Saturday, November 3, 2018

Diablo Immortal for Android and iOS Announced at BlizzCon 2018

Image result for Diablo Immortal for Android and iOS
Diablo Immortal for Android and iOS was announced at BlizzCon 2018. It takes the action role-playing franchise to smaller screens for the first time. Diablo Immortal is being developed by Blizzard in collaboration with NetEase, the studio behind PUBG clone Rules of Survival. In terms of series lore, it takes place between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3. While Diablo Immortal is the series' mobile debut, Principal Design Chief Wyatt Cheng confirmed during a presentation for the game that it won't be coming to PC anytime soon.

That said, it's unlikely that the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch would get the game either. Traditionally, NetEase has stayed away from PC and console development. No Diablo Immortal release date has been revealed just yet, though Blizzard claims it would be coming 'soon' with an upcoming beta test on the way.

Gameplay for Diablo Immortal seems familiar to Arena of Valor with the use of virtual buttons. In terms of visuals it looks on par if not better than Diablo 3. There's no Diablo Immortal price yet though given NetEase's expertise in free-to-play games, we won't be surprised to see Diablo Immortal be a free-to-play game with micro-transactions.

Interestingly, it appears that Diablo Immortal focusses on player choice and touts drop-in, drop-out gameplay. Familiar classes such as the monk, demon hunter, and necromancer were present in the game's trailer. Diablo's mobile debut comes as no surprise considering that the Nintendo Switch is able to run Diablo 3 just fine, and it was something we speculated at length during our latest episode of Transition - Gadgets 360's gaming and pop culture podcast.

orld of Warcraft Classic Is Out in Summer 2019

At BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard announced when you can play World of Warcraft Classic. The much awaited recreation of the massively multiplayer online role-playing gaming (MMORPG) is out in Summer 2019. If you're already a subscriber to World of Warcraft, you get it for free. Aside from taking the gameplay back to a time before World of Warcraft's seven expansions, it comes with modes conveniences such as Blizzard friends lists, UI improvements, and what Blizzard refers to as 'enhancements designed to ensure stability and fair play; and all the latest under-the-hood engine updates to support players' current hardware.' In World of Warcraft Classic you'll be able to roam areas like the Barrens before it was sundered in two, raid Molten Core with level 60 heroes complete with their original abilities and talents, and much more. There have been several third-party vanilla servers in the past that Blizzard has shut down and World of Warcraft Classic appears to be the company's way of catering to its many fans who want an old school experience. In addition to this, Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth would be getting a new content update called Tides of Vengeance. With it comes Horde and Alliance assaults, new island expeditions, Dwarf and Blood Elf heritage armour, as well as new story and character quests.

Hearthstone Rastakhan's Rumble Announced at BlizzCon 2018

Hearthstone Rastakhan's Rumble Announced at BlizzCon 2018
Digital card game Hearthstone gets a brand new expansion in Rastakhan's Rumble. Announced at BlizzCon 2018, it takes the game to Gurubashi Arena and is steeped in lore regarding trolls, their loa (ancient spirits worshipped by trolls in Hearthstone), the titular Rastakhan — king of trolls, and introduces new gameplay mechanics that reward flashy play style. Hearthstone Rastakhan's Rumble release date is December 4 and is priced at $20 (around Rs. 1,400) for the 17-pack Challenger's Bundle that includes a Ready to Rumble card back. There's a $50 (approximately Rs. 3,500) version that comes with a new playable Shaman Hero —King Rastakhan called the 50-pack Rumble Bundle.
Like recent Hearthstone expansions, there's a single-player campaign too allowing players to square off against the strongest troll champions in Rumble Run. It will be available soon after launch. What's more is, Hearthstone Rastakhan's Rumble features a new over the top finisher called Overkill. It rewards players for dealing extra damage to enemies.
With Hearthstone seeing expansions aplenty, Rastakhan's Rumble is yet another eclectic entry in Blizzard's card game. It's available for pre-order on Android, iOS, Windows PC, and macOS right now.
Hearthstone Rastakhan's Rumble follows up the last Hearthstone expansion, Puzzle Lab which we lauded for its superlative single-player experience particularly if you're the sort who is coming back to the game after a long time.

Elon Musk says Tesla won’t make e-scooters, but might consider electric bikes


Elon Musk SpaceX
Tesla  won’t be joining the scooter wars. But electric bikes? Yeah, maybe.
During a lengthy podcast with Recode’s Kara Swisher, Tesla CEO Elon Musk talked about everything from AI and his fights on Twitter with journalists to Saudi Arabia and Mars. Even scooters. Of course, scooters.
But don’t get your hopes up for a Tesla scooter. According to Musk, they lack dignity. Swisher’s persistence on the topic wasn’t enough to dissuade him.
Here’s the exchange. You can listen to the entire 80-minute session here.
Kara: Make a scooter. Make a scooter and I’ll go for it. They actually are electric, what am I talking about?
Elon: I don’t know, there was some people in the studio who wanted to make a scooter, but I was like, “Uh, no.”
Kara: I love the scooter, no, get on the scooter.
Elon: It lacks dignity.
Kara: No, it doesn’t lack dignity.
Elon: Yes, they do.
Kara: They don’t lack dignity, what are you talking about?
Elon: Have you tried driving one of those things? They —
Kara: Yes, I do it all the time, I look fantastic.
Elon: They do not, you are laboring under an illusion.
Kara: All right, well, everybody at Lime, don’t worry, Elon Musk  is not coming for you.
Elon: Electric bike. I think we might do an electric bike, yeah.

Sequoia leads $10M round for home improvement negotiator Setter


Setter Home Improvement Founders
You probably don’t know how much it should cost to get your home’s windows washed, yard landscaped or countertops replaced. But Setterdoes. The startup pairs you with a home improvement concierge familiar with all the vendors, prices and common screwups that plague these jobs. Setter finds the best contractors across handiwork, plumbing, electrical, carpentry and more. It researches options, negotiates a bulk rate and, with its added markup, you pay a competitive price with none of the hassle.
One of the most reliable startup investing strategies is looking at where people spend a ton of money but hate the experience. That makes home improvement a prime target for disruption, and attracted a $10 million Series A round for Setter co-led by Sequoia Capital  and NFX. “The main issue is that contractors and homeowners speak different languages,” Setter co-founder and CEO Guillaume Laliberté tells me, “which results in unclear scopes of work, frustrated homeowners who don’t know enough to set up the contractors for success, and frustrated contractors who have to come back multiple times.”
Setter is now available in Toronto and San Francisco, with seven-plus jobs booked per customer per year costing an average of over $500 each, with 70 percent repeat customers. With the fresh cash, it can grow into a household name in those cities, expand to new markets and hire up to build new products for clients and contractors.
I asked Laliberté why he cared to start Setter, and he told me “because human lives are made better when you can make essential human activities invisible.” Growing up, his mom wouldn’t let him buy video games or watch TV so he taught himself to code his own games and build his own toys. “I’d saved money to fix consoles and resell them, make beautiful foam swords for real live-action games, buy and resell headphones — anything that people around me wanted really!” he recalls, teaching him the value of taking the work out of other people’s lives.
Meanwhile, his co-founder David Steckel was building high-end homes for the wealthy when he discovered they often had ‘home managers’ that everyone would want but couldn’t afford. What if a startup let multiple homeowners share a manager? Laliberté says Steckel describes it as “I kid you not, the clouds parted, rays of sunlight began to shine through and angels started to sing.” Four days after getting the pitch from Steckel, Laliberté was moving to Toronto to co-found Setter.
Users fire up the app, browse a list of common services, get connected to a concierge over chat and tell them about their home maintenance needs while sending photos if necessary. The concierge then scours the best vendors and communicates the job in detail so things get done right the first time, on time. They come back in a few minutes with either a full price quote, or a diagnostic quote that gets refined after an in-home visit. Customers can schedule visits through the app, and stay in touch with their concierge to make sure everything is completed to their specifications.
The follow-through is what sets Setter apart from directory-style services like Yelp  or Thumbtack . “Other companies either take your request and assign it to the next available contractor or simply share a list of available contractors and you need to complete everything yourself,” a Setter spokesperson tells me. They might start the job quicker, but you don’t always get exactly what you want. Everyone in the space will have to compete to source the best pros.

Twitter removes thousands of accounts that tried to dissuade Democrats from voting


Twitter logo  is seen on an android mobile phone
Twitter  has deleted thousands of automated accounts posting messages that tried to discourage and dissuade voters from casting their ballot in the upcoming election next week.
Some 10,000 accounts were removed across late September and early October after they were first flagged by staff at the Democratic Party, the company has confirmed.
“We removed a series of accounts for engaging in attempts to share disinformation in an automated fashion – a violation of our policies,” said a Twitter spokesperson in an email to TechCrunch. “We stopped this quickly and at its source.” But the company did not provide examples of the kinds of accounts it removed, or say who or what might have been behind the activity.
The accounts posed as Democrats and try to convince key demographics to stay at home and not vote, likely as an attempt to sway the results in key election battlegrounds, according to Reuters, which first reported the news.
A spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee did not return a request for comment outside its business hours.
The removals are a drop in the ocean to the wider threats that Twitter faces. Earlier this year, the social networking giant deleted 1.2 million accounts for sharing and promoting terrorist content. In May alone, the company deleted just shy of 10 million accounts each week for sending malicious, automated messages.
Twitter had 335 million monthly active users as of its latest earnings report in July.
But the company has faced criticism from lawmakers for not doing more to proactively remove content that violates its rules or spreads disinformation and false news. With just days before Americans are set to vote in the U.S. midterms, this latest batch of takedowns is likely to spark further concern that Twitter did not automatically detect the malicious accounts.
Following the publication of Reuters’ report, Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity, said in a tweet thread that public research identifying bots is often “deeply flawed” and that many are identifying bots “based on probability, not certainty,” since “nobody other than Twitter can see non-public, internal account data.”
Twitter does not have a strict policy on the spread of disinformation in the run-up to election season, unlike Facebook, which recently banned content that tried to suppress voters with false and misleading information. Instead, Twitter said last year that its “open and real-time nature” is a “powerful antidote to the spreading of all types of false information.” But researchers have been critical of that approach. Research published last month found that more than 700,000 accounts that were active during the 2016 presidential election are still active to this day — pushing a million tweets each day.
A Twitter spokesperson added that for the election this year, the company has “established open lines of communication and direct, easy escalation paths for state election officials, Homeland Security, and campaign organizations from both major parties to help us enforce our policies vigorously and protect conversational health on our service.”

GM is getting into the electric bike business


GM electric bikes
General Motors said it plans to bring two new electric bikes to market next year — one folding and one compact — as the automaker makes a broader push into electrification and other ideas that try to move beyond its traditional business model of producing and selling gas-power vehicles.
The automaker didn’t have a lot of information to share about the e-bikes or its ultimate plans. For instance, Hannah Parish, director of General Motors Urban Mobility Solutions, wouldn’t say if GM plans to launch a bike-sharing service as a result of these two new products.  “I can’t say anything is on or off the table at this point,” she added.
Here’s what is on the menu. The bikes will be “smart” and “connected” and somehow inspired by GM’s OnStar, the company’s subscription-based communications, in-vehicle security and emergency services feature found in cars. Parish wouldn’t elaborate what that might look like. We’ll have to wait until next year.
The bikes are also equipped with safety features including rechargeable front and rear LED lights. And the electric propulsion on the bikes were designed by GM engineers who created a proprietary drive system. 
“We know that people who live in urban areas, like myself in downtown Toronto need different opportunities to use different types of transportation when they going and doing different things. We know that congestion in cities is a problem and the e-bikes feed right into our efforts,” Parish, director of General Motors Urban Mobility Solutions told TechCrunch.

GM revealed two eBikes – one folding and one compact.
For now, GM is focused on naming the e-bikes. And it’s turning to the public to help. The company launched a brand-naming campaign Friday as part of its broader e-bike announcement. Folks who want to name the e-bikes can go to www.eBikeBrandChallenge.com. The participant with the winning selection will receive $10,000. Nine other runners-up will each receive $1,000.
Entries will be accepted until November 26. The winning submissions will be announced January 31, 2019.

tencent weishi smart spectacles glasses Some were surprised to see Snap release a second version of its “face-camera” Spectacles gadget, since the original version failed to convert hype into sales. But those lackluster sales — which dropped to as low as 42,000 per quarter — didn’t only fail to dissuade the U.S. social firm from making more specs, because now Tencent, the Chinese internet giant and Snap investor, has launched its own take on the genre. Tencent this week unveiled its answer to the video-recording sunglasses, which, you’ll notice, bear a striking resemblance to Snap’s Spectacles. Called the Weishi smartglasses, Tencent’s wearable camera sports a lens in the front corner that allows users to film from a first-person perspective. Thankfully, the Chinese gaming and social giant has not made the mistake of Snap’s first-generation Spectacles, which highlighted the camera with a conspicuous yellow ring. View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter Matthew Brennan @mbrennanchina #Tencent's version of Snap Spectacles will go on sale Nov 11th 12:24 PM - Nov 2, 2018 27 26 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy Tencent, which is best known for operating China’s massively popular WeChat messenger, has been an investor in Snap for some time after backing it long before it went public. But, when others have criticized the company and its share price struggled, Tencent doubled down. It snapped up an additional 12 percent stake one year ago and it is said to have offered counsel to Snap CEO Evan Spiegel on product strategy. We don’t know, however, if the two sides’ discussions have ever covered Spectacles and thus inspired this new Tencent take on then. The purpose behind Tencent’s new gadget is implicit in its name. Weishi, which means “micro videos” in Chinese, is also the name of the short-video sharing app that Tencent has been aggressively promoting in recent months to catch up with market dominators TikTok and Kuaishou . TikTok, known as Douyin in China, is part of the entertainment ecosystem that Beijing-based ByteDance is building. ByteDance also runs the popular Chinese news aggregator Toutiao and is poised to overtake Uber as the world’s most-valued tech startup when it closes its mega $3 billion funding round. Weishi’s other potential rival Kuaishou is, interestingly, backed by Tencent. Kuaishou launched its own video-taking sunglasses in July. Alongside the smart sunglasses, Tencent has also rolled out a GoPro-like action camera that links to the Weishi app. Time will tell whether the gadgets will catch on and get more people to post on Weishi. Snap Spectacles V1 (top) and V2 The spectacles will go on sale November 11, a date that coincides with Singles Day, the annual shopping spree run by Tencent’s close rival Alibaba. Tencent does not make the gadget itself and instead has teamed up with Shenzhen-based Tonot, a manufacturer that claims to make “trendy” video-taking glasses. Tonot has also worked with Japan’s Line chat app on camera glasses. “There isn’t really a demand for video-recording glasses,” says Mi Zou, a Beijing-based entrepreneur working on an AI selfie app. That’s because smartglasses are “not offering that much more to consumers than smartphones do,” she argues. Plus, a lot of people on apps like Douyin and Kuaishou love to take selfies, a need that smartglasses fail to fulfill. “Tencent will have to work on its marketing. It could perhaps learn a few things from the Apple Watch, which successfully touts a geeky product as a fashionable accessory,” suggests Mi, who points out Snap Spectacles’ so-far dim reception. Weishi had not responded to TechCrunch’s request for comment at the time of writing, but we’ll update this story with any additional information should the company provide it.


Google employee Cathay Bi
Shouting “women’s rights are worker’s rights” and a number of other #TimesUp and #MeToo chants, upwards of 1,000 Google  employees gathered at San Francisco’s Harry Bridges Plaza Thursday to protestthe company’s handling of sexual harassment and misconduct cases.
Staffers from all of Google’s San Francisco offices were in attendance. An organizer who declined to be named told TechCrunch there were 1,500 Google employees across the globe that participated in the 48-hour effort to arrange a worldwide walkout. The effort was a success. More than 3,000 Googlers and supporters of the movement attended the New York City walkout alone. The organizers said that the 1,000 people who came out for the San Francisco walkout was double the number they expected.
Cathay Bi, a Google employee in San Francisco and one of the walkout organizers, told a group of journalists at the rally that she was conflicted with participating in the walkout and ultimately decided not to go public with her own story of sexual harassment.
“I experienced sexual harassment at Google and I didn’t feel safe talking about it,” said Bi, pictured above. “That feeling of not being safe is why I’m out here today. I’d love it if everyone felt safe talking about it.”
“There were many times over the course of the last 24 hours that I emailed the group and said ‘I’m not doing this because I’m scared,’ but that fear is something everyone else feels,” she said. “I said to myself last night, I hope I still have a career in Silicon Valley after this.”
Other organizers declined to go on the record.
There were protests around the globe today, including in London, Dublin, Montreal, Singapore, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Cambridge, following a New York Times investigation that revealed Google had given Android co-creator Andy Rubin a $90 million exit package despite multiple relationships with other Google staffers and credible accusations of sexual misconduct made against him. That story, coupled with tech’s well-established issue of harassment and discrimination toward women and underrepresented minorities, was a catalyst for today’s rallies.
At the rally, Google employees read off their list of demands, which includes an end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination, a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity, and a clear, inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.
They’re also requesting that the search giant promote chief diversity officer Danielle Brown  to a role in which she reports directly to chief executive officer Sundar Pichai,  as well as the addition of an employee representative to the company’s board of directors.
Here’s the statement from Pichai that Google provided to TechCrunch this morning: “Earlier this week, we let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for today and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate. Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward. We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.”
Now, employees around the globe await Google’s highly-anticipated course of “action.”
“These types of changes don’t happen overnight,” Bi said. “If we expected them overnight we would have the wrong expectations of how these movements take place.”

Tencent is launching its own version of Snap Spectacles


tencent weishi smart spectacles glasses
Some were surprised to see Snap  release a second version of its “face-camera” Spectacles gadget, since the original version failed to convert hype into sales.
But those lackluster sales — which dropped to as low as 42,000 per quarter — didn’t only fail to dissuade the U.S. social firm from making more specs, because now Tencent, the Chinese internet giant and Snap investor, has launched its own take on the genre.
Tencent this week unveiled its answer to the video-recording sunglasses, which, you’ll notice, bear a striking resemblance to Snap’s Spectacles.
Called the Weishi smartglasses, Tencent’s wearable camera sports a lens in the front corner that allows users to film from a first-person perspective. Thankfully, the Chinese gaming and social giant has not made the mistake of Snap’s first-generation Spectacles, which highlighted the camera with a conspicuous yellow ring.
Tencent, which is best known for operating China’s massively popular WeChat messenger, has been an investor in Snap for some time after backing it long before it went public. But, when others have criticized the company and its share price struggled, Tencent doubled down. It snapped up an additional 12 percent stake one year ago and it is said to have offered counsel to Snap CEO Evan Spiegel on product strategy. We don’t know, however, if the two sides’ discussions have ever covered Spectacles and thus inspired this new Tencent take on then.
The purpose behind Tencent’s new gadget is implicit in its name. Weishi, which means “micro videos” in Chinese, is also the name of the short-video sharing app that Tencent has been aggressively promoting in recent months to catch up with market dominators TikTok and Kuaishou .
TikTok, known as Douyin in China, is part of the entertainment ecosystem that Beijing-based ByteDance is building. ByteDance also runs the popular Chinese news aggregator Toutiao and is poised to overtake Uber as the world’s most-valued tech startup when it closes its mega $3 billion funding round.
Weishi’s other potential rival Kuaishou is, interestingly, backed by Tencent. Kuaishou launched its own video-taking sunglasses in July.
Alongside the smart sunglasses, Tencent has also rolled out a GoPro-like action camera that links to the Weishi app. Time will tell whether the gadgets will catch on and get more people to post on Weishi.
Snap Spectacles V1 (top) and V2
The spectacles will go on sale November 11, a date that coincides with Singles Day, the annual shopping spree run by Tencent’s close rival Alibaba. Tencent does not make the gadget itself and instead has teamed up with Shenzhen-based Tonot, a manufacturer that claims to make “trendy” video-taking glasses. Tonot has also worked with Japan’s Line chat app on camera glasses.
“There isn’t really a demand for video-recording glasses,” says Mi Zou, a Beijing-based entrepreneur working on an AI selfie app. That’s because smartglasses are “not offering that much more to consumers than smartphones do,” she argues. Plus, a lot of people on apps like Douyin and Kuaishou love to take selfies, a need that smartglasses fail to fulfill.
“Tencent will have to work on its marketing. It could perhaps learn a few things from the Apple Watch, which successfully touts a geeky product as a fashionable accessory,” suggests Mi, who points out Snap Spectacles’ so-far dim reception.
Weishi had not responded to TechCrunch’s request for comment at the time of writing, but we’ll update this story with any additional information should the company provide it.

Elon Musk says soon Teslas will come when you call them


Model 3 – My Tesla Phone App as Key
Tesla  CEO Elon Musk  promised in a series of tweets that an advanced version of its auto-parking technology Summon, which will let owners remotely control their car through their phones, will be ready in six weeks. Or even follow you like a pet.
The Summon parking feature is available in Tesla vehicles with the advanced driver assistance system known as Autopilot or the upgraded version called “enhanced Autopilot.”
In a separate set of tweets that appear to be unrelated from the upgrade coming next month, Musk said by next year Summon should be able to drive a Tesla around a parking lot, find an empty spot and read signs to confirms it’s valid and park.
Summon is an auto-parking technology that lets Tesla owners park or retrieve their vehicles by using the Tesla mobile app or key fob. The company introduced Summon way back in January 2016 in its 7.1 software update for its hardware 1-equipped vehicles. At the time, the capability was rather limited, essentially allowing owners to prompt a parked Tesla to roll out of a garage or parking space. An owner standing outside of the vehicle could also hit a button and have it roll into the parking spot.
It certainly wasn’t capable of autonomously driving through a parking garage until it found an empty space.
In October 2016, Tesla began producing hardware 2 vehicles equipped with a more robust suite of sensors, radar and cameras that Musk said would deliver new levels of capability and eventually drive autonomously. Summon was just one feature that would become more capable as a result.
That goal has taken much longer than expected as the company has worked for years to develop its own vision system that relies on image processing via an onboard neural net for object identification and avoidance.

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