Squadrons’, And I Hope It Works

Star Wars Squadrons is a game. Developed by Motive and published by EA, it released on October 2 to solid reviews and plenty of praise from long time fans of Star Wars starfighter games, the likes of which we haven’t seen for a good long time. It costs $40, and it’s available on PS4, PC, and Xbox One. And, as far the story of where this game is going, that’s sort of it. Here in 2020, that’s a remarkable thing.

Bug fixes and the like aside, EA and Motive have no plans to introduce new content for Star Wars Squadrons, a strategy that’s nearly unheard of in the modern industry for anything but smaller, bite-sized indie games. Creative director Ian Frazier outlined the approach in an interview with Upload VR, where he doesn’t completely close the door to more stuff—the video game industry is rarely definitive—but sounds pretty resolute in the studio’s strategy.

“We don’t want to say ‘it’s almost done!’ and then dribble out more of it over time, which to be honest is how most games work these days,” he told UploadVR. “So we’ve tried to treat it in kind of an old-school approach saying, ‘you’ve paid the $40, this is the game and it’s entirely self-contained. We’re not planning to add more content, this is the game, and we hope you understand the value proposition.'”

It’s funny to think that selling a game for a price and having that just be the end of it seems like such a radical idea, because that’s how game’s were sold for the majority of the industry’s lifetime and it makes a sort of basic sense in a way that “releasing a ton of new maps and such for free” doesn’t. But it’s incredibly uncommon,

Agency round-up: ACD&B; The SEO Works; Punch Creative; and more

ACD&B, formerly Applied Creative, has unveiled its rebrand, strengthened its team with the appointment of a creative account manager, bolstered its service offering with the addition of PR, and extended its office.

The West Yorkshire-based independent creative agency specialises in providing clients with branding, artworking, creative design and web design.

Following increased demand for its services, it has appointed Alice Moss as creative account manager.

Previously she has held roles with StormBrands, where she managed Morrisons’ The Best account, and Face Facts Research.

The agency has also partnered with Marie Lees Public Relations. Lees is working alongside managing director, Chris Parkinson and the team, to provide ACD&B’s roster of clients with PR as well as devise and implement the company’s communications and business development strategy.

Parkinson said: “Since launching the agency it has evolved and I felt we needed a brand that elevated our specialisms and commitment to providing clients with creative branding and design.

“I’m delighted to welcome Alice and Marie to the team. The agency continues to go from strength to strength with increasing demand from new and retained clients.

“Alice will support clients and the team to ensure we continue to deliver outstanding creative work.

“We’ve ambitious growth plans. Part of our strategy is to offer new opportunities to clients so I’m excited to be collaborating with Marie and to now provide PR, which perfectly complements our service offering.

“In addition, Marie will be integral in maximising awareness of ACD&B and for business development.”

ACD&B has also expanded its offices in Cleckheaton. The expansion is part of the agency’s ongoing investment and will not only accommodate its growing team, when they return to the office, but will provide a new, breakout area to inspire creativity.

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Search agency The SEO Works has been selected to manage the

How Splice Machine’s Data Platform for Intelligent Apps Works

Splice Machine is a revolutionary database management system that makes it easier for data scientists to connect dots in both the data center and cloud. It’s the only SQL scale-out relational database management system with built-in native machine learning. In a nutshell, Splice Machine does the grunge work so you don’t have to.

In this eSPEAKS video, we cover:

  • The type of work Splice Machine does
  • A demonstration of how easy and simple the application is to use
  • Use cases of the app

For an insider’s scoop, Chris spoke with:
Monte Zweben, co-founder and CEO, Splice Machine; Host: Chris Preimesberger, Editor, eWEEK

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San Francisco-based startup Splice Machine, whose database management system is specifically optimized for hybrid clouds, has announced the availability of its automated application platform on the Microsoft Azure cloud service. 

Splice Machine’s Online Predictive Processing Platform (OLPP) is designed to power new-generation predictive analytics applications that run both on premises and in the cloud—or multiple clouds—as needed in production requirements.

Becoming available on the growing Microsoft Azure cloud service gives admins another way to use the data platform while having the independence to deploy on premises, on Amazon Web Services, Azure, or both, the company said.

Using Splice Machine, the company claims, enterprises can develop and deploy smarter predictive applications that integrate integrate fast data streaming, transactional workloads, analytics and machine learning, enabling business transformation at performance and scale.

Associated reading

Using Splice Machine’s cloud service replaces or offloads traditional and cloud-based RDBMS and cloud-based or on-premises data warehouse packages. It can be used on premises with Hadoop clusters, but it masks the complexity of operating those Hadoop analytics deployments, since it handles all the data movement automatically.

Unlike most data platforms, Splice Machine is a scale-out SQL data platform that can run fast OLTP

YouTube website’s picture-in-picture works again on iOS 14

YouTube’s website now supports iOS 14’s picture-in-picture mode once again, after the functionality mysteriously disappeared last month. It can be enabled in both Safari as well as third-party browsers like Chrome or Firefox by expanding a video to play fullscreen, and then tapping the small picture-in-picture icon on the top-left of the interface. Then you’re free to minimize the browser and use other apps while the continuing to watch a video. You can also slide the PiP window to the side if you just want to hear music without the video obstructing the display.

OS-level picture-in-picture support was added as a new feature in iOS 14, but shortly afterwards stopped working on YouTube’s website for iPhone users. It continued to work for users who subscribe to YouTube Premium, perhaps unsurprisingly. It also works for iPad users.

While picture-in-picture now works in browsers, it is not available in the YouTube app itself, where MacRumors notes the feature has never been supported. Playing videos in the background is possible via the YouTube app, but only if you have a YouTube Premium subscription. 9to5Mac reports that the service recently tested a picture-in-picture mode in its iOS app, but no official announcements have been made.

Source Article

The System, book review: How the internet works and who runs it

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The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us • By James Ball • Bloomsbury • 288 pages • ISBN: 978-1-52-660724-9 • £18 (hardback) / £14 (e-book)

It’s been a while since the last book explaining how the internet works. I believe it was was in 2012, when US Senator Ted Stevens’ (R-AK) characterization of the internet as “a series of tubes”, inspired Andrew Blum to write Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet to explore the network’s oft-forgotten physical underpinnings — a theme also taken up in Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys, which showed how physics helped high-frequency traders exploit the financial markets. Now, here is James Ball, with The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us, to examine the internet and power.

Internet history can be slippery. Contrary to expectations in the 1990s — and then again in 2011, crediting social media with the Arab Spring — the internet has not changed the world’s overall system. To understand why, Ball moves methodically through network layers, starting with architects (“the mechanics”), building through protocols and cables (“the cable guys”) to governance bodies (such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN), venture capital, advertising intermediaries, intelligence agencies and their adversaries, regulators, and digital rights activists. 

Ball doesn’t try to be comprehensive: he discusses ICANN, which governs the domain name system, but not technical standards bodies such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and while the Federal Trade Commission appears as a regulator, he’s interested in network neutrality, but not the failures of antitrust law to contain the internet’s monopolies. 

Origin stories

It says something about the speed of change and the scale of its development that a new book about how the internet works is now so