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The Tech Weekender: Top news from the world of technology this week

EU landmark bill challenges big tech, Google privacy woes, Netflix price hike, and more.

March 26, 2022 / 04:52 PM IST
The European Union (EU) member nations have reached an agreement on a landmark bill meant to level the playing field for smaller players against big tech. In a release, the EU noted, “The Digital Markets Act (DMA) will blacklist certain practices used by large platforms acting as gatekeepers and enable the commission to carry out market investigations and sanction non-compliant behaviour.” EU said the change would allow customers to exchange messages between services, send files and make video calls. Targeted advertising would only be allowed with explicit permission of the "gatekeeper".
The European Union (EU) member nations have reached an agreement on a landmark bill meant to level the playing field for smaller players against big tech. In a release, the EU noted, “The Digital Markets Act (DMA) will blacklist certain practices used by large platforms acting as gatekeepers and enable the commission to carry out market investigations and sanction non-compliant behaviour.” EU said the change would allow customers to exchange messages between services, send files and make video calls. Targeted advertising would only be allowed with the explicit permission of the "gatekeeper".
Russia’s communications regulator has blocked access to Google News in the country. The agency accused Google of hosting several sites that spread "inauthentic," information about the war in Ukraine. Last week, the regulator accused Google of spreading threats against Russian citizens on YouTube, claiming that the platform contained ads that called for communication systems in Russia and railway networks in Belarus to be suspended. The regulator told Russian publication Interfax that it had acted on orders from the office of Russia's prosecutor general.
Russia’s communications regulator has blocked access to Google News in the country. The agency accused Google of hosting several sites that spread "inauthentic," information about the war in Ukraine. Last week, the regulator accused Google of spreading threats against Russian citizens on YouTube, claiming that the platform contained ads that called for communication systems in Russia and railway networks in Belarus to be suspended. The regulator told Russian publication Interfax that it had acted on orders from the office of Russia's prosecutor general.
Apple has suspended its Apple Pay service for Russia's Mir card payment system, Russia's largest lender and payments system. This closed a loophole that had allowed Russians to keep using the service. Apple restricted the use of Apple Pay on March 1 in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, preventing Russian Mastercard and Visa cardholders using the service. However, Russia's home-grown system, Mir, remained connected to Apple Pay until that access was recently ended.
Apple has suspended its Apple Pay service for Russia's Mir card payment system, Russia's largest lender and payments system. This closed a loophole that had allowed Russians to keep using the service. Apple restricted the use of Apple Pay on March 1 in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, preventing Russian Mastercard and Visa cardholders from using the service. However, Russia's home-grown system, Mir, remained connected to Apple Pay until that access was recently ended.
Netflix subscribers in the US will have to start paying more for the service as the company’s latest price hikes are starting to come into effect in the country. According to reporting by The Verge, Netflix subscription plans in the US will go up starting March 30, 2022. The Netflix basic monthly plan in the US now costs $9.99, while the standard tier is priced at $15.49. Additionally, the 4K plan will now cost $19.99 per month in the US.
Netflix subscribers in the US will have to start paying more for the service as the company’s latest price hikes are starting to come into effect in the country. According to reporting by The Verge, Netflix subscription plans in the US will go up starting March 30, 2022. The Netflix basic monthly plan in the US now costs $9.99, while the standard tier is priced at $15.49. Additionally, the 4K plan will now cost $19.99 per month in the US.
Google has made the news yet again for collecting its users' call logs and text messages without their consent. A research paper published by Professor Douglas Leith of the Trinity College in London, detailed the amount of data that Phone and Messages apps for Android by Google can collect from a user. The paper points out the data that Google had been collecting fell out of the purview of what was covered in Google's privacy policies
Google has made the news yet again for collecting its users' call logs and text messages without their consent. A research paper published by Professor Douglas Leith of the Trinity College in London detailed the amount of data that Phone and Messages apps for Android by Google can collect from a user. The paper points out the data that Google had been collecting fell out of the purview of what was covered in Google's privacy policies
This week saw the launch of a number of smartphones across various segments. The Samsung Galaxy A13 4G and Galaxy A23 4G were unveiled in India’s sub-20K segment. Another sub-20K phone that debuted in India was the Oppo K10. The Realme C31 was also unveiled in Indonesia, while the phone is set to debut in India next week. Samsung also launched the Galaxy A53 5G in India earlier this week. The Oppo A96 and Oppo A76 were also unveiled in India with Snapdragon 680 SoCs, 90Hz displays, and 5000 mAh batteries. Lastly, the Realme GT Neo 3 with the MediaTek Dimensity 8100 SoC and 150W fast-charging support in China.
This week saw the launch of a number of smartphones across various segments. The Samsung Galaxy A13 4G and Galaxy A23 4G were unveiled in India’s sub-20K segment. Another sub-20K phone that debuted in India was the Oppo K10. The Realme C31 was also unveiled in Indonesia, while the phone is set to debut in India next week. Samsung also launched the Galaxy A53 5G in India earlier this week. The Oppo A96 and Oppo A76 were also unveiled in India with Snapdragon 680 SoCs, 90Hz displays, and 5000 mAh batteries. Lastly, the Realme GT Neo 3 with the MediaTek Dimensity 8100 SoC and 150W fast-charging support in China.
CD Projekt RED has confirmed that the work on the next installment of the Witcher series is now underway. The last entry in the series, The Witcher 3, released in 2015 is regarded as one of the best RPGs ever made, and has accumulated 250 games of the year awards. Besides news on a new Witcher title in development, CD Projekt RED also shared that they had entered into a strategic, multi-year partnership with Epic Games, that allows them to use Unreal Engine 5 technology to power future games.
CD Projekt RED has confirmed that the work on the next installment of the Witcher series is now underway. The last entry in the series, The Witcher 3, released in 2015 is regarded as one of the best RPGs ever made and has accumulated 250 games of the year awards. Besides news on a new Witcher title in development, CD Projekt RED also shared that they had entered into a strategic, multi-year partnership with Epic Games, that allows them to use Unreal Engine 5 technology to power future games.
Carlsen Martin
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