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I Don't Know How To Feel About 'Hogwarts Legacy' – Forbes

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Yesterday, Sony had a State of Play dedicated to a third party game, which is pretty unusual, but it quickly became clear it was a special occasion. The game was Hogwarts Legacy, a new title from the developers of Disney Infinity, which made me somewhat skeptical they could handle a project of this scale, but the result was a deeply impressive presentation that made Legacy effectively look like everyone’s Harry Potter dream game.

Hogwarts Legacy looks like a totally immersive Harry Potter experience with a range of everything from taking classes to fighting wizards and goblins in combat with spell combos. The visuals look stellar, the action looks intense and enjoyable. I came away deeply impressed by something that was not really even on my radar before this.

Enter the JK Rowling problem.

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Talking about the game on Twitter, even briefly, sparks a debate between two sides. One is that this game, and really anything related to the Harry Potter universe should not be supported or given coverage due to Harry Potter creator JK Rowling’s firmly anti-trans positions that she’s expressed in the years since the books were released. The other side says that that Rowling has nothing to do with the development of this game, and that you can separate the creator from their universe to still enjoy it. There may be a third side who supports Rowling and her positions, but I’m not even going to entertain those views at all.

All of this leads me to be very personally torn on what to do about something like Hogwarts Legacy. The game goes out of its way to say very clearly that JK Rowling has not written the story for this game, but she has effectively given the game her “blessing” and obviously the entire world was created by her in the first place. What’s happened now with both the game and things like the new Harry Potter movies is that you have a very nervous Warner Bros. and thousands upon thousands of people working on Harry Potter projects that do not support Rowling’s views trying to make enjoyable, profitable offerings for fans.

If you’re my age, you probably grew up with Harry Potter as a cornerstone of your youth. I was the exact same age as Harry and his friends when the books were released and grew through my teens along with him. I did not really recognize the problematic aspects of the series until much later on (goblins! Cho Chang! Dumbledore sexuality ret-conning!), but it’s hard to split that from the initial joy I felt reading them growing up.

I can understand the argument about playing the game without feeling like you’re supporting Rowling and her views. All across Hollywood and the gaming industry there are all manner of people who have made things I love that have personal, terrible views or character flaws. Like, is it still okay to love one of my favorite space westerns, Firefly, now that I know how terribly creator Joss Whedon has treated women, or how actor Adam Baldwin has gone off the right-wing deep end?

But I also understand how the JK Rowling situation is different, and divorced from say, someone like HP Lovecraft and his extremely awful views on race, as he died in 1937. JK Rowling is very much around today, and constantly making headlines with fresh anti-trans rhetoric daily, a truly bizarre obsession of hers that has made her one of the lead figures in the anti-trans movement. And this is not a settled issue in our society, in that in America we have Texas attempting to enforce egregious anti-trans laws against children and their parents, and the trans community remains one of the most at-risk groups around the world, namely because of how we’ve treated them. JK Rowling is doing active harm to them daily.

JK Rowling is also not divorced from Harry Potter as an entity. Not as much as Warner Bros. would want you to believe. No, she may not be writing Fantastic Beast scripts or working on Hogwarts Legacy, but this is not a George Lucas situation where she’s sold the rights to Harry Potter to WB (as much as they might love that). It stands to reason that yes, any time any Harry Potter property makes money, that filters back directly to JK Rowling herself.

Yes, I know we support a lot of different products that end up giving money to bad people or bad corporations that do bad things with it, but this one feels more tangible. We can just go on Twitter every day and see Rowling’s latest anti-trans statements in real time, which is why I know so many people have an issue with this.

I do not know the answer here. I have deep childhood connections to Harry Potter and I know that thousands of perfectly unproblematic people worked hard to make a fun, charming game based on that world. But JK Rowling’s presence looms too large and she remains too connected to the franchise, so I understand the desire for boycotts based on that alone.

It’s hard, and a wholly unique situation in many ways. I welcome feedback and opinions on how you feel about the game itself, and how it should be covered.

Follow me on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Subscribe to my free weekly content round-up newsletter, God Rolls.

Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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Hacker finds bug that allowed anyone to bypass Facebook 2FA – TechCrunch

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A bug in a new centralized system that Meta created for users to manage their logins for Facebook and Instagram could have allowed malicious hackers to switch off an account’s two-factor protections just by knowing their phone number.

Gtm Mänôz, a security researcher from Nepal, realized that Meta did not set up a limit of attempts when a user entered the two-factor code used to log into their accounts on the new Meta Accounts Center, which helps users link all their Meta accounts, such as Facebook and Instagram.

With a victim’s phone number, an attacker would go to the centralized accounts center, enter the phone number of the victim, link that number to their own Facebook account, and then brute force the two-factor SMS code. This was the key step, because there was no upper limit to the amount of attempts someone could make.

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Once the attacker got the code right, the victim’s phone number became linked to the attacker’s Facebook account. A successful attack would still result in Meta sending a message to the victim, saying their two-factor was disabled as their phone number got linked to someone else’s account.

“Basically the highest impact here was revoking anyone’s SMS-based 2FA just knowing the phone number,” Mänôz told TechCrunch.

An email from Meta to an account owner telling them that their two-factor protections have been switched off. Image Credits: Gtm Mänôz (screenshot)

At this point, theoretically, an attacker could try to take over the victim’s Facebook account just by phishing for the password, given that the target didn’t have two-factor enabled anymore.

Mänôz found the bug in the Meta Accounts Center last year, and reported it to the company in mid-September. Meta fixed the bug a few days later, and paid Mänôz $27,200 for reporting the bug.

Meta spokesperson Gabby Curtis told TechCrunch that at the time of the bug the login system was still at the stage of a small public test. Curtis also said that Meta’s investigation after the bug was reported found that there was no evidence of exploitation in the wild, and that Meta saw no spike in usage of that particular feature, which would signal the fact that no one was abusing it.

January 30: Headline updated to reflect that only Facebook accounts were vulnerable to the bug; this was due to an editing error. ZW

Updated with comment from Meta.

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Elevate Your Customer Experience with the Best CCaaS Solution

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CCaaS Solution

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions is a rising star in customer care centers today. Companies and marketers are embracing this cloud-based model with increasing enthusiasm as they address issues with legacy software, enabling better customer experiences. Moreover,  there are several reasons why you may want to -if you haven’t already- consider investing in these technologies.

First, the business world is moving away from traditional call centers towards multi-channel contact centers, a move that was heavily fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers in the digital era are becoming increasingly demanding – only companies that adapt to the changing trends will survive the wave.

Also, the complexity of managing multiple channels and the need for secure remote working capabilities mean cloud-based natively omnichannel solutions are extremely effective. CCaaS solutions have been developed to resolve such issues and make it easier for all players.

So, what is a CCaaS solution, and why do you need one? We will be discussing this and much more in this article.

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CCaaS Explained

Physical contact centers are still an effective way of running your business. However, single-channel centers with rows are hard phones that are becoming history. The innovation of cloud-based communication technologies has changed everything, creating a platform that connects customers and agents wherever they may be and on the channel of their choice. That’s CCaaS.

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions is a licensing model that allows businesses to use cloud-based contact center software on a subscription basis. They are designed to lessen on-premise contact center complexities by delivering a unified, robust and flexible solution. It also means your agents no longer need to come to the office.

Being able to log in remotely on their device lets them perform their tasks from anywhere. Customer support teams don’t need to manually install the software on new devices, simply an internet connection and secure login details. It’s extremely easy and convenient to serve your customers from anywhere.

Since 2020, scalability and flexibility have become success factors for businesses. On-premise solutions may still get the job done, but they are inferior and may not stand up to the digital era’s demands. Many legacy systems are also being retired by their providers leaving contact centers with less support. CCaaS solutions address so many of the concerns related to customer support and the customer experience.

The Idea Behind CCaaS Development

If your legacy system is not as dependable as you would like it to be, CCaaS may be all the solution you need. It’s intended to make your team more productive by moving away from disjointed histories and siloed data to enhance data analysis and integrate interactions. There is also the flexibility to customize elements of the solution. It’s clear that contact centers and customers are unique so static one-size-fits-all software is restrictive.

CCaaS solutions have evolved to provide unified, scalable, and flexible solutions that meet companies’ needs more efficiently and it’s simpler for agents than using multiple solutions to achieve the same tasks. It really can bring out the best in your customer care solutions.

Features of the Best CCaaS Platform

Due to the rising demand for customer experience solutions, there are quite a lot of CCaaS providers to choose from. However, not all of them may have what you need, which is why it’s crucial to understand the features of a good service. Consider the following:

A unified console

Many agents are used to multiple systems to do their job. This means investing in various hardware and software for every task and taking time to understand the tools. CCaaS platforms eliminate such strain by creating an all-in-one tool for call and contact management. All your agents need is a device to access it from, and they are set to go.

AI-supported conversations

The best CCaaS platforms help companies to offer personalized service using real-time insights during a conversation. This can be done through integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies, making it easy to offer the right solution for a specific customer’s needs.

Pay-per-use pricing model

A good CCaaS service allows you to pay for only what you need and make a budget per your organization’s size. This means as many agents as needed can access the latest version of the solution thanks also to automatic upgrades. Hybrid work, minimizing commuting and more satisfied customers mean CCaaS solutions help contribute to well-being.

Real-time performance monitoring

CCaaS services provide practical analytical reporting and insights, collecting crucial performance data. You can easily check call volume, hold times, agent performance, and resolution rates. Call recording and monitoring is also possible. All this information can be used to improve service delivery.

Integration with other software

A good CCaaS is easily integrated with other tools like unified communications tools or customer relationship management software (CRM) to seamlessly add additional capabilities. APIs and other complementary solutions can also easily be added to your tech ecosystem.

Training and support

Not only can CCaaS help collect data to coach agents on the job but there is also training to get them up and running with new software as quickly as possible. For instance, Odigo Academy helps people to transition rapidly to their new contact center solutions.

6 Benefits of Using CCaaS

Cloud-based solutions are the future, they provide the digital capabilities customers want and the functionalities that make running a contact center easier. For instance, Odigo has integrated WFM and QM software and can integrate or connect with UC and CRM solutions. It’s simply everything you need to serve your customers in the most efficient manner.

Here are some of the benefits:

1.      Integrated omnichannel communication

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using a CCaaS solution in your business is the ability to connect with your customers using various communication channels: SMS, live chat, IM, email, phone call and more. It delivers the same seamless, responsive experience using the customer’s preferred channels.

2.      Customer-focused services

CCaaS solutions can help bring experts and customers closer together. Internal communications boost teamwork and collaboration, getting to the right answers more quickly. Monitoring performance also helps highlight areas where service can be improved to deliver the best-ever experiences.

3.      Creates a better work environment

Hybrid working is easily achievable with cloud-based solutions and workforce management capabilities. Add to this better internal communication, and complete customer interaction histories and agents are more supported, can make better decisions and as a result, are more satisfied in their roles.

4.      More scalability and flexibility

Need more agents just for today or your business has expanded so much you need another contact center? CCaaS solutions can grow with you. It’s fast, and simple, you only pay for what you use, and agents can access the latest version of the software wherever they are.

5.      Real-time reports

Supervisors need real-time data and accurate forecasts to make the right decisions so contact centers can run smoothly.  CCaaS provides customizable visual dashboards and alerts that can monitor any channel. With Odigo, for instance, you can look at data on a per-agent or per-channel basis and plan to have the right number of agents for each shift.

6.      Improved customer experience

Odigo’s CCaaS solution has over 35 years of experience with voice technology behind it. They also offer CX consulting and support to deploy the optimal CCaaS configuration to meet your business needs. When your business has the tools it needs you can deliver the service your customers need.

Why Choose Odigo for Your CCaaS Needs?

Odigo provides a Contact Center as a Service solution to facilitate communication between large organizations and their customers. It uses an innovative approach to a global omnichannel management system anchored on empathy and technology, enabling an effective interaction between brands and their customers. As a pioneer in customer experience (CX), the company serves over 250 large enterprise clients in more than 100 countries globally.

The benefits include: :

  • Winning CX strategies: Leverage expert consulting to get expert support to better understand your customers.
  • Integration: Use Odigo for channel-less strategies, API and other software integration.
  • Operationalize your data: Get real-time performance data to inform decision-making and improve service delivery.
  • A transition strategy: The Odigo Academy helps you transition rapidly to your new solution and develop expert skills for better growth.
  • Round-the-clock support: Odigo assures the highest level of customer support with 24/7/365 access.

Investing in Odigo services allows you to maximize your contact center’s value using visionary technology, expert strategy, and implementation approaches. Get in touch with the team at Odigo now to discuss your needs.

 

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New Mario Movie Trailer Reveals Seth Rogen’s DK Voice And Cat Mario

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Illumination has shared a brand-new look at The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which reveals the first look at Donkey Kong and Cat Mario.

The 30-second teaser features a scene from the movie where Mario, voiced by Chris Pratt, and Donkey Kong, Seth Rogen, will face off against each other in an arena on what could be Donkey Kong Island.

After being beaten up by Donkey Kong, Mario is able to punch a yellow question mark block, which gives him the Cat ability, turning him into Cat Mario. Now equipped with the yellow catsuit, Donkey Kong laughs and Rogen’s voice is heard for the first time as he threatens to kill Mario.

Princess Peach, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, and Keegan-Michael Key’s Toad are also glimpsed watching over the fight, along with a new Kong character and hundreds of others of the same species in the crowd. The cast will also be joined by Jack Black, who will play the movie’s villain Bowser, and Charlie Day as Luigi.

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The Super Mario Bros. Movie hits theatres on April 7, 2023.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors.
GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

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