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Tech

Epic Games, the Creator of Fortnite, Raises $1.25 Billion

It pays to have the most popular game in the world.

Epic Games, the creators of the runaway gaming smash hit Fortnite, have raised $1.25 billion in a new round of financing.

It’s been 20 years since Epic Games first released its Unreal game development engine in concert with its first-person shooter, Unreal. Since then, the company has been releasing free-to-play games as a loss leader to show off what its powerful development toolkit can do.

Now, with the insane success of Fortnite, the company has flipped the script.

Since Fortnite became the thing that nearly every gamer in the world plays, the company has slashed prices on the Unreal game engine even as it keeps upgrading the technology.

And the company has been plowing that cash back into the community to support esports tournaments with a $100 million prize pool to support competitive Fortnite gamers.

The company’s game has become the kind of old-school cultural phenomenon that one rarely sees in the fractured age of internet silos. It’s inspired dance crazes, Halloween costumes, and even a Monopoly game and a Nerf gun.

And now it appears that the game has also inspired some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley’s venture capital investment scene to commit huge sums to continue its success.

Investors in the latest round include KKR, Iconiq Capital, Smash Ventures,Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins and Lightspeed Venture Partners, as well as gaming companies like aXiomatic, which announced a significant investment from the NBA legend Michael Jordan earlier in October.

“Epic Games has fundamentally changed the model for interactive entertainment under the company’s visionary leadership,”

said Ted Oberwager of KKR, in a statement.

The new investors are joining Tencent, Disney, and Endeavor as minority shareholders in the company — which amazingly still is controlled by its chief executive and founder, Tim Sweeney.

Source: Techcrunch

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Freebies Tech

MacBook Battery Draining Fast? You Might Be Able to Get a Free Replacement

No, you’re not going crazy. Your MacBook Pro laptop battery just sucks.

Apple has come clean and admitted that some 13-inch MacBook Pro models’ built-in battery components might be defective.

Due to the flaw, Apple is offering a free MacBook Pro battery replacement for affected models.

How to Find Out if Your MacBook Pro Battery Is Eligible

The affected MacBook Pro laptops were built between October 2016 and October 2017.

If this sounds like your MacBook Pro, go to this Apple Support page and type in your serial number to check if your computer is eligible for the free battery replacement program.

This doesn’t apply to touch bar models or older 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops.

Not sure where your serial number is?

Click on the “About This Mac” option from the main Apple icon menu in the top-left toolbar of your screen. Your computer’s serial number should be listed there. Just copy and paste it on the Apple Support page.

How to Get Your MacBook Pro Battery Replacement

Did you win?

OK, it’s not the same as winning the lottery, but we’ll gladly take that free battery and finally stop living our lives hovering around nearby electrical outlets like a caveman to fire.

You’ll have to complete Apple’s physical version of a two-factor authentication by paying a visit to an Apple retailer so they can also verify your machine.

Here’s what to do:

  • Find an authorized Apple service provider by logging in with your Apple ID.
  • Make an appointment and bring your device with you.
  • They’ll verify your eligibility and can send your laptop off to the Apple Repair Center.
  • Or you can choose to mail it in to the Apple Repair Center in an Apple-provided package at no cost to you.

For the love of all things sacred, back up your computer before sending it off to Apple.

Apple says service should take three to five days. Just note that the battery replacement doesn’t extend your laptop’s standard warranty coverage.

If your qualified MacBook Pro battery was giving you problems and you took the initiative and replaced the battery, you can reach out to Apple about getting a refund.

This specific battery replacement program is good for five years after the first retail sale of the computer.

Just think of all the cordless binge-watching that awaits you.

Source: The Penny Hoarder

Categories
Tech

eGym Raises $20 Million to Grow its Connected Fitness Platform in the U.S.

Germany-based fitness equipment and software startup eGym has raised $20 million in a series D round of funding led by Nokia-funded venture capital firm NGP Capital, with participation from Highland Europe and HPE Growth Capital.

Founded out of Munich in 2011, eGym’s platform constitutes both hardware and software. The company builds fully connected electronic strength machines, in addition to mobile apps for tracking fitness metrics and the overarching eGym One cloud platform that draws on data from connected machines, wearables, apps, and other gadgets.

Indeed, this is a key facet of eGym’s offering — though it does offer its own equipment, its cloud-based platform is “gym supplier agnostic,” as the company puts it. It works with the likes of Life Fitness, Precor, and Matrix Fitness machines.

Prior to now, eGym had raised $60 million in equity funding and around $28 million in debt funding.

With another $20 million in the bank, it said that it plans to expedite its international expansion “aggressively” with a particular focus on the U.S. and the corporate health market.

Healthy Market

The global health club industry is estimated to be worth around $83 billion annually, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), with the U.S. representing around a third of the market in terms of both revenue and number of memberships.

This massive market has led to some major fundraises in the past few months alone, with the likes of New York-based Peloton recently closing a chunky $550 million round of funding to grow its connected fitness machines, while Mirror raised a further $25 million and launched its $1,495 connected mirror for virtual fitness classes.

Elsewhere, Germany-based yoga startup Asana Rebel raised $17.4 million.

Though eGym will be focusing heavily on U.S. expansion, the company already claims some big customers there, including Fit Republic, which partnered with eGym recently. eGym is now well-financed to support its growth there.

It’s worth noting here that NGP Capital has previously invested in several digital health startups, including a San Francisco startup called Netpulse that provides fitness facilities with their own customized apps — which eGym acquired last year.

As part of that acquisition, eGym offered NGP Capital the opportunity to invest in itself, an offer that NGP has now taken it up on.

So this was more of a strategic investment from eGym’s perspective than a direct need for cash. Indeed, eGym hopes to leverage NGP Capital’s knowledge of the U.S. digital health market.

“The U.S. is by far the largest market for eGym, and we need to be there,” said eGym cofounder and CEO Philipp Roesch-Schlanderer. “Working with NGP Capital, we now have a knowledgeable digital health investor with an extensive U.S. network to help guide our global expansion efforts.

Our vision is big because we want to solve two problems that we believe are interlinked: Healthcare costs are skyrocketing and the gym fails often to deliver outcomes.”

Source: Venture Beat

Categories
Tech

YouTube TV to Expand to 10 More U.S. Markets, Adds More YouTube Red Series

[Edit – YouTube Red is now called YouTube Premium and is $9.99 per month]

YouTube TV, Google’s $35 per month streaming service aimed at a younger demographic of cord cutters and cord-nevers, is expanding to ten more markets, the company announced this week at VidCon.

The service had initially launched in April offering streaming live TV and DVR functionality to just five major metros: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.

In just a couple of weeks, YouTube TV will be tripling its footprint, by offering service in Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington, D.C., Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne and Charlotte.

The company also confirmed that its strategy to attract younger viewers was working – at least in terms of the demographics of its YouTube TV subscriber base, if not in the actual number of sign-ups (a figure which it didn’t include in its announcement.)

However, according to the company, it sees more millennials using YouTube TV than any other generational group. That’s not surprising given its brand, mobile-first focus, and content.

Despite this expansion, YouTube TV is still not broadly available across the U.S., which could eventually hurt its ability to compete in a now-crowded market of services offering over-the-top TV.

Hulu this year entered the live TV business as well, with a $40 service, though its service gets fairly pricey when you add-on extras like a larger DVR or unlimited streams. Meanwhile, YouTube TV also faces competition from older live TV services like Dish’s Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, plus newcomers like AT&T’s DirecTV Now.

For cord cutters, it can be difficult to parse the differences between the various services as they don’t all offer the same channel line-ups, nor do they have the same features. While cloud DVRs are quickly becoming table stakes for a service like this – Sling TV just rolled out its DVR to iOS devices and Windows 10 yesterday, for example – AT&T’s DirecTV Now still doesn’t offer a recording feature.

YouTube TV’s DVR, on the other hand, has been one of its bigger selling points as it promises unlimited storage for your shows. That makes using the record option feel more like saving a YouTube video to a playlist for later viewing, rather than something trying to mimic old-fashioned cable TV with its storage space limitations, and forced expirations on saved shows.

(Unfortunately, you may end up watching commercials on YouTube TV’s DVR recordings – once the show is available on-demand, the service streams that version to you instead, ads and all.)

In addition to YouTube TV’s expansion to new markets, YouTube also announced a new slate of YouTube Red original series.

Though you can join YouTube Red – the ad-free version of YouTube – without a YouTube TV subscription, Red’s original content also comes with YouTube TV. That makes it more of a draw for younger fans, given its series tend to feature YouTube creators like SMOSH, Rhett & Link, Gigi Gorgeous, Joey Graceffa, Liza Koshy, and others, instead of traditional Hollywood stars.

The new lineup includes an action-comedy series set in the world of the LAPD featuring Veronica Mars’ Ryan Hansen; a comedy series showcasing comedian Rob Huebel’s adventures; a reality competition show for “aspiring footwear creators” from TV producer Ken Mok and sneaker designer D’Wayne Edwards, hosted by YouTube star Swoozie; and a show from YouTube star and inventor Colin Furze.

YouTube TV is also renewing several shows, following the loss of one of its biggest headliners with the cancellation of PewDiePie. These returning shows include murder mystery series Escape the Night; Rhett & Link’s Buddy System; neuroscience focused Mind Field; and sci-fi action comedy Don’t. Get. Bit. Lazer Team 2.

To date, YouTube TV has launched 37 original series and movies on YouTube Red, which have generated nearly a quarter billion views.

Source: TechCrunch

Categories
Finance Lottery Side Hustles Tech

Happy Shoes Shoelace Heart

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

I soon realised that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within. – Lillian Smith

But nothing the copy said could convince her and so it didn’t take long until a few insidious Copy Writers ambushed her, made her drunk with Longe and Parole and dragged her into their agency, where they abused her for their projects again and again. And if she hasn’t been rewritten, then they are still using her.

A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia

Because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown.

And if she hasn’t been rewritten, then they are still using her. Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts.

Put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way when she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains

One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia.

Put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline.

Categories
Entertainment Lottery Side Hustles Tech

T-Shirts on Rack with Room for Text

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

I soon realised that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within. – Lillian Smith

But nothing the copy said could convince her and so it didn’t take long until a few insidious Copy Writers ambushed her, made her drunk with Longe and Parole and dragged her into their agency, where they abused her for their projects again and again. And if she hasn’t been rewritten, then they are still using her.

A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia

Because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown.

And if she hasn’t been rewritten, then they are still using her. Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts.

Put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way when she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains

One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia.

Put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline.