Microsoft

Microsoft Celebrates 20 Years of Xbox and Halo

2021 marks 20 years of Xbox and Halo, as the original Xbox and Halo: Combat Evolved launched in North America on November 15, 2001. Microsoft is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Xbox and Halo starting today and through November 15, 2021. The company wants fans to use #Xbox20 on social media to share their favorite…

2021 marks 20 years of Xbox and Halo, as the original Xbox and Halo: Combat Evolved launched in North America on November 15, 2001.
Microsoft is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Xbox and Halo starting today and through November 15, 2021. The company wants fans to use #Xbox20 on social media to share their favorite Xbox moments, stories, friendships, prized possessions, achievements, and more. 
The first wave of 20th anniversary Xbox merchandise is available on the Xbox Gear Shop, as well as free anniversary-themed wallpapers. You can register for  Xbox FanFest to participate in 20th anniversary FanFest activities. Xbox Series X|S owners can use a new dynamic theme based on the original Xbox main menu.

Read the Xbox Wire post below:
Do you remember where you were when you played your first Xbox game?
It may be hard to believe, but this year will mark the 20th anniversary of Xbox. I’m proud to have been a member of Team Xbox for 17 of those 20 years!  The original Xbox console was released in North America on November 15, 2001, followed by many more launches all around the world including Japan, Australia, Europe, Latin America, China, and more! 
Twenty years ago, playing on Xbox meant hooking up your console with three (or more!) cables to a standard definition CRT TV.  You had to pre-order the hottest new games and stand in line at your favorite retail shop to pick them up. Games were played in 640×480 resolution, and you only had 8GB of storage and 64MB of memory to enjoy them with. And you either played alone or with a friend sitting next to you on the couch.
Two Decades of Gaming
The Xbox experience today, as shaped by you, is wildly different. You can now jump into your favorite games on your Xbox Series X|S console (imagine showing your past self a 4K HDR game!), on PC, or on mobile*. You and your friends can play with and against the more than 100 million players who log into Xbox every month from around the world. And there’s no more convincing every person in the group to go out and buy a big game. If you all have Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can pick the destination from a variety of games in the catalog and just start playing. We love this gaming future.
Thanks to game creators and players like you, we have a greater variety of games and diverse characters  – with more worlds to explore, stories to tell, heroes and villains to meet, and achievements to unlock – in the 7 thousand games that have been released across the Xbox platform. Do you remember unlocking your first Xbox achievement? To-date, you and the Xbox community together have racked up nearly 1 trillion total Gamerscore. Most importantly, you’ve worked together to change the face of gaming by welcoming players from all walks of life, everywhere in the world. 

The Game That Started It All
This year not only commemorates 20 years of Xbox, but it also marks the 20th anniversary of the Halo franchise. That magical moment when the Master Chief first stepped on to a mysterious ringworld has long been a hallmark of the Xbox experience, and over the last 20 years, Halo has become deeply embedded into the Xbox DNA. We’re thrilled to celebrate this milestone, as well as the launch of Halo Infinite, with our players this Fall.
Celebrating Together
As we approach the 20-Year mark, it has never been clearer that the heart of Xbox is you. And we are excited to celebrate this milestone together. 

The celebration starts today and continues through November 15, 2021. 

#Xbox20: This celebration is all about you, and we want to hear what Xbox means to you. Use #Xbox20 on social media to share your favorite Xbox moments, stories, friendships, prized possessions, achievements… anything! We’ll be asking loads of questions on Xbox social channels and spotlighting your answers through November 15, so keep an eye out.
Check out the Xbox Gear Shop for the first wave of Xbox 20th Anniversary official gear.
Show off your Xbox and Halo love with free anniversary-themed wallpapers.
Register today for Xbox FanFest to participate in 20th Anniversary FanFest activities including exclusive sweepstakes, FanFest gear, and digital experiences.
Personalize your Xbox experience: check out the new 20-Year gamerpic and “The Original” profile theme in your “Customize Profile” menu.  For Xbox Series X|S owners, “The Original” dynamic background is available in the Personalization menu. 
Looking for something new to play? Check out this collection featuring some of the greatest games that have marked Xbox history. You can also find the game collection on your Xbox console by searching for “Xbox Anniversary” in the Store.
Join us today at Twitch.tv/Xbox at 11am PT / 2pm ET to kick off the celebration with our livestreaming hosts as they reminisce about two decades of gaming while playing the game that started it all – Halo: Combat Evolved via the Halo: Master Chief Collection.
We’ll keep the fun going through November with more announcements, activities, and ways to celebrate.  Visit xbox.com/20Years for up-to-date details on anniversary activities throughout the year.

We’ll have more fun to share as we get closer to the November 15th anniversary date. Keep an eye out here on Xbox Wire or at xbox.com/20years for the latest updates.
Looking Ahead
Whether you have been an Xbox fan since day one or joined Xbox for the first time this week, we are humbled and excited to be a part of the Xbox community with you. As we reminisce together about the memories we’ve shared over 20 years, we also can’t help but be excited about what’s next for Xbox. Imagine what we will do together over the next 20 years! 

*Where available, requires Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

A life-long and avid gamer, William D’Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let’s Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at [email protected] or on Twitter @TrunksWD.Full Article – https://www.vgchartz.com/article/448764/microsoft-celebrates-20-years-of-xbox-and-halo/
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Why Facebook blocked all news content in Australia — and why Google didn’t (GOOG, GOOGL, FB)

Summary List PlacementFacebook made huge waves on Wednesday by blocking all news content for its Australian users and all content from Australian news publishers for users worldwide.  Facebook said it made the move to avoid having to comply with Australia’s recently proposed News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, which if passed would require…

Summary List PlacementFacebook made huge waves on Wednesday by blocking all news content for its Australian users and all content from Australian news publishers for users worldwide. 
Facebook said it made the move to avoid having to comply with Australia’s recently proposed News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, which if passed would require companies like Facebook and Google to pay media publishers for the right to include their news content on social media platforms and search engines.
Google, however, decided that its best option would be to preemptively negotiate deals with publishers, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and major Australian media conglomerates Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media.
Australian lawmakers have portrayed the proposed law as an effort to curb the tech giants’ power over digital advertising (a major cause of news publishers’ declining revenues over the past two decades). Facebook argued that the law misunderstands its relationship with publishers. 
But the situation is more complicated than an attempt to level the digital media playing field — and it could have consequences around the world.
Here’s what you need to know about the battle between Australia, Facebook, and Google over who pays for news online.
How did we get here?
News publishers have long had a bone to pick with companies like Facebook and Google, blaming them for eating away at ad revenues (and as a result, journalism jobs), while also exercising massive control over publishers through algorithms and benefitting from showing their users news content without paying its creators.
The companies have responded in recent years with various initiatives to fund journalism and boost news content on their platforms, such as Facebook’s Journalism Project and News tab, and Google’s News Initiative and News Showcase, but the impact has been modest and the industry continues to struggle.
Increasingly, regulators have sought to force Facebook and Google to pay publishers to use their content, and Australia has been at the forefront, along with the EU and countries including France, Germany, and Spain.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the country’s top antitrust regulator, has been working toward the law at the center of this week’s controversy for around three years amid Australia’s broader push to crack down on big tech.
What would Australia’s proposed law do?
The law as currently proposed would require companies like Facebook and Google to pay Australian publishers directly for news content that’s displayed or linked to on their sites, as well as give publishers 28 days’ notice before changing their algorithms.
Specifically, it would require them to individually negotiate content prices with publishers within three months, or be forced into an arbitration process where a government-appointed panel will pick between the publisher and tech giants’ proposals.
Is it likely to pass?
Yes. The lower chamber of Australia’s parliament approved the proposed legislation this week, and it’s now headed to the Senate, where it’s expected to pass into law, though discussions between the companies and the government are still ongoing.
Who would be the likely winners and losers?
As the Syndey Morning Herald reported, smaller publishers are not eligible for payments under the proposed law, so large publishers like News Corp may end up benefitting the most. (News Corp has urged the Australian government to pass the law).
Reporter Casey Newton also pointed out that the law also doesn’t require publishers to spend any new revenue on reporters or newsgathering efforts, meaning it could go to executives or investors.
Facebook’s and Google’s competitors could also gain an edge if their market share is diminished — Microsoft President Brad Smith endorsed the law last week.
As a result, the law could inadvertently further entrench Facebook’s and Google’s dominance, though it’s unclear what the ultimate impact would be on news publishers or the broader media ecosystem.
What was Facebook’s response? 
Facebook said in a blog post that the law “fundamentally misunderstands” its relationship with publishers — which it argued benefits publishers more. Facebook said news content is “less than 4% of the content people see” and that it brought in around $315 million for Australian publishers in 2020.
With less to lose, in its view, Facebook pulled the plug.
On Wednesday (Thursday in Australia), Facebook blocked Australian publishers from sharing or posting content from their pages, blocked Australian users from viewing any news content at all (even from international publishers), and blocked all users worldwide from viewing content from Australian publishers.
Some non-news pages also got caught up in Facebook’s dragnet by mistake.
What was Google’s response?
Alphabet subsidiary Google, which arguably has a more even exchange of value with news publishers, has fought aggressively against the proposed law. In January, the company came under fire for hiding some Australian news sites from its search results.
Google this week has been working on massive deals with top Australian media companies Seven West, Nine Entertainment, and even News Corp, which the company has repeatedly sparred with, and has been expanding its News Showcase in the region.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why Pikes Peak is the most dangerous racetrack in America
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A Windows Defender vulnerability lurked undetected for 12 years

EnlargeDrew Angerer | Getty Images reader comments 33 with 27 posters participating Share this story Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Just because a vulnerability is old doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Whether it’s Adobe Flash hacking or the EternalBlue exploit for Windows, some methods are just too good for attackers to…

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33 with 27 posters participating

Just because a vulnerability is old doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Whether it’s Adobe Flash hacking or the EternalBlue exploit for Windows, some methods are just too good for attackers to abandon, even if they’re years past their prime. But a critical 12-year-old bug in Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows Defender antivirus was seemingly overlooked by attackers and defenders alike until recently. Now that Microsoft has finally patched it, the key is to make sure hackers don’t try to make up for lost time.

The flaw, discovered by researchers at the security firm SentinelOne, showed up in a driver that Windows Defender—renamed Microsoft Defender last year—uses to delete the invasive files and infrastructure that malware can create. When the driver removes a malicious file, it replaces it with a new, benign one as a sort of placeholder during remediation. But the researchers discovered that the system doesn’t specifically verify that new file. As a result, an attacker could insert strategic system links that direct the driver to overwrite the wrong file or even run malicious code.

Windows Defender would be endlessly useful to attackers for such a manipulation, because it ships with Windows by default and is therefore present in hundreds of millions of computers and servers around the world. The antivirus program is also highly trusted within the operating sy

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CEOs are joking about GameStop, worrying it signals a bubble, and preparing for the next meme-stock boom

Summary List Placement CEOs are still chattering about GameStop and meme-stock mania. Some have joked about it, while others fear the frenzy is evidence of a bubble. Here are the best comments on earnings calls so far. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. The GameStop saga is still sparking conversations across corporate America. Executives…

Summary List Placement
CEOs are still chattering about GameStop and meme-stock mania.
Some have joked about it, while others fear the frenzy is evidence of a bubble.
Here are the best comments on earnings calls so far.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The GameStop saga is still sparking conversations across corporate America.
Executives continue to marvel at the surge in the video-game retailer’s market capitalization to over $30 billion at one point. They’re questioning whether mass speculation among amateur investors is a bubble about to burst. At least one is ready to cash in if the meme-stock frenzy has a second act.
Here are the best comments from CEOs to date, drawn from earnings-call transcripts on Sentieo, a financial-research website. The quotes have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
1. “We can just change our name to GameStop.” — Mark Costa, CEO of Eastman Chemical, when asked if he would consider a SPAC spinoff to boost his company’s valuation.
2. “You have to pause and wonder, when GameStop is the most valuable company in the Russell 2000, that the world has certainly changed.” — Frank Gasior, CEO of BankFinancial.
3. “On GameStop and bitcoin, there are definitely bubbles out there.” — Scott Hartz, CIO of Manulife Financial Corporation.
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4. “GameStop required a very unique set of circumstances where the asset had been oversold. It’s not so much a GameStop movement. It’s a unique series of events that allow for a short squeeze.” — Muhamad Umar Swift, CEO of Bursa Malaysia Berhad.
5. “When you start looking at some of the alternative-energy stocks, you start looking at some of the small speculative stocks, what’s happened in the last several days with GameStop – there is an area that I think is overheated.” — Mark Stoeckle, CEO of Adams Diversified Equity Fund, highlighting bubbles in the market.
6. “The GameStop fever – we did see Japanese retail customers trading those shares a lot as well. It used to be when we talk about Japanese retail customers buying a US equity, it’s Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, something like that. But now they play around with the smaller stocks as well. Before the global financial crisis and before the internet bubble burst, we saw similar kinds of phenomena.” — Oki Matsumoto, CEO of Monex.
7. “The other problem is the GameStop thing that’s going on out there. We have a better feel for what’s going on right now, and I don’t see a dot-com bust.” — David Farr, CEO of Emerson Electric, comparing his current level of concern to his fears during the internet bubble and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
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8. “The craziness in the market has very little impact on us, because we just don’t have any exposure to any of these kinds of companies. The high-flying growth stocks, the items that have caused the market to have these giant dislocations where you stare in amazement, we’re not in those. I wish I could tell you that we owned some in advance, and we benefited from them.” — Richard Pzena, CEO of Pzena Investment Management, asked about Tesla, GameStop, and bitcoin.
9. “We did that deal right at a time, where GameStop and AMC were destroying some hedge funds who got into a jam. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of them were in our stock and had to raise capital and just sold our stock.” — Ted Karkus, CEO of ProPhase Labs, discussing the downward pressure on  his company’s stock after it raised $37.5 million in a public stock offering.
10. “I don’t think we anticipated the spike related to GameStop. It got us thinking and we said, ‘Hey, it’s a good tool. We might as well have it back on the shelf.’ And so that’s why we renewed it.” — Thomas Hern, CEO of Macerich, explaining the shopping-mall owner renewed its at-the-market stock offering after watching its share price surge during the meme-stock frenzy.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world’s largest cruise ship
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Microsoft approached Pinterest about a takeover

Software group looked at potential deal for $51bn social media company

Software group looked at potential deal for $51bn social media company
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