EA and Marvel Entertainment enter collaboration to develop action-adventure games for consoles and PC

Video game company Electronic Arts has announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Marvel Entertainment to develop at least three new action adventure games for PCs and consoles. Stories of these games will be set in the Marvel universe, and the titles will be based on their original stories, with Iron Man being the first one coming out.

Iron Mane will be available for both PCs and consoles and will be available to be played in a single-player, third-person. Motive Studios, the video game developer and studio of Electronic Arts, is tasked with developing the game. However, how soon it will debut on PC and consoles is anybody’s guess.

The company has not given us many details about the upcoming Iron Mane video game. But it “will feature an original narrative that taps into the rich history of the character, channeling the complexity, charisma, and creative genius of Tony Stark.” Neither EA nor Marvel Entertainment disclosed details about the other two titles that will launch after Iron Man. Indeed, they all will be based on well-known movie titles like Dr. Strange, Ant-Man, etc.

Marvel and EA issued a joint statement about the collaboration. You can read the official statement below.

Marvel and EA joint statement

Which stories do you like the most in the Marvel universe? What Marvel titles do you want to play after Iron Man? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Twitter verification may cost $20 a month as Elon Musk revamps verification process

In a major revamp to the Twitter verification process, Twitter’s new boss Elon Musk is considering charging $20 a month for those who want to retain their verified badge, according to The Verge. Twitter verification, Going forward, could be part of the company’s Blue subscription offerings. When it launches, verified users will have to opt-in for the service within 90 days, or else they will lose their verified badge.

According to sources, Twitter employees have been given time until November 7 to implement the feature on Twitter; failing to do so will result in mass layoffs. Elon Musk has not publicly announced the change, but he tweeted yesterday that “the whole verification process is being revamped right now.” This could also mean additional requirements other than a $20-a-month Blue subscription.

Twitter launched its Blue subscription last year to increase its revenue, but the company still earns a huge chunk of its revenue through advertising. At launch, the subscription was priced at $3 a month, but the microblogging site recently increased the pricing to $5 a month. The paid subscription is currently limited to the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. However, when the new verifications process launches, users worldwide should be able to buy the subscription. This is because the verification process is not limited to a select few countries.

Many verified handles on Twitter say they would happily give up the verified badge when the changes occur, as they are not willing to pay $20 a month for that. Users are currently divided on whether this will mitigate the issue of the bot problems on the platform, which is something Elon Musk hates the most and resulted in Musk almost backing out from the deal.

What do you think about Twitter’s new verification process? Do you think it will help the platform fight disinformation or worsen it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Surface Duo’s Android 12L update brings experimental “force desktop mode” feature

The recently-released Android 12L update for Surface Duo gave us a handful of things to marvel at, from new wallpapers and numerous design element tweaks to a new Pen menu and more. Nonetheless, what really makes this release extra interesting are the hidden gems waiting to be discovered. One has been recently shared by a Surface Duo enthusiast: a feature allowing the use of your Surface Duo device to access a Windows PC via the Remote Desktop Program (RDP) app.

Shane Craig, who shows the details in his YouTube video, said it was first shared with him by a Twitter user after plugging the device into a dock. Craig did the same in the video to demonstrate how the feature called “force desktop mode” works.

It is important to note, however, that the feature is not explicitly available since it is under the Developer Mode. It can be activated by first enabling the Developer Mode and going to Settings > System > Developer options. From there, you can toggle on the “force desktop mode” option, which describes the feature as a “force experimental desktop mode on secondary displays.”

Once activated and with the device plugged into the dock, no changes will be seen on the end of the Surface Duo device. Craig noted how it would remain usable despite being connected to the dock where the monitor, keyboard, and mouse are also connected. However, the computer monitor will show the RDP app icon you can click. Doing so will give you the option to connect to the available Windows PC on your network or in the cloud. This also allows adding of more PCs and connecting other apps.

While interesting, the feature is still not ready, so it might not work on all Surface Duo users. Nonetheless, it offers huge possibilities for the future of Surface Duo devices as tools for professionals who need easy access to their Windows. 

Xbox extends Free Play Days until October 31st to celebrate Halloween

No plans this weekend? Just stay at home, and enjoy the comfort of your room while playing these four new games available under the Shocktober edition of Free Play Days. The fun started on Thursday, but Xbox feels a bit generous this season, so you get until October 31st (at 11:59 p.m. PDT) to enjoy the suspense-filled titles as you welcome Halloween.

Dead by Daylight

Standard Edition at 60% off: $11.99 (Free Play Days)

Silent Hill Edition at 40% off: $29.99 (Free Play Days)

Killer Expansion Pack at 40% off: $41.99 (Free Play Days)

Feel the full horror of the Halloween season by playing Dead by Daylight, where you can choose to play between an unstoppable Killer and one of 4 Survivors trying to evade a gruesome death. If you choose the former, you can take control of any of the seven morbid characters (including The Trapper, The Hillbilly, The Wraith, The Nurse, The Hag, The Huntress, and The Doctor), who will let you release your inner psycho this season. If you want to be a Survivor, on the other hand, there are a total of nine characters to explore, such as Meg Thomas, Claudette Morel, Jake Park, Dwight Fairfield, Ace Visconti, Nea Karlsson, Bill Overbeck, Feng Min, and David King.


Standard Edition at 60% off: $11.99 (Free Play Days)

Halloween screams the need for a hardcore FPP slasher, so here’s Ghostrunner for you. Infiltrate the futuristic megastructure Dharma Tower, and take down the tyrannical Keymaster as the most advanced blade fighter who uses a monomolecular katana. From the top to the bottom of the tower, you’ll constantly be faced with waves of enemies. You’re always outnumbered but will never be outclassed.


Standard Edition at 20% off: $23.99 (Free Play Days)

Play as Corvus in the Kingdom of Hermes in Thymesia, which is in its calamity age due to widespread plague and infected monsters prowling the blood-soaked streets. You are the kingdom’s last hope, and the only way you can do it is by digging into your memory. The action RPG with fast-paced combat and an intricate plague weapon system will let you put your dark side to good use by applying them to plague-corrupted enemies spreading further harm into the kingdom.


Standard Edition at 60% off: $15.99 (Free Play Days)

Enter the world of Revion Prime, a hostile alien world, to find and collect samples of Dolmen. This crystal means a great deal to your planet due to its particularly unique properties that can allow interaction between realities and revolutionize space exploration. However, prepare for the most vicious creatures waiting for your arrival there.

Microsoft resolves OneDrive app crash issue in Windows 10 systems

Last Thursday, Microsoft confirmed a OneDrive issue affecting certain Windows 10 systems after installing the recent updates it made available this month. Fortunately, just a day after disclosing the problem, the company managed to deliver a fix.

The solution is for those who installed KB5018410 or later updates and experiencing OneDrive crashes when performing specific actions related to the app, such as signing out or unlinking an account in the Microsoft OneDrive sync app, unlinking sites or folders from syncing to a certain device from Microsoft SharePoint or Microsoft Teams sites, and uninstalling the OneDrive sync app.

Such instances might be experienced by client platforms like Windows 10, version 22H2; Windows 10, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 21H1; and Windows 10, version 20H2. And while no server platforms are reported to be affected by the issue, the problem covers both OneDrive and OneDrive for Business users on client platforms mentioned above. Nonetheless, it should stop now with the introduction of the out-of-band update KB5020953.

“It is a cumulative update, so you do not need to apply any previous update before installing it,” Microsoft says in a blog post. “To get the standalone package for KB5020953, search for it in the Microsoft Update Catalog. You can manually import these updates into Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager.”

Microsoft introduces Outlook sign-in issue workaround while investigating the bug

If you can’t sign in on Outlook with your Outlook.com account, you are not alone. This week, Microsoft confirmed an ongoing sign-in issue on Outlook that it has been investigating.

The bug affects those trying to sign in on Outlook and those who already have their Outlook.com accounts added to the Outlook Profile. Users will get a “Need Password” request for the latter, but providing one will only lead to an error dialog that reads, “You can’t sign in here with a personal account. Use your work or school account instead.” 

error on Outlook

“The Outlook Team is investigating this issue for a fix,” assures customers. And while there’s still no permanent fix available, the company is offering a workaround to help those affected.

“To work around the issue, you can turn off Support Diagnostics, which turns off the option to submit an In App ticket using Help and then selecting Contact Support,” explains Microsoft in a support document. “The bug is related to how Outlook is authenticating for the diagnostics in some situations.”

Microsoft has a dedicated document for disabling support diagnostics in Outlook. It details how you can enable the DisableSupportDiagnostics policy setting, which will prevent Outlook from communicating client information on failure to support services.

“This policy setting determines if Outlook can communicate client information on failure to support services with the intent of diagnosing the issue or making the information available to support to help with the diagnosis/resolution of the issue and/or provide contextual error messaging to the user,” the document reads.

Microsoft releases Office Version 2211 (Build 15822.20000) for Windows users

Microsoft has released yet another Office preview update with no new features for Windows users. Office Version 2211 (Build 15822.20000) is now rolling out with just a fix for an issue in Microsoft Word. It fixes an issue where fonts in Word could be corrupted in Styles, resulting in unrecognized character squares. But there is nothing more than that, so another disappointment for Office Beta Insiders on Windows.


Office Version 2211 (Build 15822.20000)

Microsoft is currently testing these changes with Office Insiders, so the general public cannot see them right now. The good news is that they will eventually be available for all Office users. Meanwhile, Beta Channel Insiders on Windows will get another new Office Build next Friday, and we are hoping that the upcoming Office update for Windows will be much more exciting with lots of new features and changes.

To update the Microsoft Office Insider Preview Build to the latest version, open any Office program and go to File> Account> Update Options> Update Now.

Fans are disappointed with new Xbox dashboard design featuring rows of ads tiles

Xbox has just released a new look for its dashboard to Insiders in the Alpha Skip Ahead ring, and people are not really happy with the results. The reason? Well, the new look is like an explosion of ads.

The design shows consistent rows of tiles of suggested content, from the “most popular” to “recently added” titles on Game Pass. What’s even more annoying about this is that the rows can reach the top and bottom parts of the page, covering almost the entirety of your background. This makes the customizability of the dynamic background theme feature almost useless, as it is nearly impossible to see the image with all the tiles present. And speaking of customizability, you can do nothing about these suggestions.

New Xbox dashboard design in Xbox Insider Program on the Alpha Skip Ahead ring

The presence of ads within the Xbox dashboard has always been a problem among gamers using the platform. This makes it one of the top complaints by gamers who are looking for a more plain-looking and more customizable dashboard, but Xbox, obviously, is still not welcome to the possibility of delivering such a simple design. The company, of course, has a logical business reason for including ads on the dash, but excessively cluttering the place with more rows of suggested content just makes it more repulsive instead of making it a game haven for fans.

“If I wanted the extra items, I’d place them there. I don’t need to know what the top free games are. Nor what they are on Game Pass,” one Reddit user said, pointing out how the change adversely affected customization. “While I can understand this move for a new to the console sense. Or for those that just want to play what’s popular. I only had my pins on the previous dashboard. To avoid a bloated dashboard. Less is more. It also looks like the priority is to the added items. Bigger box art versus what I have in my pins. Almost as if to say ‘What you want isn’t what’s important. What we tell you is.’ All the added items are in the store. That’s where I go. Not the dashboard.”

“This new dashboard is terrible,” another Reddit user commented. “We know you want to surface things to users but at the cost of customization it’s not user friendly. Endless scrolling of categories that are not relevant to the user and putting pinned groups underneath the Free to Play category is just not putting the player in the center that you claim to be doing. This UI feels like it’s for TVs for the Game Pass Cloud app and trying to push it onto console which just doesn’t work.”

Others further pointed out how it lacks the Play Later list, irrelevant rows to encounter before getting to Quick Resume, lack of customization, huge ad block sizes, bad general layout, and more. Some even questioned how tone-deaf the release is to the complaints the community has been voicing out for years, making others question the group’s purpose. Others believe it could affect the decision of other gamers regarding staying on the platform in case the same design is released in public. Will Xbox believe and listen to these insightful comments? Well, we can only hope they would.

Microsoft rolls out Windows 11 Preview Build 22621.875, 22623.875 to Beta Channel

Microsoft is releasing another pair of builds to Beta Channel Insiders: the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22621.875 and Build 22623.875 (KB5018486). Just like the former pair of builds rolled out together, the features will only be activated for those who will receive the one with a higher build number.

The features rolling out to Build 22623.875 are no biggie since we’ve encountered them before in our previous reports. Nonetheless, the build expands access to the features by making them available to all Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel. These features include the Task Manager option in the context menu when right-clicking on the taskbar, a tablet-optimized taskbar, and a drag-and-drop function in System Tray.

As for fixes, Build 22623.875 will get a specific set, but it will also share some fixes with Build 22621.875.

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22623.875 fixes

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22621.875 and Build 22623.875 fixes

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22621.875 and Build 22623.875 known issues

Microsoft releases Windows 11 Preview Build 25231, announces ‘instant hotspot’ feature test

Microsoft announced the arrival of Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25231 to the Dev Channel this Thursday. It contains a few changes and a lot of fixes. But the main highlight of the announcement is the Phone Link app that should let you access your phone’s hotspot instantly.

instant hotspot feature via Phone Link app

Microsoft said the feature is currently rolling out to the Windows Insider community on select Samsung devices with One UI 4.1.1+. Basically, it makes it easier for your PC to access your mobile phone’s hotspot via the Phone Link app. In the test, the connection will be more automatic, meaning there will be no unnecessary process to handle, including password typing.

“The instant hotspot feature lets you securely start and connect to your phone’s Wi-Fi network without touching your phone,” Microsoft describes it. “When your phone is within range it will appear in the Wi-Fi network list on your PC where a single click turns on the phone’s hotspot and connects to it. No more remembering and typing passwords or searching for hotspot settings on the phone. This provides an easier and faster way to repeatedly connect to your hotspot when you are on the go.”

The set-up flow of the feature can be accessed by Insiders in different ways, including via the “Get Started” option in the What’s New dialog, the Phone Link settings page (Features > Instant Hotspot), or the button on the top right of Phone Link within the overflow menu. Also, it is important to note that there are requirements needed to use the feature fully. Aside from One UI 4.1.1+ in Samsung devices, other things required are PCs with Windows 11 version 22H2 Build 22621 and higher, Phone Link desktop app in version v1.22082.111.0 or greater, and Link To Windows phone app in version v1.22082.142.0 or greater. You also need a mobile device using a Sim card with a hotspot-capable plan and a PC with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapters.

Other important content detailed in the build announcement includes the rollout of a language-neutral word list in the spelling dictionary (Settings > Accounts > Windows backup > Remember my preferences > Language preferences), a tablet-optimized taskbar, and cloud suggestion feature Simplified Chinese IME.

As usual, Microsoft also included tons of fixes in Build 25231 and listed all the known issues still present.

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25231 fixes

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25231 known issues

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25231 known issues

Microsoft addresses outdated driver blocklist issue in October 2022 preview updates

In September, a security vulnerability expert discovered Microsoft’s outdated vulnerable driver blocklist, resulting in users being exposed to Bring Your Own Vulnerable Driver (BYOVD) attacks by making Window’s hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI) feature irrelevant even when activated. It took the company weeks to come up with a solution for the issue, but it finally arrived in its October 2022 preview updates.

The problem happens due to the synching issues of Windows kernel vulnerable driver blocklist to older Windows system versions. In a nutshell, the list should contain all the updated drivers with vulnerabilities to prevent them from being installed on a user’s machine. Having such problematic drivers can cause problems, especially if they are introduced by threat actors who want to access the user’s system to take control of the device. However, while this is the main function of HVCI, the failure to update the driver blocklist directly makes the security protection feature unhelpful. Even more, Will Dormann, the Analygence security analyst that uncovered the issue, said that the “file was last modified on Dec 12, 2019.” This affected up-to-date Windows 10 and Windows Server systems even if they were updated, exposing them to possible threats for years.

“The vulnerable driver list is regularly updated, however we received feedback there has been a gap in synchronization across OS versions,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Ars Technica when the news first broke. “We have corrected this and it will be serviced in upcoming and future Windows Updates. The documentation page will be updated as new updates are released.”

The promised fix arrived this October within the October 2022 preview updates. With this, the driver blocklist synching should now work in all affected systems. Specifically, this will make the list uniform across Windows 11 and 10 systems.

Google terminates over 10,000 YouTube channels linked to China

Google has released the TAG Bulletin report for Q3 2022, revealing the number of coordinated influence operation campaigns terminated on its platforms, including YouTube and Google AdSense. According to the report, it had removed over 10,000 YouTube Channels influence campaigns linked to China. It also gave a detailed report on how many other influence campaigns related to other countries the company terminated.

Aside from China, Google terminated coordinated influence operation campaigns linked to countries such as Russia, Turkey, Vietnam, the United States, North Macedonia, Iran, and Myanmar. However, China beats the other countries in the numbers game. Other than China, the numbers remain well within two digits.

China is the one trying to spread its influence across the world very aggressively that too using platforms it banned in its own territory. Although those terminated accounts are linked to China, the report does not mention their origin. It could be from inside China or outside the country. This applies to the rest of the accounts linked to other countries as well.

In the case of Russia, the terminated accounts were reportedly critical of NATO, Ukraine, and the West. This comes against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war. Google also took some help from Twitter to investigate these accounts linked to Russia. Some Russian accounts have also been terminated for sharing content in French that was supportive of Russian policy objectives in Libya. FBI helped Google in the investigation. You can read the complete TAG Bulletin report for Q3 2022 from here.

Do you think Google should have taken more robust action on accounts originating from other countries in Asia, America, and Europe, and not just these many? Do you have a list based on your own assessment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

GitHub under Microsoft: 90M active users, $1B ARR while keeping its “original form”

Microsoft has made a lot of business acquisitions, and many of them have proved to be incredibly beneficial for the tech giant. The biggest among them is GitHub, which received a great deal of appreciation in its earnings call after being able to reach an annual recurring revenue of $1 billion.

Microsoft acquired the software developer-focused web-based version-control and collaboration platform for $7.5 billion in June 2018. At that time, it was only able to hit $200 to $300 million in revenue with around 28 million active users. Now, there is a huge development in the GitHub community, which finally gained 90 million active users and growing revenue.

“Since our acquisition, GitHub is now at $1 billion annual recurring revenue and GitHub’s developer-first ethos has never been stronger,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said. “More than 90 million people now use the service to build software for any cloud, on any platform — up three times.”

Nonetheless, despite these huge achievements, it is important to note that GitHub hasn’t changed much in terms of the free service access it is offering. Before the acquisition, that was the fear of many users, but instead of using the hosting service to gain back quickly the money it spent, Microsoft decided to preserve its original nature as a free online software development platform. It also opted to improve the site by adding CI/CD tools, security tools, GitHub Actions, Codespaces, and more. Now, it is reaping what it sowed.

“Microsoft has not forgotten why we did the deal in the first place and what the important pillars of the deal are,” GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke said in a statement to TechCrunch, expressing his appreciation for how GitHub stays in its “original form” even after the acquisition. “The first and foremost principle is to put developers first. And that is what we do every day,”

Tech leaders criticize metaverse; Xbox head calls it a “poorly built video game”

Meta is investing a lot in the metaverse, but a lot of individuals in the industry are still skeptical about it and its current state. At the WSJ Tech Live conference, the technology received a special highlight when various leaders were asked to define it. One of them is Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, who described it as “a poorly built video game.”

Spencer didn’t directly mention Meta in his specific statement but expressed disappointment with how it is being used as a boring professional gathering place, which is something being promoted by Zuckerberg’s company. “Video game creators have an amazing ability to build compelling worlds that we want to go spend time in,” Spencer explained. “For me, building a metaverse that looks like a meeting room… I just find that’s not where I want to spend most of my time.”

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel applied the same approach in defining the metaverse concept by relating it to the current experiences available now to users. He described it as “living inside a computer” and that “the last thing I want to do when I get home from work at the end of a long day is live inside a computer.”

Disney CEO Bob Chapek, on the other hand, refused not to say the word and said, “we tend not to use the word because for us, that’s a big, broad term. For us, it’s next-generation storytelling.” the same answer was implied by Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak who said the metaverse is “a word I’ll never use.”

Meanwhile, other leaders directly expressed utter displeasure with the works being done by Meta to the metaverse technology. All Turtles and mmhmm CEO Phil Libin directly described himself as a “hater” of the metaverse and said the “Facebook vision of the metaverse is… so stupid it makes me sad. It accomplishes nothing. The reason is hard to define because it’s that stupid like this should be a red flag.”

Activate CEO Michael J. Wolfe, on the other hand, delivered a different view of the metaverse, which “will lead to a new technology paradigm.” He further explained that games are the “proto metaverse” and even showed a short clip of Call of Duty Modern Warfare” featuring a “digital twin of Amsterdam.” However, while the graphics of the game is truly impressive, this is not the case for the current condition of the metaverse that Zuckerberg’s company is trying to grow.

Back in August, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg received boatloads of criticism and even became the center of memes and jokes after posting a screenshot of his avatar in front of the Eiffel Tower. Many pointed out how literally a $10 billion budget was used in its metaverse division Reality Labs but still ended up delivering a funny-looking image. Zuckerberg defended the post saying it “was pretty basic” and “was taken very quickly to celebrate a launch,” but “graphics in Horizon are capable of much more — even on headsets — and Horizon is improving very quickly.”

In spite of some of the harsh comments of the executives, it really is possible that Meta’s metaverse product could offer more in the future. In the latter part of his statements, Spencer expressed that despite describing the metaverse as an unimpressive video game, it is still premature to generalize it. “I tease a little bit in [saying it’s] a bad video game. I just think we’re early,” he said. “[The metaverse is] going to end up looking a lot more like video games than some of the models that I see for the metaverse today.”

This possibility could just be around the corner, especially with Microsoft and Meta recently starting a new partnership to bring the former’s products like Microsoft 365, Windows 365, and Xbox Cloud Gaming services to Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro. With further collaborations, Meta can receive a huge deal of help from the company that has sufficient resources and knowledge to produce life-like game visuals. But for now, unfortunately, it is really a need to admit that the metaverse’s appearance under Meta’s efforts is depressing. 

OneNote app on Windows debuts on the Microsoft Store

Microsoft has just made it easier for users to download the right OneNote app for their Windows devices. The Redmond tech has officially released the OneNote app on Windows on the Microsoft Store, making it easier for PC users to find and install the free note-taking app. This is not a new app — it is the same OneNote app that you download from the official Microsoft website for free.

Microsoft is also pulling the OneNote for Windows 10 app from Microsoft Store, though if you have it installed on your PC, the app will continue to work. However, Windows 10 users will no longer get any feature updates for the OneNote app, which will reach end-of-support in October 2025. The company wants to consolidate OneNote for Windows 10 and OneNote app on Windows into one single app in the future.

Since OneNote for Windows 10 will not get any new features from now on, it is better to switch to OneNote on Windows. However, the former will not replace the OneNote Windows 10 app. However, you can uninstall the Windows 10 app after successfully installing the OneNote app on Windows. You can also keep both if you want to. But in that case, you have to choose the default version of OneNote from the Settings page.

If you have already downloaded and installed the OneNote app on Windows from the official Microsoft website, Microsoft Store will still give you the option to download it, even though both are the same. Microsoft has acknowledged that this is a bug, and they are working on fixing it.

If you can not figure out which OneNote app you are currently using on your PC, Microsoft has provided a short trick to help you out.

Open the OneNote app and check if you have the “File” menu. If you have this menu, then you are using the OneNote app on Windows. Otherwise, you are using OneNote for Windows 10 and you should also see “OneNote for Windows 10” on the title bar.

Which OneNote app do you love to use and why? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.