It’s 2022, and the Surface Duo still doesn’t have Android 11

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

We are officially in 2022. Know what that means? That’s right: It means Microsoft has failed at its stated goal of bringing Android 11 to the Surface Duo by the end of 2021.

Attentive readers may recall that Microsoft said the following this past September: “We remain committed to providing updates to Surface Duo, and we’re working to bring Android 11 to existing customers before the end of this year.” Okay, so the company wasn’t exactly promising Android 11 by the end of 2021 — but that was the heavily implied intention, and it likely gave some Surface Duo users a lot of hope.

As Windows Central first reported, Duo devices still haven’t received…

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Author: Monica Chin

Square Enix promises ‘decentralized games’ in 2022

Super Smash Bros. Cloud

What would a Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider, or Deus Ex look like if it were partly powered by the blockchain, so gamers could make money from their contributions? You may get to find out: Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has revealed that the company’s New Year’s resolution is to release “decentralized games” starting in 2022.

While you won’t find any details in Masuda’s letter discussing the company’s strategy for the new year, you will find a good sense of his cautious-but-optimistic stance — not surprising, given how other game companies that recently Leeroy Jenkins’d their way into NFTs saw such immediate whiplash you could practically feel the vibrations over the internet.

Here’s the most relevant section, which comes near the…

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Author: Sean Hollister

Airbnb will hide guests’ names to fight discrimination (but only in Oregon)

Logo Illustration In Athens
Photo by Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Airbnb announced that it’s changing the way guest profiles are displayed in its app — for Oregon residents specifically. Airbnb hosts who are based in Oregon will now see a potential guest’s initials, rather than their full name, until after they’ve confirmed that guest’s booking request. The change will fully roll out by January 31st.

The change aims to prevent racial discrimination among hosts, per the company’s announcement, by stopping them from gleaning a guest’s race from their name. A 2016 study found that Airbnb guests with names that sounded Black were 16 percent less likely to have bookings confirmed than guests with names that sounded white.

The announcement follows a voluntary settlement agreement that Airbnb reached in…

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Author: Monica Chin

Apple’s new ad invites you to imagine dying alone without a Watch on your wrist

Apple wants you to know that buying a $400 smartwatch could be a matter of life-and-death — and it’s brilliantly, gruesomely captured that feeling in a new TV ad.

Titled “911,” the one-minute ad spot doesn’t show any of the gory details — you simply hear three phone conversations between 911 operators and people who managed to use their Apple Watch when facing seemingly imminent death: one who might drown in a sinking car, one who fell a great distance and broke his leg, and a paddleboarder who got swept out to sea.

They each have a happy ending, Apple informs us: “With the help of their watch, Jason, Jim, and Amanda were rescued in minutes.” But the underlying message is brutally clear: if they didn’t have this miraculous life-saving…

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Author: Sean Hollister