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Report: Blizzard Once Slapped With 'Misogyny Tax' – Kotaku

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These conditions included a 50 percent “misogyny tax” on any business Sagitta HPC did with Blizzard (to be used as a donation to three different organizations devoted to support girls and women in the tech industry), Blizzard becoming a Gold-level sponsor of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, and a formal letter of apology from Blizzard executives to Mitchell in which they’d further dedicate themselves to supporting equality for women and sexual harassment training.

The list of sponsors from that year’s the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference indicates that while Blizzard itself didn’t support the event, parent company Activision came in as a Silver-level corporate partner. Kotaku contacted Gosney for more information on the events surrounding his email to Blizzard, but didn’t hear back before publication.

“[Blizzard] made it clear that they were not interested in agreeing to any of our terms, just a lot of empty promises that they were taking the report ‘seriously,’ that it would be investigated internally, and assured me that they do conduct sexual harassment training,” Mitchell told Waypoint. “Ultimately it felt like they were more interested in gauging their own legal exposure and placating me.”

In 2017, the organizers of Black Hat USA, the Las Vegas hacking conference at which Mitchell was originally accosted, promised her that they would not allow Blizzard back as a sponsor for future events. As far as Kotaku can tell from historical information, neither Blizzard nor Activision have had a presence at the cybersecurity event since the year Blizzard staff harassed Mitchell.

Read More: Inside Blizzard Developers’ Infamous Bill “Cosby Suite”

Activision Blizzard is already in the gaming community’s crosshairs since last week’s bombshell revelation that the state of California is suing the company for a workplace culture that fostered years of abuse, harassment, and violence against female employees. The lawsuit specifically mentions the actions of former World of Warcraft creative director Alex Afrasiabi, references to whom Blizzard plans to remove from the MMO, and events that took place in Afrasiabi’s hotel room at BlizzCon 2013, known colloquially among a group of male employees as the “Cosby Suite.”

In the wake of this publicity, Waypoint also learned of a 2018 incident in which an Activision IT worker set up a camera in one of the Eden Prairie, Minnesota campus’ unisex bathrooms and recorded employees using the toilet. That worker, Tony Ray Nixon, was fired by Activision and ultimately pled guilty to an “Interference with Privacy” charge.

“Once this incident was reported to us, the Company began an investigation, promptly removed all unauthorized cameras, and notified the authorities,” Activision Blizzard told Waypoint. “The authorities conducted a thorough investigation, with the full cooperation of the Company. As soon as the authorities and Company identified the perpetrator, he was terminated for his abhorrent conduct. The Company provided crisis counselors to employees, onsite and virtually, and increased security.”

A large group of Activision Blizzard employees participated in an organized walkout earlier this week in protest of the company’s history of inaction in the face of intolerable harassment against women and minorities. The group’s demands included an end to forced arbitration for Activision Blizzard staff and a more diverse, worker-oriented approach to interviewing, recruiting, and hiring processes within the massive corporation.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick eventually addressed these concerns, calling earlier responses to the incidents in question “tone deaf,” but failing to impress the employees already planning the day-long work stoppage. The company has also hired a law firm known for previous union-busting efforts to help investigate the damning allegations, which doesn’t inspire much confidence in Activision Blizzard’s good intentions.

“This is the beginning of an enduring movement in favor of better labor conditions for all employees, especially women, in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups,” the employee coalition wrote in a follow-up statement. “We expect a prompt response and a commitment to action from leadership on the points enumerated above, and look forward to maintaining a constructive dialogue on how to build a better Activision Blizzard for all employees.”

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Why did Apple change the camera position on the iPhone 13? – The Next Web

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Aesthetically, the iPhone 13 is similar to last year’s model — apart from one key element: the camera placement.

The iPhone 12 had vertically stacked lenses. On the iPhone 13, these are now diagonal. So, here’s the question we’re going to answer today: why?

In my mind, there are two key reasons Apple has changed the iPhone 13 lens placement — and you can split these into technical and marketing.

The technical reason for the diagonal camera layout on the iPhone 13

I’m beginning with this because I believe it’s the biggest reason for the design change.

Now, one of the new features introduced with the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini is something called “sensor shift image optical stabilization.”

This appeared in the iPhone 12 Pro models last year and is effectively a mechanism that moves the lens to help you get steadier shots. Think of it as a counter to the slight movement your hands make while you’re taking a photograph.

When Apple announced the iPhone 13, they showed the sensor shift image optical stabilization in action:

Watch this GIF a few times. Notice anything? About the size of the housing?

It’s plain to see that, comparatively, the sensor shift image optical stabilization hardware is large. In fact, it takes up a huge chunk of camera bump.

It’d be technically impossible to fit the mechanism in while keeping the vertical camera layout of the iPhone 12. Making the lens placement on the iPhone 13 diagonal is an elegant solution.

The other option would be changing the location of the camera bump altogether, potentially to the middle of the phone. But this would not only alter the iPhone 13‘s aesthetics, but it would also make a lot of accessories useless too.

That, friends, is the technical reason Apple has made the iPhone 13 cameras diagonal.

The marketing reason for changing the camera position on the iPhone 13

While I think this argument has legs, I don’t think marketing was a direct force for the change. Instead, it’s something that likely supported the shift.

Basically, the iPhone 13 is very similar to the iPhone 12. The upgrades, including things like a smaller notch, brighter screen, and a bigger battery, aren’t exactly attention grabbing,

These aren’t bad updates per se, but they’re expected, not lusted after.

Here’s a picture of the iPhone 13 phones to help break up this damn waffle.
apple iphone 13

Really, the biggest point of differentiation for the public at large is the new diagonal camera layout. It’s a clear way to signal that you’re in possession of the latest device and is an excellent marketing tool to encourage people to upgrade.

This is also partly the reason why the change has been mocked. For those outside the tech bubble, changing the iPhone camera layout seems like solely a cheap trick to increase sales. Which is a half truth.

Ultimately,  the new camera placement on the iPhone 13 is a technical solution that also delivers some marketing ammunition. Which is either lucky, clever, or, well, both.

There we have it! Two solid reasons why Apple has changed the position of cameras on the iPhone 13.

Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.

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Apple Online Store Down Ahead of iPhone 13 and 13 Pro Pre-Orders – MacRumors

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Apple’s online store is down ahead of iPhone 13 mini, ‌iPhone 13‌, iPhone 13 Pro, and ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ Max pre-orders, which are set to begin at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time in the United States.


“You’re… early,” reads the Apple Store message when attempting to visit the U.S. website. “Pre-order begins at 5:00 a.m. PDT. Enjoy the extra sleep.” Apple used to do new device pre-orders at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time, but since 2019, has been holding iPhone pre-orders at 5:00 a.m.

The ‌‌iPhone 13‌ mini, ‌iPhone 13‌,‌ ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌, and ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ Max are launching in more than 30 countries and regions around the world, and a full list of launch times can be found in our time zone guide.

All of the new ‌iPhone 13‌ models are nearly identical in design to last year’s iPhone 12 models, featuring flat edges, an aerospace-grade aluminum enclosure, a glass back, and a slight increase in thickness.

Key features across the ‌iPhone 13‌ lineup include a faster A15 Bionic chip, camera improvements, longer battery life, and a smaller notch. The two Pro models also feature a ProMotion display with a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz. The ‌iPhone 13‌ models are available in Pink, Blue, Midnight (black), Starlight (silver/gold), and (PRODUCT)RED.

If you’re hoping to get one of the models in the ‌new ‌iPhone 13‌ lineup on launch day, it’s a good idea to purchase early because there’s no word on how much supply Apple will have.

Pricing on the ‌iPhone 13‌ mini starts at $699, while pricing on the ‌iPhone 13‌ starts at $799, the ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ starts at $999, and the ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ Max begins at $1099. The official launch, when pre-orders will be out for delivery, is next Friday, September 24.

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The new iPad Mini seems great even if you love Android – Android Central

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Source: Apple

I’ve been an Android user since the first day the first Android phone became available, and I’ve been through many different devices. Of course, like many of you all, I’ve also owned and used iPhones, BlackBerrys, Windows phones, and all the rest of the “cool” tech because I just love cool tech.

I’m also very much a small phone guy because one of the most important things to me is how easy it is to carry something that basically lives inside my pocket. One of the reasons the Galaxy S21 is one of the best Android phones is because it’s not gigantic, for example. The only time I wish my phone were bigger is when I want to veg out and just consume.

I just want to consume.

That’s where tablets shine. Watching videos or playing games on something with a much larger screen is just better, ya know? Yes, I can use my phone and do those same things, and I won’t try to say it’s a bad experience because it’s not. It’s just not as good. I’ve been thinking about getting a smaller tablet to try it again, and Apple might just have shown me what I want in the 2021 iPad Mini.

No, I’m not some sort of “traitor” to the Android ecosystem because I owe zero allegiance to any tech company. I like the way Android works better than iOS does, but that’s just me, and plenty of people feel differently. But I don’t run out and buy a thing because some tech company made it. Every company needs to work for my dollars. And since Google is unwilling to remake the Nexus 7 with great new specs, I don’t have a “favorite” tablet brand.

Nexus 7

Nexus 7Source: Android Central

I want a tablet for all the wrong reasons, according to the companies that make them. I have no desire to replace my PC or Chromebook with a Pro tablet. I’m not going to replace my phone with a cellular tablet just because it can make calls and get messages. I like the phone and Chromebook I use, and don’t see how a tablet can replace either.

Since Google isn’t going to remake the Nexus 7, the iPad Mini might be the best substitute.

But the right tablet can tempt me, so long as it’s on the smaller side. I have a Pixel Slate here if I wanted to use a ginormous heavy tablet, and because it has a desktop browser, it’s going to be better at doing many of the things I want a tablet to do. It needs to be plenty powerful enough to play HD video without sputtering and have Wi-Fi that’s strong enough to keep up. A few cool games are a plus, too. My tablet would be just for fun and not at all for work.

I’ve thought about foldables here, too. Something like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 could work, but I’m not yet sold on how the phone side of things play out. Maybe in a couple of years, but now I think I would end up spending twice as much on a device that I would only use as a tablet. Not an ideal situation for my wallet.

I basically ignored all the talk about how artists and professionals love the iPad Mini, but what I did pay attention to has me thinking it might be the one. The power is there — forget all the XX% faster marketing stuff, but I’ve seen enough from Apple to know the Bionic SoC platform is going to handle things. The size is right, and even the $500 price tag isn’t insane like many other Apple devices are.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 S Pen Taking Notes

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 S Pen Taking NotesSource: Nick Sutrich / Android Central

Mostly though, it’s the ecosystem. Yes, that word gets tossed around a lot, and sometimes my brain goes numb after hearing it, but this is one place where everything can work great for me. All of Google’s services work well on iOS, so I know I’ll have the experience I want from Google Photos or YouTube, and Apple does a great job at filling in the rest.

Say what you will about Apple’s way of doing business, but the App Store has plenty of great tablet apps.

Yeah, Apple’s walled garden sucks. Ask anyone who wants to play Fortnite on a new iPad Mini about that if you want another opinion, and I’m not a fan of a company trying to tell me what I can do with something I paid money to buy. But I can’t deny that Apple has its shit together when it comes to tablet apps, and chances are I would find a few I would want to install. Google could learn a lot here.

I think an iPad Mini would complement my Android phone and my other tech in the right ways. I’m not rushing out to preorder one just yet, and I’ll wait to read some reviews before I whip out the plastic. I’d also recommend any Android or Chrome user as interested in the iPad Mini as I am to do the same thing.

I’ve talked to a lot of you guys who use an iPad along with your Android phones, and I think I get it now. I’m not going to write it off just because it’s from that fruit company. It might be what a lot of Android folks just like me are looking for.

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