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Gmail’s spam filter better recognizes fake text.

If you’re seeing less spam it might be due to Gmail’s ability to better handle “adversarial text manipulations” — techniques whereby words like “𝐂0NGRATULATIONS!” are compromised of special symbols or numbers to bypass filters while remaining legible to humans. Ars Technica has a good writeup explaining how the changes have already improved things now that Google has rolled them out for all Gmail users.

All aboard! Destination: Donkey Kong Country.

The grand opening for the Donkey Kong-themed zone at Universal Studios Japan will finally take place in Spring 2024. The expansion of the park's existing Super Nintendo World area has been in development since 2021, and includes a new Donkey Kong rollercoaster — that presumably doesn’t fly off the tracks like the treacherous minecarts depicted in the trailer below.

A better way to YouTube

Plus, in this week’s Installer: Tesla’s Cybertruck, Spotify Wrapped, the apps of the year, Wordle, and more.

The Weeknd this weekend.

The Weeknd just shared a teaser of his upcoming appearance in Fortnite Festival, the new in-Fortnite music-themed experience developed by Harmonix, and it features a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it look at what it’s like to actually play Festival. You can jump into the new experience starting December 9th.

Building for tomorrow

This series is all about infrastructure: the invisible layer of wires and guts and light that makes everything run. It’s not in the best shape, but what would it take to make it better?

The Verge
GTA VI isn’t launching on PC.

According to Rockstar’s press release for the just-released Grand Theft Auto VI trailer, the game will launch on PS5 and Xbox Series X / S in 2025 — PC isn’t a listed platform.

Unfortunately, the absence of PC isn’t too surprising, given that the PC version of GTA V was released more than a year and a half after the game first came out on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Seems like we might be waiting awhile for GTA VI on PC, too.

The first of Vampire Survivors’ story mode “Adventures” will be available on December 6th.

Adventures, which remix some of the game’s content, will launch first on PC and Xbox and “later” on Nintendo Switch and mobile, according to Poncle’s trailer for the update. The developer is teasing that one of the Adventures will feature Poe, a garlic-wielding old man.

I thought I had shaken my obsession with this game, but the Adventures might pull me back in.

How the Tesla Cybertruck has changed since 2019

It’s more expensive and gets less range than originally promised. But it’s still pointy and polarizing.

You can buy Killers of the Flower Moon before it streams on Apple TV Plus.

Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon reached theaters first on October 20th, and starting tomorrow, December 5th, the movie will go on sale via the usual digital outlets in over 100 countries in a collaboration with Paramount.

But when will the Apple Studios-produced historical crime drama become available globally on the company’s own subscription streaming service? There’s no release date listed yet.

A still image from the movie showing stars Lily Gladstone, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio standing next to each other.
Lily Gladstone, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Killers of the Flower Moon”
Image: Apple
The GPU haves and have-nots.

This chart from Omdia Research estimating Nvidia’s largest customers this year has been making the rounds in my social media feeds.

As I wrote in an earlier issue of Command Line, these H100s are essentially the tech industry’s new gold, since they are the preferred workhorse for powering generative AI. The gap in shipment volume between Meta, Microsoft and everyone else is quite something, and tracks with what I’ve heard from sources in recent months.

A chart showing H100 GPU shipments this year.
Omdia Research
Barbie streams on Max starting December 15th.

Very soon, you’ll be able to stream Barbie’s existential crisis and Ken’s shenanigans on Max. You’ll also be able to watch a version of the film interpreted in American Sign Language, according to a Warner Bros. Discovery press release.

Here’s why Threads doesn’t have chronological search results

According to Instagram boss Adam Mosseri, doing so would open the app up to “spammers and other bad actors” who would “pummel the view with content by simply adding the relevant words or tags.”

It’s another example of how Threads continues to resist the real-time nature of the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Godzilla Minus One is a brilliant reckoning for the king of monster allegories

Toho’s latest Godzilla film from writer / director Takashi Yamazaki takes the kaiju king back to its roots to tell a sobering story about reckoning with the present.

The Verge
Reminder: Epic v. Google is off this week.

It’s not technically off for everyone: the judge ordered Epic and Google to discuss a settlement this week while court is out of session. But the judge, jury, and journalists won’t be back until Monday, December 11th — that’s when we’re coming back for closing arguments (unless, ofc, they settle).

Meanwhile, I’m working on an epic recap of everything we’ve learned. Stay tuned for that!

Oh, in case you missed it on Friday:

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Nerd alert!

Here’s a fun profile of Gary Gensler, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, with a lot of details on his approach to enforcement (“Though you might think otherwise, I don’t spend the majority of my time on crypto,” he says). Don’t worry, there’s even an explanation of his genuinely weird social media antics.

Epic v. Google: everything we’re learning live in Fortnite court

In a redux of a case against Apple and iOS, Epic aims to dismantle barriers that could spell higher fees for app makers — and, Google argues, keep Android safe and competitive.

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“Beer me another, choom.”

That’s my best “V-from-Cyberpunk-2077’s-update-2.1-sitting-at-the-bar-(who-is-also-a-fan-of-The-Office)” impression; in the new update, which is out on Tuesday, “it is now possible to sit at various bars in Night City and interact with the vendors,” according to CD Projekt Red’s patch notes.

Based on the patch notes, it looks like the update adds a ton of new features and bug fixes. The update, which CDPR says will launch at about 6AM ET, will also let you ride public transit.

Update 2.1 is planned to be the “last big update” for Cyberpunk 2077, a CDPR spokesperson confirmed to IGN.

Update December 4th, 12:41PM ET: Added that Update 2.1 is the game’s last major update.

Update 2.1 Patch Notes

[Home of the Cyberpunk 2077 universe — games, anime & more]

Wall Street loves a layoff.

Spotify’s stock is currently up about 7 percent following the announcement that the company is laying off 17 percent of its staff. If CEO Daniel Ek is trying to appease investors with a new focus on efficiency, it is working. More than 1,500 of Spotify’s employees will be notified by tomorrow afternoon that they are out of a job.

IBM lays out a ten-year plan for useful quantum supercomputing.

Meet Quantum System 2, a 22 ft wide, 12 ft high, cryogenically cooled package that IBM calls the first “modular, utility-scale quantum computer system,” using three of the company’s new Quantum Heron 133-qubit processors. An updated roadmap says that by 2033, its capabilities could go far beyond today’s supercomputer platforms.

For more, be on the lookout tomorrow for Nilay Patel’s Decoder interview with Jerry Chow, IBM’s director of quantum systems.