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‘Fortnite’ is coming to China

According to a DoNews report, some of that investment will be spent building the game's eSports scene in China. Anyone who played the original will be able to transfer their data, skins and items to the Chinese version for a limited time. Tencent has allegedly already built a dedicated app to teach players about the game and watch live broadcasts, and those who visit the game's Chinese site and pre-order it earn special items.

Whether or not Fortnite blows up there as much as it has in the US, Tencent will have a hold on the genre: The company created the mobile version of PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds, which launched in China last fall and the US last month. But expanding its eSports portfolio is smart given how much the tech giant invested in other popular competitive games. Tencent announced plans to bring its popular-in-China mobile-only MOBA Arena of Valor/Honor of Kings to the US back in December, followed by a $500,000 eSports World Cup for the title. Tencent also owns a majority share of Riot Games, makers of League of Legends.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/23/fortnite-is-coming-to-china/

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GOG gets social by adding user profiles

The biggest addition is a new feed showing what your friends are playing, when they earn achievements and make forum posts. You're broadcasting your own activity by default, though that can be tweaked in settings. You can choose to have your profile, game library and friends list viewable by everyone, friends or just you, similar to Steam's recent privacy changes.

But even after setting all personal broadcasting to private, some activity and profile information is still shown, RPS noted. Whether increasing social visibility ends up being a good thing for GOG, users are making themselves heard on the platform's forum, from those welcoming the new changes to diehards resisting any change from the marketplace's previous social agnosticism.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/23/gog-gets-social-by-adding-user-profiles/

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What’s on TV: ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘3%’ and ‘Archer’

This week the NFL Draft takes place, squeezed in between NBA and NHL playoffs action. At the same time Archer is back to open another season, along with Netflix's 3% and The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu. We also have the season finale of Homeland, and a series capper for Ash vs. Evil Dead, while Comedy Central imports Taskmaster from the UK. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/23/whats-on-tv-handmaids-tale-3-and-archer/

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Facebook starts verifying political advertisers in the US

Starting today, anyone based in the US running an electoral or issue ad will have to run through the authorization process to provide a government-issued ID and mailing address. Then Facebook confirms identity by mailing a letter with a unique access code that only the advertiser's Page admin account can use, like an old-school version of email verification. And then, of course, they'll have to disclose who paid for the ads before Facebook will put them up.

While the changes went into effect, Facebook posted a QA about what advertisers know about you. While the company maintains that they don't know as much about us as we feared, by default, advertisers are still targeting users based on their interests and browsing habits. At least after these changes, we know a bit more about them.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/23/facebook-starts-verifying-political-advertisers-in-the-us/

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YouTube mistakenly pulls video exposing Alex Jones’ conspiracy theories

The streaming service reinstated the clip soon after the Guardian asked about the clip. In a statement, YouTube said there was a "massive volume of videos" and that it sometimes makes a "wrong call." The company wouldn't comment specifically about the video, including who flagged it and why. It's evident the video isn't calling for harassment, though -- it mainly draws attention to Jones' theories using clips from his YouTube channel.

As you might guess, the concern is that YouTube was quick to take down a documentary video dissecting bogus theories, but not the videos spreading those theories -- an odd move for a company that has promised to fight fake news. Media Matters argued that false claims like Jones' amount to "pervasive" harassment of innocent people, and noted that his channel is just a strike away from a full-fledged ban. This suggests YouTube may have erred too far on the side of caution, and that it still has a ways to go before it can consistently apply its rules.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/23/youtube-pulls-video-exposing-alex-jones-conspiracy/

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HTC’s latest Vive Pro VR kit is built for business

There are also new service plans to keep the headsets up and running. A standard $199 plan gives you a two-year warranty, but a $299 option gives you immediate replacement parts without having to return any broken equipment first.

It may seem odd to offer a kit that's even more expensive than the existing Pro options at a time when headsets like the Oculus Go are driving VR prices downward. However, HTC told Fortune that it wants its corporate sales to represent 30 percent of its VR revenue by 2020 -- it needs to court the enterprise crowd with hardware that meets their exact needs. As it is, this audience may be more willing to pay the premium for an upgraded experience. While many home users are cost-conscious and might have a hard time justifying a Vive Pro, a $1,399 kit is a drop in the bucket for a large business. Whatever it spends could easily be recouped through more efficient design work and more realistic training scenarios.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/23/htc-vive-pro-2-0-kit/

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Target promises EV chargers at more than 100 stores

The other companies, meanwhile, are working with Electrify America to install chargers at more than 100 "retail, convenience and refueling" locations across the US, including Target's. They'll range from ordinary 50kW chargers to 150kW in urban areas and 350kW along highways. Those last two charging levels will require cutting edge EVs, of course. All of the stations should either be active or under construction by June 2019.

In both cases, the goal is the same: retailers want to both help the environment and (crucially for them) draw you to their stores with the promise of more electricity. If you have your choice of stores, you may be more likely to visit the ones that let you recharge while you're busy shopping. Not that this strategy is necessarily a problem. Many chargers still tend to be limited to dedicated stations -- this could be helpful if you'd rather not go out of your way just to plug in.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/23/target-and-electrify-america-ev-charger-expansion/

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YouTube removed 8.3 million videos in the last quarter of 2017

The report has also revealed that 6.7 million of the 8.3 million videos were first flagged for review by machines and were never even viewed. YouTube explained that its use of machine learning to police its content isn't a bad thing (despite reports saying that its AI is far from perfect) and leads to "more people reviewing content, not fewer." While its algorithms can delete some content on their own -- like say, spam videos -- it mostly forwards anything it suspects is in violation of YouTube's guidelines to human reviewers. Those reviewers are the ones who'll be in charge of deciding whether to pull the video or to put it behind an age gate, restricting it to logged-in users above 18 years old.

Back in December, the platform said it's recruiting 10,000 people across Google to review flagged videos. Its algorithms sending flagging entries for human review won't make a difference if there's nobody to look at them, after all. YouTube said it has already "staffed the majority of additional roles needed to reach [its] contribution to meeting that goal," though it'll likely take some time before it can say that it has 10,000 reviewers at its disposal.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/24/youtube-first-guidelines-enforcement-report/

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Maybach Ultimate Luxury EV brings its own tea service

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury (yes, that's the name), is a four-wheel drive EV with an emphasis on passenger comfort that comes with its own tea service. The pot, cups and wooden tray are housed in a center console that retracts with a push of the button.

The rest of the interior is equally fancy with ebony wood known as "Magic Wood" used in the tea set and doors. The seats are stitched white leather while there are rose gold and shiny aluminum accents throughout the interior.

The driver--which will more than likely be a chauffeur--will have two 12.3-inch displays to help them navigate the streets of China. The cockpit is minimalistic with all the real emphasis made on making the passengers feel as comfortable as possible.

The crossover will output 750 horsepower from four motors and have a range of over 200 miles. Under all that leather and Magic Wood is an 80kWh battery pack that thanks to CCS DC fast charging that supports 350kW, can suck up 60 miles of range in five minutes.

Since the driver will take care of all of that, the interior of the crossover looks like something you'd never want to leave. Which is great because as soon as you get out of the car you have to look at it. While the front of the vehicle is spectacular, the rear is just odd looking.

The automaker put a trunk on an SUV. It's weird. Mercedes did say the design is based on a luxury sedan and SUV. But if you're the person being pampered in the back seat, you probably don't care because your tea is ready.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/24/vision-mercedes-maybach-ultimate-luxury-ev-unveil/

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Facebook publishes its community standards playbook

To be clear, the community standards themselves have not changed. Instead, what Facebook is doing is updating them with more detail as to how they're enforced. According to the company, the guidelines published today are exactly the same as the ones used by the company's 7,500 or so moderators around the world. It's apparently another a part of the company's renewed effort to be more transparent with its users.

"We want to give people clarity," said Monica Bickert, Facebook's VP of Global Policy Management. "We think people should know exactly how we apply these policies. If they have content removed for hate speech, they should be able to look at their speech and figure out why it fell under that definition."

"The other reason we're publishing this is to get feedback on these policies," she continued. "[Getting] real world examples or examples on how an issue manifests itself in the community is helpful."

To go along with this announcement, Facebook is also expanding its appeals process. Until now, if you've had a specific post or photo removed for violating community guidelines, you didn't have the option to appeal that decision. But now, you do. You'll be given the option to "Request Review," and Facebook's Community Operations team will look at the request within 24 hours. If a mistake has indeed been made, Facebook promises to restore the post or photo.

"We're going to offer appeals for posts and photos not only if we remove the post and photo, but also if you report a photo and post and we don't remove it," said Bickert. "You'll have the opportunity to say hey, 'Take another look at this.'"

The community standards document is a fairly lengthy one, but it essentially covers six distinct categories: Violence and criminal behavior, safety, objectionable content, integrity and authenticity, respecting intellectual property and content-related requests. Some of the guidelines seem fairly straightforward; for example, a threat of credible violence could result in a takedown, and even a report to the authorities. Masquerading as someone else is clearly defined as wrong, as are posts involving child nudity and trafficking in illegal goods.

But other guidelines, like the ones around hate speech, are a lot more nuanced. Facebook states that it doesn't allow hate speech on its platform, and defines it as a "direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics -- race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity and serious disability or disease." It also offers some protection for immigrants, and defines an attack as "violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation." Examples include violent speech (which would be a Tier 1 offense), expressions of disgust (a Tier 2 offense) or a call to exclude (a Tier 3 offense).

That might sound pretty clear, but the reality is that it's a lot more granular than that. For example, Facebook says that while you can't attack a person, you can still criticize an organization, a country, and even a religion. So for example, you can't say "Scientologists are evil," but you can say "Scientology is evil." If that sounds a little like splitting hairs, well, even Facebook would agree that it sometimes runs into these tricky definitions.

Additionally, while Facebook's hate speech policies cover the above protected characteristics, it doesn't always cover subsets. In a New York Times quiz last year, the paper posited that "Female sports reporters need to be hit in the head with hockey pucks" would not be considered hate speech under Facebook's policies, because while gender is a protected category, occupation is not. Facebook did tell the Times that the statement would likely still be flagged for the violent threat (which is under a different policy), but it's troubling that simply targeting female sports reporters doesn't count.

Still, Facebook took pains to say that these policies are not static. According to Facebook, the content policy team meets every two weeks with various other teams within the company like engineering or operations. Depending on the issue, they would also meet with teams from legal, public policy, diversity, child and women's safety, government relations and external stakeholders like academics, researchers, counterterrorism experts and hate organization experts. With the issue of abortion, for example, they might meet with both pro-choice and pro-life groups to get a fuller understanding of the topic.

In a recent blog post, Facebook also says that it attempts to protect against human bias with extensive training as part of the on-boarding process. "Our reviewers are not working in an empty room; there are quality control mechanisms in place, and management on site, that reviewers can look to for guidance," it states. Facebook also conducts weekly audits to check on the decisions. But even then, mistakes are made. "Even if you have a 99.9 percent accuracy rate, you'll still have made many mistakes every day," said Bickert." To help counter this, Facebook hopes to beef up its safety and security team to 20,000 people this year -- up from 7,500.

One of the biggest issues with Facebook's community standards remains. It's one set of guidelines for the whole world, which doesn't always apply to local laws. For example, Germany has much stricter laws around hate speech, so a post that would be legal elsewhere in the world would have to be made unavailable in Germany. "Our standards are global," said Bickert. "But there are times when we have to be very local in our application."

"We do think cultural context is important," she continued. "When we are hiring reviewers to cover certain languages, we have native Portugese speakers from Brazil and from Portugal, because of the different ways language is used."

This cultural context is all the more important as Facebook growis in popularity in the developing world, where it's often used as a tool of misinformation and false rumors can sometimes result in violent riots. Facebook says it's catching up and attempting rectify the situation, but it's understandably hard to be patient when lives are at stake.

To that end, the company will be holding several public summits around the world in the coming months. The first three forums will be in England, Paris and Berlin and will be held in mid May. There'll also be subsequent summits in India, Singapore and the US. "They're going to be very interactive," said Bickert. "We want to get their feedback and incorporate them, and make sure the team is taking them into account in policy development and updates to community standards."

"There will always be people who will try to post abusive content or engage in abusive behavior," said Bickert. "[Revealing our guidelines] is our way of saying, 'These things are not tolerated.'"

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/24/facebook-internal-guidelines-community-standards/

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