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Life enthusiast from Austria
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Technology • Games
"GTA" publisher claims gamers are now ready for more expensive video games
Strauss Zelnick
Strauss Zelnick Credit: Christopher Michel (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The CEO of GTA publisher Take-Two Strauss Zelnick presented his argument at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. According to him, better experiences and a high replay value would also justify higher prices, reports "Playfront". "We believe that we always deliver more value than we charge for to make sure that both the experience and what you pay for that experience are positive for the consumer," the CEO explained.

In addition, the last real price increase was 15 years ago, so now is the time to adjust it again, he says. "We always want consumers to feel that we deliver much more than we charge in return. That goes for recurring consumer spending as well," they reasoned.

Law
John McAfee and a consultant indicted on crypto fraud charges
John McAfee and a consultant indicted on crypto fraud charges
Credit: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Software developer and antivirus pioneer John McAfee is to stand trial in the U.S. on charges of cryptocurrency fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The Justice Department published the indictment on Friday, and McAfee faces years in prison and heavy fines if convicted.

The 75-year-old was arrested in Spain in October at the behest of U.S. law enforcement officials, who had already filed charges against him for tax evasion and unfairly promoting cryptocurrencies. A statement from McAfee was not initially available. According to U.S. authorities, he remains in custody in Spain.

Lifestyle • Travel
Thailand to allow tourists to quarantine in hotel facilities
Thailand to allow tourists to quarantine in hotel facilities
Credit: unsplash.com / Katie Musial

Thailand plans to allow foreign visitors to quarantine in local hotel facilities in a bid to revive its dormant tourism sector. The plan is initially planned for April or May in five provinces, including Phuket and Krabi, says Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn. Visitors would usually stay there for between one and three months.

Tourists would then have to be quarantined there for 14 days. But if there is a negative corona test after three days, they are allowed to leave their rooms and move freely around the hotel complexes. In 2020, tourism revenues in Thailand had plummeted by more than 80 percent to just under $11 billion (about 9 billion euros).

Diversity & Inclusion
Harry Potter game "Hogwarts Legacy" will likely allow creation of transgender characters
Harry Potter game "Hogwarts Legacy" will likely allow creation of transgender characters
Credit: Courtesy of YouTube

Hogwarts Legacy, the first open world adventure in the Harry Potter universe, is scheduled for release next year (Windows, Xbox One/SX/Playstion 4/5). The announcement of the game caused some anticipation among fans.

Despite J.K. Rowling making transphobic statements in the past, gamers will be able to play trans people in the new game. The body, voice, and address (wizard/witch) by other characters are likely to be freely definable and decoupled.

Law
Austrian Green politician Sigrid Maurer acquitted by court after she published hate messages directed against her
Austrian Green politician Sigrid Maurer acquitted by court after she published hate messages directed against her
Credit: Die Grünen from Vienna, Austria / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Austrian Green Party politician Sigrid Maurer - herself a victim of vicious insults on the internet - was to stand trial for defamation because she had made the obscene messages to her public via Twitter. Now the trial is over.

As reported by ORF, among others, a landlord has withdrawn his private accusation against the politician "in its entirety". The judge then formally acquitted Maurer. However, the acquittal will only become legally binding when the landlords lawyer "officially withdraws his appeal with a written statement", according to the spokeswoman. If the landlord waives further legal remedies, he will have to bear the costs of the proceedings.

Business • Real Estate, Housing & Infrastructure
Cat allegedly caused major fire at Iranian power plant
Cat allegedly caused major fire at Iranian power plant
Credit: Jaime for Pendect

A cat has caused a major fire at a power plant in southern Iran, according to media reports. According to the report, the animal had entered the power plant on Charg Island on Saturday night and then continued to the area of the safety box. For reasons unknown so far, this led to a short circuit, a cable fire and ultimately to the major fire, it said.

Fire department emergency personnel were able to extinguish the fire, but the power plant had to be shut down for several hours. Accordingly, the more than 10,000 inhabitants of the island had no electricity on Saturday.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Investigators search Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel's private address
Investigators search Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel's private address
Credit: Bundesministerium für Finanzen / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Economic and Corruption Prosecutor's Office (WKStA) has conducted a "voluntary inspection" at Finance Minister Gernot Blümel's (ÖVP) private home address. This was confirmed by the minister's office on Thursday. He had been questioned about the casino case, after which he was presented with the search warrant, it said. Blümel had then agreed to a "voluntary inspection", otherwise a house search would have been implemented.

Blümel said he now knows the allegations after a conversation with the public prosecutor's office, "these can be cleared up in a few words." Apparently, it is about potential party donations of the gambling company Novomatic to the ÖVP: "No donations from Novomatic were accepted," Blümel stressed.

Business • Markets
Snapchat reports 16 million new daily users during last quarter
Snapchat reports 16 million new daily users during last quarter
Credit: unsplash.com / Thought Catalog

The photo app Snapchat added 16 million daily users last quarter. Revenue jumped 62 percent year-over-year to $911.3 million, while the bottom line was in the red by just over $113 million. In the same quarter last year, the loss was more than twice as high at 240.7 million dollars.

Technology • Games
"Cyberpunk 2077" CD Projekt Red developer falls victim to ransomware attack
"Cyberpunk 2077" CD Projekt Red developer falls victim to ransomware attack
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter / CD Projekt Red

Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red announced on Twitter that they have been the victim of a hacker attack. Apparently, the security barriers of the internal network were cracked and numerous datasets were stolen with the help of malware, as well as some of them were made unusable for the developer. Personal data, according to the developer, was not affected.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook starts deleting misinformation about vaccinations
Facebook starts deleting misinformation about vaccinations
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

In a blog post published Monday, Facebook announced that they will remove "additional refuted claims" about the coronavirus and vaccinations in general, following consultations with the World Health Organization (WHO). Effective immediately, Facebook also plans to include disproven claims that the coronavirus is man-made, that vaccinations don't really protect, and that surviving the disease itself is much safer than getting vaccinated.