Fortnite reaches The End, and more tech news you need to know today

Your tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Monday, October 14.

1. Fortnite’s epic stunt

Fortnite players witnessed another event in the world’s biggest multiplayer game: no game at all. This normally would not be big news but Fortnite really is gone, for now. See:

Bye Fortnite, hello Black Hole

  • A cosmic explosion by a meteor destroyed the island on the map, and destroyed the game itself, meaning that now there is nothing but a black hole.
  • Here is someone reacting to when it all went down (Twitter).
  • At the time of writing, Fortnite is no longer playable and it’s just a black hole being streamed.
  • Gamers looking to log on and play are greeted by a “technical difficulties” dialogue.
  • And Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite, are really going for a convincing look.
  • All but one of its 12,000 tweets on its @Fortnite account are gone, linking to a YouTube livestream of the swirling black hole, while its Instagram account was wiped as well.
  • Over on Twitch, the entire category of Fortnite no longer exists, with but one official stream of the black hole.

So what’s going on?!

  • Well, as far as fun new ideas go, this is pretty far up there.
  • Fortnite is still the most important game of the moment but interest has been waning, as could normally be expected, and as this Google Trends graph shows:
  • These events and their orchestration are really next level operation, and Fortnite is still able to take gaming into strange new places. It is a little weird that taking a game offline could be seen as exciting and fun, and it’s possible only Fortnite could pull it off.
  • But there will be a new season. It might even be a new ‘Chapter’, called Chapter 2. Season
  • People are digging into various intentional leaks, hints, and clues to figure out the end of the Fortnite Blackout.
  • One of those was an update sent to iOS devices that was more than 5GB, a huge update for the game and an indication of new stuff to come.
  • In the meantime, of course people like Elon Musk are doing Elon Musk things, and the Italian App Store seems like it accidentally leaked new Fortnite details, including a whole new map.
  • Another leak suggested The End Of Fortnite will actually end on Tuesday at 6am EST, but it all feels a bit like covering smartphone leaks: some things are true, some things are false, but what we know is we are getting a new smartphone new Fortnite.
  • Read more over on Android Authority, especially if you want to know more about Fortnite Chaper 2.
  • But the main message is: gaming is changing rapidly.

2. The Pixel 4 launches tomorrow in New York City, but there’s still time to complete every last possible leak: now the box and accessories (Android Authority).


3. Here’s how to get Android 10 on Samsung Galaxy S10 phones with One UI 2.0 beta, right now (Android Authority).


4. Staff picks: 8 things David uses every day: including Fujifilm X-T3, Peak Designs bags, Sony WH-1000XM3, and more (Android Authority). Also, Sony WH-1000XM3 review: Still the best.


5. The iPhone SE 2 has a price, according to Kuo: launching Q1 2020, A13 chip, $399 (MacRumors).


6. Reports suggest we’re so reliant on our phones, they’ve warped our sense of space and time (MEL).


7. “Facebook should ban campaign ads. End the lies,” argues TechCrunch.


8.  Google bans predatory payday loan apps from the Play Store, and that’s a good thing in my view although it is complicated (Engadget).


9. Porsche has a new, cheaper version of the all-electric Taycan: Taycan 4S (TechCrunch).


10. On Friday in the DGiT Daily newsletter, the two major Jeff Bezos/Amazon stories that emerged on the same day were linked: Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan (The Atlantic) and Is Amazon Unstoppable? (New Yorker). These can’t be missed. Incredible in their depth and thoughtful insights, especially Franklin Foer’s piece in The Atlantic. Yes, they’re vast reads, but really worth your time: I didn’t realize how badly Bezos wants to take humanity to space, and how that affects many decisions he makes.

Also: Silicon Valley takes on Amazon’s cashierless ‘Go’ stores (WSJ, $)


11. “Chocolate is now illegal. What’s its street name?” (r/askreddit).



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