January 23, 2022 - Episode 616 - Show Notes

January 23, 2022 - Episode 616

Sunday Jan 23, 2022 (01:26:52)


This week, Activision is getting a new home at Microsoft, the IRS is getting biometric data, and YouTube is getting a little more original.


Scott Ertz


Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.

Avram Piltch


Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.


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IRS is requiring third-party facial recognition for online taxpayers

One thing we have learned over the past few years is that people are not comfortable with the idea of public biometric information. Whether it's Disney collecting fingerprints for pass holders or law enforcement scanning faces, people are not about it. But, despite the very public and loud backlash over the topic, we still see biometric data being collected for a lot of systems. The most recent comes to us care of the US federal government, in particular the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), who will begin requiring the use of facial recognition systems soon.

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Activision Blizzard joins ever-growing Microsoft Gaming family

In what was a big surprise to some in the industry, Microsoft announced this morning that they had entered into an agreement to purchase Activision Blizzard. The companies have agreed to a $68 billion sale that will see the entirety of Activision Blizzard reporting directly to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer. The move is not a huge surprise considering the implosion that has been happening over at Activision thanks to a series of revelations about inappropriate behavior within the company.

News From the Tubes

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Apple devices violate basic security protocol, exposing private data

Apple devices have been violating same origin policy for the past 4 months, exposing private data to potential hackers. This means that a hacker could track your browsing history and access additional information, depending on the way those sites store data in your browser. This bug has yet to be fixed, so it's important to be aware of the potential dangers and take steps to protect yourself.

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Google kills off most of its YouTube Originals, focuses on creators

Google has announced that it is killing off its YouTube Originals division. This team was responsible for programs like Scare PewDiePie and Cobra Kai, which eventually moved to Netflix. YouTube Kids and Black Voices will remain active brands under the YouTube umbrella. In a statement, YouTube said that it will be focusing on supporting creators instead of producing original content. This change in strategy comes after years of mixed messaging from Google about the importance of original programming.


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