Google and Nest’s hardware teams are joining forces

Google acquired home automation company Nest back in 2014 for $ 3.2 billion. Now Google is integrating the smaller company even more by merging the Nest and Google Hardware teams into one working group. As noted by CNET, Google's AI, which powers its…
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Where are our cyber peacekeeping forces?

Cyber warfare is upon us, from interference in elections to a leak of cyber weapons from a national stockpile. And, as with most evolutions in warfare, the world is largely unprepared. Cyber peacekeeping presents significant challenges, which we explore in our research. Any theatre of war now includes cyberspace. It has been used in targeted attacks to disable an adversary’s capabilities, such as Stuxnet, where Iran’s ability to enrich weapon-grade Uranium was disrupted. It can also be exploited in traditional warfare through electronic interference with intelligence and communication systems. With little to guide nations and scant experience to build upon,…

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The Next Web

Discord and Spotify Join Forces to Let Users of Both Listen to Music Together

Two of the apps I find myself using the most on my iPhone are Discord [Free] and Spotify Music [Free]. Neither should need any kind of introduction, but in case you haven’t heard of them, Discord is a gamer-centric chat service that spawned from the defunct mobile MOBA Fates Forever (another piece of Discord trivia: Some of the same folks behind OpenFeint are in charge of Discord). We’ve got really awesome TouchArcade Discord Server that’s filled with hundreds of people talking about iOS gaming around the clock. We also use it to coordinate TouchArcade content, so the whole TouchArcade crew is super active. Spotify Music is my preferred online music service, largely because I’ve been using it forever and now I’m so deep in the Spotify ecosystem with different Spotify-connected hardware and services I can’t ever leave. (This is how they get ya’!) That being said, I have zero complaints with Spotify and the $ 9.99 I give them is some of the best money I’ll spend in a month.

On Discord, music bots have been a thing for a while now. Basically, a bot joins your server and then using convoluted chat commands you can make them play music over a voice channel so you can have a shared listening experience with friends. Well, Discord and Spotify just teamed up and if you update your Discord client you can link them directly to do everything music bots used to do, but with way better functionality and user experience as it’s all baked directly into Discord.

The integration is super simple, but if you get stuck anywhere take a look at this page for help on getting your Spotify account linked and how to use all the new stuff. You’ll need to have Spotify premium to use the group listening functionality, but, as I said, a premium subscription is a great way to spend money. Now get your butt over to the TouchArcade Discord Server!


Ketchapp and Tencent Join Forces to Conquer the Chinese Mobile Game World

While we don’t cover a ton of industry news like this on TouchArcade, when it involves China I always think it’s fascinating as it’s really difficult to even wrap your head around the sheer scale of things over there. Here’s the gist: Ketchapp catapulted into popularity with the release of 2048 [Free] and since then has been rapid-fire releasing mini games on to the App Store that all seem to get glued at #1 top free for at least a moderate amount of time. (For instance, right now Finger Driver [Free] holds the top spot.) Meanwhile, Tencent is the biggest investment corporation in the world and has their finger in practically every pie imaginable, particularly in the mobile sector, as their chat app WeChat [Free] has just under one billion monthly active users. In the mix with WeChat is Weixin, which is sort of the same app with slight differences which largely seem to have to do with segregating things inside and outside of China.

Anyway, Weixin is the most popular mobile app in China to an extent that’s truly unbelievable. It’s not at all hyperbole to say that everyone with a phone capable of having Weixin has it installed and uses it on the regular. They recently added a game platform to Weixin that they’re calling “Weixin mini-game” which works pretty similar to the Facebook’s Instant Games. You play them without ever leaving the app, or downloading additional applications. Everything exists inside of Weixin, which removes almost all barriers of entry to people playing these games.

Ketchapp is one of the first partners added to the Weixin mini-game platform, and soon those 980 million monthly active users will have access to all sorts of Ketchapp games right inside of the same chat app that everyone is glued to. It’s hard to really think of anything that compares in Western markets, as I’d say that Facebook’s platform is probably the closest thing we have to WeChat, but it seems like the traction that Facebook gets with all the additional stuff they keep adding to Facebook Messenger [Free]. Comparatively, folks seem to go wild for these WeChat additions, making this an absolutely massive slam dunk for Ketchapp and its parent company Ubisoft.

What does this mean for mobile gamers in the west? Probably not much, but it’s wild how different all these markets can be even though we’re all on the exact same platform.


iPhone battery fire forces brief evacuation of Zurich Apple store

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An Apple store in Zurich, Switzerland was temporarily evacuated on Tuesday after an iPhone’s battery at the service desk overheated in the middle of a removal procedure, emitting smoke.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News