Silicon Valley backlash won’t necessarily cause an exodus to Middle America - 1時間前  VentureBeat

OPINION: Peter Thiel is fleeing liberal Silicon Valley for … Los Angeles. That’s according to a story from the Wall Street Journal this week, which reports that Thiel is planning to relocate to a home he bought in the City of Angels six years ago. Fifty staffers from Thiel Capital and the Thiel Foundation are also reportedly planning to move to Los Angeles. Thiel was reportedly driven out, in part, by the liberal echo chamber he feels has developed in Silicon Valley. In San Francisco, nearly 90 percent of voters cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. A conse...more
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As smart contracts get smarter, the rules of development will change - 5時間前  VentureBeat

GUEST: If 2017 was the year of Bitcoin, 2018 will be the year of the smart contract. Smart contracts — the self-executing coded contracts running on blockchain networks — enable decentralized apps (dApps) and the brand new economic models we are see emerging on blockchains. While it’s difficult to gauge exactly how many smart contracts are already out there, State of the dApps lists more than 1,000 built on Ethereum, the most popular blockchain for dApp development. If, as many believe, blockchain will eventually enable a decentralized version of the internet, a huge number of dece...more
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How do developers hook U.S. mobile gamers? Achievements and progress tracking - 8時間前  VentureBeat

GUEST: When designing or localizing your mobile game for international release, it is critical to examine whether or not it’s a good fit for what people in local markets want to play on their mobile devices. As we’ve seen with megahits like Japan’s Monster Strike, what achieves overwhelming success in one country might falter when released in another — simply because it’s offering an experience that doesn’t resonate with what the new audience is looking for. To provide a better understanding of how and why North American players play mobile games, EEDAR examined player interest in ...more
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Age of Empires: Definitive Edition is what Microsoft promised - 0日前  VentureBeat

PREVIEW: Microsoft is bringing back of the Age of Empires series, and it is starting with an updated version of the original game for $20 on February 20. This celebrates the 20th anniversary of the real-time strategy hit, and it also should prepare fans for the upcoming Age of Empires sequel that Microsoft has in the works. I’ve spent some time with Age of Empires: Definitive Edition on Windows 10, and Microsoft has delivered on its promise to update the game for modern audiences without stripping away what made Age of Empires so popular in the first place. Microsoft has previously rewor...more
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10 tips for acing your market-size slide - 1日前  VentureBeat

GUEST: The most controversial slide in every pitch deck is often the market size slide. It can set the stage for the future of the company, but too often it is overly exaggerated and not efficiently backed up. Why is this slide so important? Investors care about market size because it allows them to estimate what success could look like — they’re betting on the future market potential for a product or service. For example, an early stage investor may seek returns in excess of 20x their initial investment. So, if the initial investment is valued at $10 million, the market needs to be larg...more
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OrbusVR shows the promise of MMOs in VR - 1日前  VentureBeat

As someone that grew up playing MMOs like EverQuest, Minions of Mirth (an obscure indie one), Runescape, Guild Wars, and more, a high-quality VR MMO is one of my ultimate dream games. Anime like .hack//sign and Sword Art Online have done their part to instill the excitement around the concept and now with consumer VR finally here, it feels like the prospect is finally within reach. Having played (and loved) Skyrim VR, it seems we’re closer than ever to that ultimate fantasy-themed VR MMO that I’ve always wanted. While it’d be a drastic overstatement to say that OrbusVR is that game, it’s certa...more
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Chris Messina: Alexa leads the ‘god bot’ wars because Amazon gets the most interest from developers - 1日前  VentureBeat

A little over two years ago, before Facebook Messenger or iMessage opened to third-party bots, and before the arrival of Google Assistant, conversational AI champion Chris Messina helped coin the term “conversational commerce.” Messina, who is perhaps best known as the creator of the hashtag, has since 2015 examined trends like chat apps surpassing social media in monthly active users, buzz among developers and investors, and unanswered questions, like how experiences created by third-party developers can attract attention in a conversational world. Last year, Messina left his job ...more
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How a love for Minecraft can blossom into a love for reading - 1日前  VentureBeat

GUEST: Millions of kids around the world play Minecraft, and it didn’t take long for adults to notice something: It has educational value. With Microsoft’s MinecraftEdu leading the way, more schools are using Minecraft in classrooms, having their kids experiment with science and math on the screen, or encouraging them to build historical settings or scenes from books. But there is one aspect of Minecraft education that I think can be discussed more: Minecraft and literacy. Tech writer Clive Thompson wrote in Wired, “Games, it seems, can motivate kids to read—and to read way above their level. ...more
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AI Weekly: Get ready for AI chips everywhere - 1日前  VentureBeat

This has been a big week for specialized chips aimed at performing machine learning tasks. Google announced the open beta of its second generation Tensor Processing Unit, Amazon is reportedly working on a dedicated AI chip for its Echo smart speaker, and ARM announced its own AI hardware. It’s easy to see why that’s happening: The math needed to run machine learning algorithms is incredibly computationally intense. Chips optimized for the task do that faster and more efficiently than general processors. What’s more, data scientists keep trying to push the envelope of accuracy by cr...more
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Nippon Marathon parodies Japanese game shows with its wacky foot racing - 2日前  VentureBeat

Nippon Marathon has entered Early Access on Steam, and the full game will be coming out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC later this year. Nippon Marathon has one to four players racing through Japan in ridiculous outfits as they dodge Shiba Inu dogs, bicycles, and other weird obstacles. You can also impede your opponents by doing things like throwing fruit at them. The Early Access version will normally cost $10, but it’s on sale for $8.50. This is the first game from independent studio Onion Soup Interactive. The developer is based in Birmingham.
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How to weaponize our tech addiction: A ‘stickiness gap’ law - 3時間前  VentureBeat

GUEST: No one’s better than America at addicting people to empty pixels. We have the platforms, like Facebook, Netflix, iOS, free-to-play video games, and Reddit. We have the people, an elite army of incentivized coders, statisticians, psychologists, and marketers. And we have the machine learning algorithms to augment both. The result is a powerful weapon, proven to wreck human happiness and productivity. That’s a good thing! By introducing a modest piece of legislation, which I now propose, we can tilt that weapon away from our citizens and toward our unlucky economic foes. In the process, w...more
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5 ways mobile games can avoid a sophomore slump - 6時間前  VentureBeat

GUEST: It is hard enough for a game to become a hit in the App Store or Google Play these days; it’s harder still to maintain that success. With today’s steep competition, it’s more challenging than ever for players to find your new game – and those developers lucky enough to survive learn that success doesn’t get any easier after the game’s first year. The good news is that the blueprint for success in a game’s sophomore year already exists. It comes from companies like Supercell, Zynga, Miniclip, Kiloo, and others (even if their playbook doesn’t work 100 percent of the time). This play...more
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Fears of bots in the workplace are likely overblown - 15時間前  VentureBeat

GUEST: Journalists have used a lot of ink, both real and digital, to discuss the potential of AI to eliminate jobs. Autonomous vehicles, machines that read X-rays and search for new drugs, and algorithm-driven bots that respond to customer service inquiries are all manifestations of powerful new forms of automation. This fuss has led to a lot of hand-wringing and has spurred increasingly serious discussions of the need to provide guaranteed minimum incomes for when there may not be sufficient jobs to go around. But interestingly, all of this could come to pass. Many headlines suggest that AI a...more
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Rainbow Six Siege Operation Chimera hands-on — 25 million players get new ways to die - 1日前  VentureBeat

Ubisoft is taking the wraps off of its Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege expansion, dubbed Operation Chimera. That could very well get the game’s 25 million fans re-engaged with the 5-versus-5 tactical shooter multiplayer game. I got a good look at Operation Chimera this week at a preview event, and Ubisoft is showing it off at the global tournament Rainbow Six Siege Invitational in Montreal this weekend. Chimera will be available on March 6, and it is the latest thing to keep Siege growing in popularity in its third year. In the game, a team of five operators attacks a stronghold suc...more
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Investing in cryptocurrencies? Understand how to diversify your portfolio - 1日前  VentureBeat

GUEST: Most investors will tell you about the importance of a well-diversified portfolio and how you should never go all in on any single asset. This is good advice for most of us and makes even more sense in the unregulated cryptocurrency market, where volatility is high and most of the current projects are believed to have a short lifespan. While investing in nascent technologies like blockchain will always carry great risk, there are a couple of measures you can take to help reduce the gambling aspect of it and better manage risk within your crypto portfolio. When I first started investing ...more
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How Machinima plotted its strategic rebranding across platforms - 1日前  VentureBeat

Warner Bros.’s digital video site Machinima rebranded this week as it makes a bigger push to expand beyond its YouTube roots to all the new platforms where gamers celebrate their culture. Since Warner Bros. bought Machinima in 2016, the division has shifted away from its traditional network and grown to more than 140 million subscribers for its various shows like Mortal Kombat: Legacy. But competition from influencers of all types has been growing as well. I talked with Russell Arons, general manager of Machinima, about those trends in an interview this week. “We have always been a...more
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Bigscreen’s new update adds support for 12 players - 1日前  VentureBeat

It’s time for another Bigscreen update, and this latest edition makes the social VR app even, well, bigger. The Big Room Update, as it’s called, includes some key new features. Perhaps the best addition is support for up to 12 users in three new expanded environments, all based off of pre-existing scenes. Previously the app had supported up to four people in a room in the smaller rooms. In these larger spaces, only the host is able to stream content to the virtual display and they’ll need an internet connection of 10Mbps upload or better to do it. As for the environments, there’s ‘Big’ version...more
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GamesBeat Decides 71: That Pavlovian Stuff - 1日前  VentureBeat

On this week’s GamesBeat Decides podcast, hosts Mike Minotti and Jeffrey Grubb talk about some recent releases and some that are not quite as recent. The duo also examine the pending loot-box regulation in Hawaii. Here’s a full rundown of what we talk about this week: World of Warcraft Celeste Steep Descenders Age of Empires Bayonetta 2 Shadow of the Colossus sales Loot box regulation Spyro trilogy Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, or RSS Listen on Cast Watch live on Facebook, Twitch, or YouTube Follow us: GamesBeat on Twitter, GamesBeat Decides on Twit...more
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Brazil’s Independent Games Festival is ready for your cool games - 1日前  VentureBeat

Brazil’s Independent Games (BIG) Festival is now taking submissions for its sixth annual event. It celebrates indie games from Latin America and abroad, and this year will be held in both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro from June 23 and July 1. Developers have until April 13 to submit their games to be nominated for an award at the festival. Brazil is the largest games market in Latin America, and it’s positioned to hit $1.5 billion in revenue this year, according to market researcher Newzoo. Last year’s BIG Festival drew a crowd of over 20,000 people with its free panels and ga...more
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HomePod listening tests reveal the grimy truth about audio reviews - 2日前  VentureBeat

ANALYSIS: As Apple’s HomePod has been out for a week, most of the news, reviews, and early problems have already been discussed ad nauseum. But you might have missed two unusual articles from Yahoo’s David Pogue, whose real world HomePod listening test last Saturday created enough controversy to merit a “readers weigh in” followup today. Having praised HomePod’s audio in his initial review, Pogue discovered that a panel of listeners preferred the Sonos One or Google Home Max, instead. When he published that finding, some of his readers freaked out, leading him to ...more
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