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The metaverse is coming. Cathy Hackl explains why we should care.


You may have heard of the metaverse -- but let's be honest: do you really know what that means? If you're unsure, you're not alone: The metaverse is hard to pinpoint. It doesn't even have a definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Cathy Hackl, tells Freethink. A "Chief Metaverse Officer," Hackl is a professionally trained futurist and strategist, who has worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Magic Leap, and HTC VIVE, and helps brands understand how this new paradigm will affect their businesses. If you think of Web 1.0 as the internet that connected us to information, and Web 2.0 as the social-media iteration, which connects people, Web 3.0 (which we're now entering) is connecting people, places, and things, says Hackl. "Sometimes, these people, places, and things can be in a fully virtual or synthetic environment, or they could be in a physical world with some level of augmentation," she said.

Queensland to extend tax rebate support to digital game developers


The Queensland government has announced it wants to widen its 15% tax rebate under the post-production, digital, visual effects (PDV) incentive to include digital games, alongside film makers who do post-production and post-visual effects in the state. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the move would incentivise more games projects and game developers to bring their business to the state. "By adding this new games' incentive, local and international studios will be further motivated to outsource the creation of valuable game titles to Queensland, while our own locally based developers will be supported to create original games content right here," she said. In addition, the state government said it would move to lower the threshold to access the PDV and games incentive from AU$500,000 to AU$250,000. "Across the state, we have a growing base of talented specialists and studio facilities in the post-production, visual effects, animation and games space, and supporting this continued growth, particularly during this recently prolific time for the screen industry, is exactly what this incentive was devised to do," Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said.

This company is making digital humans to serve the metaverse


In a stark white browser tab, Sam -- a young blonde woman with perfectly shaped lips -- asks me for the solution to 2 2. I immediately think of the infamous Star Trek: The Next Generation episode in which a tortured Captain Picard is shown four lights. If he admits there are five lights, the ordeal will stop. I'm at home, staring at the future face of the metaverse and trying valiantly not to think about memes from a TV show known for its exploration of ethics and humanity. Sam isn't a real person -- she's a digital human created by Auckland-based tech company Soul Machines. Designed to have a short conversation with visitors about herself, she runs on a proprietary "digital brain" and studies my expressions via webcam.

Zelda-like 'Death's Door' heads to PlayStation on November 23rd


Death's Door, one of the best indie games to come out earlier this year, is heading to PlayStation consoles. During Sony's State of Play presentation on Wednesday, Devolver Digital announced it will release the Zelda-like action-adventure game on November 23rd, allowing PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 fans to experience it. After the event, Devolver said the game would come to Nintendo Switch on the same day. Released this past summer on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, Death's Door is the latest project from Acid Nerve, the studio behind 2015's Titan Souls. You play as a crow whose job it is to collect souls for a bureaucratic organization called the Reaping Commission Headquarters.

Press F for these fan favorites that 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' snubbed

Washington Post - Technology News

The Rayman series and its spinoff, Raving Rabbids, have found huge success on Nintendo consoles over the years, with the latter even going toe-to-toe with Mario and crew in the Switch's "Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle." The character also has a bit of history with Smash: In 2015, one of the franchise's most infamous fake leaks showed Rayman on the roster in such convincing detail, it fooled most of the fan community and inspired a movement of fan-made leaks. But Rayman already has a cameo in "Ultimate" as a spirit -- combat enhancements that pay tributes to other games -- and Nintendo seems content to leave his role at that.

US Copyright Office eases DMCA restrictions to allow for more device repairs


The statute prohibits the circumvention of software copy protection and has been the target of right to repair advocates for years. As one example, it adopts a recommendation from Public Knowledge and iFixit that involves video game consoles. It says "the repair of software-enabled consumer devices is likely to be fair use, the Register finds that certain video game console repair is also likely fair use." It notes consumers can access the firmware on their systems as long as it's with the intention of fixing the device's optical drive and they restore any protective measures afterward. The rulemaking stops short of protecting non-consumer devices.

What is Machine Learning?


Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer science that focuses on using data and algorithms to simulate the way humans learn, gradually increasing its accuracy. IBM has a rich history of machine learning. One of them, Arthur Samuel, is famous for coining the term "machine learning" in his research on the game of checkers. Robert Neely, a self-proclaimed checkers master, played the game on an IBM 7094 computer in 1962 and lost to the computer. This feat appears almost trivial in comparison to what can be done today, but it is regarded as a significant milestone in the field of artificial intelligence. Over the next two decades, data storage and processing technology will create some of the innovative products we know and love today, like the Netflix recommendation engine or self-driving cars.

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack is one of the worst ways to play the company's classics

Washington Post - Technology News

The original Nintendo 64 controller is an outlier in ergonomic design. Shaped like a dinosaur foot, it revolutionized 3D gaming with its analog stick. It also had strange C buttons for use as camera controls or a host of other functions. As remapped for the Nintendo Switch, the Joy-Con's X and Y buttons now function as the left and bottom C buttons respectively, and you can hold the Joy-Con's right trigger and use the face buttons as C buttons in any direction, while the B and A buttons remain stubbornly at the bottom. If that sounds confusing, it very much is, and as an avid Nintendo 64 player, it hurt my brain trying to rewire my muscle memory.

Informatica Plans to Raise Nearly $1 Billion in IPO WSJD - Technology

The Morning Ledger provides daily news and insights on corporate finance from the CFO Journal team. Private-equity firm Permira and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board in 2015 took the company private in a transaction valued at $5.3 billion after roughly 15 years as a public company. The company has since moved its on-premises products to a cloud-based platform and built a subscription business. Permira and CPPIB will control about 85% of the company after its IPO. Informatica, which lists drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co., consumer-goods giant Unilever PLC and supermarket chain Kroger Co. among its customers, helps companies connect and manage their data across the cloud and on-premise systems, allowing organizations to better analyze the data they collect.

The blockbuster 'Uncharted' scenes we want to see on the big screen

Washington Post - Technology News

To steal the artifact, the three kill the lights to the ballroom and snatch the cross before it's sold at the auction. All goes according to plan -- until it doesn't. Trying to escape the guards, you scale red-tiled Italian roofs, a la "Assassins Creed." Amid all the scaling and jumping, Drake grabs a zipline back toward the ballroom, where Sully is ready with the getaway car. But the line breaks and Drake ends up swinging into an ornate glass window, barreling headfirst into a gunfight alongside Sam.