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Alice Glass Shares Video for New Song “Fair Game”: Watch...
2 hours ago
“FAIR GAME is TRAUMA CORE,” Glass wrote.......
Activision Blizzard workers stage walkout over Call of Duty studio layoffs...
13 hours ago
Employees and contractors at Activision Blizzard are walking out of work today in support of their colleagues at Raven Software. The protest, the third such work stoppage to hit the company since it was sued by California over sexual harassment allegations in July, comes after Raven, one of the studios that supports Activision’s incredibly popular Call of Duty franchise, laid off 12 quality assurance contractors. The action started on Monday when 60 workers at Raven Software, including both full-time employees and contractors, left work to protest the surprise terminations.The protest has no planned end date, a first for the walkouts at Activision Blizzard. Those involved in the action are demanding the publisher hire all QA contractors, including those who lost their jobs on Friday, as full-time employees. “Those participating in this demonstration do so with the continued success of the studio at the forefront of their mind,” said Blizzard Activision worker advocacy group A Better ABK on Twitter. “The Raven QA department is essential to the day-to-day functioning of the studio as a whole. Terminating the contracts of high performing testers in a time of consistent work and profit puts the health of the studio at risk.”To our leadership, we hope you'll abide by our policy to lead responsibly. To our community, we hope you'll join us today in demanding better working conditions for QA in the industry. Let's raise our #VoicesForChange— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) December 6, 2021Management at Raven told QA staff at the end of last week it would hold one-on-one meetings with everyone to decide if they would get the chance to stay at the studio as a full-time staff member. The developer told approximately 30 percent of the team their contracts would end on January 28th, with more still waiting to find if they’ll have a job beyond the start of the year. According to A Better ABK, every worker Raven decided not to keep was in “good standing,” which is to say they had not underperformed in their job or committed a fireable offense.According to The Washington Post, Raven studio head Brian Raffel said during an all-hands meeting on Monday he didn’t consider the terminations as layoffs. Instead, he said the studio had merely decided not to renew the contracts of those who were let go. Raffel reportedly later apologized for his comments.“We are converting approximately 500 temporary workers to full-time employees in the coming months,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson told Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier in response to the layoffs. “Unfortunately, as part of this change, we also have notified 20 temporary workers across studios that their contracts would not be extended.” The move comes after the publisher posted a net income of $639 million during its most recent fiscal quarter.We’ve reached out to Activision Blizzard for additional comment.This latest action isn’t directly related to the misconduct claims that have left Activision Blizzard in turmoil for months — though it’s likely safe to say frustrations across the company are at a boiling point. The first walkout occurred in July shortly after the company issued an “abhorrent and insulting” response to the harassment lawsuit from California's fair employment regulator. More recently, employees staged a second action after The Wall Street Journal published a bombshell report on Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick’s handling of the crisis. That article implicated Kotick in the mistreatment that has characterized the company’s work culture for years. As part of that protest, thousands of Activision Blizzard employees called for Kotick’s resignation.......
How I fixed my toxic relationship with Twitter...
17 hours ago
Essentials Week spotlights unexpected items that make our daily lives just a little bit better.I’m in a love-hate relationship with Twitter. I love the online friendships I’ve fostered through K-pop fancams, Gossip Girl memes, and media industry woes. And I hate the fact that everything I’ve learned about NFTs has been against my will because some cryptoperson tweeted it into the ether and it has now been retweeted onto my timeline. In the spirit of truthfulness, I feel extremely validated by retweets, likes, and positive replies. I am a Virgo. I run solely on coffee and validation from others. But, ultimately, I hate how addicted I am to this app. My iPhone tells me that I currently spend more than 15 hours a week on Twitter, or just a little over two hours a day — and that’s not accounting for all of the hours I put in on my desktop throughout the work day. I’m not alone in my habitual need to stay chronically online. The average person spends two hours and 24 minutes per day on social media apps, and for older members of Gen Z, that’s closer to 3 hours. I joined Twitter in February of 2009, when I was a sophomore in college. According to the archives, I mainly tweeted about pop culture, pulling all-nighters in the library, and … salads. As my job as an entertainment reporter became increasingly intertwined with my online persona, even affording me a coveted blue check mark, Twitter started to feel like a necessity; it was an essential marketing tool for young people to break through corporate barriers and hone their voices in real-time. In 2012, Twitter felt like a revolution. I told you my old tweets were harmless and embarrassing. Credit: Twitter/crystalbell Almost 10 years later, it feels more like a cautionary tale. Don’t get me wrong: Twitter can still open doors for marginalized writers and creatives, and it can foster a real sense of community and belonging. Yet, it has also become a space where racism and violence fester. That disproportionately affects women, especially Black women, who are 84 percent more likely to receive abuse on the app, according to a study conducted by Amnesty International and Element AI. I can’t speak for all Twitter users. Everyone’s experience on the app is different. I reached a breaking point in February, when the online harassment got so bad I made my account private and re-evaluated my entire approach to Twitter. As a woman online who writes primarily about music and fandom, I have experienced the ire of passionate fan bases. Sadly, it comes with the job. There have been times when those criticisms can lead to real, constructive discourse. But as Twitter becomes increasingly weaponized by stans, those instances have become few and far between. After all, it’s hard to search through hundreds of instances of threats and abuse to find the people who want to give you helpful feedback. Even engaging with those tweets results in more harassment. It just became too much. And it made me too sad amid a pandemic that had already destroyed my confidence and self-worth. Every time I opened the app, it was like ripping open a fresh wound. And the worst part was that I was knowingly inflicting the pain upon myself. Tweet may have been deleted So upon a recommendation from a friend, I finally changed my app settings. I closed my DMs. I muted hundreds of words, names, hashtags, and accounts — 716 in total, across several languages — like a woman possessed. I limited my notifications so that I can only see replies from the people I follow. (If I’m not already following you, I literally can’t see a single thing you tweet me. I have never known such peace online.) It took me less than an hour to radically, and positively, impact my time on Twitter. I know this sounds obvious. Because it is. That’s what those settings are there for, to customize your online experience. But for years, I thought that in order to do my job well, I had to be as online as possible — to always accommodate others, to answer their DMs and wittily engage in the discourse of the day. How would others know that I'm good at what I do unless they see it? Unless I have a following and a presence that can validate my authority? By simply changing my notification settings, I’m less consumed by what people are saying online and more present in my own life. But the less I engaged with people on Twitter, the more I actually started to enjoy it again. And the strange thing is that it completely changed my relationship to the app and to tweeting in general. I'm still on Twitter every day, but now I never check my notifications — and I no longer have the sick, twisted impulse to search my name on the app to see what people are saying about me. (Whatever you do, don’t do that. Though, it is how I learned that some stan accounts refer to me as “that crystal ball girlie” in online spaces, which I find amusing.) More importantly, I no longer feel anxious if I haven't tweeted all day. Yes, I do spend two hours a day on Twitter (to be fair, I am a digital culture editor, so I do have to be somewhat online), but would you believe me if I told you that it used to be worse? By simply changing my notification settings, I’m less consumed by what people are saying online and more present in my own life. SEE ALSO: A decades-old missing persons case and an obsessed true crime reporter puts Twitter's newest policy to the test It’s not a perfect fix. I will occasionally satisfy the urge to look, ever so briefly. When a recent tweet of mine was ratioed by a fandom, I had no idea it was even happening until an angry fan emailed me to demand I delete the years-old tweet. It was surreal to realize that for once I was being harassed and I didn’t even know it. I was living in blissful ignorance. Of course, then I spent 20 minutes looking through tweets, but the dread I used to feel — the pit in my stomach that would eat away at all of my remaining self-esteem — was nowhere to be found. For the first time in my professional, online life, I could exhale. I know that Twitter isn’t the ideal forum for empathy. At the end of the day, we’re all just pixels on a screen. I used to think that the only validation I could get was from others, like the people who replied to me, liked my tweet, or even retweeted something I wrote. But my online experience is so much more enjoyable now that I’ve learned how to validate myself. Even more essentialsI love my embarrassing lumbar support pillowHow to get in-stock alertsTricking out your iOS group texts is worth the tiny bit of effortLove organization? You need Notion.......
Beijing’s top diplomat in Hong Kong calls on US business leaders to take ‘rational’ view of China’s development, ‘find cooperation opportunities’...
South China Morning Post
17 hours ago
Beijing’s top diplomat in Hong Kong has urged business and community leaders in the United States to “take a rational, fair and objective view of China’s development”, stressing that getting the relationship between the two countries right is not optional, but “something we must do, and must do well”.In a pre-recorded keynote speech played on Tuesday at the opening of the Post’s annual “China Conference: United States”, Liu Guangyuan, commissioner of China’s foreign affairs office in Hong Kong,…......
Tile Buyer Life360 Selling Precise Location Data on Millions of Users...
1 day ago
YouTube says most disputed copyright claims are resolved in the uploader's favor...
1 day ago
YouTube is shedding more light on the tidal wave of copyright claims it receives in its first copyright transparency report. It notes that more than 2.2 million (around 60 percent) of disputed claims were resolved in favor of the uploader, versus just under 1.5 million in the claimant's favor.Over 99 percent (722.7 million) of all copyright claims between January and June emerged through Content ID, which automatically monitors YouTube for potential copyright issues. Only 0.5 percent of these were disputed.Other copyright claims were submitted via webforms and the Copyright Match tool. YouTube says claims that are filed manually are twice as likely to be disputed than automated ones. That indicates creators are perhaps more reluctant to appeal against Content ID claims, even though most disputes are resolved in their favor.Copyright owners can opt to have a video that's deemed to violate their rights deleted, track viewership stats and/or receive revenue it generates. Earlier this year, YouTube started offering creators a way to check for potential copyright violations when they upload a video. The platform offers creators a way to remove sections of a video that cause issues.YouTubers have long criticized how the platform handles copyright claims, as The Verge notes. They can lose money or even face having their channel banned as a result of claims, many of which are evidently incorrect. While the report provides more insight into how big an issue copyright claims are, YouTube acknowledges "no system is perfect" and that it's "impossible for matching technology to take into account complex legal considerations like fair use or fair dealing."......
How the Wisdom of Crowds Could Solve Facebook’s Fact-Checking Problem...
1 day ago
In 1907, statistician Francis Galton observed something strange at a county fair: Attendees were participating in a game where they guessed the weight of an ox, with the closest answer to the truth winning a prize. To Galton’s surprise, while the guesses of the individual attendees varied wildly, the average of the crowd’s guesses was…......
The Mega-Rich Are Doing Some Serious Shopping at Art Basel Miami Beach...
4 days ago
GettyMIAMI BEACH—It was not long before midnight when the fire maidens wearing crowns of burning torches danced out over the pool at the National Hotel to lightly feign fellatio. And, suddenly, you knew everything was going to be alright again.At Art Basel Miami Beach, the Black-Friday-meets-spring-break of the art industry, COVID initially chilled the mood but not the sales, the crowds, and certainly not the weeklong event’s silly and sybaritic traditions. Now, in its 18th year, Art Basel (a catchall name for the scores of art and fashion events that surround the huge Swiss art fair and its museum-quality works every December) was, unbelievably, bigger and more upbeat than ever.At the InList party Thursday, for the private global event and concierge service, a heavily tech crowd chatted about the last few months seeking sanctuary in the open air of Mykonos while the fire dancer’s thigh-high silver boots kicked spray into the air and Whitney Houston dance remixes blared. (You may find all this shallow, but don’t dial anyone in the 305 area code this week, because you will find no sympathy here. From super-rich collectors to hard-partying fledgling NFT artists to exhausted event planners, people were visibly relieved.)Read more at The Daily Beast.......
Call of Duty QA Testers Face Layoffs After Reportedly Being Promised Raises By Activision...
4 days ago
Today, contract testers at the Call of Duty studio Raven Software were told that the studio would face layoffs on January 28th of next year, a Call of Duty community manager said on Twitter. A source familiar with the goings-on at the company confirmed to Kotaku that for the next few days in early December, the…Read more.........