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Tech Weekender | Twitter censorship and its Indian alternative Koo; EA's big mobile gaming play; Cyberpunk 2077 woes; and more

Here are the biggest developments from the world of tech from the week ended February 13.

February 14, 2021 / 11:17 AM IST
Twitter has blocked over 97 percent of the accounts and posts at the behest of the IT Ministry for “provocative content and misinformation around farmers protest”, according to sources. This followed a meeting between Twitter representatives and the Information Technology Secretary on Wednesday evening where the US-based microblogging platform was issued a stern warning to comply with local laws or be prepared for action.
Twitter blocked over 97 percent of the accounts and posts at the behest of the IT Ministry for “provocative content and misinformation around farmers protest”, sources told PTI. This followed a meeting between Twitter representatives and the Information Technology Secretary on February 10 where the US-based microblogging platform was issued a stern warning to comply with local laws or be prepared for action.
Disney+ reached 95 million subscribers globally, far surpassing its initial goal of raking up 90 million users in 2024. Disney+ Hotstar's around 28 million paid subscribers have played a pivotal role in bolstering Dinsey+'s userbase. In the past quarter, Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar added 21.2 million subscribers, with the latter's contributions to the figure going up from 25 to 30 percent. Disney+ Hotstar alone saw quarterly growth of around 10 million paid subscribers. Disney+'s main objective now is to hit 230 to 260 million users, putting it closer to rival Netflix (200 million subs).
Disney+ reached 95 million subscribers globally, far surpassing its initial goal of raking up 90 million users in 2024. Disney+ Hotstar's around 28 million paid subscribers have played a pivotal role in bolstering Dinsey+'s userbase. In the past quarter, Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar added 21.2 million subscribers, with the latter's contributions to the figure going up from 25 to 30 percent. Disney+ Hotstar alone saw quarterly growth of around 10 million paid subscribers. Disney+'s main objective now is to hit 230 to 260 million users, putting it closer to rival Netflix (200 million subs).
Electronic Arts made a major move in the mobile gaming space with the recent acquisition of Glu Mobile. Under the terms of the agreement, EA will acquire Glu for $2.1 billion in enterprise value. Glu is a mobile developer known for games like Design Home, Covet Fashion and MLB Tap Sports Baseball. The acquisition is described by EA as a move to significantly beef up its offerings on smartphones or tablets. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of June, awaiting approval of regulators and Glu shareholders.
Electronic Arts made a major move in the mobile gaming space with the acquisition of Glu Mobile. Under the terms of the agreement, EA will acquire Glu for $2.1 billion in enterprise value. Glu is a mobile developer known for games like Design Home, Covet Fashion and MLB Tap Sports Baseball. The acquisition is described by EA as a move to significantly beef up its offerings on smartphones or tablets. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of June, awaiting approval of regulators and Glu shareholders.
In the past couple of weeks, Koo has seen an uptake in its userbase in India after Union ministers and government departments have endorsed the Indian-made microblogging platform amid ongoing tensions with Twitter. Several ministers, including Piyush Goyal, are urging people to make the switch to Koo, leading to a surge in its userbase. Koo co-founder Mayank Bidawataka told PTI, "We had two million users with about 1.5 million active users. Now, we have now crossed 3 million mark."
In the past couple of weeks, Koo has seen an uptake in its userbase in India after Union ministers and government departments have endorsed the Indian-made microblogging platform amid ongoing tensions with Twitter. Several ministers, including Piyush Goyal, are urging people to make the switch to Koo, leading to a surge in its userbase. Koo co-founder Mayank Bidawataka told PTI, "We had two million users with about 1.5 million active users. Now, we have now crossed 3 million mark."
Epic Games just revealed a new browser-based software tool powered by its Unreal Engine titled the MetaHuman Creator. The new tool is designed to aid game developers and creators to craft highly realistic human faces and help power more realistic body movements and facial animations. The tool is said to be able to help game developers to slash the time it takes to create digital humans from weeks or months to less than an hour. Epic is also releasing two fully finished sample characters to explore, modify, and use in projects running on Unreal Engine 4.26.1 and later.
Epic Games just revealed a new browser-based software tool powered by its Unreal Engine titled the MetaHuman Creator. The new tool is designed to aid game developers and creators to craft highly realistic human faces and help power more realistic body movements and facial animations. The tool is said to be able to help game developers to slash the time it takes to create digital humans from weeks or months to less than an hour. Epic is also releasing two fully finished sample characters to explore, modify, and use in projects running on Unreal Engine 4.26.1 and later.
CD Projekt became a target of a cyberattack, which allowed hackers to its internal network, encrypt some devices, and collect “certain data”. The company, which has been taking flak for the premature release of Cyberpunk 2077, saw an undefined hacker target Cyberpunk 2077, Witcher 3, Gwent, and an “unreleased version of Witcher 3.” The attackers shared a ransom note, but the company said it wouldn’t negotiate with the hackers. Subsequently, the hackers who targeted CD Projekt Red with a ransomware attack auctioned off the stolen source code they acquired for potentially millions of dollars.
CD Projekt became a target of a cyberattack, which allowed hackers to its internal network, encrypt some devices, and collect “certain data”. The company, which has been taking flak for the premature release of Cyberpunk 2077, saw an undefined hacker target Cyberpunk 2077, Witcher 3, Gwent, and an “unreleased version of Witcher 3.” The attackers shared a ransom note, but the company said it wouldn’t negotiate with the hackers. Subsequently, the hackers who targeted CD Projekt Red with a ransomware attack auctioned off the stolen source code they acquired for potentially millions of dollars.
The social media censorship row continued as YouTube removed a couple of videos by artists supportive of farmers' protest. The video streaming platform pulled down a video by famous Punjabi singer Kanwar Grewal titled 'Aliaan', which had gained six million views before it was taken down. A video by Himmat Sandhu titled 'Asi Vaddange', which also expressed support for the farm protest, was also taken down on YouTube.
The social media censorship row continued as YouTube removed a couple of videos by artists supportive of farmers' protest. The video streaming platform pulled down a video by famous Punjabi singer Kanwar Grewal titled 'Aliaan', which had gained six million views before it was taken down. A video by Himmat Sandhu titled 'Asi Vaddange', which also expressed support for the farm protest, was also taken down on YouTube.
Nokia launched two new budget smartphones this week, in the form of the Nokia 5.4 and Nokia 3.4. The Nokia 5.4’s price in India starts from Rs 13,999, while the Nokia 3.4 costs Rs 11,999. Nokia also launched new Power Earbuds Lite true wireless headphones in India, priced at Rs 3,599. Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 11 also went global this week. The Mi 11 was previously unveiled in China as the first smartphone to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset. Apart from the flagship chip, the Mi 11 also features a 2K OLED display, a 108 MP triple-camera setup, 50W wireless charging, and more.
Nokia launched two new budget smartphones this week, in the form of the Nokia 5.4 and Nokia 3.4. The Nokia 5.4’s price in India starts from Rs 13,999, while the Nokia 3.4 costs Rs 11,999. Nokia also launched new Power Earbuds Lite true wireless headphones in India, priced at Rs 3,599. Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 11 also went global this week. The Mi 11 was previously unveiled in China as the first smartphone to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset. Apart from the flagship chip, the Mi 11 also features a 2K OLED display, a 108 MP triple-camera setup, 50W wireless charging, and more.
Carlsen Martin

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