Category Archive : Tech News

Go read this report on how the pandemic has changed the internet

ZOOMPhoto by Hakan Nural/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The New York Times has released a new report on the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has changed internet use in the United States. The data provides an interesting insight into the ways the pandemic, and the resulting lockdowns around the country, have altered our relationships with technology.

Some of the tidbits won’t shock you. Video chat services like Google Duo, Nextdoor, and Houseparty have all seen large increases in traffic since January 21st. Similarly, popular remote work apps, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Classroom, have gotten more popular. (Scrutiny on their privacy practices has also intensified.) But while you’ve probably suspected that these services were doing well, you may not realize just how much they’ve…

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Facebook Gaming launches Tournaments

Facebook Gaming is launching a feature today meant to bring people together virtually while they can’t be in the same place physically. It’s called Tournaments, and it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Tournaments will let users create and organize virtual tournaments in a variety of formats, from double elimination to round-robin, and it appears to be intended to mitigate some of the strain of social distancing. (Interestingly, Tournaments was originally designed for live gaming events.)

The product is intended for every kind of tourney, from casual to high-level esports play. It’s also built directly into the Facebook Gaming platform itself, which means that creators can host fan tournaments and stream them, too. They can even…

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Just how big is Final Fantasy VII’s materia anyway?

Materia is Final Fantasy VII Remake’s magical eight ball — at least, in terms of size. These iridescent orbs grant users the power to perform magic. Each appears first as a cue ball-sized crystal nestled in the palm of a hand; if a fire spell can’t kill enemies, maybe a knock on the head with one will. While Cloud and the rest of the game’s cast are constantly stuffing different materia into their equipment, the game never quite explains how each one seems to shrink to the size of a marble.

This is exactly the kind of silly non-issue that will — and has — nagged me since 1997.

In large part, that’s because materia, weapons aside, has been especially baffling in the case of Aerith. The flower girl infamously keeps her prized possession,…

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No Man’s Sky has mech suits now, and you can pilot them in VR

No Man’s Sky is continuing its post-release update renaissance with yet another free content update, which adds a new vehicle to the game: the Exo Mech. Because why explore new planets on foot when you could explore them in a giant mech suit?

Officially, the new mech is the latest addition to No Man’s Sky’s fleet of Exocraft, smaller vehicles that players can unlock and build to explore planets. The Minotaur (the in-game name for the mech) is designed to offer players a way to explore that protects from things like high temperatures, harmful radiation, and other perils of space. Unlike other vehicles, players will still be able to use their mining laser while in the mech, making it far more viable for harvesting resources in hazardous…

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