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Submission + - EU Prepares Easing Of Netflix Geoblocking

An anonymous reader writes: The European Parliament is now finalising legislation which will allow EU residents to access their paid subscriptions for online media – such as video streaming, games and music – whilst visiting other EU countries. Under the new rules, companies will not be able to arbitrarily block subscribers from accessing the content catalogue of their home countries whilst visiting other parts of the European Union, with country of origin to be established by various possible methods besides IP address, including payment details, public tax information and ‘checks on electronic identification’. The issue was brought to a head last year when Netflix began blocking the known IPs of VPN providers, often used by subscribers to access the catalogues of their home countries while travelling.

Submission + - Paypal disguises 13% price hike as 'Policy Update'. (paypal.com) 2

turbotalon writes: In an email sent to users February 7th, Paypal is disguising a 13% rate hike as a 'Policy Update.' Roughly one quarter of the 'policy changes' are rate hikes, yet their emailed summary glosses over the rate hike, focussing instead on a few of the 'policy changes' with one sentence at the end about 'changing some of the fees we charge'.

Additionally, they have added a "non-discouragement clause" for sellers that provides:

"In representations to your customers or in public communications, you agree not to mischaracterize PayPal as a payment method. At all of your points of sale (in whatever form), you agree not to try to dissuade or inhibit your customers from using PayPal; and, if you enable your customers to pay you with PayPal, you agree to treat PayPal’s payment mark at least at par with other payment methods offered."

Reading the full text of the update reveals the following fees are increasing:
  Standard transaction fee
  International currency exchange fees
  In-store transaction fees
  Micro-payment fees
  Cross-border transaction fees

AI

Submission + - OTON - A new Ubuntu-based "Autonomous Game Console" (kotaku.com.au)

dryriver writes: Startup company EnGeniux has started advertising its new OTON console (http://www.otonx.com/), which will, if things go well, ship sometime in 2013. OTON is based on a quad-core Cortex A9 CPU, has 2 GB RAM, and 16GB Flash storage. It also has a small Laser Projector built into the back of the console unit, so you don't need a TV to play with OTON — it will happily project games onto any nearby flat surface, like a white wall. The most interesting aspect of OTON, however, apart from its OS being Ubuntu-based, is that developer EnGenieux claims that the console can "intelligently generate an unlimited number of new game levels, and game types". You have read that correctly; EnGenieux claim to have spent 3 years creating a quasi-intelligent AI game-generation system that can "throw dice" to create anything from simple 2D platform games to complex 3D FPS shooters games on demand. And each OTON owner will get completely unique games generated for his/her console. The grand idea here is that OTON will feature "unlimited procedurally generated game content", so you never have to buy new games if you don't want to. You can simply prompt your OTON to roll the virtual device and generate you a completely new game. While concrete details about OTON are somewhat sketchy — some people think that the whole thing is an elaborate internet hoax — it seems that OTON gamers will also moonlight as game-makers. The console will allow you to create your own game assets, design your own games, and share your work with the rest of the OTON community. Hoax or not, its going to be interesting what OTON looks like when it is finished and shipping...

Submission + - FIA ands Rome to Formula E 2014 inaugural season (engadget.com)

muon-catalyzed writes: Formula E — the new eco-friendly forumula racing just secured a major european city. Rome joins a growing eco-racing scene after Rio de Janeiro agreed to be part of it in August. Additional cities are expected in the coming weeks, this should quickly lead to a solidified race itinerary, the FIA says. Having Rome onside won't get cars to the starting line any sooner, but it may underscore Formula E's advantages in noise and pollution over gas-powered leagues — when its cars can race around the Colosseum without creating a ruckus, other cities (and spectators) might just follow suit.

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