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On November 19th, Google will officially become a game company, one with its very own console, controller, and distribution platform for the latest triple-A games. If all goes well, it may stand shoulder to shoulder with Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo and Steam, or even surpass them someday. That's because Google is the biggest, best-positioned company to ever throw its weight behind cloud gaming — a technology that lets you play a game without discs or downloads, by streaming them from remote servers, just like you'd stream a YouTube video to your TV, laptop, or even the phone in your pocket. But it also means this may be a make-or-break moment for cloud gaming if its champion fails to impress — and it's not looking good. On the eve of launch, it feels like the deck is...

Nike is bringing an end to a deal with Amazon

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Nike is bringing an end to a deal with Amazon which saw the athletics brand sell its clothes and shoes directly to customers on the e-commerce site, reports Bloomberg. Although third-party sellers will be able to continue selling Nike products, Nike will no longer act as a wholesaler to Amazon. Nike and Amazon's deal first emerged back in 2017. At the time, Nike's aim was to regulate its products when they appeared on the site, cracking down on sales from unlicensed distributors as well as knockoff items being sold by third-party sellers. However, over the last two years, Bloomberg reports that this control never fully materialized. Nike struggled to compete against third-party listings, who would often benefit from having more reviews than Nike's listings. The move comes as Nike is...

Party like it's 2004 with the new Motorola Razr's secret 'Retro Razr' mode Motorola is bringing the Razr back in the form of a foldable Android phone, but that doesn’t mean that the company is leaving the classic design of the original behind. As a neat tribute to the OG RAZR, Motorola has included a secret "Retro Razr" mode that turns the $1,499 modern smartphone into the spitting image of its 2004-era predecessor. The mode is basically a glorified skinned Android launcher that faithfully re-creates the original RAZR UI through software, right down to the classic boot animation. But Motorola has put in some serious work here: the skin is fully functional. Click the button for messaging, and it'll launch the Android messaging app. Click right to open settings, and the settings app will...

A new SpongeBob Squarepants spinoff described as a "music-based project" centered around Spongebob's iconic neighborhood octopus Squidward is heading to Netflix, according to The New York Times. The show is reportedly part of a new multi-year deal between Nickelodeon and Netflix that was confirmed earlier today, one estimated at a reported $200 million. The deal will see Nickelodeon produce a slate of original animated films and series based on both existing and new characters, with the Times reporting that Squidward's new venture is one of the shows Netflix will receive as part of the nine-figure deal. A representative for Nickelodeon declined to confirm Squidward's participation to The Verge, however. A separate SpongeBob Squarepants movie is also in the works at Paramount Pictures;...

Disney+ surpassed 10 million subscribers in its first day, the company announced today. Disney's announcement comes after Apptopia reported that the Disney+ app has been downloaded more than 3.2 million times. That's despite tech problems that affected the service throughout the day. The Mandalorian, the live-action Star Wars show easily considered the crown jewel of Disney's streaming service, saw north of 2 million streams over the first day, according to people familiar with the matter. That number has more than likely grown due to overnight and second day viewing. By the end of the day, Disney+ was also the top app in the App Store, according to Apptopia. Launching with a bundle — ESPN+ and ad-supported Hulu — also helped bump up both apps in app stores, according to Apptopia's...

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) raised concerns over the US Army's use of the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok to find recruits in a letter directed to the military branch's top official last week, as first reported by BuzzFeed News. "While I recognize that the Army must adapt its recruiting techniques in order to attract young Americans to serve," Schumer wrote. "I urge you to assess the potential national security risks posed by China-owned technology companies before choosing to utilize certain platforms." In his letter, Schumer asks Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy whether the Army was in contact with intelligence officials over its decision to use the TikTok platform recruiting and if it "conducted an analysis of alternative recruiting platforms" before moving to do so....

A federal judge has struck down a decision by the Trump administration to allow blueprints for 3D-printed guns to be shared online. In a ruling published Tuesday, Judge Robert Lasnik said the deal made in July last year was "arbitrary and capricious" and thus a violation of the federal Administrative Procedure Act and the Constitution. The original deal was part of a settlement between the Justice Department and Texas-based nonprofit Defense Distributed, which garnered worldwide attention in 2013 with its claims to have created the world's first "100 percent 3D-printed gun." The dissemination of plans for the gun was blocked by the Obama administration, but last year Defense Distributed successfully sued the government and had the ban reversed, arguing that it was a free speech violation....

Adidas will stop the production at its two robotic "Speedfactories" in the US and in Germany, the company has announced. The Ansbach and Atlanta factories, which opened in 2016 and 2017 respectively, will end production by April 2020. Adidas says that the Speedfactory technologies developed will now be used by two of its suppliers in Asia. Adidas had originally intended to use the heavily automated factories in order to produce its footwear more quickly in locations closer to the company's key markets. They were intended as an alternative to manufacturing hubs in Asia where labor and overhead are cheaper. However, in a statement to CNN, the company now admits that "it makes more sense to concentrate the production of the Speedfactories where the know how and the suppliers are located."...

YouTube is rolling out updated terms of service on December 10th, and a new line acts as a reminder that the company doesn't have to keep any video up that it doesn't want to. "YouTube is under no obligation to host or serve content," the new terms of service policy reads. It's another way of saying that just because YouTube is a relatively open platform, it doesn't mean that the company is required to keep videos up. YouTube has faced criticism from all sides over its video removal process. Some critics argue that YouTube could do more to take down videos that butt up against the company's rules but don’t outright violate them; others argue that YouTube ought to be a fully open platform and shouldn’t control what remains up and what doesn't. Executives have long defended the platform...

Amazon is opening its own grocery store in 2020

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Amazon will be opening a new, full-size grocery store in a neighborhood of Los Angeles, and it won't be under the Whole Foods brand, the company confirmed to CNET this morning. Job listings describe the store, which will be in Woodland Hills, California, as "Amazon's first grocery store." Amazon also told CNET that the store won’t use the company's cashierless checkout technology from its Amazon Go stores, so it seems this grocery chain will have new Amazon branding. The Wall Street Journal first reported on a new chain of Amazon grocery stores in March, and the report said the new chain would offer "a different variety of products" at a "lower price point" than Whole Foods. In October, the publication reported that the first stores in this new chain would open in Los Angeles, Chicago,...