Twitter… on Instagram *applause*
Meta’s been briefing creators on it’s upcoming text-based app — now looking at a possible late June launch.
Details are in my newsletter but I’ll list some highlights 🧵 pic.twitter.com/KYqqXjrRmD
— Lia Haberman (@liahaberman) May 19, 2023
As weird as using Elon Musk’s Twitter has become, there’s still no real substitute for the real thing. Sure, Mastodon and Bluesky are chugging along, though with far fewer users to make the platforms interesting enough to actually use. Meta is attempting to make use of the ensuing chaos, with rumours of Facebook’s parent company planning a launch of its own ‘version’ of Twitter as early as next month. We’ve known that something was coming for some time now, though we finally have some idea as to how the Twitter “killer” could look.
The news comes from Lia Haberman, who reportedly spoke with a content creator that met with Meta about the launch, calling it “Instagram for your thoughts.” Terrifying mental images aside, Lia claims that the app could be coming at the end of June. That’s no confirmation, though if the reports are correct, the app’s build is nearing completion.
“Instagram for your thoughts,” seems an apt description, with the Twitter rival appearing to be built right from Instagram’s code. Even the parameters have been swiped, with users signing in using their Instagram handles and passwords, automatically syncing up followers from the get-go. Blocked accounts should carry over too, along with your bio and verification.
As for the app itself, we’ve still yet to hear a name. As long as it strays away from Meta-themed cringe, it’s hard to go wrong here. It’ll reportedly be integrated with other apps like Mastodon, due to its decentralized nature, though how that’ll work exactly, we couldn’t say. Users will have a limit of 500 characters to express their thoughts, accompanied by images, links, and videos up to five minutes long.
Source: Lia Haberman (Twitter)
The only Edge some gamers are getting
There is a new ‘Edge for Gamers’ toggle on the Appearance page (Canary), after enabling it you are automatically redirected to the themes section of the Add-ons Store and the Discord and Twitch apps are also automatically added to the Sidebar: pic.twitter.com/6KWdpk2hPQ
— Leopeva64 (@Leopeva64) May 13, 2023
Microsoft’s attempts to lure the public into using Edge have (mostly) been unsuccessful, Bill Gates’ giant to after a new subset of victims: gamers. The browser has silently added an “Edge for Gamers” mode, which has lofty goals of levelling up the gaming experience both “in and out of a game.”
There’s just one issue. Microsoft has yet to announce any such feature. We know it’s coming though, thanks to a Twitter user who’s currently involved in the Microsoft Edge (Canary) beta. He showed off the toggleable feature’s existence, and Microsoft’s own description of the feature (see above). Turning it on apparently adds a new gaming-themed home page, complete with a custom sidebar that automatically adds Discord and Twitch to the mix.
Custom sidebars aside, one of the more notable changes is a new ‘efficiency mode for PC gaming’ which presumably is designed to optimize the browser’s memory usage to a minimum, simultaneously boosting a game’s performance. Oh, and dark mode is turned on automatically. Microsoft can’t go around blasting gamers with Vitamin D – it might just kill them.
For now, the feature is still under development with no word as to when it’ll hit everyday users’ PCs or what new features could be coming to Edge for Gamers.
(Psssst – if you’re in dire need of a ‘gaming’ browser, just try out Opera GX.)
Source: Leo (Twitter)
Amazon to the Moon!
Commercial Moon landings are inching closer by the day. Before we can get up there though, the experts (NASA) have some business to conclude first. That business involves Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, which NASA has officially chosen to build a human lunar landing system for the Artemis V mission in 2029 – the third crewed Artemis landing.
Blue Origin’s lunar landing system isn’t NASA’s only one. SpaceX is already working on the Starship HLS lander (its own lunar lander), which should be complete before humanity enters a new decade if everything goes to plan.
As for why NASA chose Bezos’ space company, we aren’t quite sure. Rendundancy, probably. Blue Origin’s extent of space “travel” goes as far as taking a couple of wealthy tourists to the edge of orbit for ten minutes at a time. Whether that makes the agency worthy enough to be trusted with an entire crew of astronauts… we don’t know. NASA’s $3.4 billion award to Blue Origins could make that goal far more achievable, though Bezos claims the costs are “well North” of the original prize money. He’s probably right. That’s space travel for you.
Futurama is back, baby
Good news everyone! Futurama is back from the dead – John DiMaggio and all. This time around, it’s Hulu taking on the role of puppet master of the show’s corpse, taking over from Comedy Central which itself took over from Fox back in the series’ heyday. And of course Matt Groening, series creator, and David X. Cohen, producer, are returning to lead the show.
This will be the show’s eighth season and it will premiere on 24 July. We’re just glad to see that Bender’s voice actor was able to come to an agreement with Hulu, who initially was not on board with the revival due to pay demands, though the dispute was sorted out sooner, rather than later. In the wise words of Jian-Yang; “If oil company wants to buy your house, there is oil underneath.”
The season will be split into two parts, with an initial run of ten episodes premiering weekly on Hulu. The second part, which currently has no firm release date, will consist of a further ten episodes. As for the show’s quality heading into its eighth season… it’s hard to judge. Having the original showrunners and cast back will certainly give it a boost in ratings, though whether it’s able to even hold a candle near to the show’s former glory remains to be seen.