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Square Enix is the latest major publisher to get behind NFTs and 'blockchain gaming' – KitGuru

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In recent months, we’ve seen several major publishers and independent developers pushing forward with plans to implement NFTs in their games. Square Enix appears to have had blinders on during this time though, with the publisher’s end of year letter confirming plans to pursue blockchain technology and NFTs in the future. 

Square Enix president, Yosuke Matsuda, published an end of year letter this week, looking ahead at 2022 and some of the emerging trends Square Enix would like to pursue. Like Ubisoft and EA, Square Enix is also highly interested in NFTs and blockchain technology, with particular interest in “play to earn” games and the idea of enabling “self-sustaining game growth”.

The letter does acknowledge that those who play games to have fun have “voiced their reservations” when it comes to NFTs, but Matsuda believes that “there will be a certain number of people whose motivation is to play to contribute”. He adds that “traditional gaming has offered no explicit incentive to this latter group of people”.

Square Enix has not announced any games that incorporate blockchain technology or NFTs yet, but it sounds like at some point in 2022, the publisher will begin exploring this idea:

“By designing viable token economies into our games, we will enable self-sustaining game growth. It is precisely this sort of ecosystem that lies at the heart of what I refer to as ‘decentralized gaming,’ and I hope that this becomes a major trend in gaming going forward.”

Recently, Ubisoft has begun ramping up its NFT efforts with Ubisoft Quartz, a system that appears to be losing money at this time. GSC Game World, the company behind Stalker 2, also recently revealed and swiftly cancelled plans to implement NFTs and sell the world’s first ‘metahuman’.

KitGuru Says: There is a lot of resistance towards NFTs in gaming right now but major publishers seem determined to push this idea through. Whether or not it ends up being successful remains to be seen, but as we’ve seen with loot boxes and microtransactions, if the industry gets behind an idea, it can eventually become the norm, despite heaps of backlash early on. 

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Safari exploit can leak browser histories and Google account info – Yahoo Movies Canada

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Apple device users appear to be vulnerable to a significant browser privacy flaw. According to 9to5Mac, FingerprintJS has disclosed an exploit that lets attackers obtain your recent browser history, and even some Google account info, from Safari 15 across all supported platforms as well as third-party browsers on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. The IndexedDB framework (used to store data on many browsers) is violating the “same-origin” policy that prevents documents and scripts from one location (such as a domain or protocol) from interacting with content from another, letting appropriately coded websites deduce Google info from signed-in users as well as histories from open tabs and windows.

The flaw only compromises the names of the databases rather than the content itself. However, this would still be enough for a malicious site owner to grab your Google username, discover your profile picture and otherwise learn more about you. The history could also be used to piece together a rudimentary profile of the sites you like. Private browsing won’t defeat the exploit, FingerprintJS said.

We’ve asked Apple for comment. FingerprintJS said it reported the issue on November 28th, however, and that Apple hadn’t yet addressed it with security patches honoring same-origin policy. Until then, the only solution may be to either use a third-party browser on Macs or block all JavaScript, neither of which is necessarily an option.

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Apple Will Reportedly Be Requiring Covid-19 Boosters for Its Store and Corporate Workers – Gizmodo

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A health worker prepares to administer a dose of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at the Bang Sue Grand Station, Bangkok.
Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket (Getty Images)

Apple now considers covid-19 booster shots to be an important element in protecting its workers and will be purportedly requiring employees to show proof that they’ve gotten the additional dose to access its premises, according to an internal email seen by the Verge.

On Saturday, the Verge reported that Apple would be requiring its retail and corporate employees to get a covid-19 booster shot once they are eligible for one. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals who received Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines can get a booster five months after their first two shots. Those who receive the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot are eligible to get boosted two months after vaccination.

As told by the Verge, Apple workers will have four weeks to comply with the company’s booster requirement once they become eligible. If employees don’t get a booster within that time frame, they will be required to take frequent covid-19 tests to enter an Apple Store, partner store, or Apple office beginning on Feb. 15.

“Due to waning efficacy of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and the emergence of highly transmissible variants such as Omicron, a booster shot is now part of staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination to protect against severe disease,” Apple stated in the internal email, according to the Verge.

The memo also contained information for unvaccinated employees, which will be required to provide a negative covid-19 rapid antigen test before entering the workplace beginning on Jan. 24. Workers who have not provided proof of vaccination will also have to abide by this testing policy.

Gizmodo reached out to Apple on Sunday to confirm the Verge’s report, but we didn’t hear back by the time of publication. We’ll update this article if someone from the company gets back to us.

If the internal email is accurate, Apple would join Meta, owner of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, in requiring covid-19 booster shots for its employees. On Monday, Meta said that employees who are eligible to receive booster shots would need to provide proof of vaccination beginning on March 28 to enter its offices.

“Boosters provide increased protection,” a Meta spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. “Given the evidence of booster effectiveness, we are expanding our vaccination requirement to include boosters.”

Google hasn’t disclosed whether it will require its employees to get covid-19 booster shots but did say on Thursday it would require employees and contractors to have a negative covid-19 molecular test—which are generally more accurate and detect the presence of the coronavirus’ genetic material—such as a PCR test to access its offices or facilities. We reached out to Google to ask whether it would be requiring covid-19 booster shots for its employees on Sunday but haven’t heard back yet.

Amazon, meanwhile, purportedly isn’t using mandates to get people to get boosted, it’s using what it knows best: money. This past Thursday, the Information reported that Amazon was paying its hourly workers, including its 750,000 U.S. warehouse workers, $40 and offering them an extra (unpaid) day off to get a booster shot.

Gizmodo reached out to Amazon on Sunday to confirm whether this was indeed the case and ask if it planned to require boosters for all employees. We’ll update this article if someone from Amazon gets back to us.

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Awesome Games Done Quick 2022 Raises Over $3.4 Million For Prevent Cancer Foundation – GameSpot

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Awesome Games Done Quick 2022, the first of multiple charity speedrunning events run by the Games Done Quick Foundation, has ended with over $3.4 million raised for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

139 speedruns made up this year’s marathon, which began January 9 at 12 PM ET and ended at approximately 2 AM ET January 16. The exact amount raised by the event was $3,416,729, with all donations taken during that same time period.

Highlights of this year’s event included a Pokemon race with one player running Omega Ruby and the other Alpha Sapphire, runs in multiple 2021 releases including Resident Evil Village and It Takes Two, and a blindfolded run of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice completed in exactly two hours. Multiple world records were also set during the event, including:

Awesome Games Done Quick is an annual charity speedrunning marathon run in early January by the Games Done Quick Foundation. The foundation runs multiple marathons throughout the year, including Summer Games Done Quick and Flame Fatales. Each event raises money for a different charity, including the Prevent Cancer Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, and the Malala Fund.

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