Did you notice that the above word is spelled incorrectly? Congratulations if so, because you’ve just done better than the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Australia’s new $50 bill, introduced last October, has been discovered to contain a typo. One side of the bill depicts Edith Cowan, the first woman to serve in Australia’s parliament. It also features microtext from her first-ever speech to Western Australian parliament, which is where the typo comes in:
“It is a great responsibilty [sic] to be the only woman here, and I want to emphasise the necessity which exists for other women being here,” it says. The misspelling occurs three times on the note.
It was spotted by an eagle-eyed listener of Australian radio station Triple M, who sent a zoomed-in picture of the note to the radio station. Triple M then put it on its Instagram account. Andrew Crelin, a currency expert and owner of Sterling Currency in Western Australia, told 6PR radio that there are 46 million bills containing the typo in circulation.
The new generation of the $50 bill follows new $5 and $10 notes introduced into the country beginning 2017. The RBA says they feature improved anti-counterfeit technology and texturing to aid the vision impaired. The Reserve Bank is aware of the typo, a spokesperson said in a statement, and will fix it before the next print run.
A new $20 note is scheduled to begin printing this October, probably with the help of a few spell checkers.
How to make a successful video on one of the internet’s most popular sites:
Step 1: Find something to be angry about. Go to online forums, track what’s hot on Twitter and figure out the outrage of the day.
Step 2: Rant into a camera for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Profit.
Starting last year, a new cadre of negative YouTube gaming commentators came to prominence. Almost in unison, they each enjoyed spikes in audience and view counts, attracting hundreds of thousands of subscribers. That translated into millions of views a week as they dissected the video game industry’s missteps, misadventures and controversies. The views get rewarded by YouTube in ad dollars.
Their negativity comes in many forms. Some YouTubers produce a stream of videos criticizing every imaginable fault a game could have. Visual bugs. Awkward controls. Stupid storylines. Others obsess over game developers’ attempts to fix glitches. There are commentators who rail against efforts to upsell players, who typically shell out $60 for a game. These microtransactions, as they’re known, can include different character designs, new looks for weapons and additional stories, and are a source of constant irritation for vocal commentators, who see them as a rip-off. Others veer into criticism of outspoken game company executives. Some attacks get personal, criticizing members of the gaming community for their looks or perceived political beliefs.
There’s no single formula, and the YouTubers have taken different tacks, such as high-production videos with formal scripts or off-the-cuff rambling. But all rely on the same strategy: getting the audience angry.
Some, including Tyler Denny, who runs the CleanPrinceGaming channel, which has more than 631,000 subscribers, create slickly edited video essays dissecting news reports and rumors of corporate screw-ups that lead to a game’s disappointing release. Some of his most popular videos are a series titled, “[Game Name] Didn’t Just Die, It was Murdered.”
LegacyKillaHD, who lists his name as Michael on Twitter and, like Denny, didn’t comment for this story, posts videos to his more than 510,000 subscribers that include thumbnails written in all-caps: “GAMERS ARE ANGRY,” “DAMAGE CONTROL!,” “THE HUGE PROBLEMS!” and “HUGE LIES DETECTED!”
Click on those videos, and YouTube recommends more like them bearing titles such as The Year Activision Blizzard Got $#&! On By The Gaming Industry and Activision Blizzard Is Disgusting, EA is the WORST Company Ever… Here’s Why and The Rise and Fall of EA.
It’s hard to pinpoint why this torrent of negativity has become so popular. But analysts, researchers and some of the YouTubers themselves told me the video-streaming service’s recommendation programs may share some of the blame.
It’s YouTube that picks the top results when you search. And it’s YouTube that recommends the next video to watch. That automated software “is responsible for more than 70 percent of overall time spent on YouTube,” The New York Times reported, noting it’s “drawn accusations of leading users down rabbit holes filled with extreme and divisive content, in an attempt to keep them watching and drive up the site’s use numbers.”
As a result, Google, YouTube’s parent company, rewards this negativity by sending millions of viewers to these channels.
“We have strict policies that govern what kinds of videos we show ads on, and videos with hateful content violate those policies,” YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. “If we find videos that are showing ads and shouldn’t be, we remove ads immediately.”
On Wednesday, YouTube said it wouldagainst the more toxic elements on all parts of the service. “Everyone on YouTube will be subject to the new hate speech policies, whether it be in videos they post or in other actions like comments or stories,” a YouTube spokesperson added.
Over the past six months, I’ve watched hundreds of these videos, seeing ads from car makers like Volvo and Honda, consumer brands such as Pringles chips, wireless providers Sprint and its subsidiary Boost Mobile, fast food chain Taco Bell and broadcaster CBS, which owns CNET. They came to my screen via YouTube’s software, in this case its automated advertising system that pairs ads with videos, something that has already raised concerns among some advertisers, who have pulled spending on the site. Those ad dollars help drive a cycle that creates, shares, spreads and funds videos further.
“People love negativity,” said Steven Williams, a longtime YouTuber whose channel, Boogie2988, counts more than 4.5 million subscribers.
Williams has attracted hundreds of thousands of people to his videos, including skits in which he plays Francis, an angry, overweight gamer with a lisp yelling into the camera about the industry’s outrage of the day. “Francis is in fact a parody of the angriest gamers,” Williams told me. “The ones who take it all too seriously.”
Other YouTubers, like The Angry Joe Show and Jim Sterling, have found similar success by mixing in overly dramatic tongue-in-cheek jokes, skits and the occasional positive video. (Neither Angry Joe or Sterling responded to requests for comment.)
But some people took the angry part too seriously, and now they’re trying to become the next big gaming commentators, Williams told me. “We have a whole generation of young kids who were raised on negativity,” he said.
Mass marketing anger is nothing new. And it’s certainly not unique to YouTube. Even President Donald Trump reportedly learned that his most effective tweets are his most unhinged, Watergate scribe Bob Woodward wrote in his book Fear last year.
Now the gaming community is manufacturing outrage videos.
If you’re trawling for game news on YouTube, anger is becoming the only emotion you’ll experience in your recommended feed.
Making an angry YouTuber
Chris Zakrzewski said he fell into the game criticism world by accident. Originally, he conceived his company, Upper Echelon, as a “multifaceted gaming organization” when he founded it in 2016.
His YouTube channel, Upper Echelon Gamers, started with tips and guides on how to play Ubisoft’s then-new post-apocalyptic paramilitary game Tom Clancy’s The Division.
Americans are fed up with robocalls. And the Federal Communications Commission are giving carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile the power to do something about it.
On Thursday, the FCC voted unanimously on a proposal to give mobile phone companies greater power to .
“This FCC will stand with American consumers, not with those who are badgering them with these unwanted robocalls,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.
The rules will now allow wireless carriers to block those robocalls for customers by default. Companies will also allow consumers to block calls from unknown numbers themselves. Customers can opt into or out of any blocking services. Pai released details of the agency’s proposal last month.
But be warned: The plan could also interfere with calls from your doctor and drugstore, too.
The pressure to do something about robocalls has been mounting. In April, Congress expressed frustration with illegal robocalls and reintroduced bipartisan legislation called the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Defense, or TRACED Act. The bill would improve enforcement policies, criminalize illegal robocalling and require phone companies to use a new technology that can validate that calls are originating where they claim to be coming from. In addition, the protocol would allow for faster tracing of illegal robocalls. The and is headed to the House, where it has bipartisan support.
The number of unwanted robocalls skyrocketed 46% from 2017 to 2018. A January report from Hiya, a caller ID service, said there were 26.3 billion robocalls made in the US in 2018. The number breaks down to an average of 10 monthly calls per person.
The FCC has said frustration over robocalls is the No. 1 complaint it receives from consumers, amounting to hundreds of thousands of grievances filed with the agency every year. This latest move by the FCC will allow carriers to block illegal or unwanted calls before they even reach consumers.
“When consumers complain to us, they don’t distinguish between illegal calls, scam calls, telemarketing calls and spoofed calls,” Pai said in a USA Today op-ed Thursday. “They simply lump them together under one category: unwanted.
Blocking legit calls
Wireless carriers such as AT&T and Verizon have applauded the proposal, stating that allowing them to have more powerful tools could help stem the flow of these calls. But some companies say that the FCC’s policy may be too broad, allowing carriers to block robocalls from legitimate sources by default.
That’s why several trade groups, including ACA International, which represents credit and collection companies, the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management, the Credit Union National Association and the American Bankers Association met with FCC officials last week to express their concerns.
“Despite the FCC’s very well-intentioned efforts to target these bad actors, the draft Declaratory Ruling is facially overbroad in its attempt to meet the laudable objective of stopping illegal robocalls,” ACA International said in a filing with the FCC. The group said the proposed rules could “mislabel lawful calls as scam or fraud,” which would “allow the blocking of legitimate and needed calls with no notice of the blocking, no required recourse, and no required correction.”
What kinds of calls might be blocked? Automated calls from pharmacies, doctors’ offices, customer service support and credit card fraud protection alerts are among the calls that could inadvertently be caught in the automatic call-blocking net, according to attorneys Melissa Gomberg, Kimberly Freedman, and Erin Kolmansberger of Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel, who frequently defend companies being sued in class action lawsuits over violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
“There are legitimate reasons to use an auto dialer or to use spoofing,” Gomberg said in an interview. “Doctors’ offices routinely spoof numbers so that the number that shows up when a physician calls a patient isn’t a personal number.”
Callbacks from support centers could also be blocked. She said the FCC policy as written would allow carriers to block these calls by default without ever letting the consumer know that such a call had been attempted, causing patients to miss important health information or consumers waiting for technical support that never comes.
“There’s already a lot of confusion around what’s legal or illegal when it comes to autodialers under the TCPA, and this just adds another layer of complexity,” she added. “Classifying a call as ‘unwanted’ is so subjective.”
The FCC’s Pai acknowledged the criticism in the USA Today op-ed.
“I’ll concede that not everyone is happy about my proposal,” he wrote, citing debt collectors and other robocallers who had asked for the vote to be delayed. “But the Americans whom I hear from want relief from the flood of unwanted robocalls now. They don’t want us to wait.”
At least one FCC commissioner, Michael O’Rielly, understands the nuance of this argument. And he expressed his concern during the vote, but ultimately supported the biggest portion of the item. He said the FCC’s efforts to combat illegal and fraudulent robocalls “should not restrict or prevent beneficial robocalls to ensure lawful calls are delivered to consumers.”
Robocalls costs higher than you think
But officials at the FCC say that illegal robocalls aren’t just annoying, they’re also costing American consumers at least $3 billion every year.
“Illegal robocalls are not just a drain on individual households’ peace of mind, they are also a drain on our economy,” FCC Chief Economist Babette Boliek and Chief Technology Officer Eric Burger.
The FCC said that data from YouMail suggests there were 2.5 billion illegal robocalls in March 2019 alone. That $3 billion annual cost to consumers is just for lost time alone. The estimate is likely low given that it doesn’t include monetary losses from fraud, the agency said.
These officials also argue that giving carriers the option to automatically block illegal robocalls without forcing consumers to opt-in for the service is what consumers want and need.
“Inertia is an obstacle for many consumers who otherwise would take part in a call-blocking program,” FCC officials said in the blog post Wednesday. In that blog post, Boliek and Burger explained that smaller service providers have told the agency that convincing consumers to sign up for a call-blocking program rather than offering it by default is too costly and ineffective.
Call-blocking technology provider Hiya estimates that 95% of its customers choose to remain on its opt-out call-blocking program while only 20% choose to join its opt-in program.
“Setting a call-blocking service as the default can significantly increase consumer participation while keeping consumer choice,” the FCC officials said.
By making it harder to reach consumers via robocalls, they argued this will break the economic model that drives scammers to use robocall technology.
“Finally, when phone companies block unwanted calls,” the blog post said, “robocall campaigns will be much less economical to inflict on the consumer.”
Originally published June 5 at 1:59 p.m. PT.
Update June 6 at 6:15 a.m. PT: Adds comments from Ajit Pai’s USA Today op-ed. At 8:20 a.m. PT: Adds information from the FCC vote.
Google has an answer for any skeptics of its Stadia streaming game service: Buy the game from Google, and you can play through Stadia for free.
The internet giant laid out its launch plans Thursday, Google. The company declined to say how much games will cost but said it would be competitive with the industry.in which it announced , which includes an effectively free tier offering high-definition visuals for any game you buy from
Google also said it’ll have a $9.99 per month subscription service, called Stadia Pro, which will offer high quality visuals, some free games, discounts on other games and a copy of Bungie’s epic space adventure Destiny 2.
The company also announced a Stadia Founder’s Edition incentive, which will cost $129.99 and include a “night blue” controller, a Chromecast Ultra streaming device, three months of Stadia Pro, first dibs on a username and a buddy pass that gives a friend three months to try Stadia Pro. Founder’s Edition players will have access to Stadia starting in November.
Stadia also unveiled partnerships with game developers, including Take 2 Interactive, known for Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, Square Enix, which makes Final Fantasy and Tomb Raider, Bethesda, which builds Fallout and Electronic Arts, which is behind FIFA, Madden NFL and NHL Hockey.
“This is the first collection of games. We’ll have a lot more,” said John Justice, Google Stadia’s VP and head of product. He added that with companies like Bungie, Google struck a deal to allow players to bring existing characters they’d made while playing on a PC, Microsoft Xbox or Sony PlayStation, and bring it to Stadia. Justice said this is an example of how Google plans to offer “cross play and cross collaboration” with Stadia.
Google announced Stadia in March to offer a service that streams games like Netflix streams movies. Google promised that Stadia’s quality would be competitive with a game console.
Many people see Google’s entrance into the game industry as a sign that the industry itself is starting to shift from specialized hardware like the Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, to screens that connect to game services over the web.
Google isn’t the only company doing this. Microsoft has announced its intention to create a game streaming service, called Project xCloud, to complement a next-generation video game console expected to launch next year.
Sony as well has said it’s going to partner with Microsoft for game streaming. The Japanese tech giant has offered its own streaming service, PlayStation Now, since 2014. EA has also announced plans to launch a streaming service, demoing it last year during the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as it’s known.
At launch, Google said Stadia will be available in 14 countries for people who preorder the Founder’s Edition, including the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. More countries will follow over the next year.
As part of its partnerships, Stadia will have many popular games available at launch. They include Bethesda’s upcoming demon shooter Doom Eternal and its alternative history series Wolfenstein: Young Blood. 2K games will offer the highly anticipated Borderlands 3, Warner Bros. will offer its bloody fighting game Mortal Kombat 11 and Ubisoft will offer adventure games including Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the party game Just Dance and the military shooter Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.
“Ubisoft is bringing several fantastic gaming worlds to Stadia at launch and we cannot wait to see players experience them on this game-changing cloud technology.,” Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft’s CEO, said in a statement.
Google also said its Stadia controller, an optional accessory that will connect wirelessly to the internet in order to play games, will come in three colors: black, Clearly White and Wasabi aka green.
The device itself will eventually work on a variety of phones and TVs, but initially the company said it’ll be restricted to laptops and desktops, Chromecast Ultra TV streaming sticks and the Google Pixel 3 phone.
“Eventually, we’ll work across a wide variety of phones, including iPhones,” Google’s Justice said.
Google said it will only need an internet connection as slow as 10 megabits per second to operate, which is what most base broadband plans offer. For ultra-high definition visuals offered with a Stadia Pro account, you’d need a 35 megabit connection, the company said. The company said you’ll be able to assess your own connection through a tester app on its website when you sign up.
The mobile version of Lightroom is going to get a big step closer to its PC-based big brother with Apple’s decision to let iPhones and iPads connect to storage systems like flash memory cards and external drives.
Lightroom, Adobe’s photo editing and cataloging software, can import photos today from flash memory cards to iPhones and iPads — but it’s a pain. You have to transfer the photos to the device’s camera roll then transfer them again to Lightroom. At its WWDC conference this week, though, Apple announced that its new iPadOS will let apps like Lightroom import photos directly.
And that’s exactly what Adobe plans to add to Lightroom.
“We do plan to support direct import in Lightroom on iPad,” spokesman Roman Skuratovskiy said in a statement.
Making Lightroom for iPad more useful
It might seem like a little thing, but reducing that hassle and giving photographers a faster workflow shows how Apple is helping iPad grow up into a full-fledged computer — with power, control and flexibility gradually closing in on what you get with a PC that runs MacOS or Windows.
And really, if you could travel with an iPad instead of a PC, wouldn’t you? iPads make even lightweight laptops like the MacBook Air seem a bit thick and heavy, and they can have battery life and mobile network advantages, too.
The inability to import photos directly into Lightroom for iPad helped tilt programmer and amateur photographer Richard Gaywood toward purchasing a Microsoft Surface instead of an iPad.
“The old through-Camera-Roll thing was just so damned clunky,” Gaywood tweeted Thursday.
iPadOS gets a storage boost
You’ll be able to use USB drives and other external drives on your iPad, not just import from SD memory cards.
That means that at least in principle, if your Lightroom catalog gets too big for your iPad storage, you could house the bulk of it on an external drive like you can today with PC versions of Lightroom. Adobe didn’t make any promises of that sort of feature, though, so if you’re a traveling photographer, don’t get too excited. And Apple’s Photos app can handle only photos stored directly on the device.
Apple’s new mobile storage abilities are perhaps most interesting on iPads, but they work on iPhones, too. Apple’s upcoming Files app lets you reach the external storage systems, including moving files there from your iPad or iPhone.
Only new iPad Pros come with USB-C ports — a fast, flexible and industry-standard connector good for charging and data transfer. Other iPads and all iPhones use Apple’s earlier, proprietary Lightning port. Storage devices can be connected with either Lightning or USB-C, though.
Slow shift to PC-like iPads
The shift to beefier iPads is agonizingly slow to some fans of iOS and its newly announced cousin, iPadOS. But it’s a vindication for Apple, said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing for mobile devices like iPads and iPhones.
“‘It’s just a big iPod Touch‘ — that was the worst thing we could imagine hearing,” he said of early iPad criticisms, in an interview at WWDC.
Back then, small-screen iPhone software was an awkward fit at best for the iPad, but now the iPad is meeting more of its potential. “We imagined from the beginning a very different experience,” Joswiak said.
That different experience may have been slow to arrive, but it’s helped iPads fare better than tablets powered by Google’s Android operating system, he said. “On the other platform, tablets just didn’t really happen.”
Indeed, you can buy Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and newer Chrome OS devices like Google’s Pixel Slate can run Android apps, but those devices are relative rarities compared with iPads.
With iPadOS, Apple is giving the tablet new abilities: a richer variety of split-screen options for running multiple apps, gestures to copy and paste, and some limited mouse support. It’s not clear how well that’ll work compared with Windows and MacOS, but it shows Apple is trying to help us move beyond games and streaming video and become more productive.