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‘Diablo 4’ Game Director, Lead Level Designer ‘No Longer At Blizzard’ – Forbes

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Update (6:48 PM): Blizzard has confirmed the three men have left the company and they have not given a reason for their departure. Their statement:

“We can confirm Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree, and Jonathan LeCraft are no longer with the company.

We have a deep, talented roster of developers already in place and new leaders have been assigned where appropriate. We are confident in our ability to continue progress, deliver amazing experiences to our players, and move forward to ensure a safe, productive work environment for all.”

Original story below:

Potentially enormous news out of Activision Blizzard today as the company continues to clean house in the wake of a lawsuit by the state of California alleging the mistreatment of women at the company for many years.

Kotaku’s Ethan Gach is reporting that multiple sources say three incredibly high profile figures are out at Blizzard, Luis Barriga, Game Director of the immensely important Diablo 4, Jesse McCree, lead level designer at Blizzard (who had an Overwatch character named after him) who was also working on Diablo 4, and Jonathan LeCraft, a level designer for World of Warcraft. Their reporting says all three men are no longer visible in the company’s Slack or internal directory.

According to Kotaku’s sources, no reason was given for their departure, though Activision Blizzard has been separating from employees both accused of misconduct, or those who did not act sufficiently on reported misconduct, but it’s not clear at this moment where these three could fall under that criteria. Blizzard President J. Allen Brack recently left the company after being named in the lawsuit for failing to act on repeated reports of misconduct among his subordinates.

Luis Barriga’s departure is an earthquake, given how essential Diablo 4 is to the future of Blizzard as a whole, by far the largest upcoming project it has in the works. Barriga has been at Blizzard since 2006 and has been the very public face of the project since it was announced. Jesse McCree and Jonathan LeCraft were featured in the infamous “Cosby Suite” photo that was previously shared by Kotaku, a group of men at the company notorious for over-drinking at company events and untoward behavior toward women.

No specifics of why the men have been let go have been surfaced, even internally, and Activision Blizzard has not yet responded to requests for comments. A source familiar with conditions at Activision Blizzard tells me that Barriga and McCree could be described as “super toxic.”  

The fact that Blizzard has now replaced both its president and the director of its biggest game suggests that they are taking the reported harassment and inaction issues extremely seriously. It also seems to run counter to the idea they put forth that the lawsuit contained “distorted, and in many cases false” claims. Not sure how you defend yourself fully against a lawsuit like this while simultaneously shedding so many high profile men in positions of power when this behavior was/is taking place.

Diablo 4 is more than just Barriga and McCree, of course, but the game has already been a giant question mark for Blizzard, announced in 2019, and two years later, we still don’t even have a hint of an actual release date. The game gives quarterly progress updates, but Diablo has shifted into other “interim” games like Diablo 2: Resurrected, out this fall, and Diablo Immortal, out early next year. Diablo 4 remains something of a mirage. On the one hand, a seismic shift like this seems like it could further delay things. On the other, if the conditions created by these men were indeed toxic, perhaps under new, better leadership, things could progress more smoothly and in a healthier climate.

For now, we’re waiting for a public statement from Blizzard about this, and I will update if I hear back from them in the interim.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series, and The Earthborn Trilogy, which is also on audiobook.

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EU demands that every smartphone, tablet be capable of being charged using a USB-C cable. – guru3d.com

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A standard USB-C charger with a USB-C connection will be required for all telephones, tablets, and other consumer gadgets sold in the European Union by 2023. This is stated in a bill that was presented by the European Commission (EC) on Thursday.

According to the European Commission, this is significantly more convenient for customers because numerous different charges are now frequently required for various gadgets. This, according to European Commissioner Thierry Breton, needs to be addressed immediately. It should be possible for everyone in the family to use the same charger in the near future, regardless of what phone they have.”

Furthermore, because manufacturers continue to include standard chargers with their products, a universal charger could help to reduce waste significantly. The new legislation will have a significant impact on Apple, in particular, because the business now supplies all of its mobile phones with a Lightning connector, which was previously unavailable. Numerous Android phone makers are already utilizing the USB Type-C connector.

Electronic earphones, smart watches, and fitness trackers will not be covered by the new rule. According to the European Commission, this is due to the size and manner in which these devices are used.

Apple doesn’t like European plans
Apple has already stated that it does not agree with the European Union’s objectives for the future. According to the tech giant, this would result in a stagnation of innovation as well as mountains of electronic garbage, as previously advertised accessories for Apple products would no longer be able to be utilized.Since 2010, the European Union has been developing ideas for a universal charger, but has so far relied on voluntary action from the sector to move forward. They were mainly unsuccessful in their endeavors.

Before it can be implemented, the law must first be passed by the EU’s member states as well as the European Parliament. The European Parliament has previously been informed of an important finding regarding a universal charger. Manufacturers will have two years to adjust to the new standard following the passage of the legislation.

With the new legislation, Apple’s Lightning cable would become obsolete.


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Google CEO sought to keep Incognito mode issues out of spotlight, lawsuit alleges – Yahoo News Canada

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By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai in 2019 was warned that describing the company’s Incognito browsing mode as “private” was problematic, yet it stayed the course because he did not want the feature “under the spotlight,” according to a new court filing.

Google spokesman José Castañeda told Reuters that the filing “mischaracterizes emails referencing unrelated second and third-hand accounts.”

The Alphabet Inc unit’s privacy disclosures have generated regulatory and legal scrutiny in recent years amid growing public concerns about online surveillance.

Users last June alleged in a lawsuit that Google unlawfully tracked their internet use when they were browsing Incognito in its Chrome browser. Google has said it makes clear that Incognito only stops data from being saved to a user’s device and is fighting the lawsuit.

In a written update on trial preparations filed Thursday in U.S. district court, attorneys for the users said they “anticipate seeking to depose” Pichai and Google Chief Marketing Officer Lorraine Twohill.

The attorneys, citing Google documents, said Pichai “was informed in 2019 as part of a project driven by Twohill that Incognito should not be referred to as ‘private’ because that ran ‘the risk of exacerbating known misconceptions about protections Incognito mode provides.'”

The filing continued, “As part of those discussions, Pichai decided that he ‘didn’t want to put incognito under the spotlight’ and Google continued without addressing those known issues.”

Castañeda said teams “routinely discuss ways to improve the privacy controls built into our services.” Google’s attorneys said they would oppose efforts to depose Pichai and Twohill.

Last month, plaintiffs deposed Google vice president Brian Rakowski, described in the filing as “the ‘father’ of Incognito mode.” He testified that though Google states Incognito enables browsing “privately,” what users expect “may not match” up with the reality, according to the plaintiffs’ write-up.

Google’s attorneys rejected the summary, writing that Rakowski also said terms including “private,” “anonymous,” and “invisible” with proper context “can be super helpful” in explaining Incognito.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by David Gregorio)

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Apple iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max aren't rendering all apps in 120Hz – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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The iPhone 13 lineup officially went on sale on Friday September 24. As pre-order arrive to their customers’ doorsteps or Apple Stores in most markets, folks have noticed that the ProMotion feature isn’t working consistently.

The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max both feature Apple’s ProMotion displays, meaning they support refresh rates of 120Hz. The feature has been on the iPad Pro since 2017, but this is the first time Apple brings the feature to the iPhone.

iOS 15 supports ProMotion across all apps while scrolling or performing full-screen transitions like switching apps or swiping Home. 9to5Mac reports that many animations are still capped at 60Hz, breaking the intended experience of the ProMotion displays.

The iPhone 13 Pro’s display is rendering most animations in 120Hz, but there are still many animations that aren’t taking full advantage of the higher refresh rate. Apple’s first-party apps have all properly implemented the smoother transitions across the board, the issue only occurs with third-party apps.

Apple has confirmed to 9to5Mac that developers need to enable their apps to support higher framerates for apps that use custom rendering such as games. This is achieved by the developer adding a new info.plist key in order to opt-in for their apps to support 120Hz. Apple will make this documentation available to developers soon and a firmware update will fix a bug that isn’t letting Core Animation drive the refresh rates higher than 60Hz.

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