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Everything posted by NelsonG

  1. TL;DR: The Complete Digital Marketing bundle is on sale for £29.39 as of July 11, saving you 97% on list price. Fact: people wait in lines to take Instagram photos in front of colourful walls. This is 2020. Love it or hate it: that's business, baby. Any smart marketer knows that content is king, and the best way to reach a wide but strategically targeted audience is through social media and digital marketing. If you choose to partake in social media for work rather than play, that's even more reason to master your craft. SEE ALSO: Secure a lifetime subscription to this VPN for just £30 This Marketing, SEO and Affiliate Marketing bundle can help demystify the world of digital marketing with nine online courses on the tools and techniques that actually work. From driving more traffic to your website using SEO, to learning how to use Facebook ads to engage with your audience, you'll learn it all for just £29.39: Read more... More about Digital Marketing, Mashable Shopping, Online Courses, Shopping Uk, and Uk DealsView the full article
  2. TL;DR: The Complete 2020 PMP Training bundle is on sale for £47.66 as of July 11, saving you 93% on list price. Efficiency is everything nowadays, but people are notoriously wasteful when it comes to time, effort, and resources. Seriously, how many times has your productivity stopped dead in its tracks after something as simple as checking a notification on your phone? A 30-second glance can easily become a wasted 30-minute scrolling session. That's exactly why project managers are paid the big money; they keep you and everyone else on your team on track and ensure things run like a well-oiled machine. They're often the difference between a successful business and a struggling one, making them the unsung heroes of practically every industry. Read more... More about Project Management, Mashable Shopping, Online Courses, Shopping Uk, and Uk DealsView the full article
  3. The class action complaint details subpar hygiene protocols, lack of proper healthcare, and more at Mississippi State Penitentiary Parchman View the full article
  4. Facebook's latest test balloon has popped. On Friday, Bloomberg reported that Facebook is considering a blackout of political ads in the "days" before the November 2020 election. That alarmed democratic campaign staff and experts, who warned that it could lead to voter suppression. "Under this proposal the President could use organic posts to suppress voting by mail (as he did today), but Democrats could not run ads encouraging people to return their mail ballots," Rob Flaherty, the digital director for Joe Biden's presidential campaign, tweeted. Political operatives think the report might be what's known as a "test balloon" in the media and political worlds, which is when an organization leaks an idea it is "considering" to either garner positive press, or gauge reaction. Read more... More about Facebook, Voting, Political Ads, Tech, and Politics View the full article
  5. Let's say it together: Facial-recognition technology is a dangerous, biased mess. We are reminded of this obvious fact again with the news Friday that an innocent man, despite not looking like the perpetrator at all, was arrested last year after being falsely identified by faulty facial-recognition tech. This is the second known case of facial recognition software directly leading to the arrest of an innocent man. It's something privacy advocates fear will be a growing trend unless drastic action is taken to stop this technology in its tracks. Michael Oliver, then 25, was charged with a felony for supposedly grabbing a phone from a car passenger and throwing it, reports the Detroit Free Press. Except, of course, it wasn't Oliver. With facial-recognition technology's demonstrated bias when it comes to identifying the faces of Black people (and BIPOC in general, and women, and old people, and young people...) it should come as no surprise that both Oliver and the actual phone-grabber are both Black. Read more... More about Privacy, Police, Facial Recognition, Tech, and OtherView the full article
  6. The long-running installation space is home to work and archives by La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela View the full article
  7. deadmau5 showed off his funkier side in his 2020 collaboration with The Neptunes, “Pomegranate” and now Carl Cox has unleashed his remix with an entirely different feel. The Daft Punk influence on the original was inevitable with a slow, steady electro groove and rich, funky accents. Carl Cox, on the other hand, speeds up the track for the dance floor and works his magic. The remix starts out deep and builds into a driving production with a number of switch ups to keep things interesting. To have all these musical icons — Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, deadmau5 and Carl Cox — on the same production makes it a rarity. It’s beyond legend status. Vibe out right here to the Carl Cox remix! deadmau5 & The Neptunes – Pomegranate (Carl Cox Remix) Stream/download: https://ffm.to/pomegranateccremix Photo via Rukes.com This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Carl Cox Takes On Deadmau5’s Collab w/ The Neptunes in New “Pomegranate” Remix [LISTEN] View the full article
  8. Video games are getting pretty expensive. The average price of a new release for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Sony Playstation is around $60. Throw in some in-game microtransaction purchases and you could be looking at a whole lot more. But, how much is too much? Say, $114,000? Well, not for someone, apparently. And they spent that money on Super Mario Bros. for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The game, originally released in 1985, was sold on Friday in an auction held by major international auction house Heritage Auctions. The winning bid was first noticed by video game journalist Chris Kohler and highlighted by The Verge. The winner of the auction is currently unknown. Read more... More about Gaming, Nintendo, Video Games, Super Mario Bros, and Auction View the full article
  9. It wasn't totally odd, at face value, that furniture site Wayfair was trending on Twitter on Friday. Maybe the retailer was having a giant sale? Unfortunately, Wayfair elbowed its way into the trending column with tens of thousands of tweets because of a much stranger situation. It boils down to this: Conspiracy theorists were purporting that the site — or third-party sellers on the site — were secretly part of a child trafficking ring. This theory appears to have started, as many do, on Reddit's r/conspiracy subreddit. Before we proceed, there is no hard evidence to support that this far-fetched theory is even remotely true. Also, child trafficking is a horrific crime and conspiracy theories like this one turn a dangerous issue into a joke, distracting from the real reasons child trafficking flourishes. Read more... More about Conspiracy Theories, Pizzagate, Wayfair, Culture, and Web CultureView the full article
  10. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has admitted that there is no practical way for Americans to avoid having their movements tracked by its license plate readers, according to its latest privacy assessment. CBP published its new assessment — three years after its first — to notify the public that it plans to tap into a commercial database, which aggregates license plate data from both private and public sources, as part of its border enforcement efforts. The U.S. has a massive network of license plate readers, typically found on the roadside, to collect and record the license plates of vehicles passing by. License plate readers can capture thousands of license plates each minute. License plates are recorded and stored in massive databases, giving police and law enforcement agencies the ability to track millions of vehicles across the country. The agency updated its privacy assessment in part because Americans “may not be aware” that the agency can collect their license plate data. “CBP cannot provide timely notice of license plate reads obtained from various sources outside of its control,” the privacy assessment said. “Many areas of both public and private property have signage that alerts individuals that the area is under surveillance; however, this signage does not consistently include a description of how and with whom such data may be shared.” But buried in the document, the agency admitted: “The only way to opt out of such surveillance is to avoid the impacted area, which may pose significant hardships and be generally unrealistic.” CBP struck a similar tone in 2017 during a trial that scanned the faces of American travelers as they departed the U.S., a move that drew ire from civil liberties advocates at the time. CBP told Americans that travelers who wanted to opt-out of the face scanning had to “refrain from traveling.” The document added that the privacy risk to Americans is “enhanced” because the agency “may access [license plate data] captured anywhere in the United States,” including outside of the 100-mile border zone within which the CBP typically operates. CBP said that it will reduce the risk by only accessing license plate data when there is “circumstantial or supporting evidence” to further an investigation, and will only let CBP agents access data within a five-year period from the date of the search. A spokesperson for CBP did not respond to a request for comment on the latest assessment. CBP doesn’t have the best track record with license plate data. Last year, CBP confirmed that a subcontractor, Perceptics, improperly copied license plate data on “fewer than 100,000” people over a period of a month-and-a-half at a U.S. port of entry on the southern border. The agency later suspended its contract with Perceptics. View the full article
  11. Morphe announced that it's cutting ties with Jeffree Star after weeks of backlash following an explosive video by makeup vlogger Tati Westbrook. "Today we've made the decision to cease all commercial activity related to Jeffree Star and affiliated products," the cosmetics brand tweeted on Friday. "We expect this to conclude within the coming weeks. As we look to the future, we will continue to share updates on what lies ahead for the Morphe brand." Despite claims by Westbrook, Star is neither an owner nor investor in Morphe. Today we’ve made the decision to cease all commercial activity related to Jeffree Star and affiliated products. We expect this to conclude within the coming weeks. As we look to the future, we will continue to share updates on what lies ahead for the Morphe brand. — Morphe (@MorpheBrushes) July 10, 2020 Read more... More about Youtube, Drama, Jeffree Star, Culture, and Web Culture View the full article
  12. We look at Rackspace’s finances, a Facebook code change causes numerous app issues and electric vehicle company Rivian raises $2.5 billion. Here’s your Daily Crunch for July 10, 2020. The big story: Rackspace is going public again The cloud computing company first went public in 2008, before accepting a $4.3 billion offer to go private from Apollo Global Management. Rackspace says it will use the proceeds from the IPO to lower its debt load. Alex Wilhelm took a deep dive into Rackspace’s finances, concluding that the proper valuation is a “puzzle”: The company is tech-ish, which means it will find some interest. But its slow growth rate, heavy debts and lackluster margins make it hard to pin a fair multiple onto. The tech giants New report outlines potential roadmap for Apple’s ARM-based MacBooks — Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that a 13.3-inch MacBook powered by Apple’s new processors will arrive in the fourth quarter of this year. Facebook code change caused outage for Spotify, Pinterest and Waze apps — Looks like Facebook was responsible for some crashing apps this morning. California reportedly launches antitrust investigation into Google — This makes California the 49th state to launch an antitrust investigation into the search giant, according to Politico. Startups, funding and venture capital Rivian raises $2.5 billion as it pushes to bring its electric RT1 pickup, R1S SUV to market — The company plans to bring its electric pickup truck and SUV, as well as delivery vans for Amazon, to market in 2021. A glint of hope for India’s food delivery market as Zomato projects monthly cash burn of less than $1 million — “We’ll only lose $1 million this month” doesn’t feel like a huge accomplishment, but at least things seem to be headed in the right direction. Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch How Thor Fridriksson’s ‘Trivia Royale’ earned 2.5 million downloads in 3 weeks — The latest game from the QuizUp founder was (briefly) the top app in the App Store. We talk to Fridriksson about how he did it. COVID-19 pivot: Travel unicorn Klook sees jump in staycations — With bookings for overseas experiences plummeting, Klook began offering do-it-yourself kits for stay-at-home projects and partnered with landmark sites to offer virtual tours. Operator Collective brings diversity and inclusion to enterprise investing — The firm, founded last year, said it currently has 130 operator LPs, 90% of them women and 40% of them people of color. (Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.) Everything else NASA signs agreement with Japan to cooperate across Space Station, Artemis and Lunar Gateway projects — Japan first expressed its intent to participate in the Lunar Gateway program in October 2019, making it one of the first countries to do so. Equity: Silicon Valley is built on immigrant innovation — The latest episode of Equity discusses how recent visa changes will affect Silicon Valley. Five reasons to attend TC Early Stage online — July 21 and 22! I will be there! The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here. View the full article
  13. Electric Zoo has officially canceled its 2020 event set for September and, like so many other music festivals, shifted its focus to 2021. With the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic this was inevitable, but the City of New York ultimately made the call. A statement on Electric Zoo socials explains: On July 9th, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced all large events will be canceled ‪through September 30th.‬ Regrettably, we must stop all the preparations for 2020 Electric Zoo: Supernaturals and reschedule the festival for 2021. …everyone’s safety is our #1 priority and we understand the Mayor’s decision. In the post below, Electric Zoo also lays out details for 2020 ticketholders to obtain 2021 passes or request refunds. Those who keep their GA tickets for next year will receive a $50 credit for food, drinks or merch. VIP will receive a $100 credit. Electric Zoo returns over Labor Day Weekend, September 3 – 5, 2021. Electric Zoo New York Photo via aLIVE Coverage on behalf of Electric Zoo This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Electric Zoo Pushed Until 2021 As NYC Cancels All Large Events View the full article
  14. Around the world, file-sharers are regularly pressed to pay significant settlement fees, often backed up by pressure from a lawsuit. These efforts, often characterized as “copyright trolling,” share a familiar pattern. Copyright holders acquire a subpoena to get the personal details of an alleged pirate and then contact the person with a settlement request. This was also the case when Darren Brinkley was sued in a Utah federal court in 2017. In a complaint filed by Criminal Productions – known for the movie Criminal – he and 31 others were accused of illegally sharing a copy of the film. Accused Pirate Fights Back Brinkley denied these claims and rejected the settlement offer. Initially, the movie company maintained its claim, but after the accused pirate fought back, Criminal Productions let the case go. The defendant, however, wasn’t prepared to walk away without getting his bills paid and submitted a motion to cover the legal fees. Brinkley’s attorneys argued that, while the filmmakers had no intention to litigate the “baseless suit,” their client was forced to run up significant costs. “These tactics should at minimum require that Defendant Brinkley be made whole for Plaintiff’s filing of litigation it clearly had no intention of pursuing and that may have had no basis in the first instance. This is the very definition of ‘cut and run’ litigation,” they argued. Brinkley’s attorneys calculated the total costs at $62,818.35 which they requested to be paid in full. A few days ago, District Court Judge David Nuffer ruled on the matter. While he agrees that the film company has to pay up, the final award is significantly lower. Court Awards $4,420 in Attorneys’ Fees Judge Nuffer granted a sum of $4,420 in attorneys’ fees and costs, which represents the costs that were incurred until December 22, 2017, plus the costs for the motion itself. According to the order, Brinkley “declined the opportunity to resolve the claims” without incurring further costs after that date. This decision is in part based on repeated offers from Criminal Productions to ‘settle’ the matter without further costs, which Briskley denied. Deterring ‘Copyright Troll’ Tactics While the relatively low amount will likely come as a disappointment to the accused ‘pirate,’ the court did agree that the movie company should be deterred from avoiding discovery obligations by dropping out of lawsuits when they are challenged. “As Brinkley argues, this avoidance of disclosure and discovery obligations is consistent with the typical litigation behavior of a ‘copyright troll’, who targets hundreds of defendants and offers quick settlements priced so that it is less expensive for the defendant to pay the settlement than to defend the claim,” the order reads. The court didn’t rule on the accuracy of the defense allegations in this specific case. However, as a deterrent, Criminal Productions will have to pay part of the defendant’s costs. “But Productions should be deterred from filing lawsuits in which it declines to provide evidence to a defendant, avoiding disclosure and discovery obligations, thus forcing defendants to incur defense costs even though the defendant will never have an opportunity to mount a defense because Productions is ready to dismiss when opposition arises,” Judge Nuffer notes. — A copy of Judge Nuffer’s order on the motion for attorneys’ fees is available here (pdf). From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  15. Google announced its plans to acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion back in November. As of this writing, the deal has yet to go through, courtesy of all the usual regulatory scrutiny that occurs any time one large company buys another. EU regulators are often a key hurdle for these sorts of deals, and this time it may be no different. Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Reuters notes that Google may be facing down some scrutiny in the form of an EU antitrust investigation if it doesn’t make some concessions. The heart of the concern here is a matter of health privacy. Fitbit — like many other wearable companies — collects a tremendous amount of health information from wearers. Google, of course, is a company tremendously invested in data and advertising. Critics of the deal have suggested that purchasing Fitbit would provide yet another rich vein of data for Google to mine. As such, the deal could hinge on the promise that Google will never use health data to sell ads. The stipulation is in keeping with a promise the company made when the acquisition was first announced, with the company’s head of hardware Rick Osterloh promising, “[P]rivacy and security are paramount. When you use our products, you’re trusting Google with your information. We understand this is a big responsibility and we work hard to protect your information, put you in control and give you transparency about your data.” In a follow-up to this week’s reporting, the company noted that it believes the acquisition would increase competition. While Fitbit has a sizable footprint, Apple, Xiaomi and Huawei currently dominate the category, due in part to Fitbit’s late start in the smartwatch category. Google’s efforts to make inroads through Wear OS have largely come up short, though the company did also purchase a chunk of smartwatch tech from Fossil last January. A spokesperson also attempted to put to rest potential regulatory fears, stating, “Throughout this process we have been clear about our commitment not to use Fitbit health and wellness data for Google ads and our responsibility to provide people with choice and control with their data.” Regulators are set to decide on the deal by July 20. Google reportedly has until July 13 to present its concessions. View the full article
  16. Following widespread issues with nearly every facet of Rave Family Block Fest on its opening day yesterday, organizers have decided to postpone the event in order to get a handle on things and come back with a better logistical plan. “What started out as a silly idea between friends morphed into something far larger than any of us,” the Rave Family statement reads. “[…] With that said, I can’t ask them, the fans who supported us, or the artists who put time and energy into creating this amazing event to continue to work under the level of pressure we currently are. It’s not fair to anyone involved to deliver a subpar experience and knowing what we’ve actually built versus what we were were able to deliver is heartbreaking. “We have decided to postpone the event while still leaving our festival and camping open for the people who have been enjoying them for the last few days.” One of the biggest issues of the event was lack of communication between the festival, its artists, and the fans. In a press conference with media this morning, Rave Family founder and CEO Jackie McGuire lamented that the idea the festival was a collaborative project between everyone involved wasn’t more clear. While it would be right to assume that the festival was handling all of the building and curation, the fact is that the artists built the stages, the labels curated the talent, and the users in Minecraft were almost solely responsible for creating their own experience. Toward the end when Rave Family was running out of time, they even handed over responsibilities of creating artist avatars to the artists. Perhaps the most unfortunate thing is that the original concept for the festival is actually pretty cool: a collaborative world within Minecraft, created collaboratively between all levels of the industry, from the fans to the artists to the event staff. But that wasn’t what was conveyed in any of their promotional materials. And in fact, much of the press conference this morning was spent explaining things that should have been addressed in instructional materials and press releases before the event even began. “I sincerely apologize to anyone who felt they were deceived,” the statement continues. “As we are able to let you into more of our worlds, we hope you’ll understand the level of time and energy by dozens of volunteer builders and other supporters that went into them. And to those volunteers, I am so very sorry that your hard word and time wasn’t showcased in the way it deserved to be.” No date is indicated as to when the festival will be postponed to. Originally, it was meant to occur over four consecutive weekends, another detail that was left out of promotional materials and the event flyer itself. That was meant to spread out server usage and allow people who missed one of the 950+ sets in the Minecraft world to go back and experience them. There isn’t anyone who can say that the idea, the concept of Rave Family Block Fest, was poor. It was a great concept from the beginning, just very poorly executed. We hope that this experience doesn’t sour anyone to the virtual festival or Minecraft festival experience, as it has been done successfully in the past on much, much smaller scales. Read the full statement below. This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Rave Family Block Fest, The Massive Minecraft Festival, Postponed After First Day View the full article
  17. Chiwetel Ejiofor, star of Netflix's "The Old Guard," talks about the roles that defined his career. Read more... More about Netflix, Mashable Video, Charlize Theron, Kinky Boots, and 12 Years A SlaveView the full article
  18. Host of the podcast, "A Great Listening Experience" Joe Zimmerman tries to paint a Bob Ross/Rothko combo he calls a "Bob Rothko." Read more... More about Funny, Mashable Video, Comedy Central, Tonight Show, and Standup View the full article
  19. It's been the week of leaks for Samsung — there was the Note 20 Ultra, the Galaxy Tab S7+, these weird Samsung Galaxy earbuds, and now the Galaxy Z Flip 5G. The promotional video, which was most likely reserved for the Unpacked 2020 event in August, was leaked for all to enjoy. Well-known leaker Max Weinbach posted the video on Twitter, giving us a closer look at the latest version of the foldable phone. Judging by the video, it looks like the 5G variant will be offered in two colors — "Mystic Bronze" (to match the Note 20 Ultra) and a dark gray color. The standard Z Flip is available in Mirror Purple, Mirror Black, and Mirror Gold. Read more... More about Samsung, 5g, Galaxy Z Flip, Tech, and Consumer TechView the full article
  20. REZZ and Grabbitz just released the Malaa Remix for their track “Someone Else” via RCA Records — and it’s quite the change up from the masked producer’s signature style. Surprisingly enough, this is the first official remix of a REZZ track ever. Malaa steers the track into the bass house realm with deep, hypnotic elements that play off “Someone Else” rather instinctually. It’s not what we expected to hear, but that’s part of its beauty. The original track released in April and has since garnered over 8.7 million video and audio streams worldwide. The critically-acclaimed production has reached #15 on Alt Radio in the US and #2 in Canada — and the remix has potential to make moves as well. REZZ recently won the JUNO Award for Electronic Album of the Year for her work on Beyond The Senses and her momentum continues. Enjoy the first-ever official remix for REZZ here and let us know what you think! Rezz x Grabbitz – Someone Else (Malaa Remix) Get it: https://smarturl.it/SomeoneElseXMalaa  Photo via Rukes.com This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Malaa Drops Hypnotic Remix for REZZ x Grabbitz “Someone Else” [LISTEN] View the full article
  21. It’s hard to believe Armin van Buuren and Nicky Romero have gone this long without collaborating — but the day has finally come. The two have teamed up for an instant classic dance track “I Need To Know” featuring Ifimay, sure to please both fan bases and reach new audiences with its mass appeal. To celebrate today’s release of their first-ever collaboration called ‘I Need You To Know’, the reputable Dutchmen are embracing the wonders of technological advancement to launch a never-seen-before virtual B2B set from their own respective studios. Later today, they will virtually break into each other’s musical playground and start playing apart together for an iconic B2B set, which will be livestreamed on Twitch, Facebook and YouTube from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. (CEST). Armin van Buuren: “Nicky Romero and I have known each other for years, so it’s kind of strange that we hadn’t yet made a record together until today, even though he made an amazing remix of my track ‘Unlove You’. But the long wait made it even more fun to finally work on a track together, and I’m very happy with how the record turned out. I am also beyond excited to show you the unique back-2-back set we’ll be doing to celebrate the release of our first-ever collab and I hope it will give everyone the energy they need to hold on until we can throw actual parties again.” Nicky Romero: “Armin and I have been close friends for a very long time but never found the right moment to collaborate. This track started months ago, just before quarantine when we were trading ideas for a remix and the original ideas just started flowing naturally. Armin has had a huge impact on me and my musical style and it’s been a lot of fun during this process. I know the fans will love it and I have the feeling this is just the first of many.“ With clubs shut down across the world, this pumping, high energy anthem is exactly what we needed. The long-anticipated collab radiates big dance floor energy. Experience Armin van Buuren x Nicky Romero right here. Armin van Buuren & Nicky Romero – I Need You To Know (ft. Ifimay)  Photo via RUDGR This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Armin van Buuren & Nicky Romero Unleash Long-Awaited First-Ever Collab [LISTEN] View the full article
  22. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Marshmello is the best branded artist of our generation. With a simple mask and (at first) anonymous identity, the idea that Marshmello could be anyone was expanded to “anyone can be Marshmello.” As Rolling Stone points out, his iconic white helmet was the “best-selling Halloween costume at Spirit Halloween Stores last year.” And unlike 99% of EDM artists, 40% of the audience on his YouTube channel is under the age of 13. Because his audience is so young and can’t attend his shows, or maybe it was the plan all along, Marshmello’s branding is so much more than just his music. It’s his whole identity… or lack thereof. Expanding his branded empire, today he “debuted Mellodees, a new YouTube animated series about a singing robot, aimed at kids between two and six years old. Marshmello himself may only make a cameo or two, but he created the setting and all the music,” writes Rolling Stone. ‘Mellodees’ is another example of how his influence reaches beyond just himself, his identity, or his music. It’s his brand. And branding is something that many artists struggle with, for good reason. It’s a bizarrely abstract concept that encompasses both your personal and artist identity, and recognizing how those two differ, along with everything your brand represents. Marshmello, like his music or not, has always stood for positivity and togetherness. His music reflects this in its bubbly synth sounds and his logo, a simple marshmallow, is something many of us can connect with from when we were children — or even now, if you still indulge in s’mores every once in a while. A branded children’s show was just the clear next step. The Rolling Stone feature delves more into how The Shalizi Group implemented the branding from the beginning, and you can read it here. Photo via Rukes.com This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Marshmello Extends His Branded Empire With Kids’ Animated Series, ‘Mellodees’ View the full article
  23. In its first few weeks of release, the latest game from QuizUp founder Thor Fridriksson took the top spot in the Games Section of Apple’s App Store and was the top app (for a brief time) in the App Store at large. Since its launch on June 17, Trivia Royale has been downloaded more than 2.5 million times, with day-one retention of 45% and week-one retention of 45% on iOS, according to the company. Average daily usage per user is around 30 minutes. It currently sits in the number six spot in the Free Games category on the App Store. There is no shortage of mobile games, but in such a cluttered space, it’s difficult to break through the noise. So how did Trivia Royale do it? The game, which lets users compete in a 1,000-person, single-elimination trivia tournament, is built on the Teatime Games platform. Teatime emphasizes the fun of playing against other humans in the mobile gaming landscape, giving users the ability to communicate via video chat while they play in a game on their smartphone. The platform allows game developers to use this video chat functionality, which comes with Snapchat-like face filters or Apple Memoji-style avatars, on their own games. But for Teatime to truly succeed as a gaming platform, the company needed a hit game, Fridriksson said. The serial entrepreneur told TechCrunch that he decided to take off his CEO hat and return to his product roots by focusing on a category that few people know as well as he does: trivia. The Trivia Royale tournament combines the scale of Battle Royale with the durability of trivia — whether it’s Jeopardy, HQ Trivia, bar trivia or this, we can’t get enough of it — or lets users match against one other player in a single category of trivia. I’ve played around on the game for a while now and can say that it’s very well done, from the design to the production value. But more important than the mechanics of the tournament or the typeface or even the content of the questions are the avatars, which let users express themselves through customization and their real-life facial expressions. But none of that means anything if players don’t join the game. So how did Trivia Royale earn more than 2.5 million downloads (and climbing) in a matter of days? A big bet on TikTok Fridriksson told TechCrunch that he has to give a ton of credit to his kids (who are 15 and 11). His daughter told him about TikTok and gave him a list of her favorite stars, including Addison Rae and Dixie D’Amelio. View the full article
  24. Replicated, the Los Angeles-based company pitching monitoring and management services for Kubernetes-based applications, has managed to bring on the former head of product of the $2.75 billion-valued programming giant GitLab as its new chief product officer. Mark Pundsack is joining the company as it moves to scale its business. At GitLab, Pundsack saw the company grow from 70 employees to 1,300 as it scaled its business through its on-premise offerings. Replicated is hoping to bring the same kind of on-premise services to a broad array of enterprise clients, according to company chief executive Grant Miller. First introduced to Replicated while working with CircleCI, it was the company’s newfound traction since the launch of its Kubernetes deployment management toolkit that caused him to take a second look. “The momentum that Replicated has created with their latest offering is tremendous; really changing the trajectory of the company,” said Pundsack in a statement. “When I was able to get close to the product, team, and customers, I knew this was something that I wanted to be a part of. This company is in such a unique position to create value throughout the entire enterprise software ecosystem; this sort of reach is incredibly rare. The potential reminds me a lot of the early days of GitLab.” It’s a huge coup for Replicated, according to Miller. “Mark created the core product strategy at GitLab; transforming GitLab from a source control company to a complete DevOps platform, with incredible support for Kubernetes,” said Miller. “There really isn’t a better background for a product leader at Replicated; Mark has witnessed GitLab’s evolution from a traditional on-prem installation towards a Kubernetes-based installation and management experience. This is the same transition that many of our customers are going through and Mark has already done it with one of the best. I have so much confidence that his involvement with our product will lead to more success for our customers.” Pundsack is the second new executive hire from Replicated in six months, as the company looks to bring more muscle to its C-suite and expand its operations. View the full article
  25. HBO Max, the WarnerMedia-owned streaming service that launched in May, announced today that it has made a series commitment to an untitled TV show tied to the movie “The Batman” (currently scheduled for release in 2021). The show will be set in the Gotham City police department, with a creative team that includes Matt Reeves, the movie’s co-writer and director, along with “Boardwalk Empire” creator Terence Winter. This sounds like familiar territory — the police department of a city overrun by colorful criminals was probably perhaps best explored in the “Gotham Central” comics series (written by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka and drawn by Michael Lark), but it was also the focus of the recent (bad) Fox TV show “Gotham.” However, the announcement from HBO Max emphasized that this will be an extension of the feature film, “ultimately launching a new Batman universe across multiple platforms.” It’s an approach that the streamer is also taking with “Dune: The Sisterhood,” a series that ties into the upcoming “Dune” movie. “This is an amazing opportunity, not only to expand the vision of the world I am creating in the film, but to explore it in the kind of depth and detail that only a longform format can afford — and getting to work with the incredibly talented Terence Winter, who has written so insightfully and powerfully about worlds of crime and corruption, is an absolute dream,” Reeves said in a statement. It also remains to be seen whether the show is influenced in any way by the ongoing protests for racial justice. It might seem absurd to connect real-world political issues with a comic book TV show, but the protests have led to a Hollywood reckoning with how movies and television have glorified the police — for example, Andy Samberg recently said the writers and cast of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” are trying to rethink the show to make something “that we all feel morally okay about.” View the full article
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