The FTC is suing Microsoft to block its Activision Blizzard purchase

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The FTC has filed a legal challenge to try and block Microsoft’s plan to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, according to a press release from the regulator. The lawsuit was filed today after weeks of back and forth between Microsoft, Sony, and regulators over competition concerns and the future of Call of Duty. The FTC argues that the acquisition would “enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.” You can read the FTC’s redacted complaint here or embedded at the bottom of this article. The vote from the FTC commissioners today… Read More

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Windows 11 is finally getting a built-in screen recording tool

The Snipping Tool will get a screen recording feature soon. | Image: Microsoft Microsoft is finally bringing a built-in screen recorder to Windows. The Snipping Tool in Windows 11 will soon be updated to include screen recording, meaning Windows users won’t have to rely on the Xbox Game Bar or third-party tools just to record their screens. Windows 11 testers will start getting access to the updated Snipping Tool today, and the new record option will allow you to record an entire screen or even a section that gets cropped. The update comes more than four years after Microsoft first introduced a new screenshot experience for Windows. “We know that… Read More

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Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get access to every League of Legends and Valorant character

You’ll be able to play as Sage and every other Valorant agent if you subscribe to Xbox Game Pass. | Image: Riot Games Xbox Game Pass subscribers will soon be able to use every current and future playable character in Riot Games’ League of Legends, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and Valorant, Microsoft and Riot announced on Thursday. The perks will be available in League of Legends and Valorant beginning December 12th, and they’re coming to Wild Rift, the mobile version of League, sometime in January. The two gaming giants originally announced their partnership and the generous unlocks in June. For fans of League, Wild Rift, and Valorant, the perks… Read More

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Amazon Echo Show 15 finally becomes the kitchen TV it always wanted to be

What looks like and acts like a TV is now an actual TV. By way of a new software update, the Echo Show 15 now supports Amazon Fire TV, allowing you to watch your favorite shows from various streaming services.  Platforms like YouTube, Disney Plus, and Paramount Plus have a new home on the Show 15’s interface. If you don’t mind smudging the 15.6-inch Full HD display, you can use the newly developed virtual remote to navigate the menus. This is especially helpful since not all of the video apps are touch-enabled. However, if you plan on using or you already have the display in your kitchen (Amazon already knows… Read More

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Proton’s encrypted cloud storage is going mobile

Proton, the privacy-focussed company behind a hit VPN service and an e-mail provider, has brought its end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) cloud storage to iOS and Android. The announcement of the launch of Proton Drive follows the launch of the service as a web application in September 2022, and sees Proton continue to build ecosystems similar to Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Dropbox. Even so, Proton has a few unique edges that might make business users take notice. For one, end-to-end encryption of both files and metadata means that not even Proton knows what’s hosted on their service. For another, the data is stored in data centers in Switzerland and Germany, putting… Read More

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Google’s giving Pixel 7 Pro owners more control over macro mode

Getting close and personal is getting easier. | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Google’s updating its camera app to give Pixel 7 Pro users more control over its macro mode by adding a toggle that lets them manually turn it off or on instead of having to rely on the auto mode that my colleague Allison Johnson described as “kinda unpredictable.” While the phone can still try to detect if you’re close enough to a subject like it has since launch, it’s nice for there to be an actual menu for those who want finer-grain control. According to Allison’s testing, the new options live in the settings… Read More

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The best Sonos speaker and soundbar deals

The Sonos One SL is on sale in refurbished condition. | Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge Most would agree that Sonos offers some of the best speakers and soundbars currently available. That’s because Sonos makes speakers that — more often than not — boast great sound quality, support for all the major streaming platforms, and simple multi-room functionality. Unfortunately, however, those perks often come at a high price. Sonos products aren’t cheap, and, outside of the occasional rogue discount, they rarely go on sale. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t ways to save at least a few dollars on Sonos gear. You can often, for example, score… Read More

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Myth, busted: Apatosaurus didn’t produce sonic booms when whipping its tail

No sonic boom: Scientists created a computer simulation showing the tail movement of Apatosaurus. Credit: Simone Conti. Back in 1997, Microsoft’s then-CTO, Nathan P. Myhrvold, made headlines when his computer simulations suggested that the enormous tails of sauropods—specifically Apatosaurus—could crack like a bullwhip and break the sound barrier, producing a sonic boom. Paleontologists deemed it an intriguing possibility, although several were skeptical. Now a fresh team of scientists has tackled the issue and built its own simulated model of an Apatosaurus tail. They found no evidence of a sonic boom, according to a new paper published in the journal Scientific Reports. In fact, the maximum speed possible in the new simulations was… Read More

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The latest Motorola Moto G Play is a 4G-only phone for $170

Motorola skipped a 2022 edition of the G Play and is pole-vaulting straight into 2023. It’s an easy bet that most new phones announced in 2023 will come with 5G, but there’s going to be at least one LTE-only device on shelves next year: the $169 Motorola Moto G Play (2023). It’s the latest edition of Motorola’s budget-tier phone since the 2021 G Play, and it comes with an updated screen and camera array — but nary a 5G band on its spec sheet. The 2023 Moto G Play sticks with a 6.5-inch LCD screen but increases the refresh rate to 90Hz. It’s still a low-res 720p panel, which is… Read More

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FTC files suit to stop Microsoft’s $69 billion Activision purchase

Enlarge / Taking a close look… (credit: Aurich Lawson / Ars Technica) The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit seeking to block the proposed $69 billion merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. By a 3–1 vote, the regulatory commissioners approved the filing of a suit that argues such a merger “would enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business,” according to a press release. The FTC’s lawsuit specifically calls out Microsoft’s previous acquisition of Bethesda Softworks parent company Zenimax as part of a “record of acquiring and using valuable gaming content to suppress competition from rival consoles.” The… Read More

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Twitter Blue will reportedly cost more from iPhones to offset ‘hidden 30 percent tax’

Illustration by Laura Normand / The Verge Twitter Blue may relaunch at two different price points depending on where you subscribe from, according to a new report from The Information. The premium subscription could cost $11 when purchased via Twitter’s iOS app, or a reduced $7 per month if users subscribe via Twitter’s website. The price disparity is likely an attempt to circumvent the 30 percent commission Apple charges on many in-app purchases. The premium subscription originally launched at $7.99 a month in early November, when it was only available via iOS (with no option to subscribe via other platforms like Android or the web). But its rollout was quickly… Read More

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Forget about algorithms and models — learn how to solve problems first

Almost weekly a friend or an acquaintance asks me, “I want to learn to code; which language should I start with?” More or less bi-weekly I get a DM on LinkedIn starting with, “My son should start programming; what is the best language for him?” It’s not just people who’ve never coded before. Often I get these messages from people who have several years of coding experience under their belts. I’m not saying this to complain. I make half a living from prodding the pros and cons of different programming languages, frameworks, and AI models here on Medium. I profit… This story continues at The Next Web …read more Source::… Read More

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