BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down for consumers on May 31st | PhoneDog

It’s time to pour one out, because BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down.

It was announced today that the consumer version of BBM is closing on May 31st, 2019. After that date, the BBM app will stop working. Emtek, who licensed the BBM consumer business from BlackBerry in 2016, says that BBM stickers and BBMoji can’t be exported out of the app, so you won’t be able to use them after the shutdown. You can issue refunds of your in-app purchases for stickers that you’ve bought, though.

Source: BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down for consumers on May 31st | PhoneDog

Pandora Launches Premium Family Plans — The Motley Fool

Will the new tier improve user retention?

Family plans help user retention

By looking at what happened to Spotify’s business after the Swedish company introduced family plans in 2014, investors can get a sense of what might play out for Pandora. Spotify has seen average revenue per user (ARPU) decline meaningfully in the years since, which is expected since the plans allow more users to join and use the service at discounted rates. However, the upside is that churn has declined substantially as well, as family plans tend to enjoy much higher retention rates.

Source: Pandora Launches Premium Family Plans — The Motley Fool

Companies face backlash for creating school shooting video game | TheHill

The companies behind a video game called “Active Shooter” — in which players can pretend to be a shooter in a school environment are facing backlash.

The game offers players the opportunity to play either a S.W.A.T. team member or an active shooter in a school setting. In the active shooter setting, players kill cops and civilians.

“Active Shooter’s” developer, Revived Games, reportedly plans on releasing another mode of play in which players can be civilians in the mass shooting as well.

The game, which is created by video game company Valve, is set to be released on June 6 via digital store Steam, according to a report by Variety.

Source: Companies face backlash for creating school shooting video game | TheHill

Google to warn over ‘realistic’ bots

Humans will be told if they are talking to bots that can convincingly mimic human speech.

Google says it will take steps to ensure that humans are not fooled when they get called by software bots that can convincingly mimic the human voice.

Anyone called by the bot will be told they are conversing with a machine, Google told tech news site the Verge.

The vocal skills of the Duplex bot were demonstrated at Google’s I/O developer conference this week when it was shown booking a hair appointment.

The demo left one technology expert “horrified” by what she had seen.

Source: Google to warn over ‘realistic’ bots

5 ways Edge is better with Windows 10 April 2018 Update – CNET

Let us count the ways Microsoft’s browser has improved with the latest update to Windows 10.

Tab muting finally arrives

Edge finally catches up to Chrome and Firefox by letting you mute tabs with a single click.

Autofill forms finally arrives

Edge also catches up to its browsing competition by now offering to autofill pesky web forms for you. Open the Settings panel, scroll down and click theView advanced settings button and you’ll see a new Autofill settings section.

edge-autofill
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Bigger, better Hub

The Hub is that panel that slides out from the right edge where you can view your favorites, reading list, books, history and downloads. Thoughtful improvements make Edge’s Hub bigger and better.

edge-hub
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Fullscreen improvements

Now, when you mouse to the top of Edge in fullscreen mode you see those three buttons but also your open tabs and the URL bar, creating a fullscreen mode you are much more likely to use.

Source: 5 ways Edge is better with Windows 10 April 2018 Update – CNET

Could Grand Theft Auto 6 be a game for PlayStation 5? – News4C

Grand Theft Auto 6 is one of the most popular games of all times, despite the fact that it has not been released, and developers did not actually confirm that they are working on it. However, this did not stop the fans from speculating. In fact, there are dozens of theories about the game.

The launch date continues to be a mystery, and we can only estimate when Grand Theft Auto 6 will be released. It is very likely that the game will come out in 2020. We should also take into consideration the fact that the next generation console from Sony will be released in two years, so this might also be a factor.

Source: Could Grand Theft Auto 6 be a game for PlayStation 5? – News4C

Netflix pulls out of Cannes amid feud with festival – CBS News

NEW YORK — The feud between Netflix and Cannes Film Festival is growing. Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, on Wednesday said the streaming giant is pulling its films from the Cannes Film Festival, further intensifying an ongoing dispute between Netflix and the world’s most prestigious film festival.

Cannes earlier banned any films without theatrical distribution in France from its Palme d’Or competition. That essentially rules out Netflix movies, which are released either on a day-and-date strategy — meaning simultaneously on Netflix and in some theaters — or simply go straight to Netflix. In France, it’s a law that films can’t be released on home entertainment platforms until 36 months after their theatrical release.

That still left Netflix the option of participating outside of competition at Cannes. But in an interview with Variety published Wednesday, Sarandos said he doesn’t want to send Netflix releases if they won’t be treated equally with other movies.

Source: Netflix pulls out of Cannes amid feud with festival – CBS News