Microsoft announces its xCloud streaming service and a truckload of new games are coming in 2020

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Microsoft has announced a vague intention to launch its xCloud game streaming service sometime in 2020, and dropped a double handful of new titles that will arrive on it and the existing Game Pass subscription. It seems that next year will indeed be the opening battle in the streaming wars to come. The announcements came […]

A+ Mister Rogers cosplay to get you ready for ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’

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The first rule of kindness club is be kind.

This is a seriously impressive Mister Rogers cosplay right here.

“The world is better because of you, Mr. Rogers,” says IMGURIAN iliketopointoutthingsinthebackground. “I am a better person because of you.”

Like him, I also grew up watching Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS. As did pretty much everyone my GenX age.

Actor Tom Hanks gets to cosplay Mister Rogers in the new movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” in which he stars as the kind man from TV with whom my generation grew up.

Here’s the movie trailer.

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This guy hand-paints amazing art on Vans loafers

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This person paints amazing art on Vans sneakers for friends and family, and it’s truly amazing.

“I’ve hand painted a bunch of Vans for friends and family,” says IMGURian @zcaimbeul. “Figured I’d share! Hope you enjoy.”

They don’t seem to have an online business, or any interest in creating one. But I’d totally buy a pair!


I’ve hand painted a bunch of Vans for friends and family. Figured I’d share! Hope you enjoy

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The Final Fantasy series is coming to Xbox Game Pass

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Among the 50-plus new games that Microsoft is bringing to its Xbox Game Pass subscription service over the next year are ten Final Fantasy games. The list encompasses every single-player mainline game released in the series since 1997’s Final Fantasy VII, including select spinoff games like Final Fantasy X-2, and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Microsoft included the games in a list of titles that will start appearing “this holiday,” and said that they’ll be added over the course of 2020.

There have been a bunch of different remasters of these games over the years, and in most cases it seems like Xbox Games Pass subscribers are getting the most recent version of each title. There are the HD remasters of X and X-2, and you’re also…

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Good deal on my favorite Japanese pencil case

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My kids draw every day. I try to join them for an hour or so on the weekends. We store our pencils in these Lihit Lab Teffa “book style” pencil cases (Currently on Amazon). Mine contains my pencils, charcoals, lead holder, erasers, snap-blade knife, and reading glasses. It’s not large, but it’s designed with “pages” to hold your stuff efficiently. Pens and pencils fit behind straps, and smaller stuff can be stashed in the mesh pouches.

My sketches:

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Obsidian’s Grounded is a survival game crossed with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

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Obsidian is a studio best-known for deep, intriguing role-playing games like Fallout: New Vegas and, most recently, The Outer Worlds. But the studio’s next release moves in a completely different direction. At X019 in London, Obsidian revealed Grounded, a survival game set in a suburban backyard where a group of four friends has to fend for themselves after being shrunk down to the size of an ant. “It’s a little different than what you’re used to seeing from Obsidian,” says director Adam Brennecke.

Grounded, which is the first new property from Obsidian since the studio was acquired by Microsoft, is a four-player co-op experience that can be played in both first- and third-person. Like most survival games, you’ll build a base, craft…

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Rare unveils Everwild, a new exclusive game for Xbox and Windows 10

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British video game developer Rare, creator of classics like Battletoads, GoldenEye 007, and Banjo-Kazooie, is revealing its next big game, Everwild, at Microsoft’s X019 event today. Rare is only providing a small glimpse at Everwild, but the brief trailer makes it look like it’s going to be some type of action adventure game.

Banjo-Kazooie fans will have been hoping for a sequel, or at least a new Banjo game, but Everwild looks more like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The world is full of different species of animals, all with Rare’s classic cartoon-style look and feel. Rare and Microsoft haven’t revealed much more about the game, nor when it will be released.

“While Everwild is still early in development, we are…

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Life is Strange developer unveils new mystery game, Tell Me Why

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Dontnod Entertainment, the developer behind award-winning episodic series Life is Strange, is working on a new narrative-based, “true-to-life” game called Tell Me Why. The game focuses on a pair of twins, Tyler and Alyson, untangling the memories of their troubled childhood.

Tyler and Alyson’s relationship will act as the backbone of the game as they navigate life in small-town Alaska. It will also tell the story of Tyler’s life as a trans man. The developer worked closely with LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD to help craft the character.

In a prepared statement, game director Florent Guillaume said that players will “explore the identical twins’ different memories of key events and choose which memory to believe. Ultimately, the…

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Microsoft is cutting prices on Xbox One consoles, controllers, and first-party games for Black Friday

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Xbox One S

Xbox One S | Photo by Tyler Pina / The Verge

Microsoft has announced its Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals at its XO19 conference in London. The company will be offering the biggest discounts yet on Xbox One consoles, as well as price cuts on controllers and several games.

The deals will run on the Microsoft Store from November 24th to December 2nd (that’s a few days earlier than other retailers will kick things off), but Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Live Gold members will be able to access these deals even earlier, starting on November 21st.

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

If you want to be among the first to access the deals below, you can get a three-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $1 starting on November 14th. This deal is only…

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Halo: Reach is coming to PC on December 3rd

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Microsoft revealed earlier this year that it’s bringing its classic Halo game collection to PC, and adding Halo: Reach to the entire Halo: The Master Chief Collection. While the company has been running beta tests for Halo: Reach on PC in recent months, it’s now arriving on PC on December 3rd.

Microsoft is taking its time to get Halo on PC right, and that means games will appear in stages. Halo: Reach is the first, and the rest will follow in chronological order. Microsoft is also tweaking the games to include field of view sliders and make sure the mouse and keyboard controls feel good.

All six games in Halo: The Master Chief Collection can now be purchased in a bundle on Steam or through the Microsoft Store for $39.99, and Halo: Reach…

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How to choose a database for your application

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Picking the “right” database can often be critical to the success of an application. Rather than taking the advice of vendors or using a database because you already happen to have it, it’s useful to consider the fundamental purpose and requirements of the data store.

These are the most important questions to ask when you are picking a database:

  • How much data do you expect to store when the application is mature?
  • How many users do you expect to handle simultaneously at peak load?
  • What availability, scalability, latency, throughput, and data consistency does your application need?
  • How often will your database schemas change?
  • What is the geographic distribution of your user population?
  • What is the natural “shape” of your data?
  • Does your application need online transaction processing (OLTP), analytic queries (OLAP), or both?
  • What ratio of reads to writes do you expect in production?
  • Do you need geographic queries and/or full-text queries?
  • What are your preferred programming languages?
  • Do you have a budget? If so, will it cover licenses and support contracts?
  • Are there legal restrictions on your data storage?

Let’s expand on those questions and their implications.

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OpenJDK repo migration to GitHub gains steam

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The effort to move the development of open source Java to GitHub is gathering steam, with the arrival of a formal proposal to migrate single-repository OpenJDK projects to the popular code-hosting platform.

The plan, formalized as part of the OpenJDK Java enhancement proposal process, would move Java’s Git repos to GitHub in concert with another proposal to migrate OpenJDK source code repos from Mercurial to Git. Both Java Development Kit (JDK) feature and update releases would be moved to GitHub, for JDK 11 and later versions.

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Logos of videogame consoles from then and now

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Graphic designer Reagan Ray compiled more than 100 logos of videogame consoles from 1976 to 2017. (Just a handful seen above.) Oh how I miss the days of the, um, Fairchild Channel F and the Bandai Playdia. Ray writes:

This list covers the second (1976) through eighth (present) generation consoles. According to Wikipedia, there were 687 first-generation consoles produced, so I decided that was a rabbit hole I didn’t want to enter. I had fun designing the page to look like an old video game ad or one of those posters that came in Nintendo Power. The TV screen borders even made me nostalgic for playing games on an old crappy 19-inch TV.

Video Game Console Logos (
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Los Angeles: Bring your kids to these two family-friendly installments of Boobietrap

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Scot Nery’s Boobietrap is made of wild energy. Halfway between the Gong Show and an alleyway dice game, Los Angeles’ most eclectic and eccentric performances have always been staged for a 21+ audience… until now. On November 29th and 30th.

Many of my favorite variety acts and odd-ball performers consider Boobietrap their home away from home. I am not certain who is in the cast for these kid-friendly shows, but if I can I’ll be bringing my daughter!

Scot Nery’s Boobietrap. Hollywood’s spectacle, now in its fifth year of weekly shows,
opens up the fun for ALL AGES, Friday and Saturday, Nov 29 and 30, at 5PM.

For two shows ONLY, after Thanksgiving, kids are welcome. Discounted prices for
children. Doors will open at 5pm with strolling magic. The stage spectacle begins at 6PM,
and reinvents the wonder of vaudeville for modern short attention spans with the world’s
greatest performers.

Normally a 21+ show every Wednesday, The Family Fun Weekend acts are safe, and
riotous fun for kids, featuring contortionists, jugglers, magicians, songs, aerialists, comedy,
characters, a live band onstage playing between acts and laughter for the whole family.

15 Acts; it’s a fast-paced, eclectic mix of circus acts, performance artists, magicians,
comedians and singers, and events that can’t be easily described. Past performers include
Reggie Watts, Kate Flannery, Tom Arnold, Steve-O, the world’s fastest Etch-a-Sketch
artist, live house band, Cirque Du Soleil performers, and winning acts for all the top talent
shows on TV.

Special Family shows: Nov 29 and 30, 6555 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
Doors and Magic start at 5, show starts at 6.

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