News

ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe’s reign may be more short-lived than we thought

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We had a feeling that the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe’s reign on the throne would’t last long — it’s only started to catch on in certain Asian markets this month — but it may be even more short-lived than we thought.

ASUS is already sending out press invites for the next Zennovation event at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas. The event, which will be streamed live on ASUS’ website, will take place on January 4th, 2017, and it’s highly likely that the Taiwan-based manufacturer will use it as a launch pad to introduce a premium ZenFone handset built around Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon 835 system-on-a-chip, the successor to the Snapdragon 821 found in today’s heavy hitters.

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The Snapdragon branding already appears on the invite, so we would be foolish to assume otherwise. ASUS has somewhat been a pioneer when it comes to using the best components available anywhere; the ZenFone 3 Deluxe — however late (and controversial) it may be — is among the first handsets to launch with the Snapdragon 821 in tow.

ASUS Zennovation invite

Next year, ASUS could once again find itself in the same exclusive club as the likes of Google and OnePlus when all is said and done at CES 2017. Hopefully, if it does announce a Snapdragon 835-based phone, pricing will be competitive with industry disruptors from the Far East. That, or CEO Jerry Shen will take the stage rocking a transcendental product that’s more than just the sum of its glass, metal, and bleeding-edge silicon parts.

The ZenFone 3 Deluxe, though likable, lacks a headline-grabbing feature that truly distinguishes it from other flagships. Obviously, arriving late and being sold at roughly the same price as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Apple iPhone 7 Plus doesn’t help its cause, either.

So now the waiting game begins, and we’ll be waiting with bated breath for news of updates. We’re pretty sure you will, too. In any case, we’ll be on the ground at CES 2017 on January 4 to find out all of ASUS’ intentions.

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Entertainment

Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

For reality shows and comedy specials

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Netflix is in a bit of a rough patch. After losing subscribers for the first time, the platform is trying other strategies to retain its userbase including more stringent ways to police password sharing. This time, Netflix is trying a more additive approach. According to a report, the company is experimenting with livestreaming content.

First reported by Deadline, the company is currently in the early stages of creating such content. More specifically, Netflix will try the format for its catalog of “unscripted shows and stand-up specials.” There is no timetable for the experiment’s launch, but the company hopes to launch it soon.

A move towards livestreaming does make sense with Netflix’s current catalog of titles. Over the years, the platform has slowly curated an expansive lineup of reality shows and stand-up comedy specials. For example, Netflix’s Drive to Survive quickly became one of its biggest titles in reality television, bringing a lot of eyes to Formula One racing. Likewise, the platform has always been a stronghold for comedy specials since the advent of its popularity.

Besides its strong slate of content, the company has also experimented with user input including shows that mimicked Choose Your Own Adventure books. Under a livestreaming format, the audience might be able to provide input for the title as well, such as voting for (or against) contestants in a game show.

That said, it’s still too early to tell how livestreaming might appear on Netflix. For now, at least.

SEE ALSO: Netflix considers cheaper, ad-supported subscription

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Gaming

Elden Ring ousts Call of Duty for best-selling game

On pace to take the year

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Is it any surprise that the Call of Duty series is still a juggernaut today? Though not a barrier-breaking franchise, the first-person shooter series remains one of the most popular titles for gamers. However, once in a blue moon, a new title breaks through the ranks and unseats the gaming giant. Elden Ring, one of those rare titles, has done just that by snatching the top spot from Call of Duty.

Elden Ring’s popularity is undeniable. Initially starting as a must-have for Dark Souls aficionados, the FromSoftware title rapidly skyrocketed in popularity after its rage-inducing difficulty drummed up even more hype. The game is now the studio’s most popular title, eclipsing the cult following of Dark Souls.

Dark Souls isn’t the only thing it eclipsed, though. NPD’s Mat Piscatella recently tweeted that Elden Ring is now the top best-selling game in the past 12 months, beating Call of Duty: Vanguard. For reference, Vanguard was released in November 2021. Elden Ring, on the other hand, was released months later in February 2022. Despite having a significant head start, Vanguard lost, performing lower than expected.

Very technically, a game overtaking Call of Duty isn’t unheard of. Various games often take the spot from the franchise but only for a month. Call of Duty still grabs the top spot for the year overall. As for the yearly rankings, the shooter series has not lost a year since 2013, thanks to then-debuting Grand Theft Auto V.

Though the year isn’t done, Elden Ring certainly has the pace to beat the franchise, especially if a DLC is coming later this year. It’s already the 12-month leader after less than three months since release.

SEE ALSO: Elden Ring review: Should you play the hardest game of 2022?

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News

A TikTok challenge has caused the death of a child

Her parents are looking to sue

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Social media challenges have existed for a while now. Even now, a lot of social media trends, especially on TikTok, invite users to do something wacky on their own feeds. While most are innocent enough, some of these trends are dastardly harmful. One such trend, called the blackout challenge, has caused the death of one of its users. As a result, the deceased user’s parents are demanding recompense for the wrongful death.

In Pennsylvania, a 10-year-old TikTok user, Nylah Anderson, died after attempting the blackout challenge circulating on the social media platform, as reported by NBC News. The challenge is simple but obviously deadly. Users attempting the challenge have to hold their breath until they pass out. Nylah undertook the challenge and passed out in her bedroom. Her parents found her and rushed her to the hospital. Unfortunately, rushing her to the hospital wasn’t enough; Nylah died seven days after.

As a result, Nylah’s parents are suing the platform for allowing a harmful challenge to circulate on their platform. They are accusing TikTok’s algorithm of making the challenge attractive to young users.

Countering the lawsuit, TikTok alleges that the blackout challenge did not originate from their platform. “We remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety and would immediately remove related content if found. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss,” the company said in a statement.

Despite the company’s statement, this isn’t the first death attributed to TikTok and the blackout challenge. Deaths have been reported as early as last year.

SEE ALSO: TikTok is experimenting with a dislike button for comments

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