Light Start: Plague Inc. sales soar, WhatsApp had no hand in Bezos hack, Google’s AirDrop looks cool and fake Fortnite on Arcade

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Thanks to the coronavirus, the mobile game Plague Inc. has become more popular

Following the outbreak (and worryingly quick spread) of the coronavirus in China, the world has become slightly obsessed with protecting themselves against this strange occurrence. It is the 20’s after all, better be prepared than infected, yeah? Now, if there’s one thing we know, it’s that we can learn everything we need to know about viral outbreaks from games (Resident Evil literally prepared us for a zombie outbreak, k?). Now gamers have turned to Plague Inc., which is a mobile strategy game that simulates how a pathogen evolves as it infects the world. Sales of the game have surged recently, especially in China. The Guardian reports that it has become the most-downloaded paid-for game on iOS in China, and the sixth most-downloaded paid-for game overall. Plague Inc. has eve become more popular in other countries as the world prepares in the only reasonable fashion — by playing a fictitious mobile game that tracks the spread of diseases. 

Sauce: The Guardian

It’s not WhatsApp’s fault that Bezos’ phone was hacked, says Facebook

It recently became evident that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ iPhone X was hacked by a Saudi prince using WhatsApp. Now Facebook’s VP of international affairs and comms, Nick Clegg, told the BBC in an interview that the malicious software couldn’t have been because of a WhatsApp security flaw.  In turn, he continued to rather blame Apple’s operating system for the hack, saying that WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is unhackable. Riiiiight. It’s also relatively hard to believe anything this man says about cybersecurity. “It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself. It can’t have been anything on the, when the message was sent, in transit, because that’s end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp,” Clegg explained. Even if the message was encrypted, that just means that no-one could tamper with it in the sending process. If the video file contained malicious software, and Bezos opened it, the hack could have easily infiltrated the phone. The real question, however, is whether the malicious software could download itself onto the phone without Bezos prompting the download. And Facebook is just scrambling to make sure it’s not their fault. 

Sauce: Gizmodo

Check out Google’s version of AirDrop for Android

Granted, AirDrop is likely one of the most practical features in the Apple ecosystem. it’s like a Wifi-enabled file share system that works effortlessly across devices and this is one feature Android has been missing in like… forever. Finally, Google has caught up, and is working on an Android file share system called ‘Nearby Sharing’. A newly published video shows this new feature (btw, if this sounds familiar, it used to be called Fast Share before being renamed). Unlike Android Beam, which never really worked all that well and was never very popular, Nearby Sharing appears to work quickly in a way similar to Apple’s AirDrop feature. We’ll probs see it arrive on many Android phone models in the relatively near future. This will allow Android users to easily share files or content from one Android to the next. Where was this feature when we needed to share MP3s of our favourite Korn songs with our friends way back?

Sauce: Gizmodo

Don’t want your 9-year-old to play Fortnite? Get ‘em Butter Royale on Apple

 

You might think Fortnite is just a tad too violent for your little ones (not even mentioning the questionable gambling model). So if your kiddos (or yourself, you weirdo) are looking for something slightly less… intrusive, check out Butter Royale on Apple Arcade. This game is available to play right now and seems to focus more on tasty treats, but you still use weapons modelled after real guns. The game has both a 32-player online mode against live players and a single-player offline mode against bots, and the goal is to be the last person standing. Instead of full-blown warfare, it is scaled down to the world of a child — cafeteria food fights. The fast-paced food fights take less than five minutes to conclude, and you won’t be covered in mouldy veggies afterwards. Basically a win-win. Butter Royale can be downloaded from the App Store with an Apple Arcade subscription. The gaming service launched in September, providing iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac users with access to over 100 games with no in-app purchases or ads for R85 per month after the free trial.

Sauce: The Verge

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Deputy Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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