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Google Stadia will launch with 22 games on first day, up from just 12 last week

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Google announced tonight that its Stadia cloud-gaming service will launch on November 19 (yes, Tuesday) with 22 titles, up from just 12 last week.

I’m not sure what changed so fast to allow Google to add 10 more titles, but last week’s announcement of just 12 titles was greeted as a pathetic line-up. Now Stadia has a much broader set of games to please more gamers.

“Alongside our publisher and developer partners, we’ve been working around the clock on getting ready for Stadia’s launch, and we are adding more incredible titles to our day one launch line-up,” the Stadia team said in an email. “Gamers will have a total of 22 titles available to choose from to experience Stadia for the first time on Tuesday, with more games coming by the end of the year.”

In addition, gamers will be able to claim both Destiny 2: The Collection and Samurai Shodown as part of the November Stadia Pro subscription.

Stadia’s day one titles include:

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Attack on Titan: Final Battle 2
  • Destiny 2: The Collection (available in Stadia Pro)
  • Farming Simulator 2019
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Football Manager 2020
  • Grid 2019
  • Gylt
  • Just Dance 2020
  • Kine
  • Metro Exodus
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • NBA 2K20
  • Rage 2
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Samurai Shodown (available in Stadia Pro)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Thumper
  • Tomb Raider 2013
  • Trials Rising
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Additional games expected to be playable on Stadia by the end of the year include Borderlands 3, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, Dragon Ball: Xenoverse and Darksiders Genesis.

There are many more titles that have been announced as coming to Stadia in 2020 including Doom: Eternal, WatchDogs: Legion, Gods & Monsters and Cyberpunk 2077.

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Zilker Technology sets March opening for new office in Northeast Ohio

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Cleveland already has a concentration of experienced IT professionals, according to Rob Thomas, CEO and co-founder of Zilker Technology. What he is interested in now is developing the region’s next generation of tech talent.

Zilker, an e-commerce and application development technology company, announced last week that it will open an office in downtown Cleveland in March, though a location has yet to be determined. It will be the company’s fourth office overall and its first in the Midwest.

The office will provide managed services for the company’s clients, which include Costco, the Green Bay Packers, Party City, Lindt and DaVita Inc., formerly DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.

Thomas said the Cleveland office also will serve as a center for development, education and mentorship of younger IT talent.

“When you are growing quickly, getting talent is the top priority, and our approach to date has been to hire professional talent, which means experienced talent,” Thomas said. “We have been drawing experienced people from many sources, but in order to truly meet our goals to become a $100 million-plus company and best serve the need of our clients, we need to get into the mode of developing talent.”

Zilker, founded in 2014 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, has 315 employees. Thomas said revenue last year rose 64% to $47 million. In addition to Austin, it has offices in Belgrade, Serbia and India.

Of the company’s 160 employees in the United States, Cleveland already is home to more than a dozen professionals, recruited from a handful of local IT companies and currently working from home offices.

“I am the CEO of a company that is based in Austin and I live in the San Francisco Bay area. That epitomizes how Zilker operates,” Thomas said. “Our approach to date is to hire talent where they live.”

The decision to put an office in Cleveland was not completely driven by the number of remote workers here, as Zilker has similar numbers of satellite employees in other cities. Thomas said state and local economic development organizations helped narrow the choice to Cleveland over two other locations that were under consideration.

Zilker will receive an eight-year, 2.11% Job Creation Tax Credit from the state as part of a JobsOhio program. Greater Cleveland Partnership, the City of Cleveland and Team NEO have committed to help with employee training and will provide other funding assistance that has not yet been made public.

Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, whose office spearheads state efforts to encourage technology innovation, said supporting a company like Zilker is critical to growing the regional economy.

“There are some jobs that have the potential to have a multiplier effect, and this is the type of company that fits into the category,” Husted said in an interview last week. “More and more companies are willing to engage and create work-based learning experiences. That helps build the company and helps Ohio retain talent.”

Bill Koehler, CEO of Team NEO, said Northeast Ohio is perfectly situated for companies like Zilker that are in search of developing tech talent.

“You have access to 25-plus higher institutions here and that student pipeline,” Koehler said. “You also have access to a growing presence of younger residents in the downtown area.”

When the final site is chosen, the Cleveland office will be staffed immediately with about a dozen employees, including a “site executive” who will run the office and a “minister of culture” who Thomas said will be in charge of office culture and keep Cleveland staffers engaged with the rest of the company’s national and international offices. Thomas said the Cleveland office should grow to more than 50 employees over the eight-year term of the tax credit.

Software and web developers continue to be the fastest-growing category of tech jobs in the country. The industry’s unemployment rate is a minuscule 1.3%.

Husted said companies like Zilker that are looking to grow and are willing to create relationships with young talent should help keep more college graduates in Ohio.

“You cannot build a wall around Ohio. You have to create opportunities that both retain and attract talent,” Husted said. “We are building partnerships between education and business in Ohio with a sense of urgency.”

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China Reports New Cases of Deadly Virus, Adding to Outbreak Concerns

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BEIJING — The Chinese authorities on Sunday said that 17 more people had been infected with a mysterious new virus, raising questions about how it is being transmitted and adding to concerns about the spread of the illness ahead of China’s busiest travel season.

The announcement by the health commission in Wuhan, a central Chinese city where the virus originated last month, comes amid growing concern among some experts that the outbreak of the pneumonialike coronavirus in China could be more severe than the government has described.

Public health officials are working to stop a major outbreak of the virus, which has killed two people and sickened at least 62 in China, according to official statistics, ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. Hundreds of millions of people in China are expected to travel for the holiday, which begins Friday.

Already, the virus appears to have spread outside China’s borders. Officials in Thailand and Japan have confirmed three cases involving people who have traveled through Wuhan.

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Facebook Apologizes for Vulgar Translation of Chinese Leader’s Name

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Facebook apologized on Saturday after its platform translated Xi Jinping, the name of the Chinese leader, from Burmese to a vulgar word in English.

The mistranslation caught the company’s attention when Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto civilian leader of Myanmar, wrote on her official Facebook page about Mr. Xi’s two-day visit to her country.

When the Burmese posts were translated into English on Facebook, Mr. Xi’s name repeatedly appeared as “Mr. Shithole.”

It was not clear how long the issue lasted, but Google’s translation function did not show the same error, Reuters reported.

Andy Stone, a spokesman for Facebook, apologized on Saturday.

“We fixed a technical issue that caused incorrect translations from Burmese to English on Facebook,” Mr. Stone said. “This should not have happened and we are taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

Mr. Xi’s visit to Myanmar, the first by a Chinese leader in nearly two decades, was designed to celebrate Beijing’s expanding presence in the region.

The embassies of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in the United States did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

News of the vulgar translation appeared to be censored in China, where major news websites and social media platforms were silent about it. In China, citizens have been detained, and even convicted and imprisoned, for much milder derision of Mr. Xi.

When Facebook’s system finds a word that does not have a translation, it makes a guess and replaces it with a word with similar syllables, Mr. Stone said. After running tests, Facebook found that multiple Burmese words starting with “xi” and “shi” translated to the vulgarity in English.



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