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In this simulation, spending Bill Gates’ 100 billion is exhausting

If you had $100 billion that you had to spend, how would you even do it? A simulation by Neal Agarwal lets you squander the wealth of Bill Gates on things like movies, monster trucks, and the Mona Lisa. Try it out here, or spend Elon Musk’s fortune here. — Read the rest

Source: https://boingboing.net/2021/10/18/in-this-simulation-spending-bill-gates-100-billion-is-exhausting.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=in-this-simulation-spending-bill-gates-100-billion-is-exhausting
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Annie Rauwerda

The future of ‘Minecraft’ includes swamps, scary monsters and a Game Pass bundle

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On Saturday, Mojang held its annual Minecraft Live fan convention. As in years past, the event saw the studio detail the future of its immensely popular sandbox game. And if you’re a fan of Minecraft, the livestream did not disappoint.   

The studio kicked off the event with the announcement of The Wild Update. Set to come out sometime in 2022, Mojang promises this latest DLC will change how players explore and interact with the game’s overworld. The update will introduce an entirely new swamp biome that includes mangroves players can pick fruit from and replant to nurture new plants.

The Deep Dark, which was previously planned for 2021, will now launch instead in 2022 alongside The Wild Update. First announced at Minecraft Live 2020, the DLC adds the Warden, a new enemy character that is one of the game’s scariest yet. Players who brave the DLC will find special new items only available in the deep dark.

In the meantime, fans can look forward to part two of the Caves and Cliffs update coming out later this year. In the first half of 2021, Mojang made the decision to split the update into two parts due to the complexity of the included features. At Minecraft Live, the studio said that was the right decision, in part because it allowed the team to take into consideration community feedback. As previously announced, the update will include expanded caves and biomes. It will also increase the height and depth limit of worlds.

Mojang hasn’t forgotten about Minecraft Dungeons. In December, the studio will introduce a new feature called Seasonal Adventures. Each week, you and your friends will have to chance to take on weekly challenges. As you complete them, you’ll earn progress towards a seasonal progression track that unlocks rewards like new skins, pets and emotes. Season One, The Cloudy Climb, will add a new Tower feature and adventure hub for players to explore.

Now is also the perfect time to either try Minecraft for the first time or return to the game after an extended break. On November 2nd, Microsoft will release a Minecraft bundle for Xbox Game Pass on PC. The pack includes both the Bedrock and Java editions of the game, with support for a single MSA log-in across both.

The updates come at a time when Minecraft has never been more popular. Just this past August, Mojang said more than 140 million players logged in to play the game, representing a new milestone for the title. Minecraft Live then was about positioning the game for a future where it continues to grow.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/mojang-minecraft-live-2021-updates-173255619.html?src=rss
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Igor Bonifacic

Instagram’s latest live streaming feature ensures viewers show up

Instagram is making its live-streaming platform a bit more useful for creators and others who prefer to present their content to a live audience. The company has introduced a new feature called Live Scheduling that is, as you’d expect, a new scheduling tool for setting up a live broadcast ahead of time. Among other things, it’ll help ensure viewers know … Continue reading

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/instagrams-latest-live-streaming-feature-ensures-viewers-show-up-13695079/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Brittany A. Roston

The 6 Best Streaming Boxes and Sticks for Holiday 2021

Apple TV 4K against blue backgroundApple

Streaming devices are a simple way to step up your entertainment game regardless if you have a smart TV or not. Content recommendations, well-designed remotes, and much more make these gadgets an excellent addition to any living room—so let’s look at the ones you should have your eyes on.

What to Look for in a Streaming Device

The best streaming sticks and boxes all offer the same basic features. Still, though, there are a few things to take into consideration before making a purchase:

  • Operating System (OS): This is the main difference between various streaming devices. While a lot of streaming operating systems hit the same beats, there’s still room for preference. They can vary significantly in design, features, and even what apps they support (although the major ones will be present regardless of what device you choose).
  • Specs: Being able to support 4K, various HDR modes, and surround sound are all important factors of at-home entertainment these days. Still, these features can increase the price significantly, so it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to create multiple versions of the same streaming device with different specs. Most commonly, there will be a 1080p and 4K edition to give you multiple price points to pick from. These different versions usually differ on what resolutions they support, but we’ll be sure to provide you with a breakdown of each device’s situation in this regard.
  • Extra Features: Voice controls, game streaming, and extra ports like USB and Ethernet are all useful features that not every streaming device offers. These are nice bonuses you might not use all the time but are appreciated nonetheless.

Best for Apple Users: Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4KApple

Pros

  • 4K, HDR support
  • Surround sound
  • Compatibility with other Apple devices
  • Sleek remote

Cons

  • Limited ports (only HDMI and Ethernet)
  • Expensive

Apple’s streaming player is excellent for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest draws are the tie-ins with the rest of Apple’s ecosystem. The TV uses Siri for its voice assistant, and you can use the Apple TV app to control things from your phone or tablet and control HomeKit enabled smart home devices from the TV. As far as performance goes, you can expect 4K with HDR (namely, Dolby Vision and HDR10) and Dolby Atmos digital surround sound for a fully immersive experience.

For Apple fans, it’s the obvious choice, but if you’re on a tighter budget, there’s also the 1080p edition available. It’s around $40 cheaper, lowers the resolution, and has less powerful hardware inside. You can also choose between 32 or 64GB of internal storage for either edition, with the latter option being more expensive.

Best for Apple Users

Apple TV 4K


Siri-compatibility and excellent specs all around make this the ideal choice if you’re invested in Apple’s ecosystem.

Amazon

$169.00
$179.00 Save 6%

Best for Google Users: Chromecast with Google TV

Chromecast with Google TV device and remote control on wooden surfaceJustin Duino

Pros

  • 4K, HDR support
  • Surround sound
  • Great recommendations
  • Google Assistant

Cons

  • No extra ports

Chromecasts have far outgrown their once simple purpose of simply casting things from your phone to your TV. The latest model is a feature-rich streaming stick that easily rivals the rest on this list. This Chromecast runs Google TV (formerly Android TV), which has all the best services, uses Google Assistant for voice controls and smart home functionality, and lets Google do what it does best—analyze your preferences and recommend content you’ll probably like. The content recommendations on the home screen draw from all your favorite services and make picking what to watch next a little bit easier.

It also supports 4K and HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10+) as well as Dolby Atmos surround sound, so you’re well-covered when it comes to performance. And if you’re interested in game streaming, then Google Stadia works on this Chromecast as well.

The Chromecast with Google TV is available in three colors: Snow, Sunrise, and Sky.

Best for Google Users


Chromecast with Google TV


Touting impressive performance and great content recommendations, the latest Chromecast is an easy choice for Google fans.

Best for Alexa Users: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4KAmazon

Pros

  • 4K, HDR support
  • Surround sound
  • Works with other Alexa devices

Cons

  • No extra ports

If your home is already kitted out with loads of Alexa-enabled devices, then the Fire TV is the right choice for you. It offers the typical stuff—4K output (along with Dolby Vision or HDR10+ for HDR support), Dolby Atmos surround sound, all the streaming services your heart desires, and some solid content recommendations. But on top of that, it uses Amazon Alexa, which means you can control the stick using other Alexa devices in your home or vice versa. It’s an excellent way to watch your favorite media (especially Amazon Prime Video naturally), and the smart home tie-ins are a nice bonus if you’ve heavily invested in that ecosystem.

There’s also the Fire TV Stick Max that supports Wi-Fi 6 (albeit for a slightly higher price), and the Fire TV Lite that only supports 1080p (for anyone watching their budget).

Best for Alexa Users

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K


The Fire TV Stick predictably plays well with Alexa on top of being a solid streaming device.

Amazon

$34.99
$49.99 Save 30%

Best for Simplicity: Roku Ultra

Roku UltraRoku

Pros

  • 4K, HDR support
  • Surround sound
  • Plenty of ports
  • Simple OS

Cons

  • Limited voice assistant functionality

While in-depth voice assistant support and algorithmic recommendations are great, sometimes what’s simplest is best—something that Roku has always been great at. Roku TV is an incredibly simple OS that allows you to quickly jump into streaming services without much fuss. On top of that, the Ultra supports 4K (with Dolby Vision and HDR10+), Dolby Atmos, and the remote has shortcut buttons you can assign to your favorite apps. There’s also a USB port on the box itself if you want to display video from other devices and an aux port on the remote for private listening. Chances are it has the streaming app you want, whether that’s Netflix or HBO Max.

It’s a fantastic streaming box, but if you don’t already have a soundbar, you might want to consider the Roku Streambar Pro instead. It features the same stuff seen in the Ultra, but all built into a solid soundbar. And what’s not to love about getting an audio upgrade and a great streaming device all in one? Or if you prefer, you can plug a decent set of headphones into the remote control thanks to the included headphone jack.

Best for Simplicity

Roku Ultra


The many ports and performance of the Ultra makes it enticing enough, but Roku’s simple approach to UI design makes it especially great if you’re looking for something straightforward.

Amazon

$92.75
$99.99 Save 7%

Best Budget: Roku Express 4K+

Roku Express 4K+Roku

Pros

  • 4K + basic HDR support
  • Affordable
  • Simple OS

Cons

  • Limited voice controls
  • No extra ports
  • No Dolby Vision

The Express 4K+ still features Roku TV, so its UI is easy to navigate, but it also delivers 4K (with HDR10+) support for a lower price than most. This small box still has all the performance you need out of a streaming device nowadays but manages to avoid breaking the $50 price point. If you’re okay with (or even prefer) Roku’s more straightforward approach to streaming devices, it’s an excellent choice if you’re on a budget, even among the various Roku streaming sticks.

Best Budget

Roku Express 4K+


A stripped-down streaming device that still brings solid performance and a great UI.

Amazon

$28.98
$39.99 Save 28%

Best for Versatility: NVIDIA Shield

NVIDIA ShieldNVIDIA

Pros

  • 4K, HDR support
  • Surround sound
  • Game streaming through GeForce NOW
  • 3GB internal storage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited storage for a Plex server

The other streaming devices mentioned so far have been almost exclusively focused on streaming services as their primary function, and it makes sense why: that’s what most people use them for. However, if you want a box with more functionality, the Shield is precisely that. It still supports 4K along with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos surround sound for when you are watching stuff, but there’s a lot more going on here.

It runs AndroidTV, so you can use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa on it, stream games with it via GeForce NOW, and even have it function as a small (yet proper) Plex server with 3GB of internal storage. On the outside of the box, it features two USB ports for other devices to connect with and a gigabit Ethernet port. The Shield is more expensive than most streaming devices because of all this, but for what you’re getting here, that price is justified.

There is a cheaper version of the Shield, though, that drops the internal storage for a MicroSD card slot, loses the USB ports, and features a slimmer body. If having internal storage out of the box isn’t important to you, it’s a good alternative.

Best for Versatility

Nvidia Shield


There’s a lot packed into the Shield, making it the perfect choice if you’re looking for a gadget that’s more than just a streaming stick.

Amazon

$199.99

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/99583/the-best-streaming-boxes-and-sticks/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Schoon

The 13 Best Home Arcade Machines for Holiday 2021

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Arcade games are great, but it’s rare you get to play them the way they were intended to be. Console ports and collections are good fun, but they can never rival the experience of playing on an actual cabinet. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable, home-friendly machines you can buy right now.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/98890/the-best-home-arcade-machines/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Schoon

Sony abruptly takes classic LittleBigPlanet servers offline

It’s been a troubled year for LittleBigPlanet servers already, and now it looks like things are getting worse. The servers for the classic LittleBigPlanet games have been offline for much of the year, frustrating those looking to play classic games on PS3 and LittleBigPlanet 3 on PlayStation 4. Today, Sony brought the LittleBigPlanet servers back online, but they’re missing support … Continue reading

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/sony-abruptly-takes-classic-littlebigplanet-servers-offline-13690633/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Abent

Saints Row gets a gritty reboot set in the ‘weird west’

Saints Row, the class-clown of GTA-esque open-world sandbox games, is no more. In its place is Saints Row, a reboot of the series with a back-to-basics focus on ground-level crime and violence. In the seven years since Gat out of Hell was released (we’re not counting Agents of Mayhem), the world has moved on, and so too must Saints Row.

Welcome to the Weird West

Image from Saints Row (2022)

Deep Silver / Volition

The new game is called Saints Row (which we’re told has no subtitle, despite the repeated use of the “Self Made” tagline even on the box art), and is set in Santo Ileso (Spanish speakers, does that pun work for you?), a stand in for America’s Four Corners region which the developers are calling the “weird west.” There are Route 66 signs scattered across the landscape and the desert that surrounds the city, with its patchy grass and tall mesas, looks a lot like Arizona. The neon-strewn casino district (El Dorado) seems to be inspired by those found in Albuquerque. And the financial area, at least from the trailers (and to my British eyes) seems to have been pulled from downtown Santa Fe.

Santo Ileso is made up of nine individual districts with each one designed to use a different traversal method. Running and driving will work best in some regions, while players are encouraged to fly a wingsuit off the top of the financial district’s skyscrapers to cover long distances. Or you can steal a VTOL-equipped craft and just make merry havoc all over the city as you go. The game was built in a brand new, as-yet unannounced engine and these new environments are designed to take advantage of the power that next-gen consoles — if we can still call them that — can offer.

The developers say that Saints Row’s focus is, at least early in the game, going to focus on the material concerns of its young crew. These disaffected millennials turn to crime to, for instance, put food on their table, feel part of a community and pay off their student loans. Chief creative officer Jim Boone says that it’s, broadly, a “contemporary” millennial “power fantasy.” It’s only later that the game’s focus switches to the sort of empire-building that, in the previous series, eventually saw your character becoming president.

Cover art for Saints Row (2022)

Deep Silver / Volition

As the game progresses, players can buy property and businesses which opens up new game modes and levels. You can choose where to put those businesses, too, like putting a garbage collection site in the middle of the financial district. The choices you make here will, for instance, engender resistance if you start putting toxic waste next to wherever the one percenters live and work. And, as you take over more of the city, the bigger your power base will grow.

The storyline sees your ragtag quartet encounter three distinct gangs, each of which owns a chunk of Santo Ileso. The Panteros, for instance, are a bunch of muscle-car enthusiasts who try to use their superior strength to defeat you in combat. Marshall Defense Industries, meanwhile, is a local weapons developer with its own mercenary army equipped with a range of sci-fi weapons and superior marksmanship. Then there are the Idols, a group of Kawaii Cyberpunk Anarchists wearing light-up cat ear helmets who overwhelm you with numbers in a fight.

Meet the new boss

Images of the Saints Row cast

Deep Silver / Volition

As far as we know, references to Steelport, the 3rd Street Saints, Johnny Gat, Kenzie and anything else from the prior series are gone. Or, at least, will be relegated to the odd, deeply buried easter egg for die-hard fans to root out while they’re immersed in this new world. In their place is a trio of characters that work to support your player’s unnamed and customizable protagonist.

There’s Eli (pictured, 2nd from right), an MBA student who works as the team’s planner, speaking in the language of startups, investment and business. Then there’s Neenah (pictured, right), the team’s driver, who had aspirations of becoming an anthropologist but got sucked into working as a mechanic for Los Panteros. Rounding out the quartet (of which you are the fourth member) is Kevin (pictured, left), a topless thrill-seeking DJ who, like his fellow Idols, loves wearing a Kawaii Cyberpunk helmet and wreaking havoc.

The player character is, as before, infinitely customizable — although it’s not clear how broad those options are. Deep Silver says that you’ll have access to the “most advanced suite” of customization tools ever seen in an open-world game.

One of the questions raised in the roundtable with the game’s developers was that of cultural appropriation. The six people made available for interview were all middle-aged white men, creating a game set in a region where a significant proportion of the population is Latinx or Hispanic. Creative director Jim Boone said that diversity was important, and there was an explicit focus on making the team producing the game as diverse as the characters in it.

Inspiration

Images taken from promotional material for 'Saints Row' (2022)

Deep Silver / Volition

In terms of what we can expect from the new title, Boone said that some of the major inspirations for this film came from the cinema. He cited three titles: John Wick, Baby Driver and Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbes and Shaw as key influences. From the first, you will be able to spot some of the brutality in the combat and some of the melee takedown moves are cribbed from the film’s action sequences. The experience of driving has been pulled from the second, while the third’s penchant for over-the-top action helped provide a baseline for how stunts would work in the new game.

There will also be a broad degree of Fast and Furious-inspired vehicle customization in which every playable ride can be fixed up. The desert that surrounds Santo Ileso, for instance, has plenty of rough terrain that can be used to crest dunes and chase or evade your enemies. Consequently, players can even jury-rig the game’s garbage truck as a heavy-duty off-road vehicle.

Playing together

Images taken from promotional material for 'Saints Row' (2022)

Deep Silver / Volition

Saints Row is coming to the PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One and, for PC gamers, the Epic Games Store. The developers said that cross-platform co-op will be available from the start, and you can play the entire campaign through “untethered co-op play.” One thing that was mentioned was the ability to “prank” your co-op partner, stymying their progress in order to advance your own.

The elephant in the room

Images taken from promotional material for 'Saints Row' (2022)

Deep Silver / Volition

There are more than a few reasons why Volition chose to make Saints Row, rather than Saints Row V. Boone said that the classic series of games were very much “of [their] time,” with tastes and attitudes having moved on. And it can’t have helped that the company’s last attempt at a reboot, Agents of Mayhem, received lukewarm reviews and poor sales, forcing Volition to make layoffs in its wake.

Lead mission designer Jeremy Bernstein added that the original story, by the end of Gat out of Hell, had burned through all of its narrative runway. When your player protagonist has conquered Earth, ascended to Godhood and escaped hell, there’s not much you can do to top it. Bernstein compared the problem to the James Bond movies circa Moonraker, saying that once you’ve done James Bond In Space, the gritty realism of For Your Eyes Only is one hell of a tonal shift.

But is it still fun?

Images taken from promotional material for 'Saints Row' (2022)

Deep Silver / Volition

The team wanted to assure us that while the juvenilia that marked the previous series was gone, the irreverence would remain. Bernstein said that it would be pretty much impossible to make a “grimdark Saints Row game” for obvious reasons. And while the developers didn’t elaborate much on silly weapons, like the Penetrator (Saints Row The Third’s infamous Dildo Lance) and the Dubstep Gun (from Saints Row IV), they said one or two had made their way into the title. You’ll also, once again, be able to ragdoll yourself into traffic under the auspices of committing insurance fraud.

If I have a concern, it’s that I always found Saints Row a more enjoyable franchise than GTA because of the emphasis on fun. The challenges soon became repetitive, but the breadth of ways in which you could complete a mission (and the fun weapons) helped smooth the edges. The emphasis here, so far, has been on the difference between the new game and its predecessors, with less discussion on how fun it all is. Maybe that’s just savvy marketing, and the new title will be just as fun and silly as franchise diehards are hoping. But it’s something that I’d like to see more of, or else I’d get the feeling that the title may lose the one thing people are so desperate for it to have.

Saints Row is scheduled to launch on February 25th, 2022 for current and next-generation consoles.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/saints-row-reboot-2022-200040315.html?src=rss
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Daniel Cooper

How to Improve Your Aim In PC Games

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Aiming is a huge part of FPS (first-person shooter) games, and learning how to aim and shoot effectively is necessary if you want to have a good time. Thankfully, you can easily improve your aim through a series of simple exercises.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/742292/how-to-improve-your-aim-in-pc-games-2/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Mako Young

5 Websites Every PC Gamer Should Bookmark

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Sure, there are lots of PC game stores online. But there’s more to PC gaming than buying games—unless you’re playing the metagame of accumulating games in Steam sales and never playing them. Here are five sites every PC gamer should know about that go beyond title shopping.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/744773/5-websites-every-pc-gamer-should-bookmark/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Ian Paul

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