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In Grand Theft Auto, Hong Kong Protestors Clash with Chinese Police – RADII

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On city streets, Hong Kong protestors clash with police officers from mainland China. But this isn’t Hong Kong — it’s Los Santos, in Grand Theft Auto V Online.

This month, Rockstar Games released The Diamond Casino Heist expansion, adding new playable games, cars, and clothing options. Players in Hong Kong soon noticed that those clothing options allowed them to recreate the go-to “Hong Kong protestor” outfit — black clothes, hard hat, gas mask.

Related:

Hong Kong Protestors and Pro-Government Developers Offer Competing Video Games

What followed next was an exquisite virtual happening. Players from mainland China showed up in force, dressed as riot police and wielding water cannons. In the end, China’s water police overwhelmed Hong Kong’s protestors with sheer numbers.

This isn’t even the first time video games have become an unlikely outlet for Hong Kong’s political tension — one Hong Kong-developed simulator allows players to take on the role of a protestor. Meanwhile, a Chinese developer released a game which allowed players to beat up protestors.

Cover Image: LIHKG

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Valorant has a new agent named Astra: Abilities, and more to know about the character – Sporting News

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Valorant revealed a new agent on Saturday and her name is Astra. Although Astra won’t be fully available to use in-game until March 2.

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Astra becomes the 15th agent in the game. Her backstory is that she’s a space-themed Agent from Ghana. A teaser from Valorant in the YouTube description says with Astra, you can “harness the cosmos and control the fight.” In the video, Astra’s first words are, “You can tell a person’s character by their first action.” And then her first action is a sniper shot.

A more full description of Astra is below:

Astra harnesses the energies of the cosmos to reshape battlefields to her whim. With full command of her astral form and a talent for deep strategic foresight, she’s always eons ahead of her enemy’s next move.

Astra is a Controller, which means she uses smokes, walls, and other abilities to help block the sight of the enemy.

We’ll go through Astra’s full abilities list below.

Astra abilities in Valorant

Astra has four main abilities, and then her ultimate ability. Her four main abilities are Gravity Well, Nova Pulse, Nebula and Dissipate. Her ultimate ability is Astral Form/Cosmic Divide.

We’ll go more in depth as to what those abilities are below. (this information is via Valorant Leaks)

Gravity Well

The Gravity Well will pull players within the area toward the center before it explodes. Any player trapped inside will become fragile.

Nova Pulse

When the Nova Pulse is placed, it will charge briefly before detonating. When it goes off, it will concuss all player within the area.

Nebula

This is Astra’s signature ability, and it’s essentially just her smoke. You simply place a star, and then activate it to transform it into a Nebula.

Dissipate

When you dissipate a star, it allows it to be placed in a new location. 

Astral Form/Cosmic Divide (Ultimate)

Activate to enter Astral Form where you can place stars with primary fire. Stars can be reactivated later, transforming them into a Nova Pulse, Nebula, or Gravity Well.

When cosmic divide is charged, use secondary fire in astral form to begin aiming it, then primary fire to select two locations. An infinite cosmic divide connects the two points you select. Cosmic divide blocks bullets and heavily dampens audio.


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AirPods Max: Rumored Spatial Audio Upgrade Isn’t Coming, After All – Forbes

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A recent rumor suggested that Spatial Audio on AirPods Max and AirPods Pro was about to become available on Netflix. But it now seems that’s not the case, which is disappointing.

If you’ve listened to Apple AirPods Pro or the more recent AirPods Max, you may have marveled at the audio quality Spatial Audio offers. It’s a surround-sound effect that works really well.

Part of its success is dynamic head tracking. This means that if you’re watching the right content there’s a whole extra level of fidelity.

Say you’re playing The Mandalorian on your iPad and listening through AirPods Pro. Dynamic head tracking means that even when you turn your head left or right, the software instantly and subtly adjusts the relative volume in each ear so that the audio appears to be locked to the screen.

It’s phenomenally effective. My first experience was so realistic that I had to stop to make sure I was really connected by headphone, so perfectly did the sound seem to come from the iPad itself.

So, the prospect that Spatial Audio was coming to Netflix was very welcome, something which was rumored last month. After all, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, HBO Go, Hulu and Disney+ were already on board, with selected content.

So, Netflix was easily the biggest beast of the streaming jungle which was missing.

This week, though, Netflix told MacRumors that contrary to previous reports, it is not testing Spatial Audio support. It is testing multi-channel support for built-in speakers, the company said.

This is a shame and although it can change, the fact that Netflix has gone out of its way to say Spatial Audio isn’t coming suggests that any change would not happen for a while.

Netflix is such a big player in this world that it doesn’t need to follow what others have done, but it would have been great to be able to hear programming with the improved audio Spatial Audio delivers. Of course, if you mostly watch Netflix on a TV or another screen without headphones, then Spatial Audio won’t be there anyway and maybe that was part of Netflix’s thinking.

Even so, let’s hope Netflix changes its mind in time.

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Riot unveils Astra, VALORANT's new controller – Dot Esports

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Riot Games’ latest agent for the tactical shooter VALORANT is on her way.

The developer revealed the agent on Twitter today. Her name is Astra, she originates from Ghana, and she’s a new controller agent.

“African Futurism was a huge inspiration for us when it came to designing Astra’s thematics,” John “Riot MEMEMEMEME” Goscicki, a character producer at Riot, said. “Once that element was brought into her development all the pieces naturally fell in place.”

Astra joins Brimstone, Omen, and Viper in the controller category. She’s the first controller added to VALORANT since the game released. Duelists Raze, Reyna, Yoru, and sentinel Killjoy were added since the game’s release.

Astra’s abilities

Before activating the C, Q, and E abilities, you need to hang some of Astra’s Stars in the sky with her X ability.

Here are Astra’s abilities:

C: Gravity Well

Activates a Star with C to form a Gravity Well. Players in the area are pulled toward the center before it explodes, making all players still trapped inside “fragile.”

Q: Nova Pulse

Activates a Star to detonate a Nova Pulse. The Nova Pulse charges briefly then strikes, concussing all players in its area.

E: Nebula

Activates a Star to transform it into a Nebula (smoke).

F: Dissipate

Use F on a Star to Dissipate it, returning the star to your inventory be placed in a new location after a delay.

Dissipate briefly forms a fake smoke (Nebula) at the Star’s location before returning.

X: Astral Form, Cosmic Divide

Activate with X to enter Astral Form, where you can place Stars with your primary fire key. Astra will leave her physical body behind in favor of a top-down view of the map. Her physical body will be vulnerable in this form.

When Cosmic Divide is charged, use your secondary fire in Astral Form to begin aiming it, then your primary fire to select two locations. An infinite teleport-esque tunnel connects the two points you select.


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