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Valve is many things, but “open” is not one of them. They’re a hive of secrets. A hive maybe toiling away at Half-Life 3. Or Portal 3. Or Left 4 Dead 3. Or none of those!. Maybe Valve is working on nothing. We’d probably never know.

All of them.

Or at least I assume that’s how Steam Dev Days goes down. It’s a “no press allowed” type of shindig, so I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of bedtime stories. Instead, I must rely on the help of tweeting developers and the amazing crew over at SteamDB.

Regardless, here are the secrets Valve spilled at 2014’s Steam Dev Days, which is continuing through Thursday.

A new controller

Valve’s original Steam Controller design, announced in September, prominently featured a touchscreen in the center of the device a la the Wii U. The touchscreen was supposedly Valve’s answer to replicating the multitude of keys on a keyboard—the most important commands could be placed on the controller’s actual hardware buttons, while less timely commands could be placed in some sort of list format on the touchscreen.

Valve’s original controller design had a touchscreen in the center.

But Valve’s prototype controller went out without the touchscreen—instead, it was simulated with four separate buttons—and now the original design shall never come to pass.

Leszek Godlewski

Meet Steam Controller 2.0.

And expect more changes before the end. Valve is treating its hardware beta very much like a real beta, taking feedback and iterating on it. Shocking.

A new player enters the field

Valve’s VR demo at #SteamDevDays felt like being in a lucid dream state and very much like a holo deck #mindblown #vr

— David Hensley (@TheDavidHensley) January 15, 2014

It’s going to be hard to go back to my #oculus dev kit after experiencing #valve’s #vr demo. Kinda like playing an xbox then 8bit Nintendo

— David Hensley (@TheDavidHensley) January 15, 2014

There’s a virtual reality panel slated for later today, so hopefully we’ll receive more details from Valve at that point.

UPDATE: Valve won’t be selling its prototype virtual reality hardware, but it is teaming up with Oculus to improve the market as a whole. Read more in our report, here.

Alienware teases us

A small item, but important: Alienware announced its Steam Machine will launch in September. The box will be based around an Intel Haswell-generation processor and an Nvidia graphics card, though the company declined to provide more detailed specs.

UPDATE: During a panel discussion Thursday, Alienware claimed its Steam Machine will be similar in price and specs to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles. If true, that’s not nearly as pricey as we expected—and with such an attractive case, could be a huge sales boost for Valve’s Steam Machine platform.

Steam hits a new milestone

Steam grew a lot in 2013. A lot. Don’t believe me? Check out this graph (courtesy of Hot Blooded Games CFO Dave Oshry):

Dave Oshry

That’s right. Valve added 23 million users to its service in the last year, for a grand total of 75 million.

Plus everybody heard about those killer Steam sales. Why buy one console game when you could buy twenty PC games for the same price?

New local currencies

Speaking of money, Valve wants more of it. US dollars, Australian dollars, Canadian dollars…they just want your dollars.

And they want it even if your country doesn’t call it “dollars.” Valve is adding a collection of new local currencies to Steam, including Australia, Thailand, Canada, Norway, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Ukraine, and Japan. And possibly Turkey, though we’re not sure yet.

Dave Oshry

Greenlight gets guillotined

Valve’s growing in more ways than one. The most noticeable lately is the absolute flood of releases at any given moment. Thanks to the growth of independent development and the rise of crowdfunding, there’s a wealth of games out now. Just this week we got two Kickstarter darlings—Broken Age (developed by Double Fine, review coming soon!) and The Banner Saga (Stoic).

But that’s not all! We also saw the launch of Realms of Arkania 1-3, 3089, Freedom Fall, War of the Human Tanks, Nidhogg, Galcon Legends, RaiderZ, Loren the Amazon Princess, and Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD.

Thirteen games released on Steam since January 10. I didn’t even go back a full week.

Dave Oshry

Yeah, nearly twice as many games came out on Steam in 2013 compared to 2011. Amazing. And terrifying.

Steam Greenlight, Valve’s “vote whether these games deserve to be on Steam” program, is less than two years old and now on its way out, albeit slowly.

The service has received plenty of criticism, especially from developers of less “traditional” (read: less shooty) games who felt the popularity contest nature of Greenlight was easily manipulated against titles that otherwise should’ve landed on the service.

Valve confirmed at Steam Dev Days that it plans to phase out the service. “Our goal is to make Greenlight go away. Not because it’s not useful, but because we’re evolving,” said managing director Gabe Newell in his welcome address.

Good riddance, Greenlight.

Early Access

Early Access is, of course, the other big trend in PC gaming these days and it’s looking fairly entrenched. It’s popular among consumers because they can pay to play a game before its proper release and (potentially) have a say in the development process. It’s popular among independent developers because it helps fund a studio prior to the game’s release, gives the studio a built-in base for quality assurance and bug-testing, and allows the team to react quickly to feedback.

How popular, though?

Well, one in ten games released on Steam in 2013 fit under the Early Access banner. That’s a lot of unfinished games. And since the standalone, Early Access version of DayZ just sold a million copies in a mere four weeks, don’t expect this trend to disappear anytime soon.

Developer talent

That’s a significant investment on Intel’s part, and hopefully will lead to more Linux-native games in the future. While the Steam Machines will play Windows-native games by streaming them off a separate desktop machine over a home network, that’s far from efficient. Valve would prefer more developers port to Linux—or, in a true dreamland, develop on Linux as the primary platform.

That future’s a long way off, but 1,200 machines in the hands of developers is a good place to start.

Steam Dev Days is still going, so we’ll update this story all day with more details as they come in. Also, we’ll let you know whether Gabe Newell read “Goodnight Moon” or “The Giving Tree” to attending developers.

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New York Is Passing Its Own Green New Deal

New York appears poised to pass its version of the Green New Deal. If approved in a vote as soon as Wednesday, it could be the nation’s most ambitious climate legislation.

The bill, known as the Climate and Community Protection Act, would commit the state to powering itself on 100 percent clean energy by 2040. It also mandates a 40 percent cut to all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030, and an 85 percent cut by 2050. For the remaining 15 percent, polluters would be required to pursue “alternative compliance mechanisms” to sequester or offset their carbon. Additionally, 70 percent of the state’s electricity must come from renewables by 2030.

Right now, greenhouse gases from fossil fuel burning for energy make up the bulk of New York’s emissions—82 percent, according to the state’s inventory. A lot of that comes from tailpipes, with transportation responsible for 33 percent of emissions. Residential and commercial energy use make up a total of 26 percent. Industrial processes, agriculture, and waste contribute to emissions, too.

Once the clean energy standard is set, replacing dirty vehicles by 2040 will be relatively straightforward because cars have an average turnover rate of about 15 years, says Mark Jacobson, a Stanford University civil and environmental engineering professor who has published roadmaps to converting the United States and other countries to 100 percent renewable energy. Retrofitting old buildings to replace fossil-fuel powered heating and other processes will likely prove most challenging, he adds.

If the bill passes, New York would join Hawaii, California, New Mexico, and Washington as the only states with 100 percent clean or renewable energy mandates (“clean energy,” by the way, includes renewables as well as nuclear and fossil fuels with carbon capture). Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have also passed similar legislation. Nevada and Colorado have made it a goal to have a carbon-free energy system by 2050, but its not required, according to analysis by EQ Research. Jacobson says the New York bill’s emissions targets are among the most aggressive of the state policies—a good thing, given how little time government reports say we have to drastically cut our emissions. “It’s definitely an important step,” says Jacobson. “I think you can always be more aggressive, but it’ll make some rapid changes.”

In 2009, New York’s executive order no. 24 called for an 80 percent cut in greenhouse gases by 2050. The Climate and Community Protection Act would update and add to existing environmental legislation and move the emissions target from an “aspirational” goal to one that’s required, according to New York Renews, an organization that pushed to pass the bill. Legislators would be required to develop a scoping plan that outlines how the aggressive emissions targets would be met, including by setting greenhouse gas standards for various sectors, promoting the development of solar and offshore wind energy, and implementing carbon sequestration practices in agriculture and forestry.

While a state-by-state approach might seem ineffectual in challenging the global climate crisis, the bill author’s hope that it sets about greater change, writing that “such action will encourage other jurisdictions to implement complementary greenhouse gas reduction strategies and provide an example of how such strategies can be implemented.”

Apple Demanded Hugely Sensitive Steam Data As Part Of Its Legal Battle With Epic

Apple might position itself as the champion of privacy when it comes to personal data, but court records showed that the company demanded hugely sensitive data from game distribution service Steam to help in the battle with Epic Games.

The reason? Epic previously criticized Steam’s cut from game developers, accusing platform owner Valve of “sucking out a huge fraction of the profits from games.” Apple wanted to understand more about Valve’s business model with Steam in order to help it make its own case for the App Store. The data that Apple demanded from Valve – which is not even a party to the case – was pretty insane…

PC Gamer reports that Valve refused Apple’s demand, and now a court needs to rule on the matter. Here is the data Apple wanted, which its lawyers somehow described as a “very narrow” request:

And, in an additional request:

“(a) the name of each App on Steam; (b) the date range when the App was available on Steam; and (c) the price of the App and any in-app product available on Steam.”

That is, Apple wants Valve to provide the names, prices, configurations and dates of every product on Steam, as well as detailed accounts of exactly how much money Steam makes and how it is all divvied-up […]

Apple apparently demanded data on 30,000+ games initially, before narrowing its focus to around 600. Request 32 gets incredibly granular, Valve explains: Apple is demanding information about every version of a given product, all digital content and items, sale dates and every price change from 2024 to the present day, the gross revenues for each version, broken down individually, and all of Valve’s revenues from it.

Valve says not only that the data is incredibly valuable commercial information, but that it doesn’t even record the level of detail Apple wants – and, in any case, is not remotely involved in the dispute between Apple and Epic.

Valve says it does not “in the ordinary course of business keep the information Apple seeks for a simple reason: Valve doesn’t need it.”

Valve’s argument goes on to explain to the court that it is not a competitor in the mobile space (this is, after all, a dispute that began with Fortnite on iOS), and makes the point that “Valve is not Epic, and Fortnite is not available on Steam.” It further says that Apple is using Valve as a shortcut to a huge amount of third party data that rightfully belongs to those third parties.

The conclusion of Valve’s argument calls for the court to throw Apple’s subpoena out. “Somehow, in a dispute over mobile apps, a maker of PC games that does not compete in the mobile market or sell ‘apps’ is being portrayed as a key figure. It’s not. The extensive and highly confidential information Apple demands about a subset of the PC games available on Steam does not show the size or parameters of the relevant market and would be massively burdensome to pull together. Apple’s demands for further production should be rejected.”

It seems pretty hard to imagine that Apple could succeed here, but the legal world and common sense do not always align.

The Not Jony Ive parody account has a suggested compromise.

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Top 10 Global Brands Using Conversational Ai At Its Best


Who isn’t aware of Microsoft, a global brand, that has carved a niche for itself in this technological era? Well, Microsoft has come up with a bot that allows users to create, connect, deploy, and manage AI-powered chatbots. Furthermore, these chatbots can be used on a variety of platforms, including websites, apps, Facebook Messenger, Skype, and others. What’s worth mentioning is the fact that more than 18 languages are supported by Microsoft’s Azure Bot Service.


Amazon is known for putting in efforts for engaging user service which is why it has designed Lex, an exclusive service for integrating speech and text-based conversational interfaces into any application. Additionally, this Conversational AI service stands the ability to scale naturally as a fully managed service, maintaining infrastructure is much easier.


This is yet another deep-learning software firm that focuses on conversational interfaces with an aim to solve specific, high-impact enterprise problems. Avaamo has a crystal-clear objective – to make conversational computing for the industry a reality. For the same to achieve, the firm is actively developing core AI technologies in the areas of neural networks, speech synthesis, and deep learning.


Google is a highly renowned global brand and that goes without saying. The company has countless innovations to boast about. One such innovation is Dialogflow, a developer of human-computer interface solutions based on natural language processing. Dialogflow is a conversational AI platform that has served to be no less than a blessing as it is used to create chatbots, voice assistants, and virtual assistants that are linked with many conversational platforms, including Google Assistant. has emerged to become one of the top conversational AI solutions providers for enabling enterprises and consumers to have automated human-like conversations, in no time. No matter what the sector is, chúng tôi has made its presence felt. Be it healthcare, travel, financial services, telecom, e-commerce, or any other vertical for that matter, chúng tôi has succeeded at providing the most complete conversational AI bot store. The store boasts of a wide choice of pre-built business bots that can be employed for various uses such as customer service, sales, HR, IT support, and knowledge management.


IBM, yet another global brand, takes credit for the invention of Watson Assistant, a conversation AI platform that assists users by providing their customers with quick, clear, and accurate answers. Now, here is the catch. The customers would be receiving answers irrespective of the application, device, or channel they use. No wonder, this Conversational AI platform relieves the burden on human agents and decreases the risk of downtime during peak periods by automating responses to frequent questions.


Yes, Nuance is well-known in the industry for the fact that it has a wide range of products to offer. But, what makes them stand apart from the rest is their voice authentication and call center software. With this in place, the company has the necessary business relationships and data to develop successful systems. Because of its omnichannel customer engagement expertise and its chatbot, Nuance makes it to the list of top 10 global brands using conversational AI at its best.


Inbenta is a global brand that uses conversational AI to determine the context of each customer discussion and accordingly respond to their questions. Well, that’s not all. Inbenta has a dialogue manager too that allows you to create bespoke conversation flows and paths. What cannot go unnoticed is the fact that this chatbot also stands the ability to escalate the conversation to the appropriate support person if it detects that your customer needs human assistance.


Rulai, an AI-powered chatbot for enterprise brands, is an excellent conversational AI platform as it can cater to a multiple objectives – understanding the context of a conversation, predicting user behavior, grasping customer preferences, taking actions, switching to different tasks, and even asking customers for more clarification thanks to deep-learning based natural language understanding and adaptive multi-taking capabilities.


5 Days To Successful Content Marketing

Day 1 - Answer the key content marketing strategy questions

In this practical, 5 day series, I’ll help define a ‘quick-and-dirty’ 5-day plan to help towards improving your content marketing strategy, without spending a fortune on paid media content distribution.

I’ve said this series is ‘quick and dirty’ since we believe that The perfect is often enemy of the good. When it comes to content strategy, it’s easy to spend a vast amount of time thinking about what you’re going to do and worrying about how to get it just right… without actually getting any content created or distributed.

But there comes a time when the Why needs to turn into the How. If you wait for all your strategic ducks to line up in a perfectly formed row, there’s a good chance the opportunity that content offers your business will drift off with the competition.

That doesn’t mean you should start producing content at random and hope for the best. A good content marketing plan is vital to turn your strategy into an agile, flexible operation – one that, thanks to the nature of digital, you can test and refine as you implement it.

So here is our quick-and-dirty plan for getting a strategic, well-planned, effective content marketing operation off the ground in just 5 days…

Day 1: Answer the big questions as best you can

Today you’re going to try and answer the big strategic questions as far as you can – in 1 day.

You’re going to work with what you know, and make intelligent guesses about what you don’t.

Take a look at the questions below and jot down the answers on 1 document, which you can then share with the team.

You can return to and update this ‘strategy’ whenever you want to tweak it in the light of new insights or decisions, or when you’ve had more time (or more budget) for research.

Sit yourself somewhere quiet on your own, or if you can gather your team run this as a group session.

Don’t invite all of the interested stakeholders unless you can be sure of alignment and a speedy output. Remember this is a quick-and-dirty approach!

Finally, write down, as far as you can, the answers to these questions:

Q2. Who are we trying to reach? Summarise personas, demographics and any other customer data you have easy access to. Again, focus on the top 3.

Q3. How will we know if our content marketing is working? Make a quick list of easily achievable and available measurements – social shares and likes, email data capture, newsletter opens, search traffic, bounce rates etc.

Q4. What’s our tone of voice? If you don’t have tonal guidelines, find a piece of previous content you all liked and use that as a shorthand reference. Pick out 5 things from it to act as guidelines for future content.

Output: A core strategy document outlining goals, audience, tone of voice guidelines and success indicators.

What’s coming next in our 5 part of our content marketing series?

Day 2: What’s your content brand? What kind of content will support your core strategy and how are you going to figure this out? A great example to learn from is included.

Day 3: How are you going to produce this content? Create your team structure, sources and workflows.

Day 4: Idea generation and editorial planning – quick ways to produce a detailed calendar in 1 day and some case studies to help you along.

Day 5: How are you going to build momentum and keep all of this going? Find out how to kick the whole thing off and create a blueprint for growth and learning in just 1 day.

Image/Copyright:@PA Images

How To Reset Steam Password And Recover Steam Account

Entering the wrong password too many times can leave you locked out of your Steam account. That’s the last thing any gaming enthusiast would want. There’s good news, however. It’s not hard to reset Steam password and recover the Steam account if you forget your login details. A Steam password reset takes a few simple steps.

Reset Steam password & Recover Steam account

With over 35,000 games for sale and more than 10 million concurrent players, the Steam platform is incredibly popular. This makes it a potential target for hackers and other types of cybercriminals. So, to keep your Steam account safe, it becomes essential to use a strong, unique password or update it periodically. In between this if you lose or forget your password, use this guide to reset it and recover your Steam account.

Choose the Forgot Your Password option.

Select I Forgot My Steam Account Name Or Password.

Enter your account name and the associated email address.

Hit the Search button.

Check your email.

Copy the code and paste the email code into the input box.

Hit the Continue and Change My Password button.

Enter and confirm a new password.

By resetting the password, you can get back to your Steam account without losing anything.

How do I get my Steam account back if I forgot my username and password?

Next, choose the Forgot your password option.

When directed to the Steam Support page, select the I forgot my Steam Account name or password heading.

Instantly, you’ll be directed to a new page. Once there, enter the account name and the associated email address.

A search button should be visible to you below the Enter you account name ….. input field. Hit the Search button to proceed further.

If what you entered matches a valid Steam account, hit the Email an account verification code To button, and open a new tab in the browser window.

When the email message arrives, copy the 5-digit code and return to Steam to paste it into the input box.

Hit the Continue and Change My Password button. Then, enter and confirm the new password.

In the end, hit the Change Password to finish the process.

Once you’ve reset the password, you’ll automatically get access to your account and thus have it, recovered.

Related: Can’t sign into Steam with the correct password.

How do I contact Steam?

It’s a very straightforward process. All you must do is visit the chúng tôi Steam Support page, and hit the Help, I can’t sign in button. Thereafter, to allow their support team to help with your issue, select the most relevant option on the page. The Help site will guide you to self-solve the issue or send a help request to the Steam Support team.

Can I recover my Steam account if the email was changed?

If someone hacked your Steam account and changed the email address, password, etc., then first try to self-recover your account using Steam Support. If that doesn’t work or you can’t complete the self-recovery process, then Steam Support can help recover the account for you using Proof of Ownership. You need to submit payment information (credit card or bank transfer) that you used previously on your account for the purchase or provide the retail product codes or retail activation keys that were activated through Steam.

Hope it helps!

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