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Gabe Newell discusses that time he was once a gold farmer in World of Warcraft

By Emily Gera,
Sunday, 29 March 2020 22:01 GMT

Valve honcho and billionaire Gabe Newell once worked as a gold farmer in World of Warcraft while in the early research phase of what would eventually become Steam Workshop.

Newell opened up about his time as a gold farmer in a recent interview with Edge (via PC Gamer), describing a period of making $20 an hour by aquiring and selling gold in World of Warcraft.

“We were always used to thinking about games as entertainment experiences, but then we started thinking of them as productivity platforms,” says Newell. “As a sort of proof-of-concept, I decided to be a World of Warcraft gold farmer for a while. I was making $20 an hour farming gold. I was making what was a spectacular wage for most people in most parts of the world.”

“That’s when we started focusing heavily on things like the Steam Workshop and trying to think of everybody as a content creator.”

Steam Workshop is, of course, Steam’s central hub for player-created content. The hub was introduced in late 2011, a few years after the first big wave of gold farmers into World of Warcraft.

“[We were] trying to think of everybody as a content creator,” said Newell.

“There’s this story of the parents that called us up because they thought we were selling their kids drugs. What happened was PayPal pinged the parents and said ‘Your kid is exceeding our limits of how much money they can put into PayPal per month. They’re probably selling stolen goods or drugs because there’s no other explanation.’

“So the parents called us up and I said ‘He makes items on the Team Fortress workshop. He’s making $500,000 a year.’ That to us was an indication that this was a helpful way of thinking of games as platforms and it has informed all of our decisions about multiplayer games subsequently.”


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22 Best Men’s Ties for 2020

There’s no item of clothing as transformative as a tie. A tie has the power to instantly elevate a suit to “I Mean Business” status. It’s the difference between a casual and sophisticated sartorial attitude, lending an outfit a certain gravitas that conveys tradition, respect, or even a tie-sized window into your personality.

If your work environment is on the traditional side and you wear a suit to work daily, aim for a minimum of a couple of neutrals—think gray, navy and blue—and a couple of fun options.The latter category is where you can go wild, trying out different colors and patterns, from bold solids to classic stripes and polka dots, to flora- and fauna-inspired styles. The tie is where you get to inject a dose of your personal taste, offering a hint of sophistication or your sense of humor.

The current style of tie shies away from any extremes—nothing too wide, or too skinny, landing somewhere around a tried-and-true three-inch width that you can keep and wear forever, so aim for the 2 ½” to 3 ½” range, with the rule of thumb being that a larger guy will look more proportional in a larger width, and vice versa.

With a plethora of patterns to choose from, we suggest going with your gut to find the best ties, picking the colors and patterns that you gravitate toward, without taking it too seriously. A tie, after all, has the potential to blend seamlessly with an outfit in a complementary color, or be a point-of-interest in a contrasting shade or pattern, so pick accordingly.

What’s more important than the latest tie trend is the quality. You’ll know if a tie is good quality by checking the tag or online description for the fabric content and looking for 100 percent silk—the gold standard. Luckily, there’s no set rule for how much a tie should cost—a good style can be had for as little as $20, or for exponentially more.

Check out the 22 best ties for men on the market right now.

Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Core Neat Tie

A classic dot pattern is updated with a bold hue.

Ermenegildo Zegna Venticinque Paisley Silk Tie

Every guy should have at least one good paisley tie in his arsenal. This is a worthy investment from one of the best tie brands in Italy, mecca for menswear. 

H&M Satin Tie

Neutral but not boring, burgundy is a workhorse color that goes with everything. Bonus points that this affordable tie is made from partially recycled material. 

Kiton Alternating Medallions Silk Tie

A classic medallion pattern becomes dynamic in invigorating hues. 

Salvatore Ferragamo Martini Silk Classic Tie



We appreciate a tie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. This one says, “It might be 9:30 a.m. but I’m just waiting for happy hour.”

Drake’s Green Spot Silk Seersucker Tie

For the sartorially adventurous among us, we’re not clowning when we say oversized prints are a tie trend in 2020. This from one of the best tie brands in the U.K., which incorporates lots of whimsy and humor. 

Michael Kors Rich Texture Paisley Silk Tie

When dipping one’s toe into paisley, aim for a design featuring just a couple of shades, both in the same family like this charcoal version.

Original Penguin Palermo Floral Tie



There’s no better way to dust off winter than with a floral-print tie. Original Penguin is our resource for some of the best skinny ties, if narrow is your thing. 

Drake’s Horse Tie in Gold

Whether you’re a Derby kind-of-dude or gonna take your horse to the old town road, this is a conversation starter and unlike any other tie in your closet. 

Uniqlo Silk Tie

Affordable ties means more options in your wardrobe. A neutral stripe is a must-have. 

Paul Smith Printed Narrow Tie

These sparingly-placed multicolor lightning bolts are a minimal but totally impactful way to rock a print. 

The Men’s Store at Bloomingdale’s Daisy Silk Classic Tie

Daisies are more subtle than one would think in a pinprick-sized print—say that five times fast.

Eton Blue Printed Medallion Tie



In a hue that screams spring, Eton is one of the best tie and shirt brands for a mix of easy-to-wear patterns. 

Indochino Deep Coral Silk Tie

Lighten up post-winter and look forward to sunny days ahead with this spring shade. 

Bonobos Premium Necktie

A dark shade keeps flowers from reading too over-the-top. This stylish tie is a subtle nod to changing seasons.

The Tie Bar Frosty Stripe Lavender Tie

The Tie Bar is one of the best tie brands for affordable ties. In this version, stripes feel refreshing in light shades. 

Charvet Silk Floral Pattern Tie

The Italians are known for masterful suit-and-tie making skills, but the French make a case for their expertise with this bold style.

Josh Bach Men’s Frisbee and Dog Silk Necktie

Wear your heart on your sleeve, or your chest, rather, with this fun dog-and-frisbee print. 

Cufflinks INC. ‘Yoda’ Silk Tie

If you don’t want this Yoda tie for yourself, we’re guessing you know at least a couple of people who would want this as a gift. 

The Tie Bar The Mega Stripe Navy Tie

An oversized stripe is an unexpected update to the other stripes hanging in your closet. 

Salvatore Ferragamo Dragon Print Tie

Save this luxury style from Salvatore Ferragamo—one of the best tie brands on the planet—for that next promotion. 

Todd Snyder Classic Silk Knit Tie

A silk knit is a tie trend we fully endorse, mixing up your standard suit-and-tie vibe with texture, but classic enough to get away with wearing to a big meeting. It might even earn you style points.

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Tv Shows

Big Brother Germany producer discusses keeping contestants in house amid coronavirus

The host of the German edition of Big Brother has discussed his decision to keep the show’s contestants inside the house amid the coronavirus crisis.

The show’s 14 contestants were told about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on live television last week as part of the show.

The majority of the show’s contestants have been inside the house in Cologne since February 6, when Germany had no isolation rules. Four more housemates were added on March 6, three days before Germany reported its first coronavirus death.

Cologne is in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the German state with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

Coronavirus under a microscope. Credit: Getty

Now, speaking to the Guardian, the show’s producer Rainer Laux calls the Big Brother house “the safest place in Germany right now” and defends the decision to keep the contestants inside.

“As a general rule, the contestants are not meant to know what is going on in the outside world. But when the number of Covid-19 cases in Europe began to increase dramatically, we knew we needed to tell them,” Laux says.

“Cancelling the show wasn’t an option, but if one of the people had told us they wanted to be with their family, we would have let them. At the end of the day, it’s just television.

“We didn’t want there to be a great drama; just to give the contestants a sober account of what was happening outside. That’s why we sat the Big Brother doctor, who assessed the contestants, next to the host, behind a glass wall. The German Big Brother container is located near Cologne, in North Rhine-Westphalia, the German state that has seen the highest number of infections and deaths.”

‘Big Brother’

He continued, stating that contestants were allowed calls with loved ones and relatives. “A lot of relatives begged the contestants to stay in the house. It’s the safest place in Germany right now: you are effectively already under quarantine.

“It’s also the only place in Germany that doesn’t need to apply any social distancing measures, or handwashing routines, because we know all the contestants are healthy. The celebrities who were introduced to the house later on were all tested beforehand. If Angela Merkel had wanted to give her corona address to the nation from inside the Big Brother house, we would have let her in.”

Laux ends by saying that if a contestant is voted out of the house, they will have to leave as per the show’s usual rules, even if they asked to stay.

In the UK this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK were to adopt strict coronavirus lockdown measures.

In a TV address from inside 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister said UK citizens must stay at home except to shop for food and medicine, for only one form of exercise per day, and to travel to and from essential workplaces.

On Friday (March 27), Johnson himself revealed that he’s tested positive for Covid-19 after developing symptoms in the last 24 hours.

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Stephon Marbury trying to get masks from China for N.Y.

Former New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury is trying to arrange a deal that would deliver 10 million N95 masks to New York City, but he has run into issues coordinating a deal between a Chinese company and the coronavirus-struck city.

Marbury told the New York Post that he arranged for a supplier in China to sell the masks for $2.75 each, nearly two-thirds less than their standard price tag.

“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury told the Post from Beijing, where he coaches the Chinese Basketball Association’s Royal Fighters. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”

Marbury added: “I have family there in Coney Island, a lot of family … who are affected by this, so I know how important it is for people to have masks during this time.”

Marbury reached out to Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams to help coordinate the sale.

But Adams told the Post that he was initially informed by city and state officials that they did not need the masks. When the Post contacted state Department of Health officials, however, they said state officials “want to talk to Stephon.” The department was put in touch with Adams’ office to continue talks.

Marbury played in the NBA for 13 seasons, including five with the Knicks, before joining the CBA, where he played from 2010 to 2018 before becoming a coach last year.

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Lions agree to deal with ex-Packers WR Geronimo Allison

The Detroit Lions have agreed to a contract with wide receiver Geronimo Allison, the team announced Sunday.

Allison has agreed to a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum of $910,000, a source confirmed to ESPN. NFL Network first reported the terms of the deal, adding that Allison will also get a $137,500 signing bonus.

Allison spent the 2019 season with the Green Bay Packers, who had brought him back on a one-year, $2.8 million deal with the thought that he could move into the No. 2 wide receiver slot vacated by Randall Cobb. But Allison never took the jump they hoped.

Despite playing every game, Allison, 26, finished sixth on the team with 34 receptions and had four drops, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

He was on injured reserve during the 2018 season, undergoing surgery to repair a groin injury. He began that season as the Packers’ No. 3 receiver and caught 20 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns in five games. He also missed two games due to concussion.

The undrafted free agent signed with the Packers in 2016, catching 89 passes on 146 targets for 1,045 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Allison could end up being Detroit’s No. 4 receiver — or at least competing with Marvin Hall and Chris Lacy for the spot behind likely starters Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola. Allison, though, doesn’t have a ton of special-teams experience — 232 snaps over four seasons in Green Bay — which could be something to watch as he pushes for a roster spot.

It’s possible the Lions could envision him like they did Jermaine Kearse last season before his season-ending injury — a reliable veteran backup from whom they know what they can expect.

ESPN’s Michael Rothstein and Rob Demovsky contributed to this report.

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Trending News

Sarah Hyland and Wells Adams Take the TikTok Couples Challenge

Sarah Hyland and Wells Adams are well on their way to becoming one of the cutest celebrity couples of our time. Between smooching on the kiss cam, quoting Mary-Kate and Ashley movies, and standing up for one another on social media, these two certainly know how to be the very definition of adorable. And now, they’re checking off another box of modern-day romance: the trendy TikTok couples challenge that has been making the rounds online.

You’ve probably seen a variation of the game on your FYP, but basically it goes like this: both partners close their eyes while a third person (or a previously recorded sound) rattles off a series of superlatives. With eyes still closed, each partner has to point to whomever fits that description best.

For the most part, Sarah and Wells seem to agree on their decisions — like who initiated the first kiss (Wells), who is more patient (also Wells), and who takes longer to get ready in the morning (Sarah). But it seems like there was a bit of a discrepancy when it came to who is the bigger baby when sick, or who is the social butterfly of the pair. They also voted on the best cook, who is the messiest, and who spends the most money. We can only imagine that they had a pretty good laugh after opening their eyes and re-watching the video for themselves!

Sarah and Wells have been together since their first taco date in 2017, and announced their engagement in July 2019. While the couple has been pretty tight-lipped about any future wedding plans, we do know that Vanessa Hudgens will be part of Sarah’s bridal party — so we can imagine that the eventual celebration will be pretty star-studded.

In recent days, it seems as though Sarah and Wells have been practicing social distancing together and staying safe amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Thank you for being my light in a very dark time,” Sarah wrote in a recent IG post, adding: “There’s no one that makes me laugh like you do.”

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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Sarah Hyland Defended Ariel Winter’s Dress From Internet Trolls

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Stove God Cooks & Roc Marciano Team Up For ‘Reasonable Drought’ Album

By now, we all know what Roc Marciano is about. Not only is he a pioneer to the sound Griselda is helping make popular right now, the Long Island native is also a beast behind the boards. And this week, he’s laced an entire project for Stove God Cooks that is straight up raw and uncut dope.

Last heard rocking alongside Conway and Busta Rhymes on the Nottz-laced “Ghost Muzik” last year (as Aaron Cooks), the Syracuse-bred rapper–who’s signed to Busta’s The Conglomerate Entertainment imprint–is back in the kitchen with the release of his debut album, Reasonable Drought.

Equipped with a dozen tracks, with Roc Marci providing the backdrop to some serious brick talk, the album can be heard below. Press play and be sure to add Reasonable Drought wherever you consume music.

Stove God Cooks & Roc Marciano Team Up For ‘Reasonable Drought’ Album was last modified: March 29th, 2020 by Shake

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James McAvoy donates £275,000 to help buy PPE equipment for the NHS

X-Men star James McAvoy has donated £275,000 to help buy PPE for NHS staff.

McAvoy donated the money to a crowdfunding campaign, #Masks4NHSHeroes set up by a group of doctors to help raise money to buy PPE (personal protective equipment) for staff treating coronavirus patients.

The campaign, which has so far raised £440,000, was set up to raise money for items such as masks, gloves and visors because medics felt they were “going to war without armour and protection.”

In a video on Instagram, McAvoy said: “Money donated today will save lives…Help us to help the government to help the NHS.”

He added: “The situation is truly urgent and time is of the essence.” You can donate to the campaign here.

Speaking to The Guardian, one of the medics who helped to set up the campaign, Dr Salaj Masand, said: “We are overwhelmed and speechless at the trust and faith people have put into us to deliver this. The number of very generous donations from everyone doubled our target within three days.”

He described McAvoy’s donations as “mind-blowing” and said it would mean 75,000 masks and visors could be ordered immediately instead of waiting whilst donations came through.

He added: “This is a global catastrophic event and an extremely tough time for governments across world, no different from ours. There is a worldwide shortage of PPE [that’s] likely to go on for months.

“The government is doing all it can but the NHS needs all the help it can get. We are also competing with the commercial market who are trying to sell the same PPE for extraordinary prices.”

George Harrison
George Harrison. CREDIT: Michael Putland/Getty Images

Stars from music, television and film continue to donate funds to assist with the ongoing virus crisis. Earlier this week, it was announced that George Harrison’s Material World Foundation donated $500,000 to a series of charities providing much needed aid and care during this coronavirus pandemic.

The foundation set up by the Beatles singer-songwriter in 1973 announced on Thursday (March 26) that it donated funds to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, Save the Children, and Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).

Tom Hardy also took to social media this week (March 27) to praise the NHS for their work during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Mad Max: Fury Road actor shared a graphic on Instagram this morning (March 27) that read: “THANKYOU Every member of the NHS.” Also displaying the NHS website address, the graphic’s text concluded with: “YOU ARE BRILLIANT.”

Last week, Rihanna reportedly offered $5 million to help impoverished countries affected by the coronavirus, with $700,000 worth of ventilators also going to her home country of Barbados.

According to TMZ, Rihanna will make the donation through her Clara Lionel Foundation. The money will also be used to support local food banks, purchase medical equipment for doctors and nurses on the frontlines, and provide testing in poor nations such as Haiti and Malawi.

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FDA approves Battelle’s process to decontaminate N95 face masks

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the limited use of a process that would clean much-needed N95 protective face masks and allow them to be reused, the agency said in a release. Columbus-Ohio based Battelle uses a “vapor phase hydrogen peroxide” process to decontaminate the masks being used by healthcare providers and others to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Battelle says its Critical Care Decontamination Systems could decontaminate up to 80,000 masks per day.

But the FDA is restricting the number of masks that Battelle can decontaminate with its process to 10,000 per day. From the FDA release:

Battelle is authorized to decontaminate up to 10,000 compatible N95 respirators per day, consistent with the data provided to FDA. Battelle shall provide FDA weekly reports, including data according to a testing plan for scale-up reviewed by FDA, regarding the decontamination of compatible N95 respirators, including any reductions in decontamination ability

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine criticized the limit as “reckless,” according to the Columbus Dispatch. “Battelle’s innovative technology has the capability to protect healthcare professionals and first responders in Ohio and across the country, but in this time of crisis, the FDA has decided not to support those who are risking their lives to save others,” DeWine said in a statement.

It wasn’t immediately clear why the FDA had decided to restrict the number of masks Battelle could decontaminate per day. We reached out to the agency for comment and will update if we hear back.

N95 respirators are disposable, snug-fitting face masks that can keep virus-laden droplets away from a wearer’s mouth and nose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the masks’ effectiveness is “highly dependent upon proper fit and use.”

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