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Assassin's Creed Valhalla's female hero revealed via collector's edition statue – Eurogamer.net

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There was nothing to suggest it in yesterday’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla reveal trailer, but Ubisoft’s upcoming Norse epic will let you play as either male or female versions of lead character Eivor.

It’s a Mass Effect Commander Shepard situation – both male and female gender options are the same character with the same dialogue. But this detail was left to be explained elsewhere – such as in our deep dive into Valhalla’s setting, characters and addition of a Viking settlement.

This left our first look at the female Eivor to come from… a photo of a statue – a 30cm high resin figurine nestled in a collector’s edition version of the game. It’s a shame to see what should be an equally valid option for playing Valhalla revealed in this way, but there we go.

Eivor here is shown with braided blonde hair shaven on one side, axe in one hand, shield in the other. She stands on the prow of her Viking longship, crow animal companion resting on its prow.

When asked which choice was canon last night on Twitter, Valhalla’s narrative director Darby McDevitt (previously lead writer on Black Flag, Revelations and animated tearjerker Embers), revealed the answer was: both.

“Both choices are canon,” McDevitt wrote, “but we’re not going to spoil how we managed that trick until you play the game.”

It’s a different situation to in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, where you could play as either the male Alexios or the female Kassandra, with the character you didn’t pick taking on a different role in the story. There, this was explained by DNA on a spearhead being too similar between the two siblings to determine which was which (though the game’s novelisation picks Kassandra as its canon choice).

Perhaps we’ll see Eivor’s DNA memories accessed by the discovery of their skeleton, which has degraded to the point its gender isn’t immediately obvious? Or perhaps I just think about these things too much.

Danish actors Magnus Bruun and Cecilie Stenspil have now been announced as playing Eivor (and you may already recognise Bruun as a Viking as he already plays one in BBC series The Last Kingdom).

I asked Ubisoft why the game’s reveal only focused on the male version of Eivor – and the answer, as was the case with Odyssey’s Kassandra and Alexios, is that the marketing will “showcase both at different points”. It’s worth noting that, however popular Kassandra is among the series’ diehard fans, the majority of players still picked Alexios. Malakas.

To hear Ubisoft answer more questions about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and its take on Viking Britain, we have much more here.

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Rumor: Alleged 2021 5.5-inch iPhone prototype shows notchless screen and USB-C port – 9to5Mac

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A new mock-up of the 5.5-inch 2021 iPhone has been shared by Macotakara today that suggests a notchless screen and USB-C instead of a Lightning port (or nor port at all) could be in the works. The prototype also shows what could be a different camera setup compared to what we’re expecting on the iPhone 12 later this year.

At the end of last year, we learned that Ming-Chi Kuo expects the highest-end 2021 iPhone to be a fully wireless device, ditching the Lightning port and also skipping the USB-C port. However, today’s alleged 5.5-inch 2021 iPhone prototype shared by Macotakara suggests that the entry-level model could make the switch to USB-C along with a notchless screen.

This 2021 iPhone mock-up was made based on data from Alibaba, so it’s worth taking this rumor with grain of salt.

A 5.5-inch 2021 iPhone likely means it would be the entry model based on what we’re expecting for the 2020 iPhone lineup, with the more affordable iPhone 12 models coming in 5.4- and 6.1-inch sizes and the iPhone 12 Pro landing with 6.1- and 6.7-inch displays. Macotakara does mention that this is just one prototype that Apple is considering so naturally, there’s no guarantee this design and features will make it to market.

Macotakara says the case dimensions of this prototype are the same as the 5.4-inch 2020 iPhone but with a slightly larger screen at 5.5-inches. However, one interesting part of this prototype would be the entry-level 2021 iPhone gaining what could be a 3 or 4 camera setup. One major way Apple has differentiated its iPhone lineup is with camera hardware and features, like the 11 Pro having an additional lens over the iPhone 11.

Apple has been working toward a making iPhone with a “single slab of glass” design for many years. The iPhone X display design is still seen today in the iPhone 11 lineup (expected in the iPhone 12 series too) so removing the notch totally that houses the Face ID components and TrueDepth camera would be a big step forward in the screen to body ratio and Apple evolving the iPhone display’s design.

The iPhone 12 lineup may feature slightly smaller notches but if this prototype does turn out to ring true, the entire 2021 iPhone lineup would likely go notchless if the 5.5-inch entry-level model did.

The Macotakara video below suggests that Apple could launch its first under-screen front-facing camera with the 2021 iPhone lineup to make this potential notchless design happen.

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Google Faces Privacy Lawsuit Over Tracking Users in Incognito Mode – Threatpost

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A $5 billion class-action lawsuit filed in a California federal court alleges that Google’s Chrome incognito mode collects browser data without people’s knowledge or consent.

Google faces a $5 billion class-action lawsuit over claims that it has been collecting people’s browsing information without their knowledge even when using the incognito browsing mode that’s meant to keep their online activities private.

The lawsuit, filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, alleges that Google compiles user data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads, according to a report in Reuters.

Google uses this data to learn about private browsing habits of Chrome users, ranging from seemingly innocuous data that can be used for ad-targeting—such as information about hobbies, interests and favorite foods—to the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” that people may search for online, according to the complaint.

Google “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone,” the complaint said, according to the report.

The technology problem at the root of the report is a feature called incognito mode in the Chrome browser, which ironically is one that is supposed to protect people when surfing the internet. Chrome users can turn on incognito mode to protect their browsing history, sessions and cookies from websites that want to use this information for marketing or ad-targeting purposes.

Google Chrome incognito modeHowever, the feature has long had a problem in that even when using their mode, people’s activity has still been detectable by websites “for years” due to a FileSystem API implementation, Google Chrome developer Paul Irish tweeted last year.

Though Google said it implemented the FileSystem API in a different way in Chrome 76, released last year, the problem persists even in the latest version of Chrome 83, which was released last month, according to a report filed Thursday in ZDNet.

It is still possible to detect incognito mode in Chrome–as well as other Chromium-based browsers, such as Edge, Opera, Vivaldi, and Brave, which share the core of Chrome’s codebase, according to the report, which said Google still has not set a timeframe to fix the issue.

Developers even have taken the Chrome codebase scripts to expand the ability of websites to block incognito mode users from browsing, expanding it to other browsers that don’t use the same code base, including Firefox and Safari, the report said.

Ironically, the problem that’s put Google in legal hot water is nearly the same as the one the company accused browser rival Apple of having earlier this year in its Safari browser.

In January, Google researchers said they identified a number of security flaws in Safari’s private-browsing feature—called Intelligent Tracking Protection–that allow people’s browsing behavior to be tracked by third parties. Apple responded by saying it had already fixed the flaws in an update to Webkit technology in Safari.

Search-engine rival Duck Duck Go used news of the class-action suit as an opportunity to laud its own technology, which it offers as an alternative to Google search as a way to allow people to search and use the web privately.

“Incognito mode isn’t private. It never was.” the company said on Twitter. “DuckDuckGo is private. Will always be.”

Longtime Google critic, author, psychologist and researcher for the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology Dr. Robert Epstein also took to Twitter to reiterate his longstanding public opinion over Google’s privacy violations.

#Google #Surveillance & Advertising just got sued for $5 BILLION for lying about its bogus ‘incognito’ mode on its Chrome browser,” he tweeted. “As I’ve always said, you’re STILL being tracked when you’re in that mode.”

The current case against the technology giant is Brown et al v Google LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 20-03664. The New York-based law firm Boies Schiller & Flexner is representing the plaintiffs in the class-action suit, Chasom Brown, Maria Nguyen and William Byatt.

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Apple must face U.S. shareholder lawsuit over CEO's iPhone, China comments – CANOE

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A federal judge said Apple Inc must face part of a lawsuit claiming it fraudulently concealed falling demand for iPhones, especially in China, leading to tens of billions of dollars in shareholder losses.

While dismissing most claims, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled late Tuesday that shareholders can sue over Chief Executive Tim Cook’s comments touting strong iPhone demand on a Nov. 1, 2018 analyst call, only a few days before Apple told its largest manufacturers to curb production.

“Absent some natural disaster or other intervening reason, it is simply implausible that Cook would not have known that iPhone demand in China was falling mere days before cutting production lines,” Rogers wrote.

The Oakland, California-based judge also said a decision by Apple to stop reporting iPhone unit sales “plausibly suggests that defendants expected unit sales to decline.”

Apple did not immediately respond on Wednesday to requests for comment.

The complaint, led by the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Rhode Island, came after Cook on Jan. 2, 2019 unexpectedly reduced Apple’s quarterly revenue forecast by up to $9 billion, in part because of U.S.-China trade tensions.

It was the first time since the iPhone’s 2007 launch that the Cupertino, California-based company had cut its revenue forecast. Apple stock fell 10% the next day, erasing $74 billion of market value.

Cook had said on the analyst call that the iPhone XS and XS Max had a “really great start,” and that while some emerging markets faced downward sales pressures “I would not put China in that category.”

By mid-November 2018, Apple had told the manufacturers Foxconn and Pagatron to halt plans for new iPhone production lines, and a key supplier had been told to materially reduce shipments, the complaint said.

The case is In re Apple Inc Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 19-02033.

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