Developer Spunge Games has spent the past couple of years making spin-offs and updates that all stem from their endless driver/crasher Faily Brakes, but they’ve now announced a brand new project outside of the Faily world. It’s called Rev Heads Rally and Spunge describes it as “A combative racer that plays homage to Mario Kart – but with real physics and dynamic crashes along with real-time multiplayer and an exciting AR mode.” Hey, I’m sold on that quick pitch! Of course, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is just a ton of pictures in motion, so that’s, like, millions of words worth or something. Basically what I’m trying to say is watch this teaser for Rev Heads Rally to see what it’s like in action.
Rev Heads Rally is shooting for a simple control scheme with auto-acceleration and touching either side of the screen to steer, with buttons available for boosting and activating your power-up items. The release date is pegged for the end of April, but until then you can find a bit more information (with apparently even more to come in the coming days) as well as some discussion about Rev Heads Rallyin our forums, and look for this one towards the end of next month.
Feral Interactive has shipped its port of the Codemasters off-road racing game ‘Dirt Rally’ to macOS, bringing the simulation of driving at high speed through forests to the Mac two years after the game was originally released on other platforms. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
Feral Interactive is bringing the Codemasters off-road racing game ‘Dirt Rally’ to macOS later this year, two years after its initial release on other platforms, with the port of the rally simulation title being developed with support for Metal 2, Apple’s updated graphics API. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
Plus, a digital media veteran takes over the LA Times, CNN launches a daily news show on Snap, and how do you follow totality?
President Trump returns tonight to a deeply divided Arizona for a nighttime rally with his core supporters in Phoenix. The state’s two senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, are among Trump’s most vocal critics within the Republican Party. Last night, Trump gave a speech — his first nationally televised prime-time address since January — outlining a new strategy to carry on the nearly 16-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, which will likely call for the deployment of up to 4,000 more U.S. troops. [CNN.com]
Digital media veteran Ross Levinsohn is the new publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times. Levinsohn made his digital reputation by helping News Corp acquire Myspace in 2005, and he ran Yahoo for a stretch; this is his first newspaper. His appointment is part of the paper’s latest restructuring under management by the Tronc conglomerate, which also resulted in the firing of several top editors. [Peter Kafka / Recode]
In an effort to get more video in front of more young people, CNN launched a daily news show exclusively for Snapchat. NBC launched a twice-daily news show on Snapchat last month; CNN’s three-to-five-minute “The Update” will run every day at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, teens are leaving Facebook faster than expected, according to a new study — but lots of those teens are turning to Instagram, which Facebook owns. The study also predicts that Snapchat will be bigger than both Facebook and Instagram in the 12- to 17-year-old and 18- to 24-year-old categories by the end of the year. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]
Facebook has made a permanent page for Safety Check, its feature for letting others know that you’re safe during an emergency. The dedicated tab, which will roll out in the next few weeks, lists catastrophes and crises all over the world. [Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge]
Smartphone “hijackings” are on the rise: In a growing number of online attacks, hackers are calling up carriersand asking them to transfer control of a victim’s mobile phone number to a device under the control of the hackers; they can then reset the passwords on every account that uses the phone number as a security backup. [Nathaniel Popper / The New York Times]
Apple CEO Tim Cook could potentially collect his maximum 2017 performance award — 280,000 shares — if the company’s current stock performance holds through an Aug. 24 deadline. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
Technology giants like Amazon, Spotify, Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter and many others are rallying today in a so-called “day of action” in support of net neutrality, five days ahead of the first deadline for comments on the US Federal Communications Commission’s planned rollback of the rules.
In a move that’s equal parts infuriating and exasperating, Ajit Pai, the FCC’s new chairman appointed by President Trump, wants to scrap the open internet protections installed in 2015 under the Obama administration. Those consumer protections mean providers such as AT&T, Charter, Comcast, and Verizon are prevented from blocking or slowing down access to the web.
Sites across the web will display alerts on their homepages showing…
Web giants like Amazon and Google join with other sites, like OkCupid, PornHub and Vimeo, to protest the FCC’s work to undo existing rules.
Some of the internet’s biggest brands — from web giants like Amazon and Google to dating apps, porn sites and streaming-video staples — will try to mobilize their users beginning Wednesday in a bid to stop the U.S. government from scrapping its net neutrality rules.
The online protest next week is the latest attempt by Silicon Valley and its Democratic allies to thwart the Federal Communications Commission, which under its new Republican chairman, Ajit Pai, has sought to undo regulations that prevent companies like AT&T, Charter, Comcast* and Verizon from blocking or slowing down web content, including the movie or music offerings from their competitors.
Pai has stressed he supports an open internet — but he believes the existing rules, imposed during the Obama administration, are too “heavy handed.” He already has the votes at the FCC to proceed with his plans.
But liberal activists, internet companies and others — many of which lobbied intensely for the strong open internet protections that the FCC adopted in 2015 — aren’t going down without a fight. Led by the groups Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and Free Press, they’ll resume their campaign, called Battle for the Net, for a full day of activity next week in an attempt to sway the agency from its course.
“We’ve spent so much time [defending net neutrality rules] that we’re not going to go down without a fight,” said Mark Stanley, who runs communications and operations for Demand Progress. “If we can bring enough pressure to bear, we think there’s a small chance Pai will reconsider his proposal, his path forward.”
Among the participants on Wednesday is the Internet Association, the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying voice for the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter. The group is launching a special GIF-filled website to explain the wonky history behind net neutrality, and it’ll direct visitors to the FCC so that they can file comments with the agency, which until July 17 is collecting public feedback on Pai’s plans for repeal.
Some of the Internet Association’s members, like Netflix, will also encourage their customers to view the lobbying group’s new advocacy hub next week, a spokesman said. And other tech giants belonging to the Internet Association, like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter, all confirmed to Recode they had their own plans to participate in the so-called “day of action” — but they each declined to provide additional details about their specific activities.
In the end, however, net neutrality advocates acknowledge they face an uphill battle at a Republican-dominated FCC. But they said they wouldn’t relent in a fight that’s only in its earliest stages, given the likelihood that the telecom agency’s work is likely to draw a challenge in federal court.
“Just because the votes are stacked in one way doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t show up,” said Michael Beckerman, the leader of the Internet Association.
“The FCC’s looking for comments here. They hear the comments. And also this is not going to end with the FCC,” he continued. “Unfortunately, this is an issue that has bounced back and forth between the FCC and the courts … This is not going to be the last thing.”
Rousing online opposition is a familiar strategy for net neutrality advocates, who generated a similar groundswell — roughly four million comments in total — when the FCC last considered net neutrality in 2014. At the time, tech companies and consumer groups alike agonized for the agency, led by Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler, to subject telecom giants to utility-like regulation, an approach Wheeler ultimately adopted.
Serving then as a commissioner, Pai voted against the plan. Now, as chairman, he aims to roll the rules back, a move widely favored by the telecom industry. And much like before, the tech industry believes it can turn the tide if it can just rally enough public, bruising political opposition to Pai’s plans.
To that end, Mozilla will try to rile the netroots during the day of action on Wednesday through its popular Firefox browser. When users open a new tab or window, they’ll see a bulletin directing them to a special website where they can write comments to the FCC.
It’s a strategy Mozilla has adopted in the past — on issues like surveillance reform and online privacy — often with great success, said Chris Riley, the director of public policy at Mozilla. He said the bulletins had “sent tens or hundreds of thousands of eyeballs to advocacy pages.”
OkCupid plans to send a message to users of its online-dating app, encouraging them to visit Battle for the Net’s website and sound off at the FCC in defense of net neutrality. Medium will display an alert on its website, too. And Automattic, the company behind WordPress, will arm its blog owners with a new widget: Users who turn it on will be able to display a supportive net neutrality banner on their websites, as well as a fake webpage loading sign that calls attention to the dangers of online fast and slow lanes.
The video-streaming platform Vimeo plans to feature a one-minute piece, “front and center” on its home page, explaining the importance of strong open-internet rules, said Michael Cheah, the company’s general counsel. They’ll also send viewers to the Battle for the Net website next week.
Asked about the protest, Cheah told Recode the goal is to put the FCC “on notice that you’re rolling back a popular issue.”
“This is something consumers want, the tech community wants, and you’re doing it for the benefit of a very small group of cable providers,” he said.
The online-activism site Change.org already has launched a petition — by Friday, it had 638 signatures — stressing that net neutrality is crucial for the “ability to organize grassroots movements, whether locally or across the globe.” Even PornHub is participating. It’s one of a few porn websites, in fact, planning to display a message to site viewers about the importance of strong net neutrality.
The nation’s leading ISPs, however, plan to fire back. According to sources familiar with the matter, one of the lobbying groups that represents the industry, Broadband for America, will run digital and social ads next week — complete with the requisite cat GIF — calling on Congress to pass a new law implementing net neutrality.
* Comcast, through its NBCU arm, is an investor in Vox Media, which owns this website.