12 of the Best Couch Co-op Games to Play | India News today English


Up to eight people can play Human: Fall Flat together online, and only two can play it locally, but it’s better to play it locally anyway. The intentionally kludgy controls for the Schmoo-like main dude, and the constant obstacles he faces, create slapstick humor better enjoyed with a friend. Also: You might need a second brain to solve the harder puzzles.

Available on: Windows, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5



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How to Start Dating Again If You’re Unvaccinated | Sidnaz Blog


The post-vax slutty summer is happening all around us, but some participants aren’t actually post-vax. The vaccine has been free and widely available for months now, but about half the population still isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. A portion of those unvaccinated people is still interested in dating and if you’re part of it, we have some tips for how to do this ethically.

(Of course, we recommend getting vaccinated, but you know that by now.)

Know that vaccination status will be a dealbreaker for some

Last month, dating app Bumble released its latest research on COVID-era trends among surveyed users. About 30% of those surveyed in America say they wouldn’t go on a date or have sex with someone who isn’t vaccinated. A YouGov poll conducted in Great Britain found that 28% of daters surveyed over there felt the same.

That cuts into your pool of options significantly.

You might be thinking you should just try to cajole a match into going out with you regardless of their position on your vaccine status. First of all, no means no. Second of all, Bumble’s research team also found that 55% of global users said that they are now feeling less willing to compromise on what they want and need from a potential relationship. So the 30% of people unwilling to go out with someone vaccinated are more likely to stick to their guns than ever.

“I am vaccinated and no, I will not go on dates with anyone who is not vaccinated,” said a 29-year-old woman named Darien, who is dating in New York. Since the world has started to open up again, she’s been on eight or so first dates, she said, “and they were some of the worst dates” she’s ever been on. She attributes that to all the good dating prospects “being snagged during quarantine” and everyone else being rusty. If you’re going into the scene unvaccinated, you’re adding an issue to the already lengthy list of problems daters are encountering out there.

Everyone has deal-breakers. Some people on apps might not match with you because you have the same name as one of their exes or parents. Some people might not go out with you because of your job title, hair color, temperament, hobbies, or who-knows-what else. Vaccination status as a deal-breaker isn’t that novel, but it’s a certainty you just have to prepare for.

If you’re still unvaccinated after months of free access, it’s not a stretch to say you are likely actively refusing the vaccine. The people for whom your lack of jab is a deal-breaker are probably not the mates for you, anyway.

Be honest with a potential date about your vaccination status

With so many survey respondents saying they won’t date someone unvaccinated, it’s clear this is a position a lot of people are serious about. The only ethical option here is for you to be totally honest about your unvaxxed status, even though that can come off a little weird, depending on how aggressive you are.

Luckily, dating apps are making disclosure easier after a number of them, from Tinder to OKCupid to Hinge, partnered with the White House to encourage vaccines among young people this spring. Apps Bumble and Tinder, for instance, offer users the opportunity to add a badge to their profiles once they get the jab. Bumble even has a “COVID Preferences Center” that lets swipers state their preferences for real-life or virtual dates, social distancing, and potential partners’ vaccine status, and is rolling out complimentary credits for premium features like Spotlight and SuperSwipe for people using the badge.

“For those trying to date without being vaccinated, maybe be upfront about it. With most things that affect others, it’s best to be honest and give people the option to decide whether or not they want to date you,” said Darien, although she pointed out she doesn’t disclose her own vaccination status in her dating profiles.

“I think it’s pretty easy to tell by one’s profile if they’re vaccinated or not so I don’t think it’s necessary to add that badge to a dating profile, but it’s cool if you do,” she said. “If I was uncertain, I would also just ask in conversation prior to meeting up.”

So, for anyone reading this who is vaccinated, the message is clear: If it matters to you, ask someone if you’re not sure about their vaccination status or personal safety protocols. Tinder chats and first dates are all about communication, right? You ask what they do for a living, where they grew up, and what they like to eat. Ask about this, too.

Maybe find some like-minded people

There are plenty of hits that come up on Twitter when you search “unvaccinated dating.” The unvaxxed decry the badges on the apps and publicly wish for an “unvaccinated dating app.”

We even found one such app, Unjected, that advertises itself as “a platform for like-minded humans that support medical autonomy.” It has more than 23,000 Instagram followers and a merchandise line, so there’s definitely a community out there full of people who think like you.

(But we still recommend getting vaccinated, in case we haven’t made that clear yet.)

 





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Netflix May Find No Business Like Show Business | Sidnaz Blog


Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in a scene from ’The Queen’s Gambit.’



Photo:

/Associated Press

It is as good a time as any for

Netflix

to test a new story line. Even a lucky turn in videogames won’t free the streaming giant from the need to keep playing Hollywood’s game, though.

Netflix used its second-quarter report Tuesday afternoon to confirm previously reported plans to enter the videogame business. No timing was given, though the company said the offerings would be included in its current subscription plans at no additional cost. The company isn’t backing away from its work on movies and TV shows, but said in its letter to shareholders “since we are nearly a decade into our push into original programming, we think the time is right to learn more about how our members value games.”

That news comes as Netflix remains mired in somewhat of a post-pandemic slump. It added 1.5 million net new paying subscribers in the second quarter, which was a bit better than it had forecast but still its lowest level of growth in nearly a decade. It also projected 3.5 million net adds for the third quarter—about 29% less than what Wall Street was hoping for. That would bring the total number of new subscribers to about nine million for the first nine months of 2021. Netflix added more than 28 million paying subscribers in the same period last year.

A foray into games might make sense for a company with an intimate knowledge of the viewing habits of a user base that now numbers over 209 million. It is also a tough business to crack—even the mobile gaming market that Netflix says it expects to target initially. There are many participants, but most of the money is still made by long-established properties. Games like “Candy Crush” and “Clash of Clans” remain in the top-five grossing charts even after nearly a decade on the market.

Netflix will need to keep battling it out for video streaming eyeballs. The company expects its pace of new releases to pick up in the second half of this year; analysts from Wedbush count 42 original shows and movies expected for the third quarter alone. But the company still has its own track record to compete with: Last fall included popular shows such as “The Queen’s Gambit,” “The Crown” and “Bridgerton.” Netflix shares are down nearly 2% this year, lagging behind many internet and entertainment peers. Streaming investors hyper-focused on subscriber growth aren’t playing games.

Write to Dan Gallagher at [email protected]

Copyright ©2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the July 21, 2021, print edition.



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Zoom Video, Five9, Exxon, IBM: What to Watch When the Stock | Sidnaz Blog


Global stocks are broadly lower, along with government-bond yields and commodity prices, amid renewed anxiety around the Delta variant of Covid-19 and inflation. Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Monday’s open. Full market wrap here.

A sign for Zoom Video Communications ahead of the company’s Nasdaq IPO in New York, April 18, 2019.



Photo:

Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

Chart of the Day

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Twitter’s Pulse Rests in Fleet | Sidnaz Blog


Twitter’s tweet this week announcing Fleets’ imminent end racked up nearly half a million likes in a day.



Photo:

stephen lam/Reuters

Twitter


TWTR -0.81%

is about putting yourself out there. A select few fly, most get ignored and the unlucky get canceled.

This week, Twitter crashed and burned on its own platform. On Wednesday, the social-media company said in a blog post it was canceling Fleets, its ephemeral “story”-like feature popularized by competitors like

Snap Inc.’s


SNAP -1.69%

Snapchat,

Facebook


FB -0.79%

and Instagram. Internet banter abounded, inclusive of every imaginable pun comparing Twitter’s short-lived messages to their short-lived existence. Fleets were introduced just eight months ago, but Twitter said they failed to catch on as hoped.

Twitter portrayed the failure as one of its speculative bets that won’t always work out as it tries to best serve the public conversation. But for a company that aims to be the pulse of the people, it doesn’t seem to understand them so well. Twitter’s November tweet announcing Fleets’ rollout eventually received less than 75,000 likes. This week’s tweet announcing Fleets’ imminent end racked up nearly half a million in a day.

“Has any product sunset announcement ever received such a universally positive reception as Twitter Fleets”? Tweeted Casey Newton, editor of Platformer, a newsletter about the intersection of tech and Democracy, popular among the Silicon Valley crowd.

That tweet, Twitter’s users really liked.

Write to Laura Forman at [email protected]

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Blackstone, AIG, NortonLifeLock, Morgan Stanley: What to Watch | Sidnaz Blog


Futures are mixed ahead of jobless figures and a second day of testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman

Jerome Powell

on Capitol Hill. S&P 500 contracts are down slightly. Nasdaq-100 futures are up, suggesting tech stocks will outperform.

Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Thursday’s trading action.

Prague-based Avast primarily makes free and premium security software, offering desktop and mobile-device protection.



Photo:

david w cerny/Reuters

  • Is the steam coming out of meme stocks?

    AMC Entertainment,


    AMC -15.04%

    one favorite of the Reddit trading crowd, lost 3.7% premarket. If matched once trading begins, the stock would extend a decline of 43% over the past month.

    GameStop


    GME -6.91%

    and

    BlackBerry


    BB -3.79%

    shares have both dropped by almost a quarter in that time.

  • Netflix


    NFLX 1.34%

    shares rose 2.6%. The streaming company, which reached a licensing deal over animated films with Universal this week, has been on a tear of late, gaining 11% for the month through Wednesday.

  • T. Rowe Price


    TROW -0.85%

    shares are up 2.6%. Analysts at Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley have raised their target prices for the stock in recent days. T. Rowe said this week it managed $1.62 trillion in assets at the end of June.

  • Supply-chain technology provider

    E2Open Parent


    ETWO -0.73%

    fell 1% after reporting a fall in profit and revenue in its fiscal first quarter from a year before.

Chart of the Day

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NortonLifeLock in Talks to Buy Avast | Sidnaz Blog


Prague-based Avast primarily makes free and premium security software, offering desktop and mobile-device protection.



Photo:

david w cerny/Reuters

NortonLifeLock Inc.


NLOK -0.92%

is in talks to buy European cybersecurity firm

Avast

Plc, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would expand the U.S. company’s focus on consumer software.

A deal could be finalized this month, assuming talks don’t fall apart, the people said. Avast has a market value of around £5.2 billion ($7.2 billion). Assuming a typical deal premium, the deal could value the cybersecurity firm at more than $8 billion.

Avast is based in Prague but trades in London. It primarily makes free and premium security software, offering desktop and mobile-device protection. Avast traces its roots back roughly 30 years to when founders

Pavel Baudiš

and

Eduard Kučera

established the company, then known as Alwil. It says on its website that it rebuffed an acquisition offer from rival McAfee in 1997, instead licensing its antivirus product to the company. It became Avast in 2010 and went public in London in 2018. In 2014, private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners took a significant minority stake.

Avast’s founders control roughly 35% of the shares and sit on its board.

The deal would be a big one for NortonLifeLock, which is based in Tempe, Ariz. With a market value of about $16 billion, the company was known as Symantec Corp. before it closed a $10.7 billion deal to sell its enterprise-security business to

Broadcom Inc.

in 2019. What is left mainly sells Norton antivirus software and LifeLock identity-theft-protection products to consumers.

The company had attracted takeover interest of its own a few years ago, but nothing has come of it.

Activist investor Starboard Value LP owns a roughly 3% stake in NortonLifeLock, according to FactSet, and holds a board seat. It first took the position in 2018.

Write to Cara Lombardo at [email protected] and Dana Cimilluca at [email protected]

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Broadcom Isn’t in a Buyer’s Market | Sidnaz Blog


Broadcom typically aims to purchase undervalued companies, but undervalued software names are hard to come by lately.



Photo:

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Broadcom’s


AVGO -0.14%

pivot to software was never going to be easy, and it has grown only more difficult since that effort began.

Such is most evident in the company’s latest tack: The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Broadcom was in talks to buy privately held SAS Institute for as much as $20 billion. By late Tuesday, the deal was off—apparently due to a change of heart by SAS’s owners. Sources told the Journal that some employees expressed concern about how the perk-heavy culture at SAS would meld with a chip maker whose modus operandi is to squeeze out inefficiencies to maximize earnings. SAS’s owners reportedly distribute hundreds of pounds of free M&Ms across the company’s North Carolina campus every Wednesday.

Hyper-acquisitive Broadcom turned its sights to software in July 2018, when it announced a surprising deal to acquire CA Technologies for $18.9 billion. It has since picked up the enterprise security business of

Symantec

for $10.7 billion.

The CA deal came just four months after Broadcom lost its most ambitious chip gambit yet—a $117 billion hostile takeover bid for

Qualcomm

that was blocked by the Trump administration on national security grounds. That attempted deal became a tipping point in the semiconductor cold war between the U.S. and China, which in turn has made nearly impossible the type of large-scale chip deals Broadcom had come to rely on.

Rolling up software companies may not bring the same kind of political baggage. But it does have its challenges. Broadcom’s deal strategy has long centered on finding undervalued businesses that have strong market share within their categories, then maximizing the free cash flow of those acquired businesses.

But undervalued software names are hard to come by these days. The S&P 500 Software & Services Group’s average multiple has surged 45% over the past three years to nearly 33 times forward earnings, which itself represents a 37% premium to the average forward earnings multiple of the PHLX Semiconductor Index.

Going after a private company may have helped Broadcom on that score; analysts estimate the sales multiple Broadcom was offering for SAS was roughly on par with what it paid for CA and Symantec. But the prospect of talent flight is always a risk in picking up software companies, which have few other assets.

The loss of the deal now sends Broadcom back to the drawing board. It has been nearly two years since the Symantec deal, and Wall Street is getting anxious for the company to make its next move—or return excess cash in the form of a buyback. Broadcom investors need their candy as well.

Write to Dan Gallagher at [email protected]

Copyright ©2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8



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Broadcom No Longer in Talks to Buy SAS Institute, Sources Say | Sidnaz Blog


Broadcom, a semiconductor powerhouse built largely through acquisitions, has been on the hunt for a deal to beef up its presence in the corporate-software market.



Photo:

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Talks for

Broadcom Inc.


AVGO -0.36%

to buy SAS Institute Inc. have ended after the founders of the closely held software company changed their mind about a sale, people familiar with the matter said.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the companies were discussing a deal that would value SAS in the range of $15 billion to $20 billion, including any debt. Following the report,

Jim Goodnight

and

John Sall,

who co-founded SAS decades ago and still run the company, had a change of heart and decided not to sell to Broadcom, the people said. Whether another suitor for SAS could emerge isn’t clear.

Some SAS employees saw the company as a strange fit for efficiency-focused Broadcom, some of the people familiar with the matter said. SAS is known for a tightknit culture and has a sprawling North Carolina campus with amenities including a yoga studio and a disc golf course.

Cary, N.C.-based SAS sells analytics-, business-intelligence and data-management software to enterprises. The company traces its roots back to the 1960s, when universities teamed up to analyze troves of agricultural data through a program called the Statistical Analysis System.

Broadcom, a semiconductor powerhouse built largely through acquisitions, has been on the hunt for a deal to beef up its presence in the corporate-software market. Its chief executive,

Hock Tan,

said earlier this year the company would look at buybacks and possibly debt repayment, if it didn’t make an acquisition by the end of the fiscal year. That typically ends in late October or early November.

Write to Cara Lombardo at [email protected]

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Virgin Galactic, PepsiCo, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs: What to | Sidnaz Blog


Here’s what we’re watching ahead of the opening bell on Tuesday.

  • U.S. stock futures wavered, suggesting indexes would hover close to their record levels as investors awaited inflation data and earnings from the nation’s biggest banks.
  • Futures tied to the S&P 500 were relatively flat after the broad index climbed to its 39th record closing levels of the year. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures weakened 0.1%, while Nasdaq-100 futures were up 0.3%.
What’s Coming Up
Market Moves to Watch

JPMorgan Chase kicked off earnings season for big banks on Tuesday.



Photo:

Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg News

  • Conagra Brands


    CAG -0.53%

    declined 3.2% after reporting a fall in sales and cutting its expectations for profit next year, saying that it expects increased inflation to hit its bottom line.

  • PepsiCo


    PEP 0.02%

    shares added some fizz, rising 1.5% premarket after the food-and-beverage giant reported earnings and lifted its full-year guidance.

  • Tesla


    TSLA 4.38%

    edged up 1% in premarket trading, rising for the fourth consecutive day. CEO Elon Musk was in court on Monday to defend the purchase of SolarCity. He also said he doesn’t enjoy leading the automaker.

  • Boeing retreated 2.3%. The planemaker is facing production issues for the 787 Dreamliner, likely further delaying deliveries of the popular wide-body jets.
  • Some U.S.-listed Chinese companies are recouping recent losses, with search engine

    Baidu


    BIDU -0.53%

    adding 2.2%, e-commerce company

    JD.com


    JD -0.53%

    rising 1.5% and video-sharing firm

    Bilibili


    BILI 0.22%

    up 3.2%. Beijing said last week that it is probing tech companies’ data practices, prompting a tumble. But some of those worries may have eased after China’s top market watchdog approved

    Tencent’s


    TCEHY -3.36%

    plan to privatize search-engine affiliate

    Sogou.

  • Swedish telecom

    Ericsson

    ‘s U.S.-listed shares are up 3.5% ahead of the bell. Rating agency Moody’s issued a review of the company’s rating.

  • Meme stock

    AMC Entertainment

    slid 3.8% premarket. It has lost nearly 25% of its value this month so far.

Market Facts
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite all hit record closes on Monday—and in the S&P 500’s case, it was the 39th record close this year, beating the Dow’s 27 records and the Nasdaq’s 24. The broad index is ahead of the others in terms of gains this year too, with a nearly 17% rise.
  • European stocks have also been on the rise, with both the Stoxx Europe 600 and Germany’s DAX index notching record highs on Monday.
  • On this day in 1852, Wells, Fargo opened for business in San Francisco and Sacramento. It was founded by Henry Wells and William G. Fargo to convert gold dust into cash for miners, transport and safeguard letters, gold nuggets and other valuable byproducts of the California Gold Rush.
Chart of the Day
  • Global coffee prices are climbing and threatening to drive up costs at the breakfast table as the world’s biggest coffee producer, Brazil, faces one of its worst droughts in almost a century.
Must Reads Since You Went to Bed

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