5 Things to Know About Nintendo’s Super Mario Odyssey

The biggest Mario game in a long time.

Nintendo’s latest game Super Mario Odyssey is launching in a big way.

Starting on Friday, game lovers around the globe will have the opportunity to buy the latest Nintendo NTDOY game, Super Mario Odyssey. As its name suggests, the title centers on the iconic Mario character, and gives you the opportunity to enter a virtual world with your protagonist and explore it at your leisure. And as always, you’ll be chasing the antagonist Bowser around the world in hopes of saving Princess Peach, who has been kidnapped.

But is Super Mario Odyssey worth buying? And should you spend this weekend exploring its vast world?

Read on for the key things you should know about Super Mario Odyssey before you plunk down $ 60 on the game.

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What Is Super Mario Odyssey?

Super Mario Odyssey is the latest installment in the famed Mario franchise. The game is an open world title that allows you to explore the world and enter levels to take on enemies and collect Moons that “power” the Odyssey, a spaceship that gets you around.

Super Mario Odyssey puts you in the place of Mario, who is aiming at saving Princess Peach, who has been kidnapped by the evil Bowser. It’s a tired concept, of course, but Nintendo apparently feels it’s still going to appeal to gamers.

Where Can I Play the Game?

If you’re hoping to play Super Mario Odyssey on the game console of your choice, you’re out of luck. The game is available exclusively on the game company’s Nintendo Switch console.

What Are the Reviewers Saying?

So, Super Mario Odyssey might just be one of the best games ever released, and is the highest-rated game on the Nintendo Switch.

According to MetaCritic, a site that collects reviewers scores, Super Mario Odyssey has attracted an average score of 97 out of a possible 100.

What Makes Super Mario Odyssey Different From Recent Games?

Super Mario Odyssey is the spiritual successor to Super Mario 64, a game that was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1996, and Super Mario Sunshine, a popular title released in 2002 on the GameCube.

That’s because Super Mario Odyssey is an open-world adventure game that lets players explore wherever they’d like. It also includes various levels inside worlds that offer full, 3D gaming.

Nintendo has released Mario games in recent years, but they’ve mainly been 2D adventures like the Super Mario games of old.

OK, So How Do I Buy It?

Sold on Super Mario Odyssey?

If you’re looking to get your hands on the game, it’ll be available starting on Friday, October 27.

Most major retailers, including GameStop GME , Best Buy BBY , and Amazon AMZN , will all start selling the game on Friday. Nintendo Switch owners can also buy a digital version directly on the console.

Both physical disc and digital Super Mario Odyssey versions will cost $ 60.

Tech

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal optimistic about Twitter investment: CNBC

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns investment firm Kingdom Holding, said in an interview with CNBC on Monday that he was optimistic about his investment in Twitter.

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal arrives at the Elysee palace in Paris, France, to attend a meeting with French President, September 8 , 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

“It’s not going to be easy because they face some difficulties, but our entry point was very reasonable, so right now it’s holding on a breakeven point,” he said.

Reporting by Katie Paul; Editing by David Goodman

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tech

Venmo Users: You’re About to Be Able to Use the App to Shop Online

Millennials who split the bill can split bills at many more sites.

PayPal announced a massive expansion for use of its Venmo payments app popular with millennials. The app grew as a quick way for customers to send each other money, but starting this week, Venmo users can also pay for e-commerce purchases with the app on millions of mobile retailing sites such as Lululemon and Foot Locker.

PayPal is leveraging its relationships to take payments with its main namesake service at about 2 million online retailers to expand the usefulness of Venmo, which it acquired in its $ 800 million purchase of startup Braintree in 2013. With the mobile checkout update, Venmo users can make a purchase on their phone at any retailer’s site that accepts PayPal, either with funds stashed in the app or split among other Venmo users.

“Now, Venmo’s ready for our favorite autumn to-do—holiday shopping. (Seriously, it’s never too early for presents. Or candy corn.),” Ashley Phillips, Venmo’s lead product manager for commerce, joked in a blog post announcing the new feature.

Analysts said the move should help expand Venmo’s market presence, which accounted for $ 8 billion worth of transactions in the second quarter, about double the amount from the prior year. Although Venmo doesn’t generate much actual revenue for PayPal yet, its transaction volume is growing considerably faster than the company’s overall volume, which increased 23% to $ 106 billion in the second quarter. The added usefulness also helps Venmo fend off new competitive threats, as Apple aapl is adding person-to-person payments to its mobile payments system.

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“Consumers simply want to move dollars from one place to another whether that means sending those dollars to a friend or a merchant,” said James Wester, a payments analyst at IDC. “So it’s smart for PayPal to make Venmo more useful by expanding the opportunities for consumers to use it to move their dollars.”

The expansion is reminiscent of how PayPal pypl successfully expanded when it was bought by eBay ebay , noted analyst Brendan Miller at Forrester Research. Users often had money sitting in their PayPal accounts after selling something on the site, so PayPal enabled them to spend the money more easily directly on the site as well, without needing to shift it to a bank account.

“It’s huge,” Miller said. “Money is sitting in all these Venmo accounts and now they can burn it off and it doesn’t have to get moved back to a savings account or a checking account.”

Tech

Elon Musk Reveals More Details About His Plan to Colonize Mars

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed a trove of new details on the company’s plan to colonize Mars.

He discussed technical details about the giant rocket that he says will take passengers to the Red Planet, the road map for getting to its first launch, and insights into SpaceX’s broader strategy in an “Ask Me Anything” forum on Reddit Saturday.

Musk was his typical freewheeling self during the AMA, quoting the cartoon Bob the Builder and responding to a question about spaceship design with the highly technical insight that “tails are lame.”

He also gamely responded to questions about tangential details of settling Mars, including speculation that settlers might use a compressed version of the Internet. Musk observed that data would take between 3 and 22 minutes to travel between Earth and Mars. “So you could Snapchat, I suppose. If that’s a thing in the future,” he wrote.

More substantively, Musk clarified the scope of SpaceX’s ambitions on Mars. Though he has shared images of vast Martian cities in his presentations on Mars colonization, he said SpaceX isn’t focused on building those cities itself.

“Our goal is get you there and ensure the basic infrastructure for propellant production and survival is in place. A rough analogy is that we are trying to build the equivalent of the transcontinental railway. A vast amount of industry will need to be built on Mars by many other companies and millions of people.”

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That means SpaceX will be designing and building things like systems for creating fuel from Martian resources, work that Musk said is “pretty far along.” But they won’t be focused on issues like how colonists grow food.

Musk also reiterated previous claims that SpaceX is designing the new Mars rocketstill code-named BFR, which stands for exactly what you think it does – to be as safe and reliable as today’s commercial airliners. That will be crucial if plans to use the BFR for transportation around Earth come to fruition.

Musk also shared some details about the game plan for testing the BFR ahead of its first scheduled flight in 2022.

“[We] will be starting with a full-scale Ship doing short hops of a few hundred kilometers in altitude and lateral distance,” Musk wrote. “Those are fairly easy on the vehicle, as no heat shield is needed, we can have a large amount of reserve propellant and don’t need the high area ratio, deep space Raptor engines.

“[The] next step will be doing orbital velocity Ship flights, which will need all of the above.”

SpaceX’s progress on its Falcon 9 rocket in recent years – especially its unprecedented success in landing and reusing rockets – has fascinated observers and re-energized public dialogue about space.

Tech

What Leaders Can Learn From Asking Their Employees About Breakfast Cereal (Yes, Cereal)

The executive director of a prominent nonprofit called iMentor Chicago reached out to me the other week. Her name is Halleemah Nash.

“A question I asked my team a few months ago really caught me off guard,” Nash shared with me.

“I thought it was honestly kind of a silly question — something I’d never answer myself, personally. But I thought, ‘Oh what the heck, let’s ask it and see what happens.'”

The question was: “What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?”

She asked this question to her staff, expecting nothing much to come of it.

The opposite happened. Almost every single person on her staff responded – enthusiastically, humorously. It got the whole office talking, laughing, joking with one another.

Nash took notice. She saw the collegiality it spurred, and wanted to encourage that positive spirit even more.

Once a month, she decided to plan a “Cereal Day,” when she’d bring in everyone’s favorite cereal. She had “Cereal Day” take place on the day of her team’s monthly strategic planning meeting — no doubt a tough, intense day for the staff.

Her staff absolutely loved it. Nash was stunned. “Who knew that cereal would get people pumped for a strategic planning conversation,” she wrote to me candidly in an email.

While it’s endearing to think that breakfast cereal is “the thing” that flips a switch for a team’s employee engagement, there’s something deeper going on here. Nash’s “Cereal Day” works as a means to boost her team’s morale for specific reasons. Here’s what we can all learn from it as leaders:

Great leaders bring levity to a team, not just the load of work.

Let’s be real: Work feels serious a majority of the time. Everyone’s busy, there are deadlines flying around, a thousand decisions to be made — it’s easy to get your head stuck in the weeds of work. We all need a break, at some point.

Nash understands this, and so intentionally chose her strategic planning meeting day as the day to hold “Cereal Day,” as a result. She knew how in moments of stress or intensity, people do better work when they can step away, have a laugh, and just lighten up a bit.

As a leader, yes, it’s your job to press the gas pedal to make sure folks are focused. But you also want to give people permission to be people — to have fun, be silly, be expressive. Don’t get frustrated if you notice your team members cracking jokes during a meeting. Don’t be bitter when an employee takes an extra long lunch with a co-worker. Take it as a sign that they might need that levity. Like Nash, if there is a particularly tense time of year, use it as an opportunity to bring lightness to that meeting or season.

Great leaders find a way to connect everyone, not just some.

“Cereal Day” was effective at bringing together Nash’s team because, frankly, it’s unlike a lot of other team-bonding events: It involved everyone. Think about it.

At a happy hour, typically the same folks congregate and talk to one another. During a one-on-one coffee conversation, you only get to know that one particular person. It’s rare to have moments in the company where everyone gets to interact with everyone else — but that’s what “Cereal Day” did. Nash’s “Cereal Day” is the antidote to the silos that pop up in organizations.

Take an honest look at your own company’s current team-bonding events and see if they’re a common touch point for everyone, or just for some. You may be accidentally reinforcing the silos in your company you’re working so hard to dissolve. You may have to get creative — or even better, ask your employees about their personal tastes and interests — so you can tailor company outings, events, and activities to be a shared, common touch point for everyone.

Even if it’s about breakfast cereal — the fact that it’s something everyone can participate is what matters.

Whether you try to engage your employees as a leader with cereal or not, that’s totally up to you. But “Cereal Day” is an important reminder for us as leaders that employee engagement isn’t just about the big, grand gestures of extending vacation time or big pay raises.

True employee engagement is about caring enough to ask even the seemingly small, trivial questions to your team — and paying close attention to the answers.

Tech

The Senate Is About to Approve Commercial Sale of Self-Driving Cars (But Not Trucks)

You will soon be able to ride home from your local car dealership in a car that finds its way there unassisted while you nap or read. That reality came a whole lot closer this week, with bipartisan agreement in the Senate on legislation allowing self-driving cars to take the the roads. The law is expected to come up for vote in the near future, and pass.

The House passed similar legislation, also with bipartisan support, several weeks ago. That legislation allows car manufacturers to sell up to 25,000 autonomous vehicles the first year they offer them. That will go up to 100,000 cars a year if the self-driving cars prove as safe as human-driven ones. And that’s not all. The Trump administration also helped out recently by issuing voluntary safety guidelines for autonomous cars and at the same time requesting that states avoid writing laws or regulations governing self-driving cars and possibly hampering their introduction.

The senators who arrived at the self-driving deal note that autonomous cars appear to be safer than human-driven ones. “Ultimately, we expect adoption of self-driving vehicle technologies will save lives, improve mobility for people with disabilities, and create new jobs,” said Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) in a joint statement. They may be right: When a Tesla owner died while his car was in Autopilot mode last summer, company founder Elon Musk pointed out that it was the first known Autopilot fatality in 130 million miles of driving, whereas there’s a human fatality for every 89 million miles of traditional driving.

But if cars with no one at the wheel will soon become a common sight, the same won’t be true of semi trucks. The Teamsters successfully lobbied for the House version of the bill to limit self-driving vehicles to 10,000 pounds or less. That could be a problem for the U.S. trucking industry, which was short an estimated 48,000 drivers at the end of 2015, a shortage that’s expected to grow to 175,000 over the next seven years. That will create enormous pressure to replace hard-to-find long-haul truck drivers with no-muss, no-fuss AI.

Tech

The 13 Best Quotes About Silicon Valley & The People Who Live In It

Love it or hate it, Silicon Valley continues to be the home of innovation and insanity. Elon Musk, Temple Grandin et al. tell us why.


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Director Nicholas Winding Refn Wants to Teach You About Movie Marketing

Director Nicholas Winding Refn Wants to Teach You About Movie Marketing

The director’s first foray into book publishing is a deep-dive into the art of exploitation cinema marketing.

The post Director Nicholas Winding Refn Wants to Teach You About Movie Marketing appeared first on WIRED.



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Here’s What Oculus Revealed Today About The Future of VR

Virtual reality company Oculus VR revealed new details about its product lineup and partnerships on Thursday morning, as the Facebook-owned company inched closer to the Q1 2016 release of its flagship device, the Oculus Rift VR headset.


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IDG Contributor Network: 5 myths about data encryption

It’s a heartache, nothing but a heartache. Hits you when it’s too late, hits you when you’re down. It’s a fools’ game, nothing but a fool’s game. Standing in the cold rain, feeling like a clown.

When singer Bonnie Tyler recorded in her distinctive raspy voice “It’s A Heartache” in 1978, you’d think she was an oracle of sorts, predicting the rocky road that encryption would have to travel.

Just a year earlier in 1977 the Encryption Standard (DES) became the federal standard for block symmetric encryption (FIPS 46). But, oh, what a disappointment encryption DES would become. In less than 20 years since its inception, DES would be declared DOA (dead on arrival), impenetrable NOT.

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