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What Pokémon Go has done for augmented reality

VentureBeat reports “For more than five years, Vuforia has been selling augmented reality. More than 30,000 apps have used the Vuforia platform for AR, which is owned by enterprise technology company PTC. Another 37,000 apps are in development, and there are more than 250,000 registered developers making AR apps, which use glasses or smartphones to overlay computer animations on the real world.

And while those apps have been installed more than 288 million times for things like Lego’s interactive toys or Skylanders Battlecast cards, people viewed AR as a curiosity or a niche, said Jay Wright, president and general manager of Vuforia, said in an interview with GamesBeat.”

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Mobile has become an indie-hostile market

GamesIndustry reports “From the advent of what we might consider modern game consoles in the 1980s through to the point when standard budgets for individual games topped $10 million took around 25 years. Budgets spiked significantly when the PlayStation shifted the industry from 2D to 3D, but that merely drove them from six to seven figures; it wasn’t until the last generation, with Xbox 360 and PS3, that $10 million became the baseline for developing a AAA game.

From the advent of modern smartphones, in mid-2007, less than a decade has passed; so when Kabam CEO Kevin Chou talks about budgets of over $10 million for mobile games, and easily twice that when launch marketing costs are taken into account, it’s a sign of how quickly the world has accelerated.”

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Facebook Gives Away Machine Vision Tools of the Future

Wired reports “THANKS TO A form of AI called deep learning, computers are now really good at telling the difference between a dog and a cat. But Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) lab wants to make machine vision far more useful, going well beyond digital parlor tricks.

FAIR research scientist Piotr Dollar says the first step lies in helping machines not just recognize that a particular thing appears in a photo—say, a cat or a chair or a gun—but spot each individual detail in a photo and understand where it sites in relation to everything else. His team has built a set of tools that does just that.”

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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 review: insane gaming and VR power in one graphics card

VentureBeat reports “Nvidia is well into the release of its Pascal chips, and the company is clearly not shying away from delivering high-end power for gamers who want every graphical trick set to max.

At the top of its 10-series lineup is the GeForce GTX 1080. This is the luxury video card for most sane people — although you can get the $1,200 Titan X if you want to make no sacrifices. And, as you might expect, the GTX 1080 delivers beastly performance at $600 (or $700 for Nvidia’s own Founder’s Edition version). It is absolutely the card to consider if you’re looking to build a powerful rig or wanting to upgrade to something that can easily handle all of today’s games as well as VR.”

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Guess and Republic Records Partner on ‘Artist Discovery’ Platform Guess Music

Billboard reports “Guess is walking the catwalk with Republic Records for the launch of a new joint-project, Guess Music.

The first project through the collaboration will kick off this Sunday (Aug. 24) when Guess.com hosts a 24-hour exclusive premiere of Republic artist Ariana Grande’s latest single “Side to Side” featuring Nicki Minaj, which the pair will perform at the VMAs.

The integration between the fashion brand and music company runs deeper still. Grande wears and introduces Guess’ new athletic line in the clip, while Guess will return the favor by promoting a special “get Ariana’s look” feature on its merch page.”

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What The Heck Is Bitcoin? The Law Struggles For An Answer

Forbes reports “A recent court decision has thrown up even more confusion about the legal status of digital currency. A state judge in Florida dismissed criminal charges against a man accused of selling $2,000 in Bitcoin. An undercover police officer had posed as a buyer, and after making two small transactions, revealed that he (the undercover agent) intended to use the Bitcoin to purchase stolen credit card numbers. The officer then said he wanted to buy $30,000 of Bitcoin. The two met to discuss the transaction, but before it was consummated, police arrested the man. He was charged with running an unlawful money services business, and two counts of money laundering.”

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On-demand music streaming has won

Recode reports “This past week has seen headlines about three different companies each seeking new rights agreements with major music labels. Spotify is reportedly trying to lock in longer-term deals with the major labels ahead of its IPO. Amazon is apparently trying to secure rights to offer a cheaper subscription service that will only work on its Echo device. And Pandora is trying to sign U.S. and international rights in order to launch an on-demand streaming service.

Each of these stories tells us something about the state of the music streaming market and, taken together, they highlight some interesting trends.”

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Nielsen Pegs TV Households At 118.4M For 2016-17 Season

Deadline reports “Nielsen has a new denominator for its computation of TV ratings in the 2016-17 TV season.

It increased its National Television Household Universe figure by 1.7% to 118.4 million homes. That translates into a 0.8% increase, to 96.0%, in the percent of households that receive traditional TV signals from broadcast, cable, DBS , telco, or broadband.

The number of persons over age 2 in those homes is up 1.6% to 301.7 million.The ratings company adds that it sees increases in the number of Hispanic, black and Asian households, but did not specify how much they have changed.”

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Endemol Shine Group Launches New Games Developer ‘Good Catch’

Variety reports “TV production and distribution powerhouse Endemol Shine Group is pushing further into the gaming world with the launch Thursday of a new games developer and publisher, Good Catch.

The wholly owned offshoot is expected to come up with both original and IP-based games to add to a stable that includes “Pointless Quiz,” a trivia app keyed to the popular British game show “Pointless,” and two games featuring the hapless character Mr. Bean. Thursday’s launch of Good Catch coincided with the unveiling of new game “KSI Unleashed,” described by Endemol Shine as an “arena-style, beat-’em-up game” featuring KSIOlijadebt, a gamer who is one of Britain’s most-watched people online.”

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ZeniMax raises the stakes in Oculus VR lawsuit

GamesIndustry reports “ZeniMax Media has issued an amended complaint in its lawsuit against Oculus VR, one that implicates John Carmack and calls into question Palmer Luckey’s role in the emergence of the consumer VR market.

The amended document – which was sourced by Game Informer, and can be found here – makes specific allegations regarding John Carmack, who left the ZeniMax-owned id Software to join Oculus VR in November 2013.”

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‘Angry Birds Movie’ Sequel in the Works at Rovio

Variety reports “A sequel to “The Angry Birds Movie” is in the works at Finland-based Rovio Entertainment Ltd., maker of the “Angry Birds” mobile game.

“Angry Birds” grossed a solid $347 million worldwide, including $107 million domestically, since its release in May. Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta made the disclosure as part of the company’s earnings report.”

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ITV Withdraws Proposal To Acquire eOne

Deadline reports “Earlier this month, Toronto-based media conglomerate Entertainment One rejected a takeover approach from UK broadcaster ITV. The British company today says it is withdrawing its bid altogether. Its proposal valued the global film and TV indie at about £1B ($1.3B) and eOne at the time said the offer “fundamentally undervalues the company and its prospects.” ITV evidently disagrees.”