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In this week’s What’s Appening, we cover Google’s new and discontinued product announcements. Their multisearch tool is getting revamped to combine visual and text-based searches, aimed at helping local businesses. Also coming soon is “results about you”, a search feature allowing you to discover how your personal information is appearing online. Next, we say farewell to the doomed Stadia, which Google is “killing” after less than three years. Elsewhere we have news on VR sports possibly helping kickstart Meta’s metaverse, the rise and fall of the OG app, and Brave browser’s cookie notice solution. The Stat of the Week highlights a hefty fine paid by Kim Kardashian for touting a crypto “shitcoin”. And What’s dAppening covers Sega’s move into blockchain gaming. 

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Takes 🎬

🔎👋 Google – “Multisearch Near Me”, “Results About You”, and Goodbye to Stadia

It’s been a week of ups and downs for Google. First, the good news: Google has launched “Multisearch Near Me” in the US. It’s an evolution of the multisearch feature (launched April), which allows a combination of visual and text-based search options. For example, you could search for a pair of sneakers using an image of the shoes and the text “red” to narrow down the results. Now, Google is taking this further with localized results in your area, pointing out, for instance, a local business that has the item in stock. It’s a neat addition to Google’s geolocation tools, and it’s something that could be augmented with AR glasses in the future. Elsewhere in Googleland, we will see new features added to its “results about you” tool in 2023. This feature will automatically notify you if your personal info – like phone number, email address – pops up in a search result using the recently-launched “results about you” option, which allows for the creation of takedown requests. Next in “I told you so” news, Google is killing Stadia, its cloud-gaming platform that many believed (wrongly, it seems) would lead to the death of the console. There’s a myriad of reasons as to why Stadia failed, including a lack of quality titles on the platform, but the consensus seems to be that Google simply didn’t take gaming seriously. Google will be paying refunds to Stadia players. Many gamers and developers stayed away from Stadia, believing that its downfall was inevitable given Google’s reputation for killing-off products. It was perhaps a self-fulfilling prophecy? #GoogleBirthsAndDeaths Read more here.

📰 💪 The Best of the Rest – Other News:

VR Sports Could Aid Zuck’s Metaverse: It’s fun to poke fun at Meta’s metaverse plans, and you get the sense that a lot of people hope it will fail. But could VR sports be the catalyst for its success? Check out this persuasive video here.

But Meta’s Stocks Have Been Hammered: The metaverse is a long-term strategy by Meta, but things aren’t looking so great now. Meta, once the darling of the stock market, fell out of the top 10 most valuable US companies this week. Details here.

The Rise (and Fall) of the OG App: The OG App is an Instagram clone that offered Instagram sans the annoying stuff like ads and, er, Reels. It shot up in popularity, then Instagram (understandably) objected. OG has now been pulled from the App Store. Read more here.

Brave Browser Will Block Cookie Consent Notices: Brave, the web3-focused browser with an eye on Chrome’s crown, is solving one of the most annoying issues on the web – cookie consent pop-ups. Find out how here.

🧐 Stat of the Week –  $1.26M 

💸💎 Kim Kardashian Agrees to Pay SEC Crypto Fine

Kim Kardashian has agreed to pay a fine of over $1.2 million to the SEC after being charged with “unlawfully touting a crypto security”. Kardashian was one of a number of celebrities who used their platforms (Kardashian used Instagram) to tout Ethereum Max, a crypto token that subsequently pumped after the celebrity promotion, then dumped spectacularly as those in the know sold off. “Pump and dump” schemes are a blight on the crypto space, and those with big audiences, like Kardashian, have a responsibility to ensure the product they’re touting is not a scam. ETHMAX is down 99.06% since the celebs pumped it to an all-time high last year – so you can draw your own conclusions on the due diligence carried out by Kim and Co. #PumpingUpWithTheKardashians Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

A dApp is a decentralized app. Here’s the latest in web3, NFTs and blockchain apps.

🦔🎮 Sega – Iconic Video Games Maker Enters the Blockchain Gaming Space

A quick note here first: Keep an eye on Japan and all things web3, as the Asian country seems to be leading the way politically regarding web3 policy-making and fostering the adoption of blockchain and related technologies. And now, one of its gaming giants – Sega – has confirmed it will be creating its first blockchain game. Details are somewhat scant at the moment, but there is an understandable buzz around a gaming icon dipping its toe into web3. It’s long been held that gaming will be one of the key drivers of web3 adoption – perhaps the main driver – and Sega is certainly not alone as a traditional gaming company looking to expand its scope through blockchain games. The key will be offering quality games to compete with the conventional market (something still lacking in the blockchain gaming space) alongside unique experiences that can set it apart from the average session on an Xbox. For the latter, look no further than this announcement from the co-founder of Illuvium, who plans to build a series of interoperable blockchain games sharing common in-game currencies (in the form of NFTs) to create an interconnected gaming ecosystem. #SegaBlockchainGaming Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

And it’s a wrap! We just returned from our first ever team retreat in New Orleans, LA. It was an amazing experience. Flying in from Costa Rica, England, Ireland and across the US, we arrived in the Big Easy, excited to be meeting some folks in person for the first time! We stayed at the beautiful Factors Row in the CBD, just minutes from the French Quarter. We celebrated successes, shared ideas, came together on our goals for the coming year, and of course we tasted all that New Orleans has to offer: the best of food, drinks, music and culture. The highlights include traditional New Orleans jazz at Preservation Hall, a steam boat cruise aboard the Natchez, and a walking food tour of the Quarter. This special city provided a bonding and team-building experience that sets the bar high for any future gatherings. It was truly epic! Thank you NOLA, and thanks to all of the team that made the journey!! ❤️❤️

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