Amazon takes on Google Stadia, Apple Arcade with new Cloud gaming service Luna

Agencies
September 25, 2020

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Taking on Google Stadia, Apple Arcade and Microsoft xCloud, Amazon has introduced Luna, a new Cloud gaming service that will run on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The Luna Controller with Cloud Direct technology is simple and intuitive. The controller is Alexa-enabled and connects directly to the cloud to effortlessly control your game. 

"In fact, we removed 20 milliseconds of roundtrip latency via Luna Controller with Cloud Direct technology vs. a local Bluetooth connection when playing Luna on a Fire TV Stick," the Amazon Devices & Services team said in a statement late on Thursday.

Players can easily switch between screens — such as Fire TV to mobile phone — without additional pairing or configuration changes.

The company also introduced the Luna+ game channel. 

During early access, people will have popular games like ControlResident Evil 7GRIDYooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

"Customers can request early access starting today. Luna+ will be offered at an introductory price of $5.99 per month during the early access period and Luna Controller will be available for an introductory price of $49.99. 

Amazon also announced a new gaming channel with leading global video game publisher Ubisoft, available directly through Luna.

The Ubisoft channel will be available later this fall.

Amazon owns Twitch, one of the most popular live streaming services in the world with nearly 10 billion hours of video watched in 2019.

Inside the Luna experience, people will see Twitch streams for all the games in the service, and from Twitch, they can instantly start playing games. 

In July, AWS announced the general availability of its Twitch-inspired Interactive Video Service (IVS) that will help customers set up live, interactive video streams for a web or mobile app in just a few minutes.

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News Network
October 17,2020

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Paytm users will have to pay a 2 per cent fee on the amount added to their e-wallet using a credit card.

Until now, users had to pay 2 per cent fee if they loaded more than Rs 10,000 in their e-wallets via credit card in a month.

A message saying "Nominal charge of 2 per cent is applicable on adding money using credit card. Nominal fee is applicable since we pay high charges to your bank/payment network when you add money using a credit card. Please use UPI or debit card to add money for free" is displayed when customers attempt to add money to their Paytm wallet via a credit card.

Paytm is also providing an offer, wherein users will get 2 per cent cashback up to Rs 200 on adding minimum Rs 50 using credit card, as per the message.

When contacted, a Paytm Payments Bank spokesperson said customers have the flexibility to add money to their Paytm wallet from any of their preferred funding source, including UPI, net banking and cards.

"The banks and credit card companies charge a fee for loading money into the Paytm wallet from any of these sources. The 2 per cent charge is passed on to customers, who use credit cards for adding funds to their wallet. For all other sources, we will continue to absorb the cost of loading money," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson further said the company has temporarily waived the 5 per cent charge that is levied on money transfer from wallet to bank accounts as a promotional offer for the festive season.

"The amount added in the wallet can be used to transfer money to another wallet or bank account, to make payments to online and offline merchants via QR codes, to process bill payments, do recharges and multiple other forms of transactions. All such transactions will also continue to be free of cost for our customers," the spokesperson said.

In 2017, Paytm had introduced a similar fee on amounts added to wallet via credit cards, but had rolled back the decision after pressure from users.

At that time, Paytm had said the fee was aimed at curbing misuse of its platform to transfer interest-free credit card funds to bank accounts of users at zero transaction cost.

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Agencies
October 8,2020

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Google is set to roll out a new safety feature that will automatically issue an alert within the Google app people are using and help them address it, and the users don’t need to check email or phone alerts for a suspected hack or a compromise.

The new alerts are resistant to spoofing, so the users can always be sure they're coming from Google. 

"We'll begin a limited roll out in the coming weeks and plan to expand more broadly early next year," said Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Vice President of Product, Privacy at Google.

Currently, Google uses Android alerts to notify people about critical issues with their Google Accounts, like a suspected hack. 

"The tech giant saw a 20-fold increase in the number of people that engaged with these new notifications within an hour of receiving them, compared to email," Roy-Chowdhury said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Safe browsing protects more than four billion devices, Gmail blocks more than 100 million phishing attempts every day, and Google Play Protect scans over 100 billion apps every day for malware and other issues.

Google said that its refreshed Safety Centre is now live in the US and coming soon globally.

In Google Assistant, the company is going to introduce a Guest mode -- a new way to use Assistant on home devices. 

"With an easy voice command, you can turn on Guest mode, and your Assistant interactions while in this mode won't be saved to your account," said Roy-Chowdhury.

You can turn off Guest mode at any time to get the full, personalised Google Assistant experience again. 

"In addition, you always have the ability to go back and delete what you said to the Assistant just using your voice".

Google answers more than three million privacy and security questions per month, globally.

In Android 11, Google will now generate Smart Replies, including emoji recommendations, from on-device system intelligence, meaning the data is never shared with Gboard or Google.

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