Xata Is A Database Service For Serverless Apps

Meet Xata, a startup with a new take on managed databases. The company runs your database for you and turns it into an API so that you can query and update it from your serverless app. Xata has raised a $5 million funding round. Its product is not yet ready for prime time but the […]

14 Tips To Help You Improve Marketing Strategy Performance

Improve marketing strategy performance by following these easy-to-implement

The practice of promoting products and services has been around for thousands of
years, but this practice has changed significantly in the last few decades.
Rather than depending on conventional channels like print, television, and
billboards, advertisers are now promoting their solutions through social media,
search engines, and other digital channels.

With the above in mind, developing a successful digital ad

Digital OOH Traffic: Out-of-Home Media (Guide 2021)

There is no denying the fact that the marketing industry is slowly transitioning
into a mostly digital state. This has led many to believe that conventional
advertising methods are or will eventually become obsolete. However, new
technological advancements and continued consumer interest have both allowed
out-of-home (OOH) advertising to evolve, even transforming a portion of the
industry into a digital alternative.

As an affiliate publisher, understanding OOH traffic and its digital evolution

User’s Guide To TechCrunch Disrupt 2021

TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 approaches in just three days. Here’s your how-to guide for everything you can expect at Disrupt. Although the main show kicks off on Tuesday the 21st, there’ll be some sneak peeks and extras going down on Monday. Make sure to log in to Hopin by noon on Monday to catch it all, […]

Executive Coaching For Employees Is Complicated And Emotional

BetterUp, a reskilling and coaching platform for employees before and beyond the C-suite, is getting in touch with its emotions. This week, the richly funded unicorn startup announced a pair of acquisitions in the emotional artificial intelligence and people management space: Motive and Impraise. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. 

The GoPro-ification Of The IPhone

Hello friends, and welcome back to Week in Review! Last week, we talked about some sunglasses from a company that many people do not like very much. This week, we’re talking about Apple and the company 1,600 times smaller than it that’s facing similar product problems. If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you […]

SEC Regional Director Erin Schneider Is Joining Us At Disrupt

If ever there was a time when working at the Securities and Exchange Commission was a dull affair, that’s no longer true. The federal agency that’s responsible for protecting investors and maintaining fair and orderly functioning of our securities markets is busier than ever, thanks to the rise of SPACs, cryptocurrencies and new rules around […]

SoftBank’s Marcelo Claure Is Coming To Disrupt Next Week

SoftBank has been on a tear in Latin America. The Japanese investment conglomerate just announced it has launched its second Latin America-focused fund with a $3 billion capital commitment from the company that may grow as the fund explores “options to raise additional capital,” according to SoftBank. The vehicle follows hot on the heels of […]

China Roundup: Beijing Is Tearing Down The Digital ‘walled Gardens’

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch’s China roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world. This week, China gets serious about breaking down the walled gardens that its internet giants have formed for decades. Two major funding rounds were announced, […]

What The Wall Street Journal Got Wrong

We fundamentally reject this mischaracterization of our work and impugning of the company’s motives.
The post What the Wall Street Journal Got Wrong appeared first on About Facebook.

Dropshipping Real Toddler-Friendly Manual

Dropshipping is a young and extremely attractive business model by which the majority of online stores work. But how to start working in dropshipping if in this business is a lot of pitfalls? Fortunately, most mistakes can be […]
The post Dropshipping Real Toddler-Friendly Manual appeared first on AliExpress Dropshipping Business Plugin for WooCommerce.

Google Abused Dominant Position Of Android In India, Antitrust Probe Finds

Google has abused the dominant position of Android in India to illegally hurt competitors in the world’s second largest internet market, a two-year antitrust probe by the nation’s watchdog has found. The Android-maker reduced device manufacturing firms’ ability and incentive to develop — and sell — devices running alternative versions of Android (more popularly known […]

Tips For Managing Growth Across IOS Updates

“I’ve seen startups spend thousands of dollars inefficiently as a result of not having optimal signal in their paid acquisition campaigns. I’ve also spent millions at companies such as Postmates refining our signal to the best possible state,” says growth marketer Jonathan Martinez in a guest column for Extra Crunch this week. “I’d like every […]

Eastward Review

A man and his adopted daughter find their way through a whimsical, post-apocalyptic landscape. Frying pan and psychic powers at the ready, they might stumble into saving the world as they explore it. With all the stylings of a retro JRPG, you might expect Eastward to play like one, but this chill action-adventure is more Zelda than Dragon Quest. John and Sam's triumphs and mistakes take place in a charming pixel-art landscape that's rich with lovely characters and intimately designed places. Even where the story dragged for a time, or the simplicity of the challenges felt patronizing, the parts of Eastward that spoke to me more than made up for them.Our headliners are John – a silent protagonist wreathed in messy hair and a bushy beard – and Sam, an outrageously precocious girl with budding psychic powers and a penchant for getting the two into trouble. They're lovable characters with a bushel of personality and a kind of timeless appeal. They set off from their home under dubious circumstances, and, eventually, find their way... eastward. I loved switching between the two as they travel through a cute but dangerous apocalyptic world of small towns and dam-cities. Along the way you play through discrete story chapters and explore the stories of the people you meet. There are a lot – a lot – of silly little minigames along the way. Baseball, river rafting, slot machines, and ever-present cooking.The trek to the east is pretty linear, but the areas you explore are laid out like little dungeons, with curling paths to find your way through as you battle goofy monsters and solve simple puzzles. John does most of the fighting via simple but satisfying hack-and-slash action, but Sam's powers – like freezing enemies inside big psychic bubbles – are useful for fights and vital for puzzles.It took me a few more than 30 hours to beat the main quest, but I know there are secrets to explore and little NPC storylines I skipped over that are worth going back for. In fact, Eastward's overall story is good enough that I've judiciously avoided spoilers in this review, to the point of being overly vague in some spots, but trust me, that’s for your benefit. There's also a pretty detailed roguelite JRPG game-within-the-game, called Earth Born, to play – and it was fun enough that I spent about six additional hours on it.The vibrant pixel art landscapes are so creative and so packed with detail that I often found myself stopping to just look.Eastward's real draw is its world. The vibrant pixel art landscapes are so creative and so packed with detail that I often found myself stopping to just look at a city street or a new railway station. Much of it is alive with little animations like running water, glinting metal, or spinning fans. I loved details like laundry on lines between buildings, boats overturned and made into houses, and countryside in the distance from train windows.It's a loving rendition of a world that's somewhere between a Studio Ghibli film and a classic JRPG – Castle in the Sky meets EarthBound. It's all overlaid with a pretty low-key soundtrack that's nothing standout, but it’s good enough, with a variety of both instrumental and chiptune arrangements.My favorite robot runs a construction company and has a bad hip.It's not just the backgrounds that pop, though. The characters of Eastward have great sprites and animation that packs in a ton of personality. They're a cast of well-designed weirdos who all have something unique going for them, which is an animated style that's become all too rare. The style and personality of the people you meet differs wildly, varying from gruff ranch hands to a trio of lively aunties, a sleepy small-town mayor, or a cigar-puffing casino owner. That's not to mention the circus performers, train conductors, conmen, and funky robots. (My favorite robot runs a construction company and has a bad hip.)Little fetch quests make you run back and forth across the world, but that's not so bad when that world is pretty. A lot of the best Eastward has to offer is just smiling at the guy meditating on a roof as you pass by his part of town. I’ve passed him a dozen times now; what is he doing up there? I don't know. He's happy. Dude's just vibing and it's nice.Earth Born Review-in-a-ReviewEarth Born is Sam's favorite game, and she loves the tie-in cartoon, too. It's a retro throwback to the Final Fantasy 1 or Dragon Quest era of 2D RPGs with a randomized roguelike twist, and it succeeds in invoking that era while still being a modern game. Earth Born consoles pop up in most of the major settlements alongside token-operated dispensers that spit out Pixballs – toys-to-life doodads that give you reusable boosts while playing – which you use to get further and unlock new party members inside Earth Born. It's the icing on top of Eastward's cake, even though it's entirely optional. So I guess it's more like the chocolate sauce on Eastward's ice cream sundae.As rounds of combat go by, characters accrue action points that they can use to fuel their most powerful skills. Knowing when, and against what enemies, to use your skills is the key to progressing. As you explore Earth Born's little branching world you pick up new party members, and a larger party lets you swap through more characters during each combat and start with more characters each run. They've all got something unique going on: there’s the Monkey, who helps even when not on the front row during fights, or the Merchant, who doesn't use the action-point system but instead uses accrued gold to do battle.I quite liked the tactics available in the turn-based combat, though if it were a real-world game it’d quite honestly be a "pay-to-win" experience because getting more Pixballs makes it easier and easier each time you start a new run at it. It's hard to be upset when the bonuses are something you earn in the course of finding secrets in the main game. Either way, it's a welcome change of pace from Eastward's more sedate stories or fast-paced combat. For some, I expect it might even be the highlight of Eastward.It's a relief that the world is so attractive and the characters are so appealing, because Eastward's greatest weakness is its writing. Character dialogue is hit or miss, with more than a few cliche lines and real stinkers. I'm talking about unironic use of lines like "I've been running my whole life." Frankly, it's because the writing doesn't know when to step back and let action or movement convey words. It uses two sentences when one would do – or, more often, one sentence when none would do. Dialogue that should pop up in the background – laughter, exclamations – is more often than not in a bubble that requires a button to progress. The only time I felt impatient or bored with Eastward was during the drawn-out dialogues.Fights are simple, and most enemies can be easily defeated with judicious application of John's frying pan. Exploration and combat are a welcome break from all that staring and reading. Fights are simple, and most enemies can be easily defeated with judicious application of John's frying pan. Everything else is susceptible to the neon-colored shotgun or flamethrower. There are lots of weird enemies though, like a giant frog person, tentacle plants, or ultra-tough zombies, and they've all got their own attack pattern – but I usually took them down the same way, no matter what they were. But let me be clear: Simple isn't always bad. It was fun to weave around attacks, smack mutants with a pan, and blow them away with the shotgun.It's weird that while you swap to Sam pretty often to do puzzles, I rarely felt the need to use her in combat; her ability to put monsters in frozen bubbles comes in handy for a few things, but you don't absolutely need it to win. If you had a psychic sidekick, wouldn’t you want her to do a bit more?Likewise, it’s a bit of a downer that the puzzles Sam’s instrumental in solving are never too complex, only ever getting difficult when it's a challenge of timing or skill – or to get at a few tricky hidden chests. Most often, you'll have to notice something like a wall to blow down with a bomb, a puzzle of which cables to connect, or which obstacles to remove so a raft floats where you want it to. The harder puzzles will have a timing element – moving quickly after triggering a switch, or golf-swinging a bomb into a narrow opening from a moving platform. It’s not complex stuff. The simplicity did bug me sometimes. While parts of the fighting are good in their straightforwardness, others are just basic. Partially it’s because the single-stick controls feel inadequate for aiming weapons. It's fun to bash with a frying pan, not so fun to make sure the characters are both dodging incoming projectiles. The relatively infrequent boss and miniboss fights are an exception there, requiring a bit of finesse and switching between both John's weapons and Sam’s powers. I liked them a lot more than the platforming and puzzle bits, and a lot of them really tested my ability to use every tool in my arsenal for a clean victory. One in particular stands out, an enemy knocks away bombs that you try to place at a vulnerable point. To win, I needed a deft hand at dropping bombs as John, then to switch to Sam to use her powers to distract the enemy, then back to John to dish out damage after the bomb went off. That’s the kind of synergy Eastward’s combat needs more of.

Daily Crunch: Apple, Google Bow To Russian Pressure

Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for Friday, September 17th! What a week, ya’ll. It is now just days before Disrupt, which means the TechCrunch hive is buzzing. I’ll leave it by noting that Reid Hoffman is coming, which is going to be a treat.

Inside GitLab’s IPO Filing

While the technology and business world worked towards the weekend, DevOps firm GitLab filed to go public. So we need to pause, digest the company's S-1 filing, and come to some early conclusions.

Cameo Launches Cameo Calls, A Service For Fans To Video Chat With Celebs

If you really want to video chat tonight with William Hung of retro American Idol fame… got twenty bucks to spare? Yesterday, Cameo launched its Cameo Calls products, which lets fans video chat for up to 15 minutes one-on-one with their favorite influencers and celebrities. The talent sets the duration, time, and price of their […]

Official PlayStation Podcast Episode 410: The Backlog Groweth

Email us at PSPodcast@sony.com! Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google or RSS, or download here So many games coming next week! And so many games we’re already trying to keep up with! Join the PS Podcast crew as they talk Tales of Arise, Deathloop, F.I.S.T., Life is Strange: True Colors, Death Stranding Director’s Cut, Lost […]