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Latest News - Page 9

Batman themed restaurant to open in London

By Anthony Garreffa | TV, Movies & Home Theatre | Feb 13, 2020 09:11 pm CST

I didn't think this would ever come officially from Warner Bros. but here we are -- there's a Batman-themed restaurant opening in London called Park Row, named after the neighborhood in Gotham that houses Batman's crazy enemies.

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Park Row will be located in the heart of London so that restaurant visitors will feel like they're actually entering the Batcave when they arrive, with different areas in the restaurant catering to different characters and themes from the Batman universe. There's even a library themed after Alfred, Bruce Wayne's butler, and an "old Gotham city" villains theme with a speakeasy feel.

Harley Quinn gets her own space of course, while the largest section of the Batman-themed restaurant goes to the "Penguin's Lounge" which has live shows, and even a gigantic penguin ice sculpture. Each section will have its own individual menu with prices averaging at around $58 per person, but there is an expensive part of the restaurant -- of course, with the "Monarch Theater" designed by Ab Rogers Design, with prices averaging at $155 per person.

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MSI working on GeForce GTX 1650 with GDDR6 memory

By Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Feb 13, 2020 08:25 pm CST

It looks like NVIDIA is up to something a little sneaky here, with a new listing submitted to the Eurasian Economic Commission which teases what looks like a new GeForce GTX 1650 model.

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The new listing is by MSI and teases the GeForce GTX 1650 which right now, packs GDDR5 memory, while the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER is faster GDDR6 memory. The new models would see the GeForce GTX 1650 packing GDDR6 memory, but they wouldn't be a cluster f**k like the recent jebaiting to themselves that AMD did with the Radeon RX 5600 XT and last-minute BIOS changes.

We could see NVIDIA seeing AIB partners phasing out the older GDDR5-based GeForce GTX 1650 graphics cards with the newer GDDR6-based ones, but that's something we'll have to wait and see about over the coming weeks.

Valve announces Half-Life: Alyx release date: March 23, 2020

By Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Feb 13, 2020 07:09 pm CST

Valve has fully revealed the exact release date of Half-Life: Alyx, with a release of March 23, 2020 -- after teasing "March 2020" during its reveal last year.

You'll want to buy a new Valve Index VR headset to play Half-Life: Alyx in its best form, as you cannot even play the game in a non-VR state. It's a VR exclusive experience, so you'll need a HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Valve Index VR headset to play Half-Life: Alyx when it drops on March 23.

Valve also revealed 3 new screenshots of Half-Life: Alyx alongside the confirmed release date, something I've got for your viewing pleasure below. The company also took out some time to address pre-order bonuses for anyone who purchased a Valve Index will begin "rolling out the week of March 2nd, beginning with Steam VR Home environments inspired by locations in Half-Life: Alyx. We will have more information on upcoming Valve Index availability soon".

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Google paid $160 million for Activision esports exclusivity on YouTube

By Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 13, 2020 06:23 pm CST

Google will pay $160 million across the years for exclusive streaming rights to Activision-Blizzard's esports tournaments, sources familiar with the deal tell The Esports Observer.

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Activision-Blizzard recently signed a huge deal with Google to only stream its lucrative esports events like The Call of Duty and Overwatch Leagues on YouTube, cementing a unique synergy between the two media titans.

Under the plan, Google will pay Blizzard $160 million over a three-year span for exclusivity. For reference, that's about the cost of one huge AAA game or two bigger AAA titles that Google could be using to make Stadia games. (The tech giant is still investing in new exclusive first-party Stadia games, however.) The deal will benefit both companies tremendously: Activision-Blizzard gets a payout and enjoys the massive power of YouTube's accessibility and userbase, and Google gets more views and engagement, which in turn translates to more ad revenues. (YouTube made $15.1 billion in ad revenue in 2019.)

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Witcher game sales skyrocket over 500% thanks to Netflix series

By Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 13, 2020 05:22 pm CST

The Netflix Effect helped massively surge Witcher 3 game sales to a new mass audience of gamers.

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According to the NPD Group, full retail copies of The Witcher 3 skyrocketed by 554% in Holiday 2019 thanks to the Netflix adaptation of the series. This was to be expected, especially given the Netflix Effect's potency for transmedia content. The idea was simple: Use The Witcher TV series as an entry point to the franchise and captivate audiences on a mass-market level, then users who liked it would continue the experience by buying The Witcher 3 game and the associated books. Turns out a lot of people liked the show.

"December physical sales for the game were 554 percent higher than December 2018, and still 63 percent higher even when excluding the Nintendo Switch platform," NPD Group executive director Sartori Bernbeck said. This spike was the perfect convergence of many things: The Netflix show, the Switch port, and of course annual sales across digital and physical retail outlets.

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Square Enix wants to use AI to reduce stressful QA testing workloads

By Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 13, 2020 09:29 am CST

Square Enix wants to use AI neural networks and machine learning to help identify bugs and glitches and take some of the stress from QA testing.

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While cruising Square Enix's job listings I found something rather interesting: The company's Advanced Technology Division, which is responsible for high-tech R&D, is hiring an AI-based QA automation researcher with the aim to "efficiently reduce the amount of manual labor on game QA."

Right now the listing is just for R&D, meaning we shouldn't expect it to translate to games any time soon. Given Square Enix's penchant for years-long development cycles and long-winded, expansive, and finely-articulated experiences, any effort to help QA will ship games faster. The sooner bugs are identified, the sooner devs can squash them and optimize the game, and the sooner it hits store shelves.

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Coronavirus more powerful than terrorism, now 'public enemy number 1'

By Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Feb 13, 2020 05:11 am CST

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued out a new statement that has officially changed the name of the coronavirus and warned that it's now "public enemy number one".

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WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, spoke to reporters in Geneva and said that the coronavirus has been given a "pronounceable" name that's "related to the disease". The new name for the coronavirus is now COVID-19, and here's how that name was conceived. The "CO" is for coronavirus, the "VI" is for virus, the "D" is because it's a disease and "19" is for the year it was discovered - 2019.

According to Tedros, "Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks." The WHO has also said that a vaccine for COVID-19 could be around 18 months away and until then the virus is worse than terrorism. "To be honest, a virus is more powerful in creating political, economic and social upheaval than any terrorist attack", said Tedros.

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League of Legends CO2 emissions = 308 million gallons of diesel

By Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Feb 13, 2020 04:10 am CST

League of Legends is one of the biggest games ever created with a player base of over 100 million players. So how much carbon are those players generating?

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In a new study, it has been estimated that League of Legends' 115 million players throughout 2019 resulted in around 3,139,385 tonnes of CO2 emissions, based on the average player game time. This amount of output of CO2 is estimated to be around the same as charging 400,372,745,210 smartphones or driving 7,790,037,221 miles.

Both gaming companies and consoles manufacturers are working towards minimizing their carbon footprint, and with study's such as these and others coming out estimating how much carbon they are producing, they are really putting them in a not-so-good spotlight. I don't know if a few studies will push big game companies such as Riot Games to implement a carbon reduction strategy, but it's a start, I suppose.

Avast Antivirus accused of selling 100 million users' data to Google

By Jak Connor | Hacking & Security | Feb 13, 2020 03:35 am CST

Avast Antivirus is one of the largest free Antivirus software's you can download on the internet, and now an investigation is being conducted into the company for reportedly selling user data.

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According to Dark Reading, the Czech Office for Personal Data Protection is now investigating the actions of the Prague-based antivirus software company, Avast. The investigation is to find out whether or not Avast has been selling personal information from its user base to companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Home Depot.

The data that is suspected to have been sold off to these companies is browser history of users, online map searches, YouTube viewing habits, and more. Back in January, Motherboard and PCMag found evidence of Avast collecting data and selling it through its subsidiary company called "Jumpshot". Since this was discovered, Avast as closed down its Jumpshot division.

SpaceX showcase the Crew Dragon spacecraft in an awesome short video

By Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Feb 13, 2020 03:08 am CST

At the moment, SpaceX is gearing up for the first crewed flight to the International Space Station with their Dragon spacecraft.

According to recent reports, paperwork is the main problem before SpaceX is given the green light to take astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station. While it hasn't been publically announced, Ars Technica says that NASA is currently working towards a May 7th launch of Crew Dragon, but that date is lucrative.

Above is a video SpaceX released onto their official Twitter account. The video is of the Dragon spacecraft, and according to the post, it's currently undergoing electromagnetic interference testing. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk originally said that Dragon should launch within the second quarter of 2020, and judging on recent reports, that estimation is quite accurate. Dragon will take to the skies sometime in April, May, June. May is most likely the month when a launch will happen.