French game publisher Ubisoft is apologizing to fans after a video showing the opening sequence for Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad showed images of a raised black fist, which critics said was “insensitive” and appeared to connect the Black Lives Matter movement to a fictional terrorist organization in the game.
The game’s opening sequence shows UMBRA, an anarchist group which the narrator explains is taking “advantage of escalating civil unrest” to “generate more chaos and weaken governments.” The black raised fist image was associated with UMBRA.
After the video was uploaded, several fans criticized how the imagery, including the fist, appeared to cast the Black Lives Matter movement as a terrorist group. One Twitter user who is a senior programmer at Massive Entertainment, a studio owned by Ubisoft, tweeted that the video was “gross and extremely disrespectful.”
Ubisoft said in its apology that the imagery in Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad’s opening was “insensitive and harmful in both its inclusion and how it was portrayed.” The publisher promised that the imagery would be removed in the next game’s next update, which is September 1st for Android and “as soon as possible on iOS.”
Since June, Ubisoft has been under scrutiny for its toxic work culture, which allegedly spanned more than a decade. In July, Ubisoft’s CEO announced that the company was making several changes, which included several high-profile staff departures and tying bonuses to team leads based on “their ability to create a positive and inclusive work environment.”
Amazon Luna, Alexa, Echo, Fire TV and Ring event: Everything announced – CNET
Today’s event helps Amazon generate buzz as we roll into the holiday shopping season, and for the first time, Amazon has been developing for years have become more critical than ever. This year, Amazon will likely work to address the unique needs of today’s customers while keeping an eye toward a post-pandemic future. And you never know when Amazon will .(The annual sale is usually held in July, but this year is slated to start on Oct. 13.) That means Alexa everywhere and addressing concerns, which were a big storyline in 2019 for both Ring and Alexa. In a life-at-home existence, with millions of us hunkered down for the long haul, the connected house concepts that
The event, which started at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, is invite-only, but you can follow our real-time Twitter feed and coverage across CNET.
The company’s Echo and Fire TV products will be its first to earn sustainability badges and it’s’ working on reducing power consumption across devices with a new low-power mode, an energy dashboard integrated with Alexa and its pledging to build solar and wind farms to generate energy that matches the consumption of all its devices.
The company launches a cloud-gaming service on top of Amazon Web Services that runs on PCs, Fire TVs and more (on a Luna Plus game channel).
It has a custom $50 controller that connects directly to the cloud rather than the local device.
Redesigned with a new spherical shape and adapts to the acoustics of the room. It’s also a Sidewalk bridge and includes neural network technology to accelerate tasks.
Echo Dot 4th gen
Gets the same redesign as the spherical Echo.
Echo Dot Kids Edition 2020
Gets the same redesign as the spherical Echo, and now has a $60 kids edition with some kid-friendly features, including voice profiles for them and Sidekick, which lets Alexa read to them.
Echo Dot with clock
The Dot. With a clock.
Amazon’s mesh network, now with Wi-Fi 6 and ZigBee support.
Eero Pro 6
Ring Car Connect
Debuting with Tesla.
Ring Always Home Cam
Autonomous camera that can fly within your home on a preprogrammed route or fly to a motion detection area.
Echo Show 10
It now has Zigbee and Sidewalk hubs, and is much quieter. There’s a built-in camera shutter. All Echo and Alexa’s will have a command to review privacy settings and “delete everything I’ve ever said.” It will also support Hulu, Netflix and Prime Video.
Fire TV Stick
It’s more powerful than before but uses less power.
Fire TV Stick Lite
Apple's smaller rivals unite to fight iPhone app store rules – Vancouver Courier
WASHINGTON — Spotify and the makers of Fortnite and Tinder are taking on Apple and Google as part of a newly formed coalition calling for “fair treatment” in the way the tech giants run their app stores.
The Coalition for App Fairness, a Washington-based non-profit, launched Thursday and will advocate for legal and regulatory changes, such as measures that could block Apple and Google from favouring their own apps in the iPhone and Android operating systems they control. The activism from smaller rivals adds to scrutiny the tech giants are facing from U.S. and European regulators and lawmakers.
The group aims to be the “voice of app and game developers in the effort to protect consumer choice and create a level playing field for all,” said a statement from Horacio Gutierrez, head of global affairs and chief legal officer for music-streaming pioneer Spotify.
Apple is the group’s main target, though Google’s app store policies are also on its radar. Both companies this summer dropped the popular game Fortnite from their app stores after the game’s developer introduced a direct payment plan that bypasses their platforms.
Apple and Google both take a 30% cut from in-app revenue purchases, which has long been a sore spot with developers.
Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games, responded by suing the companies over what it sees as anti-competitive behaviour. Epic is backing the new coalition along with Spotify, online dating app maker Match Group, and other members including Tile, Basecamp, ProtonMail and European media industry associations.
In addition to the app stores, Big Tech is facing fresh scrutiny from antitrust regulators. As the Trump administration moves toward antitrust action against search giant Google, it’s campaigning to enlist support from sympathetic state attorneys general across the country.
The anticipated lawsuit against Google by the Justice Department could be the government’s biggest legal offensive to protect competition since the ground-breaking case against Microsoft almost 20 years ago.
Lawmakers and consumer advocates accuse Google of abusing its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost its profits.
Xbox Series X’s expansion card costs $219.99 – Polygon
The officially licensed Storage Expansion Card for the Xbox Series X and Series S costs $219.99, according to a product listing at Best Buy.
Seagate makes the solid-state drive, which Microsoft announced but gave no price for in March. It’s pitched as “the only available expansion card that replicates the Xbox Velocity Architecture,” which is what delivers “faster load times, richer environments, and more immersive gameplay” on the next-generation Xbox consoles.
Microsoft has promised that all the accessories you use on your Xbox One will work on the Xbox Series X. This goes for external hard drives, too, with USB 3.1 or 3.2 connectivity. However, all Xbox Series X games must be installed to the console’s internal SSD or the Seagate card — USB external hard drives are far slower than these NVMe SSDs, which use the new PCIe 4.0 standard. (Series X games can be backed up to a USB external drive, but can’t be played from one.)
Backward-compatible Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox games can still be played on the Xbox Series X if they’re installed on a USB external drive. And if you have one piled up with installed games for your Xbox One right now, it will be plug-and-play compatible with the new console launching Nov. 10. But Xbox One games that are “optimized for Xbox Series X,” like Gears 5 will be, can’t be played off a USB drive if users want “optimal performance,” says Microsoft.
For comparison, a Seagate-made 2 TB external hard drive that’s designed for Xbox One is currently available for $89.99. The $219.99 cost for the Xbox Series X Storage Expansion Card may be a fair price for the cutting-edge technology in the device, although it’s hard to say; very few PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs are on the market, and even so, this is a custom-built SSD that’s designed to plug directly into the back of an Xbox Series X or Series S.
Unlike Microsoft with the Xbox Series X and Series S, Sony will not require a proprietary storage expansion solution for the PlayStation 5. PS5 owners will be able to upgrade the console’s 825 GB internal storage with an off-the-shelf PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, although Sony will have to certify specific drives as compatible with the console. (For reference, Samsung announced its Evo 980 Pro SSD this week, and the 1 TB model will retail for $229.99.) It’s worth noting that stand-alone PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs will get cheaper over time, but a proprietary product like the Seagate-branded Xbox Series X card may not.
While NVMe SSDs are the state of the art for storage, 1 TB is not a lot of space for any PC or console currently available. The Xbox Series X itself has a 1 TB internal NVMe SSD, so $219.99 only doubles that capacity. The Xbox Series S has only 512 GB of internal storage — just above the amount of storage in launch Xbox One consoles seven years ago. (Next-gen games will at least take up less space on the Series S than on the Series X, because the smaller console is designed for gaming at 1440p resolution rather than 4K.)
Assuming an average of 50 GB per game — and that may be on the low side for next-gen games — you could store at most 20 games on a 1 TB card, despite a Best Buy listing that promises gamers can “collect thousands of games across four generations of Xbox without sacrificing performance.”
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