Tech round-up for July 31: Fortnite World Cup success no surprise, Apex Legends tourney, implications of the Capital One hack, Rocky Mountain's electric bikes astound

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, what the Capital One hack means for you and Rocky Mountain’s electric-assist mountain bikes are best. But first, the latest eSports news, including Fortnite World Cup and Apex Legends Preseason Invitational.

Fortnite tournament success a surprise to “olds” everywhere

The purse was thirty million U.S. dollars. The winner, a sixteen year old who plays under the moniker “Bugha”, said he was going to buy a new desk with his three million cut, which compares to what the Wimbledon winners took home this year.

Calgary’s Hayden Krueger – gamertag Elevate – came in third in the Duos category and took home $900,000.

Quite a weekend at the” Fortnite World Cup Finals.

The three-day event was held at Arthur Ashe stadium in Queens, New York, which typically hosts tennis matches (like the US Open). It included a “mini theme park” with a zipline and mini golf and an afternoon performance by electronic music performer Marshmello.

The sold out event was attended by 19,000 people. More than half a million watched on YouTube and Twitch, with 2.3 million watching the solo finals.

And despite all the hand-wringing and confusion from many of the major media outlets, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, 16, was a guest on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday. Same as any other winner of a major competitive event.

If there’s something to question about the Fortnite World Cup, it’s not the arena, or the choice of weapon, or the age of the competitor. It’s the gender.

Keith Stuart, writing in the Guardian wonders why, if some 35 percent of Fortnite players are female, as Epic claims, not one of the 100 finalists in the tournament was female.

The truth is that creating a women only event is probably a good idea. It’s time for the game publishers and esports promoters to get proactive on this.

Apex Legends tournament to be held in Poland this September

Fortnite isn’t the only video game to stage public competitions. In Krakow, Poland, this September, 80 teams from around the world will be playing Apex Legends, created by Respawn and published by Electronic Arts, in a Preseason Invitational.

This is the fourth preseason event. Others include the EXP Pro-Am in Los Angeles and the EXP Invitational being held at the X Games. Both of those events are sponsored by ESPN.

The Preseason Invitational has a prize pool of US$500,000.

Teams of three interested in being considered for the tournament are encouraged to apply.

Capital One hack affirms consumers need to be ready for anything

The personal information of more than 100 million people – including 6 million Canadians – who applied for Capital One credit cards between 2005 and 2019 was stolen.

While the theft occurred sometime after March 2019, the company didn’t even know about it until they were alerted by someone to whom the hacker had bragged about the theft.

In Seattle earlier this week, Paige Thompson, a software engineer who used the handle “erratic” online, was arrested by the FBI.

Capital One Canada says that the vulnerability that permitted the hack has been fixed and that individuals affected will be contacted directly, and will have credit monitoring and identity theft insurance provided for free.

The company said today that it would not be phoning or texting customers, though, so if you get a call or message that seems like it’s come from Capital One, don’t respond. It’s likely a phishing scam.

The information gathered by Thompson include personal details included on application forms, credit scores and balances, and some “transactional data”.

About 1 million Canadian Social Insurance Numbers (SINs) were also collected.

While passwords don’t seem to have been implicated, you should change your passwords anyway.

And you should monitor your Capital One statements for at least the next six months.

As for Thompson, she was strangely open about what she was doing, which suggests there may be more to this story than we know.

Rocky Mountain’s electronic mountain bike technology, Dyname 3.0, and Powerplay bikes are in a class of their own

Rocky Mountain Bicycles make among the best mountain bikes in the world. Designed in North Vancouver, the company has been in the business of making it fun to ride since being founded in 1981.

Now, after ten years of research, Rocky Mountain has developed the Dyname drive, an electric assist technology being deployed on three bikes:

The trick with creating an electric mountain bike is that riding trails is not like riding on a street. There’s nothing constant on a trail. You’re pedalling hard one moment, and coasting the next.

An electric motor that takes a few seconds to catch isn’t much use. There’s virtually no lag with Rocky Mountain’s Dyname 3.0 system, which monitors chain tension to know when it needs to engage. “You pedal, it goes,” reads the company’s promotional material.

The battery is integrated into the downtube of the frame and is completely sealed from the elements, so there’s no need to worry about riding in the rain (or snow).

And you can set the level of assist you want using a smartphone app.

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