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News Quandry

Entertainment, Entertainment
15 years ago, the Xbox 360 launched in the desert. It was a wild event.
November 22, 2020 at 4:00 pm 0
"Everyone here who wants a 360 will be able to leave with a 360." In these new console-starved times, when pre-orders are hard to come by, it's hard to imagine anyone uttering such an outlandish statement. But that's exactly what a Best Buy rep said 15 years ago, on Nov. 22, 2005, as Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 at a blockbuster "Zero Hour" event in the Mojave Desert. "Our goal with the launch event is to reward the gamer by creating the ultimate Xbox 360 oasis," former Xbox exec Peter Moore said at the time. "Gamers at 'Zero Hour' will have bragging rights to say 'I spent over 24 hours at the epicenter of the gaming universe, and I was among the first generation of the next generation of gaming." Read more...More about Microsoft, Xbox 360, Entertainment, and Gaming
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Entertainment, Entertainment
It's been 10 years since 'Deathly Hallows – Part 1,' the best Harry Potter movie ever
November 22, 2020 at 4:00 pm 0
When the Harry Potter books were adapted for film, we had no idea what to expect. Books had been made into movies before, but never a series on this scale. A series unfinished, so dependent on technical wizardry, and with a cast that would implicitly go from children to adults before our very eyes. We did not know how the films would transition from one director to another, or if they even would. We didn't know how the tone would shift from books one to seven, that we could split books into two movies, or which books would make for better films. A decade later and with another tepid half-franchise in the mix, let's call it: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 is the best Harry Potter movie.  Read more...More about Entertainment, Movies, Harry Potter, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, and Entertainment
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Science & Technology
Thanks to a bug, Twitter Fleets didn't actually expire after 24 hours
November 22, 2020 at 4:00 pm 0
On Nov. 17, Twitter ripped off the Stories feature that Snapchat popularized and Instagram popularized even further. Twitter's version is called Fleets and unfortunately, it didn't take long for people to find a way to subvert the 24-hour expiration timer. Twitter user donk_enby posted a thread that went viral over the weekend highlighting a bug in Twitter's back-end that would allow users to view a Fleet well after it should have expired. What's worse is that the user who posted the Fleet wouldn't even see a notification that it had been viewed.  The good news? Twitter is aware of this and confirmed to TechCrunch that a fix would come in short order. Read more...More about Twitter, Social Media, Social Network, Stories, and Social Media Companies
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Science & Technology
GoDaddy employees accidentally helped hackers mess with cryptocurrency sites
November 22, 2020 at 4:00 pm 0
GoDaddy's security issues have reared up once again. The cybersecurity blog Krebs on Security reported Saturday that hackers managed to fool employees at the well-known web hosting company into briefly kneecapping a couple of cryptocurrency trading websites. These included Liquid and NiceHash, which confirmed separate attacks over the span of just a few days earlier in November.  The Krebs on Security post gets into all the nitty-gritty technical details, but basically whoever was behind these attacks managed to convince GoDaddy employees to hand over control of Liquid's and NiceHash's domains for some tomfoolery. In NiceHash's case, email traffic was redirected without authorization from the site's managers and user funds had to be frozen for 24 hours. Read more...More about Cybersecurity, Phishing, Godaddy, Cryptocurrency, and Phishing Attacks
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Entertainment, Entertainment
Sega's canceled VR project from the '90s gets revived by historians
November 21, 2020 at 3:51 pm 0
In the early '90s, Sega had bold plans for a virtual reality headset peripheral for its Genesis console. Those plans never came to fruition, and Sega's foray into VR and the games that were developed for it never saw the light of day. Until now. Nuclear Rush, a game developed for Sega VR, has been reborn thanks to a joint effort between the Video Game History Foundation's Rich Whitehouse and Gaming Alexandria's Dylan Mansfield. Mansfield managed to get ahold of developer Kenneth Hurley, who found a CD-ROM of Nuclear Rush, igniting a journey that led to an emulated version of the once-lost game, now playable on the much more modern HTC Vive Cosmos. Read more...More about Sega, Entertainment, Vr Ar, and Gaming
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Entertainment, Entertainment
HBO reportedly leaving Amazon Prime in 2021 to make way for HBO Max
November 21, 2020 at 3:51 pm 0
The streaming wars are about to get messier for HBO subscribers. WarnerMedia's newest streaming app, HBO Max, finally made it onto Amazon's Fire TV platforms, like its tablet, Stick, and Cube. That's not to be confused with HBO, the channel, subscriptions for which are available through Amazon Prime Video Channels (and which let you use HBO Max separately as well). Though apparently not for much longer. The new HBO Max streaming service, which offers up material from the full WarnerMedia catalog (including DC Films, CrunchyRoll, TCM, and others), made it to Amazon devices in November, about six months after its May launch. But for the streaming service to finally arrive on Amazon devices, something had to give.  Read more...More about Amazon Fire Tv, Hbo Max, Entertainment, Streaming Services, and Media Industry
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Science & Technology
Douglas, the latest step toward realistic AI, is unsettling
November 21, 2020 at 3:51 pm 0
There's something off about Douglas.  He's touted by his creators as the "most realistic real-time autonomous digital human in the world." If that's true, then I don't think the best the world has to offer is quite good enough. Douglas is being developed by Digital Domain, a visual effects titan that has worked on movies including Titanic and the last two Avengers releases, as well as video games like Destiny and Assassin's Creed Odyssey. He's certainly an impressive creation visually, but once conversations get rolling, you can really tell that he's an imposter. Digital Domain modeled Douglas off of its senior director of software R&D, Doug Roble, capturing his facial structure, movements, and mannerisms from all angles, as well as his voice. By creating as realistic a model as possible, the goal of Douglas is to make conversations between humans and machines feel easier and more natural. Read more...More about Digital Assistants, Tech,
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Science & Technology
What happens to Trump's official Twitter account after Biden becomes POTUS?
November 21, 2020 at 3:51 pm 0
It's been almost four years since since our first "digital" president handed over the presidential Twitter keys to Donald Trump. Barack Obama's transition from the Oval Office in 2017 was the first time many official Twitter accounts (and other social media pages on Instagram, Facebook, Medium, and beyond) were archived. On Twitter, other more generic accounts like "@POTUS" were passed onto Trump.  Of course, Trump has continued to use his personal Twitter as his main communication tool. That will presumably remain active after his one-term presidency, unless he gets himself kicked off the platform. Twitter doesn't have it labeled as a U.S. government account, but it is verified. Read more...More about Twitter, Donald Trump, 2020 Election, Tech, and Social Media Companies
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Entertainment, Entertainment
Everything coming to Hulu in December 2020
November 20, 2020 at 3:41 pm 0
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Entertainment, Entertainment
'Super Mario Bros. 3' just sold for a record $156,000
November 20, 2020 at 3:41 pm 0
More than $150,000 for a Mario game? In this economy? Yes, on Friday morning, Heritage Auctions announced it sold a rare, sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 for the original Nintendo Entertainment System for a record-breaking $156,000.  Twenty bidders battled to spend the most ever paid for a video game.  Why did this copy of the game sell for so much? According to Heritage, sealed copies Super Mario Bros. 3 with this particular packaging are rare. Most gamers recognize the cover art of the game, with Mario gliding through the sky with his raccoon cap and the title of the game centered above him. But the earliest production of the box art looked a tad bit different.  Read more...More about Nintendo, Super Mario Bros, Entertainment, Web Culture, and Gaming
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