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Ubisoft harassment allegations

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Ubisoft named Christophe Derennes as the new director of its Montreal studios, Monday, in response to sexual harassment allegations that have shaken the video game giant to its core.

Saturday saw the departure of three high-level employees, including Yanis Mallat, head of the company’s Canadian studios. In Paris, Ubisoft’s chief creative officer, Serge Hascoët, resigned, as did Cécile Cornet, director of human resources.

“It was a surprise,” said one of the Ubisoft employees contacted for this story, all of whom wished to remain anonymous. “A lot of individuals, myself included, didn’t think things would go this far, in terms of the company’s reaction to the issue.

“There were certain individuals who were seen as untouchable in terms of their positions of power; seeing two of them lose their jobs was a welcome change, and a sign that the company is taking things seriously.”

Known for hit video games including the Assassin’s Creed series, Ubisoft counts 18,000 employees around the world, of which 22 per cent are women. In a statement released Saturday, CEO Yves Guillemot regretted that “Ubisoft hasn’t been able to guarantee its collaborators a safe and inclusive work environment. It’s not acceptable.”

Source: – Montreal Gazette

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A year in 60 secs: TikTok lists top videos, creators of 2020 – Cochrane Today

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NASHVILLE — From skateboarding to Fleetwood Mac to learning Cardi B’s rump-shaking choreography, TikTok users got creative in a pandemic year with new songs, dances and memes in 60 seconds or less.

The social media video app on Wednesday shared its list of top 100 videos, creators and trends in America during 2020, recapping a year of viral videos that were sometimes a needed distraction in a tumultuous year.

“The through line is that these are videos that brought joy and inspiration to millions of Americans in a year that has been a bit of a whirlwind for everyone as we all try to figure it out,” said Kudzi Chikumbu, director of creator community at TikTok.

The platform has been widely associated with Generation Z and millennials who experiment with the app’s digital effects like green screens and and influencers who have launched careers based on the shared videos.

The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” and Jason Derulo’s “Savage Love” inspired TikTok dance challenges that made them among the top songs used on the app, as well as the not-safe-for-grandma “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion.

For some TikTok creators, the pandemic itself became inspiration to create a connection with other users. Comedian Caitlin Reilly used the app during quarantine to make fun of those annoying coworkers on Zoom for one of the top liked videos. And rapper Curtis Roach made an anthem for the endless days at home with his song and meme “Bored in the House.”

The second most popular video was an Idaho man named Nathan Apodaca who shot to fame after casually and coolly belting out “Dreams” by Fleetwod Mac while skateboarding on an interstate.

“It’s really about capturing an essence and a moment,” said Chikumbu of Apodaca’s video. “What Gen Z would call ‘immaculate vibes.’”

But the most liked TikTok video is actually even harder to explain to those who haven’t used the app. Bella Poarch, who has 45 million followers, created a simple but cute lip synch video with a few seconds of well-timed head nods and eye rolls.

“She’s gone on to create a lot of more dances and facial expressions and launching her own businesses and really turning her art form into her career,” said Chikumbu.

While the app might be geared toward youth, Chikumbu said that the growth of TikTok this year has pushed it more into mainstream culture.

“You’re seeing everyone from the teenager to the college students with their parents and then their grandparents all making videos,” said Chikumbu. “And now TikTok truly transcends generations, particularly in this year when people had a lot of time to dig in and not only watch, but try.”

Kristin M. Hall, The Associated Press


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Samsung outlines official Android 11 rollout plans: Galaxy S20 today, Note and Fold soon – 9to5Google

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Android 11 is about to see a huge boost in adoption. Following an unexpected start yesterday, Samsung is officially detailing its plans for Android 11 today.

Samsung is starting the rollout of Android 11 and the accompanying One UI 3.0 with the Galaxy S20 series — S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra — as expected. Users in the US, Korea, and most of Europe should expect the update to arrive some time in the next couple of weeks. Unlocked units could see the update arrive as soon as today.

Beyond the S20 series, Samsung says that Galaxy Note 20/Ultra, Note 10, and S10 devices are next in line. The Galaxy Z Flip, Z Fold 2, and original Fold are also a part of that wave and should see the update rolling out some time in “the coming weeks.” Samsung hasn’t mentioned when the Android 11 rollout will hit the Galaxy S20 FE, but Galaxy A series devices will see the update in the first half of 2021.

This update, which should be quite sizeable, brings new native Android 11 features to Samsung phones along with tweaks to Samsung’s own One UI skin. There are more transparent effects, some app updates, and lots of design tweaks. It’s very different, but personally I don’t think for the worse.

Within the interface, features that you use and visit most – like the home screen, lock screen, notifications and Quick Panel – have been visually enhanced to highlight important information. New visual effects, such as the Dim/Blur effect for notifications, help you quickly focus on what matters most, and redesigned widgets keep your Home screen looking organized, clean and stylish.

One UI 3 doesn’t just look different – it feels different, too. Smoother motion effects and animation, combined with natural haptic feedback, make navigating and using your phone a joy. The Lock screen fade-out looks cleaner, toggles slide more smoothly under your fingers and button presses feel more realistic – every screen and every touch has been refined. Moving between devices flows more naturally, as One UI provides a singular, more holistic experience across the wider Galaxy ecosystem, with support for the new features available seamlessly across devices.

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – therecord.com

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

4:16 p.m.

Health officials in Saskatchewan are diverting hundreds more staff to fight COVID-19 as daily cases are forecast to exceed 500 in two weeks.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority expects the number of people in hospital and receiving intensive care could soon double.

Officials are planning for the surge by redeploying 600 health-care staff, which means other health services will be temporarily suspended.

3:57 p.m.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says people who don’t think COVID-19 is real are idiots.

Pallister says he knows he is unpopular in some quarters because of the restrictions his government has imposed on public gatherings and businesses.

But he says the rules are needed to save lives, and everyone needs to work together to reduce the spread of the virus.

3:51 p.m.

Public health officials in Prince Edward Island announced one additional positive case of COVID-19 in the province Thursday.

The individual is a man in his 20s, a rotational worker who recently travelled to P.E.I. from outside of the Atlantic region and has been in self-isolation since arriving.

This case is not related to any of the other recent positive cases of COVID-19 in the province.

P.E.I. currently has five active cases of COVID-19, and there have been 73 positive cases since the onset of the pandemic.

2:40 p.m.

Saskatchewan is announcing 259 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death.

Health officials say the person who died was in their 80s.

Most of the new infections are located in and around Regina and Saskatoon.

There are 104 people in hospital, with 24 people receiving intensive care.

The seven-day average of new daily cases sits at 269.

1:56 p.m.

Nunavut is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 in Arviat today, bringing the community’s active case count to 68.

All cases in Rankin Inlet have now recovered.

There are seven active cases in Whale Cove.

Nunavut has 75 active cases of COVID-19 and 123 recovered cases.

1:50 p.m.

Public health officials in New Brunswick are reporting six new cases of COVID-19 in the province Thursday.

There is one new case in the Moncton region, three new cases in the Saint John region and two in the Fredericton area.

There are now 111 active cases in the province.

New Brunswick has had a total of 520 cases and seven deaths since the pandemic began.

1:32 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 367 new COVID-19 cases and 12 additional deaths today.

The province continues to have a high rate of people testing positive — 13 per cent, on average, over the last five days.

1:15 p.m.

The Quebec government is cancelling its plan to allow gatherings over four days at Christmas.

Premier Francois Legault announced today the province will no longer permit multi-household gatherings of up to 10 people between Dec. 24 and 27, as had been planned.

Legault first announced the Christmas plan on Nov. 19, saying people could get together as long as they quarantined for a week before and a week after the holiday period.

But with COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths on the rise and a health system deemed fragile due to a lack of staffing, Legault says it’s not realistic to think the numbers will go down sufficiently by Christmas.

1:12 p.m.

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Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Supriya Sharma, says she expects to get some final documents from Pfizer on Friday that will provide information on the manufacturing process and which lots of vaccine doses will be sent to Canada.

That is the final thing needed before Canada can approve the vaccine.

Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer, says he fully expects the decision to be “favourable.”

12:45 p.m.

Moderna’s vaccine is to be delivered to one site in Canada rather than to each province and Canadian logistics will then distribute it to the provinces as required.

12:30 p.m.

Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says while initial supplies of vaccines will limit vaccinations to three million people, there will eventually be a COVID-19 vaccine for every Canadian.

Pfizer’s vaccine is expected to start being delivered first in January, and will be sent by the manufacturer to predetermined points in each province.

12:05 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting 11 new cases of COVID-19 today.

The number of active cases in the province s now stands at 119, that’s down from the 127 cases reported on Wednesday.

Nine of the new cases are in the central health zone, which includes Halifax, while the other two cases are in the northern zone.

The province has had a total of 1,342 cases, while 1,159 are resolved and there have been 65 deaths.

11:12 a.m.

The Quebec government is reporting 1,470 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 additional deaths linked to the pandemic.

Twelve of the deaths occurred in the last 24 hours, while the rest happened earlier.

Hospitalizations declined by three to 737, while the number of people in intensive care remained unchanged at 99.

There have been a total of 146,532 cases and 7,155 deaths in the province since the pandemic began.

11 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 1,824 new cases of COVID-19, and 14 new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 592 new cases in Peel Region, 396 cases in Toronto, and 187 cases in York Region.

The province says it has conducted 52,873 tests since the last daily report.

In total, 666 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 195 in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec 3, 2020.

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