For its part, GM said that its five Ultium Drive motors (packaged with single-speed transmissions) will make EVs lighter and more efficient. That’s because the power electronics are built into the drive assemblies, reducing their mass by half while increasing capability. That also makes it easier to scale the Ultium motors and batteries to high output vehicles like pickup trucks and performance EVs.
The company will develop the motors alongside its next-gen EVs in order to keep everything in-house. Future vehicles using the tech could include Cadillac’s’ freshly announced Lyriq luxury SUV, the Hummer EV coming next month, the next-gen Bolt EV (delayed until next year) and the crossover Bolt EUV coming in summer 2021.
Roku’s upcoming AirPlay 2 support means there’ll soon be a way to stream HBO Max
HBO Max hasn’t been available on Roku devices since the new streaming service launched at the end of May, but with Roku soon adding support for Apple AirPlay 2 to many of its 4K devices and TVs, there will be a workaround.
People with an Apple device (iPhone, iPad, Mac) will be able to use AirPlay 2 to stream HBO Max on their Roku devices even though an official app is not yet live, the company confirmed to The Sports Grind Entertainment. AirPlay 2 support is supposed to roll out by the end of the year to most recent 4K Roku players and Roku TVs, so it’s possible Roku and HBO parent company, WarnerMedia, could reach a deal before then, making the AirPlay workaround unnecessary.
If they don’t, however, using AirPlay 2 will be one of the only options Roku owners will have to watch HBO Max. This isn’t the first time that people have found workarounds (like using Chromecast, or screen mirroring) to rectify situations where an app they want to use isn’t available on their chosen set-top box. On Fire TV, for instance, users can sideload the Android TV version of HBO Max by following an easy step-by-step guide.
Still, it’s an increasingly frustrating ordeal for people with HBO Max subscriptions (HBO Now and HBO Go customers got a free upgrade at launch) and Roku devices. Not long after HBO Max launched, the company sunset its HBO Go app (which cable HBO customers could use for free), and moved HBO Now customers over to a newly rebranded HBO app. If you’re confused, it’s understandable — the whole situation is confusing!
Both Roku and WarnerMedia have been caught up in negotiations for months trying to find a deal that works for both parties. Tony Goncalves, head of HBO Max, told The Sports Grind Entertainment that WarnerMedia was looking for a “fair” deal at the time of HBO Max’s launch, and said that hadn’t been brought to the table yet.
“Disney Plus and Netflix and Hulu and these other apps are on those platforms,” Goncalves said. “There’s a certain business model that exists. We just want the same one. I’m hopeful that, ultimately, we’ll get there, and we’ll get there with the consumer in mind. But we just didn’t get there on day one.”
HBO Max wasn’t the only app unavailable at launch on Roku. NBCUniversal and Roku spent months trying to figure out a deal over NBCUniversal’s Peacock that was fair to both parties. The companies came to a standstill over the percentage of ad inventory Roku would get from NBCUniversal. It wasn’t until the two companies entered a blackout period — in which a content provider like NBCUniversal threatens to, or actually does, pull programming to try and speed up negotiations — that they reached a deal and Peacock became available to stream on Roku.
As more streaming services launch, and potentially run into similar licensing disputes, having a workaround like AirPlay 2 support will at least make it slightly less infuriating than having absolutely no way to watch a service you pay for on a device you own.
Valorant patch 1.09 notes: Operator nerfs, Viper and Brimstone buffs
Riot Games has been talking about bringing an Operator nerf to Valorant for a while now, and with patch 1.09 the moment has finally arrived. The new patch also brings some wider weapon nerfs, and a few changes to Agents like Jett, Viper, and Brimstone.
This patch’s biggest change, and likely one of the biggest changes that Valorant has received so far, are the nerfs to the Operator sniper rifle. The one-shot-kill rifle now costs 5,000 credits, up from 4,500, and its fire rate has dropped from 0.75 to 0.6 rounds per second. The weapon also takes longer to equip, causes players to move slightly more slowly when zoomed in, and does less damage for leg shots now. Of course, thanks to the Op’s overall power, it’s still likely to be one of the best and most popular guns in the game, but it shouldn’t be quite so dominant anymore.
The patch’s other changes include a nerf to jumping and shooting, which will make players inaccurate for slightly longer after they land from a jump. As for Agents, Jett’s Blade Storm Burst Fire will be a little bit weaker at long ranges now, Viper will start rounds with 100 fuel instead of 50, and Brimstone’s power-up will give players a 15% bonus to firing speed instead of 10%.
For a full look at all the changes coming to Valorant in patch 1.09, you can find the patch notes below.
Valorant patch 1.09 notes
- Updated projectile VFX to better represent its hitbox, especially when it is traveling towards your POV
We’re keeping an eye on the overall power level of Paranoia, but as a first step wanted to resolve visual issues where players hit with Paranoia appear outside of its impact on their screen.
Blade Storm (Burst Fire)
- The time between consecutive Burst Fire use has increased from 0.33 seconds >>> 0.45 seconds
- Daggers thrown in Burst now have a damage falloff that begins at 12 meters and drops steadily (to 35 damage) at max falloff
- Headshot multiplier on Burst Fire reduced from 3x >>> 2x
While we continue to investigate some of her outsized strengths, we think the burst fire on her Blade Storm has been over-performing at long ranges. The burst fire is intended to be a close range attack, but we found it frequently getting frags at over 20 meters away. These changes aim to rein in its effective range while retaining its close range potency.
While Viper is stronger than ever, her overall impact is lower than we’d like. This round of changes continues in the same vein as patch 1.07—increasing her flexibility, especially when trying to play with teammates.
- Viper now starts the round at 100 fuel (previously 50)
Now that Viper can place her wall pre-round, we want her to be able to act with her team right at barrier drop without the tension of also trying to maximize her fuel for an initial move.
- Vulnerable debuff applied from Snake Bite now lingers for 2 seconds after leaving Viper’s acid
Immediately dropping the vulnerable debuff upon exit wasn’t creating the threat we’ve hoped for when we added it. This change should make the Viper (and team) advantage window more realistic, as well as project a unique threat on opponents playing around it.
- Move speed doubled while casting
- Viper now fast equips her weapon after casting, re-equip times vary per gun—but on average will reduce her weapon down time by .4 seconds
The combination of a slow placement and re-equip time was resulting in Viper players getting too hurt or killed while casting ults in a situation we felt should be pretty safe. This change should increase the positional options available while casting, and get your weapon up sooner.
- Fire rate bonus decreased from 25% >>> 15%
At its previous fire rate, we felt Empress was too effective when using heavies/smgs, AND too fast to master the change in spray pattern on rifles. We hope this change allows us to address both issues at once, while also giving us a chance to have a unified fire rate increase (matching Brimstone’s stim below) that players can learn and master.
- Fire rate bonus increased from 10% >>> 15%
Paired with Reyna’s change (above), we felt Brimstone’s stim could use a little more punch. This also unifies our two fire rate increase buffs, making them easier to learn.
Before you jump to press that “send” button, please read our thinking behind the Operator changes below. The Operator’s been a frequent talking point around the community in the last few patches, so bear with us.
The Operator serves an important role in VALORANT: It provides the most difficult tactical challenge for teams to overcome, requiring strategic planning and clever utility use. We’ve been taking a long look at the weapon to try to understand the best way to adjust some of its outsized strengths while ensuring it remains the most powerful angle-holding weapon in the arsenal.
For you Aggressive Operators—dry peeking angles with an Operator is noticeably more effective than we’d like (especially when jump peeking). Additionally, pushing an Operator off of an angle with utility feels less valuable since the user is able to re-peek and kill their opponent at a reliable rate. This suite of mechanical changes (deadzone, scoped move speed, firing rate, equip time, jump land inaccuracy) targets these issues, increasing counterplay around high-mobility Operator play. The Operator is still quite potent at peeking angles but predictable repeeks should be easier to punish.
Regarding Operator access—we’re seeing some of you obtain the Operator+Armor combo as early as round 3 and snowballing that lead into additional Ops throughout the half. The new price point delays the Operator’s appearance and increases the penalty for dying with one in hand. We hope to better balance the risk/reward of using this premium weapon.
A related note on breaking angles with abilities: Many abilities in the game are built to aggressively take angles, especially when a powerful weapon like the Operator is posted on that angle. The recent changes to Breach have given players access to more powerful angle-breaking utility, but it still feels like there’s more to be done. We’re looking at a few changes for a couple of Agents, but they’ll need some additional reps internally to build confidence around them. Expect more from us in the future!
—Max “Orcane” Grossman, Lead Agent Designer
- Increased price from 4500 >>> 5000
- Decreased scoped movement speed from 76% >>> 72%
- Adjusted weapon deadzone from becoming inaccurate at 30% movement speed >>> 15% (become inaccurate sooner, become accurate later when stopping)
- Firing rate reduced from .75 >>> .6
- Instant equip time adjusted from 0.3 >>> 0.5 (instant equip plays after tapping orb, bomb defuse/plant tap, Jett Cloud Burst, and Phoenix Curveball)
- Leg shot damage decreased from 127 >>> 120
We’ve noticed a trend where players landing from a jump are able to shoot accurately sooner than is reasonable. While this issue is most pronounced on the Operator, it is something that we’ve noticed across all weapons. Jump peeking is valuable for the mixup potential it provides but it was proving too difficult for players to reasonably deal with. These changes retain that mixup potential while slightly increasing the time before the peeker can fire with perfect accuracy.
- Jump land inaccuracy state changed from gradual >>> binary
- Jump land inaccuracy duration increased from .2 >>> .225
- Jump land inaccuracy value increased from 5.0 >>> 7.0 (more inaccurate for .225s after a land)
- During this patch, the chances of being in an hour+ queue should be notably reduced
This is already a very rare occurrence, but it can happen more often for high rank players—especially in premade groups. We are also doing some tuning behind the scenes to keep high rank matches found after long queue times reasonably balanced and fair.
Players that have been reported for inappropriate Riot IDs will now be reviewed automatically after the match has ended. If their name is flagged as inappropriate, they will be forced to change their Riot ID the next time they log in to the Riot Client.
- Removed Multi-line Breaks in Chat
Some sneaky people were impersonating system messages to troll others into quitting a match. Enough!
- Changes to party push to talk settings will now take effect immediately
- The chat window can now be pinned to stay open across menus
- Social Panel Sorting Logic
Sorting algorithm for the social panel has been updated to make it more intuitive for players as they interact with it.
- Fixed issue where Sova’s hitbox was incorrect while using his Owl Drone
- Fixed bug where Omen’s glowing eyes weren’t properly removed when he cancelled his ult
- Fixed a bug where Custom Game preferences would be wiped after navigating away from the Custom Game lobby
Disney+ GroupWatch is now available for subscribers in the US
After an early launch for testing in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the GroupWatch feature on Disney+ is now available in the US. Thanks to the feature’s previous appearance, we had an idea of what to expect, but now the company is officially offering the details on the streaming tool. And yes, some of this was revealed during the early test phase. First, you can use GroupWatch to stream a movie or show with up to six of your friends or family. Of course, all of them need to have a Disney+ account in order for this to work. Apps across mobile, streaming devices and smart TVs — as well as accessing the service on the web — will all allow you to use the co-viewing feature.
To get started, you simply tap a GroupWatch icon next to the play button on the details page for any movie or show. From there, you select up to six people to join you and how you want to send the invite link. Options like messaging apps and email are probably what you’ll use the most, but you’ll see your phone’s familiar interface as if you had just tapped the share button it on a website or inside another app. While your sending the invite, Disney+ will ask if you want to move from your phone to a bigger screen. That’s because for now, all invite links have to originate and be accepted from the mobile app or the service’s website. As an invitee, you can move on to your television before the content starts, but the process has to begin for everyone at one of those two spots. Once everyone has joined, the host starts the stream.
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