Tag Archives: launches

Khabib launches digital NFT cards as fans joke McGregor will buy ‘diamond’ version to FINALLY get chance to meet nemesis again

Retired UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has become the latest superstar from the world of sports to join the NFT revolution, announcing the release of a unique set of digital cards.

NFTs – non-fungible tokens – are becoming all the rage among the sporting elite and Khabib has become the latest name to jump on the bandwagon.

The tokens are touted as being ‘one-of-a-kind’ assets in the digital realm which can be bought or sold.

Taking to his social media platforms on Tuesday, Khabib revealed that he was releasing a series of “digital cards” bearing his image which fans could bid to get their hands on.

“Khabib Nurmagomedov proudly presents his NFT collection of unique cards,” read a statement on the website digitalkhabib.com.

“Three series of cards will be issued: gold, platinum and diamond. Cards will be issued in limited series and all unsold cards will be burnt. The diamond card will be unique, only one will be issued.”

The announcement went on to add that the move was a nod to Khabib’s recently confirmed retirement as he left the UFC as undefeated and undisputed lightweight champion.

The gold version will be limited to 290 cards, and will have “unlockable content” which will later be revealed to the owners.

The platinum edition, meanwhile, will be limited to just 29 cards and buyers will each “have the opportunity to receive a unique personal prize from Khabib” which will be revealed at a later date.

Top of the range is the diamond card, which will be limited to a single issue.

“The card buyer will have the opportunity to personally meet Khabib, and will also receive other gifts from him which will be announced at a later date before the auction starts,” the sales pitch gushed.    

It was that chance to meet ‘The Eagle’ which led some fans to troll former UFC rival Conor McGregor, who has been desperate to secure a rematch with the Russian star since Khabib submitted him in their Las Vegas grudge match in October 2018.

“Conor McGregor is going to buy the Diamond Card,” joked one fan, sharing the details of what the prize would give the owner.

“Smart man! Whoever is your financial advisor deserves an award,” wrote another fan, clearly impressed.

Others, however, accused Khabib of pushing his side-hustles a little bit too hard as he continues to expand his already broad range of business interests and endorsements. 

Despite their somewhat novel nature, NFTs are becoming increasingly big business for sports stars, just as they are in other areas.

Last month, golfer Bryson DeChambeau announced he was releasing a set of cards, while the NBA has also spotted the potential of the blockchain-based assets.

Basketball highlights are being made into NFTs – known as Moments – by NBA Top Shot, a joint venture between the National Basketball Association, the NBA Players Association and Dapper Labs.
Also on rt.com Joining the revolution: Golf star DeChambeau issues NFT cards as he becomes latest big name to dabble in digital tokens
So far, the record amount spent at Top Shot was by Jesse Schwarz, the founder of Front Page.

Schwarz spent $ 208,000 on a LeBron James dunk, saying: “Everyone knows there’s one Mona Lisa. You can print out a picture of it, someone can paint you a fake one. But there’s only ever one.”

Outside of sport, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold his first-ever tweet as an NFT for a staggering $ 2.9 million.

READ MORE: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sells his first tweet for $ 2.9 million

Whether Conor McGregor is willing to go quite that high for the chance to come face to face with Khabib again remains to be seen…  

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Former Google executive launches left-leaning tech coalition

A former Google executive is launching a new tech coalition that brings together some of the nation’s top companies amid increased regulatory scrutiny in Washington.

Adam Kovacevich[1], Google’s former public policy head who most recently held a similar position at electric scooter company Lime, said the industry group called Chamber of Progress includes tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Uber, Grubhub, Lime, Doordash, Instacart, Waymo and Zillow.

“It’s pretty clear that the tech industry’s political honeymoon is over — and there are some big questions for policymakers about how do you make sure that all Americans benefit from high tech advancements and how do we make sure the tech industry operates fairly and responsibly,” Kovacevich told The Hill. “Another way of putting that is, will tech’s future be as progressive as its past? That’s the big question that our organization will be focused on.”

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Kovacevich described the industry coalition as “center-left.”

“What it means is that we care about progressive goals, and we’re not reflexively anti-business,” he said.

No partner companies have a seat on Chamber of Progress’s board of directors and they cannot vote on its policies, the coalition said in Monday’s announcement.

The group will advocate for public policies that fall under economic progress, social progress and consumer progress, Kovacevich said.

The launch comes as lawmakers take a closer look at regulating the biggest players in Silicon Valley. Tech giants are facing intense scrutiny from both sides of the aisle over their market power, as well as content moderation policies.

One hotly debated bipartisan issue is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides tech companies legal protections from content posted by third parties.

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Kovacevich said the Chamber of Progress will be defending Section 230, a 1996 law he says is “deeply misunderstood” by policymakers.

“It incentivizes platforms to moderate their platforms in a way that creates a healthier experience for their users,” he said.

The market power of top tech companies is also in the spotlight, with lawmakers considering whether to pursue further competition laws to address allegations of monopolies in the industry.

Kovacevich said his group will be “defenders” of “safe and secure win-win marketplaces online.”

“Almost every online service is a marketplace of some kind. You’ve got the company that runs the marketplace, you’ve got the sellers and participants in the marketplace, and then you’ve got consumers who the marketplace manager is trying to ultimately please,” he said. “So we’re going to be defenders of that kind of win-win aspect of marketplaces and that will probably be involved in competition policy, as well.”

In its first action, the Chamber of Progress called on Congress to pass federal voting rights legislation, and encouraged state legislatures to reject bills that would make it harder for people to vote.

“The reason why we wanted to do that was because in some ways the tech industry has been all about creating products that democratize commerce and information, but we also need a healthy participatory democracy underlying our economy,” Kovacevich said. “And so we felt the voting rights was a natural fit for an industry that’s been focused on democratizing goods and services.”

References

  1. ^ Adam Kovacevich (thehill.com)

[email protected] (Rebecca Klar)

Amazon union vote count to start for Alabama warehouse

The contentious unionization vote at Amazon’s Alabama warehouse is pushing forward with ballots set to be tabulated starting this week. Fallout from what has become known as the SolarWinds breach continued with news of hackers reportedly breaching email accounts of top Department of Homeland Security officials. Meanwhile, a former Google executive on Monday launched a new tech coalition backed by some of the top companies in the industry amid mounting scrutiny from Washington.

TALLY THEM UP: Ballots will start being counted this week in the unionization vote at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., marking a critical step in one of the most significant union elections of the last decade.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will start tabulating the ballots cast by more than 5,800 workers from the warehouse on Tuesday, but the final vote tally may take a week or more to be tabulated and any party is allowed to file objections within five days of the vote count which may delay the issuance of a final tally of ballots.

Amazon has largely fended off unionization challenges in the U.S., but the battle in Bessemer — which has garnered a spotlight in Washington since ballots went out in early February — could lead to the first Amazon union in the U.S.

Amid the unionization push, Amazon has publicly defended its working conditions. Much of the company’s messaging has centered on the $ 15 wage it has offered workers since 2018, which is above the federal minimum wage.

“Our employees know the truth — starting wages of $ 15 or more, health care from day one, and a safe and inclusive workplace. We encouraged all of our employees to vote and hope they did so,” Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said in a statement.

Read more about union vote count[5]

MORE BAD CYBER NEWS: Hackers involved in what has become known as the SolarWinds breach accessed email accounts of top officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) along with other personal information of senior federal officials, The Associated Press reported Monday.

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According to the AP, former acting DHS Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfBiden should improve on Obama’s effort to protect unaccompanied children Juan Williams: GOP underplays white racist terrorism Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues MORE[8][9][10][11][12]‘s email account was breached as part of the wide-reaching effort by suspected Russian hackers, along with the email accounts of DHS employees responsible for carrying out cybersecurity activities. [6][7]

The incident, which is one of the largest cybersecurity breaches in U.S. history, also reportedly allowed the hackers to access the private schedules of former Energy Secretary Dan Brouilette and other senior officials at the agency. A spokesperson for the Department of Energy told The Hill the agency “has found no evidence the network that maintains senior officials’ schedules was compromised.”

A spokesperson for DHS did not directly confirm the extent of the breach Monday, but told The Hill in a statement that “a small number of employees’ accounts were targeted.”

The Biden administration has been quick to emphasize the importance of cybersecurity. Emily Horne, spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council, said in a statement provided to The Hill on Monday that “cybersecurity is a top priority for the Biden administration.”

Read more here. [13]

TECH’S NEW COALITION: A former Google executive is launching a new tech coalition that brings together some of the nation’s top companies amid increased regulatory scrutiny in Washington.

The new group called Chamber of Progress includes tech giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Buer and Grubhub. It was launched by Google’s former public policy head Adam Kovacevich.

“It’s pretty clear that the tech industry’s political honeymoon is over — and there are some big questions for policymakers about how do you make sure that all Americans benefit from high tech advancements and how do we make sure the tech industry operates fairly and responsibly,” Kovacevich told The Hill. “Another way of putting that is, will tech’s future be as progressive as its past? That’s the big question that our organization will be focused on.”

Kovacevich described the industry coalition as “center-left.”

“What it means is that we care about progressive goals, and we’re not reflexively anti-business,” he said.

Read more about the coalition. [14]

UNDERSEA INVESTMENT: Facebook and Google are investing in new undersea internet cables that will run between California and Southeast Asia in an effort to boost internet speed and reliability, the companies announced Monday.

Facebook said it will invest in two new subsea cables, Echo and Bifrost, and Google said it will be investing in Echo. The projects are subject to regulatory approvals.[15][16]

Echo and Bifrost will connect Singapore, Indonesia and North America.

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The two companies touted the projects as helping to bring reliable internet access around the world.

Read more here[17]

Lighter click: Maybe in another two[18]

An op-ed to chew on: To build lasting digital equity, look to communities [19]

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB: 

‘Vaccine passports’ are on the way, but developing them won’t be easy (The Washington Post / Dan Diamond, Lena H. Sun and Isaac Stanley-Becker) [20]

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Former prisoners struggle to re-enter society. What happens when society moves online? (NBC / Alexandra Marquez) [21]

Why This Teen Walked Away From Millions of TikTok Followers (Motherboard / Samantha Cole) [22]

Big Tech defenders dominate the country’s top group of antitrust lawyers (Protocol / Emily Birnbaum) [23]

Australia investigates reported hacks aimed at Parliament, media (CyberScoop / Shannon Vavra)[24]

Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill’s newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE. [1]

Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.[2][3][4]

[email protected] (Rebecca Klar,Maggie Miller and Chris Mills Rodrigo)

Disney Cruise Line launches new ‘staycation’ UK sailings this summer

If all goes to plan, tourist accommodation in England is also supposed to re-open from May 17.

Even if the domestic trips go ahead, Disney Cruise Line will still be implementing a number of measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus infections on its ships.

These measures will include COVID-19 testing, passengers having to wear face coverings, reduced capacity, social distancing, and enhanced cleaning.

While the cruise line waits for the UK Government’s announcement on domestic travel plans, it has already announced that its European sailings, which were supposed to depart from Barcelona, Civitavecchia, and Dover from May to August, have been suspended.

Flights: British Airways launches double Avios points for customers but you must act fast

British Airways[1] is offering customers double Avios points when shopping with selected brands. The deal offers even more ways for customers to save money on future holidays.
It is free to become an Executive Club Member and can be done via the airline’s website.

The eStore features over 1,200 retailers in the UK and over 400 in the US. British Airways Executive Club members are credited with Avios for every £1 spent through the online store, with the amount of Avios varying by retailer.

Avios earned through the British Airways Avios eStore can be used on a variety of activities, such as redeeming on Reward Flights, where customers spend their Avios and just pay the taxes, fees and carrier charges.

In addition, Avios can be spent on hotels, car hire and Avios Part Payment, minimising the cash amount paid on flights.

Customers simply need to log onto the British Airways Avios eStore to collect Avios while shopping.

From there, customers can click through to retailers’ websites to access the great offers.

Niall Rooney, head of the British Airways Executive Club, said: “Those looking to grow their Avios balances to book their next trip can benefit from the latest promotion, and earn up to double the points from popular retailers, redeemable on experiences, car hire, as well as flights when the time is right.”

References

  1. ^ British Airways (www.express.co.uk)

Sky launches new broadband service but this time it's not for your home

Speaking about the launch Stephen van Rooyen, EVP & CEO, UK & Europe, Sky, said: “Covid-19 has had a huge impact on small British businesses, with many moving online to survive. We’re launching Sky Connect now, and plan to create up to a thousand new jobs across the UK, because we know British businesses will come out fighting and we want to be there to help.

“Small businesses are the growth engine of our economy and we believe they deserve better – better products and technology; clearer contracts, and exceptional customer service.”

Prices for the basic broadband which doesn’t include 4G backup start from £39 per month.

The most premium option with superfast speeds and an always-on connection cost £95 per month.

TY The Tasmanian Tiger 2 HD Launches On The Switch eShop Next Week

Krome Studios has announced its Kickstarter project TY The Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue HD will land on the Nintendo Switch eShop next week on 30th and 31st March.

“The time has come to talk about the release dates for TY2HD on Nintendo Switch systems. We’ve completed the submission process with Nintendo and the eShop and are now happy to confirm that the Nintendo Switch digital version of the game releases at the end of the month! (not long now….!!)”

The game will arrive in North America on 30th March and on 31st March in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Kickstarter backers will receive their own codes via email. This project was launched at the start of this year and reached its goal of $ 75,000 USD in just 8.5 hours.

TY 2 first arrived on the GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2004 and was publihsed by EA Games. The sequel is an open-world adventure featuring more boomerangs, mechs and “more everything” – with the task to stop the evil machinations of the “diabolical Boss Cass”.

The official Nintendo webpage for the game is also live, revealing a price of $ 29.99 USD and a file size requirement of 2.5GB.

TyTy
TyTy
Ty

Will you be checking out this game when it lands on the Switch eShop next week? Leave a comment below.

Ryanair launches passenger ‘COVID-19 wallet’ predicting holidays will return ‘by June'

Irish-airline Ryanair has introduced a new COVID-19 travel wallet which aims to help make travel more streamline amid ongoing Covid regulations around the world. The wallet will be part of the Ryanair app, allowing customers to upload required documentation for whichever nation they are visiting.
With many countries now requiring negative COVID-19 tests, as well as potential evidence of vaccination in the future, the airline offers the wallet as a place for customers to store all of these documents in one place.

The airline remains hopeful the roll-out of vaccination programmes across Europe will see the return of summer holidays across the continent.

Furthermore, Ryanair says it is “confident” the EU’s vaccine programme will see the removal of “current EU travel restrictions in time for the school holidays” which run from June to September.

In light of this, the budget carrier says the wallet will make “air travel as seamless as possible for customers this summer”.

READ MORE: Google Maps Street View: Man’s hair shocks viewers

However, the airline says it is “mindful that additional Covid travel documents may be required by certain EU countries and Ryanair’s new COVID-19 Travel Wallet ensures passengers have all their COVID-19 travel documents saved and secure in one place to present at airports on their next getaway”.

Ryanair’s director of marketing, Dara Brady, said: “We are very pleased to launch this Ryanair COVID-19 Travel Wallet as we prepare for the return of family holidays in Summer ‘21.

“Many Ryanair customers will be taking their first holiday in over a year, adhering to new travel guidelines and this COVID-19 Travel Wallet allows customers to store all of their Covid documents such as PCR test results, passenger locator forms and vaccine certificates in the one location with zero fuss or paperwork to worry about.”

The airline already has a full schedule of flights on sale for the summer months.

DON’T MISS
Spain holidays back on – tourists will be able to return in May [INSIGHT]
Pound to euro exchange rate rises for ‘fifth straight day’ [GRAPH]
Netherlands holidays: Dutch government lifts UK travel ban [UPDATE]

One-way seats start as low as £19.99 to select destinations.

The airline is also continuing its “zero change fee” for customers who are unable to fly on their originally planned dates.

Customers who book travel before March 31, 2021, for travel before October 31, are able to make two flights changes free of charge.

“Ryanair’s Summer 2021 schedules are already on sale – subject to changing Government travel restrictions – and we believe that once the high-risk and elderly population of Europe is vaccinated by the end of May or June, travel restrictions will be relaxed and air travel will experience a bounce back from pent-up customer demand that will see European families travelling again for well-earned Summer holidays to the beaches of Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece this summer,” said Mr Brady.

However, those who have not been vaccinated will have to show proof of a negative Covid test.

Travellers with antibodies will also be permitted to enter.

“We aim to open tourism by May 14 with specific rules and updated protocols,” Theoharis told the IBT Berlin tourism fair.

“Until then, we will gradually lift restrictions if conditions allow.”

Watch Dogs: Legion Online Mode Launches Today

Starting today, Watch Dogs: Legion is giving players a new way to liberate London: teaming up with other DedSec operatives in four-player, open-world co-op. Out now as part of a free update for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, Watch Dogs: Legion Online mode unfolds separately from the single-player campaign, and takes place after the campaign’s events (without spoilers). Here, players build a new DedSec cell by recruiting anyone they see in the open world – this time with a quicker system using earned Influence points – and then freely explore London and take on new missions alongside other operatives.

Watch Dogs: Legion

From the open world, players will be able to jump into a series of specially built co-op missions for up to four players. They can also dive into shorter side activities, or tackle PvP competition in the four-to-eight-player Spiderbot Arena, where armed spiderbots battle in dynamic, free-for-all deathmatch arenas. And starting on March 23, they’ll be able to take on higher-stakes Tactical Ops missions, which are endgame challenges that require at least three players and demand constant communication and teamwork.

Watch Dogs: Legion

In addition to Watch Dogs: Legion Online mode, today also brings two new single-player DLC missions for Watch Dogs: Legion Season Pass holders. In “Guardian Protocol,” DedSec discovers an algorithm that could enable AI to override human decisions, potentially turning weaponized drones into autonomous killing machines. And in “Not In Our Name,” operatives will track and confront a hacker group who’s using DedSec’s name to steal blackmail information for a tabloid owner.

Watch Dogs: Legion

Watch Dogs: Legion lets you recruit anyone from its open world, take advantage of their special skills, and build a team and a story that’s tailored to you. And with other players joining in via Watch Dogs: Legion Online mode, it’s time to team up and drive, hack, sneak, and fight your way to a better tomorrow.

Watch Dogs®: Legion Gold Edition
Xbox Live

Watch Dogs®: Legion Gold Edition

UBISOFT

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$ 99.99 $ 39.99
Get both the base game and season pass with the Watch Dogs®: Legion Gold Edition. Build a resistance from anyone in the world as you fight to take back a near-future London facing its downfall. Recipient of over 65 E3 awards and nominations. Season pass includes a major expansion with two episodes, extra missions, four iconic heroes, including Aiden Pearce, and access to the original Watch_Dogs® Complete Edition! Recruit and play as anyone from London. Everyone you see has a unique backstory, personality, and skills. Explore a massive urban open world featuring London’s many iconic landmarks and fun side activities. Team up with your friends to complete new four-player co-op missions and PvP matches in the new online mode.

Mikel Reparaz, Editor, Ubisoft

Simon Mayo hits out at BBC for 'annoying' listeners as he launches bid to steal audience

Simon Mayo, 62, revealed that his BBC Radio 2 listeners were “annoyed” after the broadcaster merged his show with Jo Whiley’s in order to attract more female listeners. He was at the helm of the Drivetime slot for eight years but resigned following the decision to join the two together, admitting his fans were “not impressed”.
Simon, who now hosts a Drivetime show on Greatest Hits Radio, looked back at the debacle in a recent interview, saying: “When things are changed, people don’t like it.

“They [listeners] felt annoyed.”

The radio DJ also hopes to lure his former regulars from the “dark side”.

READ MORE: Simon Mayo: ‘It was awkward’ Radio 2 star opens up on co-hosting

“Hopefully they’ll come over and find us on Greatest Hits,” he grinned, while talking to The Mirror.

Jo joined Simon’s award-winning show after moving from the evening slot she had presented since 2011.

But he admitted at the time it was an “awkward and stressful few months”.

The DJ also confessed that he no longer listens to the BBC show, but wishes his friends and former colleagues all the best.

In a statement given by the BBC at the time Bob Shennan, former Radio 2 controller and now BBC’s Director of Radio and Music, said: “I’m delighted that two of Radio 2’s most popular presenters are now presenting a brand new show each weekday, which I’m confident will become one of the network’s most listened to shows.”

However, figures dropped significantly following the move and Simon announced his departure on 22 October 2018.

Alongside his new station slot, he will continue to front his weekend show on Scala Radio, where he found himself at the centre of a legal issue with the BBC, over the copyright surrounding Ken Bruce’s popular quiz PopMaster.

Debuting his own feature ‘OpMaster’ on his Scala show, the broadcaster found the gag “strangely reminiscent” of the original.

“There were some legal conversations that happened and we didn’t do it again. But it made people laugh,” Simon explained.

“But everyone is cool, everyone is grown up, and radio is an intelligent industry. As far as I know, nobody has any problems.”

The Simon Mayo Drivetime Show launches on Greatest Hits Radio at 4pm on 15 March.