Computers & Linux News

Microsoft Claims Sony Pays Developers 'Blocking Rights' To Keep Games Off Xbox Game Pass

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-11 13:22
In a lengthy document submitted to the Brazilian government as part of its investigation into Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft has claimed Sony pays developers "blocking rights" to prevent games from appearing on Xbox Game Pass. From a report: The accusation appears in a 27-page rebuttal of Sony's recent objections to Microsoft's Activision Blizzard buyout, made to Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) as part of its investigation. Much of Sony's argument had focused on Call of Duty - which it claimed had "no rival" and was "so popular that it influences users' choice of console" -- with the PlayStation maker suggesting, among other things, that the inclusion of Call of Duty on Microsoft's Game Pass service would hamper its ability to compete. Microsoft's response is as wide-ranging as Sony's initial objections, touching on everything from the fact it has previously managed to grow Game Pass without Activision Blizzard's titles -- suggesting Call of Duty mightn't be quite as "essential" as Sony claims -- to a reiteration of its assurances that it won't be making Call of Duty an Xbox console exclusive. It's here that Microsoft takes a swipe at Sony, pointing out (as per a Google-translated version of its filing) that for all its concerns around exclusivity, "the use of exclusive arrangements has been at the heart of Sony's strategy to strengthen its presence in the gaming industry." Microsoft says Sony's concerns are "incoherent", given that, by virtue of PlayStation's dominant market share, the company is a leader in the distribution of digital games - especially when, as Microsoft claims, Sony has actively hampered the growth of Game Pass by paying for "'blocking rights' to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and other competing subscription services." Further reading: Microsoft Justifies Activision Blizzard's $69 Billion Acquisition By Telling Regulator Call of Duty Publisher Doesn't Release 'Unique' Games.

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NASA Says Restless Red Giant Star Betelgeuse Had an Unprecedented Explosion - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 13:02
Its famous dimming event from a few years ago turns out to be evidence of a recent explosion rather than an imminent supernova.

Sea Sponges Sneeze Snot on the Seafloor to Get the Gunk Out - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 12:50
The slo-mo sneezes can last for half an hour.

Ethereum Software Update Planned for September After Successful Test

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-11 12:44
The most ambitious upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain should take place in September, possibly closer to the middle of the month, developers working on the project said during a conference call after what was billed as a final dress rehearsal. From a report: Developers have picked a number of so-called total terminal difficulty required of the final block mined in Ethereum before the network switches to new software. Figuring out the exact date range when the upgrade will occur will require complex calculations, and will be a moving target, depending on changes to the network's use and support, developers said on the call that was broadcast over YouTube on Thursday. The final date range is expected to be approved during another developer call next week, though the software engineers are currently looking at Sept. 16 to Sept. 20. Called the Merge, the software upgrade has been in the works for years, and it will change the way Ethereum orders transactions to become more energy efficient. Instead of using energy-guzzling computers called miners, the network will deploy so-called validators using staked Ether tokens -- a setup called proof of stake. Following years of delays, the time for the Merge is finally being set after Wednesday's completion of the Goerli merge test, which simulated the Merge on a smaller scale. A few problems popped up during the test, developers reported on the call. Goerli merge, which many celebrated with parties broadcast on YouTube, was the final test before the actual Merge was to take place.

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Save 20% on Satechi Tech Accessories With This Sitewide Back to School Sale - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 12:39
You can grab some of our favorite USB adapters, charging accessories and more at a discount.

Nintendo Switch OLED Review: The Best Switch, but Still Mostly the Same - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 12:30
A bigger, better display and an excellent kickstand make this a great handheld game system, but existing Switch owners don't need to upgrade.

Email Marketing Firm Mailchimp Suspends Several Crypto-Related Accounts

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-11 12:17
Mailchimp appears to have suspended the accounts of several crypto-related firms, according to the affected outlets. Crypto firms on the chopping board include intelligence platform Messari. From a report: Founder Ryan Selkis posted on Twitter revealing the suspension and expressing his disappointment. Crypto wallet provider Edge, NFT artist Ocarina, and Jesse Friedland -- the founder of NFT collection Cryptoon Goonz -- are among prominent names that appear to have had their accounts suspended in the last several weeks, according to the Decrypt report.

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Foldables Are Still Looking for a Breakout Moment. Samsung Wants to Change That - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 12:15
Three years later, Samsung is still proving the promise behind foldable phones.

Global chip shortage and $53B subsidy boosts US manufacturing - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 12:12
The covid pandemic triggered the processor shortage in 2020, but it's now lasted more than two years.

Grab a Theragun Mini Massage Gun for $150 During This 1-Day Sale - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 12:11
Save $50 on a pocket-sized percussive massage gun that can easily fit in your gym bag.

Twitter Unveils Plan to Combat Misinformation in 2022 US Midterm Elections - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 12:01
The social media company is starting its efforts before the election season kicks into high gear.

Hulu Plus Live TV Review: Big Bundle for Cord Cutters at a Premium Price - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 11:59
Now including Disney Plus and an unlimited DVR, Hulu's Live TV service offers a compelling alternative to YouTube TV.

Mercedes-AMG One Hypercar Enters Series Production - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 11:29
Customer deliveries will start before the end of this year.

FTC Launches Data-Privacy Proposal for 'Surveillance' Crackdown

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-11 11:29
The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public feedback on a proposed rulemaking to limit what it's dubbed "commerical surveillance" by businesses that sell or share information collected about people. From a report: The advance notice, announced Thursday, would protect the personal data companies such as Alphabet Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. collect about consumers.

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Best Buy Knocks $200 Off All Configurations of the 4th-Gen iPad Air - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 11:06
Snag one of these previous-gen lightweight Apple tablets for just $400 right now.

Get a Brand New Office Chair for as Little as $100 at Staples - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 11:04
Support your back and bottom with these sturdy chairs today.

Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro Gaming Mouse Gets Redesign, 4,000Hz Polling Option - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 11:00
Razer streamlines its esports-targeted DeathAdder mice to be lighter, faster and more comfortable, plus it debuts an extra-cost dongle for the Pro that adds 4,000Hz polling.

2023 GMC Canyon Lands With Serious Off-Road Chops and New Tech - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 11:00
GMC's midsize pickup truck is beefier and packed with more premium trappings.

2023 GMC Canyon Is a Mean Off-Road Machine - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 11:00
The menacing new Canyon is more capable and smarter than before.