The Morning After: This company will give you a free TV if you’re willing to watch non-stop ads
The Startup Telly is now taking US reservations for free 55-inch 4K TVs that continuously display ads on part of a secondary screen. So long as you’re willing to accept those ads (or tune them out) and share data, you won’t have to pay for the TV.
As Telly explains, the smaller display also shows news, sports scores and other useful data. You won’t have to interrupt a show just to stay in the know. The set has its own camera, microphone array, sensors and voice assistant, enabling video calls and motion-captured fitness apps. According to the image, this secondary screen would be a long, slender display that would live underneath the TV. The reservations cover the first 500,000 TVs, which are expected to ship in the summer. I’m not sold on the idea – I’m getting stressful flashbacks of struggling to turn off those screens in the back of New York taxis, addled by jetlag.
– Mat Smith
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The creators of ‘New World’ are behind the project.
Amazon has struck a deal with Embracer Group to release a massively multiplayer online (MMO) title based on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. Development is in the “early stages” at New World studio Amazon Games Orange County, which will ship the game for PCs and consoles at an unspecified date.
The payout comes after a deal with the federal government.
Google is still taking a financial hit over allegations it misled customers with Pixel 4 ads. The company has agreed to pay Texas $8 million to settle claims it paid radio hosts for “deceptive” testimonials about the Pixel 4 even though the DJs couldn’t use the phone beforehand. The ads continued even though Google was aware it was breaking the law.
Attorney General Ken Paxton said the state settlement was important as Google has “significant influence,” and no large company should expect “special treatment.” The tech giant already reached a $9 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and six other states.
The deal still faces an uphill battle in the US and the UK.
As expected, the European Union has rubberstamped Microsoft’s bid to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. The European Commission (the EU’s executive arm) said Microsoft will have to ensure full compliance with the commitments it has made to offer its games on other platforms, particularly cloud gaming services. Activision does not yet offer its titles on cloud gaming services. If Microsoft offered Activision games exclusively on its own cloud service, that could have impaired competition, the EU warned.
The SEC still wants a lawyer to approve some company-related posts.
A federal appeals court in Manhattan has rebuffed Elon Musk’s claim that the 2018 consent decree with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is an unfair “prior restraint” on his speech through Tesla tweets. The CEO has fought with the SEC in the years since settling back in 2018, and more recently has been calling for courts to undo the settlement. Musk claims the Commission pressured him to strike a deal and overstepped its authority. The pact violated free speech rights, Musk’s side claimed. A judge denied a request to cancel the deal last April, prompting the appeal.