Hands-on with coming-of-age puzzle game ‘Where Cards Fall’

The game’s main mechanism involves building houses of cards to create pathways around the landscapes, though figuring out where and how to craft these buildings is easier said than done. The cards are human-sized and generally rest on the ground in black-and-white piles, with shapes on the top indicating which type of structure they’ll create, from sloped roofs to flat-tops. Drag out a pile and it expands to fill the space; let go and a building instantly pops up, changing depending on how big you decide to make it.

You can create cafes, record stores, houses, newsstands and all manner of spaces — and not only are they used as rooftop platforms, but you can actually enter the buildings and mess around with whatever (and whoever) is inside. Take a break and listen to some vinyl or pop into the coffee shop for a latte. The interactivity offered by these interiors brings the entire game alive — you’re not just making pathways to race to the end of each read more

How Raya’s $8/month dating app turned exclusivity into trust

The swipe is where the similarity ends. Raya is less like Tinder and more like a secret society. You need a member’s recommendations or a lot of friends inside to join, and you have to apply with an essay question. It costs a flat $7.99 for everyone, women and celebrities included. You show yourself off with a video slideshow set to music of your choice. And it’s for professional networking as well as dating, with parallel profiles for each.

Launched in March 2015, Raya has purposefully flown under the radar. No interviews. Little info about the founders. Not even a profile on Crunchbase’s startup index. In fact, in late 2016 it quietly acquired video messaging startup Chime, led by early Facebooker Jared Morgenstern, without anyone noticing. He’d become Raya’s first investor a year earlier. But Chime was fizzling out after raising $1.2 million. “I learned that not everyone who leaves read more

Everything You Need to Know About Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

On March 17, 2018, The New York Times, alongside The Guardian and The Observer, reported that Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm that worked on President Trump’s 2016 campaign, and its related company, Strategic Communications Laboratories, pilfered the data of 50 million Facebook users and secretly kept it. This revelation and its implications, that Facebook allowed data from millions of its users to be captured and improperly used to influence the presidential election, ignited a conflagration that threatens to engulf the already tattered reputation of the embattled social media giant.

For five days, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, remained what many called “deafeningly silent,” before finally posting a lengthy response to his personal Facebook page. He then spoke to a small handful of news outlets, including WIRED, offering apologies, conceding mistakes, and, surprisingly, even entertaining regulation for his sprawling company.

From the moment the read more

Watch ‘Silicon Valley’ actors rip a VR bong in the hacker hostel

HBO’s Silicon Valley is returning to the air with Season 5 debuting on Sunday. To prep fans, HBO released a virtual reality experience where users will be able to explore Erlich Bachman’s hacker hostel and interact with a ton of easter eggs from the show.

HBO showed off some “behind-the-scenes” footage of Richard and Dinesh playing through the experience and it’s all a bit to meta to handle.

You can rip a bong, open up some Fage yogurt, play the piano and pretty much just trash the place. The experience seems to fit in a surprising number of references from the show and generally appears to be a lot more high quality than most of these marketing gags generally are. Like, some studio definitely put a ton of work into this. Additionally, it appears that there’s new content recorded from actors in read more

Yet another security vulnerability afflicts India’s citizen database

ZDNet is withholding details about the security lapse because it says Indian officials haven’t done anything about it. Karan Saini, a New Delhi-based security researcher, spotted the vulnerability and says a data leak in a state-owned utility company’s system is letting anyone retrieve information on any Aadhaar member. Names, Aadhaar identity numbers and bank information are all exposed.

ZDNet spent over a month trying to get in touch with Indian authorities and after receiving no replies, it contacted the Indian Consulate in New York. ZDNet spent two weeks describing the problem, but it remained unaddressed. It said the vulnerability was still accessible at the time of publication.

Aadhaar has experienced a number of other security issues in the past. Earlier this year, reporters at Indian publication read more

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston emphasizes user trust on IPO day amid Facebook’s troubles

Dropbox made its public debut today, with the stock soaring nearly 40% on its first day of trading — meaning the company will now be beholden to the same shareholders that sent the company’s valuation well north of $10 billion.

As a file-sharing and collaboration service, Dropbox’s first principle is going to be user trust, CEO Drew Houston told TechCrunch after the company made its debut. This comes amid a tidal wave of information throughout the week indicating that data on 50 million Facebook users ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica several years ago through access gained via an app that was on the Facebook platform. While not a direct breach in the core sense of the word, the leaked data was a considerable breach of trust among Facebook’s users — and as Dropbox looks to crack into the enterprise and also continue to win over consumers, it’ll likely continue to have to increasingly emphasize security and privacy going forward.

“Our business is built on our customers’ read more

How to watch Martinez v Santiago: Live stream the fight online from anywhere

It’s a battle of the super flyweights tonight as Jose Martinez takes on Alejandro Santiago in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

The two fighters will be looking for a strong performance tonight following a draw in their last bout, which took place back in November 2016.

In fact, that draw is the only blemish of Martinez’s career record of 20-0-1, with 13 of those victories coming by knockout. The fight sees Martinez make the first defence of his NABO Super Flyweight title since winning it from Jesus Martinez back in November.

However Santiago, who has 15 career victories, will be no pushover, and the 21-year-old Mexican will be looking to take the belt as he looks to establish himself as a fighter for the future.

If you’re looking to watch tonight’s fight, don’t worry – there is still a way to keep up with the action online.

Here is our quick and easy guide for how to watch the big fight online from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re in the US, Canada, India, Italy read more

Spielberg doesn’t think Netflix should win Oscars

Spielberg responded to a direct question about Netflix’s threat to the cinematic form by criticizing studios for preferring tentpole blockbusters to making smaller movies, which have been subsequently driven to streaming services. Television (presumably including streaming content) is thriving with quality and art, he said, but it endangers film as a form because creators won’t brave the indie awards scene and just go to SVOD providers instead. But once you do, the creation crosses a Rubicon to become television, and shouldn’t be considered for an Academy Award.

Others in the old guard of the film world similarly reject content on streaming services. Cannes banned Netflix from competition this year after last year’s uproar over allowing Okja and The read more

The Ryan Coogler Effect: What the Success of ‘Black Panther’ Means for Black Directors

If you had to take a guess, how many studios would you say are desperate to greenlight a superhero film by a black director? One? Just a few? All of the majors? I cynically volleyed that question to coworkers in Slack last week when reports started circling that Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, She’s Gotta Have It) was in consideration to direct an adaptation of Nightwatch for Sony, possibly with a script from Luke Cage’s Cheo Hodari Coker. My colleagues debated the query gamely, but the discussion didn’t end with the possibility of Lee taking on a Marvel hero. One day later, there was a report that Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time, Selma) would be directing New Gods, a DC saga of virtue and immorality that takes place in a realm of immortal beings known as the Fourth World. I was starting to get answers.

There’s a renewed sense of excitement afoot in Hollywood, and much of it has to do with the singular and sweeping success of director Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, read more

Snap reportedly buys its very own 3D game engine

Snapchat’s parent company has bought a web-based 3D game engine startup out of the UK, Business Insider (paywalled) reports.

PlayCanvas is a development tool focused on letting people easily design rich 3D environments. Unlike products from companies like Unity and Epic Games, PlayCanvas’s game engine was entirely browser-based and was optimized to run on low-power devices. The focus of the WebGL engine stretches from configuring 3D models to running entire games.

The small London-based company was founded in 2011 and raised just $590,000 in seed funding from investors including the Microsoft Accelerator and DC Thomson Ventures according to Crunchbase. We don’t know how much the deal went for.

While many of Snap’s recent acquisitions have focused on bolstering consumer-facing features, PlayCanvas seems to be focused squarely on developers. read more