GTA Online Gets Cool New Racing Update.

There are few games in the industry like GTA Online and the developers at Rockstar are working to keep it that way. The hit online game has been getting consistent updates for the past several years in order to keep gamers plugged in and now the developers are unleashing something extra special: the San Andreas Sports Series. This event will be running for several weeks and it will feature a string of new cars, a new racing mode, and new ways to earn some GTA$.

The new update will be aping some of Rockstar’s past successes. Fans of the series will notice the influences from Vice City that the Hotring Circuit, which is currently online, has embraced. They’ll also notice a large improvement thanks to the recently released ‘Cunning Stunts’ update. The Hotring Circuit allows up to 30 players to join in on the mayhem and participants will be gaining double GTA$ and RP for their effort all the way until March 26th.

There are a slew of new cars available for purchase but they are going to cost players a pretty penny. Head to Legendary Motorsport in order to test your wallet buying the Overflod Entity XXR or the Vulcar Fagaloa station wagon. Just for reference, the XXR will cost players over $2.3 million. These cars all boast tangible benefits in comparison to other, older GTA:O models, but they aren’t going to be must-use for the Hotring Circuit.

Looking past the San Andreas Sports Series, Rockstar has also been talking about their Target Assault mode. In this new game mode, players will match up in teams of two versus up to eight teams at a time. Basically, this game mode will be like GTA:O’s version of ‘Death Race’ where you have a gunner on your back and a mandate to eliminate all of your enemies at your own discretion. This new mode looks like another great layer of mayhem to one of the more successful online games around in the current generation of options.

Nvidia’s GeForce Partner Program May Hurt PC Gamers (And AMD)

According to Nvidia, the GeForce Partner Program benefits everyone in numerous ways. Manufacturers that produce Nvidia GPUs receive early access to new technologies. They also receive extended support and marketing services. On the other hand, gamers are supposed to see more transparent companies and superior products. The official GPP announcement may have left a few details out of the situation, though. It turns out Nvidia may be the only winner in this entire situation.

What Joining The GPP May Mean

New claims suggest that GeForce Partners must dedicate their “Gaming” brands to Nvidia alone. Currently, many GPU manufacturers assign their “Gaming” designation to both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. This includes companies like MSI, Asus, and a handful of others. If a company joins the GPP, then they must reportedly give that branding exclusively to Nvidia. How this benefits Nvidia is obvious. Still, not everyone may realize how it hurts AMD, and more importantly, consumers.

How This Setup Hurts A Lot Of People (And Companies)

When consumers build high-end PCs, they often opt for the “Gaming” variants of those GPUs. Of course, these variants aren’t leagues beyond similar options, but the “Gaming” designation makes a difference nonetheless. Manufacturers in the GPP will spend more marketing efforts on Nvidia GPUs rather than AMD GPUs. Consumers may not know which AMD alternatives are comparable to the Nvidia GPUs. This confusion and ensuing lack of brand recognition could easily hurt consumers above all else.

Consumers will eventually feel the pain because Nvidia GPUs are always more expensive than comparable AMD GPUs. In some cases, they provide better performance, but not everyone prioritizes performances over price. AMD could lose its ability to compete in the high-end GPU market thanks to the GeForce Partner Program. Other consequences from the GPP could include less innovation from AMD and less consumer choices. With that in mind, the GPP is anticompetitive at least and a huge blow to transparency and consumers at worst.

IC System Is Putting A Secure Face On Integrity

Ruth and Jack Erickson founded the accounts receivable company IC System in 1938 with the purpose of being dedicated to integrity in all their dealings. Now celebrating their 80th year of service, IC System has been handed down through three generations while remaining steadfast in their core values of pride, integrity, performance, and innovation. This can be seen by their three consecutive nominations as finalists for the BBB Torch Award for Ethics in 2013, 2014, and 2015. They have also lead the field in modernization and were in fact the first collection agency to upgrade from typewriters to computers in 1968.

With headquarters located just outside of St Paul, IC System utilizes cutting-edge technology while still upholding their status as one of the most secure collections agencies in the field. They also employ an ethical approach to debt consolidation with a goal of finding an honest solution that both their clients and the consumers can be satisfied with.

Additionally, IC System is dedicated to giving back to the community, both through charity and a commitment to environmental conservation. Not only does IC System donate to many charities, but it has also founded E.C.H.O. (Employee Charitable Help Organization), an internal charity committee. Furthermore, the company is dedicated to keeping a carbon neutral footprint by the efficient use of renewable resources for all their energy needs.

In addition to being state of the art, their collection tools rank among the most secure in the trade with a security system that is monitored day and night and has been graded almost 30% more secure than their competitors. Unlike their competitors, who only assess the subdivision of their network that processes credit cards, IC System has even gone so far as to have their entire network audited. You can rest assured that your data and business is in good hands with IC System.

 

‘Sea of Thieves’ Launches, Fans Excited for Pirate Sim

There are few games in the industry right now that have generated as much excitement as ‘Sea of Thieves’. The pirate simulator has essentially captivated the imagination of would-be scallywags all around the world. The game is finally going live after a prolonged beta period and it is hitting consoles and PC’s around the world in style. There is a lot to learn about the new pirate sim so let’s not waste any time and jump right in.

The first thing that you need to know about Sea of Thieves is that the developers at Rare are serious about making this a playable online experience for everyone. While the game is a sandbox -themed pirate sim with a focus on obvious behaviors, Rare still wants a certain style of play to be encouraged. Joe Neate is the executive producer on Sea of Thieves and he had a few pointed words about the title. Neate’s first statement is in response to gamers who were dissatisfied that they could not attack fellow crew members. Neate said, “As a crew, you can’t harm each other and all of the rewards shared.” Neate went on to explain, “There’s literally no reason or motivation to do anything other than cooperate.”

Neate and the rest of the developers on the team went on to explain that they are focused on changing the culture surrounding online gaming. Right now, there is a definite stigma attached to online gaming that seems to imply a certain level of hardship and frustration. Craig Duncan is the Studio lead at Rare for Sea of Thieves and he had his own words to impart. Duncan said, “We’re going to bring a load of people into multiplayer gaming that have maybe rejected multiplayer games before.”

Sea of Thieves is currently available for players who had pre-purchased the game. Right now the developers are going through stress tests on the server which means that they are limiting the number of new players that can register.

Elder Scrolls Online Has New Expansion in Sights.

It seems wild to say but years after the release, ‘The Elder Scrolls Online’ is still going on strong. In an age when so many MMO’s NOT named ‘World of Warcraft’ end up flaming out, Bethesda continues to up the ante with their flagship IP. The Elder Scrolls Online is one of the most popular console MMOs in the world and one of the most played PC MMOs around. Now, Bethesda is setting up a new expansion that should get gamers excited all over again. Bethesda just announced that their next DLC will be titled ‘Summerset’ and it will be focusing on the High Elves of Tamriel.

The Summerset DLC will be a continuation of the 2015 DLC, Orsinium, and it will seek to put an endcap on the story that Orsinium began. Among the new additions to TESO will be a completely new zone, an additional faction (Psijic Order), a new skillset, a jewelry crafting skill, a spate of new bosses and finally a new Trial known as Cloudrest which features 12-player cooperative gameplay.

Not much is known about the new DLC as of yet but we can provide a little bit of detail regarding the new zone, provided by Bethesda. According to Bethesda’s announcement, Summerset is going to be one of the prettiest zones in all of Tamriel — but it will have a dark secret. Bethesda wrote, “Trouble is hiding in the shadows and corruption threatens to destroy High Elf society from within.”

The Summerset DLC will be available for PC gamers on May 21st and it is currently available for pre-purchase if you are feeling so inclined. Pre-purchase benefits include a great physical totem of Prince Mephala, a Deadric character from the game. You will also receive a special pet, treasure maps, a Psijic Vault Crown crate, a Queen’s Bounty Pack and even a special costume for your character to wear. Pre-purchasing the DLC will also give you the Morrowind DLC as well.

Fortnite Outsells PUBG in Microtransactions

Epic Game’s “Fortnight” is swimming in cash thanks to in-app purchases. Specifically, the game earned $126 million from that side of the business in February, exceeding the monthly revenue of rival title “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” and marking a marketing first for the game. Those familiar with Fortnite’s rising star, especially after implementing a 100-player battle royale mode, will find this information as nothing new.

While Epic Games co-opted PUBG’s idea of parachuting onto an island with a large group of players vying to be the last man standing, it has a few tricks up its sleeve. First, Fortnight is completely free-to-play. Second, PUBG earning $103 million in February, the bulk of that figure came from one-time $30 purchases of the title on Steam. Fortnight, conversely, makes the bulk of its earnings through in-app purchases of cosmetic items like alternate costume skins and special emotes.

While PUBG also offers the option of purchasing cosmetic items, it falls behind Fortnite’s offerings. PUBG Corp/Bluehole, developers for PUBG stated that it would be adding emotes in the future, while Fortnite has had emotes since its September launch. Fortnitt also has a benefit when it comes to platform: in addition to PC users, the title is also available to PS4 and X-Box one users, with iOS play currently undergoing closed beta testing. Analysts predict that the iOS port of Fortnite has earned Epic Games $1.5 million in the one week that that version has been remotely playable.

Beyond the monetary reasons or venue, Fortnite also features a learning curve and aesthetic that makes it more endearing to younger players than PUBG’s dark, gritty and realistic aesthetic. The addition of mobile play means that younger gamers, who may lack a proper console or gaming-tier PC, can participate. One final consideration in Fortnite’s favor is the notion of cheating, cheating within PUBG is such a rampant problem that Bluehole has had to prioritize resources toward anti-cheating measures instead of new gameplay features.

DRM Preventing PC Gamers from Playing Final Fantasy VII

Fans of one of the most popular Final Fantasy games were disheartened recently to find that, like with many games of the modern era, their digital copies of Final Fantasy VII would not run.

This phenomenon occurred due to a piracy prevention method known as DRM (digital rights management). With DRM, anyone who wishes to play a game must first login to a server owned by the game’s publisher. If the game cannot make that connection, like if it was obtained illegally through piracy, then the game will not be able to run and players will not be allowed to play.

While this seems like a good system in theory, there have been numerous problems with DRM over the years. In this case, it was something as simple as the servers at Square Enix being down for a few hours. During those few hours, though, no one with a digital copy of Fihttp://omtgames.com/wp-admin/edit-tags.php?taxonomy=post_tagnal Fantasy VII, even those who bought it through a legal channel like Steam, could actually play the game.

This is a common headache for many in the modern age of gaming as more and more game companies turn to DRM to try and prevent piracy. In addition to situations like this, there are many cases where DRM simply fails to recognize a legally obtained copy of a game, shutting out players with proof of purchase for no reason. Compound this with publishing company Ubisoft (who uses DRM in all of its games) admitting that DRM does not work to stop piracy, and many players are left wondering why it continues to be a thing in gaming.

Modern gaming aside, many players take solace in their older releases, knowing that a copy of their favorite classics on the PlayStation 2 or Gamecube won’t force them to login to a server before starting. However, as more and more of these classics are placed onto a digital marketplace (which is not a bad thing in and of itself), the constant specter of ineffective and annoying DRM continues to appear to haunt gamers worldwide.

PC Game Streaming Comes To Facebook Live To Compete With Other Platforms

Facebook Live has never captured a gaming audience since its inception. Despite streaming Overwatch events though the platform, nothing ever captured the hearts of gamers. A new Games SDK for PC from Facebook could change things up, though. The social media platform wants to allow gamers to stream PC titles at the push of a button. However, it remains to be seen whether the company can give users an incentive to switch from Twitch or YouTube.

Simply put, Facebook wants to make it easier for developers, streamers, and gamers to stream on its own platform. Popular streamers from Twitch and YouTube pull in a lot of money for their respective companies. It’s no surprise Facebook wants to join the action with its own Live platform. The company knows that incentives are necessary to pull in an audience, so various benefits will be rolled out for everyone involved.

Since its inception, Facebook Live hasn’t done much except draw controversy due to the content of users’ streams. Catering to gamers is a brand new direction for the platform because game streaming was almost nonexistent in the past. A lot of time, effort, and incentives will need to be brought to the platform to attract developers, streamers, and viewers. Twitch and YouTube are already kings in the market after all.

In fact, even Microsoft runs its own game streaming platform with a small user base. Facebook’s first step toward gaining a foothold will be to topple Microsoft’s user base for Mixer. All the money in the world won’t guarantee success in this venture. Still, Facebook wants its Live platform to be the perfect place to stream anything and everything. The tides could turn in Facebook’s favor in due time.

Twitch, YouTube, and even Mixer have nothing to fear at the moment. With a strong enough push and innovative features, Facebook Live’s PC game streaming could gain an audience. Catering to both developers and streamers will be key to starting out on the right foot. Even a minor misstep could doom Facebook Live to a status of last place in the streaming world.

Facebook Hopes to Compete with Twitch

It’s no secret that Facebook wants to dominate the internet. Mark Zuckerberg wants his sight to be the place people go to share photos, connect with friends, read the news, seek entertainment, and a myriad of other activities.

That’s why the development of Facebook Live comes as little surprise. Facebook Live is nothing new, per se; Facebook Live has enjoyed a streaming relationship with video game giant Blizzard since 2016. What is new is the expansion of Facebook Live to be more competitive with Twitch and YouTube.

Video game streaming makes a lot of money. Successful streamers not only earn significant in-game bonuses; they earn a revenue as well. But that’s not the only way streaming is profitable. Streaming drives traffic. Due to monetized ads and other means, internet traffic means profit.

Right now, Twitch is the go-to for live game streaming. YouTube is the preferred source for walkthroughs and Let’s Plays. Facebook is hoping to change that.

With their latest update, Facebook now makes it easy to stream PC games through the Facebook Live platform, with minimal external hardware or additional software required. Facebook is also providing incentives for viewers to watch on Facebook instead of elsewhere, including in-game bonuses and other features.

While Facebook Live is unlikely to have a serious impact on the legions of streaming enthusiasts on YouTube and Twitch, they no doubt hope to attract more casual viewers, making it easy for people to transition from browsing through their feed to watching a live stream. Since there are undoubtedly people who are not fond of the communities on YouTube or Twitch, it shouldn’t be too difficult for Facebook to lure some of those viewers to their own streaming service.

Sean Penn Has Created A Garrulous Masterpiece With Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff

Sean Penn has had his name on numerous film and theater productions, been a director, producer, actor and writer, won Academy Awards, published opinion pieces and worked as a correspondent in the war. He established himself more recently as the author of Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. This is a garrulous and funny depiction of a septic tank salesman. He works for the United States government on the side as a contract killer. The book has already provoked the expected reactions from the critics.

Sean Penn spoke of the difference between the collaboration of a film project and standing alone as the author of a book. He decided he was no longer satisfied playing with others and wanted to do something that did not involve financial backing and creative collaborations. He wanted to remove the burden of expectations associated with films and be responsible for his own fate. He admits he has something else cooking but says it does not involve acting. He stated he may eventually direct another movie but he has become very particular. Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff reads like one massive prose poem and it’s not an easy read; it is a dense book for sure.

Sean Penn’s colleagues and friends have said amazing things regarding his book. He said he enjoyed acting but feels if his book influences someone it is because they drew their own conclusions with their own words. He also said he believes most of what he has heard about his book was from individuals who had not yet read the novel. The style of his book reflects his career as a screenplay writer. He never became an expert with a laptop and was eventually unable to find a ribbon for his favorite typewriter. This was when he began writing in longhand and realized he was quicker with his fingers.

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He discussed what he talked about in Bob honey who just do stuff and says the ideas depend on the way it is read. He has encouraged any movement trying to create social equality. He stated the parallel movement increase superficiality. He questions the reason behind the way people feel. Sean Penn believes if people do not work for inclusion they are working for divisiveness. He does not think a novel should be viewed as an opinion piece.

Read a summary here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32706608-bob-honey-who-just-do-stuff