Technological World for January 13: Deplatforming Trump, bye-bye Parler, CES 2021, announcements by Lucasfilm Games

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, updates from CES 2021 and all the recent news from Lucasfilm Games, including new Star Wars and Indiana Jones games. But first, Trump’s lost his soapbox and Parler looks to be gone, too.

De-platforming Donald Trump

He’s off Facebook. And Instagram. And Snapchat. And Twitter. And Twitch.

It’s permanent for Twitter, a ban for an undefined length of time from Facebook and Instagram.

Related interest groups in other platforms are also being shut down, including Reddit (“r/DonaldTrump” has been banned) and PayPal and Shopify.

Stripe, which had been processing payments for the Trump campaign, has cancelled the account.

Axios has the full list., which includes information on what other private companies are doing in response to the insurrection in Washington last week.

Social media platform Parler has an uncertain future

Parler, the social media company that built a business on lax moderation, went offline on Monday, and Deadline reports that CEO John Matze says that multiple vendors and a law firm “ditched us on the same day”.

The app has been removed from Apple’s AppStore and the Google Play store, and Amazon Web Services, which had been providing the servers and hosting for the company, has suspended the account after “repeated violations” of the terms of service. The AWS Trust & Safety Team had, apparently, been warning Parler that this might happen for some time.

On top of all this, web archivists have managed to download a substantial portion of the Parler database because the system was so poorly developed. That includes posts, images, videos, as well as user information.

All of this will now be open information and available to any law enforcement agency who wants to use it.

What’s going on at CES 2021

The online-only trade show is a little subdued this year, but there’s still stuff going on.

You can visit LG’s CES booth yourself.

TVs

  • LG’s new OLED line are the B1, C1, G1, and Z1. The C1 gets an 83-inch model, the G1 is ultra thin and mounts nearly flush with your wall, and the Z1 is 8K and up to 88 inches.
  • The LG OLED settings includes a single location for settings important to gamers, and includes a setting that automatically tweaks things depending on what genre of game you’re playing.
  • TCL is updating the 6-Series collection to 8K video and introducing the XL Collection of 85-inch displays.

Monitors

  • Acer’s Predator XB323QK NV gaming monitor is 4K HDR with a 31.5-inch screen while the XB273U NX, 27-inch, 1440 pixel display with an overclocked refresh rate of 275 Hz.
  • Alienware’s neatly designed M15 and M17 R4 are being upgraded with Nvidia’s RTX 30 series of graphics processors.
  • Asus has a line of monitors, including the ROG Swift PG32UQ, with HDMI 2.1 ports which makes them ideal for computer gaming or if you want to hook up a PS5 or Xbox Series X to get 4K resolution and up to 120 frames per second.
  • LG is releasing an OLED monitor, the UltraFine Display OLED Pro, a 4K HDR monitor intended for professionals like video editors and photographers.

Computers

  • Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE includes the latest Intel and Nvidia chips and comes in at under four pounds. In a refresh, the Predator Helios 300 gets Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 or 3080 for graphics and a 240 Hz display.
  • Asus is updating the Republic of Gamers Zephyrus G14 and G15 with updated AMD and Nvidia chips, and is adding an option to upgrade the displays resolution and refresh rate.

Appliances

  • LG’s InstaView refrigerator has a window that clears when you knock on the door, giving you a view of the contents without needing to open the door. You can get ice that is cubed, crushed, or round (called “craft”), and there’s a UV light that sanitizes the water dispenser nozzle to keep it free from bacteria.

Lucasfilm Games brand renewed for Star Wars video games

Lucasfilm Games is back. Kind of.

The original Lucasfilm Games was created by George Lucas in 1982. Originally, the studio was making games from original ideas and after being renamed as LucasArts in 1990, it was where formative adventure games like The Secret of Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle, and Grim Fandango. Knights of the Old Republic, a role-playing game set in the Star Wars universe and developed by BioWare, was released in 2003.

Lucasfilm Games isn’t being reborn as a development studio, but as a brand that will centralize the development, promotion, and publicity of games from the Star Wars universe.

This week’s announcement about the “new era” makes it clear games will be “developed in collaboration with the finest studios across the industry.”

There are new accounts on Facebook and Twitter, so if you’re looking to get the inside track on Star Wars games, you know where to go.

That news was followed up today with an announcement that Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment in Sweden is creating an open-world Star Wars game.

EA will still be making Star Wars games for Lucasfilm Games, but it appears that any exclusivity is now gone.

Indiana Jones video game in development at Machine Games

Bethesda studio Machine Games is another group working with Lucasfilm Games. Yesterday, Bethesda announced that renowned game designer Todd Howard will be executive producing the game, which will have an original story.

Machine Games has most recently made three accomplished first-person shooter games in the Wolfenstein series.

Given that Microsoft owns Bethesda, I suspect that this may be an Xbox exclusive, but there was no mention of platforms or release date.

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