Blog Archive


Zynga’s FarmVille is leaving Facebook by end of 2020

  • Zynga announced Monday that FarmVille is shutting down on Facebook by the end of the year.
  • The news comes after Facebook announced it would stop supporting games that run on Adobe’s Flash Player by December 31.
  • The farm simulation game launched in 2009 and quickly rose in popularity, drawing millions of online players.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

FarmVille is shutting down on Facebook by the end of the year, Zynga announced Monday.

The company said the move is due to Adobe’s decision to stop distributing and updating its Flash Player software. Facebook announced in June that it in turn would officially end support for Flash games on December 31, at which point FarmVille users will no longer be able to play the game.

“We’re aware that many of you have been with us since the very beginning, helping to build an incredible global community of players over

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Will The Internal Combustion Engine Really Take A Back Seat To EVs?

If the actions of global automakers are anything to go by, the internal combustion engine, which powered automobiles for over a century, could become obsolete within a few decades. But the shift to electric vehicles (EV), slow to materialize at first, is now accelerating on a global scale due to more stringent government emissions regulations, falling costs, an increasingly positive public attitude towards a growing number of EV choices and a societal reckoning about climate change.

California said this week it plans to phase out sales of conventional new gasoline-powered cars by 2035 in favor of zero-emission vehicles that run on electricity. Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order no doubt faces a

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Chinese Americans look to new platforms as WeChat’s future remains uncertain

Back in April, when New York City was in the grips of COVID-19, Yuan Mingyue relied on WeChat to keep in touch with relatives in China, to check on their health and to share how things were in New York.

The social media app’s video call function, similar to FaceTime, proved especially useful as a lifeline for Yuan, who came to the United States 10 years ago and lives in Queens, once America’s center for Covid-19.

While FaceTime works for Apple customers, not everyone in China owns an iPhone or another Apple device.

So when President Donald Trump’s WeChat ban was to take effect Sunday — even as a federal judge temporarily put the brakes on his order — Yuan began the dizzying task, like so many other Chinese Americans, of figuring out workarounds.

“We can use other Chinese platforms, like Sina Weibo or QQ, or otherwise just make a

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Halo Infinite Gets A Best Buy Special Edition With A Master Chief Statue

Halo Infinite won’t be out until sometime next year, but one retailer recently updated its website with details on a new special edition of the game.

In the US, Best Buy will sell a $105 USD bundle that comes with the standard edition of the game, as well as a SteelBook case and a Master Chief PVC statue. It also includes a $10 reward when you pre-order, though the store is not yet accepting orders. The page is very sparse at the moment, so we don’t know further specifics like the exact dimensions/details of the statue.

This appears to be the first Halo Infinite special edition bundle, and it’s expected that more will be announced in the lead-up to the game’s release in 2021. And if Microsoft is cooking up a special-edition Xbox Series X/S console, a safe bet is that it might be for Halo Infinite, but this is

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Amazon looks to expand the reach of Alexa and Echo at annual device unveiling

Dave Limp, Amazon senior vice president of Devices & Services, introduces a new Alexa feature at the 2019 in-person version of the event. (GeekWire File Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Amazon will hold its annual Devices & Services unveiling on Thursday morning, a virtual version of a fall tradition in which the company typically shows its newest Echo speakers and other Alexa-enabled devices.

The event begins at 10 a.m. Pacific time, and we’ll be updating this post with news and analysis as it unfolds.

If the recent pattern continues, the lineup at the event this year will reflect the tech giant’s efforts to expand the reach of its virtual assistant and smart speakers beyond the home. Alexa-enabled devices introduced at this event last year included a smart ring, eyeglasses and wireless earbuds.

In advance of the event, an FCC filing surfaced for what appears to be an Amazon game controller, as

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Who would buy Quibi? List of potential acquirers by industry experts

  • Five months after launching its subscription platform, the mobile-video startup Quibi is mulling a possible sale, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.
  • With serious issues still plaguing the business, Business Insider asked four experts who might want to buy Quibi and why.
  • The experts Business Insider spoke with had varying views on who might buy Quibi, but all agreed it was a hard sell right now.
  • Potential buyers included a telecom like T-Mobile, a content creator like Disney, or a streaming-music company dabbling in video like Spotify.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Five months after launching its subscription platform, the mobile-video startup Quibi is mulling a possible sale, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.

It’s one of a few strategic options that the company, which raised $1.75 billion from investors and secured $150 million in ad commitments ahead of its launch, is said to be considering.

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Microsoft Teams is getting fake coffee shops, breakout rooms, and custom layouts

Microsoft is expanding its new Together Mode for Microsoft Teams soon, allowing co-workers to pretend they’re holding meetings in coffee shops, break out into smaller meeting rooms, or use custom layouts to overlay presenters directly onto slide decks.

Together Mode, created for pandemic-era virtual meetings, has been part of Teams for a few months now, but Microsoft is adding a few more features that better emulate the way many of us used to work. New scenes include a number of auditoriums, conference rooms, and even a coffee shop. This mode is also getting updated with a new feature that uses machine learning to automatically scale and center people in their virtual seats no matter how far they’re sitting from a webcam.

The NBA has been using Microsoft Teams’ Together Mode for its virtual crowd feature, allowing fans to dial in and sit together side by side to cheer teams on.

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Facebook Says It Helped 2.5 Million People Register to Vote

Ahead of National Voter Registration Day tomorrow, Facebook says it is playing its part in getting people registered to vote in the 2020 presidential election.

Facebook announced it has helped 2.5 million people register to vote, and that it aims to get 4 million eligible voters registered. “It’s a promising start,” the company announced Monday, “but we have more work to do.”

This figure of voters registered includes those registered on Facebook, as well as other Facebook-owned apps like Instagram and Messenger. Facebook says it was particularly important to encourage registration and to give out accurate information on registering due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is making it harder for people to access information.

With six weeks to go before the election, registration dates for many states are coming up soon. In the last week, U.S. users of Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger have seen notifications about voting that redirect them

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Judge agrees to delay US gov’t restrictions on WeChat

A federal judge has approved a request from a group of WeChat users to delay looming U.S. government restrictions that could effectively make the popular app nearly impossible to use

NEW YORK — A judge has approved a request from a group of U.S. WeChat users to delay looming federal government restrictions that could effectively make the popular app nearly impossible to use.

In a ruling dated Saturday, Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in California said the government’s actions would affect users’ First Amendment rights as an effective ban on the app removes their platform for communication.

WeChat is a messaging-focused app popular with many Chinese-speaking Americans that serves as a lifeline to friends, family, customers and business contacts in China. It’s owned by Chinese tech giant

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Black tech organizations grow amid calls for racial justice

Amazon applied science manager Dr. Nashlie Sephus has lived in New York City, Atlanta, Silicon Valley, and Seoul while pursuing her education and work in machine learning. She knows the look of a community that’s thriving from technology and innovation, but she didn’t see that growth happening in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. That’s why last week she concluded an 18-month process by signing contracts to secure 12 acres of land that will be home to the Jackson Tech District.

The Bean Path, a nonprofit organization created by Sephus, will operate a maker and innovation space on the land. There will also be restaurants and residential lofts spread across eight buildings, all located near the historically Black Jackson State University.

The Bean Path’s expansion in Jackson, a city with one of the highest African-American populations per capita of any city in the U.S., is the latest example of a Black

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