Sony shares some details about the PlayStation 5

Sony shares some details about the PlayStation 5

1:23pm, 16th April, 2019
Lead architect for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita gave to Wired’s Peter Rubin and shared some details about Sony’s next-gen console — the console that is likely to be called the PlayStation 5. The next PlayStation will be based on an AMD architecture just like the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro. The custom made CPU will be based on the third-generation AMD Ryzen CPU line. It’ll feature eight 7nm cores. As for the GPU, plans to use a custom version of AMD Radeon’s Navi GPUs. While AMD is to unveil this new generation of GPUs in the coming months, Cerny says that the next-gen PlayStation GPU will support ray tracing. Those chips should also lead to a jump in audio performance. You can expect better 3D audio support if you have a set of speakers or headphones that support this kind of stuff. The PlayStation 5 will also ship with SSD hard drives by default. This is a key differentiating factor between PC games and console games. Spinning hard drives lead to endless loading screens. Opting for an SSD changes everything. For instance, Cerny says that fast-travel in Spider-Man running on a PlayStation 4 Pro takes approximately 15 seconds, while it takes less than a second on a next-generation PlayStation devkit. On the hardware front, Cerny also said that the PlayStation 5 will have a BluRay drive to read physical games. And you’ll also be able to play PlayStation 4 games on the new console. Based on the interview, it’s unclear whether Sony wants to launch a second-generation PlayStation VR headset. But if you already bought a VR headset, it’ll be compatible with the future PlayStation. Sony is skipping E3 this year, which means that we won’t hear more about the PlayStation 5 for a while. The company will most likely launch the new console in 2020.
New court filing details why Amazon tore up its film distribution agreement with Woody Allen

New court filing details why Amazon tore up its film distribution agreement with Woody Allen

7:15pm, 3rd April, 2019
Director Woody Allen attends the “Cafe Society” photocall during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, on May 11, 2016. (BigStock Photo) Amazon said in a new court filing Wednesday that it ended a deal to finance and distribute films by Woody Allen because his “actions and their cascading consequences” when confronted with sexual abuse allegations destroyed any benefit the tech giant could get from working with the infamous director. The document represents Amazon’s first major response to a Amazon argued in the filing it was “justified” in terminating the deal with Allen and seeks to get some, but not all of Allen’s claims dismissed. The court filing is replete with references to the broader #MeToo Movement. Amazon grounded its decision to terminate the deal in Allen’s reactions to sexual misconduct and abuse allegations against himself and film producer Harvey Weinstein. Allen in early 2018 dismissed renewed claims from his daughter Dylan Farrow that he sexually abused her when she was a child. Amazon alleged those statements, including that Farrow was “cynically using” #MeToo for attention, sabotaged efforts to promote the film Wonder Wheel. The statements did lasting damage as well, as “scores of actors and actresses expressed profound regret for having worked with Allen in the past, and many declared publicly that they would never work with him in the future,” according to Amazon’s filing. “Understood in the broader context, Allen’s actions and their cascading consequences ensured that Amazon could never possibly receive the benefit of its four-picture agreement (despite already having paid Allen a $10 million advance upon signing),” according to the new filing. “As a result, Amazon was justified in terminating its relationship with Allen, and Plaintiffs ultimately will not recover any of the relief they seek.” Allen’s statements and the fallout came just a few months after amid sexual harassment allegations. Allen alleged in the lawsuit that Amazon backed out of the deal over a “25-year-old baseless accusation.” Allen is seeking $68 million in minimum guarantee payments from the four films in the deal with Amazon, in addition to damages and attorneys fees. Amazon did not address Allen’s breach of contract claims in the filing and instead went after other allegations that it said are duplicative. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in New York, called Amazon a “technology giant but Hollywood novice.” Amazon sought to capitalize on Allen’s fame to develop its “nascent entertainment studio,” according to the suit, with a deal to “finance and distribute his future films and to be his ‘home’ for the rest of his career.” Here is the full response from Amazon: by on Scribd
Apple takes on Netflix and Amazon with new TV+ service, but key details are missing

Apple takes on Netflix and Amazon with new TV+ service, but key details are missing

2:02pm, 25th March, 2019
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Oprah at today’s event in Cupertino, Calif., this morning. (Via webcast) Apple unveiled a magazine subscription service, a new Apple TV+ streaming service, an Apple Arcade gaming service, and a new Apple Card digital credit card in Cupertino, Calif. The new ad-free has support from in Hollywood, with stars including Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Jennifer Aniston, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, and Oprah — who is making and a live book club show for Apple TV+ — appearing on stage at the announcement. It will feature exclusive original shows and debut in more than 100 countries this fall. Pricing was not announced. So the big obvious unknown: What, if anything, will Apple charge for the video service it (briefly) previewed today? — Peter Kafka (@pkafka) "Pricing and availability for the Apple TV+ video subscription service will be announced later this autumn. " So all sorts of unknowns about this…..however much it costs it's not a given that people who already pay for Netflix etc will want another subscription — Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) Apple TV+ positions the company as a challenger to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which also produce original content and lead the U.S. market for paid video streaming services. But Apple also said it would be integrating its updated Apple TV app with Amazon Prime Video and the Seattle company’s Fire TV streaming hardware. Introducing Apple TV+. A new streaming service with original stories from the most creative minds in TV and film. — Apple TV (@AppleTV) The common thread of Monday’s event is an expansion of Apple’s services business, moving the company further beyond software and hardware, and a focus on privacy as a competitive advantage against Google, Facebook and other companies that rely on advertising revenue to fuel their businesses. Apple’s Services business , to more than $37 billion. The new $9.99/month magazine subscription service, Apple News+, builds on the company’s . Apple News+ will offer access to more than 300 magazines. WSJ internal memo says Apple News+ users will only get a "curated collection of general interest news." To access biz reporting, you'll still have to subscribe to the WSJ. Memo says "our collaboration with Apple will also extend to areas like video, voice, market data and AI." — Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) Apple made a point of differentiating its approach amid broader economic and political threats to journalism, as well as growing privacy concerns. “We believe in the power of journalism and the impact it will have on our lives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, on stage at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple HQ in Cupertino, Calif., after unveiling the new service. “We think Apple News+ is going to be great for customers, and great for publishers.” Apple says the service will also include premium digital subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, TheSkimm and the L.A. Times. “We don’t know what you read, and in addition to that, we don’t allow advertisers to track you,” said Roger Rosner, Apple’s vice president of applications. “What you read about in Apple News will not follow you across the web.” Also announced this morning: A new Apple Card credit card will be integrated into Apple Pay on the iPhone, extending the company’s reach into digital payments. Apple says it won’t track what users spend or share that information with third-parties. Apple is partnering with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard on the Apple Card. Apple unveiled a new gaming subscription service called Apple Arcade, with the ability to play more than 100 games across Apple devices, with offline play available. It’s similar to other services from EA and Microsoft. Apple TV Channels, a new feature in the Apple TV app that integrates content from Apple as well as subscription services including Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. The Apple TV app is also coming to the Mac, and for the first time to smart TVs, with Roku and Amazon Fire TV integration. The event was .
Amazon’s healthcare joint venture has a name — Haven — and website revealing details on initiative

Amazon’s healthcare joint venture has a name — Haven — and website revealing details on initiative

6:14pm, 6th March, 2019
Dr. Atul Gawande, CEO of Haven. (TED Conference Photo / James Duncan Davidson, via Flickr) The healthcare joint venture between Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway finally has a name, and it’s called Haven. The company also launched a website at . In addition to the new branding, the joint venture addressed a long-running question: Will Haven sell its products and services to other companies? The answer is a qualified “yes.” Haven said that it’s focused on the 1.2 million employees who work for Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan. However, the website explained that “in time, we intend to share our innovations and solutions to help others.” Haven will focus on access to primary care, simpler insurance benefits, and lowering prescription drugs prices. It is also looking at how to use data to improve the healthcare system overall. Haven revealed the members of its board, which includes: Todd Combs, investment officer of Berkshire Hathaway Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase Beth Galetti, a senior vice president at Amazon Dr. Atul Gawande, CEO of Haven Haven is led by: Dr. Atul Gawande, CEO Michael Higgins, chief information security officer Serkan Kutan, chief technology officer Megan McLean, chief of staff Dana Safran, head of measurement Jack Stoddard, chief operating officer Liam Brenner, acting head of finance Mary Jane Favazza, general manager Brooke Thurston, head of communications The joint venture was initially launched a little over a year ago. Its goals were mostly mysterious until documents in on Haven’s ambitions. Haven, which doesn’t seek a profit, is independent from the three companies. That said, it “draws on resources and expertise from Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase,” the website reads. Haven CEO Atul Gawande posted a letter on the website explaining Haven’s purpose. Here’s the full text: As a surgeon, I’ve devoted my career to caring for my patients and working to make the health care system better. I believe all people deserve quality health care that is both affordable and accessible. Haven was formed by the leaders of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase because they have been frustrated by the quality, service, and high costs that their employees and families have experienced in the U.S. health system. They believe that we can do better, and in taking this step to form this new organization, they have committed to being a part of the solution. We know that this work will take time, and we’ll need the help of others, but we will tackle problems step-by-step and make sure that patients remain our top priority. These are our guiding principles: We will be an advocate for the patient and an ally to anyone – clinicians, industry leaders, innovators, policymakers, and others – who makes patient care and costs better. We will create new solutions and work to change systems, technologies, contracts, policy, and whatever else is in the way of better health care. We will be relentless. We will insure our work has high impact and is sustainable. And we are committed to doing this work for the long-term. Atul Gawande, MD, MPHCEO, Haven