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New Activision QA union is the largest in the video game industry

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New Activision QA union is the largest in the video game industry

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella arrives to court in San Francisco on June 28, 2023. Microsoft and Activision Blizzard CEOs are expected to testify to persuade a federal judge in California to reject the Federal Trade Commission’s effort to block their $69 billion deal.

Shelby Knowles | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A group of roughly 600 software testers at Activision on Friday formed the U.S. video game industry’s largest union so far.

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The union is the first to organize under a new labor agreement negotiated as part of Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision in October, the company’s largest takeover yet.

The agreement required Microsoft to remain neutral about employees who express interest in unionizing and provide adequate lines of communication and information for those workers to decide. That labor neutrality agreement took effect after the Microsoft-Activision deal closed in October following months of regulatory pushback.

“We maintained our commitment to remain neutral during the organizing campaign, and following this vote,” Microsoft lawyer Amy Pannoni said in a statement.

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In January, Microsoft laid off 1,900 workers in its gaming division.

Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA, the name of the union, is seeking higher wages and more career opportunities, QA tester Kara Fannon said in a statement.

The employees, who work for Activision’s quality assurance division in California, Texas and Minnesota, joined the Communications Workers of America to form their record-breaking alliance.

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“Microsoft continues to keep its commitment to let workers decide for themselves whether they want a union,” said CWA President Claude Cummings Jr. in a statement.

Labor organizing in the tech industry has proliferated over the years as Big Tech firms have grown and come under more scrutiny for worker protections.

QA workers at Activision, who vet games for glitches and bugs, have particularly emphasized the need for labor protections, noticing their roles feeling undervalued compared to software engineers or developers.

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Before the Microsoft-Activision deal closed, QA workers at the video game-maker’s Albany branch had also formed a union.

“QA is currently an undervalued discipline in the games and software industries,” the Albany wrote on social media at the time. “We strive to foster work environments where we are respected and compensated for our essential role in the development process.”

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Fones 4 Africa: Where Quality Meets Affordability

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fones 4 africa

In the bustling world of technology, finding a reliable source for premium mobile phones and accessories can be a daunting task. However, fear not! Fones 4 Africa has emerged as a beacon of excellence, offering top-notch products at unbeatable prices. Let’s delve into what makes Fones 4 Africa a standout choice for tech enthusiasts.

Premium Phones at Unbeatable Prices

At Fones 4 Africa, quality meets affordability. Whether you’re eyeing the latest iPhone or a cutting-edge Samsung Galaxy, this online store has you covered. Here are some highlights:

  1. Apple iPhone 11: With prices ranging from R 6,499.00 to R 7,299.00, the iPhone 11 combines sleek design with powerful performance. Customers have rated it 3.83 out of 5 stars.
  2. Apple iPhone X: Priced between R 4,959.00 and R 5,299.00, the iPhone X boasts a stunning display and exceptional camera capabilities. Users have given it a perfect 5-star rating.
  3. Apple iPhone XS Max: For those who crave a larger screen, the XS Max (R 5,499.00 – R 6,999.00) delivers. Its 4.56 out of 5-star rating speaks volumes.
  4. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: If Android is your preference, the S21 Ultra (R 8,499.00 – R 9,599.00) impresses with its camera prowess and sleek design (rated 4.7 out of 5 stars).
  5. Samsung Galaxy A70 (128GB): A budget-friendly option, the A70 (R 4,999.00 – R 5,099.00) strikes a balance between performance and price (rated 4.6 out of 5 stars).
  6. Apple iPhone XS: The XS (R 5,999.00 – R 6,399.00) continues to be a favorite among Apple enthusiasts, earning a perfect 5-star rating.

Seamless Shopping Experience

Fones 4 Africa understands the importance of convenience. Their user-friendly website allows you to shop on the go. Plus, with free shipping, you can enjoy your new gadget without any hassle.

Conclusion

In a world where technology evolves rapidly, Fones 4 Africa stands firm as a reliable partner for all your mobile needs. From premium phones to accessories, their commitment to quality and affordability is unwavering. Visit Fones.co.za today and experience excellence firsthand!

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Disclaimer: This article is based on publicly available information and reflects positive aspects of Fones 4 Africa. Individual experiences may vary, but we celebrate the brand’s dedication to customer satisfaction.

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Raya is shootout hero as Arsenal reach Champions League quarters

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Raya is shootout hero as Arsenal reach Champions League quarters

LONDON – David Raya was the hero as Arsenal beat Porto 4-2 on penalties on Tuesday to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.

The teams were locked at 1-1 on aggregate after an absorbing second leg at the Emirates but Raya saved twice in the shootout to break the hearts of the two-time champions.

The goalkeeper dived full stretch to deny Wendell and repeated the feat against Galeno, while the home side converted all four of their penalties as the decibel count soared.

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It is the first time a Champions League match has been decided by penalties since the 2016 final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

“You are very nervous, you are hoping for the best but you know that it (the shootout) is a bit of a lottery,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told TNT Sports.

“So happy. It has been 14 years (without reaching quarter-finals), which is a long time for a club like Arsenal and it shows how difficult it was. We really had to dig in to find the magic moment at the end.”

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“We’ve been patient, worked so hard and a lot of people have made good decisions and showed courage in difficult moments and this is where you want to be,” he added.

Raya, on loan from Brentford, said it was a “great moment personally and collectively”.

“This means everything. You play football for these kind of things and I’m lucky to be playing for Arsenal, to be in the Champions League and to get through to the quarter-finals.”

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Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Arteta’s Premier League leaders — with 33 goals in their past eight league games — were not at their fluent best against a disciplined Porto side.

Leandro Trossard pulled Arsenal level on aggregate shortly before half-time as their patience paid off.

Sergio Conceicao’s men had succeeded in frustrating the home team for long spells during the opening period, fashioning enough chances of their own make it a nervy night for the expectant fans.

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Both sides struggled to settle in a scrappy opening period, with Porto doing their best to slow the game down by taking their time with throw-ins and goal kicks, to the audible frustration of the home crowd.

Arsenal defender Ben White headed over in the fourth minute after the home side’s first sustained attack while captain Martin Odegaard hit the side netting 10 minutes later.

But Porto, who were last crowned European champions under Jose Mourinho in 2004, had a number of openings.

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Evanilson whipped a shot at goal from distance that bounced wide and minutes later struck a rising strike that Raya palmed away.

Declan Rice headed just wide and Pepe — the first 41-year-old to play outfield in the Champions League — got the deftest of touches with his head to prevent Kai Havertz from connecting with a White cross at the back post.

– Breakthrough –

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The breakthrough finally came in the 41st minute following good work from Odegaard, who jinked past an opponent and fed Trossard with a perfectly weighted low pass into the box.

Trossard calmly hit a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Diogo Costa and into the far corner of the net to ease the tension.

The visitors, who had never won a match in England in 22 previous attempts, started the second half brightly as Arsenal struggled to impose themselves. 

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Arsenal thought they had doubled their lead midway through the second half when Odegaard dinked the ball into an empty net but the goal was ruled out for a foul by Havertz on Pepe.

Moments later Porto streamed forward and Raya blocked Francisco Conceicao’s shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Arteta threw on Gabriel Jesus in the 83rd minute and the former Manchester City man nearly scored with his first touch.

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As Arsenal pushed for a winner, Bukayo Saka produced a trademark curling effort that was punched back into the middle and Odegaard steered the rebound wide when well-placed.

The home side looked the more dangerous in the early stages of extra-time but Porto remained a threat on the break, with substitute Mehdi Taremi curling wide.

Arteta brought on Eddie Nketiah and Oleksandr Zinchenko for the second period of extra time but neither side could find a winner and it went to penalties.

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By John Weaver

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India’s Pant says doctors considered leg amputation after car crash

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India’s Pant says doctors considered leg amputation after car crash

NEW DELHI – Star Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant says that doctors raised the prospect of amputating his leg after the serious car crash that threatened to end his cricket career.

The 26-year-old is set to play for the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League starting this month after a 14-month absence following the accident.

He is also in contention for the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and United States in June if all goes well on his comeback in the IPL.

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Pant said his long layoff had taken a toll on him physically and mentally, but knows it could have been far worse.

“When my accident happened I felt something spiritual saved me,” Pant, who missed the last season of the IPL, told Wednesday’s Times of India.

“With the kind of accident I had, I only got my knee injured, but I can’t even imagine how much worse it could have been.

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“Doctors even spoke to me about amputation.”

Pant crashed his Mercedes SUV north of New Delhi in December 2022, suffering multiple injuries when the car rammed into a crash barrier, flipped over and caught fire.

He was rushed to hospital before being airlifted to Mumbai for further treatment and surgery.

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An intensive rehabilitation programme followed with the National Cricket Academy (NCA) as he recovered from a damaged ligament in his right knee, a hurt wrist and ankle, and abrasions to his back.

Pant said he had been “anxiously waiting” to be declared fit and had been distressed to sit out last year’s ODI World Cup at home. 

“It was very upsetting. We discussed with the NCA team that we will take a shot at the World Cup. All of us tried 200 percent, but my knee couldn’t take the load,” he said.

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Pant had also hoped to be fit for India’s 4-1 Test series win over England which concluded on the weekend, but said the cricket board had not wanted to rush him back into the gruelling format.

The swashbuckling player said the accident had changed his whole outlook.

“Gratitude towards life has increased a lot. You start appreciating small things about life.”

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Pant has played for India 129 times across all three formats since making his international debut in 2017.

He was replaced as skipper of Delhi Capitals by David Warner last year.

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By Abhaya Srivastava

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