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Red Dead Redemption 2 Is Coming to PC

Remember when Rockstar launched its own game launcher a while back, and was offering GTA: San Andreas for free to anyone who downloaded it? Well, it looks like this might have been the reason the developer pushed its own launcher in the first place.

One of the most popular console games from 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2, is finally coming to PC. Yes, really. So all you PC gamers who didn’t want to buy a console, but hated having to miss out on RDR2, rejoice!

PC gamers will get access to the entire single player campaign with new bounties, gang hideouts, weapons, and pre-order bonuses to boot. What’s more, Red Dead Online will also be available to PC gamers so they can join in on the game’s huge wild-west MMO community as well.

Rockstar has announced that the game will be available for pre-order on a host of game launchers including Epic Games, Humble, Greenman Gaming, GameStop, and other “digital retailers” starting from October 23 and can be pre-orderd from the Rockstar Games launcher starting from October 9. The game will also be one of the launch titles for Google Stadia — the Mountain View giant’s upcoming game streaming service.

Interestingly, Rockstar is not releasing the game on Steam at the same time as on other stores, with Steam getting the game a month later.

Red Dead Redemption 2 releases on PC on November 5th.

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Disney Is Banning Netflix Ads Across Its Network of TV Channels

Disney has reportedly banned Netflix from running advertisements on its network of entertainment channels. The report comes from The Wall Street Journal, and states that the company arrived at this decision after failing to see a mutually beneficial relationship with Netflix.

For what it’s worth, Netflix can still run ads on Disney-owned sports broadcasting channel ESPN, but none of Disney’s entertainment channels will run Netflix ads. This includes the likes of ABC network.

Since Netflix doesn’t run ads on its streaming service, Disney can’t promote its own TV shows, movies, or its upcoming streaming service Disney+ on the platform. Other competing streaming services, including those from Amazon, Apple, and Comcast, are still allowed to run ads on Disney’s network of entertainment channels thanks to their broader relationship with Disney.

Speaking to The Verge, a Disney spokesperson said “The direct-to-consumer business has evolved, with many more entrants looking to advertise in traditional television, and across our portfolio of networks. […] While the initial decision was strictly advertising based, we reevaluated our strategy to reflect the comprehensive business relationships we have with many of these companies, as direct-to-consumer is one element.”

Disney is facing a lot of issues with the upcoming launch of Disney+. It may be launching the service without making it available on the FireTV Stick due to advertising conflicts with Amazon — a move that would negatively impact Disney+’s reach since the FireTV Stick is extremely popular around the world.

Disney+ will also have to face-off against other competing streaming services, including Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV+, among a host of other services. Clearly, the company has its work cut out when Disney+ launches on November 12 this year.

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Technology

Apple’s New Patent Describes a Touchscreen Keyboard You Can Feel

The drive to better the typing experience is pushing Apple to experiment with innovative new technologies. The butterfly mechanism on recent MacBooks may have proved to be somewhat of a failure and Apple plans to fix that with a new keyboard design very soon.

But, a new patent application suggests the company is already looking forward to glass keyboards (possibly a second screen) that will mimic a hardware keyboard while typing. Yes, the patent describes a technology that would see the second screen offering you a very similar feedback as mechanical keyboards.

The patent document is pretty sophisticated, but the gist of the content is that Apple is planning to use a combination of haptic motors and electrostatic charge to simulate the keys. Each keyboard key will emit its own charge to define the edge and travel for your keyboard keys – with the charge stronger at the edges to discern them from each other.

Now, I know you’re thinking about how this makes the glass screen feel real? Well, your fingers will conduct or repulse the charge conducted by the key, allowing it to create the feeling of friction. You would still be typing on a slab of glass – similar to what we do on iPads or iPhones these days. It’s just that the patent, if realized a couple of years later, could see Cupertino release a MacBook with dual screens.

This may sound like a strange concept on paper and it’s likely that the new touchscreen keyboard we’ve discussed above never comes to fruition. However, Apple patented dual-screen MacBooks earlier last year and well, the future could see the company follow the Microsoft Surface Neo – but with a more realistic keyboard experience. Would you like to see Apple make a dual-screen MacBook? Tell us in the comments down below.

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Windows Hello PIN Sign-ins Now Work in Windows 10 Safe Mode

Microsoft is constantly pushing out new Insider Builds to test new features that will go official with the upcoming Windows 10 20H1 update early next year. We have already discussed improvements to Xbox Game Bar, UWP apps, and other features. The latest Insider Preview Build #18995 brings support for Windows Hello PIN sign-in support to Windows 10 Safe mode.

Safe Mode, as many may know, offers you access to a barebones Windows experience using a limited set of files and drivers to help troubleshoot issues with your PC. Well, if you’re someone who works in the computer admin department and accesses the “Safe Mode” often, then you now have one less password to enter. Microsoft has enabled the Windows Hello PIN sign-in option here as well.

windows hello pin sign-in - windows 10

Apart from this, the Your Phone app on Windows 10 is bagging support for a number of new features. This includes the battery level indicator and your phone’s static wallpaper being shown in the app on your systems. You must have heard about these features, of recent, but you can now test them out.

Also, the ‘Phone Screen’ feature in the Your Phone app is now rolling out to Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e, S10 5G, and Fold devices in select global markets. I have the Galaxy S10e on me, so I will test out this feature which lets you control your phone from your Windows 10 PC and update the story to reflect whether it works or not.

Windows 10 Insider Build 18995 also brings in tow a number of optimizations to Action Center, mouse cursor showing up in screenshots, File Explorer, and more. You can read about all bugfixes and known issues (important, especially for gamers as Microsoft has begun working with developers to fix game crashes that occurred due to the anti-cheat software onboard) on the Insider blog right here.

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Samsung Ends Mobile Smartphone Production in China

South Korean giant, Samsung, has shut down its last factory in China, and has ceased manufacturing its smartphones in the country.

Earlier, Samsung had cut down on production at its factory in the southern city of Huizhou, and now, it has completely shut it down. The change comes in the wake of increasing competition being faced by Samsung in China where the company’s market share has reduced drastically from 15% in 2013 to just 1% this year with companies like Huawei and Xiaomi taking up most of the smartphone market in the country.

Park Sung-soon, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities, said, “In China, people buy low-priced smartphones from domestic brands and high-end phones from Apple or Huawei. Samsung has little hope there to revive its share.”

The change is also due to the economic slowdown, with multiple other companies also moving production out of the country. Sony also recently announced that it’s closing its Beijing plant and will only be making smartphones in Thailand.

Speaking about the change in manufacturing, Samsung only said “The production equipment will be re-allocated to other global manufacturing sites, depending on our global production strategy based on market needs.”

In 2017, Samsung’s factory in Huizhou employed 6,000 people and produced 63 million units, according to South Korean media. That year, the company manufactured a total of 394 million smartphones around the world. Recently, Samsung has also expanded its manufacturing lines in countries like India and Vietnam, as it distances itself from the Chinese manufacturing hub.

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Technology

Pixel 4 Will Teach You Motion Sense Gestures with New Pokemon Game

The Pixel 4 launch is less than a couple of weeks away now and we already know almost everything about Google’s upcoming flagship – except for a few camera features and the price tag. Well, one of the main highlights of the Pixel 4 lineup will be the Soli radar chip that will enable Motion Sense gestures on the flagships. And Google has come up with a very clever way to teach users how to use these gestures. The answer is Pokemon Wave Hello.

As reported by 9to5Google, the Pokemon Company and Google have worked closely to create a demo app called Pokemon Wave Hello and it allows you to use the Soli chip onboard to wave at Pokemon on the screen – and well, they will wave back at you. You’ll also be able to check out attacks and pet them wth gestures. Cute, right?

pokemon_wave_helloThis won’t be a full-fledged playable game instead, users will get the chance to interact with Pikachu, Eevee, and starter Pokemon from the upcoming Sword and Shield era.

The screenshots above show the splash screen and game demo, revealing that it works with Soli but do you notice something wrong with the screenshot?. Yes, it asks the user testing out the game to swipe on the screen instead of performing the gesture, well, it’s because the folks over at 9to5Google didn’t have a Soli-compatible smartphone at their disposal.

For those unaware, Motion Sense is a new feature that will allow Pixel 4 users to simply wave in front of the smartphone to play/ pause music, skip tracks, snooze alarms, and even silence incoming calls. Google has already talked about the gestures in an official blogpost, but we need to see the partners (and third-party apps) it has got onboard to support the feature.

A fun way to learn Pixel 4 gestures? Heck yeah. Though the report sheds light on almost everything about this demo, including a demo video, we expect to learn more about the Soli chip/Motion Gestures on launch day, i.e October 15 when Google officially takes the wraps off its flagships. It’s also expected to launch Pixelbook Go, Pixel Buds 2, and Nest-branded Google Home Mini successor.

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Technology

This Sneaker AR App is A Dream Come True for Hypebeasts

Augmented reality is making major strides, thanks to the technology now being available on your smartphones. Both Android and iOS devices support AR apps out-of-the-box and hypebeasts can now get the most out of this technology with the GOAT app. The sneaker app has been updated with a new “Try-On” AR feature that lets you see how some of the most popular sneakers will look on you.

The Try-On feature lets you sneakerheads gain access to some of the most coveted and exclusive sneakers from the comfort of your home. Do you want to know how a pair of “Deftones” or “Wu-Tang” sneakers might look on your feet? Well, the GOAT app is now allowing you to live your dream and take a look at the finer details of these sneakers.

You can try out some rare sneakers, some you won’t ever find in online marketplaces or shelves in stores, like the “FLOM,” “Iron Maiden” dunks, JAY-Z’s The Black Album, and a whole lot more.

Jordan fans should be the most excited to try out this AR feature as you can try out the unreleased Fragment Design x Air Jordan 3, Travis Scott’s purple friends and family Air Jordan 4s, and the Undefeated x Air Jordan 4.

This AR feature has been developed by GOAT’s technology partner – Wannaby. “Product innovation has always been an integral part of our business and after early success with our previous AR launches (Black Friday giveaway), we knew Try-On was something we have to offer our community,” said GOAT Group co-founder and CPO Daishin Sugano.

The sneaker culture would greatly benefit from this feature. Hypebeasts will soon be able to see how a sneaker looks on them before they go ahead and buy a new pair. This AR-powered “Try-On” feature is now available to try out on the updated GOAT app, which is available both on Android and iOS.

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Call of Duty: Mobile Got 20 Million Players Within 2 Days of Launch: Sensor Tower

The long awaited global release for Activision’s mobile shooter, Call of Duty: Mobile finally happened at the start of October, and as one would’ve expected it attracted a lot of mobile gamers.

The game, developed by Tencent Games (which is also the developer behind its main competition PUBG Mobile), acquired 20 million players within just two days of launch, according to a report from Sensor Tower.

Tencent’s Timi Studio vice president, Thomson Ji, said “We’re committed to developing games to target global markets. Call of Duty is very influential globally and we hope this game can help us reach hundreds of millions of mobile gamers overseas.” Call of Duty: Mobile is one of the biggest and most high-profile games from the studio, being based on the extremely popular PC and console franchise, Call of Duty.

With this game, Tencent is hoping to attract millions of overseas players — an endeavour that seems to be succeeding, if this report from Sensor Tower is to be taken into account.

Call of Duty: Mobile was released globally on October 1st for both Android and iOS, and if you haven’t started playing it yet, I’d suggest you give it a try. It’s free to play, with a paid season pass and cosmetic upgrades, similar to PUBG Mobile.

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This Robot Is Repeatedly Folding the Galaxy Fold Until it Dies

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold has had no dearth of issues in its lifecycle. After review units sent out to journalists started popping up issues with the display malfunctioning earlier this year, Samsung quickly recalled the devices and spent months making it more durable, especially around the hinge.

Now that the Fold has officially launched globally (and in India at a mind boggling price), Samsung is relatively confident about the device not encountering issues with the folding display, or its hinge mechanism. The South Korean giant claims that the Galaxy Fold can last up to 200,000 folds — a number that the company thinks will last the device about 5 years on average.

But Cnet is apparently not having any of that. They are live streaming a video of a robot folding and unfolding the Galaxy Fold repeatedly until it dies… in real time. That’s pretty awesome, to be honest. The robot, aptly named the FoldBot is built by SquareTrade and is folding the device a whopping 150 times per minute.

So far, the FoldBot has folded and unfolded the Galaxy Fold over 119,000 times, and there have been certain issues. However, most of those can be attributed to the sheer speed with which the robot is folding the device. After all, no human being would be able to fold the smartphone 150 times every minute. Kudos to Samsung though, because the phone still seems to be at least in working condition, even though the hinge function started deteriorating as the device neared 120,000 folds.

You can watch the video below, and see how the Galaxy Fold holds up to this insane torture test:

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Xiaomi’s New Power Bank Even Has a Power Outlet To Connect Electronic Appliances

Xiaomi is well-known for making some affordable and feature-packed power banks, but I guess no one saw this coming. The company added wireless charging to its power bank earlier this year, but it has now packed a power outlet into its newest power bank.

Yeah, you read that right. Xiaomi’s accessory is a souped-up power bank that not only enables you to juice up your smartphone or laptop, but also carries a power outlet to plug in electronic appliances on the move or maybe when there’s a power cut (it’s surely a reasonable use-case in India). It even includes charger pins, so you can simply plug it into a power outlet and connect many devices to this charger-cum-power-bank-cum-outlet.

Say, you plug this accessory into the power outlet and power bank is charging. You can connect and charge phones or accessories via the USB ports onboard. And the socket in tow can be used to connect maybe your laptop or monitor when you’re out and about in another city or town.

Talking about the specifications, the accessory has a brushed metal finish with LED indicators at the top to show you the charge left in the 5,000mAh power bank. You get one USB Type-C port with 18W fast-charging support, two USB-A ports and well, a 2-pin wall charger in tow.

Xiaomi has baked in protections against electric shocks and power surges, which is really important now that the accessory is a three-in-one product. It has been priced at 159 yuan (around Rs. 1,600) and is available only in China right now. But, I would love to see Xiaomi launch this in India as well.

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