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Google suspends all paid Chrome browser extensions

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Google has been forced to shut down all paid extensions after experiencing a sudden increase in fraudulent transactions on the official Chrome web store.

As a precautionary measure, the company has now suspended publishing or updating of all the commercial extensions. 

The suspension includes all extensions which need an upfront payment, monthly recurring payments or offer in-app purchases.

Surge

Google’s engineers reported that these fraudulent transactions started earlier this month at a mass scale. The ban, a temporary fix to stop further fraudulent charges from happening, has impacted all the app developers including the premium ones like Dashlane, Comeet, etc.

According to Simeon Vincent, Developer Advocate for Chrome Extensions at Google, “This is a temporary measure meant to stem this influx as we look for long-term solutions to address the broader pattern of abuse.” Though there is no update on when the suspension will be removed.

While Google has only announced the suspension late last week, app developers suggest that the search engine giant was been silently blocking updates for all the paid extensions. After the suspension, if a developer tries to push an update to an existing paid extension or publish a new paid extension, they are getting an error message that reads “Spam and Placement in the Store.”

The news comes shortly after Mozilla removed around shady 200 Firefox add-ons which were found to be involved in malicious activities or were stealing user data in a similar clean-up drive.

Source:
https://www.techradar.com/in/news/google-suspends-all-paid-chrome-browser-extensions

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PS5 and Xbox Series X surprise reveal as key specs leak for BOTH consoles

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What’s going to be the better console: PS5 or Xbox Series X? It’s certainly an argument that’s been waged across quite a few message boards in recent months, as Xbox Series X was officially unveiled to the world. Meanwhile, a series of leaks and sly comments by Sony execs have given us an inkling as to what the PlayStation 5 will be capable of.

However, we still don’t know which will be the better buy. Although the Xbox will come with no exclusive games at launch, if it proves to be the more powerful console in the long term, it could hurdle this barrier. Although some PS5 games will be exclusive, this is no guarantee of power. The stakes are high. And now, thanks to a recent link, we could finally have the answer we’ve been looking for.

Posted on 4chan’s /v/ gaming board, the anonymous leaker posts what they claim to be specifications from the second, revised development kits, which means if true, these specs won’t be too far off the finished product. 

One the one hand, 4chan’s lack of accountability means it’s awash with misinformation. However, a leaker posting on the same board last month correctly predicted PlayStation’s new tagline: “it’s time to play”. The tagline, incidentally, was hidden among a smorgasbord of PS5 info also disclosed by the same leaker, so we won’t write anything off just because of the source.

The specs adhere closely to some of the rumours previously heard about the consoles, with the Series X being incrementally more powerful while the PS5 is set to edge it out in the GPU stakes. 

Both consoles appear to have cores dedicated to ray tracing, the GPU technology that creates incredibly immersive, realistic environments. However, the PS5 also includes dedicated 3D sound cores too, something the Series X appears to lack.

As stated above, take this info with a whole heap of salt. In addition, although the kits are fairly advanced in the development process, things could change between now and release. We can’t wait until the PS5 is officially revealed and both consoles’ gamepads are in our hands, so we can compare them side-by-side. Not long now…

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Nintendo announces first new Switch Lite color since launch

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Nintendo has announced the first new Switch Lite color since the portable-only console launched last fall. The new hue is “coral,” perhaps belatedly inspired by Pantone’s decision to name “Living Coral” the Color of the Year for 2019. Or maybe Nintendo wants it out in time for cherry blossom season.

Coral joins turquoise, grey, and yellow in the regular lineup. It’ll be available in Japan on March 20th, with preorders starting on March 7th. Notably, the launch of the new system doesn’t appear to have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, unlike the upcoming Animal Crossing-themed Switch.

The coral Switch Lite maintains the same price of 19,980 yen ($182).

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/18/21141956/nintendo-switch-lite-new-color-coral-price-release-date

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Breaking News: CP+ 2020 Has Been Cancelled Due to Coronavirus Fears

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PetaPixel has learned that the CP+ 2020 expo in Japan—one of the largest photo industry trade shows in the world—has been cancelled due to fears over the recent coronavirus outbreak. An official announcement from the show is expected shortly. (UPDATE: Confirmed)

We were tipped off to the news earlier this evening when social media consultant and friend of the site Simon Pollock tweeted, “Very sorry to hear that CP+ has been cancelled. Damn you #CoronaVirus Damn you…”the first one is this Hashtag which has
been trending on on twitter and the Hash

Simon Pollock@gtvone

Very sorry to hear that CP+ has been cancelled. Damn you #CoronoVirus Damn you…12:14 AM – Feb 14, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacySee Simon Pollock’s other Tweets

We followed up with Pollock, who confirmed the news for us, though he asked that the original source be kept confidential.

As of this writing, CP+ hasn’t made the news official, though we’re keeping a close eye on their newsroom and Twitter account, and one is expected very shortly. The most recent Coronavirus update from the show was posted on February 5th, when the expo revealed that they were concerned, but moving forward.

“The CP + Secretariat strives to collect the latest information and is considering specific countermeasures. Also, strengthening coordination with the venues Pacifico Yokohama, Osanbashi Hall and related administrative organizations, and we will strive to respond appropriately,” reads the roughly translated statement. “At this stage, we are preparing for the event while paying close attention to the situation, and CP+ 2020 will be held.”

The statement, which you can find here, said that the show’s organizers were planning to put hand sanitizing stations at every entrance and exit, and “strongly recommends” that attendees wear a mask. It ends with a link to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, which states that Coronavirus “is not currently recognized as an epidemic in Japan.”

Unfortunately, the news that CP+ 2020 will not be happening is not surprising. With Japan’s proximity to the disease epicenter in China, and the precedent set by the cancellation of MWC 2020 just yesterday, many felt that it was only a matter of time before organizers pulled the plug on CP+ 2020.

We will update this article as soon as there is official confirmation that the show will not go on.


UPDATE: CP+ confirmed the news moments ago in a tweet that reads (Google Translated):

Notice of the cancellation of CP + 2020
As the prospects for effective remedies and countermeasures against the new coronavirus are uncertain, the health and safety aspects of the visitors are considered first, and as a result, the event will be held in Pacifico Yokohama for four days from February 27. We have decided to cancel the planned CP + 2020.

CP+2020事務局@cpplusjp

<CP+2020開催中止のお知らせ>
新型コロナウイルスへの有効治療薬や対処法の先行きが見通せない中、来場される皆様の健康や安全面などを第一に考えました結果、2月27日から4日間、パシフィコ横浜で開催を予定していたCP+2020の中止を決定いたしました。http://www.cpplus.jp/download/jp/cancellation_of_cp+2020_visitors_jp.pdf …6,9553:04 AM – Feb 14, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy10.8K people are talking about this

The tweet is linked to an official cancellation announcement, which you can read here. The rough translation reads:

Decision to cancel CP + (CP +) 2020

The Camera and Imaging Products Association of Japan (CIPA: Masaya Maeda)

Visitors and exhibitors amid uncertain prospects for effective treatments and remedies for coronavirus. As a result of putting the health and safety aspects of stakeholders first, we have decided to cancel CP + 2020, which was scheduled to be held in Ko-Yokohama.

With CP +, visitors can actually pick up the latest camera and related equipment and feel the operation. The biggest feature of this show is that it is a consumer-friendly show. At this time, it is not possible to eliminate the risk of infecting about 70,000 unspecified number of visitors.

The JRA considers it important to avoid such risks, and unfortunately, we have decided to cancel the event.

Source: https://petapixel.com/2020/02/13/breaking-news-cp-2020-has-been-cancelled-due-to-coronavirus-fears/

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