NEXT is an exhibit featuring the world’s most diverse games


The gaming industry has a well-known diversity problem.

However, amid the bustle at PAX Australia, the largest gaming convention in the southern hemisphere, a new exhibit put underrepresented games and developers at the forefront.

SEE ALSO: Blizzard is interested in bringing all of its franchises to mobile

Led by Australian curator and Rumu gamerunner Ally McLean, the NEXT exhibit featured six games that shake things up, including one by an all-woman developer team, a creator with autism, and a game that examines life as a transgender teenager.

“I know that diverse teams make awesome games, and I know that there are barriers to diverse teams getting to do things like show their games at PAX. It’s expensive, it can be prohibitive, especially coming all the way to Australia,” McLean told Mashable. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Gaming, Diversity, Pax, and Pax Australia

Disney’s ‘Dumbo’ debuts an adorable new trailer


Does the world really need a new version of Dumbo? Hard to say. What we do know for sure is that it’s awfully hard to say no to that face, which looks somehow even more heart-meltingly adorable in “live-action” (i.e., realistic-looking animation). 

If you’re already invested in his journey, mark the date on your calendar: Dumbo arrives in theaters March 29, 2019. Read more…

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Is that fancy smart gadget a privacy nightmare? A new guide has answers.


These days, even your teddy bear might be out to get you. 

As the inevitable creep of “smart” features and products continues to turn everything from your refrigerator to your thermostat into a connected device, it’s worth taking a moment to consider just what you’re giving up in exchange for this wannabe Jetsons future. Thankfully, Mozilla has done a lot of that work for you with a new guide dedicated to just how insecure many smart devices are. 

It’s right in time for the end-of-year shopping season, meaning you have no excuse to buy your parents one of these potentially compromised electronic gadgets as a holiday gift. And, if you send them the guide, they won’t have an excuse for buying you one, either.  Read more…

More about Smart Homes, Iot, Smart Devices, Mozilla, and Tech

Facebook held back on Trump and Russia so Republicans wouldn’t get angry


Community first, eh?

A New York Times report published Wednesday is full of bombshells about how Facebook has handled (and mishandled) its last two years of turmoil. Amidst allegations of pettiness and tales of public relations coups, the report reveals how hard Facebook tried to remain in the good graces of politicians, even at the expense of the “transparency” and “community” it champions.

Notably, on more than one occasion, Facebook chose to appease and avoid confrontation with Republican politicians, rather than take aggressive action to combat Russian and Trumpian propaganda. 

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg ordered staff to use Android phones after Apple CEO criticized company, report claims Read more…

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Throw some cheese on your dog because the internet said so


Most internet challenges are bad, but Dog Cheese is good.

Dog Cheese, since you asked, is a fun game where you throw a piece onto your dog and see what happens. There are very few rules: the cheese must land on the dog, certainly, but we understand that what occurs next is outside your control.

Dog Cheese appears to have begun with the following tweet from Matthew Elias, which reads: “Fuck beer pong, we playin dog cheese.” Agreed!

SEE ALSO: 11 gifts for fancy dogs with weirdly human names

Now, lots of people — and dogs, and the occasional cat — are playing Dog Cheese. Soon it will be more popular than beer pong. Just kidding, but what if it was? Would be cool. Read more…

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Mark Zuckerberg ordered staff to use Android phones after Apple CEO criticized company, report claims


Tech CEOs, beware: If you piss off Mark Zuckerberg, he might order his employees to stop using your company’s products.

The Facebook founder was reportedly so enraged by criticism from Apple CEO Tim Cook that he personally instructed executives to stop using iPhones in favor of Android devices.

SEE ALSO: How to completely delete Facebook from your life

That’s one revelation from a new bombshell report from the New York Times, which details the social network’s many failures to properly address Russian interference in the 2016 election and subsequent privacy concerns raised by critics. But the incident highlights just how personally Facebook’s founder took the criticism from Apple CEO Tim Cook. Read more…

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Ford self-driving cars shift from pizza delivery to Walmart order pickup

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Save $20 when you spend $100 on select toys on Amazon (and it’s not even Black Friday!)


It was a sad day in the world when Toys ‘R’ Us officially closed it’s doors in the U.S. For all we know it could come back in one form or another someday, but it probably won’t be the same and neither will Geoffrey. (Poor Geoffrey.)

But if you’re looking for a new one-stop toy shop, especially with the holidays around the corner, Amazon is here to fill the void, with plenty of deals ahead of Black Friday to help you out. (It’s worth noting that Walmart also has a killer selection of toys and is looking to pick up the slack that Toys ‘R’ Us has left behind.”

SEE ALSO: Toys that give kids a head start in STEM without screen time Read more…

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Shop online, change the world: Shop For Good Sunday helps you find gifts that give back


Trivia time: Which is bigger?

1. The amount of money the U.S. government spent on K-12 education in 2017


2. The amount of money Americans spent on holiday shopping in 2017

Prepare to let out a big, fat “yikes.” In 2017, the U.S. budget for education was $69.4 billion. Meanwhile, Americans spent a whopping $1 trillion on holiday shopping between Black Friday and Cyber MondayThat’s enough money to send 8.3 million people to a 4-year college. Enough to buy every San Fransisco resident an apartment. Enough to literally purchase Apple. 

What we’re saying is: That’s a lot of dough.

Of course, giving and receiving gifts is awesome and makes you warm and fuzzy inside — no one is disagreeing with that. And we are the last ones to weigh any objections to spending money and getting good deals wherever we can find them. But there’s also a dark cloud hovering over that ginormous pile of cash we’e spending. In 2016, 60% of all online sales went to 10 of the biggest retailers, none of which has a proactive social mission. Welp. Read more…

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Next-level tech gift ideas for the techie who has it all


Ad Content from Microsoft

Is it holiday season already? Even with our phones, laptops, tablets, and smart watches keeping track of time, somehow the season still seems to sneak up on us every year. Speaking of which, with our gadget-filled lives, it can be harder than ever to find the perfect digital gift for the people on our holiday lists. What do you give the person who always tells you about the hot new tech?

That’s where we come in. We’ve rounded up this holiday season’s best tech gifts, with an eye on the most innovative personal tech around—all the best stuff to gift to the tech-obsessives in your life, along with anyone who could use some awesome gifts to push them into 2019 in fresh tech style. To showcase our recommendations, we’ll take you through the perfect day in the life of your gift-ees. Read more…

More about Microsoft, Supported, Gift Ideas, Gift Guide, and Microsoft Surface