News Hightech

'The Defenders' Comic-Con trailer features punching, heroes

Stop us if you've heard this one before: There's a threat facing New York, and a few of Marvel's punch-happy heroes need to clean it up. Based on the new trailer shown tonight at Comic-Con -- where, Deadline reports, Netflix screened the entire first...

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Google Play Music tweak adds a sidebar full of shortcuts

As a music streaming service, Google Play Music works well enough but its user interface leaves an awful lot to be desired. Following the mobile app's update that added persistent navigation buttons, as 9to5 Google spotted, Mountain View has added th...

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Spider-Man and Frank West join latest ‘Marvel vs. Capcom’ roster

Like comic books, fighting games are ripe for the crossover treatment. Nintendo has done it with good success in the Super Smash Bros. series, bringing characters from disparate franchises like Street Fighter and Fire Emblem together to brawl on the...

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Aphex Twin is the latest artist to open an online record store

Aphex Twin is opening an online record store. For his own music, of course. The Vinyl Factory reports that Richard D. James has started his direct-to-fans store with reissues of his back catalog including ... I Care Because You Do and newer stuff lik...

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Australia's first vinyl factory in 30 years will open next year

Thanks to new production technology and the support of big companies like Sony, vinyl is hot these days. Trent Reznor is releasing his Quake score for LP, the Contra soundtrack is available as a record at Comic-Con this year, and Blu-ray versions of...

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'The Defenders' Comic-Con trailer features punching, heroes

Stop us if you've heard this one before: There's a threat facing New York, and a few of Marvel's punch-happy heroes need to clean it up. Based on the new trailer shown tonight at Comic-Con -- where, Deadline reports, Netflix screened the entire first...

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Video games

Replay – The Tween Television Spectacular

This week on Replay we're doing something a little different. Rather than playing games you have fond memories of, we're playing games based on TV shows you have fond memories of (in theory). It's the Tween Television spectacular episode! In it we look at that strange pre-teen demographic that Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel cater to so well with games based on properties like Cory in the House (which has earned a strange internet following), Drake and Josh, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and more. It's a weird episode full of weird games and we certainly didn't touch on all of them. If you want to see more, let us know, and we will seek out more games like these for a part two. As always, thanks for watching! (Please visit the site to view this media)

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Weekend Warrior – The Game Informer Boy Band Has Its First Hit Single

If you've been following Weekend Warrior, then you know that a couple weeks ago we started a boy band, The Persona 5. After long nights of arguing and practicing, we've finally found our niche: parodies of The Weeknd. Today's release of Splatoon 2 gave us the inspiration for our first fire single, Squidboy. Make sure to check us out on SoundCloud, like, share, and subscribe. "Every day a salmon try to test me, ah Every day a salmon try to end me, ah Swim off in my squid form quickly, ah Backpack overweight with them power eggs, ah...  I'm a motherf***in' Squidboy" Joe Juba (@Joejuba) – I know everyone else played it months ago, but I finally started Horizon Zero Dawn, and I'm going to keep moving through that this weekend. It combines my favorite parts of many great games; it's got a little bit of Metal Gear Solid V, Mass Effect, and Assassin's Creed going on. My only complaint is that the tasks are starting to feel a bit repetitive, so it might just be time to mainline the story and be done with it.  Kyle Hilliard (@KyleMHilliard) – I have made my way through Splatoon’s single-player, but unsurprisingly the pre-release game didn’t have a lot of people playing online, so I look forward to getting into some matches. Otherwise it’s one of those cool let’s get the house clean weekends. I look forward to folding lots of shirts and towels. If anyone is free to babysit, I would also like to see The Big Sick, so let me know if you’re free. Ben Hanson (@yozetty) – Oh man, the weekend?! This weekend I’m going to relax on a lake… but the debate is whether or not to buy Splatoon 2 to play while out there. It’s a tough call, but I might just stick with my playthrough of Pokemon Black and White. Have a good weekend! Jared Koncsol (@JaredKoncsol) – This weekend, I'll be headed out to Applebee's as a part of the intern super-secret project. On Sunday, I'm going to my first Twins game since I've been here. I also just played the MGSV prologue last night and so I need to find out why flaming Deadpool riding a Rapidash just chased me and John Marston through a forest. Craig Taylor (@CraigTaylor0805) – Funny story, so I decided to try out Lego Pirates of the Caribbean because it's free right now on Xbox Live, and the very first achievement you unlock is 12 gamerscore. And the complementing achievement to get it back to even is for collecting 888,888,888 studs. Very cute. So I'll be playing Lego Pirates against my will so I can restore order. I'll also probably try the Destiny 2 beta Doug DeLong (@DeLongDoug) – I'm gonna keep on truckin' through my Steam backlog and play Old Man's Journey and Hyper Light Drifter this weekend. I'll also try to squeeze in some time to play What Remains of Edith Finch. 

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The End Is Nigh Review – A Whole New World Of Hurt

The End Is Nigh is a grotesque, brutal platformer that can infuriate you with demanding gameplay, then reward you with the high of conquering a seemingly impossible gauntlet. That formula probably sounds familiar to fans of 2010’s Super Meat Boy, and that’s intentional. Many of those basics remain in place for this spiritual sequel, but it’s an interesting departure in structure that hopes to evolve what made Super Meat Boy such a fun surprise – though it doesn’t always succeed. The game follows the story of Ash, a tiny blob who’s on a quest to reclaim the pieces of a friend he has lost in the apocalypse. Ash is incredibly fragile, and each level is littered with deadly elements that quickly (or instantly) murder him. Each of The End is Nigh’s levels takes place on a single screen (larger levels zoom the camera out), making it easy to see what you’re getting into in each level before diving in, or figure out patterns of oncoming bullets or disappearing platforms. Ash has a high degree of aerial mobility, and has a number of tricks in his arsenal. He can cling off the end of ledges and boost himself off them for far-reaching horizontal leaps. Ash can also increase his downward momentum instantly, allowing him to dodge any number of obstacles and break through fragile walls. This makes levels as much about figuring out how to progress through a series of obstacles as having the reactions to follow through on a few actions, and I enjoyed this mix of puzzle-solving and reflex-testing. Each world has its own look, theme song, and gameplay hook. One area has you swimming in noxious water and dodging piranhas, while another has you riding on conveyer belts and outmaneuvering cannons that track your location. The worlds feel distinct and offer new sets of challenges. Later stages combine a few of these elements in intensely challenging ways. However, one particularly annoying and frequent trick I noticed later on has you running across an entire level in order to open up the exit (or reach a collectible), then running the entire level again (sometimes in reverse) to leave.   Every level is interconnected rather than self-contained, making the entire game one large area to explore. This also factors into later levels, in which you must find a path that takes you across multiple screens to progress. I enjoy the organic approach to level design when searching for secrets, but this also makes backtracking to earlier levels a chore; if you want to replay a given level, you need to warp to the start of a nearby world and work your back to it. (Please visit the site to view this media)This backtracking starts adding up as you scrounge around for collectibles. Areas off the beaten path can contain game cartridges which unlock more retro-themed levels, keys you can use to unlock more hidden areas, and Tumors, which work as a reward for completing optional challenges within levels and (in the case of larger Mega Tumors) as a reward for completing hidden areas. These collectibles can add a few hours to each playthrough and are fun to look for, but being unable warp to previously beaten levels made me less likely to search of them. Despite making players run the same levels multiple times, The End Is Nigh is a worthy successor to Super Meat Boy. It offers the same ludicrously hard and satisfying approach to level design and spices it up with some substantial changes. Its interlocked world introduces some fun exploration, even if it can be a pain to backtrack through brutal gauntlets time and again. But if you’ve found the platform genre a little too lenient in recent years, The End is Nigh will give the fix you’ve been looking for.

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Steven Universe: Save The Light Trailer Shows Off Turn-Based Combat

Steven Universe fans are getting what looks like a fairly robust role-playing adventure with turn-based combat when the franchise makes its gaming debut on consoles. This new Steven Universe: Save the Light trailer from San Diego Comic-Con 2017 shows some of the abilities players can use in the game. It looks like developer Grumpyface Studios is injecting plenty of fusions, including the combination of Steven and Connie, Stevonnie. (Please visit the site to view this media) The sequel to the mobile game Steven Universe: Attack the Light, Save the Light is being written by show creator Rebecca Sugar. We don't have an official release date yet, but Steven Universe: Save the Light is coming soon to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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RIP: Honoring The Life And Death Of Xbox One’s Default Gamerpics

It’s a sad day for Xbox fans. With the official rollout of custom Gamerpics for all Xbox One users, this means the inevitable death of all the bizarre, nondenominational default Gamerpics. While we mourn their untimely demise, we’ll also be trying to make sense of these fearless masterpieces of art and design. Cue the funeral organ Goodbye, blue football helmet. We know not what your colors stood for, but we were sure we were always on your team. Here we had a modern-day Picasso. This piece, called “untitled: Digital Vomit,” took inspiration from the master of impressionistic art, symbolizing his loss of innocence in his early 20s. Recycled from the canceled Disney and Pixar motion picture, Steak Boy, this was the perfect profile picture for anyone who’s ever gone through life feeling like an eager but timid piece of raw meat.  Zombie? Or that guy on the metro train asking you for a quarter who routinely invades people’s personal space? Given the lack of teeth and bloodshot eyes, we went with the latter. Who could forget the parade of the Snapchat ghost, a hairy hotdog, and Grimace wearing a toga. Despite their seemingly insurmountable differences, all of them came together for a common purpose: world peace. … Jeff Cork?? What better way was there to show your fellow players what you were all about than with an angular chicken nugget. Or maybe it’s a wad of meat. Whether you were more into plaid cowboy hats, pickles, or wobbly letter U’s, this Gamerpic represented what each and every four-lipped mutant on Xbox Live was all about. In what was a sublime metaphor for humanity’s rat race towards the unattainable goal of perfection, this Gamerpic demanded its viewer’s brutal self-reflection. Alas, no more.  The final boss of Microsoft’s Sea of Thieves, Gooboo the space pirate’s first appearance was, believe it or not, this Xbox Live Gamerpic. You can really see Rare’s iconic character design perfected here. We don’t know if this is a sea urchin or a rejected Pokémon, but we do know without a doubt that it is an A1 Gamerpic. I honestly can’t even comment.

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Replay – The Tween Television Spectacular

This week on Replay we're doing something a little different. Rather than playing games you have fond memories of, we're playing games based on TV shows you have fond memories of (in theory). It's the Tween Television spectacular episode! In it we look at that strange pre-teen demographic that Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel cater to so well with games based on properties like Cory in the House (which has earned a strange internet following), Drake and Josh, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and more. It's a weird episode full of weird games and we certainly didn't touch on all of them. If you want to see more, let us know, and we will seek out more games like these for a part two. As always, thanks for watching! (Please visit the site to view this media)

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News in brief

Palestinian Authority leader Abbas freezes relations with Israel over Jerusalem shrine crisis

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said Friday that he was freezing relations with Israel over controversial new security measures erected at a sensitive Jerusalem holy site after deadly clashes erupted earlier in the day.

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Iran open to dialogue with Saudis, says top diplomat

Kamal Kharrazi, the head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations and a foreign policy adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told FRANCE 24 on Friday that Iran was open to “dialogue” with Saudi Arabia despite escalating tensions.

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Iraq's Mosul: Rebuilding a city fractured by sectarian mistrust

The battle for Iraq's second city of Mosul is officially over and the Islamic State group is defeated, according to the army. But the city is still seeing sporadic suicide attacks. Meanwhile, new challenges lie ahead: clearing the rubble and defusing mines before rebuilding homes and infrastructure. But perhaps the most difficult task of all will be to repair a society fractured by sectarian mistrust. FRANCE 24's Simona Foltyn reports from Mosul.

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Sean Spicer quits as White House press secretary

White House press secretary Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump's embattled spokesman during the first six months of his presidency, is resigning his position, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.

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Boasson Hagen wins 19th stage of Tour de France after two 2nd-place finishes

After two second-place finishes, Edvald Boasson Hagen finally got a stage victory at the Tour de France.

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Palestinian Authority leader Abbas freezes relations with Israel over Jerusalem shrine crisis

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said Friday that he was freezing relations with Israel over controversial new security measures erected at a sensitive Jerusalem holy site after deadly clashes erupted earlier in the day.

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Sport

Bolt wins 100m at Diamond League Monaco; De Grasse, relay team DQ'd

Olympic star Usain Bolt held off the field to win the 100 metres Friday at the IAAF Diamond League Monaco event, while Canada's 4x100-metre men's relay team of Andre De Grasse, Aaron Brown, Brendon Rodney, and Gavin Smellie was disqualified after a bad exchange.

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​A botched exchange in the 4x100 relay leads to a disqualification for Canada at Monaco Diamond League

DQ just the latest in a long history of relay heartache for Canada.

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Melissa Bishop sets Canadian record in women's 800m

Canadian Melissa Bishop set a national record in the women's 800 metres with a time of one minute 57.01 seconds, but it was only good enough for fifth place as South Africa's Caster Semenya set the pace with a world-leading and meet record time of 1:55.27.

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FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix: Canada vs. Germany

Watch live on Friday at 9 p.m. ET as the Canadian women's volleyball team takes on Germany at a FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix event in Richmond, B.C.

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Watch the North American Indigenous Games

Watch live action, including baseball, lacrosse, swimming, basketball, and the cultural event at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games in Toronto.

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Bolt wins 100m at Diamond League Monaco; De Grasse, relay team DQ'd

Olympic star Usain Bolt held off the field to win the 100 metres Friday at the IAAF Diamond League Monaco event, while Canada's 4x100-metre men's relay team of Andre De Grasse, Aaron Brown, Brendon Rodney, and Gavin Smellie was disqualified after a bad exchange.

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