‘Flight Simulator: GOTY Edition’ adds new aircraft and locations on November 18th

‘Flight Simulator: GOTY Edition’ adds new aircraft and locations on November 18th


Microsoft is spicing up Flight Simulator with an expanded re-release, although this one may be more ambitious than some. It’s releasing Flight Simulator: Game of the Year Edition on November 18th with both a heaping of new content as well as some meaningful feature upgrades. To start, there are five new stand-out aircraft, including the F/A-18 Super Hornet — you won’t have to wait until the Top Gun expansion to buzz the tower in a fighter jet. You’ll also get to fly the VoloCity air taxi, PC-6 Porter short-takeoff aircraft, the bush flying-oriented NX Cub and the single-seat Aviat Pitts Special S1S.

The GOTY upgrade adds eight airports, including Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Patrick Space Force Base. Eight cities will get photogrammetry detail upgrades, such as Helsinki, Nottinghm and Utrecht. There are accordingly new tutorials (such as bush flying and IFR) and Discovery Flights.

The update adds useful features, too. You’ll have early access to DirectX 12 features, an improved weather system and a developer mode replay system, among other improvements.

Most notably, you won’t have to pay for any of this as a veteran player— existing Flight Simulator owners will receive a free update on both Windows PCs and Xbox Series X/S. The paid GOTY release exists chiefly to entice first-timers. For everyone else, this is billed as a “thank you” upgrade that could keep them coming back.

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Facebook announces ‘small pilot’ to test cryptocurrency wallet Novi

Facebook announces ‘small pilot’ to test cryptocurrency wallet Novi


Facebook is finally testing Novi, the digital wallet it’s been teasing for more than two years. Facebook’s payments chief David Marcus announced that the company is launching “a small pilot” of Novi in the United States and Guatemala with the goal of enabling family members to send remittances across borders.

“We’re doing a pilot to test core feature functions, and our operational capabilities in customer care and compliance,” Marcus wrote. “We’re also hopeful this will demonstrate a new stablecoin use case (as a payments instrument) beyond how they are typically used today.”

The fact that Novi is finally launching, even in a limited way, would seem like significant step forward for Facebook’s long-troubled crypto plans. However, the company is launching the wallet without Diem, its planned cryptocurrency (previously called Libra) that’s faced a wave of pushback from lawmakers and regulators around the world.

Instead, the initial pilot will use the Pax Dollar (USDP), a stablecoin that Marcus said has “been operating successfully for over three years and has important regulatory and consumer protection attributes.” He added that Facebook has partnered with Coinbase during the pilot.

News of the pilot has already sparked renewed criticism from lawmakers. On Tuesday, hours after Marcus’ initial announcement, a group of five Democratic senators sent a letter to Facebook asking the company “to immediately discontinue your Novi pilot and to commit that you will not bring Diem to market.” The letter cited the recent disclosures from a Facebook whistleblower, and the company’s “relentless pursuit of profits at the expense of its users.”

“Given the scope of the scandals surrounding your company, we write to voice our strongest opposition to Facebook’s revived effort to launch a cryptocurrency and digital wallet, now branded ‘Diem’ and ‘Novi,’ respectively,” the senators wrote. “Facebook cannot be trusted to manage a payment system or digital currency when its existing ability to manage risks and keep consumers safe has proven wholly insufficient.”

A spokesperson for Novi said that “we look forward to responding to the Committee’s letter,” but didn’t elaborate. In his initial announcement, Marcus said the company remains committed to launching Diem. “I do want to be clear that our support for Diem hasn’t changed and we intend to launch Novi with Diem once it receives regulatory approval and goes live,” he wrote.

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Facebook settles with Justice Department over H-1B hiring practices

Facebook settles with Justice Department over H-1B hiring practices


Facebook has reached with the Department of Justice and Department of Labor over its hiring practices related to foreign workers. The settlements the Trump administration brought against Facebook in late 2020. At the time, the DoJ said the company had “inadequately advertised” at least 2,600 positions between 2018 and 2019 that were eventually filled by workers on H-1B visas.

The company allegedly employed a recruitment process that was intentionally designed to dissuade US workers from applying for positions it had set aside for temporary visa holders. Under the DoJ settlement, Facebook will pay $4.75 million to the federal government and up to $9.5 million to eligible victims.

The fines, while a drop in the ocean for a company like Facebook, represent the largest such penalties the Department of Justice has enforced as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act. More significantly, they’re another piece of bad news for a company that has been mired in it in recent weeks. At the start of October, whistleblower testified before Congress how Facebook’s algorithms have hampered its efforts to slow misinformation on its platforms. The company has also faced increasing scrutiny over its efforts to that shows its platforms can be harmful to some young users.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment.

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