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Get Up to Speed with These Helpful Tips for F1 2021

Summary

  • Get to grips with F1 2021’s huge selection of ways to play.
  • Tips on balancing gameplay and customising your F1 experience.
  • Play F1 2021 now with the digital Deluxe Edition; Standard Edition available July 16.

It’s here! Launch week for F1 2021 is upon us – and if you’ve pre-ordered the digital Deluxe Edition, which launched today, July 13, you may well have rolled out of the garage already, with three days early access to the entire game.

Since the game’s reveal back in April, we’ve enjoyed giving you all the details on this year’s official F1 videogame from Codemasters and EA Sports, as we race into a new generation for both the series and the sport. F1 2021 delivers big on brand new features, fresh ways to play, and innovating upon existing fan-favourite modes – and they’re all given a performance and detail boost, thanks to a series debut on Xbox Series X|S.

F1 2021

Just like in the world of Formula 1, it’s always good to get up to speed quickly when you jump into a new game. With that in mind, we’ve put together some recommendations and tips to consider as you begin your F1 2021 journey. Got a pen and paper at the ready? Good, then let’s begin…

Find Your Level in F1 2021

Figuring out your ideal difficulty level, and finding a gameplay setup that works for you, is often key to getting the maximum enjoyment out of a game, particularly a racing title. In F1 2021, you’ll find a detailed selection of options, sliders, and assists to adjust, to help you find your level in any game mode – even if you are brand new to the series.

Adjust assists, like traction control and ABS, to either help you get to grips with the car or create a serious racing challenge. First-time player of F1? Make good use of these assists and tinker with them until you’re comfortable with the car.

F1 2021

For our more serious racers, use the Car Setup area and the OSD during gameplay to adjust all manner of settings, like brake bias, wheel camber, and differential. Tweak the AI difficulty via a 1-100 sliding scale, to ensure you can race competitively with other cars regardless of your skill level. Last year for F1 2020, we shared an official guide on how to nail that AI balance, which is well worth checking out.

Either create your custom setup using all the above or use our simplified presets for novice and experienced players alike to get started. We recommend using Time Trial mode, or creating a standalone Grand Prix event, to test out your setup and ensure your experience is balanced perfectly when you head into other modes.

Discover Your Braking Point

We’ve introduced you to the cast, and given you a glimpse of the story, but trust us: Once you dive into Braking Point, the brand-new narrative-based mode for F1 2021, you will be as hooked to it as whatever TV series you’re currently binging!

F1 2021

Inspired by the modern-day world of F1, Braking Point is an immersive combination of thrilling racing and engrossing storytelling. We recommend jumping straight into this mode to get a taste of the story and the drama created on and off the track.

Braking Point is a standalone mode which does not affect progress or choices in other modes, so feel free to experience it all at your own pace – we just can’t wait to see your reaction!

Create Your Perfect Career

A cornerstone of the franchise, F1 2021 offers more ways than ever to race against the real-world Formula 1 teams and drivers, on official circuits from this season’s calendar. Whether you want to race for your favourite team, recreate the drama of this year’s championship, share the action with a friend, or create the next dominant force in the paddock, there is something here for you. We recommend trying out all options in both Career and My Team and seeing which experience best suits you.

F1 2021

In Career, join the real-world grid, develop your car, defeat rivals, earn contract offers from different teams, and compete to become the World Drivers Champion over multiple seasons. New for this year, a two-player Career option is available, allowing you and a friend to race either co-operatively or competitively against the current crop of drivers. Also new for F1 2021 is Real-Season Start: A Career option that adds the real-world F1 results and standings to date, so you can join the fray and put yourself into the fray of the remainder of the 2021 championship.

My Team, meanwhile, gives you even more control. Create, manage, and race for your very own Formula 1 team, making the key decisions behind the scenes to increase your revenue and reputation, before heading on track to compete against this season’s teams. Hire a teammate from the drivers market – which, if you’re a digital Deluxe Edition player, includes seven iconic drivers to choose as your dream teammate.

F1 2021

Customise Your F1 World

Success means more when you do it your way, which is why F1 2021 offers more options than ever before to personalise your look and style when you head online to compete with other players.

Before heading into our Ranked or Unranked lobbies, creating a League, or any other of our online modes, customise your car’s livery, your overalls, race helmet, and player profile, to make it your own. Winning online races opens up more ways to show your individuality, too: As well as being able to select a podium celebration, you can even choose some victory race audio to play after you reach the chequered flag first! Earn and unlock new items to use online via Podium Pass, with multiple seasons of content on the way.

F1 2021

Join the New Generation in F1 2021 Now

How you choose to enjoy F1 2021 is, of course, up to you – we just hope that these tips help you get up to speed with a game that we are incredibly proud to launch this week. Lose yourself in our Braking Point story, rise up to the podium in Career and My Team, and succeed in style via a host of online race modes. F1 2021 is here, so it’s lights out, and away we go!

F1® 2021 Deluxe EditionF1® 2021 Deluxe Edition

Xbox LiveXbox Live

F1® 2021 Deluxe Edition

Electronic Arts


6

• Three days early access

• The entire F1® 2021 game

• My Team Icons Pack –
Seven iconic drivers to enhance your ‘My Team’ game experience: Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Rosberg, Button, Massa and Coulthard.
Exclusive in-game customisation items: Car livery | Suit | Gloves | Helmet | Victory radio call.

• Braking Point Content Pack –
Celebrate the release of F1® 2021 with exclusive in-game items inspired by the fictional stars of the new ‘Braking Point’ story experience. Equip them to race as Devon Butler, Aiden Jackson, and Casper Akkerman: Character avatar | Car livery | Suit | Gloves | Helmet | Victory radio voices.

• 18,000 PitCoin virtual currency to spend in-game.

Every story has a beginning in F1® 2021, the official videogame of the 2021 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™. Enjoy the stunning new features of F1® 2021, including the thrilling story experience ‘Braking Point’, two-player Career, and get even closer to the grid with ‘Real-Season Start’. Take your team to the top in the acclaimed ten-year ‘My Team’ Career mode, or race head-to-head in split-screen and multiplayer. Immerse yourself in the greatest racing spectacle on the planet and race with the authentic lineup of twenty heroic drivers and ten iconic teams from the 2021 season:
– ‘Braking Point’ – the thrilling new story experience
– New ways to play: two-player Career and ‘Real-Season Start’
– Acclaimed ‘My Team’, split-screen and multiplayer

INTERNET CONNECTION & ALL GAME UPDATES REQUIRED TO ACCESS THE FINAL F1® TEAMS’ 2021 CARS, CERTAIN CIRCUITS, CONTENT (AS APPLICABLE) AND F2™ 2021 SEASON UPDATE. SEE www.formula1game.com/2021 FOR DETAILS & AVAILABILITY OF THREE NEW CIRCUITS: PORTIMÃO, IMOLA AND JEDDAH. ACCEPTANCE OF EA USER AGREEMENT (terms.ea.com) REQUIRED TO PLAY. EA’S PRIVACY & COOKIE POLICY APPLIES (privacy.ea.com). YOU CONSENT TO ANY PERSONAL DATA COLLECTED THROUGH YOUR USE OF EA’S SERVICES BEING TRANSFERRED TO THE UNITED STATES, AS FURTHER EXPLAINED IN THE PRIVACY & COOKIE POLICY. EA MAY PROVIDE CERTAIN FREE INCREMENTAL CONTENT &/OR UPDATES. MANDATORY CONTENT UPDATES MAY BE DOWNLOADED AUTOMATICALLY, REQUIRE ADDITIONAL STORAGE, INCUR BANDWIDTH USAGE FEES & REQUIRE AN ADDITIONAL PURCHASE TO ACCESS. EA MAY RETIRE ONLINE FEATURES AFTER 30 DAYS NOTICE POSTED ON ea.com/service-updates.

F1® 2021 Game – an official product of the FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. © 2021 Electronic Arts Inc. The F1 logo, F1, FORMULA 1 and related marks are trade marks of Formula One Licensing BV, a Formula 1 company. Licensed by Formula One World Championship Limited. The F2 FIA FORMULA 2 CHAMPIONSHIP logo, FORMULA 2, F2 and related marks are trade marks of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile and used exclusively under licence. All rights reserved.

F1® 2021F1® 2021

Xbox LiveXbox Live

F1® 2021

Electronic Arts

• The entire F1® 2021 game
• Braking Point Content Pack
• Celebrate the release of F1® 2021 with exclusive in-game items inspired by the fictional stars of the new ‘Braking Point’ story experience. Equip them to race as Devon Butler, Aiden Jackson, and Casper Akkerman: Character avatar | Car livery | Suit | Gloves | Helmet | Victory radio voices
• 5,000 PitCoin virtual currency to spend in-game

Every story has a beginning in F1® 2021, the official videogame of the 2021 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™. Enjoy the stunning new features of F1® 2021, including the thrilling story experience ‘Braking Point’, two-player Career, and get even closer to the grid with ‘Real-Season Start’. Take your team to the top in the acclaimed ten-year ‘My Team’ Career mode, or race head-to-head in split-screen and multiplayer. Immerse yourself in the greatest racing spectacle on the planet and race with the authentic lineup of twenty heroic drivers and ten iconic teams from the 2021 season:
– ‘Braking Point’ – the thrilling new story experience
– New ways to play: two-player Career and ‘Real-Season Start’
– Acclaimed ‘My Team’, split-screen and multiplayer

INTERNET CONNECTION & ALL GAME UPDATES REQUIRED TO ACCESS THE FINAL F1® TEAMS’ 2021 CARS, CERTAIN CIRCUITS, CONTENT (AS APPLICABLE) AND F2™ 2021 SEASON UPDATE. SEE www.formula1game.com/2021 FOR DETAILS & AVAILABILITY OF THREE NEW CIRCUITS: PORTIMÃO, IMOLA AND JEDDAH. ACCEPTANCE OF EA USER AGREEMENT (terms.ea.com) REQUIRED TO PLAY. EA’S PRIVACY & COOKIE POLICY APPLIES (privacy.ea.com). YOU CONSENT TO ANY PERSONAL DATA COLLECTED THROUGH YOUR USE OF EA’S SERVICES BEING TRANSFERRED TO THE UNITED STATES, AS FURTHER EXPLAINED IN THE PRIVACY & COOKIE POLICY. EA MAY PROVIDE CERTAIN FREE INCREMENTAL CONTENT &/OR UPDATES. MANDATORY CONTENT UPDATES MAY BE DOWNLOADED AUTOMATICALLY, REQUIRE ADDITIONAL STORAGE, INCUR BANDWIDTH USAGE FEES, & REQUIRE AN ADDITIONAL PURCHASE TO ACCESS. EA MAY RETIRE ONLINE FEATURES AFTER 30 DAYS NOTICE POSTED ON ea.com/service-updates.

F1® 2021 Game – an official product of the FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. © 2021 Electronic Arts Inc. The F1 logo, F1, FORMULA 1 and related marks are trademarks of Formula One Licensing BV, a Formula 1 company. Licensed by Formula One World Championship Limited. The F2 FIA FORMULA 2 CHAMPIONSHIP logo, FORMULA 2, F2 and related marks are trademarks of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile and used exclusively under licence. All rights reserved.

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This post originally posted here Xbox Wire

Virgin Media O2 customers treated to a vital free speed boost that rivals EE

Virgin Media and O2 joined forces back in June and the newly formed company is already pushing out some big changes. With millions of us staying in the UK this summer, the firm has started boosting its mobile signal in a swathe of popular destinations which should mean a better, faster and more reliable connection.

Virgin Media O2 is boasting that, so far in 2021, it has delivered a 4G network boost in 31,300 postcodes and that’s not all as it has also upgraded almost 600 cell sites at popular UK holiday hotspots such as Bognor Regis, Bath, Falmouth, Plymouth, Cambridge and Stirling. These upgrades have been put in place to help cope with that added demand as millions of Britons are expected to stay in the UK this year for their summer breaks.

Along with that 4G boost, there is also an improvement to the latest 5G signals with an upgrade that should mean more people can get access to these superfast speeds. Virgin Media O2 says it has continued to roll out its 5G network, focusing on strengthening its coverage in towns and cities while introducing the next generation network to tourist hotspots such as Edinburgh Castle, Bournemouth Pier, Tynemouth King Edwards Bay and Llandudno West Shore.

Also benefitting from new outdoor 5G connectivity are a range of museums and galleries, including the V&A Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Natural History Museum, the Mary Rose Museum, York Castle Museum and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

READ MORE: There’s a new word that can break ANY iPhone, and this time there’s no fix

If you weren’t already aware, 5G is capable of beaming the web to phones at speeds of over 300Mbps which is around five times faster than the UK’s average fixed-line broadband speeds.

You will need a 5G-ready phone to access this network technology but almost all new devices including the latest iPhone 12 are now compatible.

Speaking about the update, Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2 said: “After a year like no other, we know how important it has been to stay connected. That’s why we’re committed to providing our customers with reliable connectivity all across the UK – as shown by our £448m investment on newly released spectrum – to increase capacity in our network and power the technology of the future, as well as spearheading the Shared Rural Network.

“The numbers speak for themselves, with over 31,300 postcodes receiving a 4G network upgrade this year, hundreds of tourist hotspots boosted and a real focus to improve our 5G experience where people need it most.”

Of course, it’s not just O2 that’s aware of people not jumping on planes in 2021. EE also recently announced a similar boost that’s aimed at making sure that users get faster internet speeds during this year’s staycation boom.

EE says it has upgraded its 4G network in Blackpool, Bournemouth, Brighton, Dawlish, Gt Yarmouth, Isle of Sheppey, Maldon, Porthcawl and Rhyl with 16 more locations getting the boost later this summer.

Along with that 4G upgrade, EE is also switching on its next-generation 5G signal in several coastal towns and cities including Ayr, Blackpool, Brighton, Paignton, Poole, Porthcawl, Southend-on-Sea, Swansea and Weston-Super-Mare

Author: David Snelling
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Tech

From vaccination rates to voting rights, blue and red states are hurtling in opposite directions at staggering speed, even as Biden calls for greater national unity

From vaccination rates to voting rights, from immigration policy to racial equity, blue and red states are hurtling in antithetical directions at staggering speed, even amid President Joe Biden’s persistent calls for greater national unity and his attempts to foster more bipartisan agreement in Washington. Across all of these issues, and more, Republican-controlled states are pursuing policies that amount to a wholesale effort to counter Biden’s direction at the national level — even as they look to block some of his key initiatives with lawsuits.
In some ways, the red state recoil from Biden’s agenda echoes the “resistance” that exploded in Democratic-controlled states to Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency; in other ways, today’s actions in red states may constitute even greater evidence of the country pulling apart. Especially striking is that, as during last year’s lockdowns and mask mandates, the separation between red and blue America is occurring not only at the level of government policy, but also in individual behavior, with all studies showing Republicans are being vaccinated against the coronavirus at a much lower rate than Democrats.
Taken together, these centrifugal pressures call into question not only the ability of any president to unify the nation, but also his or her ability even to chart a common course for more than roughly half of the country — either red or blue America. This divergence, across a wide range of issues and personal choices, is rooted in the continuing political re-sorting that has divided the parties more sharply than ever along demographic and geographic lines and produced two political coalitions holding inimical views on the fundamental social and economic changes remaking America. And that destabilizing process shows no signs of slowing, much less reversing, even after Trump — who fomented division as a central component of his political strategy — has left the White House.
“This is the long arc of history,” says Lynn Vavreck, a political scientist at UCLA and one of the founders of the NationScape polling project studying American attitudes. “There are these moments that exacerbate things, like Trump running for that nomination in 2016: If he hadn’t run, the sorting would probably be taking a little longer. But it was always marching in that direction. You try to just ask yourself what stops it, or what reverses it, or what slows it? … I can’t come up with a good answer to that question.”

Presidential approval gap expands

The most common way to measure the daunting distance between red and blue America is through voting behavior and attitudes in public opinion polls. Polling has shown that the gap between voters from the two parties in their approval ratings for a newly elected president has steadily widened over recent decades. For Biden, despite all his efforts to govern as a unifying figure, that gap has reached a mountainous height: an ABC/Washington Post poll released on Saturday found that his approval rating among Democrats (at 94%) was 86 points above his rating among Republicans (8%).
These results came even as the nonpartisan Pew Research Center last week released its “validated voters” study, one of the most respected efforts to quantify how the key groups in the electorate voted in last November’s presidential election. Although the study found some shifts from the 2016 election (with Trump, for instance, improving among Hispanics and Biden gaining some ground among White men both with and without college degrees), mostly it recorded extraordinary stability in the lines of division between the parties over both elections. Other studies of the electorate’s behavior, from the media exit polls to the Cooperative Election Study sponsored by a consortium of academic researchers, have also concluded that continuity far exceeded change when comparing 2020 with 2016.
“To the extent we see differences between 2016 and 2020 we are talking about very marginal ones,” says Tufts University political scientist Brian Schaffner, a co-director of the Cooperative Election Study.
This stability may seem surprising after all the emotional and even unprecedented events of the Trump presidency, capped by a once-in-a-century pandemic that disrupted every aspect of daily life. But political scientists like Vavreck and Alan Abramowitz of Emory University say the continuity between the two elections reflects the intractability of the differences between voters in the two partisan coalitions. Reinforcing that picture is the striking finding that Biden’s current approval rating, both overall and among the electorate’s major groups, hasn’t really changed much from his vote among them last fall, even though Americans are expressing much more optimism about the country’s direction as society reopens and the economy recovers.
“I don’t think we are going to see an election anymore where a president wins with 52 or 53% of the vote and then has a 62% approval rating,” says Republican pollster Glen Bolger.
While some analysts have asserted that political polarization is driven primarily by leaders like Trump who encourage it, Abramowitz argues that today it is grounded in a much more intractable dynamic: As the electorate has sorted between the parties on lines of race, education, generation, religion and geography, the rank and file of each coalition now holds more ideologically consistent views on the core questions facing America — and those views are more consistently hostile to the perspective on the other side.
In an upcoming paper he shared with CNN, Abramowitz notes that long-term survey data shows that compared with the 1970s, voters in each party now hold much more negative views of the other party and its presidential nominee. That hostility, he argues, is rooted in these fundamentally clashing worldviews.
“One of the most important reasons why Democrats and Republicans intensely dislike each other is that they intensely disagree on a wide range of issues including the size and scope of the welfare state, abortion, gay and transgender rights, race relations, climate change, gun control and immigration,” Abramowitz writes. “As long as the parties remain on the opposite sides of almost all of the major issues facing the country, feelings of mistrust and animosity are unlikely to diminish even if Donald Trump ceases to play a major role in the political process.”

Moves to block Biden policies

This year’s sharp turn to the right in red states has provided immediate evidence to support that prediction. Red states have erupted in what looks like a spasm of resistance to the left-leaning tilt in national policy that Democrats are executing through their unified control of Washington.
As I’ve written, Republican-controlled states this year are advancing aggressively conservative initiatives across a panoramic array of issues. Among other things, red states are moving to loosen restrictions on gun owners and tighten (or even potentially eliminate) access to legal abortion; toughen penalties on public protesters; block transgender teens from competing in school sports; bar local governments from reducing their police budgets; and ban school curriculums that look to examine racism in American history.
Most of these policies steer in precisely the opposite direction that Biden is trying to set at the national level. Nine red states, for instance, have passed laws limiting or entirely blocking the ability of local law enforcement officials to enforce federal gun laws. But nowhere is this red state attempt to counter the President’s national direction more tangible than on immigration. As Biden has moved to reverse many of Trump’s hardline immigration policies, Republican attorneys general led by Texas’ Ken Paxton have already sued to block several of the new administration’s immigration initiatives.
Even more provocatively, Republican governors from states including Florida, Arkansas, Ohio and Tennessee have deployed National Guard troops or other law enforcement from their states to Texas’ border with Mexico in response to requests from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, even though the federal government retains sole enforcement power there and National Guard members cannot apprehend undocumented migrants.
“This is definitely red states saying we want the kind of restrictive policies that Biden is dismantling,” says Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute and former commissioner of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service for President Bill Clinton.
Meissner says it’s possible to interpret these deployments as the mirror image of the “sanctuary” policies that Democratic-controlled cities and the state of California instituted to limit their cooperation with Trump’s immigration enforcement agenda. But Republicans have taken their resistance to a new level, she notes, in also seeking to counter Biden’s plan by mobilizing private resources from politically sympathetic supporters.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, like Abbott a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, announced last week that a conservative billionaire was funding the deployment of the South Dakota Guard to the Texas border. Abbott has already set up a website to solicit public donations to continue building the wall along the Texas border that Trump pursued but Biden has abandoned.

Emergence of 2-tier systems

As on immigration, red states are directly confronting Biden on voting rights. Republican-controlled states from Florida, Georgia and Arkansas to Iowa, Montana and Arizona this year have approved a torrent of measures making it more difficult to vote, almost all of them with virtually every state legislative Republican voting yes and nearly every Democrat voting no. Democrats have responded both by advancing legislation to establish a nationwide floor of voting rights — such as guaranteed early voting and on-demand absentee balloting — and with a Justice Department lawsuit against the Georgia law.
But after a GOP filibuster recently blocked the Democrats’ federal voting rights legislation, it’s uncertain whether the Democratic Senate majority will revise the chamber’s rules to enable them to pass a modified version of it. And the six Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices raised huge obstacles to the legal efforts to block the red state offensive on voting with their ruling last week weakening the Voting Rights Act.
Those twin barriers to national action raise the prospect that the months ahead will see the continued emergence of a two-tier system of American voting, with access becoming increasingly curtailed in red states even as blue states from Virginia to Washington take steps to expand it.
A two-tier system is exactly what’s already apparent in utilization of the coronavirus vaccine. All of the 20 states (plus the District of Columbia) where the highest shares of adults have received at least one shot were won last fall by Biden; 20 of the 21 states where the lowest percentage have obtained at least one shot were won by Trump (Georgia, the sole exception, is controlled by a Republican state government). The latest surveys — including polls from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation and the new ABC/Washington Post poll — find an enormous gulf between the share of Democrats (86% in the ABC/WP) and Republicans (45%) who say they have received at least one dose of the vaccine so far. Stunningly, almost all of the remaining Republicans say they do not expect to get vaccinated at any point.
A new study released last week by researchers at UCLA underscores how head-spinning these contrasts are. The paper, from a team of researchers led by anthropology professor Daniel Fessler and graduate student Theodore Samore, notes that studies typically have found that individuals who express socially conservative views typically display more, not less, concern than social liberals about threats like a virus outbreak. But that pattern shattered for the coronavirus outbreak: While the small number of Democrats who identified as social conservatives showed heightened sensitivity to the threat — measured by their willingness to take steps such as wearing masks and washing hands — socially conservative Republicans were less willing to engage in any of those behaviors.
The researchers, Samore said, found that rejection of those safety precautions was linked most closely with distrust of scientists, distrust of the mainstream media (and lack of exposure to it) and attitudes of economic conservatism (which may have translated into greater priority on reopening the economy than combating the virus). All of those, of course, are attitudes now common in the modern Republican coalition.
“What we think is going on here is a clash between people’s inclinations … and their political beliefs about trusting science or exposure to different media sources,” says Samore.
Fessler says these tendencies are reinforced by the social and political sorting that has diminished Americans’ exposure to neighbors of contrasting political views.
“You might be a liberal 20-something, and you might feel not particularly threatened, but if everyone around is saying, ‘I got vaxxed,’ you can get tipping point effects” that encourage you to do so as well, he says; the opposite, he adds, works in reducing appetite for the vaccine among conservatives.

Information niches

The latest Kaiser poll dramatically underlines Fessler’s observation. Kaiser found that while two-thirds of Democrats say they live in households where everyone has been vaccinated, that’s true for less than 40% of Republicans; nearly that many Republicans, in fact, say they live in households where no one has been vaccinated.
Fessler says these diverging attitudes on the value of vaccines, despite all the evidence of their effectiveness and safety, encapsulates a much larger problem: the development of information “niches” that allow falsehoods to take root for a large audience. The key “challenge facing democracies in the 21st century,” he argues, is that “while the internet promised the democratization of knowledge — the idea anyone can learn anything, and the connection of people regardless of geography and personal characteristics — instead the perverse result has been that it’s possible to occupy one’s own little niche in the information environment.”
Because “there are lots of other people occupying that” same space, he adds, no matter how implausible the ideas being presented in those circles, “our evolved psychology tells us this must be reality because everyone I am interacting with thinks the way that I do.”
That dynamic likely helps explain why such a staggeringly large percentage of Republicans accept Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen, even though courts uniformly have dismissed his “evidence.” It also helps explain why an ominously large share of Republican voters (especially those who most rely on far-right media sources) even accept the byzantine QAnon conspiracy theory.
Divergent information flows are not the only reason that red and blue America are pulling apart; the preference for contrasting information sources, in fact, may be more symptom than cause of the underlying demographic, generational and geographic separation of the parties. Taken together, all of these factors produced an Independence Day weekend when foundational questions of American unity and commitment to democracy seemed more fraught than at any time since the Civil War.
The Declaration of Independence that Americans celebrated over the weekend begins with the confident assertion that it is “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.” Today, it is unclear what set of principles, if any, America’s fractious 50 states might agree on across the widening red-blue divide.

Author: Analysis by Ronald Brownstein
Read more here >>> CNN.com – RSS Channel – HP Hero

The US Government Is Finally Moving at the Speed of Tech

In the summer of 2017, my boss at the Washington Monthly, a policy-focused magazine in DC, asked me to cover a bombshell story: the Democratic Party had included an anti-monopoly section in its “Better Deal” 2018 midterm agenda. 

I use the term “bombshell” ironically. The Monthly had been publishing meticulous stories about the tolls of lax antitrust enforcement for a decade, to little fanfare. Now, finally, people in power were paying attention. To the general public, some general statements about economic concentration in a document that hardly anyone paid attention to did not amount to a major story. But in our corner of the policy world, in 2017, it was a big deal merely to hear Chuck Schumer speak the word “antitrust.” My piece went on the cover. 

I’ve been thinking about that experience recently, as antitrust headlines seem to be everywhere. It is often suggested that law and government can never keep up with the pace of technology. And yet the events of the past few weeks suggest that the recent effort to regulate the biggest tech companies may be an exception to that rule. Amazon Prime membership didn’t exist until 2005, 11 years after Amazon’s founding, and didn’t hit even 20 million subscribers until 2013. Google was 10 years old when it launched the Chrome browser. Facebook had been around for eight years before it bought Instagram and 10 when it acquired WhatsApp. 

Now consider antitrust. Four years ago, Lina Khan was a month out of law school, where she had published a groundbreaking article arguing that the prevailing legal doctrine was allowing Amazon to get away with anticompetitive behavior. Antitrust law was not yet a high-profile issue, and Khan’s suggestion that it might apply to tech companies whose core consumer offerings were free or famously cheap was considered bizarre by much of the legal establishment. This week, Khan, at all of 32 years old, was appointed chair of the Federal Trade Commission, one of the two agencies with the most power to enforce competition law. Congress, meanwhile, has introduced a set of bills that represent the most ambitious bipartisan proposals to update antitrust law in decades, with the tech industry as their explicit target. Politics, in other words, may finally be moving at the speed of tech. 

In hindsight, what seems most remarkable about the Better Deal agenda is that it didn’t mention tech companies at all. Up to that point, the anti-monopoly movement in DC policy circles had been much more focused on traditional industries. Khan got her start writing about consolidation in businesses like meatpacking and Halloween candy. Silicon Valley still seemed politically untouchable. Taking on the likes of Facebook and Google, I wrote at the time, would “require angering some of the Democrats’ most important and deep-pocketed donors, something the party has not yet revealed an appetite for.”

How did things change so quickly? There is no one smoking gun, but rather an accumulation of grievances that turned both Democrats and Republicans more and more against the tech companies. For Democrats, the key factor was the creeping sense that social media platforms, whatever the political leanings of their founders, had helped Donald Trump get elected. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018 supercharged those suspicions. Investigative reports, meanwhile, kept finding evidence that far-right and racist material was spreading on social media. At the same time—and in part as a reaction to social media platforms implementing more aggressive content moderation to mollify both advertisers and liberal critics—conservatives were growing ever more concerned that liberals in Silicon Valley were discriminating against them. And Republican politicians were picking up on the political potency of that talking point. 

Author: Gilad Edelman
This post originally appeared on Business Latest

Sky broadband customers could soon get the speed boost they desperately need

Sky has declined to comment on the speculation but speaking last year about its Fibre to the Premises upgrade Aman Bhatti, Director of Propositions, Sky Broadband, said: “Launching FTTP, the UK’s most advanced broadband technology, reflects Sky’s commitment to innovation and providing customers with the fastest and most reliable broadband possible”, said

“This means, with Sky Broadband Ultrafast, we can offer our customers average speeds that are 12x faster than standard enabling customers to download, stream, browse, work from home and game freely.”

With BT and Virgin Media now offering customers speeds of 1Gbps it seems vital that Sky boosts its service to help keep up with its rivals.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

BT broadband customers might have to thank rival Virgin Media for their next speed upgrade

After all, Virgin Media O2 has seemingly expressed interest in using its vast network to offer wholesale access to rival broadband firms, exactly like BT-owned Openreach. Many companies, like TalkTalk and Sky, do not have their own broadband cables under streets – but instead pay to use Openreach’s network.

With more full-fibre connections ready and waiting, Virgin Media O2 could be a strong alternative for companies who want to offer their customers faster speeds. Sky is believed to be close to signing on the dotted line with Virgin Media O2 – ditching Openreach. While there have been rumours for a few years now, the move of former Virgin Media executive Dana Strong to the head of Sky seemed to seal the deal for most industry watchers.

“Of course we will talk to everybody,” Virgin Media O2 CEO Lutz Schuler told The Daily Telegraph. “My point of view is that in the end you will have two national fibre networks – we will be one of them. So there are five brands out there, only one is using our network, so three are definitely an opportunity.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

More Virgin Media customers will get a massive broadband speed boost this year

It’s official! Virgin Media and UK mobile network O2 are now one firm and it seems this joint venture could be very good for customers. The new company, simply called Virgin Media O2, is promising some serious investment across its combined infrastructure and it seems broadband customers could be first to see the changes. Until now, Virgin has only offered its blisteringly quick 1Gbps speeds to a limited number of users but that’s all about change.

According to an update to celebrate the two companies joining forces, Virgin says that it will deliver these ultra-fast speeds to more people soon.

“Virgin Media O2 is already the nation’s largest gigabit broadband operator and will deliver these speeds across our entire network by the end of the year,” the company said in a post on its website.

If you weren’t already aware, a gigabit connection allows users to whizz a full HD movie to their TVs in under 40 seconds and is around 17 times faster than average UK speeds.

It’s unclear exactly how many more customers will be offered 1Gbps speeds in 2021 although, in the past, Virgin Media O2 said it would make sure that at least 16 million homes would be offered this service within a year of the deal between the firms being finalised.

READ MORE: Millions get cheap BT broadband next week but there is something even cheaper

Virgin Media O2 also says it will bring together next-generation gigabit broadband and 5G services while expanding its network reach across the country.

The new company has committed to invest at least £10bn over the next 5 years in the UK.

Virgin Media O2’s CEO Lutz Schüler has set out a vision to ‘upgrade the UK’ through investment in fibre and 5G infrastructure, innovation, and a seamless mix of the best products and services in the market.

While there is no change to existing services today, plans are well underway to offer seamless broadband, entertainment and mobile services all in one place, under one roof, later this year.

Speaking at the launch of the new company, Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2, added: “With the fastest broadband and most reliable mobile network in the UK today, Virgin Media O2 is the complete package.

“We are ready to shake up the market and be the competitor the country needs at a time when choice has never been more important. Through investment and innovation in cutting-edge infrastructure and future technology, we will connect more people to the things they love, support communities across the country, help businesses to grow, and power the UK economy.

“With no limit to our ambition, we’re here to upgrade the UK – and our mission starts today.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Slow broadband? This awesome speed upgrade is half price – and gets you online TOMORROW

Struggling with abysmal broadband speeds at home? While a number of restrictions have now lifted across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, millions of companies are still asking employees to work from home. And even if you’re back in the office, there’s still a truckload of new boxsets and movies to binge on Netflix. To cut a long story short, you still need a pretty speedy home internet connection.

If you’re not happy with your current connection, Three has unleashed a brilliant new bundle that’s sure to help. The broadband deal leverages Three’s 5G network, so you won’t have to worry about any visits from engineers to drill holes in your walls and install new cabling. Instead, your Wi-Fi router has a small SIM card inside – exactly like your phone – that taps into the huge speeds available over the 5G network. Better yet, since there’s no cable, you can move the router around your house to fit the perfect spot for coverage to all rooms and devices. And with an average download speed of 100Mbps, there’s sure to be no buffering.

For a limited time, new customers can get the first six months at half price. That means you’ll be paying as little as £15 a month for 100Mbps speeds and unlimited downloads. On your seventh month, when your contract returns to its usual price – you’ll still only be paying £30 a month. For comparison, BT charges £28.99 a month for its 50Mbps package, which has a guarantee of at least 25Mbps.

The 5G-powered Wi-Fi router available from Three supports up to 64 different devices, so there’s no need to worry about it struggling with dozens of smart light bulbs, video doorbells, games consoles, laptops, tablets, and more.

Better yet, Three offers next working day delivery for free on all broadband orders. And if you sign-up before 4pm, the mobile network promises that you’ll have your new router ready to plug-and-play and get online the following day. Compared with the days of waiting, phone calls to customer support, and engineer visits that usually accompany a switch between broadband companies, the 5G hub sounds ludicrously simple.

Three also offers a 4G-powered hub for those who don’t live in an area with strong 5G signal yet. At £11 a month, it’s pretty kind of your bank account, but to be honest, the sorts of speeds possible over 4G mean busy households are going to struggle, especially if there’s multiple people trying to stream HD (or, heaven forfend, Ultra HD) shows or movies on Netflix, or make video calls with friends and family.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Update your Chrome browser now or miss a serious speed boost from Google

Discussing the latest browser improvements, Thomas Nattestad, Chrome Product Manager, said: “An important component of delivering a fast browser is fast JavaScript execution. In Chrome, that job is done by the V8 engine which executes over 78 years worth of JavaScript code on a daily basis.

“In M91 Chrome is now up to 23% faster with the launch of a new Sparkplug compiler and short builtin calls, saving over 17 years of our users’ CPU time each day! Sparkplug is a new JavaScript compiler that fills the gap between needing to start executing quickly and optimising the code for maximum performance. Short builtin calls optimise where in memory we put generated code to avoid indirect jumps when calling functions.”

Chrome is designed to automatically update, with new patches added to your browser in the background. However, if you haven’t closed down your browser in some time you might see a pending patch that needs to be installed. If you have a pending update you will see this on the right-hand side of the Chrome omnibox (aka URL bar).

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Why your Windows 10 PC is set for a serious speed and battery boost

Those looking to upgrade their Windows 10 laptop or Chromebook will soon be treated to bigger features at a more reasonable price. That’s all thanks to US technology firm Qualcomm who has just announced the release of its new Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 PC processor. This chip, which is targeting entry-level machines, looks set to offer improved performance and multi-day battery life which should mean you can head away for the night without the need for a charger.
In fact, Qualcomm is boasting that devices powered by its Snapdragon compute technology are capable of staying in connected standby mode for weeks – rather than hours or days – because of the platform’s power-sipping efficiency.

PCs that get these brains will also feature the ability to be always-on and always-connected meaning fast start-up times and the ability to access the web without the need for fixed-line broadband. This constant internet access comes courtesy of in-built 4G network technology.

Other features that will enhance these PCs further include built-in protections designed to help keep data safe and Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 compute platform also allows users to create, capture, edit, and stream on their devices.

“Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 brings the leading innovations of our compute portfolio to the next generation of entry-tier and affordable devices. Laptops powered by this platform will redefine mobile computing for education users, first line workers, and everyday light consumers, enabling reliable and powerful devices that feature advanced AI, and support for multi-day battery life,” said Miguel Nunes, Senior Director, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are excited to bring this next generation upgrade to our entry level platform, for the very best mobile PC experiences.”

And Emily Ketchen, Chief Marketing Officer of Intelligent Devices Group, Lenovo, added” “The performance, efficiency and connectivity of Snapdragon compute platforms combined with Lenovo design and engineering have elevated the user experience across consumer and business needs. We look forward to launching new Lenovo devices with the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 compute platform later this year, and many more years of strong collaboration in innovating the future of computing together.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed