Sound a little twisted for a children's book author? His Twitter bio provides more insight into his off-kilter sensibilities: "I grew up in a haunted house, reading Dr. Seuss." Which might explain why, besides penning enormously popular children's books, Daywalt also writes and directs horror films. That's right, the author who's become a literary darling among librarians and parents alike is also a slasher fanatic. "I want to be Willy Wonka," Daywalt says. "He has a really fun spirited side but also a dark, justice-giver side."
Another IPO For Boston: HubSpot Files $100 Million Public Offering
The IPO should be a major win for Boston tech, which is already anticipating a big public offering since ecommerce company Wayfair filed to go public just days ago. The two big investor winners should be area venture capitalists Larry Bohn and David Skok: Bohn’s General Catalyst owns 27.1% of the company, having first invested in 2007. Skok and Matrix Partners joined in 2008 and own 17.1%. West Coast investors aren’t left out, as Scale Venture Partners holds 6.8% and Series D investor Sequoia Capital maintains a 10.3% stake. Charles River Ventures and Google Google Ventures are also holders.
Pinterest Launches A New Analytics Dashboard For Business Users | TechCrunch
For Pinterest, releasing a product that keeps businesses happy and keeps them using its platform can only be a positive. The more they Pin and interact with Pinners, the more likely they are to use some of the services Promoted Pins to boost engagement. And having analytics to show that those Promoted Pins actually work will be key to ensuring that more businesses decide to use them.
Free Razer PC gear in Joystiq's back to school giveaway
Graduation is a distant memory. Middle school? High school? Undergrad? Daycare? Everyone's leaving their old life behind and getting ready to build a new front of educational righteousness in the near future. Just like mom asked you to, you've made a checklist of necessities. New phone case to prevent backpack breakage! New writing utensils of varying stain power! One used copy of Lord of the Flies ! A totally sweet new PC that you told your entire extended family was for that design class but it's really for Dota 2 !
Alright, that last one is pretty hard to swing. Building a killer PC with all the accoutrements you can imagine is a difficult task. While we can't help with the rig itself, Joystiq and Razer can assist with some accessories. In the spirit of our Back to School feature, we're giving away one Razer Adaro Wireless headset worth $150, one Razer Naga mouse worth $80, and one Razer Black Widow Ultimate 2014 worth $140.
All you have to do to enter is like Joystiq on Facebook using the Rafflecopter widget below before 10AM EST on Wednesday, August 27th. Three random winners will be selected to win the goods.
Report: Gigantic 12.9-inch iPads Are Coming Next Year
Since the iPhone's launch in 2007, Apple has kept screen sizes simple, offering only four options. Now, the company may be taking a different approach. Bloomberg reports that Apple will launch a 12.9-inch iPad in early 2015, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
Facebook Assault on Google’s DoubleClick Coming This Fall - The Information
Facebook has been pouring resources into Atlas in advance of a big new push with the product, expected to coincide with the Advertising Week trade show in late September, according to three people familiar with the plans. Among the anticipated new features is a so-called “demand-side platform,” a system that lets advertisers make automated bids for ad inventory.
Amazon Nears Deal to Acquire Twitch - The Information
Amazon.com announced Monday that it had agreed to acquire video site Twitch for $970 million in cash, the latest sign of the e-commerce giant's expansive ambitions in video entertainment.
Google fixes image search after 'car crash' bug | ZDNet
Summary: UPDATED. The search giant said it wished it served up "micropigs" instead, after a Russian car crash image dogged users of its image search engine.
Exclusive: Chipmaker Qualcomm may face EU antitrust probe - sources
An EU probe would come at an awkward time for Qualcomm, which is seeking to end an investigation by China's pricing regulator into monopoly practices. If found guilty of breaching EU rules, the company could face a fine of up to $2.5 billion.
Rumor: Super Smash Bros videos show Bowser Jr, Shulk, Duck Hunt Dog [Update: Videos pulled]
Update: The videos have been removed from YouTube, though you can still see snippets of them in GIF format on the NeoGAF post linked below.
If rumors are to be believed, we're not even close to seeing the final roster of Super Smash Bros. Several images and videos of Nintendo's upcoming mascot brawler have surfaced (handily collected on NeoGAF ), showcasing lots of new characters. Among these are King Koopa's bandana'd progeny, Bowser Jr, Xenoblade protagonist Shulk and ... the dog from Duck Hunt .
In the videos, Bowser Jr is seen piloting a tiny version of his father's iconic flying machine, while Shulk seems to have a few things in common with fellow sword-swingers Roy and Marth. There's no video of the Duck Hunt dog, sadly, but if his appearance turns out to be true: best ... taunt ... ever .
Of course, we have to point out that talented modders have been squeezing new characters into Smash Bros Brawl for years – everything from Master Chief to Cloud Strife – so we suggest a smashing serving of salt to go along with all of this.
See the videos after the break.
What’s Up With That: Your Fingernails Grow Way Faster Than Your Toenails | Science | WIRED
First, in order to understand why nails grow, you first need to understand how they grow. Nails begin in the nail matrix. This is the pale, half-moon shaped section peeking out from under your cuticle (though it’s usually hidden on smaller nails). This specialized tissue churns out skin cells at a manic pace and promptly cannibalizes them for their keratin—a tough, fibrous protein that gives skin its leathery texture. As the dead, keratin-rich cells pile up in the matrix, they push the nail along towards the tip. The nail is attached to the skin below, called the nail bed, which grows along with it (occasionally you can see excess growth from the nail bed—called solehorn—coming out from under the nail).
World’s first ‘smart’ cruise ship features robot bartenders, virtual balconies and more
Quantum of the Seas also features a futuristic venue it’s calling Two70. Here you can marvel at the transformation of its floor-to-ceiling windows into giant screens for video projection, with six seven-feet-high dancing “Roboscreens” controlled by robotic arms….we’ve reached out to Royal Caribbean in a bid to find out what in Captain Cook’s name it’s talking about here, and will update when we hear back….where guests can enjoy movies , multimedia shows, and digital-mapping presentations.
Gigaom site news: Introducing Alerts, an easy way to get the stories you care about
Please meet Gigaom Alerts. We’ve been testing this out for a few weeks now (it’s still a beta-stage thing, to be very clear) and we want to invite folks to help us really put it through the paces. Gigaom Alerts allows you to tell us which stories and topics you need the most, and have freshly published blog posts and Gigaom Research reports delivered right into your inbox.
Nearly One Third Of PS4 Owners Switched From Xbox 360 Or Wii
According to data given to Re/code , Nielsen surveyed 1,200 gamers from age 7 to 54 and found that 31 percent, almost a third, bought a PS4 after owning an Xbox 360 or Wii, but not a PS3. Another large portion, 17 percent of respondents, did not own a previous generation console at all, though as per the methods of the survey, that total could include those who sold their PS3s at GameStop to help pay for PS4. Though given the very prominent lack of backward compatibility of the console, I can’t imagine that number was too large.
BART got a 10 second warning before Sunday's Napa earthquake. Why didn't everyone else?
Earthquake detection is improving, and there is actually a California law that says the state needs to put an early warning system in place. But that has yet to happen on a wide scale.
Answers to Your Burning Questions About Marvel’s Ant-Man | Underwire | WIRED
In terms of whether or not Ant-Man is an A-List character, that’s open to interpretation: He’s certainly one of the first Marvel superheroes, and a founding member of the Avengers. However, he’s also a character who’s never really enjoyed a great deal of success as a solo hero despite multiple attempts, and he’s arguably one who doesn’t enjoy much goodwill even amongst Marvel fans. Whether this means that the same will be true of his movie incarnation is tough to guess, with Paul Rudd being the X factor in the whole thing. Robert Downey Jr. made Iron Man into one of the most loved superheroes in the world through his charm alone, and if there’s one thing Rudd is, it’s charming.
TiVo Introduces A $50 Over-The-Air DVR For The Post-Aereo Era
I have a tivo Premiere with the latest updates, and use it with an antenna I paid $50 more for the box than the Roamio OTA's cost, but see it as a great service and gladly pay the $15 fee to get it to work, I live in the Twin cities of Minnesota, and believe that Tivo is figuring out how to market itself to customers who are cord cutters, my premiere has two tuners, but i also have a windows media center program with another tuner to watch a third program while the two other tuners are recording.
BitTorrent's Sync gets a major revamp, now lets you share files with clickable web links
Sync can also be used to share folders of any size with a team of users. This could be great for small companies, or any other team that doesn’t want to rely on cloud storage for one reason or another. And since it’s P2P, access to that folder can be significantly faster than to a cloud service: A co-worker in the same office can access it over the local network, and even remote coworkers can get a boost when multiple members of the team are sharing the same files — Sync automatically downloads files from multiple locations.
MyCharge TransitPlus mobile charger Preview - CNET
My one caveat about the TransitPlus is that its 12-volt plug only sticks out 1.5 inches from the device. Some cars hide their 12-volt outlets in consoles or dashboard compartments, which might make it impossible to plug the TransitPlus in. To add some flexibility, the TransitPlus' 12-volt plug swings out in three positions: perpendicular with the the long side, perpendicular to the short side, and at an angle.
Social Media Is Silencing Personal Opinion – Even In The Offline World | TechCrunch
Social media is not living up to its promise of being an online outlet for discussion that mirrors our communications and conversations that take place in the offline world. In fact, people are less willing to discuss important issues on social media, than they are in real life, a new report from Pew Research Center has found.
Launch an attack on Titan Souls and die plenty in new gameplay trailer
Out in Q1 2015, PS4, Vita and Steam top-down death factory Titan Souls has a single task for you: defeat 20 bosses. Unfortunately, you only have one bow and one arrow. Oh, and just one hit point. To see why that ungodly formula could be fun, check out our preview .
[Image: Devolver Digital]
WhatsApp Hits 600 Million Active Users, Founder Says
As indicated in his tweet, Koum has long been irked by the fact that rival messaging services tend to talk about registered users – a number that’s much higher than “active users,” since many people download apps and never use them. When it comes to active users, WhatsApp is the most globally popular messaging app, followed by China’s WeChat and Japan’s LINE. WeChat has 438 million active users, and while it has ambitions to spread to the U.S. it has struggled to find a large base outside of Asia.
Machines Are Taking Control of The World... Why Stop Them?
Of course, that’s pretty minor and had zero actual impact on anything, anywhere. But only because it happened in a context were almost no harm could be done. You don’t want machines to make even the tiniest mistake when it comes to your insurance. Or to hospital machinery, freight trains, road traffic, banking, waste disposal or hundreds upon hundreds of other things that we’re working on making machines not only capable of but, more importantly, responsible for.
MIX for Android Lets You Create And Save Custom Filters | TechCrunch
MIX allows you to save filters as “formulas” in the app. You can see how your photo looks before and after editing by tapping on it to see the original, which is a helpful feature, but one of MIX’s drawbacks is that you can’t undo each step. Hopefully Camera360 will add an undo feature to its next update, because with a total of 200 filters, textures, light leaks, and other effects, it’s a pain if your photo doesn’t quite look the way it should. The app does, however, allow you to save your edits at any point for future use.
The Rise and Fall and Rise of Virtual Reality
J: Absolutely. This gets to my last book about that stuff. To my mind, there are a few proposals that are on the table that are interesting. The one that I’ve been trying to push the hardest was the origin point for networking when it started — Ted Nelson’s idea of the universe of micropayments. The thing about micropayments is they have to be really universal or else there are only tiny pockets of people who get anything and everyone else gets frustrated and pissed off. It has to be big enough to really send some benefits around to everybody. That’s a hard gap to leap over to get to that point. Facebook has a very tough road to hoe here because they have no background in this stuff. Neither does Oculus. They are kind of starting from scratch, but I certainly wish them the very best success. What they can do is create a system where anybody who wants to can set up a super easy system for micropayments and then add to it. They might see this exploding economy that generates a lot of economic growth, a lot of profit, and a lot of distributed benefits for their users.
Back to school tablet guide 2014
It’s really expensive, but it’s also the best compact tablet around. Apple’s choice of apps is polished and the iPad Mini 2 is a smooth performer with great battery life. If you want a portable companion to take to lectures, capture notes, and for reading when you’re out and about, then this tablet will serve you well. It’s also great for entertainment in the form of movies, TV, and games for your down time. You could save $100 by opting for the original iPad Mini, but you’ll lose some processing power and the high resolution screen.
Geek Dreams: Cray CS-Storm Delivers High-Performance Computing In Million-Dollar Package | TechCrunch
To give you a sense of where the cost comes from, a single NVIDIA Tesla K40 chip costs around $4,000. As he said, do the math. There are up to 8 per node and a total capacity of 176 in one rack. If you have four fully loaded racks, that’s over 700 chips. We’re talking some serious power for serious cash.
Tropes vs Women further examines misogynist decoration in games
In the second part of Anita Sarkeesian's examination of women as decoration in games, the Feminist Frequency founder examines games in which female characters exist purely as sexual objects to advance the plot. Brief scenes of sexual assault in Metro 2033 and BioShock , for example, offer no discernable gameplay benefit and seemingly exist purely to paint certain male characters as a predatory evil.
[Image: Tropes Vs Women]
The Legend of Korra begins in October
If you've recovered from The Legend of Korra 's season three TV finale, read on for more news about the series in video game form. Otherwise, take a few more deep breaths and brace yourselves:
The Legend of Korra game from Platinum and Activision is due out on October 21 on PSN and PC, and on October 22 on Xbox Marketplace, Activision producer Robert Conkey told IGN . The game is coming to PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. Last month, we got a look at some Korra gameplay featuring Naga, the polar bear dog .
The Legend of Korra (Announcement)
Lightweight camera accessories - CNET
Using the strap that came with your camera is all well and good, until it starts to get in the way of taking photos quickly. That's where straps like the BlackRapid Metro come in. It has a locking carabiner that screws into the tripod thread of your camera, letting the dSLR hang comfortably next to your body. This means it's ready for action whenever you are.
Apple planning 12.9-inch iPad for 2015: Bloomberg
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc ( AAPL.O ) is preparing to roll out a larger, 12.9-inch version of its iPad for 2015, with production set to begin in the first quarter of next year, Bloomberg cited people with knowledge of the matter as saying on Tuesday.
Open journalism also means opening up your data, so others can use and improve it
As with the code behind software programs — the original use for things like Github — there are a host of benefits to opening up the data that provides the foundation for news stories, including the fact that more eyeballs on the data means a greater likelihood of finding errors and/or misinterpretations of that data. And that’s good not only for the outlet that produced the original story but for journalism as a whole.
VR Gives Game Developers A Chance To Take Streaming Time From Twitch | TechCrunch
This drawback for Twitch is an opportunity for game developers to keep more game spectating within their own apps. Most multiplayer games offer some kind of spectator mode, either letting you watch strangers and friends as they play or simply watching your allies after you die near the end of a match. As the virtual reality gaming market matures, developers will have the chance to rebuild those features to better take advantage of the immersion possible in a virtual environment.
This Is the World's First 8 TB Hard Drive
It's meant for enterprise customers — you know, corporate data centers and such — to create denser storage arrays for cloud content and backups, which is a shame. Between all the videos I've shot and all the pictures I've taken and all the high-quality music and movies I've downloaded for years, I could easily fill this baby up.
'Star Wars' Stormtrooper takes the Ice Bucket Challenge - CNET
When the campaign started, the thinking was that those given the challenge by someone who'd already completed it could either have ice-cold water dumped over their heads or donate to the group. However, it seems like it's morphed into a viral sensation whose purpose is simply to raise funds, with most people getting doused and donating as well. As of August 25, the ALS Association reports that $79.7 million has been raised since the campaign started, as opposed to $2.5 million during the same time last year.
Out in the Open: How Animated GIFs Can Turn You Into a Web Coder | Enterprise | WIRED
If you’re building a modern web service, you aren’t just creating a program that will run on one machine. You have to learn how to deploy code to online servers, and teach your programs to talk with other applications. revisit.link is a good way to learn these skills, since the effects servers are simple and lightweight and can be written in any language. And once a server is built, the developer can learn how to use GitHub and how to make small changes to someone else’s code and submit those changes for review—all in a low-pressure environment with a very low barrier to entry.
USB condom protects against digital infections - Telegraph
Do you ever charge your smartphone or tablet from airport charging stations,
strange computers or other unknown USB ports? If so, you could be exposing
your sensitive data to prying eyes or getting digital infections - it could
be time for a USB condom
Songza Has Some Crazy Playlist Titles. Here's How The Streaming Service Comes Up With Them
For some folks, the first time they heard about about Songza was when Google announced it was sucking up the music streaming service earlier this summer. But if you’ve ever used the service, which has carved out a niche for context-specific playlists that users can click to soundtrack a particular mood or activity, it’s hard not to notice its irreverent, sometimes even edgy, playlist names. Turns out the service puts a lot of effort into coming up with evocative titles such as “Rich Girl Pop”, “Two-Stepping In The Rain”, and “Tar Beach Lullabies”. To see how they come up with some of their crazier playlists, I called up to Songza cofounders Elias Roman and Peter Asbill.
Google Acquires Zync To Bring Visual Effects Rendering To Its Cloud Platform | TechCrunch
As Google notes today, it typically takes a very powerful infrastructure to render the special effects in a movie. Most studios have their own render farms for this. Those studios would only need a cloud service to sometimes burst their capacity to finish a job faster. Others, however, don’t have access to their own servers (or don’t want to deal with them), and for them, the cloud is the only way to render their effects.
Job Platform ZipRecruiter Takes Its First Outside Funding, $63M Led By IVP | TechCrunch
“I think LinkedIn is a great service,” Seigel says. “When people talk about social recruiting that is what they do, and we also think it’s great if they do more as a job board too. We would be thrilled if they became a powerhouse there.” But he also points out that, at least for now, they are targeting different parts of the market. “There are 6 million businesses actively hiring and recruiting online in the U.S. right now, but only 1 million of them have over 500 employees,” he continues. “LinkedIn makes the majority of its revenue from that top million, while we target the smaller companies.” In the U.S. alone, there are some 28 million SMBs, investor Eric Liaw from IVP estimates, and collectively they account for employing about half of the whole U.S. workforce.
Double fumbles, Kaepernicking and Manningfaces in Madden 15
Madden NFL 15 is the next game in EA Sports' long-running football series, arriving simultaneously for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2014.
Microsoft Promises Fix For Surface Pro 3 Overheating Issue | TechCrunch
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 tablet hybrid has an Intel Core i7 processor option; Microsoft says the chip requires “[its] fan to spin more regularly and at higher speeds – and for the unit to run slightly warmer.” Reasonable enough. I’ve noticed that my loaner Core i5-based Surface Pro 3 can get a bit warm when docked, but that’s not too surprising given its hardware mix when you consider the size of the device.
Tekken-style Pokemon fighter unveiled for arcades in 2015
Pokken Tournament combines the world of cutesy critter-catching series Pokemon with fast-paced 3D fighting in the vein of the Tekken series. Do not adjust your monitors, this is for real. As Famitsu confirms, the game represents a collaboration between Nintendo and Bandai Namco, and it's coming to arcades in Japan some time next year.
The game was revealed today during a Niconico livestream by The Pokemon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada and Soulcalibur producer Masaaki Hoshino. Gematsu reports Pokken Tournament will be developed under the leadership of Harada and Hoshino. Details are limited, but a short announcement trailer showed Lucario and Machamp duking it out, before revealing the Pokken Tournament logo.
To see the announcement trailer, pokken below the break.
[Image: Nico Nico]
Q&A: An Apple critic with plenty to say
It’s like criticizing your children. Because I like Apple so much I want to make sure they’re not doing anything that will be a problem later. And this comes from the experience of Apple nearly going out of business in the ’90s. They’re no longer that underdog, but I’m looking at everything they do and saying, “Are you doing everything you should in the way that you should? Are your products living up to the ideals you set for yourselves?” I don’t write these reviews of Windows. I could never muster up the enthusiasm or indignity.
The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 5 review: Exit wounds
This review covers the latest episode in an ongoing season, and may contain spoilers.
Players of Telltale's The Walking Dead have offered a singular, echoing criticism throughout its first and second seasons: "My choices don't matter." Detractors claim that the story is set in concrete and only the journey changes – and even then just slightly. They decry the game's decision-making mechanics as shallow and containing a falsely advertised level of impact on the narrative.
I've never had a problem with The Walking Dead 's subtlety. Regardless of the differences among every person's experience, the game always told a deep, uneasy story packed with drama and action in equal measure. The narrative rode waves of tension, crashing down on important dialogue decisions and cresting up to harried firefights and split-second amputations.
In the final episode of Season 2, "No Going Back," the detractors win. In this episode, your choices matter in the deepest way – altering how the story ends. Unfortunately, this means that the balanced narrative loses in a spectacular and surprising fashion.
5 Brilliant Business Lessons From Wolfgang Puck
Prior to Spago, Puck worked at world-class establishments in France and headed a French-style kitchen at L.A.’s ritzy Ma Maison. But he challenged himself with his next ventures. “When I opened Spago, I had never done simple foods like pizzas before; I used to work in three-star restaurants. But I wanted to make simple, really good food. Then, after that, I loved to do Chinese food, so I opened Chinois on Main. I never learned how to cook Chinese food, but I did it my own way. Why, when Spago was so successful, would I open a Chinese restaurant? Everybody thought I was crazy. I like to do things that aren’t ordinary--something to shock people a little bit.” Puck surprised longtime Spago patrons when he redesigned his flagship Beverly Hills locale in 2012 and ditched his signature smoked salmon pizza. “Some people were upset: ‘How can you take it off the menu? It’s my favorite thing!’ So I said, ‘You know what, we’ll make it if people ask for it.’ But if we don’t change, we’ll go nowhere. I don’t want people to get bored. You have to give people something new. You can’t keep working on the same old thing forever.
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Cast Your Vote in Absurd Creature of the Week’s Tournament of Absurdity! | Science | WIRED
We’re coming up on one whole year of Absurd Creature of the Week! So to celebrate, we’ve used a super-secret, super-complex algorithm to choose the 16 most absurd of the absurd—to pit them against each other in mortal combat (bracket is at the bottom of this post). Now, you will vote to decide which is the very most absurdest of them all. Here are today’s matchups:
LG Teases Round Smartwatch, More Details Expected Next Week
That teaser (below) doesn't reveal much elsefocusing instead on the fact that, yes, the smartwatch will have a round face. It'll also gain a button on the side to further differentiate itself from its flat-faced predecessor, the LG G Watch. In its teaser, LG also hints at what appears to be a compass, distance meter, and pedometer-like functionality for the device. That's all, though.
With Any Luck, This Googler Will Turn More Girls Into Hackers | Enterprise | WIRED
Her business card notwithstanding—it reads “Security Princess”—neither she nor her colleagues dwell on gender when discussing the evolution of her career. “Whether you were a man or a woman or whatever, it was difficult,” says fellow SIGMil alum Chris Grier of the hacking tests—yes, hacking tests—that guarded the way to the group’s Friday night meetings at UCIC. Tabriz is a hacker first. Yet, like so many others, she bemoans that relatively few women work in security—or across the larger tech world. As she indicates, a 2012 National Science Board study that shows that female participation in computer science has declined to 18 percent from a peak of 37 percent peak in the mid-1980s. She also acknowledges that part of the problem is that our wider culture implicitly discourages young women from entering the field. Female role models can be hard to find. But she’s helping to change that.