China says unlikely to grant licenses for world's hottest video game

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s content regulator on Monday said it was unlikely to grant licenses for the world’s hottest video game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, as being too bloody and violent, thus effectively denying firms the opportunity to cash in.

The ban on the South Korea-made multiplayer game, whose players kill to be the last survivor, is the latest bid to cleanse internet content, after President Xi Jinping painted a vision of China as a culturally confident rejuvenated great power in a speech this month to the Communist Party Congress.

The game’s gladiator-like battle “severely deviates from the socialist core value and the Chinese traditional culture and moral rule,” the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association said in a statement on its website.

Its ethos also goes against the psychological and physical health of juvenile consumers, it added.

The association, grouped under the umbrella of China’s top content regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, said SAPPRFT took a negative view of the game and others of the same kind, and any licenses for it were unlikely.

Reuters’ telephone calls to the games publisher, Bluehole Inc., to seek comment, went unanswered.

Leading Chinese gaming and social media company Tencent Holding Ltd., which hinted on its verified site on China’s Twitter-like Weibo that it might introduce the game on its WeGame platform, did not respond to requests for comment.

Still, Chinese gamers can access the game through overseas gaming platforms, though the association, in its statement on Monday, said Chinese companies should not seek to research, develop and import such games.

Gaming platforms and live streaming sites should not provide promotion and advertisement services to such games, it added.

Audiovisual content featuring topics ranging from drug addiction to homosexuality and incest should be restricted, a government-affiliated entity said in June.

China also bans a number of American television shows, such as “The Big Bang Theory” and “House of Cards”.

Reporting by Pei Li and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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Tech

Taiwan central bank governor says bitcoin trading should be regulated by anti-money laundering law

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Bitcoin trading should be added into Taiwan’s notification system for money laundering prevention law, Taiwan central bank governor Perng Fai-nan said on Wednesday.

Taiwan’s central bank governor Perng Fai-nan attends the 44th annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Hanoi May 6, 2011. REUTERS/Kham

Perng made the remarks while addressing questions from lawmakers in the legislature.

Reporting by Liang-sa Loh; Writing by Jess Macy Yu; Editing by Sam Holmes

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Tech

Amazon says studio executive Joe Lewis resigns

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc on Monday said Joe Lewis, the head of comedy and drama at its entertainment studio unit, has stepped down, but gave no reason for his resignation.

FILE PHOTO: Joe Lewis, Head of Original Programming at Amazon Studios, poses during Amazon’s premiere screening of the tv series “Transparent” at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, California, September 15, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian

Amazon said Sharon Tal Yguado, who is the head of event series, will replace Lewis in the interim.

Lewis’ exit comes after Amazon Studios chief Roy Price resigned this month after taking a leave of absence in the wake of harassment allegations from a female producer.

The Hollywood Reporter, which earlier reported Lewis’ departure, said Lewis will still have a producing deal at Amazon Studios.

Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru and Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by Mary Milliken

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Tech

Twitter suspends Russia-linked accounts, but U.S. senator says response inadequate

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Twitter (TWTR.N) said on Thursday it had suspended about 200 Russian-linked accounts as it probes online efforts to meddle with the 2016 U.S. election, but an influential Democratic senator slammed its steps as insufficient.

Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, summoned Twitter officials to testify behind closed doors on Thursday as part of broad investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. Facebook (FB.O) faced a similar grilling earlier this month.

Lawmakers in both parties suspect social networks may have played a big role in Moscow’s attempts to spread propaganda, sow political discord in the United States and help elect President Donald Trump. Moscow denies any such activity, and Trump has denied any collusion.

Twitter also briefed the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Warner said Twitter officials had not answered many questions about Russian use of the platform and that it was still subject to foreign manipulation.

The company’s presentation to the Intelligence Committee “showed an enormous lack of understanding from the Twitter team of how serious this issue is,” Warner said. He took particular umbrage at what he said was Twitter’s decision to largely confine its review to accounts linked to fake profiles already spotted by Facebook.

Twitter said it had identified and removed 22 accounts directly linked to about 500 fake Facebook pages or profiles tied to Russia and that it unearthed an additional 179 accounts that were otherwise related.

Twitter declined to comment when asked about Warner’s comments.

In addition to the private testimony by its officials, the company published a public blog post Thursday with its most detailed discussion to date of the steps it was taking to combat propaganda.

Warner in remarks to reporters called Twitter’s statements “deeply disappointing” and “inadequate on almost every level.”

The comments signaled that the congressional investigations into Russia’s use of social media platforms would not ease up. Twitter, Facebook and other Internet companies including Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) are facing a steady stream of criticism as more information emerges about manipulation of their platforms during the 2016 election campaign.

Users, lawmakers and technology analysts have long criticized Twitter as too lax in policing fake or abusive accounts. Unlike Facebook, Twitter allows both anonymous accounts and automated accounts, or bots, making it far more difficult to police the service.

On Thursday, researchers at Oxford University published a study concluding that Twitter bots disseminated misinformation and propaganda at a higher rate in U.S. battleground states than in noncompetitive states during a 10-day period around Election Day in November.

San Francisco-based Twitter said Russian media outlet Russia Today, which is close to the Kremlin, had spent $ 274,100 on Twitter advertisements and promoted 1,823 tweets potentially aimed at the U.S. market.

Those ad buys alone topped the $ 100,000 that Facebook this month linked to a Russian propaganda operation during the 2016 election cycle, a revelation that prompted calls from some Democrats for new disclosure rules for online political ads.

Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was more tempered in his assessment of Twitter’s briefing, saying in a statement that the firm expressed a desire to work cooperatively with investigators and conduct additional analyses.

‘LOW-QUALITY TWEETS’

Twitter announced new measures to toughen restrictions on suspect spammers, for example by reducing the time that suspicious accounts stay visible during company investigations.

To thwart abuse via applications interacting with Twitter, the company said it had suspended 117,000 apps since June that had been responsible for 1.5 billion “low-quality” tweets this year.

Twitter said it wanted to strengthen disclosure rules on political advertising, as Facebook has just done.

Warner is leading efforts to introduce legislation requiring internet platforms to reveal who is purchasing online political ads, which would bring them in line with rules governing ads on radio or television.

He told reporters on Thursday he did not have a Republican co-sponsor for a draft measure he was circulating he was confident there would be bipartisan interest.

Reporting by Dustin Volz and Joseph Menn; Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Cynthia Osterman

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Tech

T-Mobile One is garbage, and the EFF says it violates net neutrality


T-Mobile and its fancy new ’T-Mobile One’ plans, which promise unlimited LTE data, have come under fire from the EFF. The EFF’s senior staff technologist, Jeremy Gillula, tells The Daily Dot the EFF feels T-Mobile One is a threat to net neutrality: From what we’ve read thus far it seems like T-Mobile’s new plan to charge its customers extra to not throttle video runs directly afoul of the principle of net neutrality. He went on to note the FCC’s rules “explicitly said that ISPs can’t throttle traffic based on its type, or charge customers more in order to avoid discriminatory throttling.”…

This story continues at The Next Web


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Justin Bieber Ripe For Spoofing, ‘Stevie TV’ Star Says

‘Guys are like, ‘I don’t know what it is, but you’re really hot,’ comedian Stevie Ryan says of playing the teen superstar on VH1 show.
By Christina Garibaldi

<P>Stevie Ryan may make fun of <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/bieber_justin/artist.jhtml”>Justin Bieber</a> on her new VH1 show <a href=”http://www.vh1.com/shows/stevie_tv/series.jhtml” target=”_blank”>”Stevie TV,”</a> but the actress and the pop star actually have something cool in common: They were both discovered on YouTube. </P><P> </P><P>Ryan began her career impersonating celebrities and creating her own characters on her YouTube <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/user/stevieryan” target=”_blank”>channel</a> and instantly became an Internet star. Now the 26-year-old comedian gets to do her routines on VH1, portraying some of today’s biggest celebs and reality TV stars. </P><P> </P><P><embed src=”http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:uma:video:mtv.com:752244/cp~vid%3D752244%26uri%3Dmgid%3Auma%3Avideo%3Amtv.com%3A752244″ width=”460″ height=”260″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowFullScreen=”true” allowScriptAccess=”always” base=”.”></embed> </P><P> </P><P>”It’s just a female’s perspective on pop culture, really, at least that’s the way I think about it,” Ryan told MTV News on Tuesday. “It’s really just kind of making fun of pop culture, what’s happening in it, just making fun of these celebrities that are rewarded for bad behavior.” </P><P> </P><P>So far on “Stevie TV,” Ryan has created a music video that mocks <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/perry_katy/artist.jhtml”>Katy Perry</a>’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F),” gotten into character as <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/lady_gaga/artist.jhtml”>Lady Gaga</a> and done some cross-dressing to get into one of her favorite roles, Justin Bieber. </P><P> </P><P>Ryan explained that Bieber has been the most fun to play “because I always tell everybody how guys and girls always like me when I’m Justin Bieber. … Girls are like, ‘You’re so cute, like, are you really a <i>girl</i>?’ And then guys are like, ‘I don’t know what it is, but you’re really hot.’ But I really like playing everybody,” she laughed. </P><P> </P><P>And though she may poke fun at celebrities, Ryan said she’s really a fan of most of the stars … except maybe one. </P><P> </P><P>”I just thought, ‘What a great way to kind of show that this is what the younger generation is growing up with, that who little girls like, is Kim Kardashian,’ ” Ryan said. “It’s just observing these weird behaviors and finding a place for them that makes sense because you can always make fun of Kim Kardashian &#8212; she has a big butt, she made a sex tape &#8212; but at the same time you have to step back and look at the big picture; people are actually wanting to be like this.” </P><P> </P><P>As for future episodes, Ryan really wants to impersonate a certain Young Money rapper. “I would like to do <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/minaj__nicki/artist.jhtml”>Nicki Minaj,”</a> Ryan revealed. “There’s nothing that I want to make fun of about her, because I’m obsessed with her and I really, really love her.” </P><P> </P><P>Asked if she’s gotten any backlash yet for the sometimes harsh jokes on her show, Ryan said she hasn’t, but she’s ready if it comes her way. </P><P> </P><P>”It hasn’t happened before and I’d give a flying f— about what any of them have to say,” Ryan said. “Because I’m just doing my job just like they are and so whatever, if anyone has anything to say, bring it!” </P><P> </P><P><a href=”http://www.vh1.com/shows/stevie_tv/series.jhtml” target=”_blank”>”Stevie TV”</a> airs Sundays at 11 p.m. ET on VH1. </P><P> </P><P><i>What do you think of “Stevie TV”? Let us know in the comments!</i> </p>

Related Photos

  • Justin Bieber’s Birthday: Celebrating 18!

Related Artists

  • Justin Bieber

Source:
http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1681718/justin-bieber-stevie-tv-spoof.jhtml

Gina Gershon Gina Philips Gisele Bündchen Giuliana DePandi Giulianna Ramirez Grace Park


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IDG Contributor Network: IoT security will soon be common in the enterprise, Gartner says

A fifth of all businesses will have deployed IoT-related security by the end of 2017, analyst Gartner thinks.

Dedicated digital security services that are committed to “protecting business initiatives using devices and services in the Internet of Things” will be in place by then, the research and advisory company says.

Gartner made the statement in a press release on its website in relation to a security and risk management summit earlier this month in Mumbai.

‘Reshape IT’

“The IoT redefines security,” Ganesh Ramamoorthy, research vice president at Gartner, said in the press release.

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Samsung says new U.S. offices are its ‘biggest investment in Silicon Valley’ to date

samsung-new-office-silicon-valley

Samsung officially opened the doors to its new 1.1-million-square-foot Silicon Valley offices Thursday, more than 30 years after its arrival in the San Jose tech corridor in 1983.

The building will house various research labs dedicated to semiconductors, LEDs and displays, staff in sales and marketing, and other support areas, the company said.

“[We are] laying the groundwork for a more aggressive pace of growth over the next several decades,” said Samsung’s chief executive, Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon, at the grand opening ceremony.

Meanwhile, the company’s president of its U.S.-based device solutions operations, Jaesoo Han, said that the move “represents a major milestone as we open our most strategically important Samsung facility in the U.S., and also our biggest investment in Silicon Valley.”

samsung-office

Samsung also announced that it has established a $ 1 million STEM College Education Scholarship Fund. In its own words:

Deserving university students who are currently enrolled in STEM-focused programs at a California State or University of California school will benefit from this program, beginning with a $ 50,000 gift to San Jose State University this year. Each scholarship will cover tuition and living expenses for one year.

But the announcement of the new office has been largely overshadowed by news in virtual reality today: We reported that the Samsung Gear VR will launch as a consumer product this November for $ 99. (You can read our full roundup from today’s Oculus event here.)

Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled its new fonts-inspired Serif TVs, and shared more about how it relies on startups to stay ahead on technological innovation.

If you happen to be passing through the area, Samsung’s new building certainly looks worth checking out.

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Google says its voice search system is now more accurate, especially in noisy places

Google voice search on the web.

If you’ve noticed Google doing a better job of understanding what you say using speech recognition on your smartphone lately, you’re not crazy. Google’s voice search has indeed become more accurate, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, the tech company announced today.

“Today, we’re happy to announce we built even better neural network acoustic models using Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC) and sequence discriminative training techniques,” Google Speech Team members Haşim Sak, Andrew Senior, Kanishka Rao, Françoise Beaufays and Johan Schalkwyk wrote in a blog post today. “These models are a special extension of recurrent neural networks (RNNs) that are more accurate, especially in noisy environments, and they are blazingly fast!”

The new models are working in the Google app for iOS and Android, as well as dictation on Android, which works inside of some third-party apps, the team members wrote.

From VentureBeat

Location, location, location — Not using geolocation to reach your mobile customers? Your competitors are. Find out what you’re missing.

Google has reported improvements in voice search not once but twice this year. Clearly the company has been investing in the underlying technology. RNNs are one increasingly popular approach to doing deep learning, a type of artificial intelligence, and Google is widely thought to have a deep bench in deep learning.

But Apple and Microsoft, among others, have also been working to improve their voice recognition capabilities. Meanwhile, Facebook is also doing more in the area, having acquired a speech recognition company, Wit.ai, some months ago.

Speech could become more important as an input to searching the Web in the years to come. Baidu’s Andrew Ng, who is known for his work on the so-called Google Brain, last year predicted that within five years “50 percent of queries will be on speech or images.”

“In addition to requiring much lower computational resources, the new models are more accurate, robust to noise, and faster to respond to voice search queries — so give it a try, and happy (voice) searching!” wrote Sak, Senior, Rao, Beaufays, and Schalkwyk.

Read the full blog post for more detail on how the team managed to get the new performance gains.

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