Death Stranding: Director’s Cut – a beautifully tailored PS5 experience

There is, however, one aspect of the game which I feel deserves some criticism and that’s the save transfer option. Many games have made progress in this regard, such as Ghost of Tsushima where it was super quick and easy, but Death Stranding is a step back. Firstly, you must load up the PS4 version of the game using the save you want to transfer. Then you must stand at a delivery terminal, bring up the menu and select the export option. However, crucially, if you have any open orders you cannot do this. You can, of course, cancel most orders but you cannot remove them all – I found this to be the case with a road-building order that I didn’t tackle even though I reached the end of the game. So to complete the export, I’d need to invest the time on PS4 to finish this order before I can export, which can take some time. The point is – depending on the state of your save files, you may need to play the PS4 version for a while before you can even export your save for use on PS5. Keep this in mind if you’re planning to carry your save over, because it can be frustrating.

This kind of thing should just not be allowed at this point. It’s beyond impractical: it’s outright stupid design.

Diablo II: Resurrected impressions: Maybe not the best time to bring back evil

Where do I even start with Diablo II: Resurrected? Unfortunately for its creators at Blizzard and developers at Vicarious Visions, the answer isn’t “the game.”

This is just one example of pieces on Diablo II Resurrected I came across, almost all following a pattern I very much disagree with. When the main point is to produce an article containing impressions of the game or an actual review even, insisting so much on talking —yet again— about Activision Blizzard’s apparently well-deserved legal trouble in such a piece is just nonsense. Every outlet this happens on has covered the whole affair extensively, so it’s not that keeping it out of an impressions article would diminish the overall coverage from the same outlets. What’s more, it has little to do with game impressions. And if the goal is for this to be some kind of activism, there are just better ways to go about it. Write a different piece, even if you’ve written about it before. Refuse or at least delay the game’s coverage if you want.

Rushing to meet the embargo deadline to get those views isn’t necessarily to be frowned upon, but said rushing when you insist on criticising a company in a product piece is a more awkward place to be. Even more so, in my opinion, when the rest of the piece does its job very well.

Not all cocktail ideas are good cocktail ideas.

Pulling the plug on consumer frustration and e-waste: Commission proposes a common charger for electronic devices

Where do I even start?

Today, the Commission is proposing:

A proposal is exactly that and is submitted to the European Parliament and the Council Of Europe for discussion and approval. So this isn’t set in stone yet and even if it passes there’s still room and time for nips and tucks.

A harmonised charging port for electronic devices: USB-C will be the common port. This will allow consumers to charge their devices with the same USB-C charger, regardless of the device brand.

I’d be all for this (and I do want USB-C everywhere) if it where about the chargers but it’s about the on-device ports. I’m not in a hurry for mandated ports just to hope for new legislation later on until a newer, better port can be adopted. The Commission’s solution to this kind of strain is… to have USB-C and whatever other port one has to propose till everything is all sorted out. This is what shows me how little connection to smartphone reality this proposal has.

More importantly though, I’m still waiting for anyone to explain to me how the second sentence requires the same port on every device instead of all chargers to be USB-C chargers.

Harmonised fast charging technology will help prevent that different producers unjustifiably limit the charging speed and will help to ensure that charging speed is the same when using any compatible charger for a device.

This would actually be great. Now, I’d say this means all attention is directed to USB-C Power Delivery as making different fast charging tech interoperable, easy or not, just doesn’t strike me as something the companies involved will be to psyched for.

Unbundling the sale of a charger from the sale of the electronic device: consumers will be able to purchase a new electronic device without a new charger. This will limit the number of unwanted chargers purchased or left unused. Reducing production and disposal of new chargers is estimated to reduce the amount of electronic waste by almost a thousand tonnes’ yearly.

Yes, this also makes sense. Even more so as so much tech has switched to USB-C already.

Improved information for consumers: producers will need to provide relevant information about charging performance, including information on the power required by the device and if it supports fast charging. This will make it easier for consumers to see if their existing chargers meet the requirements of their new device or help them to select a compatible charger. Combined with the other measures, this would help consumers limit the number of new chargers purchased and help them save €250 million a year on unnecessary charger purchases.

This is just about information labels and prominence. I don’t think manufacturers have been opaque about any of this but I assume the point of the Commission is to mandate better visibility and communications of such specifics. No argument there.

European Union announces plans to require all mobile devices to use USB-C

Apple said it shared the European Commission’s commitment to protecting the environment but questioned whether the proposals would help consumers.

“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” the company said in a statement.

Breton denied that the new rules would slow innovation.

“If Apple wants to continue to have their own plug, they will have the ability to do it. It’s not against innovation, it’s just to make the lives of our fellow citizens a little bit more easy,” Breton said at a press briefing in Brussels, adding that device makers could still put two different ports on their phones if they want. He added that the proposals would allow for updates to keep pace with advances in technology.

Apple is being ridiculed for this stance and I get why. Doesn’t mean they’re wrong though. I don’t know in what galaxy each of you resides in but I have yet to run into a bureaucracy so quick and legislation so well-crafted that they “would allow for updates to keep pace with advances in technology”. Even if Apple is a bunch of hypocrites, it still makes sense to me to be weary on such promises made by politicians.

Semiconductor firms can’t find enough workers, worsening chip shortage

According to the survey, 80 percent of chip makers say that it’s become hard to find workers who have to be specially trained to handle the highly toxic compounds used in semiconductor manufacturing. The problem is worse in North America and in Asia, where more companies are reporting rising labor costs compared to those in Europe.

Materials weren’t enough, industrial tools weren’t enough, different blocs are trying to pivot away from relying too much on Chinese (but also Asian) production and now qualified workers aren’t enough either.

And you all thought it would be oil that gets us.

New laptops from Surface, now with Windows 11

From “Surface”. Not “Microsoft”. The decoupling of product brands from the company brand continues. Another sign that Windows isn’t the glue that keeps it all together but, nowadays, just another product brand within Microsoft.