Riot’s new shooter Valorant looks like Overwatch meets CS:GO

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For its first competitive shooter, League of Legends developer Riot is pulling from some of the biggest games in the genre. Today, the developer officially unveiled Valorant — previously known only as “Project A” — with a video that shows nearly three minutes of gameplay. Based on this, Valorant looks to combine the tactical gunplay of CS:GO with the over-the-top characters and special powers of Overwatch. The creators describe it as a five-versus-five game “where creativity is your greatest weapon.”

“Imagine this: tactical shooter meets hypernatural powers,” the official site explains. “Everyone’s got guns and a unique set of abilities, so how do you beat someone with the speed of wind? Use your own moves to outplay them and beat them…

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Vans reissues limited edition “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” promotional sneakers

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In 1982, Jeff Spicoli brought checkerboard Vans beyond the SoCal surf-skate culture and onto the big screen in one of my all-time favorite films, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. (The story goes that Sean Penn had bought shortly before filming began and convinced director Amy Heckerling to let him wear them in the movie.) To celebrate the movie’s release, Steve Van Doren, son of the Vans founder Paul Van Doren, made a limited run of special Fast Times slip-ons made to give away at the premiere. Those special pairs have become a holy grail of shoe collectors and now Vans has reissued them. Awesome. Totally awesome. From Vans:

Borrowing details from the original Classic Slip-On and offering modernized comfort with upgraded Ortholite® sockliners, Anaheim Factory Classic Slip-On 98 DX also includes throwback details like the iconic Vans checkerboard print, higher glossed foxing tape, printed sidewalls, and sturdy canvas and textile uppers to complete the look.

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Oppo launches six-camera Reno 3 Pro in India

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Oppo has announced the Reno 3 Pro, the latest entry in the ever-more-convoluted Reno series. It’s a mid-range model that’s altogether separate from the Reno 3 Pro 5G released in China in December; this model is launching in India first.

The Reno 3 Pro feels slimmer and lighter than most of its peers, at 8.1mm thick and 175g. Otherwise, though, its design is pretty unremarkable — it’s yet another bezel-less Chinese phone with a gradient finish and cameras everywhere the eye can see. Oppo says the finishes are all meant to evoke the sky; the model you see above is the “Auroral Blue” version, supposedly inspired by the northern lights, while there are also “Midnight Black” and sunrise-pink-ish “Sky White” variants.

The screen is a 6.4-inch…

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A Final Fantasy VII Remake demo is out now for PS4

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FF7 remake

If you have a PS4, you can now play Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is a sentence that a lot of people have been waiting forever to hear. Square Enix just released a demo of the upcoming game on PlayStation Network across the world; the link in the tweet below should take you to your local store.

Final Fantasy VII Remake was first announced in 2015 and, after a recent delay, is now set to be released on April 10th. It is, of course, a remake of 1997’s Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation, which is probably the most titanically popular Japanese RPG of all time.

The game we’re getting in April isn’t the full story, though — it’ll only cover the opening Midgar section of the original release, and Square Enix hasn’t said how many…

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Killer drumless mix of Hall & Oates’ “Maneater”

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The infectious groove of Hall & Oates’s classic “Maneater” (1982) is driven by the absolutely killer bass line. As evidence, I present to you the “bassapella” version of “Maneater” with the drums removed from the mix.

Bonus musical memory: Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs credits the “Maneater” bass pump as inspiring his band’s mighty fine cover of The Supremes’ “My World is Empty Without You” (1991)…

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AT&T TV now available nationwide with Android TV set-top box — and a two-year contract

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Image: AT&T TV

AT&T TV is launching nationwide today after initially rolling out to over a dozen markets last year. The subscription TV service — not to be confused with AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now) — is contract-based, which is a departure from the freedom you get with month-to-month streaming TV apps like YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, and Sling TV. Signing up for a two-year agreement gets you an Android TV set-top box and a very cable-like remote control (with a Google Assistant button).

AT&T is trying to position AT&T TV as its premium streaming TV experience; it’s more for people seeking a better cable / satellite alternative than a cheaper one. This is basically AT&T’s next play as it moves on from DirecTV, which continues to bleed…

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These inkless pens are on sale for up to 60% off

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The world just isn’t made for lefties. From baseball gloves to can openers to credit card readers with slots on the right side, the 10 percent of the planet with a dominant left hand long ago realized they’re trapped in a world crafted by the other 90 percent.

Among all those indignities, there may be no more lefty a problem than when a left-handed person tries to write with an ink pen. Even with attention, the left hand perpetually slides over freshly-scrawled text over and over, leading to smudged pages, an ink-stained hand and loads of frustration.

Omega feels you, lefties. They make a pen that handles everything your typical ballpoint can do…but with no ink. On top of that, they’re also putting them on sale now at up to 60 percent off the regular price.

And while this tech marvel is of particular note to the lefties in your life, right-handed people can still buy an Omega as well. Because unlike the other 90 percent, lefties don’t discriminate.

With the Omega 2.0 AXL Inkless Pen ($29.99; originally $41.99), you’ll quickly find you don’t need ink because that’s not what you’re writing with — you’re writing with metal. The AXL metal tip lays down a grey line made of anodized aluminum, a line that can’t be smudged or erased.

And not only does the Omega never need ink, it never needs to be refilled at all…or replaced. This entirely eco-friendly lead and aluminum alloy instrument never stops working, continuing to lay down its thin metallic line for as long as your pen survives. Read the rest

Singer is the Cadillac of sewing machines and these six models are on sale for up to 60% off

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It’s not an exaggeration to place Singer and the Singer sewing machine among the most recognized heritage brand names and products in American business history. Back in the 1850s, entrepreneur Isaac Merritt Singer seized on a way to build the first practical sewing machine for use in the home — and to say American housewives were ready for a way to vastly speed up and improve how clothes, blankets, bedding, and other fabrics were created and mended is an understatement.

Within a decade, Singer became a name synonymous with sewing — and almost 200 years later, the company is still a worldwide leader in sewing machines and sewing technology.

Right now, Singer is opening up its stockroom, offering up six different refurbished models of their signature creations for over 60 percent off their retail price.

Get sewing

In case you thought a machine was too bulky for your home or too pricey, Singer has a handful of their best, most compact, like-new models on sale at more than half off. The Singer Start ($59.99; originally $119.99) has six basic stitches to choose from; and with an easy four-step process for adding simple buttonhole on items like pillows or clothing, it’s one of the best options for a young sewer.


And at over 60 percent off, the Singer Fashion Mate ($69.99; originally $179.99) is the biggest money saver in the bunch. Between 32 different stitch options with a handy selection dial to bounce through all those sewing options with ease, its $110 savings off the regular price should help land it at the top of many user wish lists. Read the rest

Lionkiller turns the legend of Mulan into an interactive story during the Opium Wars

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It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend.

Tools like Twine have made it easier than ever to make interactive text-based games. But while they can be simple to make, that doesn’t make it any easier to tell an engaging story. As a writer, you have nowhere to hide: there aren’t graphical avatars for the player to control or music and voice acting to help tell the story. It’s just words and hyperlinks. Despite that, games like Lionkiller show just how engaging and powerful interactive fiction can be — even if they only have words to work with.


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From The Strategist: the 10 best eco-friendly condoms and lubes

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Looking for eco-friendly condoms is complicated. Kim Marks, the owner of As You Like It, a nontoxic and environmentally conscious sex shop in Eugene, Oregon, describes the concept as a Catch-22: “Condoms are onetime use, but we need them for safe sex,” she says. Matthew Nolan, the co-author of the Oh Joy Sex Toy book series who runs a website of the same name, agrees. “Condoms are super tricky,” he says. “Almost all condoms are made from latex or a latex derivative — stuff that takes forever to degrade. The best thing you can aim for is a cruelty-free, considerate condom manufacturer.” And there are a handful of companies that go the extra mile to ensure that their rubber and manufacturing processes are sustainable.

“As an FDA-approved…

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May we live in interesting times

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It’s never a good sign when, in order to discuss the near future of technology, you first have to talk about epidemiology–but I’m afraid that’s where we’re at. A week ago I wrote “A pandemic is coming.” I am sorry to report, in case you hadn’t heard, events since have not exactly proved me wrong. […]

Which coding language should you learn first? How about…all of them?

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There are as many methods for creating on the web as there are creators to build them. But no matter what programming language or venue is a coder’s particular arena of choice, it never hurts to have the cross-disciplinary skills to try other avenues if needed that may better serve your app or web experience.

That’s easier said than done, of course…and requires some extra study hours. To help, we put together 10 current deals on coding packages that can get you up to speed on virtually all the most popular programming languages.

The 2020 Premium Learn To Code Certification Bundle – $39 (Originally $2,300)

Consider this your introductory sampler to the entire coding universe. With over 10 courses, you’ll get a full tour of how many of the most popular disciplines work, including Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby and more. There’s also an exploration of data science and machine learning, two of the most explosive growth sectors in computer programming today.

ReactJS Programming Bootcamp – $39 (Originally $458)

Across eight courses and 44 hours of training, you’ll get up-close and personal with ReactJS, the popular Java library of pre-built elements that make your websites and apps more responsive and appealing to your users. You’ll not only see how ReactJS can be integrated into your builds, but you’ll also explore how some of the biggest tech companies employ its benefits, including Facebook and Instagram.

The Complete Ruby on Rails Super Bundle – $39 (Originally $3,000)

Ask experienced developers which coding language and framework is the best for getting newbies going, and many will tell you Ruby on Rails. Read the rest

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