Category: distract

There’s an actual science to good Instagram photos


Social media managers, aspiring influencers, and individual users are all seeking that winning combination of composition, lighting, color, and subject matter that will drive up likes, followers, and click-through rates on Instagram. But what is it that gets the perpetual scroller to stop in their digital tracks?  We spoke with a neuroscientist, a top designer, and a visual psychologist to find out.  What’s science got to do with it? In 2017 Dr. Tedi Asher became the first ‘neuroscientist in residence’ at the Peabody Essex Museum. She was hired by PEM to enhance the visitor experience by conducting research into influences…

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Final Fantasy XIV Online with 30 days of play time is free through 26 May: Here’s how to get it


Square Enix today announced that the Final Fantasy XIV Online: Starter Edition, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the Final Fantasy universe, is free to download on Playstation 4 from now until 26 May, after which you can keep it forever. If you have a Playstation 4 and an account already, all you need to do is head to the Playstation store, either here or on your console, and navigate to the game’s page. You’ll notice the Starter Edition is free, but this isn’t a crippled or lite version. It comes with the full A Realm Reborn quest line and dozens of hours…

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Civilization VI is available for free on PC until May 28 — here’s how to get it


The most popular 4X strategy game on the planet, Civilization VI, is getting a 100% discount on the Epic Games store now through 28 May. If you’ve been holding out for a sale on the empire-builder that perfected the “just one more turn” genre of video games, you can’t do better than free. I’m going to drop all pretense of unbiased reporting here because Civilization VI is one of my favorite games of all time. I developed a two-year case of gamer claw (when your hand cramps into a computer mouse-shaped claw) when the original entry into Sid Meier’s 4X…

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EA to release source code for Command and Conquer’s Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert


Modders rejoice! EA today made the surprise announcement that the .dll files and corresponding source code for RTS classics Command and Conquer Red Alert and Command and Conquer Tiberian Dawn would be released into open source. Interestingly, the announcement came via a Reddit post related to the upcoming Command and Conquer remaster collection: Today we are proud to announce that alongside the launch of the Remastered Collection, Electronic Arts will be releasing the TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll and their corresponding source code under the GPL version 3.0 license. This came as a surprise to most, as we were only expecting news on whether the remaster…

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The cast of Community returns! But just for a table read on YouTube


Community fans, it’s time to rejoice! The old gang’s getting back together today – sans Chevy Chase – for a table read on YouTube. Hot off its resurgence in popularity thanks to finally landing on Netflix, Community is making the leap from the small screen to a bunch of even smaller screens: The series’ actors, showrunner, and one of the musicians responsible for the show’s theme song recently performed and recorded a live table read of a popular, previously-aired episode and today’s the day it’ll air on YouTube. Community, for those who haven’t just finished binge-watching it for the umpteenth…

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Fallout 76 on private servers is the quarantine gaming experience I deserve


“War never changes.” So opens every Fallout title I’ve ever played. But, thankfully, Bethesda‘s latest post-apocalyptic wasteland adventure, Fallout 76, has gone through a steady stream of changes since its launch in 2018. Initially released to mixed-reviews, the franchise’s first multiplayer offering has grown into its own unique blend of MMORPG and Bethesda-style shooter. If you haven’t played 76, it’s like Fallout-lite. It uses a modified version of the Fallout 4 engine to host dozens or hundreds of players at a time in persistent online-only game worlds. I checked it out at launch and was underwhelmed. It was fine, but…

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The Tiger King’s legal team politely asks Trump for a pardon with a ridiculous video


Alert: Spoilers for the Netflix docuseries “The Tiger King” ahead. “President Trump we are asking you today to please free Joe Exotic. He’s absolutely not guilty. And we’re going to be able to prove that. We’re asking for a pardon.” Eric Love, lead investigator for the Tiger King’s legal team. TMZ today revealed an exclusive video from the legal team of Joe Maldonado-Passage, AKA Joe Exotic the Tiger King, requesting a pardon for the disgraced former zoo owner from US president Donald Trump. Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison after being convicted on several charges relating to a…

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How to play Dungeons & Dragons while you’re stuck in quarantine


Dungeons & Dragons is an ageless gaming classic that’s as relevant today as it was in 1974 when it was first released. The central themes of heroism, fantasy combat with evil monsters, and pretending to be someone else haven’t changed at all. Everything else, however, has. For starters, back in the mid 1970s you could go outside pretty much whenever you wanted and social distancing was just something people did when they didn’t like you. If you wanted to play D&D back in the day, you just invited your friends over and shared some snacks while you role-played as warriors…

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A critical review of Star Wars AI


Spoiler Alert! This article has spoilers for just about the entire Star Wars universe. Read at your own risk! When it comes to fictional portrayals of artificial intelligence technology, the Star Trek universe stands head and shoulders above all others. Series creator Gene Rodenberry’s vision for the far future seems just as prescient today, in the era of advanced deep learning, as it did in the 1960s when he unveiled it. Unfortunately, this article is about the AI in Star Wars. Read: Star Wars: Battlefront multiplayer returns for May the 4th You know, Star Wars, the media franchise where an evil…

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Microsoft announces xCloud support for Game Pass games coming in 2020


Microsoft Xbox boss Phil Specter today confirmed the rumors that Game Pass would be getting streaming support in the form of xCloud later this year. This comes after the company revealed subscriber numbers for the first time yesterday, surprising everyone with the news the service had surpassed 10 million users. Xbox Game Pass, often mislabeled as a “Netflix for gaming,” is a subscription service featuring access to a library with more than 100 Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games. Unlike Netflix, you have to download the games you want to play. This means you have to plan ahead if…

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