EU votes to address loot boxes, gold farming, and gaming addiction, Microsoft to end sale of Windows 10 and Amazon closes AmazonSmile charity platform.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday January 20th and I am your host, Ashee Pamma.
According to Gamesindustry.biz, the European Parliament has voted to adopt a report that highlights the positives of the gaming industry but also the social risks, such as the impact of gaming on mental health. Loot boxes, which are mystery virtual items related to a video game as well as prompts to make in-game purchases will also be investigated. Consumer watchdogs have previously ruled loot-box mechanics to be predatory and exploitative to consumers. Gold farming, the practice of playing a massively multiplayer game to acquire in-game currency and then sell for real-world money was also a key investigation in the report. The EU Commission will investigate whether gold farming can be linked to financial crimes and human rights abuses. Moreover, it wants an end to illegal practices allowing anyone to exchange, sell or bet on in-game and third-party sites.
Amazon is shutting down its AmazonSmile charity program next month, a move that coincides with the ecommerce giant’s various cost-cutting efforts, including layoffs, The Verge reported. The AmazonSmile program functioned like an overlay for the standard Amazon site, whereby users could shop normally but select a charity to which Amazon donated 0.5 per cent of the cost of all eligible products.Amazon claims that over $377 million has been donated through the scheme since it launched in 2013, but in its closure notice suggested this was not sufficient to keep the scheme running. AmazonSmile will shut down on February 20th. Charities enrolled in the program will still be able to receive additional donations until the program closes, and Amazon said it will be making a one-time donation to participating charities “equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program.”
Source: The Verge
Microsoft says that it will stop offering Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro for sales via its website after January 31, 2023, in a bid to push as many people over to its current Windows 11 operating system as quickly as possible, Tom’s hardware reported. Additionally, Windows 10 will remain supported with security updates that seek to protect PCs from viruses, spyware, and other malware until October 14, 2025. Although Microsoft is ending consumer sales of Windows 10 via its web store, there are still plenty of other avenues to download the operating system or purchase it on DVD. For example, Amazon offers the OEM version of Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro on DVD for $109.99(opens in new tab) and $146.99(opens in new tab), respectively.
Source: tom’s Hardware
An Australian personal trainer’s Apple Watch inadvertently summoned 15 police officers while he was running a boxing class, with a client punching away at pads on his hands, The Register reported. As the client pounded the pads, sufficient force was imparted to activate Apple’s Siri voice assistant due to the pressure of his wrist against his watch. The trainer said he took off his watch because Siri kept interrupting and could not understand the instructions he issued to his client to punch in certain combinations, like “1-1-2” which is an emergency telephone number.Those instructions also included remarks about the quality of the client’s “shots” which is boxing parlance for punches.Siri jumped to conclusions and soon police and ambulance swarmed in the gym. He later told another news outlet that he has since disabled Siri on his Apple Watch.
Source: The Register
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Ashee Pamma.