|:00||TITLE: Epic's Epic Updates||Scott Johnson|
|Stories subject to change up until showtime|
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|This is the Daily Tech News for Wednesday March 20th, 2019. In LA, I'm Tom Merritt|
|From the Salt Lake Studio I'm Scott Johnson|
|And I'm the show's Producer Roger Chang|
|:31||TM||Let's start with a few tech things you should know...|
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|:33||tm||Norwegian manufacturer Hydro was largely operating on a manual basis Wednesday after a cyberattack Monday. The attack began in US offices of Hydra Monday and spread to the plants Tuesday. Ransomware known as LockerGoga locked up systems. Hydro said it had no plans to pay a ransom and believed systems would be back online Wednesday, restored from backups. Hydro turns aluminum ingots into components for car makers builders and other industries.||https://www.reuters.com/article/us-norsk-hydro-cyber/hydro-still-working-to-restore-stable-operations-after-cyber-attack-idUSKCN1R10PU?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews|
|SCOTT||Disney now owns most of 21st Century Fox, closing the deal at 12:02 AM eastern Wednesday. A new company called Fox Corporation spun out Tuesday with Fox News, Fox broadcast channels and the national channels of Fox Sports. The regional Fox Sports networks must be sold by Disney in 90 days.||https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/20/disney-closes-it-71-3b-fox-acquisition/|
|tm||Apple continued its hardware announcements this week with an updated set of Apple Airpods. The new airpods look like the previous generation but include the new H1 chip which can support Siri activation by voice. Current airpods require a tap to activate Siri. Apple also claims 50% more talk time and faster switching between devices. There's also a new charging case available for either the old or new models of airpods that works with any Qi wireless charger. The new Air pods cost $159 or $199 with the wireless charging case. The case alone costs $79.||https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/03/apples-new-airpods-have-hey-siri-50-more-battery-life-wireless-charging/|
|scott||Kaspersky Lab has filed an antitrust complaint with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service. Kaspersky notes that after Apple launched its own screen time fucntion, it notified Kaspersky that its Safe Kids app violated app store policies by using configuration profiles to monitor kids usage of iOS devices. Kaspersky notes that Apple cracked down on other screen time applications at the same time.||https://9to5mac.com/2019/03/19/apple-kaspersky-lab-monopolistic-app-store/|
|tm||Uber Freight, the Uber-owned unit that helps connect truck drivers with shipping companies is launching its app in the Netherlands Wednesday. More European countries are planned later in the year. Previously Uber Freight only operated in the US. Uber Freight had about 30,000 active users last quarter.||https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/20/uber-freight-is-expanding-into-europe/|
|Let's talk a little more about...|
|:33||tm||Thurott.com's Brad Sams published a memo from Microsoft's head of gaming, Phil Spencer to employees about the Google Stadia announcement, saying "Google went big today and we have a couple of months until E3 when we will go big." Microsoft has been demonstrating its xCloud game streaming service and is expected to announce more about it at E3.||https://www.thurrott.com/xbox/203350/phil-spencer-on-stadia-google-went-big-today-at-e3-we-will-go-big|
|:39||scott||Oculus VR announced the new Oculus Rift S built in partnership with Lenovo. It has 1280 x 1440 resolution per eye, an 80Hz refresh rate (down from 90 to maintain PC compatibility) and includes Passthrough Plus which shows you your surroundings, and a built-in tracking system called Oculus Insight. The forthcoming standalone Oculus Quest headset will have the same tracking system. Both have a more comfortable PSVR style strap. Both the Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest will cost $399 and ship this spring. Facebook's F8 developer conference is scheduled for April 30.||https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/20/18273152/oculus-rift-s-vr-headset-announced-pricing-release-date-features-gdc-2019|
|:41||TM||The European Union fined Google 1.49 billion euros Wednesday for blocking rival online search advertisers. Google was accused of restricting publishers from placing advertisements from competing ad services on the publisher's search results page. Google says it will boost price comparison rivals. In response to a previous antitrust case for tying Chrome to Android, Google also says it will prompt European Android users to choose a browser and default search engine rather than defaulting to their own. |
Google had already stopped requiring Chrome and Search apps to be installed along wit the Google Play Store, though it now charges manufacturers a license fee for the store with or without search and Chrome. Google has now been fined three times by the EU. In addition to the fines for AdSense and Android, Google also was fined for using its own search engine to direct people to the Google Shopping platform.
|:44||SCOTT||The US Supreme Court threw out a decision of a lower court upholding a settlement where Google paid a class action group $8.5 million over a privacy dispute. The class argued Google violated federal privacy law by allowing websites to see user's search queries. The Supreme Court directed the lower court to evaluate whether the class had been harmed by Google and therefore determine if it had legal standing to sue.||https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-google/u-s-top-court-undermines-google-settlement-in-internet-privacy-case-idUSKCN1R11RD?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews|
|:46||tm||Lucasfilm recently posted job listings for producers and marketers for Lucasfilm Games. The positions would oversee development of games based on Lucasfilm IP for consoles, PCs, smartphones and "AR/VR platforms." LucasArts still exists as a licensor. And EA still has the exclusive rights to Star Wars games until 2023, though it has only released two games since it got he rights in 2013.|
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|:49||Epic’s stunning new Unreal demos show off ray tracing and photorealism - The Verge||https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/20/18273832/epic-unreal-engine-demo-troll-rebirth-ray-tracing-gdc-2019|
|Epic CEO on PC store moderation: ‘We’re not in the porn business’ - The Verge||https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/20/18273639/epic-games-ceo-tim-sweeney-epic-store-moderation-valve-apple-google-gdc-2019|
|Epic Games has 250 million 'Fortnite' players and a lot of plans||https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/20/fortnite-250-million-epic-games-sweeney-interview-gdc/|
|Epic CEO: “You’re going to see lower prices” on Epic Games Store | Ars Technica||https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/03/epic-ceo-youre-going-to-see-lower-prices-on-epic-games-store/|
Epic co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney is making the rounds giving interviews to various outlets along with the Epic games Wednesday press conference.
At the press conference, Epic showed off ray-tracing upgrades in Unreal 4.22 now in preview with a full version due in two weeks. And showed Unreal 4.23 scheduled to go live in June. The chaos system is about physics to generate realism like destructible environments and rigid-body dynamics. The demo Rebirth showed Unreal's photorealism capabilities and Troll demonstrated Unreal's new Ray Tracing power.
Epic launched a platform and engine-agnostic SDK called Epic Online Services to support large-scale matchmaking, voice communications, cloud storage, sentiment analysis, game analytics and a ticketing system.
And numberswise Fortnite has nearly 250 million registered players up from 200 million in December, with 10.8 million concurrents. Sweeney told Ars Technica, Half of Fortnite player son PC have never used Steam before.
A lot of what Sweeney talked about in interviews related to the Epic Games store. The Epic Games Store for PC lets developers keep 88% of the revenue.
85 million total players with Epic Games Store installed.
Deep Silver's Metro Exodus is selling 2.5 times better in its first weeks as an Epic Games Store exclusive than its predecessor Metro: Last Light did on Steam. 1.5 times better on console.
Despite devs keeping more of the sale prices remain equal to other platforms. Sweeney told Ars Technica he believes prices of games on the store will drop as developers get used to the new revenue share and realize they can sell more copies at a lower price and not lose money.
And then there's the matter of what gets allowed in. Steam has been courting controversy by saying they would allow anything legal in the store unless it wqas straight up trolling. Sweeney sees things differntly for Epic.
Sweeney told the Verge Epic respects developers complete creative freedom to develop anything with its tools like Unreal engine. But epic prioritizes "high-quality" experiences in its store. He told the Verge, “We’re not going to accept pornographic or shock content of any kind. We’re not in the porn business here. PC is an open platform, and those devs can reach gamers in any other way they want.”
Epic will open up the store to submissions from all partners later this year, but Epic will still apply a high quality standard to games.
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Kudos on your interview with Jack Conte. If anyone thought you’d softball him, they were wrong. And you got your answer while still handling it very professionally. Now let’s hope they don’t announce tomorrow they’re getting bought by PayPal...
|Hi Tom, Sarah and Roger,|
I have some feedback about the Google Stadia discussion in the post
show of GDI 3491 from the perspective of somebody living in Belgium.
Patrick was saying that most of Europe had internet without data caps,
but at least for Belgium it's more complicated than that. You can get
a king of unlimited internet here, but it's pretty expensive (for
Europe) and it works with a "fair use policy". This policy basically
still is a cap that limits you to lower bandwidth once you go over it.
As to the bandwidth requirements, I think most people in Belgium can
reach those, although for some just barely. ... For the VDSL
provider 30Mbps is attainable for a large portion of the users. For
the cable provider everybody should be able to reach 30Mbps. ...
I hope this provided you with another European perspective. I love the
show and me and my girlfriend listen to it every morning when we're
driving to work together.
|:58||sl||Thanks to... Scott Johnson||frogpants.com|
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|tm||Plug tomorrow's guest: Justin Robert Young|
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