Facebook debuts Lasso, a TikTok-style video app aimed at teens
In an attempt to court the youths who have been fleeing from its flagship platform, Facebook has once again dipped into its bag of tricks and pulled out a TikTok clone. Lasso, a music-filled video sharing app that Facebook has reportedly been working on since October, is available now for iOS and Android.
Facebook describes Lasso as an app that “makes it easy for anyone to create and share short videos with fun effects.” The app will allow users to follow other creators, search for content using hashtags and create new, short videos using a suite of creative tools. Facebook makes sure to note that the app includes a “massive music library,” which leverages it to take a shot at TikTok, an app that has gained popularity with lip sync videos.
Because Lasso is owned by Facebook, it integrates into the company’s ecosystem so you can sign in using an Instagram or Facebook account (or create one if you’ve managed to avoid the platform for this long). The app will need to access your profile page, photos and videos. When you make your own videos on Lasso, you’ll be able to share them directly to your Facebook Story. A similar compatibility with Instagram stories is coming later this year, per The Verge.
You can get Lasso, which Facebook rolled out very quietly, starting today. The app already is filled with content, suggesting the app may have been able to a small group of community members before its public release.
Income, tax and immigration data stolen in Healthcare.gov breach
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) now has details about the data stolen in the breach of Healthcare.gov that occurred last month. According to the government agency, a significant amount of personal information including partial Social Security numbers, tax information and immigration status was compromised in the breach. No financial information was stolen.
In a post hidden on a Healthcare.gov page titled “How we use your data,” the CMS confirmed the breach occurred and said it started to alert via phone call the 75,000 affected people starting November 5th. That notification will be followed by a letter detailing the breach and what information was compromised.
In the letter, CMS discloses the entirety of the information stolen by hackers, and it’s a fairly substantial list of data points:
Name, date of birth, address, sex, and the last four digits of the Social Security number (SSN), if SSN was provided on the application;
Other information provided on the application, including expected income, tax filing status, family relationships, whether the applicant is a citizen or an immigrant, immigration document types and numbers, employer name, whether the applicant was pregnant, and whether the applicant already had health insurance;
Information provided by other federal agencies and data sources to confirm the information provided on the application, and whether the Marketplace asked the applicant for documents or explanations;
The results of the application, including whether the applicant was eligible to enroll in a qualified health plan (QHP), and if eligible, the tax credit amount; and
If the applicant enrolled, the name of the insurance plan, the premium, and dates of coverage.
The letter does note that bank account numbers and credit card numbers were not compromised. Any diagnosis or treatment information was also inaccessible the hackers. This is also not the first time Healthcare.gov has suffered from a breach, though no sensitive data had previously been stolen.
The original breach was discovered on October 16th, when CMS spotted agent and broker accounts performing excessive searches for consumers. Through those searches, it was possible to gain access to personal information of people listed on Healthcare.gov Marketplace applications. CMS has since shut down the agent and broker accounts involved in the searches. Agent and broker functions have also been shut off until additional security improvements are made.
Apple announces repair programs for iPhone X, MacBook Pro problems
As it tends to do, Apple has chosen a Friday evening to announce programs that will replace flawed components on a couple of its devices. First up is a display module replacement program for the iPhone X. Some owners have been reporting touch issues since the phone debuted, and according to Apple a failed part in the display could cause the following problems:
The display, or part of the display, does not respond or responds intermittently to touch
The display reacts even though it was not touched
If your touchscreen is finicky on an “eligible device” then it will be replaced for free, although there might be a charge for things like a cracked display. The replacement program covers your iPhone X for three years dating back to when it was originally purchased.
The other issue identified today focuses on SSD-equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops without a touchbar sold between June 2017 and June 2018. Specific units with 128GB or 256GB SSDs have a problem that could cause data loss and failure, so Apple says it will need to update firmware on the drives. However, in this case, doing so will reformat the storage so it’s key to backup your data before getting the laptop serviced. You can find out if your laptop is one of the one’s affected by entering its serial number on Apple’s website.
For both programs, if you’ve experienced similar issues already and paid for service, then you can and should contact Apple about a refund. Also, just as an FYI, if your device is an iPhone 6 through iPhone X, then Apple’s apology program with discounted battery replacements will go away at the end of this year — you might want to swap in a new cell for $29 before then if you haven’t already.
SEC Cyber Chief Puts A New Type Of Cryptocurrency Exchange On Notice
Cryptocurrency exchanges, be warned. There’s no out-innovating the regulatory reach of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Clarifying an announcement yesterday that the SEC is in the middle of its first ever case against a cryptocurrency exchange running on the ethereum blockchain, the chief of the SEC’s newly created cyber unit, Robert Cohn, exclusively told Forbes that using any blockchain to create an exchange without central operations doesn’t remove the original creator’s responsibility.
As similar decentralized exchanges are being launched with increasing ease, and frequency, the warning shows how serious the SEC is about taming the cryptocurrency Wild West, and the semantics used to bolster it.
“The focus is not on the label you put on something or the technology you’re using,” says Cohen. “The focus is on the function, and what the platform is doing. Whether it’s decentralized or not, whether it’s on a smart contract or not, what matters is it’s an exchange.”
While traditional, centralized exchanges like Coinbase, or even Nasdaq, are run by individuals, this new breed of decentralized exchanges runs on self-executing code. Instead of serving as a middleman connecting buyers and sellers, these decentralized exchanges connect people directly using the code, also known as a smart contract.
But according to Cohen, the individuals behind that code remain responsible. It’s notable, that the SEC’s charges yesterday were not against the exchange, but the individual, Zachary Coburn, founder of the unlicensed decentralized EtherDelta token exchange. The exchange, which is still operational in spite of the SEC describing Coburn as being cooperative, has already helped users execute 3.6 million orders and took it’s most recent order at 3:07 pm ET on Friday, November 9.
In total, Coburn he agreed to pay a $300,000 disgorgement, $13,000 in prejudgment interest and a $75,000 penalty, though he didn’t admit to or deny the SEC findings. In its official statement, the SEC described Coburn as “cooperative.” Importantly, “almost all” of the trades conducted on the platform occurred after July 25, 2017, when the SEC published its conclusions on the seminal DAO investigation.
Similar to EtherDelta, The DAO, or Decentralized Autonomous Organization, was an elaborate collection of smart contracts executed on the ethereum blockchain. When the code in the smart contracts was made to execute in a way unintended by the original developers, $60 million was siphoned off into an unknown third-party’s account.
While the SEC didn’t fine The DAO creators, it did create the cyber unit still investigating EtherDelta. The cyber unit filed its first charges against a blockchain company in December 2017, for matters related to the issuance of an ICO. Then, in September 2018 charges were filed against a crypto asset fund manager and a crypto broker-dealer. But yesterday’s charges were the first against a crypto exchange and show the agency is escalating its efforts.
Since the catastrophic failure of The DAO, which so deeply split ethereum users that it resulted in the creation of an entirely new cryptocurrency called Ethereum Classic, the decentralized exchange business has become increasingly refined, and streamlined.
In May 2018 licensed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase purchased Paradex, a decentralized exchange powered by 0x, a platform designed to streamline the creation of cryptocurrency exchanges without a single point of failure. In August 2017 0x raised $24 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in which the public was able to purchase tokens used by the exchange.
Since then, a number of other decentralized exchanges have launched on the 0x platform, the most prominent of which is Radar Relay, which raised $10 million in traditional venture capital from Blockchain Capital and others. Similarly, decentralized asset manager Melonport is building an autonomous system scheduled to be fully deployed in February 2019.
While Cohen’s comments make it clear the SEC intends to assure that exchanges doing business in the United States are compliant, what is less clear is how the regulator might handle decentralized exchanges with less cooperative, or anonymous, creators.
By their very nature, blockchain-based exchanges are nearly impossible to shut down. While online access to centralized servers can revoked, a new wave of decentralized servers, domain providers and more is becoming increasingly popular. Soon, even traditional means of enforcement could become more difficult.
Farmer adjustments can offset climate change impacts in corn production
There is widespread concern that global warming will have a strong negative effect on crop yields. Recent research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on historical maize yields across the U.S. Corn Belt suggests that a continuation of the historical yield trend will depend on a stable climate and continued farmer adjustments.
This research, conducted by Ethan Butler, postdoctoral associate in the Department of Forest Resources in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota and his colleagues from Harvard University and University of California, Irvine, analyzes how both climate and management have influenced the increase in yields. Overall, the research shows farmers have adapted to historical climate change. The combination of changes in climate, primarily cooling of the hottest temperatures, and farmer adjustments, including earlier planting and planting longer maturing varieties, increased maize yield trends 28 percent since 1981.
“We wanted to add the farmer into the picture of how climate change will affect crops,” said Butler. “Sometimes, it feels like climate change is a juggernaut that is going to trample our way of life. In this research we’ve shown that farmers have already made adjustments to better align their planting practices with historical climate changes, and we hope this can be a guide to changes in the future.”
Butler and the research team used a statistical model to study how rainfed maize yields reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are affected by temperature using three crop development phases: vegetative, early grain filling and late grain filling. They found that planting is occurring earlier and that the late grain filling phase lasts longer. At the same time, the hottest temperatures have cooled. The earlier planting and longer grain filling are primarily associated with management decisions, while the cooling of hot temperatures appears to be an unintended benefit of widespread planting of high-yielding modern cultivars.
“One of farmers’ biggest decisions is what they plant and when they plant it,” said Butler. “We are seeing that farmers are planting earlier — not only because they have hardier seeds and better planting equipment — but also because it’s getting warmer sooner.”
The research also suggests the adjustments farmers have made have increased yields more than they would have in the absence of the historical changes in climate. However, in the Corn Belt, this means accentuating a surprisingly beneficial climate trend rather than reducing damages from a harmful change. This implies farmers have proven adept at adjusting to environmental changes, but that these benefits may evaporate in a warming climate.
It is unclear whether these historical patterns of adaptation will be maintained in a hotter environment, but farmer decisions must be considered in future analyses of how crop yields will be affected by a changed climate. The team hopes that by studying farmer adaptations, which have received relatively little attention, they will help to improve concrete actions that can be taken to reduce damages from a hotter world in the future.
This research was funded by the Packard Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Science Foundation.
Toyota will use hydrogen burners to reduce factory emissions
As clean as fuel cell cars and EVs may be, they’re still made using pollution-producing factories — and Toyota wants to help solve this. The company has introduced what it says is the first-ever general-purpose hydrogen burner built for use at factories and other industrial plants. While hydrogen burners have already existed, they’ve typically pumped out dangerous levels of nitrous oxide due to rapid reactions between hydrogen and oxygen. The new burner keeps the two elements relatively separate and lowers the oxygen concentration, leading to a system with “greatly reduced” nitrous oxygen emissions and the zero carbon dioxide emissions you already get with hydrogen burners.
This isn’t just a theoretical exercise. Toyota is already using the hydrogen burner for forging at its Honsha plant, and it plans to replace 1,000 natural gas burners across its Japanese plants. It will “gradually” introduce the hydrogen burners at other plants, while other companies under Toyota’s umbrella are also looking at the technology.
In some ways, the company didn’t have much choice. It already challenged itself to eliminate CO2 emissions at its plants, and the burner helps achieve that goal without nasty side-effects. It also helps Japan’s broader environmental goals, which include eliminating non-electric cars by 2050. The big question is whether or not other companies will use burners like these. If they don’t, the effect of this breakthrough could be relatively limited.
Roborace won’t use a fully driverless car for its first season
Roborace has long talked of completely driverless cars hitting the track when its first season gets underway, but the company has had a change of heart. CEO (and Formula E winner) Lucas di Grassi has revealed to Motorsport.com that Roborace’s “Season Alpha” will use a new DevBot 2.0 car with space for a human driver. The organic crews will take the wheel for part of the race, with the autonomous component taking control for the rest. Why the more conservative approach? It’s a combination of shaping public perception and the nature of racing itself.
The picture of a driver hopping out of the car “better exemplifies” the differences between piloted and autonomous driving, di Grassi said. He also argued that racing needs a “human component.” While it’s not certain that people would lose the plot with completely driver-free cars, it’s true that there isn’t as much of a stake in the race when it’s simply a competition between AIs.
Di Grassi noted that the first season, which will support Formula E races, will likely include fewer than 10 cars. Roborace will provide the hardware and logistics, with teams providing the software to both foster development and lower costs. The schedule for this inaugural run should be available by the end of 2018.
There’s an upshot to this method: when there’s a finished product, it could be particularly impressive. Di Grassi sees the 2021 vehicle packing over 1,341BHP (about 1,359HP) with four electric motors providing power at each wheel. Whether or not there’s a driver, it could represent a good example of EV racing in action — and it’ll be much more substantial than a hill climb.
The New York Times taps Google’s AI to find stories in old photos
The New York Times has somewhere in the realm of five to seven million physical photos in its enormous archive, many of which date back more than a century. The images document vital moments and contain valuable records of our recent history, but the hard copies are vulnerable to deterioration (they fortunately survived flooding in 2015). To protect the photos, the Times is digitizing the archive with Google Cloud.
Not only will scanning all of the images help preserve them, but reporters should find it far easier to delve into the archives than by leafing through hard copies in file cabinets. Many of the photos have contextual information on the back, such as the time and location where they were taken, captions and when they were published in the newspaper. So, the Times, with the aid of Google’s tech, created a system that recognizes and processes handwriting and text on both sides of each photo.
Many of the photos from the Times‘ more recent past will be digital anyway, so this is more about preserving the historical images, and using Google’s AI to find tales hidden within them. It should be far simpler, for instance, to tell stories of how a specific location evolved over time through the paper’s photography. The Times might also take advantage of Google’s vision AI tools to detect objects and places in images, which could make categorizing them easier and help reporters and editors unearth them when they are browsing or searching the archive.
Prima Games, the company that’s been creating physical video game strategy guides for the past 28 years, is shutting down according to Publisher’s Lunch. Prima’s publisher DK’s CEO Ian Hudson sent out an internal memo saying it was an “extremely difficult decision” and one that was made due to a “significant decline” in the video game guide sector per reports by Publishers Weekly. No more guides will be coming out of Prima Games, and its doors will officially close this coming spring.
Considering the fluid nature of games, with major changes coming via updates, the idea of a physical guide that was made and printed at a game’s release seems outdated. But Prima put a lot of time and effort into its guides, featuring tons of art and graphics, acting for many as a defacto coffee table book for their favorite games.
While Prima did embrace online, offering guides through its website, it wasn’t enough to overcome the sheer traffic that IGN and GameFaqs would bring in. For example, googling “Red Dead Redemption 2” lists six different websites before landing on Prima Games. The company did buy and absorb its main competitor, Brady Games, back in 2015, and even offered guides via Steam at one point in an attempt to diversify its business.
While it’s unfortunate to see Prima Games close its doors, it’s really hard to beat free information. And there’s still another actor in the physical video game guide space, Piggyback, but it doesn’t publish nearly as many guides as Prima once did.
PayPal bans far-right Proud Boys and multiple anti-fascist groups
The far-right group Proud Boys has been hit with bans from Twitter and Facebook and now it will no longer be allowed to operate on PayPal. The Verge reports that PayPal will be cancelling both the Proud Boys account as well as that of its founder Gavin McInnes. At the same time, it’s also continuing to take down accounts belonging to a number of anti-fascist groups, including Atlanta Antifa, Antifa Sacramento and the Anti-Fascist Network.
“Striking the necessary balance between upholding free expression and open dialogue and protecting principles of tolerance, diversity and respect for all people is a challenge that many companies are grappling with today,” a PayPal spokesperson told The Verge. “We work hard to achieve the right balance and to ensure that our decisions are values-driven and not political. We carefully review accounts and take action as appropriate. We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”
Twitter banned Proud Boys earlier this year for violating its rules against “violent extremist groups” while Facebook removed associated accounts after finding the group qualified as a hate organization. For its part, PayPal banned the far-right conspiracy site InfoWars in September and the social network Gab last month.
If this is correct, Paypal is making a ridiculous false equivalence. This is where liberal “both sides” discourse leads. https://t.co/qg49QyNFmZ
Proud Boys, an ultranationalist group, has often promoted or aligned itself with violence, participating in last year’s deadly Charlottesville rally and engaging in a fight with anti-fascists in New York City last month. One of the Antifa groups banned by PayPal spoke out on Twitter today about the move. Atlanta Antifa also told The Daily Beast that its “track record has been one of monitoring and protesting the far-right” and that the Proud Boys “engage in indiscriminate beat-downs” against anyone they perceive to be an enemy. A lawyer for Proud Boys told The Daily Beast that the group was considering legal action against PayPal.
Sometimes, when a child misbehaves, their parent will make them stand and face the corner in a time-out. That’s sort of what it was like testing out the new Philips Hue Signe floor lamp.
Available as a 24-inch table lamp for $160 (about £125, or AU$220), or a 58-inch floor lamp for $250 (about £195, or AU$345), the new fixtures are basically vertical wands of light designed to spread color across your walls. And, in fairness, both Signe fixtures behaved perfectly well as I tested them out — but I also didn’t really know what the heck I was supposed to do with the things.
At any rate, into the corner the floor lamp went. I plugged it in and synced it up with the Hue app, then added it to the CNET Smart Home’s Apple HomeKit setup. Like other Hue products, the Signe fixtures are compatible with Siri, Alexa, the Google Assistant and a number of other popular smart home platforms.
I asked Alexa to turn it on and off, then asked Google Assistant to dim it up to fifty percent. Siri changed it to blue. I automated it alongside other HomeKit-compatible products in the same room using Apple’s Home app. Everything worked perfectly. Hue’s always been about as rock-solid as smart lighting gets.
The problem is that I was left entirely underwhelmed. For a product that’s meant to be aimed at your walls, each Signe fixture casts a fairly narrow pool of light. Turning them sideways helped a bit, but then I had a bright strip of LED’s glaring into my eyes from my seat on the couch.
New Philips Hue ‘light bars’ are great, but too expensive
There are tons of new additions to Philips Hue’s lineup of smart lights this year, including a couple that want to serve as color-changing accent lights for your living room or bedroom. Chief among them: new Philips Hue Play “light bars” that splash color across whatever you’ve got them aimed at. The cost: $130 (£120, which is about AU$215) for a two-light starter kit that comes with the power supply unit. Additional light bars cost $60 (£65) each.
That ain’t cheap, but Philips has always priced its color-changing smart bulbs and fixtures at a premium. For the money, you get the traditional Hue pitch: A full range of RGB and white-light tones that you can control or automate from an app on your phone, or by using Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands. With a directional design that draws attention to the pool of light that these fixtures cast instead of drawing it to the fixtures themselves, the Play light bars offer an interesting change from the usual bulb-based Philips Hue approach.
Of course, all of that requires that you have a Philips Hue Bridge plugged into your router — and the Bridge isn’t included in the starter kit. And, while you can connect up to three Plays to a single power supply to help cut down on clutter around your surge protector, you’ll need to buy an additional power supply if you ever decide to expand your setup to four Plays or more. The only way to get that power supply at retail is to purchase the two-Play starter kit, which might be more than you need.
Apple plans to sell more of its products on Amazon
Apple and Amazon have come to an agreement to stock the online retailer’s shelves with more Apple products, according to CNET. The deal will expand Amazon’s direct access to Apple products, including the latest models of the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. The deal also restricts third-party sales of Apple products on Amazon to Apple-authorized resellers.
According to the report, the iPhone XR and XS, iPad Pro and Apple Watch Series 4 will all be available directly through Amazon in the weeks leading up to the holiday shopping season. The deal covers sales in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and India.
Prior to the agreement, just a limited selection of Apple devices were available directly through Amazon. Much of the Apple offerings on the marketplace came from third-party sellers. Those independent sellers will have their Apple product listings removed starting January 4th, 2019. They will have to apply to become Apple-certified resellers if they want to continue listing the company’s products.
The agreement between the two tech giants appears to signal they are back on good terms. Back in 2015, Amazon removed the Apple TV set-top box from its site for not supporting Amazon Prime Video. The Apple TV returned to Amazon earlier this year. It’s worth noting that the Apple HomePod — a direct competitor with the Amazon Echo — won’t appear on Amazon so while some of the bad blood may be dealt with, there’s still some tension.
“[Brian] Kemp on Thursday said he had resigned as Georgia’s secretary of state,” reported Reuters yesterday. No one watching Kemp’s malfeasant, multi-year election security trash fire could understand why that sentence didn’t stop at “resigned.”
But, as they say these days while weeping openly and stockpiling water for America’s full transition into Fury Road (next week; mark your calendars) — we are in the darkest timeline. Previously, Kemp refused all public demands to step down while running for Governor of Georgia, even though he was in charge of elections. This included a formal request from former President Jimmy Carter, citing his experience as an official election observer.
But no. Silly democracy people, with their “ethics.” Brian Kemp has probably had recurring erotic dreams about this moment for many years. Brian Kemp is a magic man, and would not relinquish control. He was committed to this abusive relationship.
Kemp’s pointless gesture of quitting only now, after the election, after years of showing the world he can’t even competently burn the state’s election systems to the ground, Reuters explained, was his way to “ensure ‘public confidence’ in the final results.”
In the next breath, Brian Kemp declared himself the winner of a governor’s race that remains unresolved.
Kemp became Secretary of State in 2010, which placed him in charge of Georgia’s election-everything; including appointing clerks, guiding election officials, enforcing qualifying rules, and overseeing security. In that time he has perfected doing nothing about security and kicking 1.5 million people off the voter rolls. People who, coincidentally, are prone to vote against the Brian Kemps of the world.
Under Kemp, Georgia’s election system was incompetently run by Kennesaw State University, whose internal emails from 2016 revealed its awareness of “critical vulnerabilities” thanks to an outside researcher. These included ongoing “access to a colossal, 15-gigabyte store of confidential material, including voter data and passwords to the system.” Access allowed records to be changed, according to a federal lawsuit that seeks to move Georgia to paper ballots.
The state’s election officials were notified in August 2016 and Brian Kemp said he didn’t know anything about it, but that the system was like, totally secure. Kemp then proceeded to reject federal help to shore up Georgia’s election systems before the presidential election. This is fine, said Brian Kemp.
That December, lawmakers floated the idea of DHS overseeing state election security. Kemp responded by accusing the DHS of unsuccessfully hacking Georgia Secretary of State’s network, including its voter registration database. His accusations were investigated and found to be baseless.
You will be surprised to learn that while Kemp was doing everything imaginable to discourage authorities from getting a good look at Georgia’s election security, the jaw-dropping security holes reported in 2016 hummed right along in the background. Yep, Kemp left that cake out in the rain. Based on his experience, being the subject of a voting exercise in the state of Georgia looks extremely attractive to him. In March 2017, Kemp announced he would be running for Georgia governor in the 2018 election. He does not cite his ticket as R-Moscow, but we have doubts.
Three months later, a Georgia judge rushed and then shot down a citizen lawsuit to swap the state’s insecure voting machines for paper ballots. Brian Kemp is pleased. “During my time as Secretary of State, I have worked tirelessly to ensure security at the ballot box,” Kemp said.
Indeed. But first, Brian Kemp, define “security.” We can’t both be right.
On July 2, Kemp wrote an op-ed in USA Today saying that any questions about Georgia’s now-legendarily broken digital election security were “fake news.” While the rest of the country has decided that this is the wrong timeline to have stopped sniffing glue, Brian Kemp wants you to know that only disgusting, malfunctioning people think something might be wrong with a system researchers literally called “Drupalmageddon.”
On July 3, Kennesaw was served with the aforementioned lawsuit about Georgia’s nonexistent election security.
Yet that was then and this is now. Five days ago, researchers found new security holes in Georgia’s election systems, then notified US intelligence officials, the Coalition for Good Government (and Kemp’s own attorneys). Kemp performed an interpretive dance without his pants to distract everyone — sorry, I mean, he accused the Democratic Party of Georgia of hacking. No one believed it. Especially not anyone in the fields of hacking and infosec, who have seen him as a walking, talking underwear stain and a threat to democracy for several years running.
But that’s okay. Brian Kemp is smarter than all of you.
Now Brian Kemp has declared himself King of Georgia. The words of his idiot god are ascribed on his breastplate. It reads, “fake news.”
Inside Xbox event will showcase updates to ‘Minecraft,’ ‘Sea of Thieves’
Xbox fans have a lot of news and announcements to look forward to this weekend as Microsoft’s X018 event is underway in Mexico City. Tomorrow at 4:00 PM EST, X018 will host a special two-hour live edition of Inside Xbox, the monthly show covering all things Xbox.
Microsoft is gearing up for the holiday season by making announcements about some of its biggest Xbox titles including, Crackdown 3, Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2 and Forza Horizon 4. Several guests will also make appearances, such as head of Xbox Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Matt Booty and Minecraft studio head Helen Chiang. Also on the docket for tonight’s show is the announcement of over a dozen new games for Xbox Game Pass.
Fans can snag some in-game goodies for Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 4 if they watch on the Xbox Mixer channel while logged into their Microsoft account. The broadcast can also be seen on Twitch, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.