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New HTC Vive Releases For The Week Of 11/27/16

The HTC Vive releases for this week cover a diverse collection of genres of topics with some winter and Christmas themed treats mixed in. Oscar Mike VR is an intriguing FPS with a Counter-Strike style that will hopefully iron out a couple issues to become a major multiplayer experience. DreamDesk VR finally hits Steam with plenty of customization tools for your virtual reality workspace, but is it worth the high price point? If you’re a fan of escape the room experiences, this week gives you couple cool options with the solid Locked In VR and sci-fi noir Abode.

In the meantime, if you missed last week, you can see those new releases here. And don’t forget that UploadVR has a Steam community group, complete with a curated list of recommendations so that you don’t have to waste any money finding out what’s good in the world of VR.

We also have a top list of the absolute best HTC Vive games — which is updated every few months with the latest and greatest options.

VR Dungeon, from Relative Reality Studios

Price: $4.99

Built on cross-play between HTC Vive and a smartphone, VR Dungeon is a collaborative puzzler. Team up, find objects and treasure and escape the dungeon.

Recommendation: Really cool concept with a lot of potential. Give it a shot.

I Hate Santa, from VirtualRock VR

Price: $2.99

With the Christmas holiday right around the corner, we’re starting to get an influx of themed games. I Hate Santa is a snow-filtered wave shooter where you take out kids with snowballs on your way to finding out Santa’s dark secret.

Recommendation: Not recommended. Better options that are free.

Theme Park Studio, from Pantera Entertainment

Price: $29.99

Theme Park Studio is essentially a theme park themed physics toolbox that includes Steam Workshop integration, so expect a wealth of mods. Build and enter “VR Mode” to explore and ride your creations.

Recommendation: Spotty support that has seen an uptick in recent weeks. If continued, could be a major VR experience. Keep an eye on it.

Historium VR- Relive the history of Bruges, from Sevenedge Interactive Media

Price: $13.49 (Currently Discounted)

In Historium VR, players take an interactive and immersive journey through 15th century Bruges. Walk, sail, and fly around as you learn the history of the area and its trading routes.

Recommendation: Catch it on sale unless you have an overwhelming interest in the era.

Hand Eye Cubination, from Virtual Vitality

Price: $8.99 (Currently Discounted)

This experience takes full advantage of your senses in an immersive VR experience as you guide cubes across various puzzles.

Recommendation: Very casual and simple experience that may become uninteresting quickly. Keep an eye on it though.

Space Junk Patrol, from Anthracite Games

Price: $5.09 (Currently Discounted)

In Space Junk Patrol, you pilot your own ship through crowded space and clean up debris while fighting off alien adversaries.

Recommendation: Not a bad casual time-sink for the sale price.

Neon Arena, from Axyos Games

Price: $5.99 (Currently Discounted)

Neon Arena is a twin stick shooter within an ever-evolving arena. Also includes co-op gameplay.

Recommendation: Decent game, but doesn’t really take advantage of VR much.

Driftwatch VR, from Sevenedge Interactive Media

Price: $6.79 (Currently Discounted)

This on-rails Vive shooter puts players on the back of a whale or in a helicopter as you shoot down enemies with magic, arrows, and dual melee weapons.

Recommendation: Visually impressive with solid physics but fairly short. Keep an eye on it.

Locked In VR, from Immersion

Price: $5.39 (Currently Discounted)

If not evident from the name, Locked In VR is an escape the room experience. You’re dropped into a basement with things scattered and a timer on the wall. Use your wits and figure out the various puzzles to find out why you’re there in the first place.

Recommendation: One of the better escape the room titles at a solid price.

Abode, from Overflow

Price: $9.99

Abode is an escape the room-like game with a sci-fi noir aesthetic to it. Find, repair, and use items across the apartment to learn all of the dwelling’s secrets.

Recommendation: Another solid game to add to your collection if you’re not already tired of this genre.

VRchaeology: Prologue, from Play Nicely

Price: Free-to-play

In VRchaeology you take some TNT along with your archaeological tools to chisel and explode your way to riches.

Recommendation: Brief but free experience. Give it a shot and keep an eye out for more additions.

Oscar Mike VR, from For Loop Games

Price: $19.99

Oscar Mike VR is a 5v5 first-person shooter with online and offline multiplayer. It has a similar design and structure to Counter-Strike with players purchasing their weapons as the beginning of every round and the featured image is ripped right out of Battlefield.

Recommendation: Decent experience if you dig military shooters. Onward is still better overall.

Bullet Sorrow VR, from VikingVRStudio

Price: $15.99 (Currently Discounted)

In this futuristic arcade shooter, utilize a collection of weapons to eliminate enemies. Also take advantage of progressive bullet time as you take cover and dodge enemy fire.

Recommendation: Very well done wave shooter with potential to grow. Grab it.

Doomsday Survival: Training, from CrazyAi

Price: $9.99

Doomsday Survival: Training is a pretty physically intense workout disguised in a fun sci-fi aesthetic. Includes a collection of modes as you duck, collect, and dodge your way up the leaderboards.

Recommendation: Fun way to distract yourself into a decent workout.

Emission VR, from VRSpec Team

Price: $0.99

Emission VR is a third person zombie battler set in a Resident Evil-esque environment. The atmosphere is dark and the zombies are hungry. Better keep those guns at the ready.

Recommendation: If you’ve ever felt nostalgic for a Jill Sandwich then this could be the game for you.

Crazy Saloon VR, from Monsieur K

Price: $9.99

Crazy Saloon VR is a humorous collection of old west themed minigames inside a saloon. In the game you can play as the bartender and serve the cowboys drinks, throw darks, defend the bar, and more.

Recommendation: Silly fun that’s worth grabbing.

DreamDesk VR, from We AR VR

Price: $39.99

DreamDesk is the latest VR desktop app to hit the market. This one differentiates itself by allowing you to “create, scale and place virtual screens around you without additional hardware or drivers.” That means multiple screens baby.

Recommendation: DreamDesk could help you be more productive and if that’s worth $39.99 to you then this could be a decent purchase. For most people, however, this one’s price is simply too high.

Salvage Op, from D.W.S.

Price: $11.04 (Currently Discounted)

Using your head mounted flashlight and dual weapons, explore the overrun vessels of Salvage Op in deep space.

Recommendation: Interesting concept but just keep an eye on it in early access for now.

Snowday, from Breachgate

Price: $14.99

Winter is upon us and it’s time to hit the power in this first person shooter (or snowbrawler as the devs call it). Use stealth and good aim to become the best snowball fighter in the neighborhood.

Recommendation: Fun winter-themed competitive shooter with a solid foundation in early access.

Bounce, from Steel Wool Studios

Price: $19.99 (Currently Discounted)

This physics-based puzzle game tasks you helping out a robot companion through a labyrinth of rooms.

Recommendation: One of the best VR physics puzzlers available. Grab it. Our review.

GemWars, from uyi technology Co, Ltd

Price: $15.99

GemWars is a wave shooter with a fantasy/toon aesthetic where you take down a diverse collection of enemy types with various weapons. Also includes an unlockable tower defense mode.

Recommendation: Wealth of content and lots of fun. Grab it.

Nock: Hidden Arrow, from CodeBison Games

Price: $8.49 (Currently Discounted)

Nock: Hidden Arrow might just fall under the category of “hidden gems.” It combines some creative light mechanics with the always-satisfying-in-VR archery combat system to put together a truly engaging dungeon crawler.

Recommendation: Nock: Hidden Arrow would make a great weekend game and it’s on sale as well. Great concept.

Pinball FX2 VR, from Zen Studios

Price: $14.99

It’s pinball, but in VR. Lots of great themed tables, like The Walking Dead, can be downloaded as DLC, and plenty of spectacular effects. We’ve interviewed the devs about it extensively and recently published our review. Lots of great content here.

Recommendation: For fans of the classic hobby that predates video games themselves, this is a must-buy.

Magnificent Ships: Volume 1, from VROOM

Price: $11.99

This collection of detailed ships allows you to explore in room and full-scale modes so you can admire the great degree of work put into the models. You can manipulate the massive vessels as if they were toys or take a first person tour of the deck.

Recommendation: Very specific interest here so grab it if it tickles your fancy.

BladeShield, from Rank17, Silicon Storm

Price: $2.39 (Currently Discounted)

How long can you survive against this onslaught of robotic foes? They want you dead but fortunately you have a pair of license-free laser swords that are in no way affiliated with a certain film franchise to fend them off. Dual wield to your heart’s content.

Recommendation: License-free laser swords and VR are a match made in heaven. For less than three dollars this one could be a steal.

Drunken Bar Fight, from The Munky

Price: $10.19 (Currently Discounted)

Ever wanted the adrenaline rush of a brutal bar fight without the scars and legal consequences? Drunken Bar Fight is your chance.

Recommendation: It’s a bit clunky when it comes to the crucial aspect of hitting your enemies, so keep an eye out for updates while it’s in early access.

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Source: uploadvr

Mark Zuckerberg at Oculus Connect 2016.


Facebook’s envy of Snapchat has been well-documented—as have its attempts over the years to imitate various features of the mobile video-messaging service. Virtually none of these efforts have managed to gain much traction with users, however.

In the latest example of this continuing trend, the social networking giant is said to be working on something similar to Snapchat Discover, the feature through which media partners such as CNN and BuzzFeed post their articles and videos for Snapchat users to browse.

Facebook has reportedly told some of its media partners that it is working on a new feature called Collections, which would bundle articles and videos from those outlets together in the news feed, making it easier for users to find them, according to a report from Business Insider.

The social network often experiments with new services and then changes its mind about rolling them out, so there’s no guarantee that Collections will ever become reality.

Interestingly, Snapchat recently changed the terms of its deal with media partners involved in the Discover feature, and there have been reports from some publishers that the engagement levels with their content have dropped off significantly as a result.

If Facebook did launch such a feature, it could kill two birds with one stone. It would make the company’s media partners even more reliant on the news feed to reach their audiences, which would help Facebook. And it might also help mitigate some of the criticism the company has been getting about the rise of “fake news” on the network.

The proliferation of false news stories and hoaxes, many of which come from fraudulent domains that pretend to be real news publishers, has been a problem for Facebook for some time. But criticism about the phenomenon has increased in volume since the election of Donald Trump.

Some observers believe that the profusion of fake articles on Facebook helped sway the presidential election in favor of Trump, although others have argued that all this accomplished was to entrench the views that Trump voters already held about various issues.

Mark Zuckerberg at first said the percentage of fake news on the platform was tiny, and called the idea that it influenced the election “crazy.” More recently, however, he has said the company is working on methods of detecting and flagging fake news stories for users, even though the social network has no desire to be an “arbiter of truth.”

The Collections feature would be a way for Facebook to essentially create a group of “approved” or verified media outlets that it could feature prominently in the news feed.

One problem for alternative media sources, however, would be that such deals would entrench Facebook’s status as an information gatekeeper. Journalist Glenn Greenwald and others have said this is one of the problems with Facebook deciding what “fake news” is.

The uncomfortable reality is that Facebook already picks and chooses which media outlets to favor through its use of an algorithmic filter, the workings of which are only known to Facebook. Presumably those who participated in Collections would be even more favored in the news feed.

This story originally appeared on Fortune.com. Copyright 2016


Source: venturebeat

New Oculus Rift Releases for The Week of 11/27/16

Oculus Touch launches in less than a week but the Rift is still getting its fair share of new releases before the big day. There isn’t a whole lot new on the Oculus Home Store this week, but a few notables over on Steam. Due to a lack of information regarding what is new on the Gear VR store, we weren’t able to accurately collect a list of new releases for that platform. Hopefully things can be back to normal next week.

If you missed last week, you can see those new releases here. And don’t forget that UploadVR has a Steam community group complete with a curated list of recommendations so that you don’t have to waste any money finding out what’s good in the world of VR.

Plus — check out our list of the best Oculus Rift games and best Gear VR games for more suggestions!

Immersive Combat, from Spherica
Price: Free (Rift)

Immersive Combat is the “first-ever action series in 360 VR.” In this immersive cinema experience from Spherica, you have the chance to feel the grit, the sweat and the blood as battles from different eras of history rage all around you. Vikings, knights, kung fu masters, and steampunk champions all duke it out for your viewing pleasure.

Recommendation: This is a free experience but its also an 8GB download. Available on Gear VR as well.

I Hate Santa, from Virtual Rock VR
Price: $2.99 (Rift)

Just in time for the holidays, its I Hate Santa, the game that gives kids the chance to do what they always wanted, hurt…Santa? Hmmmm. Times have changed since I was a kid. This is a Gallery experience for the Oculus store meaning its more of an experiment than anything else. But hey, as the description suggests: “You will have snow fighting with kids.”

Recommendation: I love snow fighting as much as the next guy, but we don’t recommend this game at any price.

Emission VR, from VR Spec Team
Price: $1.99 (Rift)

Emission VR is a third person zombie battler set in a Resident Evil-esque environment. The atmosphere is dark and the zombies are hungry. Better keep those guns at the ready.

Recommendation: If you’ve ever felt nostalgic for a Jill Sandwich then this could be the game for you.

DreamDesk VR, from We Are VR
Price: $39.99 (Rift)

DreamDesk is the latest VR desktop app to hit the market. This one differentiates itself by allowing you to “create, scale and place virtual screens around you without additional hardware or drivers.” That means multiple screens, baby!

Recommendation: DreamDesk could help you be more productive and if that’s worth $39.99 to you then this could be a decent purchase. For most people, however, this one’s price is simply too high. 

Theme Park Studio, from Pantera Entertainment

Price: $29.99 (Rift)

Theme Park Studio is essentially a theme park themed physics toolbox that includes Steam Workshop integration, so expect a wealth of mods. Build and enter “VR Mode” to explore and ride your creations.

Recommendation: Spotty support that has seen an uptick in recent weeks. If continued, could be a major VR experience. Keep an eye on it.

Neon Arena, from Axyos Games

Price: $5.99 (Currently Discounted) (Rift)

Neon Arena is a twin stick shooter within an ever-evolving arena. Also includes co-op gameplay.

Recommendation: Decent game, but doesn’t really take advantage of VR much.

Locked In VR, from Immersion

Price: $5.39 (Currently Discounted) (Rift)

If not evident from the name, Locked In VR is an escape the room experience. You’re dropped into a basement with things scattered and a timer on the wall. Use your wits and figure out the various puzzles to find out why you’re there in the first place.

Recommendation: One of the better escape the room titles at a solid price.

Pinball FX2 VR, from Zen Studios

Price: $14.99 (Rift)

It’s pinball, but in VR. Lots of great themed tables, like The Walking Dead, can be downloaded as DLC, and plenty of spectacular effects. We’ve interviewed the devsabout it extensively and recently published our review. Lots of great content here.

Recommendation: For fans of the classic hobby that predates video games themselves, this is a must-buy.

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Source: uploadvr

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The NFL is finally modifying its overbearing social media policy, but making things quite complicated in the process.

In a memo reportedly sent out to all 32 teams on Friday, the NFL announced it would amend the social media policy it instituted two months ago, which prevented teams from posting GIFs and videos during games. 

Teams are allowed to do so now, but this is still the NFL, so of course the change is accompanied by some very specific rules.

Previously, the league handed out $25,000 fines for posting unapproved video (including GIFs) during games. The new policy lets teams post video, but only of things like "fans, cheerleaders, mascots and touchdown dances," according to a memo obtained by Yahoo! Finance. Read more...

More about Football, Social Media, Giphy, Nfl, and Entertainment
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It says a lot about post-election politics — and the traditional caution of Hollywood — that when actors in a major movie make a non-controversial statement about the importance of diversity in society, it is cause for wild applause. 

But that's what happened Friday at the Rogue One Q&A at Lucasfilm, which was livestreamed on TwitterPeople's deputy editor and moderator JD Heyman pointedly asked the Star Wars movie's cast, and its director Gareth Edwards, whether the movie had any kind of message for the real world. 

Now it has seemed obvious for a while to many viewers that there's a political message in a movie about a band of diverse, downtrodden rebels coming together to strike a blow at an authoritarian leader who has transformed a Republic into an Empire. As Forest Whitaker says at the beginning of the first full Rogue One trailer: "The world is coming undone." Read more...

More about Rogue One, Star Wars, Entertainment, and Film
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LOS ANGELES — PewDiePie is so mad at YouTube that he's calling it quits once he hits 50 million subscribers.

Why? Felix Kjellberg is among a handful of frustrated creators who claim they have seen their video views decline and their subscribers suddenly disappear. Some YouTubers even say they have lost 30 to 40 percent of their usual views.

The general theory is that YouTube has a new algorithm that has caused glitches. Although some in the internet community have come up with a conspiracy theory that YouTube boosts ads on the “trending” tab and videos with more likes and comments.

"It is really upsetting how [YouTube] did this change. They won't explain what happened properly to anyone," PewDiePie, who has just over 49 million subscribers, said in a video uploaded Friday. "It's not just me, a lot of YouTubers are noting this." Read more...

More about Boogie2988, Emma Blackery, Jacksepticeye, H3h3productions, and Pewdiepie


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Ever wonder if your Facebook feed is only telling you one side of the story? Well, research has shown that it can do just that.

Social media feeds can morph into echo chambers of your political beliefs, telling you only what like-minded friends and family think, and in doing so, ignoring the news and political material that would challenge them.

A new Google Chrome extension, aptly named PolitEcho, is trying to sift through this biased feedback loop to give us a clear picture of just how 'red' or 'blue' our feeds really are.

More about Politics, Liberal, Conservative, Political Bias, and Chrome Extension
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The man who admits to killing Joe McKnight — a former high school and USC football star who was shot Thursday — was released without charges on Friday. 

Ronald Gasser, 54, admitted to shooting McKnight three times at an intersection in the New Orleans Area around 3 p.m. on Thursday, authorities said at a press conference Friday.

McKnight's killing is being labeled a "road rage" incident by police. 

Because of the circumstances — a white man shooting a black man, admitting it, and going free instead of remaining in custody pending investigation — many responded with outrage.  Read more...

More about Shooting, Football, Usc, Nfl, and New Orleans


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Uber now keeps track of where you go after your ride ends. The tracking spans the first five minutes after you reach your destination. The data gathered from this monitoring is used to improve Uber’s service, including pickups and drop-offs. If you, like many users, aren’t happy about being surveilled by the Uber app, you can disable the feature before … Continue reading
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David Sacks Robert Scoble Flickr


Zenefits says that it’s always hiring, but could one of the next people it brings on be the successor to current chief executive David Sacks? The company is reportedly looking to bring on senior managers to help grow the workplace benefits service, and one could take become its newest head, replacing Sacks who was elevated to the post about 10 months ago after the resignation of founder Parker Conrad.

According to The Information, if there was a new CEO, Sacks would not be leaving the company that he has worked to navigate out of its past troubles. One possible role for him would be executive chairman.

“David Sacks is still the CEO of Zenefits and remains very committed to the company. The Board has total faith in him and appreciates the turn-around that he has executed,” a company spokesperson told VentureBeat in a statement. “As you know, this is not a role that David sought, but he accepted it without any compensation at the request of the Board to get the company past a crisis. Now that the crisis is over, David is leading a process to determine what senior talent the company needs to get to the next level. David has always put the company first, and if there’s any change in his role, you will hear that directly from him.”

Things certainly have not been smooth sailing for the company that competes against Gusto, ADP, and other services that those in HR and benefit administrators use in their small businesses. It was less than a year that Sacks took over at Zenefits after multiple reports around compliance issues surfaced, highlighting the fact that salespeople were selling insurance to companies without the proper licenses. Soon after, 17 percent of the workforce was laid off.

Under his leadership, the company sought to reframe its narrative and show it was a serious and legitimate entity, settling with various states and regulators.

But was everything really that great there? According to a report from BuzzFeed, Zenefits is hemorrhaging cash, losing $200 million in the past year with $100 million gone just in the first half of its current fiscal year. A spokesperson sought to downplay the loses, telling the news outlet that the company has since made efforts to reduce the burn rate and has been making strides to cut down on costs.

“Our losses in the first half of the year include a lot of restructuring charges, stemming from headcount reductions that started 3 weeks after David Sacks became CEO, as well as restructuring of our real estate and legal related expenses. A significant amount of our operating burn in the first half are due to these non-recurring charges.”

Ahead of the company’s launch of its Z2 platform, the next-generation product that not only would expand Zenefits’ capabilities, but also held a symbolic meaning of a startup turning the page on a troubled past, Sacks was adamant that things were better and that any criticism of its demise was outrageous. He repeatedly stated that much of the issues plaguing Zenefits happened “under previous management” and that he’s “very confident in saying that our problems are over.”

There are certainly multiple ways to look at this report: Do investors not have confidence in Sacks’ ability and want to replace him? Or is this a natural course of business whereby Zenefits is about to enter into a phase where everything believes that someone else should man the helm for a while? Bringing on senior managers is not unexpected because of the company’s expansion into multiple areas, including payroll, insurance, and more.


Source: venturebeat