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Google’s cloud platform pushes into AAA, Stadia won’t require its use

News March 20 that Ubisoft’s The Division 2 runs on Google Cloud is the latest example of the company’s push to expand its services beyond the barebone resources for mobile titles, to rich, expansive support for major AAA games.

Perhaps surprisingly, Google Cloud platform is not necessarily a part of Google’s big gaming initiative announced earlier this week at GDC: Stadia. — AFP

‘Same design!’ and other reactions to the underwhelming new AirPods

Apple announced new AirPods with the same design but not a lot of new features, leaving some users feeling underwhelmed.

The new AirPods come with hands-free Siri. — Apple

South Korea police accuse four of secretly filming hotel guests

South Korean police say they have arrested four people on suspicion of secretly taking videos of about 1,600 guests in hotel rooms and posting or streaming them on the Internet.

A police officer demonstrating mini-spy cameras installed at hair dryer, as he is shown on a screen, center rear, at a police station in Seoul, South Korea. The Korean National Police Agency said the four men are accused of installing mini-spy cameras in TV set-top boxes, hair dryers or electrical outlets in 42 rooms in 30 hotels throughout South Korea. — Yonhap/AP

Nevada considers technology to scan cellphones after car crashes

A legislative proposal could make Nevada one of the first US states to allow police to use a contentious technology to find out if a person was using a cellphone during a car crash.

Lieberman (pic), whose 19-year-old son died in a crash involving distracted driving, is urging support for a legislative proposal that would make Nevada the first state in the US to allow police to use prototype technology to find out if a person was using a cellphone during a car crash. — AP

Facebook’s Oculus launches PC-connected Rift S to replace Rift

Facebook Inc’s Oculus division on March 20 unveiled a new version of the Rift virtual-reality headset, the Rift S, adding a higher-resolution display and a new design.

The new model, which goes on sale for US$399 (RM1,620) sometime in the spring, plays the same games as the original Rift (pic), but adds embedded sensors instead of external cameras for tracking. — Reuters

Facebook Messenger to introduce new message reply feature

Conversations on Facebook Messenger is about to get a bit easier with the introduction of the new feature that lets users reply to specific GIFs, text, photo, emoji or video messages.

Conversations on chat groups can get a little confusing at times. — Facebook

Facebook ever-more vulnerable to policy risks, analysts warn

Facebook Inc is contending with a growing array of bi-partisan criticism and fresh regulatory issues which may pose increasing risk to its unique advertising-revenue-based business model, analysts say.

Devitt flagged Cicilline’s NYT opinion piece about Facebook's “pattern of misconduct” and calls for “an investigation into whether Facebook’s conduct has violated antitrust laws” as “further evidence that this (scrutiny) may be more than a passing fad”. — Reuters

Epic Games sets up US$100mil grant to fund innovative projects using Unreal Engine

Epic Games announced its MegaGrant programme, a US$100mil (RM405.88mil) commitment to support those who make creative and innovative projects using Unreal Engine toolset.

The Fortnite maker is sharing its spoils with an epic grant to help others focus on their creation and not worry about money. — AFP Relaxnews

Game industry has mixed reactions to Google Stadia

Google’s new game streaming platform Stadia made its debut at GDC. Although still missing some key details (namely, pricing or a launch date), publishers and developers still have thoughts on this ambitious attempt at bringing streaming to the mainstream.

Game publishers and developers have some thoughts on this ambitious attempt at bringing game streaming to the mainstream. — AFP

Union accuses Amazon of breaking US law by firing activist

A union organising Inc employees in New York has filed a complaint accusing the company of illegally firing one of the labour group’s most prominent supporters.

Amazon has been the subject of more than 50 unfair labour practice cases, according to NLRB records, with most of the complaints brought by workers being withdrawn or dismissed, according to the NLRB. — AP