Android TV owners protest over autoplaying ads on the new homescreen

The new homescreen features ‘cinematic highlights’ for movies and TV shows from partners such as Disney+, regardless of whether the user has an active subscription plan or not. Users argue that these are essentially ads for new content, some of which have autoplaying video and audio.

Great stuff. Now not only do TV manufacturers try to monetise TV use through their UI and data collection policies, even Google tries to monetise its own software through their UI. And there’s nothing one can do about it other than unplug a TV from the internet or just turn to a life with a huge monitor, whenever and wherever practical.

These tactics keep TV initial purchase cost lower than it would otherwise would have been. But, increasingly, companies that tout choice as the ultimate consumer benefit, leave us no choice other than accepting ads, even after purchasing a TV that was supposedly priced to make a profit over time to begin with.

Google-Microsoft Truce Crumbles Amid Feud Over Cloud, Ad Tech

The companies’ expired agreement on ending existing hostilities and preventing future ones set out a formal, escalating process for handling disputes that might previously have gone directly to regulators. In the current ad-tech quarrel, Microsoft says the two companies followed that process but its concerns about Google’s product still weren’t addressed successfully. Even talks between the companies’ chief executive officers, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Google’s Sundar Pichai – the final step in the accord’s predetermined process – failed to produce a resolution.

Under the peace treaty, only once all the efforts laid out in the accord have been exhausted could one company take its grievance to regulators. By last year, Microsoft had spoken with U.K. officials and regulators in some U.S. states about the ad-tech issue.

What strikes me here is the language. Replace “Google” and “Microsoft” with country names and you’d think a war is brewing somewhere.

Of course this is no accident as any corporation of similar size has so much power it practically generates its own gravitational field. The tricky part is not letting anyone grow enough to become a black hole.

EA, Tencent Sign Deal to Put TV-Style Commercials in Video Games

According to Simulmedia’s Executive Vice President, Dave Madden, gaming studios are trying to monetize more of the F2P ecosystem: “The acceleration of Free-to-play (F2P) games across Console and PC, like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Call of Duty Warzone and Roblox, means that audiences and playtime have seen explosive growth, yet the vast majority of players, over 90 percent, never spend money [in?] F2P games.”

EA later came out and denied such plans but EA is not the point here. The belief that most F2P game players don’t pay anything as justification for such a system is hilarious. Of course most don’t pay. This phenomenon is part of the F2P model. Sure, one hopes to get more paying customers but pretending a high percentage of non-paying players is somehow something that should be amended is, uh, colourful a comment.

Sony’s PS Plus missteps risk the PS5’s consumer image | Opinion

Game Pass is already an easy sell when you’re explaining it to console-upgrade-curious friends, compared to the slew of caveats and complexities you need to explain about PS Plus. Now here’s a fresh new wrinkle (“Yeah, some of the games you get on it, you’ll have to pay for separately if you want the PS5 update…”), at a time when Sony really needs to be upgrading and simplifying this experience, not allowing it to become more uneven and complex.

The diminishing of clarity in the console space has been a trend for years and I keep feeling that this is to the detriment of the segment. The core joy of a console is not having to fret over the specifics and feel confident you are getting the best possible experience your system can provide. This is hardly the case anymore and sometimes this muddling extends to services as well. I really hope console makers tighten up their game here.

The Internet Is Rotting

In 2010, Justice Samuel Alito wrote a concurring opinion in a case before the Supreme Court, and his opinion linked to a website as part of the explanation of his reasoning. Shortly after the opinion was released, anyone following the link wouldn’t see whatever it was Alito had in mind when writing the opinion. Instead, they would find this message: “Aren’t you glad you didn’t cite to this webpage … If you had, like Justice Alito did, the original content would have long since disappeared and someone else might have come along and purchased the domain in order to make a comment about the transience of linked information in the internet age.”

The first study, with Kendra Albert and Larry Lessig, focused on documents meant to endure indefinitely: links within scholarly papers, as found in the Harvard Law Review, and judicial opinions of the Supreme Court. We found that 50 percent of the links embedded in Court opinions since 1996, when the first hyperlink was used, no longer worked. And 75 percent of the links in the Harvard Law Review no longer worked.

People tend to overlook the decay of the modern web, when in fact these numbers are extraordinary—they represent a comprehensive breakdown in the chain of custody for facts. Libraries exist, and they still have books in them, but they aren’t stewarding a huge percentage of the information that people are linking to, including within formal, legal documents. No one is. The flexibility of the web—the very feature that makes it work, that had it eclipse CompuServe and other centrally organized networks—diffuses responsibility for this core societal function.

This is a long read about link rot and various approaches to dealing with it when and where it matters, taking into account legal realities, the perpetually thorny issue of censorship —justified or otherise— even how link rot has created opening for outright fraud to manipulate situations through a legal facade. It is one of those problems that no one designed for, not many feel the sting of yet but absolutely needs to be dealt with as the passage of time only exacerbates things.

Read it. You won’t regret it.