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US states clamp down on Celsius Network’s crypto yield products

New Jersey and Texas claim that interest-bearing accounts amount to unregistered securities

Finsbury Glover Hering in talks to buy rival Sard Verbinnen

Deal for leading communications adviser in US mergers and activism would mark latest consolidation move

Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius, the men who made MailChimp

This week the pair, who took no venture capital, agreed to sell their email marketing business for $12bn

Endgadget

'Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls' is now available on Apple Arcade

Grimore of Souls, the latest entry in the long-running Castlevania series of games, is now available as an Apple Arcade exclusive. While it’s not a new game per se, it’s one that most Castlevania fans haven’t had a chance to play yet. Series publisher Konami first announced the game back in 2018 before releasing it only in Canada in 2019 and then subsequently delisting it from the App Store.

Grimoire of Souls has something for Castlevania fans of all stripes. It features art and music from series veterans Ayami Kojima and Michiru Yamane. What’s more, you can play through the game using five different playable characters, including franchise favorites Simon Belmont, Shanoa and Alucard. There’s also support for co-op if you want to play with friends. You can download Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls on iOS, iPadOS, macOS and tvOS. An individual Apple Arcade subscription costs $5 per month.

Facebook hands over VR painting and animation app Quill to its creator

Facebook has handed over virtual reality illustration and animation tool Quill to Iñigo Quilez, the developer who created the app. Quilez has formed a company called Smoothstep and rebranded the tool as Quill by Smoothstep, which is now on the Oculus Store.

The original Quill app will be removed from the Oculus Store on October 18th. It'll still work for those who downloaded it, but Oculus won't support the app any longer. Users will need to manually upload creators to Oculus Media Studio manually rather than through Quill as well.

Facebook says Quill content shared on Oculus Media Studio or Oculus TV will still be available on Oculus for now. The Quill Theater app will remain on the store — it will be renamed as VR Animation Player next month. The Oculus team also noted that Smoothstep has open sourced both Quill Theater’s IMM immersive content distribution file format (IMM) and an IMM player.

Quilez built the first version of Quill during a 2015 hackathon to aid production on Oculus Story Studio's VR short, Dear Angelica. The film was the first to be hand-painted completely inside of a VR environment. Other filmmakers have adopted Quill, with works createdusing the tool being screened at major film festivals such as Sundance and Venice.

Some major companies are expected to enter or push deeper into the VR and mixed reality space in the coming years, such as Apple and Sony. As such, developers of VR creation tools such as Quill have a big opportunity for growth in the medium term.

Hyundai puts Boston Dynamic's Spot robot to work as a factory safety inspector

Boston Dynamics’ Spot has found itself a new job, and thankfully this time it doesn’t involve a potential battlefield role. Hyundai has started testing the robot at a Kia manufacturing plant in South Korea where it will be one of the tools the company uses to ensure the facility is safe for workers. The pilot represents the first public collaboration between the two companies since Hyundai acquired a majority stake in Boston Dynamics this past June.

You’ll notice the Spot featured in the video Hyundai released looks different from the robot we’ve seen in past clips. That’s because the automaker’s Robotics Lab outfitted it with what is essentially a backpack that features a host of enhancements, including a thermal camera, LiDAR and more powerful computing resources for handling additional AI tasks. The “AI Processing Service Unit” allows Spot to detect people, monitor temperatures and check for fire hazards. Additionally, a secure webpage allows factory personnel to monitor the robot remotely, and take over control if they want to inspect an area of the facility more closely.

According to Hyundai, the pilot will help it assess the effectiveness of Spot as a late-night security patrol robot before it goes on to deploy it at additional industrial sites. Automation, manufacturing and construction applications align with what the automaker said was its grand plan for Boston Dynamics when it bought the company.

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