announcement.“At the time, this required placing a bet on building a certain kind of business, and for a variety of reasons that bet didn’t work out.”Before the acquisition, Appcanary charged users $29 per month to run up to three agents (to monitor three servers), with pricing going up from there.It’s worth noting that GitHub, too, recently announced a similar feature that helps developers monitor their code for these kind of vulnerabilities.
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Big MMOs have had a rough last quarter this year.Star Wars: Battlefront II has just made life a lot harder for many games thanks to their loot boxes.And while less dramatic, Destiny 2’s reputation was also tarnished by its first expansion, the Curse of Osiris.Bungie has promised to fix things, or at least some things, but fans may already have something new to wait for.The PlayStation Network mistakenly published details about the next DLC, titled “Gods of Mars” and the expansion will finally add a new enemy faction to the game.According to the description, the Gods of Mars will center around Charlemagne, a Warmind, a.k.a.
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It’s been a little more than a week since PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds launched on PC, and now it’s time for the first post-launch update for the game.Developer Bluehole has shared a list of patch notes for this new update, which is simply being called “PC 1.0 Update 1.” That suggests it isn’t significant enough to bring the PC release to a new version number.In any case, the PUBG dev team opens that change log post with an apology for the lag players have been experiencing since launch.While lag has been a common problem for PUBG, it’s particularly frustrating now, as the release of 1.0 was intended to make a number of optimizations to the game.The PUBG team explains that it was a “combination of causes” that resulted in this lag and issues with character placement readjustment.Because of that, it’s going to be a little while until the problems are sorted out entirely.
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Controversy always seems to find its way into the news and 2017 has been no different with its fair share of industry issues.It’s been quite the 12 months, so let’s run down the highs and the lows.The highs: PUBG rules, shooter communities grow and Steam evolvesEven if you’re a novice gamer in the PC space - or simply a passive lover of Twitch and YouTube Gaming - there’s been one game that’s remained a year-long ‘flavour of the month’: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.Of course it inspired plenty of copycats (Ubisoft has attempted to pivot the middling Ghost Recon Wildlands with a PvP mode while Epic Games’ Fortnite continues to improve with its fort-building mechanics).It’s even given streaming a boost, with plenty of Twitch streamers going high profile as a result of their focus on PUBG.
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