Google Chrome Kills Auto Play #1268

Google Chrome development team has taken a stand and they will in an upcoming release of chrome silence any video that auto plays upon page load. This is big deal and has been one my biggest annoyances with sites for a long time very much overdue. Lot’s of pivotal news today so get your fix of the Geek News Central Podcast

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Pokémon GO Eggstravaganza Returns!

The Pokémon GO Eggstravaganza has returned! It begins on March 22, at 1:00 p.m. PDT, and will end on April 2. If you missed out on last year’s Eggstravaganza event, now is your chance to participate.

This year, an even greater variety of Pokémon will be found in 2 km Eggs, and only those Eggs will be available from PokéStops throughout the event! This means that Pokémon that normally hatch from 5 km or 10 km Eggs, such as Wynaut or Raults, will be found in 2 km Eggs until the event ends on April 2 at 1:00 p.m. PDT. There will also be an increased hatch rate of certain Pokémon, such as Pichu and Togepi.

Players who participate in the Eggstravaganza will receive bonus Candy for every Egg hatched during the event. Double Stardust will also be available throughout the event. The Pokémon GO in-game shop has special boxes which include Super Incubators and Star Pieces.

The emphasis in this year’s event is the same as last year. The overall goal is to hatch as many Eggs as possible before the event ends. The difference is that last year’s event offered players double XP (experience points), but this year’s Eggstravaganza doesn’t.

Amazon GameOn Enables Cross-Platform Competitive Game Play

Amazon has launched Amazon GameOn. It is a set of flexible APIs built on AWS cloud infrastructure that works on any operating system. It was created to be an easy tool for game developers to use to drive engagement between their games and the people who play them.

GameOn is a set of flexible APIs built on AWS cloud infrastructure and works on any operating system, giving you the ability to scale quickly, while allowing you to invest more time in what you do best – designing great games. With GameOn you have an easy tool to bring more players in on the action – allowing them to compete for real world prizes fulfilled by Amazon or other in-game rewards. Drive engagement and increase monetization of your games by adding leaderboards, leagues, and multi-round competitions to your games, or strengthen your fanbase by allowing players and streamers to create their own user-generated competitions.

Features include:

  • Real-world and in-game prizes: Reward your players with in-game and real-world prizes fulfilled by Amazon.
  • Flexible competition creation: Create new or recurring leaderboards, leagues, and multi-round tournaments.
  • User-generated competitions: Allow players to create and manage their own leaderboards and competitions
  • Easy management with the GameOn console: Manage competitions with ease and access reporting on player behavior.
  • Keep competition fun and fair: Define entry requirements such as geographic location, device type, player skill level, and more.
  • Engage fans at events: Create competitions at events like gaming conventions, music festivals and meetups.

To celebrate the launch of Amazon GameOn, Amazon is offering free use of the GameOn APIs until May 1, 2018, to all developers.

Facebook Privacy Fake Rage #1267

Facebook Privacy and fake rage seems to be the predominant topic today. Are facebook uses that ignorant to think that they are not the product on the website. I find it laughable. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram all know us better then our families do. What are people really expecting that Facebook was not collecting and sharing data on you. Lets get real. All of that and the latest tech news.

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Epic Games Released $12 Million of Paragon Content for Free

Epic Games has released $12,000,000 worth of content from Paragon, Epic’s high-end action MOBA, for free to all Unreal Engine 4 developers. These assets, built at a cost of over $12,000,000, encompass 20 triple-A characters and over 1,500 environment components from Paragon.

The content is now available free of charge in the Unreal Engine Marketplace, where developers may download Paragon packs to use in their UE4 projects. It includes 20 AAA quality characters, with their respective skins, animations, VFX and dialogue, along with over 1,500 environments from Paragon.

Available Paragon assets include:

Characters: 20 Paragon Hero characters will initially be available including all skins for distinct character variants. The release also includes base meshes, thousands of textures, VFX and animation cycles, and dialogue with hundreds of sound cues. The character Shinbi comes with an animation Blueprint which can be tailored to specific needs.

Environments: The Paragon release includes over 15,000 environment assets created for the Agora and Monolith maps, including a sample map for developers to use and customize as desired.

More to Come: Epic will release millions of dollars worth of additional Paragon asset packs beyond the $12 million offering through spring and summer of 2018.

RIFT’s Carnival of the Ascended has Begun!

RIFT turns 7 this year. Players can celebrate with the Carnival of the Ascended which began on March 15, 2018, and will run through April 5, 2018.

Seven years has flown by in the blink of an eye – let’s mark the occasion with all of our traditional Carnival events in Tempest Bay. We welcome all Live server players to grab a piece of 7 Year birthday cake and join the celebrations! Wait up, say Prime server players … Tempest Bay? We haven’t found Tempest Bay Yet! Ahh, very true, though you’ve clearly heard rumors of the fun going on there, like echos from a past life. Likewise, a traveling merchant has heard of this new, far off land called Vigil and is even now packing up his mule train to bring you a taste of Carnival! Look for Winachuck Maguck in Sanctum and Meridian. Yes, he has mastered the arcane art of being in two places at once!

New Carnival items available for event currency include:

  • A carousel-style Pegasus companion pet named Celeste
  • Newly designed carnival-style masks
  • Players who are “feeling bubbly” can apply the new Celebratory or Prismatic weapon rune
  • Players who want to throw around some virtual coin can use the Golden or Silver rune of Wealth
  • The Primal Rebirthday Cake has unlimited shelf life
  • Earn a new Raid Tier 2 Earring for level 70’s (RIFT live, only)
  • New 7th Anniversary Cape

Available on the RIFT store for credits:

  • New Wings of the Archfey – “make your own Carnival parade while wearing these beauties”
  • New Mount – Greeñata – a unique floating mount form

Brutality is a Medieval Combat Brawler Board Game

Brutality is a PVP (player vs player) medieval combat brawler board game. It is designed for 2 to 4 players. The Brutality Kickstarter has 19 days to go (at the time I am writing this post). Its goal was $42,000, and it currently has $69,969. It was funded in 29 hours.

Brutality comes with 8 figures, 8 Hero Cards, 56 Relic Cards, 10 Artifact Cards, more than 60 Hazard Tiles, and a Game Board. It appears that some of the Kickstarter stretch goals have been reached, and this could result in additional Heroes being added to the game box.

To win, your team must destroy the other team using brutal attacks, relics, artifacts, and environmental hazards. Each team selects 2 Heroes, each with their own special attacks and moves.

Relic cards change up the game in ways that can be beneficial for you, or harmful to your enemies. Artifact cards have powerful effects with cooldowns. The Environmental Hazards can be used like traps or weapons against the other team’s Heroes.

Stephen Hawking RIP #1266

Stephen Hawking has died and with that a great mind and scientist RIP. The show today is made up of a bunch of mini-stories not a lot of super big stories. So it’s a little shorter have fun.

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AdPlugg Can Now be Used for AMP Ads

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a technology from Google that makes your pages load faster in mobile browsers. AdPlugg can now be used to serve ads into your AMP formatted pages.

AdPlugg can schedule, rotate, and report on the ads that appear in your AMP pages. This might be useful for those who want to include ads on their website, and it could potentially get your website more traffic from mobile users.

The standard way to implement AMP is to have two page urls, one regular one and an AMP one. Mobile browsers are told to use the AMP version. Pages that adhere to AMP standard often load almost twice as fast as a regular web page. This is due to a simplified structure, improved cachability and the elimination (or deferment) of slow moving resources.

AMP points out that it has strict standards regarding what can appear on an AMP page. This is to ensure fast load times. In order for an element to appear on an AMP page, it needs to be an officially approved AMP extension.

AdPlugg is now an official AMP extension and a provider of amp ads. AMP has also integrated with the AMP WordPress plugin from Automattic to make it easy to place ads into your WordPress powered AMP pages.

There is a helpful step-by-step list on the AMP website that walks you through how to make this work. It also has a brief description on how to add tags manually or programatically for people who are not using WordPress. Interestingly, AMP has a link you can click to see what the AMP version of their post about AdPlugg would look like on a mobile device.

Wikispaces Says Farewell

Wikispaces has been around since 2005. It is used by educators, companies, and individuals across the globe. Those who are currently using Wikispaces need to find an alternative soon. Wikispaces has announced that it is time for them to say farewell.

Over the last twelve months we have been carrying out a complete technical review of the infrastructure and software we use to serve Wikispaces users. As part of the review, it became apparent that the required investment to bring the infrastructure and code in line with modern standards is very substantial. We have explored all possible options for keeping Wikispaces running but have had to conclude that it is no longer viable to continue to run the service in the long term. So, it is with no small degree of nostalgia, that we will begin to close down later this year.

Wikispace is going to undertake a phased shutdown approach. This is being done to regulate the system load on the export tool as users depart from Wikispaces. If you have stuff on Wikispaces that you want to keep, it appears you should begin making use of the export tool as soon as possible.

Scheduled Closure dates:

  • Classroom and Free Wikis end of service: July 31, 2018
  • Plus and Super Wikis end of service: September 30, 2018
  • Private Label Wikis end of service: January 31st 2019