We'll get into Russia's demands for big tech below, but first — ahead of a four-day weekend for some — let's talk about streaming shows.
You’ve probably noticed by now that we’ve got a reboot problem. Nothing epitomizes that better than the live-action series remake for beloved anime Cowboy Bebop. Senior Editor Devindra Hardawar puts it into words well: “Netflix's remix is mainly in love with Cowboy Bebop. It wants to remind us of the anime.” But in the effort to show its affection, it all rings a little hollow by comparison.
Devindra even gets a little brutal, criticizing the times when the show “looks worse than a cheap Doctor Who episode.” I know exactly what he means.
Cowboy Bebop is now available to stream on Netflix.
— Mat Smith
Living in a Material (You) world
Reviews Editor Cherlynn Low untangles the myriad versions of Android to offer some insight into what you might be getting with Google’s latest mobile OS, Android 12. The standout change is definitely a new design that can tease color palettes from your favorite images, but like its rival, iOS, there are bigger shifts in privacy and how your data is being used.
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Listen to the 'Squid Game' theme, along with podcasts like 'Netflix is a Daily Joke.'
After doing the same for Disney, Spotify has launched a Netflix hub, bringing all of the streaming service's soundtracks, playlists and podcasts into one place. While many of Netflix's soundtracks were already on Spotify, the new feature puts all content related to the service in one place.
That includes playlists and soundtracks from series and films like La Casa de Papel, Narcos: Mexico, Outer Banks, Squid Game and, ahem, Cowboy Bebop.
It's another metaverse play.
Epic Games has acquired Harmonix, the studio behind titles like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Dance Central and, more recently, Fuser. Epic’s vision for Harmonix involves the metaverse. In the immediate future, the two plan to create “musical journeys and gameplay for Fortnite.”
No word yet on how many millions of dollars the acquisition cost.
The feature was previously scheduled to arrive before the end of 2021.
In an update to the official iOS 15 website that was spotted by MacRumors, Apple says that functionality will now arrive sometime in early 2022. Apple first announced the feature at WWDC 2021, pitching it as a tool to allow you to add your driver’s license or state ID card to Apple Wallet, just like you would a credit or debit card. Among the first locations to support the feature will be select Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints at some US airports.
The government wants more control over Apple, Meta, TikTok and others.
Russia’s telecom regulator Roskomnadzor has called on 13 foreign and mostly American companies to launch official Russian presences by 2022 so they can comply with a law that took effect July 1st. The list includes familiar tech names, like Apple, Google, Meta (Facebook), Telegram, TikTok and Twitter.
The law demands local offices for "internet companies" with over 500,000 daily users. Some of the companies already have offices, though, and it's unclear just what constitutes an official presence. Those deemed violating the law could face complete bans or limits on their ads, data gathering and money transfers.