An has revealed more details on that was disclosed earlier this fall. The company says its investigation found hackers were able to access information from 0.1 percent of its userbase, or the accounts of about 14,000 of its 14 million total customers, notes. On top of that, the attackers were able to exploit 23andMe’s opt-in DNA Relatives feature to access “profile information about other users’ ancestry.” 23andMe hasn't said how many of these users were affected. Hackers posted information from both groups online.
When the breach was first revealed in October, the company said its investigation “found that no genetic testing results have been leaked.” According to the new filing, the data “generally included ancestry information, and, for a subset of those accounts, health-related information based upon the user’s genetics.” All of this was obtained through a credential-stuffing attack, in which hackers used login information from other, previously compromised websites to access those users’ accounts on other sites. In doing this, the filing says, “the threat actor also accessed a significant number of files containing profile information about other users’ ancestry that such users chose to share when opting in to 23andMe’s DNA Relatives feature and posted certain information online.”
Engadget has reached out to 23andMe for comment. Following the discovery of the breach, instructed affected users to change their passwords and later rolled out two-factor authentication for all of its customers. In another update on Friday, 23andMe said it had completed the investigation and is notifying everyone who was affected. The company also wrote in the filing that it “believes that the threat actor activity is contained,” and is working to have the publicly-posted information taken down.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/23andme-hackers-accessed-ancestry-information-from-thousands-of-customers-and-their-dna-relatives-205758731.html?src=rss
Amazon has released the first official teaser trailer for Fallout, its upcoming live-action series based on the best-selling video games. The clip gives us a look at Amazon’s take on the post-apocalyptic wasteland, and Yellowjackets actor Ella Purnell emerging from Vault 33 to meet it for the first time. The series will be set in Los Angeles 200 years after a nuclear war brought Earth to ruins.
The trailer arrives a few days after Amazon released stills from the show, now showing a deeper look at the characters and the horrors they’ll encounter in the wastes. And it so far seems a promising indication of how the series will approach its well-loved source material.
Starring alongside Purnell, Fallout also features Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight) as a breakout ghoul, Aaron Moten (Emancipation) as a member of the Brotherhood of Steel and Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) as a vault overseer. There’s also a dog named CX404, which we see in the video and in marketing materials toting around a severed hand. Fallout comes out on Prime Video on April 12 next year.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/amazon-just-dropped-the-first-teaser-trailer-for-its-fallout-series-182055521.html?src=rss
OpenAI is pushing the launch of its GPT store to early 2024, according to an email seen by . The company in early November at its first developer conference, giving subscribers an easy way to create their own custom AI bots. At the time, OpenAI also said it would soon release a GPT Store for users to list their GPTs and potentially make money from them. It was initially slated for a November launch. But, with the surprise ouster of , the month didn’t quite pan out as planned.
“In terms of what’s next, we are now planning to launch the GPT Store early next year,” OpenAI said in its email to GPT Builder users on Friday. “While we had expected to release it this month, a few things have been keeping us unexpectedly busy!” The email also notes that the company has been making improvements to GPTs based on users’ feedback, and says some updates to ChatGPT are on the way.
OpenAI has been in the process of reorganizing its leadership following the turmoil of the past few weeks. The company confirmed on Wednesday that Altman was back as CEO, with Mira Murati now in place as CTO and Greg Brockman as President. It also announced the formation of a new initial board, which — its biggest investor — as a non-voting observer.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/openais-gpt-store-wont-be-released-until-2024-162113991.html?src=rss
Sorry to interrupt your Saturday, but did you somehow miss that Google made a geothermal energy plant in the middle of Nevada? You know, that place with all the water for turbines? Or the incredibly dumb way security researchers were able to pull private information from ChatGPT? This week's YouTube-coated version of TMA covers that and getting far too enthusiastic (or entirely non-plussed) about all these other things from this week in tech.
Not everything on Engadget benefits from heavy paraphrasing and a guy talking at a camera for under 10 minutes. This week, take a look at this great profile of the growth, growth and further growth of ChatGPT, OpenAI's chatbot. It reframed generative AI for the wider public, and had the biggest tech companies scrambling to catch up. And that was just its first year.
Walmart has seen enough from X. The retailer, America’s single biggest employer and largest company by revenue, toldReuters on Friday it’s no longer advertising on the platform formerly known as Twitter. The departure follows owner Elon Musk amplifying antisemitic posts and flinging expletives at fleeing advertisers. “We aren’t advertising on X as we’ve found other platforms to better reach our customers,” a Walmart spokesperson told Reuters.
Walmart’s exit adds to a growing list of companies that have pulled ads from the platform. Apple, Disney, IBM, Comcast and Warner Bros. Discovery are among the businesses no longer buying ads on X. A group of advertisers toldThe New York Times on Thursday their temporary pauses will likely become permanent. “There is no advertising value that would offset the reputational risk of going back on the platform,” Lou Paskalis, CEO of marketing consultancy AJL Advisory, told the paper.
X’s former advertisers had no shortage of reasons to jump ship. Musk’s latest series of self-inflicted wounds began when the billionaire appeared to endorse and amplify a post falsely claiming Jewish communities were stoking hatred against white people. Musk replied to the user who spewed the racist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, saying their comments reflected “the actual truth.”
Watchdog group Media Matters then published a report showing ads from well-known brands placed next to antisemitic content. X responded by suing the organization, accusing it of “knowingly and maliciously [manufacturing] side-by-side images depicting advertisers’ posts on X Corp.’s social media platform beside Neo-Nazi and white national fringe content.”
The Game Awards got it wrong this year. One of the titles nominated for Best Independent Game, Dave the Diver, was produced by Nexon, one of the largest video game studios in South Korea. No matter how hard you squint, it is not indie. Dave the Diver is an excellent pixel-art game about deep-sea fishing and restaurant management, but it was commissioned and bankrolled by Nexon subsidiary Mintrocket, with billions of dollars and decades of experience at its back.
When The Game Awards nominees were announced on November 13, fans were quick to point out the error, and the recurring debate over what “indie” means was reignited. Taehwan Kim, Nexon’s overseer of Mintrocket, weighed in on November 14, saying Dave the Diver “may look like an indie, but it's not necessarily the case.” The listing the nominees for Best Independent Game now carries a reader-generated context tag reading, “Dave the Diver is not an indie game. Mintrocket, the game's developer, is a subsidiary of Korea's biggest game company Nexon. They are not independent in any sense of the word.”
A discussion around the definition of “indie” bubbled up throughout November, but it raised more questions than it answered. One common conclusion was that the media outlets who voted Dave the Diver into the independent category were fooled by its pixel art, a style that’s associated with indie games. During a live Q&A on Twitch on November 26, The Game Awards organizer Geoff Keighley argued that “independent” was a broad term with an unknowable definition, before essentially saying Dave the Diver’s inclusion in the indie category was the jury’s fault.
Specifically, Keighley said the following: “It’s independent in spirit and [it’s] a small game with a, I don’t know what the budget is, but it's probably a relatively small-budget game. But it is from a larger entity, whereas there are other games on that list that are from much smaller studios. Even like Dredge I think is published by Team17, so is that independent or not because you have a publisher? It’s a really complicated thing to figure out and come up with strict rules around it, so kinda we let people use their best judgment. And you can agree or disagree with the choices, but the fact that Dave the Diver was on that list meant that, out of all the independent games the jury looked at, or what they thought were independent games, that was one of the top five they looked at this year.”
The jury comprises 120 media outlets (Engadget has traditionally been one of these, but we did not participate in voting this year and look what happened), so Keighley is chalking the mistake up to mass hysteria and moving on. Meanwhile, there’s still little consensus on what constitutes an indie game, at The Game Awards or elsewhere.
I’ve reported on video games for 13 years and indies are a central theme of my coverage. I ran back in the day, and I’ve made to write about from of the , because these are the experiences that speak to me personally. The indie scene is the source of the industry’s magic. This isn’t just a debate about language — “indie” is a distinction that identifies which games and teams need outside support to survive and expand on their innovations. Understanding the label can help players make decisions about where to spend their money, the lifeblood of any game-development studio.
All that to say, the debate over the definition of “indie” is not new, but it is constantly changing, and it’s something I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating. So, I’m here to offer guidance on the question of what makes an indie game or studio indie. It is a weirdly complicated topic and my approach is one of many, but the loose framework I use could help resolve some common, recurring arguments.
Basically — it’s all about the system, man.
I’m joking, but also I’m not. Generally, when I’m trying to decide whether something is actually indie, I rotate through three questions:
Is the team on the mainstream system’s payroll?
Is the game or team owned by a platform holder?
Do the artists have creative control?
The first question is about identifying where a studio’s money is coming from and what kind of support a game has outside of sales. If a team is wholly owned by another company of any size, it is not indie. We’re not talking about publishing deals; this opening question is about acquisitions or subsidiaries of bigger studios. Dave the Diver is a prime example here — it’s developed by Mintrocket, a subsidiary of Nexon that was created just to develop more contained, experimental games for the publisher. Dave the Diver is definitely not indie, and we’re only on question one.
The second query feeds into the first, and it’s helpful in making fine distinctions about games that exist in gray areas. What about something like Cyberpunk 2077? It’s a big-budget game built by CD Projekt RED (CDPR) — a studio that, at first glance, seems like it could be indie. However, there are two factors that take it out of the running for me. First, CD Projekt, the umbrella organization that supports CDPR’s game-making, is a publicly traded company with shareholders and a board to answer to. Second, CD Projekt is the owner of GOG, a distribution hub that allows the studio to sell its own games and DLC outside of Steam and the Epic Games Store. This ability to sell directly to players at massive scale takes CD Projekt out of the indie realm. Generally, companies with the most influence and money are console makers and platform holders like Valve, Xbox, PlayStation, Epic Games, Ubisoft, EA, and, yes, CD Projekt. They are the AAA system, and anything they own is not indie.
Lastly, on to publishers. Sorry, Keighley, but securing a publisher has very little to do with whether a game is indie nowadays. We’re blessed in 2023 to have a thriving indie industry constantly pushing against the AAA complex with different goals, more diverse voices and a broader sense of innovation — and publishing is a big part of this system. Today, indie-focused publishers () tend to include clauses that protect a developer’s creative vision, preventing the larger company from interfering with artistic decisions and keeping the game indie to the core. Once upon a time, it might’ve made sense to only consider self-published games indie, but that era is long gone.
The indie scene has evolved massively since the early 2010s, when games like Braid, Super Meat Boy and Fez were carving out the market’s modern form. Back then, self-publishing was all the rage for independent developers because it was often their only option, and as a result there were more distinct lines between AAA, AA and indie games. Devolver Digital found its first breakout hit as an indie publisher with Hotline Miami in 2012, and that’s around the time the floodgates opened. In 2014, as the industry’s largest companies started funding and publishing programs for them, the number of indie games skyrocketed across platforms including Steam (remember ?), the App Store, Xbox, PlayStation and Ouya (RIP).
Today, indie games come standard on every console. There are multiple indie-focused publishers, including Devolver, Annapurna Interactive, Panic, Raw Fury, Team17 and Netflix, and most of them offer complete creative freedom as a main selling point. Meanwhile, platform holders like Sony and Xbox are hungry to sign distribution deals with developers of all sizes in an effort to score exclusives and pad their streaming libraries. It’s the most stable (and crowded) the indie scene has ever been. Having a publisher has no bearing on whether a game is indie.
Being owned by a publisher, however, changes everything (see question one). This is more of a concern than ever, as platform holders like Microsoft, Sony and Epic Games have recently been buying studios they like, . Hell, even Devolver has dipped its toes in the acquisition pond recently — which, yeah, means those teams are no longer indie.
The “indie” label is transitory. Certain studios can be indie but an individual game may not be, and plenty of small companies flow between states as they age and take advantage of growth opportunities. Bungie, for example, started out as an independent outfit, then it was absorbed by the AAA complex under Xbox, and then it broke free and was briefly indie again, before Sony pulled it back into the mainstream system’s cold embrace.
So, yeah, that's my way of determining if a game or studio is indie. By all means, take my triplet of questions and have fun trying to break the logic — it probably won't take long. There is no perfect structure here and there are plenty of outliers within my own framework. Alan Wake II, according to my questions, would be considered an indie game — but its developer, Remedy Entertainment, is a publicly traded company, which brings shareholders and a board of directors. This pushes the studio and the game into The System for me, but honestly, I’m still unsure about those labels as I type this. That’s OK — when all else fails, look inside your game-loving soul and ask, can this team exist without my support? (Alan Wake II, for what it’s worth, is a that’s worth playing, regardless of your feelings on Remedy's shareholders).
Does Mintrocket need my support to keep Dave the Diver and its creative team going? Probably not, and definitely not in the same way as Larian Studios, the independent developer and publisher of Baldur’s Gate 3. Baldur’s Gate 3 is an excellent, expansive 3D adventure from an indie studio and it’s up for Game of the Year at The Game Awards, but it was snubbed in the Best Independent Game category. Meanwhile, Dave the Diver, a cute title backed by billions of dollars, is up for the indie award, but not Game of the Year. It seems like The Game Awards jury made the classic mistake of seeing pixel art and immediately calling it indie. That’s an unforced error, but it reveals one point where we can all agree:
Indie is not an aesthetic.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-game-awards-raises-an-old-question-what-does-indie-mean-205211035.html?src=rss