Author: Greg Kumparak

Discord is launching a game store

TECHCRUNCH Just a few weeks back, Valve moved into Discord’s turf a bit with a dramatic overhaul of Steam’s chat system. Today, Discord is returning the favor by playing with the idea of selling games through its namesake chat platform. The company says it’ll launch a beta of the game store later today, though it’ll initially be limited to a small slice of its userbase (which now sits at 150 million users). More specifically, the beta will roll out to just 50,000 users from Canada at first. It’ll be dabbling in game sales on two fronts: they’ll directly sell...

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Patrick Stewart is returning to the role of Jean-Luc Picard for a new Star Trek series

TECHCRUNCH Did you ever think Patrick Stewart would return to the role of Jean-Luc Picard? Neither did he. But he will! Sir Pat Stew himself just announced the news on Instagram, timed to line up with an on-stage announcement at the Star Trek Las Vegas 2018 convention: I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course. It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over. During these past years, it has been humbling to hear stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership. I feel I’m ready to return to him for the same reason – to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life...

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Google Maps’ location sharing will now share your phone’s battery status, too

TECHCRUNCH Early in 2017, Google added a feature to Google Maps that lets you opt to share your location in (near) real time with your close friends and family. Now they’re fleshing out that info with another important little detail: your phone’s remaining battery charge. It looks like this: Wondering why anyone might care about the status of your battery? If you try to ping someone’s location and their phone is dead, there’s not much an app can do. Most location sharing apps will just sit there and spin while it waits for some sort of response, leaving you...

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Tesla is building its own AI chips for self-driving cars

TECHCRUNCH “We’ve been in semi-stealth mode on this basically for the last 2-3 years,” said Elon Musk on an earnings call today. “I think it’s probably time to let the cat out of the bag…” The cat in question: the Tesla computer. Otherwise known as “Hardware 3”, it’s a Tesla-built piece of hardware meant to be swapped into the Model S, X, and 3 to do all the number crunching required to advance those cars’ self-driving capabilities. Tesla has thus far relied on Nvidia’s Drive platform. So why switch now? By building things in-house, Tesla say it’s able to...

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Apple is ending its App Store Affiliate Program in October

TECHCRUNCH Seemingly out of the blue, Apple has just announced that its iTunes Affiliate Program will no longer include apps for iOS or macOS. These changes will go live on October 1st, 2018. The program previously allowed individuals, blogs, YouTubers, etc to link to an app and earn a small cut of the sale if a purchase was made. When the program first launched, affiliates would make 7% of any app purchase (or a little less than 7 cents on a 99 cent app.) In April of last year, they dropped that down to 2.5%. With this news, the...

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Four million people are using Apple’s OS betas

TECHCRUNCH For the past few years, Apple has made early versions of its operating systems available to those willing to brave the bugs. Through its beta software program, anyone willing to deal with spotty battery life or a crash or three could load up pre-release builds of iOS, macOS, watchOS, or tvOS. Ever wonder how many actually take advantage of it? According to Tim Cook on today’s earnings call, over four million people are currently running on the betas. Alas, that’s as detailed as he got. He didn’t break down which platforms had the most beta users (though I’d...

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Firefox is getting a new logo (or ten)

TECHCRUNCH When you think of “Firefox”, you probably think of something that looks like this: Or, perhaps, something like this: That logo (or some iteration between the two) has been the browser’s logo since it launched back in 2002. Its time for change, Mozilla says. In a blog post about “evolving the Firefox brand”, Mozilla Creative Director Tim Murray outlines the company’s thinking: Firefox isn’t just one browser now. With side projects like Firefox Rocket (the company’s browser for connections with less bandwidth) and Firefox Reality (Firefox, but for virtual reality), the company is finding it needs a bit...

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Tesla is making a $1500… surfboard?

TECHCRUNCH Tesla is no stranger to branded merch. Its got the standard company swag — the hats, the shirts, and the mugs. It’s got quirkier stuff, like miniature Teslas for kids and USB chargers shaped like the Superchargers that juice up their vehicles. And now they’ve got… surfboards? While it’s now gone for some reason (It sounds like it sold out. We’ve asked Tesla about it), a product page went live in its shop early this morning detailing a $1500 Tesla-branded board. Electrek caught the description before the page vanished: “Designed by the Tesla Design Studio in collaboration with...

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