Category: author_name|Kris Holt

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Premier League games will stay on Peacock as NBC Sports Network shuts down

When the clock strikes midnight to ring in 2022 on the east coast, NBC Sports Network will shut down. NBCUniversal will shift much of its sports coverage, including Premier League matches, over to the USA Network.

Assuming more games aren't suspended due to teams having too many COVID-19 cases, Premier League coverage will get off to a flying start on USA Network with three matches on New Year's Day. Arsenal will square off against league leaders Manchester City at 7:30AM ET before Watford host Tottenham and Crystal Palace take on West Ham. Sunday brings a match between Everton and Brighton, before Chelsea host Liverpool in a clash between title contenders.

The shift to USA Network shouldn't change much for Peacock users, though. Overflow games and streaming-only matches will remain on that platform, including three matches that are scheduled to stream on Peacock Premium on Sunday. Some of the bigger games will still air on the main NBC network, and NBCU will continue to broadcast every Premier League match across its multitude of platforms.

It's not clear as yet whether there are plans to broadcast overflow games on other NBCU networks. On the last day of the 2020-21 season, when all 10 matches kicked off at the same time, USA Network, CNBC and the Golf Channel each aired one game.

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Netflix will be required to stream 20 state TV channels in Russia

Starting in March, Netflix will have to stream 20 state television channels in Russia. Roskomnadzor, the country's media watchdog, registered the platform as an "audiovisual service" this week. Among the channels Netflix will have to carry are the flagship Channel One, entertainment network NTV and a Russian Orthodox Church channel called Spas (which means "Saved").

Streaming services with more than 100,000 daily users in Russia are included on the register, which was established late last year. Not only must registered platforms offer state TV channels, they need to set up a Russian company, according to The Moscow Times.

Companies on the register also have to abide by Russian laws. For one thing, Netflix will not be allowed to promote "extremism." Critics claim that provision has been wielded against those who support the Kremlin's opponents.

Other video services in the country reportedly argued that Netflix should be added to the register to level the playing field, since it meets the requirements. The Russian version of Netflix is operated by Entertainment Online Service, a subsidiary of National Media Group, which has a stake in Channel One.

Engadget has contacted Netflix for comment.

In November, it emerged Russia was investigating a complaint over LGBTQIA+ content on Netflix. The company told Engadget such content was rated appropriately. That same month, Russia ordered several tech giants (including Apple, Google, Meta, TikTok and Twitter) to set up offices within its borders by the end of this year.

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Hyundai built an air purifier out of recycled Ioniq 5 EV parts

Every car is the result of a long development process in which automakers build many pre-production vehicles that never see the light of day. Rather than scrapping one of its Ioniq 5 test vehicles entirely, Hyundai repurposed the car's parts to make an air purifier.

According to a YouTube video description, the model "went through numerous tests to ensure our safety." The video notes that, over the course of a year, the vehicle was used to test the likes of the Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, pass-by noise regulation and wind tunnel noise.

The video shows Hyundai engineers stripping the Ioniq 5 to its bones, then designing a completely different product using the components. Among other parts, they used the cooling fan, door panels, LED tail lamp, infotainment unit and, of course, the filter unit. The engineers put a 20-inch alloy wheel on the top of the case (so the purifier is probably pretty large), while the car's emblem adds some professional branding.

Although many car parts are already recyclable, including batteries, this is a neat experiment. It suggests there are other sustainable ways to repurpose a car that's otherwise outlived its usefulness. Meanwhile, Hyundai started deliveries of the Ioniq 5 in the US this month.

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Twitch now works with SharePlay on the iPhone and iPad

Twitch has rolled out another feature designed to bring viewers closer together. The livestreaming service now supports SharePlay on iPhone and iPad, so up to 32 people can watch the same stream while they're on a FaceTime call.

Everyone on the call will need to log in to the Twitch app — the service confirmed to Engadget that each person will count as an individual viewer. The first time you open a stream while you're on FaceTime, Twitch will ask whether you want to play it for yourself or everyone on the call, and it will remember your choice. If you choose to share it with everyone, SharePlay will sync the stream on everyone's devices, so they're all watching the same moment simultaneously. Play and pause controls will sync across devices too.

Anyone on the call can move everyone over to another Twitch channel. Everyone will be able to interact with the streamer's chat, follow or subscribe to them and send Bits from their own account. You can watch the stream in either portrait or landscape orientation but, at least for now, you can't continue a SharePlay session on Twitch's Apple TV app.

A SharePlay session ends when the stream is closed, you leave the FaceTime call or end SharePlay. If you close the stream, you'll be asked if you want to end it for yourself or everyone. Choosing the latter won't actually close the stream on everyone else's devices, but playback won't be synced.

Twitch is one of the biggest streaming platforms around. It's a welcome addition to the growing lineup of services that support SharePlay, which Apple rolled out last month in iOS 15.1. Corralling a bunch of friends on a FaceTime call to watch some killer speedruns at Awesome Games Done Quick sounds like a fun way to spend time together, even when you're in your own homes.

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LinkedIn is shutting down its Stories feature after a year

LinkedIn is ditching Stories. The company will shut down the feature by the end of September, a year after rolling it out. As it turns out, ephemeral posts aren't a perfect fit for every social network. Perhaps with ROI and KPIs in mind, LinkedIn says its users want videos that stay on their profiles permanently, not ones that vanish.

"In developing Stories, we assumed people wouldn’t want informal videos attached to their profile, and that ephemerality would reduce barriers that people feel about posting," Liz Li, LinkedIn's senior director of product wrote. "Turns out, you want to create lasting videos that tell your professional story in a more personal way and that showcase both your personality and expertise."

As such, the company's going back to the whiteboard. It's taking what it learned from Stories (such as users wanting creative tools to liven up videos in a professional way) to create a "reimagined video experience across LinkedIn that’s even richer and more conversational."

Just about every major social network hopped on the Stories bandwagon after the likes of Snapchat and Instagram found huge success with the format. Although the feature has proven a hit on the likes of YouTube and Facebook, Stories haven't taken off on every platform. Twitter recently shut down Fleets, its take on Stories, less than nine months after launching the feature.

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Amazon calls for FTC chair Lina Khan’s recusal from antitrust investigations

Amazon has requested the recusal of Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan from the agency's antitrust investigations into the company. "Amazon.com, Inc. respectfully petitions the commission for recusal of Chair Lina Khan from any antitrust investigation, adjudication, litigation, or other proceeding in which Amazon is a subject, target or defendant for which Chair Khan's prior public statements create the appearance of her having prejudged facts and/or legal issues relevant to the proceeding," the company said in a 25-page filing.

President Joe Biden appointed Khan as FTC chair this month on the same day she won confirmation as an agency commissioner. She came to prominence as a critic of major tech companies, including Amazon. Khan published a Yale Law Journal article in 2017 titled "Amazon's Antitrust Paradox," in which she argued that US policies and laws weren't enough to keep giants like Amazon accountable.

"Given her long track record of detailed pronouncements about Amazon, and her repeated proclamations that Amazon has violated the antitrust laws, a reasonable observer would conclude that she no longer can consider the company’s antitrust defenses with an open mind,” Amazon said in the filing, as The Wall Street Journal notes.

The FTC is looking into Amazon as part of a series of investigations against major tech companies. The agency is also reviewing Amazon's plan to buy movie studio MGM for $8.45 billion.

Khan previously worked with the House Judiciary's antitrust subcommittee on a 16-month probe into Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Last year, Democrats on the panel called on Congress to consider breaking up those companies. During her confirmation hearing, Khan said she would speak with FTC ethics officials regarding a possible recusal if needed.

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