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Xbox All Access seems like one of the best deals in gaming

EnlargeMicrosoft / Getty Images / Aurich Lawson
Today, Microsoft revealed prices for its next-gen co..



EnlargeMicrosoft / Getty Images / Aurich Lawson

Today, Microsoft revealed prices for its next-gen consoles: $299 or $499 for an Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X, respectively, starting November 10. But Microsoft is also talking up a smartphone-style program that lets players get either system for no money upfront as part of a subscription plan called Xbox All Access.

We've seen "no money down" Xbox hardware plans like this before—a similar All Access program has been available for the Xbox One line since 2018. But we're using this high-profile occasion to remind you of a little-known fact about Xbox All Access: it can save new console buyers money in the long run, as well as upfront.

Whats the deal?

First, let's run the numbers. With Xbox All Access, you make a two-year commitment to pay $24.99/month (for the Xbox Series S) or $34.99/month (for the Xbox Series X). In exchange for that commitment, you get the relevant hardware upfront, to keep, as well as a two-year subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Game Pass Ultimate usually costs $14.99/month, so your All Access monthly payments end up a bit higher to make up for that "free" upfront hardware. But in addition to not having to spend hundreds of dollars in one lump sum, All Access subscribers can actually come out ahead at the end of two years.

For the Xbox Series S:

  • With All Access: $0 upfront + $24.99/month * 24 months = $599.67
  • Without All Access: $299 upfront + $14.99/month * 24 months = $658.76
  • All Access savings: $59.09

For the Xbox Series X:

  • With All Access: $0 upfront + $34.99/month * 24 months = $839.76
  • Without All Access: $499 upfront + $14.99 * 24 months = $858.76
  • All Access savings: $19.00

So All Access subscribers save a lot of money upfront and a little money in the long run over players who buy their console and Game Pass separately. Not a bad deal, all things considered.

Whats the catch?

Before you jump on the All Access train, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First off, All Access is obviously only worthwhile if you're interested in Microsoft's Game Pass Ultimate subscription in the first place. That subscription is already a pretty good value, though, providing downloadable and xCloud streaming access to hundreds of titles across Xbox history, as well as over 200 Windows games for PC players. A Game Pass subscription also includes every Microsoft Game Studios game on the day it's released and now comes with the entire EA Play library as a bonus.

Still, if you prefer to buy your games individually and not be stuck with Microsoft's subscription selection, you're better off buying your console upfront.

  • No, that's not a Series X-compatible smart-speaker. That's the Xbox Series S. Microsoft
  • Don't talk to me or my son ever again. Microsoft
  • The Series S is nearly 60 percent smaller than the Series X, Microsoft says. Microsoft
  • The Series S comes with a controller that Microsoft is calling "Robot White." Microsoft
  • Despite the Eye of Sauron design, the Xbox Series S is not watching you through its unblinking circular vent. Microsoft
  • A console that's thinner than the controller it uses? What will they think of next? Microsoft
  • Expand! Microsoft

Even if you think Game Pass seems appealing, keep in mind that All Access also locks you in to that subscription for a full two years. If you try out Game Pass and find you want to cancel the subscription after 6 months, or 12 months, or 23 months, you'll still be on the hook for the remainder of the full two years of monthly payments. If you want more flexibility to sample the subscription plan, All Access is not for you.

It's also important to remember that Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions are frequently offered at significant discounts over the $14.99/month list price. Taking advantage of those deals could save a savvy console buyer a bit of money over the Xbox All Access plan.

The final thing to keep in mind is that Xbox All Access isn't actually available for every Xbox buyer. Microsoft has announced 11 countries where participaRead More – Source

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Spain’s competition watchdog opens disciplinary case against Google



Spain’s competition watchdog, the ‘Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia’ (CNMC) has opened a disciplinary case against Google for alleged anti-competitive practices affecting publishers and Spanish news agencies, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

CNMC said it was investigating whether Google had abused its dominant position in the Spanish market. The proceedings involve Google LLC, Google Ireland Ltd, Google Spain, SL., and the overall parent company Alphabet Inc.

The alleged practices also include distorting free competition and imposing unfair conditions on press publishers and Spanish news agencies, CNMC said.

The watchdog’s investigation was sparked by a complaint from the Spanish Reproduction Rights Centre (CEDRO).

CNMC will investigate the case over the next 18 months, during which both sides can present their arguments.

According to RTVE, Spain’s national broadcaster, Google will analyse the file and respond to the ‘doubts’ of the CNMC. They said that Google ‘works constructively with publishers in Spain and Europe’ and would ‘need time to analyse the details … as the nature of the claims is still not clear’.

It is not the first action by the Spanish competition regulator against Google, nor the first in which its dominant position in the media sector stands out. In 2021, CNMC already warned that this company and another technology giant, Amazon, monopolised 70% of internet advertising in Spain.

Other lawsuits in the Netherlands and the UK have previously accused the technology company of abusing its dominance in the digital advertising market to harm its competitors. France also fined Google in 2021 for not negotiating in good faith compensation for the media for using its news content.


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How does technology affect reading and writing?



Technology has dramatically changed the way we read and write in the 21st century. From e-books and online articles to social media and instant messaging, technology has made reading and writing more accessible and convenient. However, it has also brought about new challenges and concerns.

One of the biggest benefits of technology is the increased access to information. With just a few clicks, people can access an endless supply of books, articles, and other written materials from all over the world. This has made reading and writing more accessible for people who may not have had the opportunity to do so in the past. It has also allowed for greater collaboration, as people can now share their writing and receive feedback from a global audience.

Technology has also made writing and reading more interactive. Social media and blogs have made it possible for people to engage with written content in real-time, sharing their thoughts, opinions, and experiences with others. This has led to a more dynamic and engaged reading and writing community, with people able to communicate and connect with each other in new and meaningful ways.

However, there are also concerns about how technology is affecting our ability to read and write. One of the biggest concerns is the decline of attention span. With so much information available at our fingertips, it can be difficult to stay focused and absorb what we are reading. Many people find it difficult to concentrate on longer written works, and are instead drawn to shorter, more bite-sized pieces of content.

Additionally, technology has led to an increase in informal writing. The widespread use of text messaging and instant messaging has led to the widespread use of shorthand and abbreviations. This has created concerns about the impact it may have on people’s writing skills, as well as the way they communicate with others.

Another concern is the rise of “fake news.” With the ease of publishing content online, it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between credible and unreliable sources. This has led to a decline in trust in the media, and has created a need for critical thinking and media literacy skills.

Despite these concerns, technology has also provided new opportunities for writing and reading. E-books and online platforms have made it easier for people to self-publish their work, giving them greater control over the distribution and promotion of their writing. This has created a more democratized publishing industry, and has made it possible for voices and perspectives that may have previously been excluded to be heard.

In conclusion, technology has had a profound impact on reading and writing. While there are certainly challenges and concerns, the increased access to information, the ability to connect and engage with others, and the opportunities for self-publishing have all made reading and writing more accessible and dynamic. As technology continues to evolve, it will be important to address the challenges it presents and embrace the opportunities it provides.

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How to measure human intelligence?



Measuring human intelligence is a complex task that has been attempted by many experts and researchers over the years. Intelligence is often defined as an individual’s ability to think, reason, and solve problems. However, this definition is not enough to capture all the aspects of intelligence. In this article, we will look at some of the ways that human intelligence can be measured and evaluated.

  1. Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Tests: IQ tests are the most commonly used method of measuring intelligence. They are designed to measure an individual’s ability to solve problems, think logically, and understand abstract concepts. The results of an IQ test are expressed as an IQ score, which is a number that represents a person’s intellectual abilities in comparison to the general population.
  2. Achievement Tests: Achievement tests are designed to evaluate an individual’s knowledge and skills in specific subjects such as mathematics, reading, or science. These tests can be a good indicator of a person’s intelligence in a particular subject area and are often used in schools and colleges to assess students’ abilities.
  3. Neuropsychological Tests: Neuropsychological tests are used to evaluate the functioning of the brain and nervous system. These tests can be used to diagnose neurological disorders, measure cognitive abilities, and determine the impact of injury or illness on a person’s cognitive abilities.
  4. Cognitive Ability Tests: Cognitive ability tests are designed to measure an individual’s mental abilities such as memory, reasoning, and problem-solving. These tests can be useful in determining a person’s potential for learning and development.
  5. Behavioral Assessment: Behavioral assessment involves evaluating an individual’s behavior, including their social skills, emotional regulation, and communication abilities. This type of assessment can be useful in identifying areas where an individual may need support or intervention.
  6. Performance-Based Tests: Performance-based tests are designed to measure an individual’s abilities in real-world tasks and activities. These tests can be useful in determining a person’s practical intelligence and can be used in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, and healthcare facilities.

It is important to note that no single method of measuring intelligence is perfect and each has its own strengths and limitations. Additionally, the results of intelligence tests can be influenced by many factors such as cultural background, education, and experience. As a result, it is important to use a variety of assessment methods to get a more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s intelligence.

In conclusion, measuring human intelligence is a complex task that involves evaluating a variety of cognitive, behavioral, and performance-based abilities. While intelligence tests can provide valuable information about a person’s intellectual abilities, it is important to use a variety of assessment methods to get a more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s intelligence. By using a combination of tests, experts and researchers can get a more complete picture of an individual’s intellectual abilities and potential for learning and development.

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