Author: Greg Kumparak

Discord’s new game store rolls out to the rest of the world today

TECHCRUNCH When Discord first launched its new built-in game store just a few weeks back, there was one big caveat: at first, it was available to only a tiny, tiny slice of its 150M users. 50,000 of them, to be exact — all of them in Canada. Today it’s going global. Discord says that access to its store should be rolling out to the rest of the world throughout the day. Discord’s move to become a store comes just weeks after Valve overhauled the chat system in Steam. While perhaps a coincidence, the timing certainly felt very “two-can-play-at-that-game”. When...

Read More

Watch Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot leap up massive steps like it’s nothing

TECHCRUNCH Two years ago, Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot ATLAS needed a big ol’ safety tether to shuffle its way down a flat hiking trail. Five years ago it needed a big, bolted-down support structure to keep itself upright. Now it’s casually leaping up and over obstacles that would leave many humans huffing and puffing. The company demonstrated Atlas’ newly-found hops in a video published this morning: [embedded content] It starts with a lil’ leap over a log before Atlas bounds its way right up a set of 40 cm (1.3ft) steps. While just getting a massive, heavy robot to walk on two feet is a feat few companies have cracked, there’s a whole set of new challenges at play here. Getting Atlas’ limbs up and over the step, while appropriately shifting the weight and momentum onto one foot without the whole thing face planting… it’s a complicated set of mechanics. Notice the sideways leaps, and — particularly in the slow motion cut at the 9 second mark — the way the hips/feet seem to angle a bit to compensate. (For the curious: Atlas weighs around 180 lbs, as of the last time Boston Dynamics disclosed the numbers) At this point, we’ve gone from “Haha neat look at the funny robot running like a human” to “I’m pretty sure that robot could beat me up.” Wondering what the company is...

Read More

Pokémon GO will get Gen IV Pokémon “soon”

TECHCRUNCH It’s been about 10 months since the last big batch of Pokémon (Gen III, as it’s known) started rolling out in Pokémon GO. At this point, if you’re still playing GO, you’ve probably caught just about everything there is to catch. Missing that feeling of adding something new to your Pokédex? Good news: Gen IV is “arriving soon”. Confirmation of the looming launch comes by way of a teaser trailer just dropped by Niantic and The Pokemon Company: [embedded content] Sadly, “soon” is about as specific as they’re getting right now. While Gen 4 (otherwise known as the...

Read More

Watch Google unveil the Pixel 3 and more here!

TECHCRUNCH [embedded content] Each October, Google throws one big “Made by Google” event to show off all of the new gadgets it’s been working on for months. Today is that day. The event will start at 9 AM Pacific (12 PM in New York, 5 PM in London, and 12 AM Tuesday in China), and you can tune in right here. While Google probably has some surprises up its sleeve, a seemingly endless stream of leaks has given us a good idea of what might be in store today. The Pixel 3 (the latest iteration of Google’s built-in-house Android...

Read More

Banksy piece immediately shreds itself after being sold for $1.25M

TECHCRUNCH In what might be the most ridiculous stunt ever pulled in the art world, a Banksy piece has, in a sense, self-destructed. Right in front of an audience of would-be buyers. A framed canvas version of Banksy’s Girl with Balloon was set to be auctioned at Sothebys in London. As the auction came to a close with a final bid of £953,829 (a little over $1.25 million), the print’s frame began… beeping. Then, whirring. Seconds later, the canvas slid through the bottom of the frame, now almost entirely shredded. The anonymous artist has long expressed a dislike of art galleries reselling their works, down to creating a piece featuring an audience of bidders battling over a print that reads, simply, “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this shit”. This seems to be Banksy’s latest way of expressing their discontent. Of course, it’s easy to argue that the whole thing makes the piece even more desirable, because, well… art. If people with mountains of cash are buying art to have a ridiculously rare conversation piece that they hope others recognize, this one just rocketed up the list. It’s now that piece. Or technically those pieces, I guess. Curiously, the canvas didn’t make it all the way through the shredder — did it jam, or was that intentional? By leaving about 1/3 of the print in the frame, the...

Read More

Tesla cars are getting a big update today, but one feature got held back

TECHCRUNCH After a few months of hype, version 9.0 of the software that runs on Teslas is rolling out starting today. There’s a bit of a catch, though: one of the bigger expected features — one that would let Tesla’s autopilot handle passing cars and automatically make highway interchanges — is being delayed for now. So what’s new? Newer Teslas (those built after August 2017) can now use the built-in forward-facing cameras as a Dashcam. If you need to save some footage of what’s going on in front of your car, a new dash cam icon will save the last 10 minutes of footage There’s a new UI on the center display across all of the vehicles, cleaning things up while making the user experience a good bit more consistent between the Model S/X and the 3. The Model 3’s center display is getting a web browser (something the Model S and X have had for a while, but the 3 has been missing.) along with a calendar and real-time energy monitoring tool Turn-by-turn now shows more information (particularly about your next steps), and you can tell the car whether or not you’re currently allowed to use the carpool lane and it’ll factor that into its routing. Autopilot will now disable full-speed acceleration when you’re at low speeds when there’s something in front of the car. If you’re parking...

Read More

Someone recreated Apple’s new campus with 85,000 LEGO bricks and it’s excellent

TECHCRUNCH 2018 has been a good year for ridiculous, gargantuan LEGO builds. Just weeks ago, there was that life size, driveable LEGO Bugatti. Now someone has gone and built a mega-sized recreation of Apple’s new Cupertino “spaceship” campus – otherwise known as Apple Park. Coming in at roughly 85,000 pieces, the build took designer Spencer_R a little over two years to complete, with many of those hours spent poring over drone footage of the campus’ construction. At 6.8×4.5 ft, it’s bigger than most kitchen tables. Spencer says it weighs around 78 pounds. Beyond the massive circular building that serves as the build’s primary feature, tons and tons of tiny details accent the brick canvas: its got the glass-walled Steve Jobs Theater, the hundred-year old Glendenning Barn that was disassembled and rebuilt on the property, the employee parking garages, the visitor center, and even some tiny employee basketball/tennis courts for good measure. Oh, and trees. Lots, and lots, and lots of trees. 1,646 trees in all, by Spencer’s count. This is hardly Spencer’s first time recreating a mega building — he’s done custom creations of everything from the Eiffel Tower to the Rockefeller Center. With that said, he notes that Apple Park is “nearly as large as all of [his] other LEGO skyscraper builds combined” For more build details, you can tap through Spencer_R’s gallery/build notes here. Thank you to...

Read More

Jon Favreau’s new Star Wars streaming series will be called “The Mandalorian”

TECHCRUNCH We’ve known for a few months now that Jon Favreau was working on a live-action Star Wars series for Disney’s upcoming (but as of yet unnamed) streaming service. But that’s about all we knew. Until now! Favreau just dropped a few huge details out of nowhere. In a surprise Instagram post, Favreau mentioned: It’s at least tentatively called “The Mandalorian”. For the unfamiliar, Mandalorians are a group of warriors in the Star Wars universe. The most famous Mandalorians are Jango and Boba Fett, though Favreau notes that this series will focus on “another warrior.” It’ll take place “after...

Read More

Right Now in Politics and Business