World of Warcraft Subscription Comes with Free Expansions



Blizzard Entertainment, creator of World of Warcraft, announced something they have never done before. Starting today, (July 18, 2018) new players can gain access to all World of Warcraft content up through and including the Legion expansion simply by becoming a subscriber of World of Warcraft.

What this means is that it will no longer be necessary for new players to purchase the original World of Warcraft basegame. In addition, all existing World of Warcraft subscribers have automatically been upgraded to Legion at no additional cost.

Today we’re also upgrading the World of Warcraft: Complete Collection for new subscribers, which will include all seven expansions – including a digital pre-purchase of the upcoming Battle for Azeroth – 30 days of game time, and one 110 Character Boost.

Note: The 30 days of game time is available for new subscriptions, only.

The pre-patch for the upcoming Battle for Azeroth expansion has launched. It is still possible to pre-purchase it. Battle for Azeroth will launch, in the Americas, Europe, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia/New Zealand at the same time on August 14, 2017.

Those who are brand new subscribers to World of Warcraft need to be aware that, even though they are getting several expansions for free, they will still need to purchase the Battle for Azeroth expansion. Overall, I think this offer is a good one. People who are considering playing World of Warcraft, for the very first time, won’t have to buy eight expansions at once just to play with their friends who stayed current.


Dark Horse Comics Published Legend of Zelda Art Book



Dark Horse Comics announced The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Creating A Champion” deluxe edition hardcover (Hero’s Edition) art book. It is part of their publishing line with Nintendo America. It is available for preorder now.

This deluxe slip case edition features the royal blue worn by the Hylian Champion and includes the Creating a Champion art book with an exclusive cover, a map of Hyrule printed on cloth, an art print of the Champions’ photo Link hangs in his Hateno home, and a beautiful glass replica of a spirit orb. Bring light back to Hyrule with the Hero’s Edition!

The Creating a Champion art book is the ultimate companion to the award-winning video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and includes material from its DLC packs.

The book features:

  • Nearly 50 pages of sketches and official illustrations from Takumi Wada
  • 296 pages of design artwork and commentary about the making of the game from the creators
  • 55 page historical section that divulges an in-depth history of the Hyrule of Breath of the Wild
  • Interviews with key members of the development team including Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Saroru Takizawa, Takumi Wada, and Elji Aonuma

You can preorder “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Creating a Champion” hardcover (Hero’s Edition) now, from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, or Indigo. The regular and deluxe editions will be out on November 20, 2018.


Instapaper is Going Independent



Instapaper announced that they are going independent. As you may recall, Instapaper joined Pinterest in 2016. A few years before that, betaworks acquired Instapaper from Marco Arment.

Today, we’re announcing that Pinterest has entered into an agreement to transfer ownership of Instapaper to Instant Paper, Inc., a new company owned and operated by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper since it was sold to betaworks by Marco Arment in 2013. The ownership will occur after a 21 day waiting period designed to give our users fair notice about the change of control with respect to their personal information.

Instapaper says that not much is changing for the product outside of the new ownership. Instapaper will continue to be built and maintained by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper for the past five years. They plan to continue offering a robust service that focuses on readers and reading experience for the foreseeable future.

With Pinterest’s support, Instapaper was able to rebuild search, introduce an extension for Firefox, make a variety of optimizations for the latest mobile operating systems, and more.


Amazon Prime Day Fail #1299



Amazon Prime Day started with a massive failure for at least six hours the site was unresponsive and although I personally did not miss out on any deals a lot of people did. As we head into show 1300 on the next episode we have some mini-giveaway so listen to the show and be sure to email in your thoughts and commentary on the podcast to date. I am very pleased very few shows have made it to 1300 episodes.

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Instagram’s Questions Sticker is not Anonymous



Instagram recently introduced the Questions Sticker. It functions something like Ask.fm and Formspring. It turns out that Instagram’s Questions Sticker is not anonymous.

The Questions Sticker is an interactive feature in Instagram Stories that lets your friends submit questions for you to answer. Instagram describes it as “a fun new way to start conversations with your friends so you can get to know each other better.” Two other features, the polling sticker, and the emoji slider, are also designed to help people get to know their friends better on Instagram.

To use the Questions Sticker, you first need to take a photo or video. The example on the Instagram blog shows a photo with a Questions Sticker that says “waiting for the bus… ask me questions!” Your friends can see the sticker and tap it to reply (as many times as they like).

You can find your friends’ responses in your story’s viewers list. Tap any question they’ve asked to create a new story where you can answer it, and the question you’re answering will appear on your story for context. Though you’re able to see who submitted each response in your viewers list where it’s private, when you share that response in your story, your friend’s photo and username will not be shown.

The Guardian reported that Instagram’s Questions Sticker is not anonymous. You will be able to see who submitted each response to your questions.

The part that seems to be confusing people is that when someone shares a response publicly, the username of the person who made that response is removed. The Guardian notes that the way Instagram explained how the Questions Sticker functioned was unclear. The result is there are some very embarrassed people out there who thought their mean words could not be connected to them.


YouTube Introduces the Copyright Match Tool



YouTube has introduced a new way for copyright owners to protect their work. It is called the Copyright Match Tool. It is designed to find re-uploads of your content on other channels.

Here’s how it works: after you upload a video, YouTube will scan other videos uploaded to YouTube to see if any of them are the same or very similar. When there is a match, it will appear in the “matches” tab in the tool and you can decide what to do next.

YouTube says they have been testing the Copyright Match Tool with creators for nearly a year to make it safe and effective for the whole community.

Here is what you need to know about how the Copyright Match Tool:

  • It is important that you’re the first person to upload your video to YouTube. The time of the upload is how YouTube determines who should be shown matches.
  • This tool is intended to find full re-uploads. If you find a clip of your content that you’d like removed, you can always report it via the copyright webform.
  • Once the tool has found a match, you can chose either to do nothing, to get in touch with the other creator, or request that YouTube remove the video. When you request removal you can do so with or without a 7-day delay to allow the uploader to correct the issue themselves. Takedown requests will be reviewed to make sure they comply with YouTube’s copyright policies.
  • Before taking action, YouTube asks that you carefully evaluate each match to confirm that you own the rights to the matched content and ensure that you believe it infringes on your copyright. YouTube says you should not file a copyright takedown request for content that you do not own exclusively, such as public domain content.
  • YouTube also says you should consider whether the matched content could be considered fair use or could be subject to some other exceptions to copyright and hence not require permission for reuse.

According to YouTube, the Copyright Match Tool is not Content ID. It says the Copyright Match Tool “does use similar technology used by Content ID, but the Copyright Match Tool is a unique tool designed especially for YouTube creators who have problems with unauthorized re-uploads.”

YouTube will start rolling out the Copyright Match Tool next week to creators with more than 100k subscribers. They are intending to monitor usage closely. YouTube will expand the Copyright Match Tool “over the next coming months” with the long-term goal of making it available to every creator in the YouTube Partner program.

I can see the potential for the Copyright Match Tool to help creators. But, I can also have some concerns.

If some steals your content from somewhere outside of YouTube, and posts it to YouTube before you can, it appears YouTube will consider the thief to be the rightful owner of the content instead of the actual creator.


Battle for Azeroth Pre-Patch Goes Live Soon



The upcoming World of Warcraft expansion is called Battle for Azeroth. It is going to launch on August 14, 2018, worldwide, at the same time. Before that happens, a pre-patch will go live. This is going to happen on July 17, 2018.

Blizzard Entertainment, creator of World of Warcraft, points out that players will need to update their drivers for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.

To make the most of Battle for Azeroth and avoid potential issues, it’s important to update to the latest DirectX 12 drivers. Please note that AMD and the Intel GPUs will default to DX12, while NVIDIA drivers will remain at DX11 with the option to update at a later time.

Some of the new features of the pre-patch have been revealed. Others will be revealed later in the official patch notes (which, at the time I am writing this blog, is described as “coming soon”.)

Features that are arriving with the pre-patch include:

  • War Mode, PVP Talents, and More: War Mode tears down boundaries and server rule-set distinctions, allowing players on any realm to decide when they want to jump into a world PVP experience full of like-minded players in the ongoing battle between Horde and Alliance.
  • Legion PVP Post-Season:Join in the PVP action and earn some new gear just in time for the launch of the Battle for Azeroth.
  • World of Warcraft Communities: Bring your friends and family of the same faction together cross-realm through our new World of Warcraft Communities feature.

Nintendo NES Classic #1298



Great news the Nintendo NES Classic is available in massive quantities. I advanced ordered mine tonight with no issue, we will see if I actually get one this time. Plus as great deal on some external SSD drives that were a bit to hard to pass up. Also I have a Mac Mini of 7 years on it’s last legs (maybe) I give you and update on that plus all the tech news of the day.

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Twitter is Removing Locked Accounts from Your Follower Count



Twitter announced that it is removing locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally. This is being done as part of Twitter’s ongoing effort to build trust and encourage healthy conversation on Twitter.

Over the years, we’ve locked accounts when we detected sudden changes in account behavior. In these situations, we reach out to the owners of the accounts and unless they validate the account and reset their passwords, we keep them locked with no ability to log in. This week, we will be removing these locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally. As a result, the number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down.

Twitter says that most people will see a change of four followers or fewer. Those who have larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop. In short, if you happen to notice that you have a smaller number of followers than before – this could be the reason why.

Locked accounts are ones in which Twitter has detected sudden changes in account behavior. Twitter may lock the account and contact the owner to confirm that they still have control over the account. Sudden changes in behavior may include: tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies or mentions, tweeting misleading links, or if a large number of accounts block the account after mentioning them.

Twitter sometimes locks an account if they “see email and password combinations from other services posted online and believe that information could put the security of an account at risk.” When that happens, Twitter requires those accounts to change their passwords for protection. Until Twitter confirms that everything is ok, they lock the account – which makes them unable to tweet or see ads.

The accounts Twitter is focusing on are not bot accounts. Instead, these are accounts that were created by real people – but Twitter cannot confirm that the original person who opened the account still has control and access to it.


NASA Invites Social Media Users to Attend Rocket Launch



NASA is inviting social media users to apply for credentials to attend the launch of the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, aboard United Launch Alliance’s Delta II rocket. The rocket will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California. The target date is no earlier than September 12, 2018.

Attendees at NASA’s ICESat -2 Launch Social at Vandenberg will have the chance to post, blog, tweet, Instagram, snap and more to engage their followers on social media. A maximum of 50 social media users will be selected to attend, and will be given access to similar news media.

NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in a special televised pre-launch briefing
  • Witness the last launch of the Delta II rocket
  • Speak with ICESat-2 mission scientists and engineers
  • View and take photographs of the Delta II rocket on the launch pad
  • Tour facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base
  • Interact with NASA social media managers and fellow space & Earth science enthusiasts

Those who are interested can register on the NASA website. Registration opened on July 6, 2018, and will close at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 22, 2018. You must have a social media account to register.

You must be a U.S. citizen to attend the event. To be admitted to the event, you must provide a form of unexpired government-issued identification. It must be a photo ID and match the name provided on the registration. Visit the NASA website for more information.