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Why Microsoft desires TikTok

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The tech antitrust hearing used to be supreme, truly

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How Microsoft Flight Simulator returned to the skies

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Thanks to the Morning Brew for recommending us as an “Essential” read. Here’s hoping all of you who signed up over the weekend find The Interface a useful guide to tech, democracy, and the pandemic. Facebook is a publicly traded company that mostly operates in rational and predictable ways. Facebook is also a collection of…

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Last week, as coronavirus marched around the world, a growing number of governments began to explore the use of our cellphone data to monitor the outbreak. Using location data, Israel sent alerts to citizens believed to have been exposed to the virus ordering them to self-quarantine. In England, authorities analyzed anonymized data from telecom provider…

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I’m writing this story under self-quarantine for novel coronavirus exposure. I’ve been sequestered for over a week while the city outside my apartment has become America’s COVID-19 epicenter: 13,000 known cases and 125 deaths so far. The governor has ordered six feet of space between all residents in public, and my days are punctuated with…

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Well, it happened: you’re stuck inside because of the novel coronavirus pandemic that is raging just outside of your door. If you’re lucky, and you’re a white-collar worker, you’re now doing your job — which, let’s be honest, is mostly email anyway — from home. If you’re in an industry that’s more susceptible to the…

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Konami had planned to release its mini TurboGrafx-16, PC Engine, and CoreGrafx consoles last week, but the production schedule has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic around the world. I managed to get my hands on a PC Engine Mini here in Japan, though, so here’s a quick look at it ahead of the TurboGrafx-16…

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Riot’s new video game, Valorant, is both a breath of fresh air and completely unoriginal at the same time. The first-person shooter opened its closed beta on Tuesday to gargantuan Twitch viewership, thanks in part to Riot’s deal with the platform that let popular streamers gift access keys to its beta while they played the…

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Since late March, President Donald Trump has been promoting the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as treatments for the novel coronavirus. Among other things, he’s described “strong, powerful signs” that the drugs work and called them potentially “one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine.” That will be fantastic if it proves true,…

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Last week, we talked about the case for the government using location data gleaned from our smartphones to manage the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Taiwan, Israel, and England have all been using location data in various ways to understand the spread of the disease and, in some cases, enforce orders requiring citizens to isolate…

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Twitch is bigger than it’s ever been before. The site’s viewership increased a full 31 percent between March 8th and March 22nd, growing to 43 million hours watched from 33 million hours, according to data from StreamElements and Arsenal.gg. There’s also been a concurrent growth in streamers joining the platform: musicians joined en masse after…

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The underground labs of the original Half-Life were set somewhere among New Mexico’s towering desert canyons. It wasn’t your prototypical blockbuster locale, but it was still Hollywood-esque, reminiscent of Cold War-era sci-fi films like Them!, where US Army men battled against giant irradiated ants below a blistering American sun. The setting of Half-Life’s sequel, on…

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By now most Americans have gotten the message that, as much as possible, they need to stay away from everyone else. In San Francisco and a growing number of other cities around the world, all non-essential travel has been banned. Even in cases where life more closely resembles normalcy, the government has encouraged social distancing.…

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Violence becomes him. Stalking through the wild grass and brutalist concrete wilderness of Tarkov, he’s implacable, the unstoppable force you’ve always secretly wanted to see come up against an object that claims to be immovable. He sees an enemy unaware. He snarls. The sights come up instinctively. In the pause before the man drops, you…

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In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 film about a pandemic, Contagion, is seeing a spike in viewing. The problem is that Contagion isn’t streaming anywhere — especially in the United States — leading to an increase in rentals on iTunes and torrent downloads. The Verge partnered with TorrentFreak to examine the…

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Netflix’s Castlevania is the rare video game adaptation that’s actually worth watching. Executive produced by Adi Shankar and written by prolific comics author Warren Ellis, it remixes the classic gothic series into a bloody anime-influenced adventure featuring some of the games’ biggest characters. Yesterday, Netflix released a third season that’s longer, weirder, and more ambitious…

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Nvidia’s GeForce Now took yet another hit this weekend with a new publisher pulling its software from the cloud gaming service. That’s because GeForce Now, unlike competing services like Google Stadia, lets anyone who purchases a digital game on Valve’s Steam marketplace reinstall it on a virtual machine and play it using its cloud platform.…

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Hello to everybody, but especially to new subscribers — one of whom pointed out that I had a typo in my introductory email. Mortifying, but also fitting for my personal brand. You’re reading Processor, a newsletter about computers, but “computers” defined very broadly and with a wink. I’m Dieter Bohn, noted typoist and reviewer of…

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Historians of the future might look quizzically at the open-world phenomena, which swept video games during the opening decades of the 2000s. At a time of environmental precarity and extreme inequality, a handful of the world’s biggest entertainment and technology companies collectively sunk billions of dollars into virtual worlds of increasing vastness and detail, arguably…

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As of Tuesday, Michael Bloomberg had spent $233 million on digital and television ads. This spending purchased him, according to an impressive visualization from the Washington Post, 30,000 digital ads a minute. The billionaire candidate for the Democratic nomination has spent more on advertising than every other Democratic candidate combined. Bloomberg has also spent much…

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Roku just reported a strong holiday quarter, which doesn’t really come as a surprise: there’s no time of year when people buy more streaming boxes, sticks, or new TVs that happen to run Roku’s software. The company ended 2019 with 36.9 million active accounts, and customers streamed 11.7 billion hours of content in the fourth…

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As the world grapples with the enduring impact of climate change, indie creators are finding ways to use games as a form of interactive education. Nature isn’t exactly new territory for games. From the loathsome lusus naturae of behemoth horror series to the sprawling cosmopolis of complex management simulators, video games often feature wrenched contortions…

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Dreams is a game about creating games. And not just games, but music, animation, and art, all through powerful creation tools provided by developers Media Molecule. Players have created hyperrealistic breakfast food and 90-minute detective games during the seven-month early access period, and a community emerged to teach one another tricks they’d discovered or showcase…

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The Oh Sees’ latest release is a 12-album box set in an unexpected format: 8-track tapes. It’s the culmination of a year-long effort by Seattle-based DIY label 5Seven Records, which restored vintage 8-track tapes and transformed them into albums from musician John Dwyer’s bands, variously known as Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees, and OCS. 8-track…

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The third season of the Overwatch League will arguably be the most important one yet for Blizzard’s ambitious esports venture. For the first time, the league’s 20 teams — which are scattered across six countries and 19 cities — will host matches in their local markets. That’s been the plan since the league kicked off…

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Amazon’s Twitch, Microsoft’s Mixer, and Google’s YouTube are all in the middle of individual creator wars, placing million-dollar bets on the biggest gaming streamers in the space. Now, YouTube is trying to corner another market in the space: e-sports. YouTube announced late on Friday that three different e-sports organizations — the Call of Duty League,…

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