Recent News from Digital Trends

The ‘villain’ in Reddit’s GameStop investor saga is shutting down

Reddit’s war over GameStop stock has claimed a major casualty. Bloomberg and The New York Times report Melvin Capital, the hedge fund considered the nemesis of the meme stock affair, is shutting down. Fund owner Gabe Plotkin told investors that the “appropriate next step” after steep losses was to liquidate assets and return cash to investors, and that it was time to “step away” from managing others’ capital. At least half of the cash will transfer by May 31st, with the rest coming by June 30th.

Melvin Capital had been a successful fund, starting 2021 with over $12 billion. However, its public bet against GameStop and other struggling companies made it one of the largest victims of a GameStop-centric investing spree by people coordinating across Reddit and social networks. Plotkin’s fund reported a 53 percent loss in January 2021, and it took a $2.75 billion cash infusion to soften the blow and keep losses down to 39 percent for the year.

The GameStop saga wasn’t the only factor involved, however. While a recovery appeared possible, Melvin posted a 23 percent loss through April that was partly linked to poor stock positions. The fund was clearly in peril after the Reddit battle — it’s just that some miscalculations finished the company once and for all.

Reddit speculators shifted their attention to BlackBerry and other companies in the aftermath of the GameStop drama, and there hasn’t been fallout on par with Melvin’s in the months since. Still, the shutdown illustrates the power of coordinated internet investors — they can demolish conventional stock managers in the right circumstances.

Now It’s Samsung’s Turn to Put Wireless Earbuds Inside a Poké Ball Charging Case

Given they’re now part of a lot of people’s everyday carry, there’s good reason for wireless earbud makers to get more creative with the charging cases these devices rely on: within reason. Eschewing pocket-ability altogether, Samsung has created a Pok…

Is USB-C Finally Coming To iPhone?

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The Meris LVX is a powerful modular delay pedal with a slick-looking interface

Meris has been making wild sounding hi-tech guitar pedals for sometime. But its latest entry, the LVX, is perhaps the wildest entry yet. At its core the LVX is a delay pedal, but a fantastically complicated one capable of producing a wide range of soun…

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s New Featurette Shows Off Ewan McGregor’s Legacy

In the midst of all the Star Wars pulls out of this week’s Vanity Fair article, George Miller released a teaser trailer for his genie-centric film, Three Thousand Years of Longing. Mindy Kaling released the first pictures from the extremely non-kid-fri…

‘Fortnite’ is now available to all GeForce Now users

All GeForce Now users can play Fortnite via NVIDIA’s cloud gaming service, including those with iOS and Android devices. The company started testing the game on the platform in January. It says more than 500,000 people tried it out across “hundreds of mobile device types.” The full launch of Fortnite on GeForce Now means that there’s no longer a waitlist and anyone can drop into a match. 

Feedback from beta testers helped NVIDIA optimize the touch controls and menu system. To thank them, it’s giving everyone who signed up for the beta a three-day trial for GeForce Now’s Priority plan. That offers longer game sessions than those who use the free version, along with improved visuals and access to premium servers. A three-day trial isn’t exactly the most generous perk, but it’s better than nothing.

For the time being, the only way to access Fortnite on iOS (at least without playing a console or PC remotely) is through cloud streaming. The game is also available for free through Xbox Cloud Gaming. You won’t need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription if you go with that option.

Apple and Google pulled Fortnite from their mobile app storefronts in August 2020 amid a dispute with Epic Games. While Android users have still been able to sideload it, iOS players were effectively iced out until the cloud gaming options came into play.

Roku and Element partner for their first outdoor TV

Roku has joined forces with Element to create a 55-inch outdoor TV, the companies announced. The Element Roku TV looks like a version of Element’s Patio Series TVs that offer anti-glare and weather protection, with Roku’s smart TV operating system built in. 

In fact, the Element Roku TV looks nigh-on identical to the 55-inch Patio TV, apart from the OS. It offers a good but not spectacular 700 nits of brightness, along with 4K streaming and HDR that’s limited to HDR 10. More importantly, though, it has tempered anti-glare glass to combat reflections and IP55 weather protection that withstands water, dust and humidity. You also get “powerful built-in speakers, designed to cut through outdoor noise,” Element said.

It’s powered by Roku OS, one of the more powerful Smart TV platforms out there. You get all the streaming platforms you’d expect like Netflix, Apple TV+ and yes, YouTube TV. It also offers a customizable home screen, mobile remote, search capabilities via voice or keyboard and the ability to save shows for later. It’s all conceived to let you watch sports, movies and more during barbecues, hot-tubbing, outdoor movie nights and other activities. It’s now available for $1,300 at Walmart.com.

Netflix to expand audio descriptions and subtitles in 10 additional languages

Netflix will expand its accessibility features in 10 additional languages, part of an effort to accommodate users who are hearing and vision-impaired. Starting this month and through early 2023, Netflix will roll out Audio Descriptions (AD), Subtitles …

What we bought: Why Daily Harvest became my go-to meal delivery service

Like many people, my food insecurity got pretty serious in April 2020. Cities and businesses all across America were shutting down, while grocery stores and delivery services started to run out of food. Everywhere I looked — whether it was Amazon, Inst…

HP’s Fantastic Spectre and Envy Laptops Just Got a New Life

Countless laptops have been announced in the past few weeks, including an entire fleet of Acer notebooks, HP gaming systems, a premium Lenovo Chromebook, and an Asus with a hidden message written in invisible ink. Frankly, I’m exhausted. However, I won…