Quick Takes: WebKit Team Teases ‘Cool New Apple Products’ as Rumors Persist About Red iPhones

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In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Monday, April 2

  • WebKit’s verified Twitter account teases “cool new Apple products” in the pipeline: WebKit is the open source web browser engine used by Safari on macOS and iOS, so the tweet from the Apple-owned account could be referring to a wide range of different products.

  • What Apple’s education announcements mean for accessibility: Accessibility expert and former special educator Steven Aquino believes that an iPad is far superior to a Chromebook in many levels of special education. Nevertheless, he feels there is enormous potential for Apple to go further. For example, he says Apple could broaden its new Schoolwork app to incorporate Individualized Education Programs.
  • Red-colored iPhones may still be coming: On March 21, 2017, Apple unveiled a special (PRODUCT)RED edition of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Rumor has it Apple may do so again this year with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and/or iPhone X at some point this month.

  • macOS 10.13.4 and external displays with DisplayLink software aren’t playing friendly: In the meantime, DisplayLink has released a new version 4.3 driver that will enable clone mode, but not mirror or extended mode displays on macOS 10.13.4. The notice from DisplayLink’s website:

    We have become aware that installing macOS release version 10.13.4 will cause DisplayLink connected displays to go blank after the OS upgrade, with the current DisplayLink driver [4.1] installed. Functionality such as Ethernet and audio, where implemented, is unaffected. We have alerted Apple to this issue and are working hard to find a resolution. These features continue to work as expected in macOS 10.13.3.

  • Chrome Remote Desktop and Hotels.com apps optimized for iPhone X display: The updates are available from the App Store. The wait continues for a handful of other popular apps, including Inbox by Gmail, Google Authenticator, iMovie, and Amazon Alexa.

For more coverage of Apple, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also head to our forums to join in the discussion.

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‘Marvel Strike Force’ Guide – How to Assemble a Great Team for Free

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Marvel Strike Force [Free] is the kind of game that you would have assumed already existed. It’s a turn-based strategy RPG that has you gather five Marvel superheroes, villains, or in some cases, a mixture of both, and pit them against the teams of other players (asynchronously, alas) or waves of AI opponents from the movies and comics. If comparisons are more your thing, it’s a lot like Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes except with Marvel characters and by a different developer, FoxNext Games. Even if you’ve never played that game, chances are you’ve played something similar on mobile and Marvel Strike Force won’t be extremely difficult for you to grasp.

That said, we want you to get the most bang for your buck, or even better, bang for no bucks. Read on and you’ll be exposed to all of our tips and cheats for playing as much as possible and unlocking heroes and villains without spending a dime — unless you want to, of course.


 

Marvel Strike Force Basics: How to Fight Your Foes

Marvel Strike Force uses a turn-based system where the order of actions in combat is determined by the characters’ speed. Each character on both sides of a fight has a blue bar under his or her health, and when it fills up, it’s their turn to act. When it’s one of your character’s turns, you’ll see a circle under them and icons for their possible actions in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

Marvel Strike Force

Every character has one basic attack, which will be the first icon. The other icons represent additional attacks or abilities, which can include heals, buffs or debuffs, taunts which force enemies to attack them or multi-target attacks. Tapping and holding down on an icon will tell you exactly what that ability does. The small boxes above each ability signify whether or not it is ready to use, as all of them must be full before the ability can be activated. Think of these as another form of cooldown timer.

A red crosshairs appears on your character’s current target, which you can switch to another enemy simply by tapping on them. Tap the ability to activate it and you’ll see the ability play out, usually with some pretty cool animation.

That’s all there really is to it. Except for some specific scenarios where you must keep an NPC alive, activate a machine or survive for a specified number of turns, battles in Marvel Strike Force proceed until one side or the other is completely eliminated. The only other thing you need to know is that there are buttons in the upper-left corner that can speed up the action two or three times if you’re the impatient sort or automatically play the battle for you (that one looks like a fast-forward icon) if it’s an easy encounter that you are grinding out for some reason.


 

Know Your Modes: Everything You Can Do in the Game at Launch

One of the more common complaints about Marvel Strike Force during its release is that you quickly run out of Campaign Energy. That’s a fair gripe because every Campaign battle costs at least 6 units of Energy to play, so you can run out of it pretty quickly. Energy recharges slowly over time, and somewhat confusingly, there is a special currency called Campaign Energy Refill and the option of spending Power Cores, the game’s premium currency, to refill instantly.

Marvel Strike Force

Nevertheless, there’s actually a lot more to do than just the Campaign mode, though other modes require you to level up before they all unlock. Here’s a brief overview of all of them in the game at launch.

  • Campaigns – These are where the game’s story unfolds, with chapters requiring only heroes, only villains or a mix of the two. Campaigns cost Campaign Energy to play, can be replayed to farm specific rewards and can even be auto-played once you clear them with three stars — although Auto Win still costs you the same amount of Campaign Energy, so all it saves you is time.
  • Challenges – This rotating set of daily battles can earn you specific loot like Gold (the game’s basic currency), Health Packs, Training Modules and more. Each Challenge can only be played three times in its 24-hour period, though they have multiple difficulty levels with better rewards as you move up. You can also choose to Auto Win a Challenge once you’ve cleared it with three stars.
  • Arena – Here’s where you battle asynchronously against the teams of other players, using a mixed squad — so in other words, your best five characters, hero or villain. You have to set a squad for defense as well (which can be exactly the same one), and then you pick from one of three possible opponents when you want to battle. If you win a fight, you move up to your opponent’s rank, whereas you remain in your current rank if you lose. As long as you’re active in Arena mode, you’ll get a reward sent to your Inbox every 24 hours based on your current rank. Part of this reward is Arena Credits, which can be spent in a store specific to this mode. You get only five Arena attempts per day.
  • Events – Not to be overlooked, these character-focused quest lines have you battle through an increasingly more challenging string of fights in order to unlock the hero or villain at their center, or to bump them to a higher tier if you already have them. Some Events don’t even let you start them until your profile is level 20 or above, so they aren’t necessarily fare for beginners.
  • Blitz – Kind of a secondary PvP mode, this is where you can fight teams created by other players in ladder-like fashion. For every victory, you’ll earn points toward milestones that grant you ever better rewards. Confusingly, Blitz also has its own currency/energy called Blitz Charges, which you need to spend in order to keep using the same characters over again. Conversely, you can swap other characters into your team, so in time, this can be a useful mode for using heroes and villains who aren’t your mains.
  • Alliance Raids – A special mode available only to players who have joined an Alliance, Raids are co-operative quests that require players to work together to take down extremely powerful groups of foes. Like Blitz, Raids have milestones which give out periodic rewards. They also have their own store with a specific currency, because why not at this point?

 

How to Unlock More Characters for Free

Now that you know how to play and what you’ll be playing, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Specifically, you’ll want to be able to take advantage of all of the cool characters in Marvel Strike Force by adding as many as possible to your collection, and preferably without shelling out money for Power Cores.

Marvel Strike Force

Like many games of its genre, this one uses a system of shards to unlock and tier up characters. What that means is that you’ll often find a shard or several shards as a reward, but rarely will you acquire enough of them in one go to add a new hero or villain to your roster instantly. Essentially, then, what you need to know is where and how to get shards, and we can help with that.

  • Log in and play every day – Not only does Marvel Strike Force have a login calendar that gives you stuff, including character shards every few days, just for logging in, it also has daily objectives you can find via the big bright button that says exactly that in the bottom-right corner of the main screen. If you do nothing else each day you play, be sure to clear out the daily objectives. They’re worth it in their own right, but clearing the daily objectives a number of times can unlock a new character for free. For example, at launch you could unlock Wolverine by clearing the daily objectives seven times.
  • Use Auto Win on Campaign battles – Every third stage of each Campaign chapter offers character shards as a possible reward for beating it. Clearing it with three stars allows you to use Auto Win, which is a great way to grind out shards for a specific character. It also encourages you to keep advancing through the Campaigns as that will open up more shards you can farm in this fashion.
  • Check for Events – As we’ve already noted, Events are where you can unlock specific characters just by playing through a series of battles. Every time you hit a level with a multiple of 10, you should revisit active Events as you may now be powerful enough to tackle a previously locked battle and earn even more shards.
  • Play Arena battles daily – Arena wins don’t get you any shards on their own, but the Arena store does have a selection of shards for sale that changes daily. If you stay active, you’ll receive Arena Credits every 24 hours and be able to spend them on shards you want when they rotate through the store.
  • Play Blitz mode too – You’re probably sensing a pattern here that almost every game mode is the path to shards, and you’re right. The Blitz milestones also grant shards at certain levels, though you’ll typically need to reach at least the sixth milestone to start getting them, which takes some doing. That said, once you’ve got a pretty powerful roster, Blitz should absolutely be part of your daily playing rotation. On top of that, the Blitz store is pretty similar to the Arena store except with its own currency and daily shard selection.

One important note that may help you chase shards more wisely: If you tap on any character’s shards you want to purchase, it will tell you how many shards you still need before you unlock or tier up that character. it’s a very helpful way to prioritize.


 

How to Assemble a Well-Rounded Team

While it’s tempting to just toss your five favorite Marvel characters together in a group, that might not be the best way to proceed as you’ll likely struggle in fights where you don’t simply overpower your opponents (though to be sure, there are plenty of those). What you’ll want to do instead is get a team that actually has five characters whose abilities complement each other.

Marvel Strike Force

That starts with understanding the four general character classes in Marvel Strike Force:

  • Blaster – Whether they get the job done with guns like the Punisher or repulsor rays like Iron Man, Blasters deal high damage to one or multiple targets but are also the “squishiest” class, needing either heals or taunts or both to make sure they stay alive.
  • Brawler – Arguably the most well-rounded and versatile class, they don’t do as much damage as Blasters but are also hardier. As the name suggests, they also deal their damage up close and personal.
  • Controller – The toughest class to pigeonhole, Controllers have abilities that make life harder for enemies, either slowing them, debuffing them or causing other non-beneficial effects. A little squishy but not as bad as Blasters.
  • Protector – Can force the enemy to attack them with Taunts, usually in conjunction with other abilities that allow them to stay alive when they are being targeted. Do the least damage with basic attacks but sometimes have surprisingly damaging secondary abilities.
  • Support – Can be thought of as the healer class, with abilities that heal, remove debuffs and other good stuff.

Can a team with one of each class work? It sure can, though that might leave you a little short on direct damage. A good idea when starting out is to have two Brawlers, one Blaster, one Protector and then either a Controller or Support character. Other combinations can also be very effective if you dive into character abilities more closely and see if there are synergies between them you can use to your advantage.

Finally, you’ll notice every character in Marvel Strike Force has multiple traits — words that define them besides their class. For example, Crossbones has the following traits: Villain, Global, Tech, Protector, Hydra and Inhuman (which he’s not, so … I dunno). Traits can also help suggest groups of characters that will be effective together based on their specific abilities. Sticking with our buddy Crossbones, his Vengeance ability gives +5 Armor to anyone on his team with the Hydra trait. This is the top level of team-building, but one you’ll want to explore in more detail once you’ve been playing for a bit.

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Xander Bogaerts Does ‘Fortnite’ “Take The L” Dance in a Game, Then Team Takes the L

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Athletes doing Fortnite [Free] dances in celebration has just one pro, as Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox did the “Take the L” emote dance after hitting a double on Opening Day. He’s perhaps the most prominent athlete to drop a Fortnite dance after the UMBC bench was dropping dance moves during their upset of #1-seeded Virginia.

Bogaerts didn’t go all out in his dance, which is sad for us not getting to see a grown man do a ridiculous dance, but good because the Rays would probably hit him with a pitch next time he was up. You know, because baseball is a sport for mature adults, and when somebody does something you don’t like, you hit them.

However, whether it was the baseball gods punishing a player having fun, or the Fortnite gods punishing Bogaerts for his half-measure dance, the Rays got their revenge as they beat up on the Sox bullpen to make the Red Sox take the L on Opening Day. This should serve as a lesson to Fortnite players: don’t do your dances while the result is still unsettled, because egg might be on your face afterward. Also, go whole hog. Have a boombox play that ridiculous circus music while you do the dance. Just make sure one foot is on the base while the other leg goes up, or do it after a home run, but make sure you wear a literal suit of armor the next time you come up to the plate, because the pitcher will try to hit you. Glory ain’t cheap.

Of course, the counterpoint is the story of when NBA player Ben Simmons tried to convince the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns to stay up and play PUBG with him by pointing out that they’re playing the garbage Atlanta Hawks the day afterward. Not only did the T’wolves win, but Towns set a team record for points in a single game with 56!

So, I don’t know if there’s a lesson here, necessarily, other than “sports are fun but will also devastate you emotionally.” Also, maybe PUBG needs dances if it’s going to take the crown back from Fortnite.

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Amazon and Spielberg team up for mini-series on Mexico’s conqueror

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Amazon has given Steven Spielberg the go-ahead to create a four-hour original miniseries based on the life of Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. Spielberg has tapped Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List) to write the series for TV based o…
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FogHorn Systems and Google Cloud team up to offer IIoT solution

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FogHorn Systems and Google Cloud have come together to expand business impact of Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications by combining the capabilities of Cloud IoT Core and FogHorn’s Lightning edge intelligence and ML platform.

This integration leads to the creation of a model foundation for optimising distributed assets and processes in several industries including manufacturing, O&G, mining, connected cars, smart building and smart cities. The partnership also aims to ease the deployment of IIoT applications.

The combined solution will be available at Google Cloud Next, from July 24 to 27, in San Francisco.

Antony Passemard, head of IoT product management at Google Cloud, said: “Cloud IoT Core simply and securely brings the power of Google Cloud’s world-class data infrastructure capabilities to the IIoT market. By combining industry-leading edge intelligence from FogHorn, we’ve created a fully-integrated edge and cloud solution that maximizes the insights gained from every IoT device. We think it’s a very powerful combination at exactly the right time.”

The FogHorn Lightning platform is a compact, advanced and feature-rich edge intelligence solution that can deliver low latency for onsite data processing, real-time analytics, ML and AI capabilities.

David King, CEO at FogHorn, said: “Our integration with Google Cloud harmonises the workload and creates new efficiencies from the edge to the cloud across a range of dimensions. This approach simplifies the rollout of innovative, outcome-based IIoT initiatives to improve organizations’ competitive edge globally, and we are thrilled to bring this collaboration to market with Google Cloud.”

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​​Vodafone India, Idea announce new leadership team ahead of merger

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In March last year Vodafone India and Idea Cellular announced merger of both the companies, which was expected to close last year. Earlier this week the companies said that the management team of the combined business would be confirmed prior to closing, which is now expected to complete in the first half of the current calendar year. Today they have announced the leadership team of the combined business, which will come into effect after the merger has been completed. The existing leadership teams of Idea Cellular and Vodafone India will continue to manage their separate businesses and be accountable for each company’s operational performance until the merger becomes effective. It is only upon completion of the merger that the two businesses will cease to operate as distinct and competing entities. As announced last year, Kumar Mangalam Birla will be Non-Executive Chairman of the merged company. CEO will be Balesh Sharma (currently Chief Operating Officer of Vodafone India) who will be responsible for the combined business’s strategy and its execution as well as driving integration. The following positions will report to the CEO: CFO – Akshaya Moondra, currently Chief Financial Officer at Idea. COO – Ambrish Jain, currently Deputy Managing Director at Idea, will be responsible …
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How a small team at Unity made the stunning graphical showcase Book of the Dead

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Every few years, Unity, the company behind one of the biggest game engines in the world, releases a technical demo that shows off just how cool games can look on the platform. The first two were short films, including a Norse mythology-inspired piece called Blacksmith, and Adam, a sci-fi short about robots escaping from jail that was eventually expanded by District 9 director Neill Blomkamp. Tonight at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the company showed off its latest graphical showcase, a gorgeous and creepy interactive piece called “Book of the Dead.”

Unity actually teased the demo back in January, but today it provided a more detailed look, delving into the new features that went into its creation. The full version is…

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Amazon hires former FDA exec for secret health care team

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Amazon has made a big hire for its secret health care division internally known as 1492, according to CNBC: FDA's first chief health informatics officer Taha Kass-Hout. The e-commerce giant reportedly brought him on board to work under former Google…
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Facebook suspended Donald Trump’s data operations team for misusing people’s personal information

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Facebook said late Friday that it had suspended Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), along with its political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, for violating its policies around data collection and retention. The companies, which ran data operations for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign, are widely credited with helping Trump more effectively target voters on Facebook than his rival, Hillary Clinton. While the exact nature of their role remains somewhat mysterious, Facebook’s disclosure suggests that the company improperly obtained user data that could have given it an unfair advantage in reaching voters.

Facebook said it cannot determine whether or how the data in question could have been used in…

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Dublin City University, Talent Garden team up for IoT campus

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Dublin City University and Talent Garden team up for new IoT innovation campus

NEWSBYTE: Dublin City University (DCU) and co-working and learning space provider Talent Garden are to launch a new hub for digital innovation this autumn, which will focus on the Internet of Things (IoT).

Talent Garden was founded six years ago and now claims to be the largest European co-working and digital innovation network. It hosts hundreds of start-up companies and works with enterprises such as BMW, Google, and Electrolux in 23 campuses across eight European countries.

The latest hub will be based in DCU’s Alpha Innovation campus, and will provide a workspace for freelancers, tech start-ups, and corporate innovation labs, with capacity for 350 people.

The building will also feature Talent Garden’s Innovation School, a digital skills bootcamp education platform, which will work in partnership with DCU Business School to upskill entrepreneurs and assist corporates on digital transformation projects.

Topics covered in the bootcamp include digital transformation, artificial intelligence, growth hacking, augmented reality/virtual reality, coding, and blockchain. In the future, Talent Garden will host more formal, accredited training, delivered in partnership with the university.

Members of Talent Garden Dublin will also be able to make use of the platform anywhere in the Talent Garden network of facilities across 18 European cities.

DCU and Talent Garden hope that the space will appeal to early-stage startups and larger corporate innovation labs, as well as the existing community of digital and IoT companies based in DCU Alpha.

Epicentres of innovation

Professor Brian MacCraith, president of DCU, said that the partnership placed the university at the “epicentre of the technological transformation” taking place across Ireland and Europe.

“The worlds of work and learning are rapidly blending together, and Talent Garden Dublin offers a unique combination of innovation and education, which will help startups, SMEs and multinationals, navigate the opportunities created by the burgeoning IoT sector in particular,” he said.

“Through this unique partnership, Talent Garden Dublin goes way beyond coworking as it is currently understood in Ireland, and into the fields of accredited digital skills training, corporate digital transformation, as well as creating international connectivity for Irish startups looking to scale up in other markets.”

“In DCU, we have found a University partner with the same entrepreneurial DNA and ambition as Talent Garden, which made the selection process easy,” added Talent Garden founder and CEO, Davide Dattoli.

“The existing DCU Alpha community of digital and IoT innovators is the perfect home for us, while the university partnership will help us to scale our Innovation School offering globally.”

Internet of Business says

The recent success of a similar venture, Liverpool’s Sensor City – which brings together technology expertise, university partnership, a community focus, and a nurturing environment for startups – reveals how well this model works. For example, it was announced this week that Sensor City has received new funding from the British government to explore 5G opportunities.

We wish the new Dublin hub every success – particularly as it may gain the funding from Europe that British initiatives risk losing, post Brexit.

Read more: Sensor City awarded £3.5m to explore 5G community Wi-Fi

Read more: Sensors for all! Exclusive Q&A with Alison Mitchell of Sensor City

 

The post Dublin City University, Talent Garden team up for IoT campus appeared first on Internet of Business.

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