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geekgamerblog · 14 minutes ago
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The man himself just posted this.
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briskeboys · 24 minutes ago
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This article contains Loki spoilers.
One of the most exciting aspects of the new Marvel Disney+ series Loki so far has been the introduction of the concept of Variants, different versions of familiar characters whose choices and actions have diverged from their primary timeline in some way.
The show, for example, isn’t about the Loki we saw die in Avengers: Infinity War, but follows a version of the character who stole the Tesseract and disappeared following the Battle of New York in the wake of some Avengers-style time heist hijinks. But this Loki isn’t the only alternate version of the God of Mischief running around our screens.
At the end of its second episode, Loki introduced a female version of the character, who also sports decorative horns, loves the color green, and has a penchant for cynical commentary. But this take on the famous trickster is probably not what anyone expected – an intriguing mix of multiple comics characters combined to create a woman who feels like something entirely new, with an obvious agenda of her own.  
Here’s what we know about Sylvie so far, what we’re still wondering, and what we think it all might mean.
Lady Loki?
At the end of Loki’s second episode, most of us assumed that the female Loki variant was in fact Lady Loki, a female version of the character from the world of Marvel Comics who was generally villainous and could possess and control the minds of her victims (think Wanda back in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but in addition to just making people see things she could control their bodies too).
But although it’s obvious that this character is both a woman and a Loki, “Lamentis” makes it clear that she’s also not precisely Lady Loki, at least not as comics readers would understand the character. Here, she goes by Sylvie, her TVA file lists her surname as Laufeydottir, and she appears to be a true variant/alternate universe version of our original recipe Loki, whose experiences largely mirror his, just with a few key differences. 
Sylvie Lushton?
The name Sylvie indicates that this female variant’s character is also at least partially based on Sylvie Lushton, a regular human who was granted Asgardian powers as part of a cruel joke and became the sorceress known as Enchantress. (No, not the one you know from DC’s Suicide Squad). Given that her magic is referred to roughly a dozen times in “Lamentis” as enchantments this seems like an obvious connection to draw.
This variant seems to have chosen her own name, however, at least in part as a way to reject her identity as a Loki, for reasons we don’t yet know. The general circumstances of her origin are still fairly mysterious, though a Disney+ featurette gives us a blink and you’ll miss it glimpse at a female child Loki (complete with dark hair!) being brought in by TVA operatives that indicates there’s more information to come on this front.
Sylvie’s magic is very different from our Loki’s
In the world of the Avengers, “our” Loki can only control minds with the help of an Infinity Stone. Sylvie can do it by touch, using her enchantment powers to project elaborate illusions into the minds of her target or even possess their physical bodies. These abilities are so impressive that Loki himself is actually jealous of them, which hints that they must be fairly rare and/or difficult to master.
Interestingly, Sylvie’s magic is also entirely self-taught, which gives her a fairly nontraditional backstory as a sorceress and hints at the reasons she herself might have become a Variant (perhaps teaching herself magic is what triggered the Nexus event that made her a Variant in the first place). Furthermore, it’s probably not an accident that Sylvie’s powers, when they’re being used, look an awful lot like something we’ve already seen before: Wanda Maximoff’s chaos abilities.
Whether that’s 100% on purpose or it’s just the fact that glowing squiggles are the easiest way to represent mind control powers, it’s hard not to notice the similarity between the two. Especially when we get clips of Sylvie saying things like “The universe wants to break free, so it manifests chaos. Like me.”
The gaps in Sylvie’s past
Whereas Loki possesses fond memories of learning magic tricks at the feet of his mother, Frigga, Sylvie grew up knowing she was adopted and doesn’t seem to have many memories at all of her parents or where she came from. She also specifically doesn’t give us any real details about her past – though Loki specifically says he’s the child of frost giants, Sylvie never concurs, and she goes out of her way to avoid mentioning anything at all about her family. 
All we know about her really is that she’s spent most of her life not as Asgardian royalty, but on the run from the TVA and persecuted for her very nature. Is that enough to make anyone want revenge? Probably. I mean, she had to learn that vicious hand-to-hand fighting style somewhere. But her vendetta toward the Time Variance Authority seems deeply personal, even though we don’t know exactly how she first came into contact with them just yet.
Sylvie’s plan: is she trying to create another multiverse?
Loki’s decision to help the Time Variance Authority track down the Variant that had been attacking Minutemen apparently thwarted a plan Sylvie claims had been in the works “for years”. Given that our Loki is not exactly known for things like dedication, patience, or work ethic, this is something of a marked difference between the two.
Ostensibly, her plan to release reset charges across the Sacred Timeline – essentially a bomb that would create multiple new branches simultaneously – is meant to give her the opportunity to get to the Time Keepers. But Sylvie’s been remarkably unforthcoming about what she wants from them or plans to do with/to them once she finds them, a fact which isn’t that surprising given that Loki has thus far been loath to even really tell us what the Time Keepers are.
What if she has more than one goal here? Is her attack enough to recreate the multiverse that the creation of Sacred Timeline destroyed? After all, we know that the idea of a multiverse is about to be a very big deal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Both WandaVision and Spider-Man: Far From Home played around with the concept, and we know that upcoming films Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Spider-Man: No Way Home will confront the idea of alternate realities and multiple versions of familiar characters head-on.
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Is this where that all begins, officially? Since Sylvie seems to know that all the TVA workers are actually brainwashed variants from timelines that the organization erased – could she be trying to give them all back their freedom?
The post Marvel’s Loki: Everything We Know About Sylvie (So Far) appeared first on Den of Geek.
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briskeboys · 24 minutes ago
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Microsoft’s official Windows 11 showcase wasn’t exactly the most exciting livestream event of the season, but at least it finally confirmed the core features we can look forward to in the upcoming (and for most users, free) Windows update.
While you can pretty much bet on early versions of a Windows update being at least a bit of a mess, most of them (except for you, Windows 8) typically offer enough new features to justify the growing pains. So far as that goes, you’re probably going to want to give Windows 11 a shot as soon as it’s formally released sometime during the 2021 holiday season.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at the 10 Windows 11 features you’d probably love to have right now. Why not 11? Because taking it to 11 is actually wildly impractical and would probably destroy your eardrums, thank you for asking.
Auto HDR for Xbox Series X Quality Visuals
This might not sound like the most exciting addition, but Windows 11’s Auto HDR support will likely be the first gaming-centric feature you’ll notice when you boot up the new OS.
Essentially the PC version of the same feature previously released for Xbox Series X/S, Auto HDR will recognize if you’re using an HDR-compatible monitor and update your image quality appropriately. If the Windows 11 version of Auto HDR works as well as the Xbox Series X/S version, gamers with compatible monitors will enjoy immediate lighting and fidelity improvements that don’t even require you to dive into the settings.
Direct Storage for Enhanced Game Performance (and Possibly Quick Resume)
Here’s another gaming friendly feature that Windows 11 intelligently borrows from the Xbox Series X/S.
Basically, Direct Storage will allow Windows 11 machines to load programs via the GPU and SSD while leaving the CPU out of the process pretty much altogether. In other words, Direct Storage is what drives the Xbox Series X/S game-changing (literally) Quick Resume features. We’ll just have to wait and see whether Windows 11will similar functionality and what kind of hardware you’ll need to properly power this feature.
Snap Layouts For Workplace Multitasking and Hopefully Something More Interesting
Windows 10 allowed you to view multiple desktop programs at once via a “snap” feature, but its limited functionality meant that you often had to manually resize each program window or rely on a much less useful two-program view.
Windows 11 should address that shortcoming by allowing you to use a series of pre-determined layouts that make snapping and managing more than two programs at once easier than ever. Microsoft says this feature should help you with workplace multitasking, but we’re holding out hope it will also be useful for things we actually want to do. 
The New Start Button and Taskbar
Microsoft has tried to do a lot of different things with the Windows Start button over the years (including getting rid of it), and Windows 11 continues that tradition of messing with a pretty good thing by moving the Start button to the center of Windows 11’s new taskbar.
The idea is that this new layout will make Windows 11’s overall user interface a bit cleaner (and honestly much more “Apple-like”). While you can always move the Start button back to its bottom left position if you prefer, this new design does look like it will make managing multiple taskbar applications far easier and significantly less “clunky.”
Faster Windows Updates (Because Everyone Hates Windows Updates)
There are actually a few new Windows 11 features designed to make Windows faster than ever, but the one you really need to know about is Microsoft’s promise that Windows 11 will make Windows updates 40% faster than ever.
While “40% faster” is a bit of a vague metric, the very idea that we’ll all spend less of our lives waiting out Windows updates is more than enough to be happy about at the moment. 
Surprising Support for Android Apps
Microsoft surprised quite a few people by revealing that Windows 11 will support all Android apps available via Amazon’s Appstore. 
Not only does this mean that you no longer have to emulate certain Android apps to get them to run on Windows, but those apps will even properly support Windows 11’s new taskbar, snap features, and other UI improvements. Now we just need to see how smoothly the whole thing runs.
A Version of Teams You Might Want to Use
You’re forgiven if you see Microsoft Teams as the new Mixer (i.e. the alternative to a popular product that few people really asked for), but it’s pretty clear that Microsoft is committed to pushing the Teams communication platform harder than ever with the release of Windows 11.
It remains to be seen if their efforts will convince you to abandon your current communication platform of choice, but the fact that Teams will be integrated into the Windows 11 taskbar is still a pretty smart design decision. Ideally, the Windows 11 version of Teams will allow you to easily communicate with users of various other platforms at the touch of a button.
The New Microsoft Store Wants You to Forget You Don’t Like the Microsoft Store
The Microsoft Store has long been one of Microsoft’s toughest sells. It was bad enough that old versions of the Microsoft Store featured some truly outdated UI designs, but the way Microsoft would sometimes force you to use it made it that much easier to despise.
The Windows 11 version of the Microsoft Store certainly looks better than ever, but what’s really interesting is the freedom Microsoft is affording developers who choose to upload their apps to the marketplace. The new Microsoft Store will allow developers to update their apps outside of the Store as well as utilize third-party commerce platforms without having to pay Microsoft a royalty cut. That last point could prove to be a big one as it directly attacks one of Apple’s most controversial policies. 
You’ve Got the Touch, You’ve Got The Taskbar Power
While Windows 10 made Windows much more accessible for touchscreen users, it’s always been clear that there is still a lot of work to be done in that department.
By updating the Windows touch keyboard and making it significantly easier to access complicated Windows features (like the “snap” system) without hitting the wrong zones, Windows 11 might just make the already appealing Microsoft Surface systems more functional than ever. 
Improved Light and Dark Modes
This isn’t technically a new feature, but since Windows 10’s light and dark modes were kind of an afterthought, Windows 11’s version of those concepts certainly feels new.
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Windows 11’s dark mode setting now makes sweeping changes to your UI (including reimagined versions of the default Windows wallpapers). With more and more users relying on dark mode, this could soon become the best way to use Windows 11.
The post 10 New Windows 11 Features You Need Right Now appeared first on Den of Geek.
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s3xy-g33k · 32 minutes ago
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The hardest rom hack form me... But the best via /r/geek https://bit.ly/3xSmEim
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s3xy-g33k · 32 minutes ago
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September 2021 Marvel Comic Solicitations via /r/geek https://bit.ly/3vUEY8T
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s3xy-g33k · 32 minutes ago
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September 2021 Marvel Comic Solicitations via /r/geek https://bit.ly/3jbKHom
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s3xy-g33k · 32 minutes ago
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Spider-Man: September 2021 Marvel Comic Solicitations via /r/geek https://bit.ly/3xP0xJp
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