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Get a Closer Look at the Monsters in Dying Light 2 Stay Human

The night has come in our new gameplay video, so grab your flashlight and join us, as we explore the secrets of a dark zone. Take a closer look at various types of the Infected, stand face to face with a Volatile, and try to make it through in one piece. But that’ll only be possible if you check out our hints. Are you ready?

One thing is to know your enemies. Another, to know their weaknesses. We’ll cover both, just to be sure. So, who are all the monsters you’ll meet in The City? Let’s say you’d get infected. First, you might think it’s just the flu, as the symptoms are very similar. That is, if you didn’t live in a post-apocalyptic city overrun by a deadly virus, where you’d know just too well it’s more than that, and your race against the infection would begin.

You’d most likely also have a biomarker — a special wristband showing the stages of your sickness and how close you’re to the turning point. If you failed to find enough UV light or Antizin in time, the symptoms would get worse and worse, until you wouldn’t even be able to speak anymore. Then, your biomarker would turn red, and it’d be a straight road to becoming a Volatile. And once you’ve turned, there’s no going back.

After reaching the turning point, the thing that you wanted the most — UV rays — becomes your worst enemy. Stay in the sun, and you’ll degrade into a wreck of a monster, a Biter. You’ll lose whatever leftovers of consciousness you might’ve had and keep roaming the streets mindlessly until you die from the light.

But it doesn’t have to get that bad, though it’s rather relative, because if you let the virus progress in the dark, you’ll become the strongest monster of all — a Volatile. Fast, intelligent, and deadly, he’s the one thing you’d never want to meet. So, our first tip should be quite clear by now — stay in UV light and use it against the monsters. It’ll keep you safe from both the infection and the Infected.

But exposure to light is only one factor that defines which monster you’ll become. There are more, like the chemicals dropped onto The City in the past. Accelerating the progression of the virus in the sick individuals, they caused their bodies to change too rapidly, which, in turn, led to various mutations.

For example, if the virus seized somebody’s vocal cords, they could become a Howler, an Infected who is both too afraid and unable to fight a human, so he calls and alerts those more fit for the job with his piercing scream. Don’t let him spot you. Another product of the chemicals is the Demolisher, whose body grew extremely large, especially the hands, and his skin hardened with stonelike tissue. He can charge or slam the ground with his fists to create a kind of a shockwave as well as throw immensely heavy objects, so watch out for those flying boulders. Against the Demolisher, you will need to rely on your agility.

But there’s also the Banshee — smaller, yet so deft you won’t see her coming. She’s quick and takes you by surprise, attacking you from the roofs. If you get to fight her, your strength will be your best chance. And then, some monsters mutated in the most unpredictable ways.

The Revenant got a curious ability to buff and summon nearby Infected with the substance coming from the growths on his back. He’s rather uncommon. You’ll find him only in specific places, and only at night. But we’re not so sure looking for him is such a good idea. Unless you’re ready to fight an army.

So the next tip would be to never ever enter the chemical clouds in The City, and when you fight those who did, adjust your tactics to abuse their weaknesses. And since we’re at the “no entry” kind of advice, this one should follow naturally: Don’t roam the dark zones during the day. That’s when all the Infected are there, hiding from the sun. It’s smart to use that time to explore the streets and come back to the dark zones at dusk, when they have left to hunt. It doesn’t mean you can be careless, though, as there are still some monsters, Volatiles even, lying and walking around. That’s when our improved stealth mechanics come in handy. Don’t rush and think about your next steps, and you’ll make it through without having a horde of the Infected chase you.

And it’s worth trying your luck in the dark zones, however dangerous they may be. They’re full of valuable loot, inhibitors probably being the most precious of all. Now, these chemicals are the ones you actually want. They’ll boost your skills, allowing you to fight better, jump higher and run faster than any other human. But it has a darker side too. You’ll have to find out for yourself, should you manage to survive long enough.

Until then, we’re going to keep showing you more elements of the world of Dying Light 2 Stay Human, with parkour and combat hints coming soon. If you still think it’s only a matter of time before you turn, why not get an early glimpse at what you might become? Answer the questions at dyinglightgame.com/whichmonster and we’ll tell you what future awaits you in The City. Will you stay human?

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Dying Light 2

Techland

Upgrade your experience with Smart Delivery. Buy the game once to both play it on Xbox One and get its optimized version for Xbox Series X | S

Pre-order the Standard Edition now to get the exclusive items:
– “Reload” outfit
– “Reload” weapon skin
– “Reload” paraglider skin

Over twenty years ago in Harran, we fought the virus—and lost. Now, we’re losing again. The City, one of the last large human settlements, is torn by conflict. Civilization has fallen back into the Dark Ages. And yet, we still have hope.

You are a wanderer with the power to change the fate of The City. But your exceptional abilities come at a price. Haunted by memories you cannot decipher, you set out to learn the truth… and find yourself in a combat zone. Hone your skills, as to defeat your enemies and make allies, you’ll need both fists and wits. Unravel the dark secrets behind the wielders of power, choose sides and decide your destiny. But wherever your actions take you, there’s one thing you can never forget—stay human.

VAST OPEN WORLD
Participate in the life of a city engulfed in a new dark era. Discover different paths and hidden passages, as you explore its multiple levels and locations.

CREATIVE & BRUTAL COMBAT
Take advantage of your parkour skills to tip the scales of even the most brutal encounter. Clever thinking, traps and creative weapons will be your best friends.

DAY AND NIGHT CYCLE
Wait for night to venture into dark hideouts of the Infected. Sunlight keeps them at bay, but once it’s gone, monsters begin the hunt, leaving their lairs free to explore.

CHOICES & CONSEQUENCES
Shape the future of The City with your actions and watch how it changes. Determine the balance of power by making choices in a growing conflict and forge your own experience.

2-4 PLAYER CO-OP GAMEPLAY
Play in up to four-player co-op. Host your own games or join others and see how their choices have played out differently than yours.

Author: Marta Szczechowska, Writer, Techland
Read more here >>> Xbox Wire

WhatsApp moves step closer to launching Snapchat-like view once messages

WhatsApp is once again taking a leaf out of Snapchat’s books. Last year the Facebook-owned chat app released its highly anticipated disappearing messages feature. Snapchat users have long enjoyed this type of ephemeral messages – but WhatsApp’s take on the feature had messages sticking around for longer.

Whereas most messages in Snapchat are viewed once and then disappear, WhatsApp’s disappearing messages stuck around for seven days – even after they had been viewed.

If you were sending something sensitive over WhatsApp, and want it automatically deleted ASAP, that’s probably longer than you’d like for the messages to stick around.

Thankfully though, WhatsApp looks to be addressing this issue.

The latest beta version of WhatsApp for Android has added a new feature called Expiring Media.

READ MORE: Snapchat crashing: iPhone users report app not working, keeps closing

This lets WhatsApp users send photos or videos that once viewed immediately disappear from the chat after you close it.

The feature is available to all Android beta testers right now, which means a release date for the general public could be round the corner.

The latest beta build for WhatsApp Android has also revealed a few other interesting details about the Expiring Media feature.

If you send someone a photo or video that is meant to be viewed once on WhatsApp, you’ll get a notification when they’ve opened it.

You will also be able to send view once messages to people that haven’t enabled the Expiring Media option, with the feature still working for them.

View once messages can also be sent to groups, and you’ll be able to see who has opened it in the Message info section.

However, be warned – if you have blocked contacts in a group that you send an Expiring Media message to they’ll still be able to view it.

And just because WhatsApp is introducing this feature, it doesn’t mean there’s no way users will be able to capture whatever is sent.

As WABetaInfo explained in a post online, WhatsApp users who are sent a view once message can still take screengrabs of a photo or video that is sent over.

They can even take video captures of an Expiring Media clip that is pinged across to them.

And if they do take a screenshot or capture video you’ll have no way of knowing as screenshot detection isn’t available in WhatsApp.

So you’ll still need to be careful when it comes to what photos or videos you send across, and who to – even when using the inbound Expiring Media functionality.

The view once messages are an extension of the disappearing messages suite of functionality WhatsApp introduced in 2020.

Author: Dion Dassanayake
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech

Pep Guardiola moves closer to 'dream' Man City team with possible Jack Grealish transfer

Pep Guardiola will move closer to having his dream Manchester City team if the club confirms the signing of Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish. England star Grealish, who is on international duty at Euro 2020, is reportedly close to a huge £100million move to the Premier League champions.

The 25-year-old has spent his entire career at Villa – aside from time on loan at Notts County in 2013 – but appears set to depart his boyhood club.

Grealish scored six league goals and provided a further 12 assists last term despite missing nearly two months with a knee injury.

Man City boss Guardiola is keen to further improve his squad despite finishing 12 points above top-flight runners-up and rivals Manchester United.

The Red Devils, alongside Chelsea and Liverpool, will likely heavily strengthen their ranks to try to catch up with City.

Losing the Champions League final against Chelsea has likely convinced Guardiola that he must improve his options to finally win Europe’s top prize.

JUST IN: Manchester City ‘close to signing Jack Grealish from Aston Villa’

Kane, albeit a striker, is known to enjoy dropping deep and making passes. The England captain often played as an attacking midfielder while coming through Spurs’ academy.

Phil Foden has played in wide positions under Guardiola despite being recognised as more of a midfielder.

Guardiola’s full-backs are comfortable on the ball. The 50-year-old converted Oleksandr Zinchenko from a central midfielder into a left-back. Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo are excellent in possession.

Even goalkeeper Ederson is famous for his varied range of passes.

TalkSPORT claim that Grealish is closing in on a British record transfer to City, who next season will try to win their fourth title in their previous six campaigns.

“I like players with the ability to keep the ball, it is one of the biggest principles I look for,” Guardiola said in April.

“The ball is the best way to defend and people have to keep the ball in difficult circumstances.

“In all my career, I have played with a lot of midfield players.

“I have the feeling that you can play better with this, but at the same time we need everyone.

“Gabriel was so important this season, and I’m not going to talk about how important Kun (Sergio Auguero) has been and was in the past.

“Unfortunately, he was injured most of the last year but now he is fit again.

“Raheem again – everyone is important but I have to admit that the players know I like it when they keep the ball and after we see what I produce with that.”

And if Grealish joins, it looks like Guardiola’s dream will be a reality.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

F1 2021 Features Trailer Revealed Bringing You Closer to the Action Than Ever Before

Summary

  • New trailer reveals more F1 2021 details.
  • Braking Point story mode footage, new gameplay, new feature first looks, and more.
  • F1 2021 launches July 16, pre-order the digital Deluxe Edition to play three days early and unlock seven iconic drivers.

Time flies, doesn’t it? It feels like only yesterday that F1 2021 was revealed to the world, by Codemasters and EA Sports. Yet, in just one month’s time, F1 2021 will be rolling out of the garage and ready for you to get behind the wheel on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. Since that reveal in April, we’ve been inundated with requests for gameplay and more information – and today, we’re excited to bring you exactly that!

The official F1 2021 features trailer was unveiled, taking you on a whistle-stop tour of so much that the new official Formula One game has to offer, including brand new features and ways to play. Take a look for yourself with our new video above, then keep reading for more details on everything revealed today for F1 2021

Every Story Has a Beginning

The first major focus of the trailer is on Braking Point, the brand new story experience for F1 2021. Set across three seasons, with five selectable teams, rising from F2 to F1, Braking Point is a thrilling blend of racing and storytelling, with stunning cutscenes and dramatic moments. Navigate the politics, track the hot topics and gossip in the paddock and social media, and outlast rivals (including the returning Devon Butler) in Braking Point, our most immersive mode to date.

F1 2021

New F1 2021 Career Options

From there, we move onto Career mode – a staple of the F1 series that gives you the opportunity to enter the FIA Formula One World Championship, competing against the real-world teams and drivers over multiple seasons. This year, we’re further expanding the ways to play Career, as a new two-player feature is added to let you compete alongside a friend, either co-operatively as a team, or competitively with contract offers and team switches available. Team up or square off – the choice is yours!

Another addition, Real-Season Start, lets you recreate or put your spin on moments from this year’s World Championship, as we add the results and standings from each race to the game and let the player decide when to enter the action. The hotly debated driver ratings for the F1 grid will also be updated in-game after every three races this season, to reflect the form and performance of each driver, bringing your F1 2021 experience even closer to the sport.

My Team Returns

My Team is back this year after its debut in F1 2020 was received so well – your chance to create, manage, and race for your own F1 team, making the big decisions to go from rookie outfit to the top of the podium. Alongside new departmental events that create key moments in your team’s progression, there are the seven iconic F1 drivers, exclusive to digital Deluxe Edition players, to recruit and race alongside. More details on those icons are over here.

F1 2021

F1 2021 – For Everyone

F1 2021 is also the most social and customisable experience of the series, with options and race events to suit every player. Want some fast and fun competitive action? Two-player local split-screen and online quick races are there for you. Looking for more of a challenge? Ranked online play, custom lobbies, weekly global challenges, and a dedicated Esports hub will be ready and waiting.

Whatever your preference, race with style and individuality, with options to customise your driver, livery, helmet, race suit, podium celebration, and even your team radio audio when you win a race! With a streamlined presentation across the game and more options to cater for both casual and expert racers, it’s easier than ever to make F1 2021 the exact experience you’re looking for.

Join the New Generation

What ties this all together is the official Formula 1 content and presentation, with real track-side personalities like David Croft and Will Buxton, and incredible circuits and environments – brought to life even more on Xbox Series X|S, with stunning graphical fidelity.

F1 2021

With Braking Point, new Career options, more ways to play, and a debut on Xbox Series X|S, we are incredibly excited for players across the globe to get their hands on F1 2021 from July 16, or July 13 if you pre-order the digital Deluxe Edition. Don’t just take it from us: We recently gave selected media and creators a first chance to try out F1 2021, and the response has been incredible. We’ve put together handy threads on the official F1 game Twitter accounts for top videos and big articles, so you can see for yourself.

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Xbox Live

F1® 2021 Deluxe Edition

Electronic Arts

☆☆☆☆☆
★★★★★
• Three days early access • The entire F1® 2021 game • My Team Icons Pack – Seven iconic drivers to enhance your ‘My Team’ game experience: Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Rosberg, Button, Massa and Coulthard. Exclusive in-game customisation items: Car livery | Suit | Gloves | Helmet | Victory radio call.
• Braking Point Content Pack – Celebrate the release of F1® 2021 with exclusive in-game items inspired by the fictional stars of the new ‘Braking Point’ story experience. Equip them to race as Devon Butler, Aiden Jackson, and Casper Akkerman: Character avatar | Car livery | Suit | Gloves | Helmet | Victory radio voices.
• 18,000 PitCoin virtual currency to spend in-game. Every story has a beginning in F1® 2021, the official videogame of the 2021 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™. Enjoy the stunning new features of F1® 2021, including the thrilling story experience ‘Braking Point’, two-player Career, and get even closer to the grid with ‘Real-Season Start’.
Take your team to the top in the acclaimed ten-year ‘My Team’ Career mode, or race head-to-head in split-screen and multiplayer. Immerse yourself in the greatest racing spectacle on the planet and race with the authentic lineup of twenty heroic drivers and ten iconic teams from the 2021 season: – ‘Braking Point’ – the thrilling new story experience – New ways to play: two-player Career and ‘Real-Season Start’ – Acclaimed ‘My Team’, split-screen and multiplayer * Online connection required to download the final F1® teams’ 2021 cars, full-season circuit selection, content (as applicable) and F2™ 2021 season update.
INTERNET CONNECTION & ALL GAME UPDATES REQUIRED TO ACCESS THE FINAL F1® TEAMS’ 2021 CARS, CERTAIN CIRCUITS, CONTENT (AS APPLICABLE) AND F2™ 2021 SEASON UPDATE.
SEE www.formula1game.com/2021 FOR DETAILS & AVAILABILITY OF THREE NEW CIRCUITS: PORTIMÃO, IMOLA AND JEDDAH. ACCEPTANCE OF EA USER AGREEMENT (terms.ea.com) REQUIRED TO PLAY. EA’S PRIVACY & COOKIE POLICY APPLIES (privacy.ea.com).
YOU CONSENT TO ANY PERSONAL DATA COLLECTED THROUGH YOUR USE OF EA’S SERVICES BEING TRANSFERRED TO THE UNITED STATES, AS FURTHER EXPLAINED IN THE PRIVACY & COOKIE POLICY. EA MAY PROVIDE CERTAIN FREE INCREMENTAL CONTENT &/OR UPDATES. MANDATORY CONTENT UPDATES MAY BE DOWNLOADED AUTOMATICALLY, REQUIRE ADDITIONAL STORAGE, INCUR BANDWIDTH USAGE FEES & REQUIRE AN ADDITIONAL PURCHASE TO ACCESS. EA MAY RETIRE ONLINE FEATURES AFTER 30 DAYS NOTICE POSTED ON ea.com/service-updates.
F1® 2021 Game – an official product of the FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. © 2021 Electronic Arts Inc. The F1 logo, F1, FORMULA 1 and related marks are trade marks of Formula One Licensing BV, a Formula 1 company. Licensed by Formula One World Championship Limited.
The F2 FIA FORMULA 2 CHAMPIONSHIP logo, FORMULA 2, F2 and related marks are trade marks of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile and used exclusively under licence. All rights reserved.

Author: Jennifer Marshall, Social Media Manager, Codemasters
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Millions of Sky customers might've got one step closer to a colossal broadband upgrade

Sky could be planning to switch millions of its customers from BT’s Openreach over to rival Virgin Media’s fibre broadband infrastructure. The move, which was first mooted by the incredibly reliable internet-centric blog ISPreview, is supposedly subject to Virgin Media merging with mobile network O2. Despite some concerns about the joint venture raising prices for customers, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) this week approved the deal.
With the £31 billion deal approved and Virgin Media and O2 now clear to become a single company, it’s possible Sky broadband customers have – unknowingly – taken a step closer to an upgrade to gigabit-capable internet.

Why would Virgin Media let customers from another company take advantage of its super-fast broadband speeds? Well, the newly-merged Virgin Media-O2 looks set to establish itself as a wholesale competitor to Openreach. For those who don’t know Openreach, a subsidiary of BT, manages a huge portion of the UK’s landline and broadband infrastructure. These cables are used by BT, as well as other brands, like Sky, EE, TalkTalk, Plusnet, Shell Energy, Vodafone, Post Office, and more.

That’s why switching from a broadband contract between BT and Plusnet won’t require a visit from an engineer – but a move to Virgin Media almost certainly will. The former use the same cables, so all you’re doing is plugging in a router with some different branding and sending your Direct Debit to a different account. Unfortunately, this also means that if Openreach hasn’t upgraded the broadband speeds in your area… you won’t be able to get a better connection from any of the biggest brands.

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With 4.6 million premises connected with future-proofed gigabit-capable broadband from Openreach, the BT-owned company is making good progress. In its latest quarterly earnings, it confirmed plans to reach 20 million premises by the mid- to late-2020s.

That’s a big target, but unbelievably, it still might not be enough to keep up with Virgin Media. At the last count, Virgin Media was on-track to have 16 million homes across the UK wired-up with its gigabit-capable fibre broadband by the end of this year. It’s also announced plans to expand to another 7 million homes soon.

“We’ve already talked publicly about the opportunity to extend Virgin’s one gig network to an additional seven million homes, allowing us to tap into new revenue streams like wholesale,” Virgin Media Chief Executive Officer Mike Fries confirmed during the latest earnings call.

For Sky, which has been relying on Openreach for years, it’s not difficult to see the satellite broadcaster might be tempted to look elsewhere to ensure its customers have the fastest possible connection. While the average home broadband speed in the UK stands at 80Mbps, gigabit-capable connections top-out at over 1,000Mbps.

For those working from home – collaborating on projects remotely, making video calls – with busy households with family members trying to stream high-resolution video, download video games, back-up their photo collection to the cloud, update gadgets with new software, stream music to smart speakers, and more… 80Mbps can soon begin to feel pretty sluggish.

Aside from faster internet for its broadband customers, there could be another reason that Sky wants to switch from Openreach to Virgin Media. The satellite broadcaster has previously announced ambitions to offer its Sky Q telly system without the need for a satellite dish on the outside of your house. To bring thousands of channels, sporting fixtures in 4K resolution, and more, over a single broadband connection – without impacting the internet speeds to every other device in the house – Sky will, presumably, need some serious bandwidth to offer the same Sky Q telly experience as its satellite dish.

Since the initial announcement back in 2017, Sky has gone quiet about plans to untether Sky Q from its dish. With millions more homes connected with gigabit-capable broadband, could the Virgin Media infrastructure finally allow Sky to start to realise its four-year-old plan?

Regardless, with UK regulators approving the £31 billion merger between Virgin Media and O2, it does seem like the chess pieces are starting to come together for the new joint venture to truly challenge Openreach. More competition is likely to be a good thing for broadband customers nationwide. After all, if new broadband providers are able to piggyback on the full-fibre cables already buried under streets and homes across the UK, they have the ability to scale much quicker.

Just as we’ve seen dozens of broadband firms flourish and compete on price on Openreach’s broadband infrastructure, the same could now happen with the future-proofed gigabit-capable cables weaving their way across the UK.

We’ll have to wait a little longer to see whether the tipsters talking to ISPreview are correct about Sky being front of the queue to partner with Virgin Media and leverage its super-fast network. But we’d imagine there are plenty of Sky broadband customers chugging along with 50Mbps speeds who have their fingers firmly crossed.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Virgin Galactic moves one step closer to commercial space flights

Virgin Galactic moves one step closer to commercial space flights© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Virgin Galactic rocket plane, the WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane, with SpaceShipTwo passenger craft takes off from Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, U.S., February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins/File Photo

(Reuters) – Flying at Mach 3 and reaching more than 55 miles above the Earth Saturday, British billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s private spaceship company Virgin Galactic Holdings (NYSE:) Inc completed its first manned space flight from its new home port in New Mexico.

This is a milestone in Branson’s near two-decades effort to create a commercial “spaceline” to take paying customers into outer space.

Touted as the first human spaceflight from the state, Branson’s SpaceShipTwo craft lifted off in the desert about 45 miles northeast of Las Cruces, New Mexico, about 10:35 a.m.

About 50 minutes later, traveling at more than 2,300 miles an hour, it reached a height NASA recognizes as space and attained suborbital flight status.

“Welcome to space” the company posted on Twitter.

Branson shared videos of the flight on social media and said on Twitter, “Delighted to be on the flightline to Virgin Galactic’s first human spaceflight from the majestic Spaceport America.”

On the flight deck were CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay who reached space, while Kelly Latimer and Michael Masucci piloted a carrier plane that helped the craft lift off, the company said.

The space plane, which can hold six passengers, glided to a landing on a runway safely with its two pilots about 11:45 a.m.

“The crew experienced extraordinary views of the bright, blue-rimmed curvature of the earth against the blackness of space … Their experience today gives Virgin Galactic’s future Astronaut customers a glimpse of what lies ahead,” the company said in a release.

Branson founded the company in 2004 and this is the third time his company reported reaching space.

The Washington Post reported that this flight comes at a critical time for Branson as his space venture is facing competition from billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, the Amazon (NASDAQ:) founder’s own efforts to create a commercial spaceline.

Saturday’s flight is the first time Branson’s crafts have reached space in more than two years, when the company moved its operations from Mojave, California, to New Mexico.

Michael Colglazier, the CEO of Virgin Galactic, said in a statement: “Today’s flight showcased the inherent elegance and safety of our spaceflight system, while marking a major step forward for both Virgin Galactic and human spaceflight in New Mexico.”

By Rich McKay

Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

Permitless carry legislation a step closer to reality as Texas House, Senate negotiators reach agreement

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Negotiators in the Texas House and Senate announced on Thursday they had reached an agreement on legislation that removes the state’s licensing requirement to carry firearms for people 21 years or older.

House Bill 1927, known commonly as the permitless carry bill, was passed by both the House and Senate, but changes made in the upper chamber required a conference committee of lawmakers to work out the differences.

“The House and Senate conferees have reached an agreement on House Bill 1927, a critical benchmark before this bill reaches Gov. (Greg) Abbott’s desk,” state Rep. Matt Schaefer said in a statement. “By working together, the House and Senate will send Gov. Abbott the strongest Second Amendment legislation in Texas history, and protect the right of law-abiding Texans to carry a handgun as they exercise their God-given right to self-defense and the defense of their families.”

Members of the full House and Senate will have to approve the agreement before it’s ready to be signed into law by the governor.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate, cheered the news Thursday afternoon, saying the agreement “includes the thinking of national gun rights advocates and many in Texas law enforcement and affirms our commitment to protect the rights of gun owners and the safety of those in law enforcement.”

In April, police chiefs and law enforcement group leaders held a press conference at the Texas Capitol expressing their opposition to HB 1927.

“I want to be clear, this is not about the Second Amendment,” Austin Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon said at the time. “It’s not about peoples’ right to lawfully carry a firearm — I’m very much in support of all those things. Carrying a powerful weapon is also a responsibility.”

Language of the agreement wasn’t made public on Thursday.

Kevin Lawrence, executive director of the Texas Municipal Police Association, was among those raising concerns about the bill early on.

“We still have concerns about whatever version comes out of here but we’re still waiting to see exactly what’s in there,” Lawrence said.

KXAN will continue to update this developing story.

Author: John Engel
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Celebrate National Space Day with a Closer Look at Curved Space

Summary

  • Celebrate National Space Day with a closer look at Curved Spacedownload its demo on the Xbox Store.
  • Maximum Games does a Q&A with developers Only By Midnight to talk about their inspiration for creating a space-themed game.
  • Curved Space explores galactic landscapes amidst an epic synthwave soundtrack.

Curved Space is a nod to classic twin-stick arcade shooters that amps up the blasting experience with an epic synthwave soundtrack by FiXT Neon that fuels your mission set in the farthest reaches of space. You’ll take on giant alien tripod spiders and humongous boss monsters across curved galactic landscapes while hunting for power-ups and upgrades, avoiding enemy onslaught, and annihilating interdimensional bugs. Simple to learn as you fight your way through the branching story-driven campaign, but tough to master as you chase high scores in survival mode.

We sat down with Andrew Czarnietzki and Jen Laface of Only By Midnight, the husband-and-wife developer team behind Curved Space, to talk about how space and the unique soundtrack have helped shape and guide the development of the game.


Maximum Games: What inspired you to set this reimagined take on classic arcade shooters amidst the furthest dimensions of space, and what were some of your inspirations for the landscapes?

Only By Midnight: We love space and science fiction! There is something iconic about seeing the limb of a planet, and we really wanted to capture that feeling.

Our first levels started turning into somewhat abstract space stations. While we liked where this was going, there was a problem: to withstand all the explosions and combat on their surface, the stations were feeling too dense and solid. Real life satellites and the I.S.S. (International Space Station) feel a lot more delicate.

Gerry [Ricard, contributing 3D artist] who was assisting with environment art, said, “It doesn’t feel like a space station; it feels like it’s made of concrete.” This immediately became canon; the stations are carved out of and or 3D-printed from asteroid concrete. This is also the inspiration for the level “Plug”, where we show an asteroid in the process of being carved up.

Curved Space

Maximum Games: Can you explain how you used the space theme to influence the campaign?

Only By Midnight: The Campaign is all about small islands of stability in the void of outer space—with the added complexity of some inter-dimensional shenanigans. This ties to our concept of a 2D game intersecting 3D space. I, (Andrew) personally, love that space is flexible and malleable, and we tried to play this up in both our game mechanics and story.

Maximum Games: Did setting the game in space influence the type of music you wanted?

Only By Midnight: Synthwave and Cyberpunk are synonymous with sci-fi. There is also a rich history of bold colors, particularly the yellow and magenta contrast, which we knew we’d have to show as either a black hole or an eclipse. Our “synthwave sky” is 100% inspired by the music!

Maximum Games: What made you want galactic spiders to be the enemies?

Only By Midnight: First, we both love the idea of cosmic horror—so, this unseen “spider dimension” is our nod to Lovecraft, Warhammer 40k, the film “Event Horizon,” etc.

Second, we wanted compelling enemies that were interesting to shoot. Spiders, especially alien tripods, are pretty neat to watch run around—they’re so alien that they skitter right over the uncanny valley. I don’t think I could pull off a convincing humanoid animation, but I can sure add personality to a bunch of crystalline tripod spiders.

Lastly, we really wanted something that would be scary and seem to warrant cracking out the giant space flamethrower. Hordes of spider-monsters fit the bill perfectly.

Curved Space

Maximum Games: Can you talk about the gravity-defying mechanics of going over asteroids, planets, and all the types of space matter fields?

Only By Midnight: Environment design was a really neat challenge for Curved Space. If levels are too concave, then you are always going uphill and can’t see much. If levels are too convex, then you are always cresting a hill…and can’t see much.  There really needs to be a balance of ups and downs to truly feel those awesome gravity-defying moments.

We started by experimenting with lots of crazy shapes to find ones that made sense from a gameplay perspective.  Then, we worked to figure out what these shapes meant in our universe of energy harvesting. We came up with a whole series of technologies that relate to pulling in interdimensional energy, processing it, and directing it through space and portals.  This technology led to some interesting secondary concepts—like a giant planetary defense railgun or a rogue comet.

Maximum Games: Any behind the scenes or funny stories in the development of the game related to the space theme?

Only By Midnight: One of my favorite and most alien levels is Horn. When experimenting with shapes, I tried an old dragon skull that I had in my library. It worked eerily well—the twisty horns were so much fun with the gravity-warping gameplay. If you look closely, the final level is very much a giant dragon skull split in half, but with the interior turned into a sci-fi dish and some big glowing canisters at the eye-socket.

On the gameplay side, we needed some sort of obstacle that could block players and change the landscape.  I experimented with a few options and settled on big spheres, which later became our dimensional Rifts.  I tried to make something portal/wormhole/blackhole like but with a sinister edge.  My friend Ian said, “That looks really cool and also a bit like an eye…”—I couldn’t resist making them blink.

Another interesting behind-the-scenes story is when I accidentally made the sky rotate smoothly towards the player.  It felt very, very wrong to have the stars do that… but there was something creepy and cool about how the planet would always slide into the center of the view.  Like a giant eye.  This is where our “eyeball” vortex in the endgame came from.

Curved Space

Maximum Games: Why is the ship a grasshopper shape?

Only By Midnight: Well, it started as a disc shape—basically an air-hockey puck with laser cannons.

I rather liked the classic ship (and you can still unlock it in the game), but it wasn’t quite as exciting as the rest of the art.  We did some tests to see if we could really push the concept for this “hovercraft + starfighter”, and we settled on the grasshopper concept with forward wings and big repulsion rings.  As soon as I got the model in-game and flying around, it practically begged for motion—so, I experimented with making the rings and wings react to your movements on the surface.  This gave it a great feel, almost like it was skating and pushing off the surface. We didn’t set out to make a “grasshopper,” but as soon as the ship was called that we leaned into it.

Maximum Games: What is your best space pun or joke?

Only By Midnight: I have to go with some “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams:

“What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.”


If you are ready to explore the weirdest reaches of space, you can play a demo of Curved Space on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. Curved Space releases on June 18.

Xbox Live

Xbox Live

Curved Space Demo

Maximum Games

☆☆☆☆☆ 9
★★★★★
Inspired by arcade classics, players will have to hunt for weapon power-ups and upgrades while dodging enemy fire, blasting interdimensional bugs, and wrangling some enormous boss monsters. Simple to learn as you fight your way through the branching story-driven campaign, but tough to master as you chase the glory of the leaderboards. Key Features Old School Shmup Reimagined: Enjoy the high-energy action of traditional 2D shoot ‘em ups in a warped 3D space. Climb walls, flip over to the other side of your environment, and experience breathtaking vistas. Play Your Style & Top the Leaderboards: Experience your space pilot’s harrowing journey in Campaign, take on new challenges, test your skills, and chase your place on the leaderboards in Daily Runs, Arena, Survival and Endless game modes. Ride the Synthwave: Get in the zone with a high-energy synthwave soundtrack in partnership with FiXT Neon, featuring artists like Scandroid, 3Force, and Fury Weekend. Upgrade & Take Them Down: Collect a plethora of ability and weapon upgrades. Weapons are varied (from lasers to flamethrowers to weed wackers!) and equipped with their own overdrive states! Modes Campaign: Take on the role of an energy harvester in the midst of a galactic spider invasion. Your choices will lead you to take on one of three potential versions of the game’s protagonist to fight back the invasion on asteroids, space stations, and other intergalactic stages. Each unique version takes the story in a different direction. Arena: Take on over 60 randomized challenges from the game’s campaign for a chance to get your name on the local leaderboard. Survival: Fight through waves of invaders with each wave presenting a new, more difficult challenge. Endless: Tackle waves of randomized challenges from the campaign as well as additional objectives as you adapt to what the game decides to throw your way. Daily Run: You get one shot each day to complete this daily run and achieve the highest score possible. Failed to make the leaderboard today? There’s always a new challenge tomorrow.

Author: Luke Croft, Social Media Manager, Maximum Games
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Major WhatsApp update gets closer to a release but it comes with a warning

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

It’s been rumoured for months but it now seems WhatsApp is getting one step closer to releasing a major change to its immensely popular chat app. As spotted by the ever-reliable team at WAbetainfo, WhatsApp is now officially testing the ability to make pictures and videos self-destruct. This feature, which is very similar to what Snapchat has offered for a number of years, means the moment an image or video is opened on the recipient’s device it will then magically disappear and self-destruct as soon as it’s closed.
Screenshots have been posted online showing how it will work with WhatsApp explaining that this option allows users to send photos and videos more privately. However, WhatsApp is also warning users that, although photos and videos can only be viewed once, there’s nothing to stop the recipient from snapping a cheeky screenshot of whatever has been sent.

In a message displayed on the app, WhatsApp says: “When you turn on this setting, recipients can only open your photo or video one time before it disappears. Keep in mind, they can still take screenshots before it’s gone.”

That means anyone thinking of sending something that could embarrass them in the future might want to be wary before hitting the message button.

With the thought that an image will disappear it’s easy to see how users might be tempted to send more sensitive or explicit photos across the platform and that could be an issue if these can be stored by anyone receiving them.

Snapchat has combated this problem with users instantly sent an alert if a screenshot of their message is taken but it’s currently unclear if WhatsApp will follow with a similar safeguard.

READ MORE: Virgin Media reveals why your broadband speed is NOT as fast as it could be

According to WAbetainfo, this destructing message feature is still under development but with it now being pushed pout to beta testers it could launch sooner rather than later.

This update comes as WhatsApp fans have been issued another warning about the chat app with some users being targeted by a promise to turn the service pink.

Unfortunately, this is not a new colour option for WhatsApp users. Instead, it’s a scam designed to wrestle complete access to your smartphone from you.

With access to everything stored on your device, hackers could steal contact information for friends and family – allowing them to send them the link and continue to spread WhatsApp Pink, copy photos and videos from your device, siphon credit card information and other personal details, and much more.

WhatsApp users have highlighted the new scam to bring awareness to the ploy, which is currently being used by cyber crooks worldwide.

Internet security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia highlighted the latest scam, posting on Twitter: “Beware of WhatsApp Pink!! A Virus is being spread in WhatsApp groups with an APK download link. Don’t click any link with the name of WhatsApp Pink. Complete access to your phone will be lost.”

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury agree on fight site as blockbuster mega-fight edges closer

Eddie Hearn has confirmed that both Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have now agreed on a fight site for the undisputed heavyweight world championship this summer. Last Sunday, the offers were presented to the fighters and their teams and now it appears the wheels are in motion for an official announcement.

Hearn told Behind The Gloves, while away in Miami for Demetrius Andrade’s WBO middleweight world title defence against Liam Williams: “Both sides have approved the site offer they want to go with, we are now finalising the site offer and we’re in a good place.”

Understandably, Hearn was apprehensive to reveal exactly where the fight will be taking place.

Saudi Arabia, which staged AJ’s rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019, is believed to be the frontrunner.

Fury confirmed last week before flying to Las Vegas to begin his training that he’d finally received a series of fight offers.

“Just had some big news. Three or four big offers on the table,” he said in a video on Twitter.

“There’s interest from Saudi Arabia, my Gypsy brothers in Qatar, Uzbekistan, Russia, America, England,” he said.

“There’s some big, big offers on the table. I’m going to go through them on Sunday and hopefully we can get this big fight on and I can smash this big dosser.

“Big useless dosser, let me say. Because when I get him I’m going to give him that [clenched fist], you big dosser.”

Joshua has already started training while the Gypsy King is now sharpening his tools in the Top Rank Gym in Vegas.

Fury has shared various videos this week training with his cut man Jorge Capetillo.

His trainer SugarHill Steward has also arrived in Vegas as the trio look to begin their official fight preparations.

Promoter Frank Warren, who manages Fury with Top Rank chief Bob Arum, said earlier this week that he can’t see how the fight happens in July due to AJ’s trainer Rob McCracken’s Team GB commitments.

“I don’t see how any of that can happen in July or even early August from my perspective,” he told talkSPORT.

“Robert McCracken is AJ’s trainer, he’s also our Olympic team’s head coach, so he’s gonna be in Japan – I think the Olympics start on July 23, and I don’t know what the quarantine period is.

“He can’t be in two places at once. That’s if Robert McCracken’s still training AJ, maybe he’s not training the Olympic squad, I’m not sure. That’s one issue.

“I don’t believe this fight will go on until – if it’s late August we’ll be very lucky, maybe September.”

Hearn has been quick to brush aside any negative talk and doubts surrounding the fight and he insists this fight will get made this summer on his watch.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed