First Click: The farmer who uses Facebook is more than just a trope

When Mark Zuckerberg is singing the praises of Free Basics, Facebook’s controversial, restricted-but-free internet service, he often likes to talk about farmers. These are usually named individuals (like Ganesh and Aasif Mujawar from Maharashtra in India), who use Free Basics to look up things like weather forecasts and health information. They’re real people with real concerns who are benefitting from Facebook’s largess, but they’re also, undeniably, symbols. Zuckerberg mentions them because they’re authentic, sympathetic, and they bolster his arguments about the importance of Free Basics. This is why it’s important to remind ourselves that these people are more than just a rhetorical trope.

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Author: James Vincent

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Resident Evil Spin-off Umbrella Corps Coming to PS4, PC in May

Capcom has announced Umbrella Corps, a competitive shooter set in the Resident Evil universe, will launch in May for PlayStation 4 and PC. A new trailer for the game has also been released, showing off some of the team-based gameplay modes that will be available in the game.

As seen in the trailer, many of the battles take place in recognisable Resident Evil locales. Along with areas that look to be from Resident Evil 4‘s European setting, there’s also the Tricell building, which is a nod to Resident Evil 5.

Umbrella Corps will support up to six players, with two teams facing off against each other in many of the gameplay modes. The game will also include a single-player mission mode called “The Experiment” and a wave-based survival mode.

Umbrella Corps will be available digitally and will cost $29.99/£29.99.

Capcom initially trademarked the game as Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps in Europe and Japan. However, it seems to have dropped the Umbrella Corps and Resident Evil monikers for the final release.

The last game to bear the “Umbrella” name was Wii lightgun shooter Resident: Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, which was also released for PlayStation 3 following a period of exclusivity on Nintendo’s console.

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Author: Tamoor Hussain

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It's okay that Joe Belfiore is using an iPhone

Joe Belfiore, the face of Microsoft’s Windows Phone, has today posted a photo from his holiday in Japan and, shockinglyit’s come from an iPhone. There’s an even split in the responses to Belfiore’s tweet between those impressed by his new blond look and the people raising an eyebrow at his smartphone choice. But, honestly, the truth is that it would be weird if Belfiore wasn’t using an iPhone.

Firstly, the man’s taking a year-long hiatus from his day job, and there’s no way he could ever feel like he was off duty if he was running around using devices and software that he could help change and refine. So Windows 10 Mobile, which is the latest reboot of the grand Windows Phone project that Belfiore has been heading up for many years…

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Author: Vlad Savov

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French taxi drivers clash with police in anti-Uber strike

French taxi unions have once again staged a nationwide strike, shutting down roadways across Paris in a protest against ride-hailing companies like Uber. Thousands of taxi drivers are expected to participate in demonstrations across Paris today, disrupting traffic to and from the French capital’s two major airports. Protesters burned tires at a major thoroughfare on the western edge of Paris, where police used tear gas to disperse some, and two taxi drivers were injured after a shuttle bus drove through a blockade at Orly airport, French media reported this morning. Paris police say 20 arrests have been made so far.

The unions are calling for an end to non-taxi services that, like Uber and other ride-hailing apps, allow users to book…

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Author: Amar Toor

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Sony Computer Entertainment Becomes Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony has announced it is consolidating Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment and calling the new entity Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Explaining the move, global chief executive Andrew House said Sony Interactive Entertainment will “become an even stronger entity, with a clear objective to further accelerate the growth of the PlayStation business” by “integrating the strengths of PlayStation’s hardware, software, content, and network operations.”

He continued: “Along with our business partners, SIE will develop pioneering services and products that will continue to inspire consumers’ imaginations and lead the market.”

Sony Interactive Entertainment will be headquartered in San Mateo, but will work with the Tokyo and London operations to leverage local expertise.

Shawn Layden, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, added that SIE “will serve as the headquarters for everything PlayStation” and allow the company to place a “bigger emphasis on developing pioneering platforms like PS4 and PlayStation VR, world-class games from our World Wide Studios development teams, and innovative network services such as PlayStation Vue.”

Prior to the merger, Sony Network Entertainment was responsible for many of the services available on PlayStation Platforms. These include PlayStation Plus, Vue, Music Unlimited, and Video Unlimited.

In November 2015, global sales of PlayStation 4 surpassed 30 million units, just two years since the console’s release. At the time, Sony said the sell-through figure “demonstrates the fastest and strongest growth in PlayStation hardware history.”

The PlayStation 2, broke all-time industry records with sales of more than 155 million units during its twelve years on the market. Its predecessor sold more than 100 million units in nine years. The PlayStation 3 has reached 80 million units in roughly the same amount of time.

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Author: Tamoor Hussain

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LG says two flagship phones are coming in 2016 despite mobile division losses

Despite a vast investment of research, engineering, and marketing, LG’s smartphone sales in 2015 were practically unchanged relative to its 2014 totals. Reporting its quarterly earnings today, the Korean company recorded 59.7 million smartphone shipments last year, which amounts to a year-on-year improvement of just half a million. Worse yet, whereas LG was squeezing out a small profit from its mobile division in 2014, last year’s total was just south of breaking even, with the fourth quarter resulting in a $37 million loss. Unhappy with its non-existent growth and profitability, LG has decided it will introduce “two new flagship models” in 2016 alongside “a more cost-competitive value chain.”

The introduction of two…

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Author: Vlad Savov

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Bayonetta Dev's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Game Officially Revealed with First Trailer

The long-awaited official reveal for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is officially here. The first trailer for the game, which is being developed by Bayonetta, Wonderful 101, and Transformers: Devastation studio Platinum Games, is action-packed and littered with classic TMNT characters. Watch below.

The trailer opens with shots of Manhattan with narration from the main villain, Shredder. It looks like this will tell the story of the Foot Clan’s first assault on New York City. The trailer then gives us our first official look at the turtles themselves. Several baddies are also shown including Bebop, Rocksteady, and the cyborg shark Armaggon.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan will be available summer 2016 on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC.

Mutants in Manhattan went through a series of leaks before this official reveal. First, it was leaked by the Australian Classifications Board. After that, the Platinum-developed game had its Xbox achievements posted to a tracking site. Lastly, it had a handful of screenshots get leaked ten days before its reveal.

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Author: Mat Paget

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Airbnb removes New York igloo charging $200 a night

New York City is an expensive place to stay — even its igloos charge $200 a night. Patrick Horton, an enterprising advertising art director who lives in Brooklyn, took advantage of the heavy snowfall last weekend to build a snow structure, before listing it on Airbnb. Horton advertised his creation as a “Boutique Winter Igloo for 2,” calling it the “snowpocalypse of 2016’s most desirable getaway.” The small snow house was “hand-crafted, and built using only natural elements.” Namely, frozen water that fell from the sky.

Horton told DNAinfo New York that it took him around three hours to build the igloo and list it on Airbnb, but — like the snow itself eventually will — it had disappeared from the site a short time later. While Airbnb…

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Author: Rich McCormick

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