Police in India arrested ten students for playing PUBG

Police in India arrested ten college students after they were caught playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on mobile. Gujarat, a western state in the country, banned the game last week over concerns that it’s too addicting and violent. The students were released on bail later today.

The students were apparently “so engrossed” in the game that they didn’t look up and notice police approaching to arrest them, one cop told local media.

PUBG is still legal in the rest of India, but Gujarat singled out the game after parents and educators complained that the game was too violent and distracted students from studying. In February, a local minister in Gujarat described it as “a demon in every house,” according to The Times of India. And even as players continue to enjoy PUBG on mobile in other parts of India, educators elsewhere in the countryare still concerned about the game being too addicting.

Last month, PUBG’s parent company Bluehole released a statement to local Indian media to address the concerns, saying, “we also believe that it is extremely important for us to be a responsible member of the gaming ecosystem. To this end, we constantly work and shall continue to work with … parents, educators, and government bodies, and listen to their feedback on what we can do.” We’ve reached out to PUBG for comment on the arrest today.

Meanwhile, rival battle royale and first person shooter Fortnite has not faced legal restrictions. There could be a couple reasons as to why: it has more of a fantasy feel than PUBG’s more realistic violence, and downloading the game isn’t terribly straightforward on the predominant OS of choice, Android, as users have to manually download it from Epic Games’ website. Given those reasons, PUBG appears to be the easier target for lawmakers for now.

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Left 4 Dead creator Turtle Rock announces new IP Back 4 Blood

Something to look forward to: As fans have been patiently waiting for Left 4 Dead 3, developer Turtle Rock Studios has been hard at work on Back 4 Blood. Wait. What? Okay, maybe “hard at work” is not quite the right way to frame it since the game is in the early development stages and doesn’t even have a logo yet.

Regardless, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) and Turtle Rock Studios announced a new “original,” premium title called “Back 4 Blood.” Well, it’s not entirely original. B4B will still be a four-player co-op zombie-shooter gore fest that the studio is known for, but made for the current generation of hardware.

“Back 4 Blood is designed from the ground up as an original, premium title and marries the best of what made the co-op zombie shooter so successful with new features and state-of-the-art technology,” said the press release.

Presumably, the “state-of-the-art” tech being referred to are some of the newer GPU technologies such as real-time ray tracing and deep learning super sampling, but we won’t be sure until much later in the development process.

“Blood is our own brand new, original IP. You’ll be able to shoot up a lot of zombies like in Left 4 Dead, but there’s a whole lot of new stuff in Back 4 Blood which makes it unique.”

Turtle Rock and WBIE didn’t reveal much else about the title other than the team is going “back to its roots” for this one. That is a good thing since the studio’s last production, the F2P Evolve: Stage 2 never lived up to the hype.

“We are going back to our roots and at the same time innovating on them,” said Turtle Rock’s community manager. “We know we have some big shoes to fill, but we’re going all out to surpass everything we’ve done before.”

That would certainly be an accomplishment considering both Left 4 Dead games were solid titles.

It remains unclear whether Back 4 Blood is replacing the Left 4 Dead franchise. It certainly sounds like it since it is still a four-player co-op zombie FPS. However, Turtle Rock maintains that it is different.

“No, [this is not L4D3]. Blood is our own brand new, original IP,” reads the FAQ. “You’ll be able to shoot up a lot of zombies like in Left 4 Dead, but there’s a whole lot of new stuff in Back 4 Blood which makes it unique.”

The studio decided to announce the game so soon because it is looking for community feedback early on in the development process.

“We love being able to announce, so we can start working with the community right away,” said Turtle Rock Studios Co-founder and Design Director Chris Ashton.

Additionally, the company wanted to let the industry know it is working on something big because it is looking to hire new talent. It urges anyone interested in working on the project to check out the Turtle Rock jobs board.

The team is planning to initially release the game on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, but says that other options are still on the table. Those other options being macOS and Linux ports, which are available for the L4D series. This will also be the debut for Sony’s platform which never saw release of the first two zombie titles.

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Western Digital announces the 'Blue SN500,' a budget-friendly NVMe SSD

Solid state storage prices have been coming down as of late, but they are still usually considerably more expensive than their hard drive counterparts. For example, you can snag a 1TB, 7200RPM Western Digital Blue HDD for around $50, whereas you’d be paying upwards of $150 for a basic 1TB SSD equivalent.

While the price disparity between HDDs and SSDs probably won’t be fully eliminated anytime soon, Western Digital is making the entry point for high-performance SSDs significantly more appealing with the announcement of their new Blue SN500 storage device.

Priced at $54.99 for a 250GB version, or $77.99 for a 500GB version, the NVMe-based SN500 costs about the same as Samsung’s 500GB 860 Evo – the key difference is that the latter device uses much slower SATA technology.

As a result, the SN500 offers read and write speeds that are up to three times as fast as the 860 Evo, meaning it could bring significantly more value to the table; in theory, anyway – we’ve yet to test the SN500 for ourselves.

At any rate, if you haven’t jumped on board the SSD bandwagon yet, now might be the time to think about doing so. Though Western Digital’s new SN500 drives don’t seem to be available just yet, their Amazon listing suggests they will ship within “1 to 3 months.”

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Netflix cancels 'One Day at a Time' amidst vocal #RenewODAAT campaign

ONE DAY AT A TIME
ONE DAY AT A TIME
Image: Ali Goldstein/Netflix

Netflix has made the no good, very bad decision to cancel One Day at a Time. 

In a relatively long Twitter thread, the streaming giant announced the “tough choice” to stop making more of this inclusive, empathetic, hilarious comedy centering on the Alvarezes, a Cuban-American immigrant family led by Rita Moreno and Justina Machado. 

The news isn’t necessarily a huge shocker but it’s still heartbreaking. Throughout its run, One Day at a Time maintained a vocal fanbase and was the recipient of glowing critical acclaim.

The folks at Netflix are, of course, fully aware of this. It’s why they were compelled to explain a cancellation online — something they don’t often do. 

Netflix doesn’t reveal viewership numbers and how much they factor into their decision-making concerning renewals and cancellations. 

In the case of ODAAT, we were made aware of the fact that the show needed more eyeballs by co-creator Gloria Calderón Kellett a few days after the third and now final season dropped in February. 

Kellett tweeted that it was in danger of being canceled. This prompted the #RenewODAAT campaign, which began trending right away. 

None of this was a total surprise for fans because something similar happened in 2018 and it led to another season. 

This year, the campaign was amplified by celebrities like Brooklyn 99 stars Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz, who guest starred in Season 3, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Natasha Rothwell, and Busy Phillips, who chimed in to voice their support. Phillips even hired a freaking plane to fly over Netflix’s LA headquarters with the banner “Renew One Day at a Time.” Now that’s commitment to a cause! 

Alas, it doesn’t matter because the show is done for at Netflix. One Day at a Time is owned by Sony, which means Netflix also had to pay for its licensing fees. It’s an understandable business decision but by tweeting about their “reasons,” they’ve pretty much dug a hole for themselves. 

Netflix insists on the whole “oh, look, we’re your new best friend” approach when it comes to social media. They break that charade to get business-like for a minute to talk about this cancellation Unfortunately, it doesn’t work in their favor. 

They say they want to find ways to tell important stories — like ODAAT did so well — but then by cancelling it, they’re essentially kicking down their own brilliant idea because this show isn’t watched by whatever they consider to be “enough people.”

They also have the budget to promote the show but each year rely on the creators, actors, and fans to do it themselves. It’s frustrating. 

The bright spot here is that Sony will be shopping ODAAT elsewhere, hopefully to positive results. 

In the meantime, Seasons 1-3 are still on Netflix and it’s always a good idea to watch them.

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Great, now Apple users are seeing outages

Well that's just plain rotten.
Well that’s just plain rotten.
Image: Tom Brenner / getty

Unfortunately for everyone, Apple just took a page out of Facebook’s playbook. 

One day after Facebook suffered a massive outage, a wide array of Apple services are down for some users. Offerings including Find My iPhone, Find My Friends, News, and whole chunks of iCloud are on the fritz. 

A look at the company’s system status page shows just how widespread the problems are and appear to have began at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

Oops.

Image: screenshot / apple

According to DownDetector (which is owned by Mashable’s parent company), at the time of this writing users across the globe are experiencing problems with iCloud.  

We reached out to Apple in an effort to determine the cause of the outage, and when the issue will be fixed, but received no response as of press time. 

So, you know, maybe wait until it’s all fixed to lose your $1,000 phone. 

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