Meta has reportedly barred employees from discussing abortion on internal channels

Meta has told employees not to discuss the Supreme Court’s recent ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to The New York Times. Pointing to a May 12th memo it shared after a draft of Friday’s decision was leaked by Politico, the company has deleted …

FromSoftware’s next game is ‘in the final stages’ of development

FromSoftware fans may not have to wait years before they get the chance to play the company’s next game. In a recent Japanese-language interview translated by Gematsu, Elden Ring director and From president Hidetaka Miyazaki said his studio’s next game is in “the final stages” of development. Miyazaki shared the tidbit in response to a question about a previous interview he gave in 2018.

At the time, he told 4Gamer.net that FromSoftware was working on “three-and-a-half games.” Since then, the studio has released all but one of those projects. In 2018, we got Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and PSVR exclusive Déraciné. This year, From came out with Elden Ring, leaving only one of the projects Miyazaki mentioned in 2018 unaccounted for. “Development is currently in the final stages,” he told 4Gamer.net this week when asked about the state of that game.

Miyazaki didn’t go on to share any other details on the project. However, some fans, citing a Resetera leak from January, have speculated the unannounced game could be a new entry in From’s long-running Armored Core series. The studio hasn’t released a new mainline entry in the franchise since 2012. In the same interview, Miyazaki also said he was already working on his next game as director, and that he would like to create a “more abstract fantasy” title in the future. 

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero’s Opening is A Gorgeous Trip Through Memory Lane

For 90s kids, Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball was one of our first steps into anime and manga. It was Dragon Ball Z on Toonami that was The Show back in the day, and the franchise has gone on in the years since to produce countless games, spinoff anime, a…

Google tells workers they can relocate ‘without justification’ following Supreme Court decision

Google will allow employees to move between states in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In an email obtained by The Verge, the company’s chief people officer, Fiona Cicconi, said workers could “apply for relocation without justification,” and that those managing the requests would be “aware of the situation.” Cicconi also reminded workers Google’s employee benefits plan covers medical procedures that aren’t available in the state where they live and work.

“This is a profound change for the country that deeply affects so many of us, especially women,” Cicconi says in the email. “Everyone will respond in their own way, whether that’s wanting space and time to process, speaking up, volunteering outside of work, not wanting to discuss it at all, or something else entirely.”

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade as part of its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization eliminated the constitutional right to abortion. According to an analysis published by The New York Times in May, as many as 28 states could either ban or severely restrict access to abortions in the days and weeks ahead. Some states like Texas had so-called trigger laws in place that went into effect immediately following Friday’s decision.

The effects of such a monumental shift in American politics have been felt across tech. Mere hours after the Supreme Court announced its decision, Flo, one of the most widely used period tracking apps, said it would introduce a new “anonymous mode” in response to privacy concerns following the ruling. Some companies like Meta have also reportedly told employees not to openly discuss the ruling.

Update 4:57PM ET: Google confirmed the authenticity of the email and told Engadget it has not changed its relocation policy since the Supreme Court’s ruling.  

Marvel’s Avengers’ Take on the Mighty Thor Sounds Worth Its Own Full Campaign

With Thor: Love & Thunder just a week and change away and bringing in Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor, it’s no surprise that Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers game is adding her to its superheroic roster. While she’s sure to basically play about the same a…

Chris Pratt Hypes Up the Supposed Greatness of His Mario Voice as “Updated” Version

Chris Pratt is going to voice Mario for Nintendo and Illumination’s Super Mario movie, and each day we sit with this knowledge feels like being actively aware there’s a clone of yourself just somewhere in the world. This movie’s entire voice cast feels…

Apple reportedly won’t challenge historic Maryland store unionization vote

Apple will reportedly not challenge the recent vote by employees at its Towson Town Center retail location in Maryland to unionize. Citing a “person familiar with the company’s plans,” Reuters reports the tech giant will participate in the bargaining p…

Samsung’s Wildest Design Collabs, From BTS to Supreme

There’s nothing people love and hate more than a collab. Whether it’s a fashionable collaboration between two designers, or two musicians teaming up on a “hybrid” kind of musical genre, it’s an easy way to create a fusion to appeal to folks beyond the …

US senators ask FTC to investigate Apple and Google over mobile tracking

A group of Democratic senators is urging the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Apple and Google over their collection of mobile users’ information. In a letter addressed to FTC Chair Lina Khan, the lawmakers — Senators Ron Wyden, Elizabeth Warren, Cory A. Booker and Sara Jacobs — accuse the tech giants of “engaging in unfair and deceptive practices by enabling the collection and sale of hundreds of millions of mobile phone users’ personal data.” They added that the companies “facilitated these harmful practices by building advertising-specific tracking IDs into their mobile operating systems.”

The senators specifically mentioned in their letter how individuals seeking abortions will become particularly vulnerable if their data, especially their location information, is collected and shared. They wrote the letter shortly before the Supreme Court officially overturned Roe v. Wade, making abortion immediately illegal in states with trigger laws. They explained that data brokers are already selling location information of people visiting abortion providers. The senators also stressed how that information can now be used by private citizens incentivized by “bounty hunter” laws targeting individuals seeking an abortion. 

Android and Google were built with tracking identifiers that are used for advertising purposes. While the identifiers are supposed to be anonymous, the senators said data brokers are selling databases linking them to consumer names, email addresses and telephone numbers. Apple rolled out an update for iOS last year to implement stricter app tracking privacy measures, requiring apps to ask for permission before collecting users’ unique Identification for Advertisers device code. 

Google, they said, still enables that tracking identifier by default. The company previously introduced features to make it harder to track users across apps, though, and it recently vowed to refine Privacy Sandbox on Android, “with the goal of introducing new, more private advertising solutions.” The tech giant told Ars Technica: “Google never sells user data, and Google Play strictly prohibits the sale of user data by developers… Any claims that advertising ID was created to facilitate data sale are simply false.”

Despite the solutions the companies had introduced, the lawmakers said they’d already caused harm. They’re now asking the FTC to look into the role Apple and Google played in “transforming online advertising into an intense system of surveillance that incentivizes and facilitates the unrestrained collection and constant sale of Americans’ personal data.”

Wyden and 41 other Democratic lawmakers also urged Google last month to stop collecting and keeping location data that could be used against people who’ve had or are seeking abortions. More recently, another group of lawmakers led by Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Elissa Slotkin asked the company to “crack down on manipulative search results” that lead people seeking abortions to anti-abortion clinics” instead.

Marvel Studios is Coming Back to Comic-Con

Comic-Con is looming on the horizon, and that typically means some big announcements courtesy of Hall H. It’s been a few years since Marvel Studios had a panel to themselves, and the last time they did, they announced a lot of stuff—like Thor: Love &am…