GE Fridges Won't Dispense Ice Or Water Unless Your Water Filter 'Authenticates' Via RFID Chip

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: Count GE in on the "screw your customers" bandwagon. Twitter user @ShaneMorris tweeted: "My fridge has an RFID chip in the water filter, which means the generic water filter I ordered for $19 doesn't work. My fridge will literally not dispense ice, or water. I have to pay General Electric $55 for a water filter from them." Fortunately, there appears to be a way to hack them to work: How to Hack RWPFE Water Filters for Your GE Fridge. Hacks aside, count me out from ever buying another GE product if it includes anti-customer "features" like these. "The difference between RWPF and RPWFE is that the RPWFE has a freaking RFID chip on it," writes Jack Busch from groovyPost. "The fridge reads the RFID chip off your filter, and if your filter is either older than 6 months or not a genuine GE RPWFE filter, it's all 'I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't dispense any water for you right now.' Now, to be fair, GE does give you a bypass cartridge that lets you get unfiltered water for free (you didn't throw that thing away, did you?). But come on..." Jack proceeds to explain how you can pop off the filter bypass and "try taping the thing directly into your fridge where it would normally meet up when the filter is install." If you're able to get it in just the right spot, "you're set for life," says Jack. Alternatively, "you can tape it onto the front of an expired RPWFE GE water filter, install it backward, and then keep using it (again, not recommended for too much longer than six months). Or, you can tape it to the corresponding spot on a generic filter and reinstall it." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-01-24 20:30:03 preview's
Support Grows For Unionizing Video Game Industry, Survey Finds

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hollywood Reporter: Ahead of the Game Developer's Conference (GDC) -- which is dedicated to the art and science of making video games and set to take place March 16-20 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco -- the results of the organization's eighth annual State of Industry report were released Friday. Surveying nearly 4,000 video game developers with the intent of highlighting industry trends and forecasts for the future of gaming, this year's report indicates an increasing interest in the games industry to unionize. This was also a major topic of conversation in 2019, amid reports of gaming professionals working extended overtime hours and tolerating poor working conditions. Among the survey participants, 54 percent said that game industry workers should unionize (a 7 percent increase from last year), 21 percent answered "maybe" and 9 percent said they weren't sure. When the same group was asked whether they thought game industry workers would unionize, only 23 percent said "yes," while 43 percent said "maybe." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-01-24 20:00:03 preview's
Apple TV Plus Reportedly Has More Subscribers Than Disney Plus

If a report from The Wall Street Journal is correct, Apple's TV Plus service that launched late last year has 10 million more subscribers than Disney Plus, which launched at a similar time but with access to almost every TV show and movie Disney owns the rights to. For comparison, Apple TV Plus launched with only 11 titles. Fast Company reports: According to the Wall Street Journal, an Ampere Analysis study found that Apple's fledgling Apple TV Plus service garnered an astounding 33.6 million subscribers in the U.S. in Q4 2019. That puts it as the third-most-popular streaming service in America. Here are the top five streaming video services according to the report: 1.) Netflix -- 61.3 million U.S. subscribers; 2.) Amazon Prime Video -- 42.2 million U.S. subscribers; 3.) Apple TV Plus -- 33.6 million U.S. subscribers; 4.) Hulu -- 31.8 million U.S. subscribers; 5.) Disney Plus -- 23.2 million U.S. subscribers. To be sure, Apple TV Plus is the video streaming service with the lowest monthly cost at just $4.99, but with only 11 series or movies available at launch in Q4 2019, how on earth did it leapfrog Disney Plus with its catalog of Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar offerings (not to mention Baby Yoda)? The answer probably lies in the fact that Apple began giving away free subscriptions to its Apple TV Plus service to anyone who bought an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV from mid-September onwards. Given that Apple sells tens of millions of those devices a month, it's no wonder Apple TV Plus has accumulated so many subscribers already. However, the real test for Apple will be how many of those subscribers stay on once their year-long free subscription of Apple TV Plus comes to an end. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-01-24 19:30:01 preview's
An Esports Exodus to YouTube Reshapes the Livestream Wars

The *Call of Duty* League, the *Overwatch* League, and *Hearthstone* Esports all call YouTube home now. That's not great news for Twitch.
2020-01-24 19:00:03 preview's
'There's Nothing Wrong With My No-Email Policy'

Julian Lewis MP responds to criticism over his refusal to use email for constituency correspondence, and says letters, phone calls and surgery appointments are "perfectly adequate." He writes: There is nothing "mysterious" about the fact that I do not use email for constituency correspondence: it is openly stated on the homepage of my -- very extensive -- website, and has been remarked upon in the press from time to time previously. Nor am I in the least "uncontactable," as Bridget Craig (Letters, January 23) knows perfectly well, having corresponded with me by letter without difficulty. Letters, phone calls, and, where appropriate, surgery appointments are perfectly adequate for people who genuinely need my help, as the many letters of thanks quoted on my website fully confirm. Only mass, manipulative campaigners and obsessive individuals find this a problem -- and so they should! Much of the organized abuse which has caused many MPs to "burn out" and withdraw from public life results from their opening up themselves and their long-suffering staff to interactive online communications by email and social media. Indeed several have confided that they wish they had adopted my unshakable policy right at the outset. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-01-24 18:30:01 preview's
Dolly Parton's Meme Exposes Social Media's Masquerade

The country star's “LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder” post speaks to people's desire to be what any platform needs them to be.
2020-01-24 17:45:03 preview's
New York State Wants To Ban Government Agencies From Paying Ransomware Demands

Two New York state senators proposed two bills last week to ban local municipalities and other government entities from using taxpayer money for paying ransomware demands. From a report: The first bill (S7246) was proposed by Republican NY Senator Phil Boyle on January 14. The second bill (S7289) was introduced by Democrat NY Senator David Carlucci, two days later, on January 16. Both bills are under discussion in committee, and is unclear which will move forward to a vote on the Senate floor. Both S7246 and S7289 have similar texts. The only difference between the two is that S7246 also proposes the creation of a state fund to help local municipalities improve their cyber-security posture. "The Cyber Security Enhancement Fund that will make available grants and financial assistance to villages, towns, and cities with a population of one million or less for the purpose of upgrading the cyber security of their local government," the text of the S746 bill reads. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-01-24 16:30:03 preview's
Valve Swears 'Half-Life: Alyx' Is Actually, Legitimately Done

Lots of high-profile games have been delayed lately. Doesn't look like Valve's upcoming VR experience is going to be one of them.
2020-01-24 16:00:04 preview's
Star Trek: Picard: Slow to engage, but hinting at a tantalizing destination

Picard premieres with one eye locked on the past and one trying to look ahead.
2020-01-24 16:00:03 preview's
Tetris Returns To Android and iOS After EA's Version Shuts Down

Just days after EA announced that its mobile Tetris games will shut down on April 21st, new Tetris developer N3twork released an officially licensed version of the popular puzzle game for both Android and iOS. From a report: The new N3twork app isn't the 100-player Tetris Royale app that the developer is also working on; rather, it's an extremely basic mobile Tetris game. "We're launching Tetris with a traditional solo gameplay mode, but we want fans to know that we've got so much more in store for them, and this is just the foundation of an incredible Tetris app experience we're building at N3twork," commented CEO Neil Young. Unlike EA's old app, there's a single mode (for classic Tetris) and a handful of alternative skins. There are also ads, although a single-time $4.99 purchase will remove those. It's not exactly a groundbreaking iteration of the series, but if you just want to play some Tetris on your commute, it'll get the job done. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-01-24 15:30:01