Sony will release a movie made using the PlayStation game-builder ‘Dreams’

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up the rights to an animated movie entitled A Winter’s Journey, which will be made in part using the PlayStation game-creation tool Dreams. According to Deadline, the film will blend live actors with CG and hand-painted animation and is an adaptation of Franz Schubert's set of 24 songs for voice and piano called Winterreise. It tells the story of a lovelorn poet who embarks on a dangerous journey that takes him across mountains and snow in 1812 Bavaria. 

Dreams was originally created by Media Molecule, the studio behind LittleBigPlanet, for the PS4. The studio pitched it as a way to create "art, movies and video games" from the start, and we once described it as "an engine, learning suite and distribution platform rolled into one." Since then, people have been using it to create their own games, realistic renders of nature, immersive experiences of their favorite movies, among other things. A Winter’s Journey, however, will reportedly be the first time Dreams will be used on a feature film.

The movie has yet to get a release date, but shooting is expected to start in June in Wrocław, Poland, with actors that include John Malkovich and Jason Isaacs. It'll likely take some time before it's ready to premiere. As for Dreams itself, it's currently on sale in the US PlayStation Store for $10, and it includes a rotating list of the most creative games made using the tool.

US labor board says Amazon illegally fired union organizer in New York

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has determined that Amazon illegally fired former worker Daequan Smith for trying to unionize its warehouses in Staten Island, New York. Smith, who was one of the organizers for the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), was fired in October 2021. The group filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the NLRB after his dismissal, accusing the company of illegal retaliatory firing over Smith's outspoken support for unionization. Now, according to Bloomberg, the board has found merit in the group's allegations and plans to issue a formal complaint against the e-commerce giant if the case doesn't settle. 

The Amazon Labor Union is made of up of former and current company workers and is an independent group not connected with major national unions. While the group failed to unionize Amazon's fulfillment centers in Staten Island last year, it refiled an application with the NLRB in December — a hearing is scheduled for that request next month. 

Smith wasn't the only ALU organizer that Amazon had fired. ALU president Chris Smalls also lost his job after he held a walkout at Amazon's JFK8 facility over the e-commerce giant's handling of COVID-19 safety at the warehouse in 2020. Amazon explained back then that Smalls "received multiple warnings for violating social distancing guidelines."

The company has been adamantly anti-union and had once told Engadget in a statement that it doesn't "think unions are the best answer for [its] employees." It added: "Every day we empower people to find ways to improve their jobs, and when they do that we want to make those changes — quickly. That type of continuous improvement is harder to do quickly and nimbly with unions in the middle." After reaching a deal with the NLRB in December, though, Amazon agreed to informs workers that they have the legal right to join, form or assist with a union through notices posted in workplaces, as well as on its mobile app and internal website.

As Bloomberg explains, NLRB brings complaints to agency judges if it finds merit in claims made by workers. The board's top prosecutor, Jennifer Abruzzo, one said she will "aggressively" seek court injunctions to get illegally fired employees back to work. ALU vice president Derrick Palmer, whom Amazon had disciplined for joining Smalls' COVID-19 protest, said Smith being reinstated would be a huge support for the group: "It would be monumental for him to go back to the same building that he was terminated from and speak his truth and let workers know that it’s OK to speak out."

YouTube deactivates two Oath Keepers channels after seditious conspiracy charges

Two YouTube channels linked to the far-right extremist group Oath Keepers have been deactivated by the website, the Google subsidiary told Axios. It wasn't exactly due to the content of their videos, however, but because some of the group's members were charged with seditious conspiracy over their role in the January 6th, 2021 US Capitol breach. One of the deactivated channels was named "Oath Keepers" and had fewer than 45,000 subscribers, while the other belonged to group leader Stewart Rhodes and had fewer than 20 subscribers. Rhodes (pictured above) was arrested for his role in the attack and was one of the members who were charged.

YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi told Axios that the channels broke the platform's creator responsibility guidelines. According to those guidelines, YouTube may terminate a channel if there's "significant evidence presented in a court of law against a creator for a very egregious crime" and that channel's "YouTube comment is closely related to the crime." YouTube said that the termination "follows evidence presented in federal indictments against the Oath Keepers and the charges against them and their role in the Jan. 6 attacks."

According to the Justice Department, the Oath Keepers discussed their plans to seize the Capitol building using encrypted messaging apps and social networks. The group has long used online platforms to disseminate information, including COVID-19 conspiracy theories with QAnon hashtags and threats of violence. Twitter banned the group back in 2020 for violating its policies on violent extremist groups. In addition to removing two channels, YouTube will no longer allow the Oath Keepers to create, use or own any other channel. Further, it will remove re-uploads of its old videos and will even delete new channels that try to reuse content from the deleted accounts. 

US surgeons implant genetically altered pig kidneys in a brain-dead patient

A group of surgeons from the University of Alabama at Birmingham has proven that it's possible to genetically alter a pig so that its kidneys can be used on human transplant patients. The doctors have transplanted kidneys from a genetically altered pig into the abdomen of a brain-dead man, and as The New York Times has reported, the procedure was described in a paper published in the American Journal of Transplantation

According to the doctors, the kidneys from the pig started producing urine as soon as 23 minutes after the procedure and continued to do so for three days. The patient's kidneys were fully removed, and his body didn't show signs of rejecting the transplanted organs. This is the latest in a series of developments wherein organs from genetically altered pigs were successfully transplanted into humans. In late 2021, NYU Langone Health doctors attached a pig kidney onto the blood vessels of a brain-dead patient's upper leg. And, just a few days ago, doctors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine transplanted a pig's heart into a live patient as part of an experimental procedure.

The UAB surgeons performed the procedure with consent from the family of the recipient, James Parsons, who wanted to be an organ donor. They're now naming this type of study after him. While the recipient was brain dead in this case, it's a big step toward a clinical trial involving live patients that they're hoping would start later this year. Dr. Jayme Locke, the team's lead surgeon, said this wasn't a one-off experiment, and that the hope is to "advance the field to help... patients." The doctor who serves as director to UAB's Incompatible Kidney Transplant Program added: "What a wonderful day it will be when I can walk into clinic and know I have a kidney for everyone waiting to see me."

Based on data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, there are currently 90,272 people on the waiting list for kidney transplant. In addition, around 3,000 new patients are added to the waiting list for the organ each month. Dr. Locke said "kidney failure is refractory, severe and impactful" and that "it needs a radical solution." She hopes to be able to offer life-saving pig kidney transplants to patients within the next five years.

Intel is spending $20 billion to build a massive chip-making facility in Ohio

Intel has revealed its plans to build a massive semiconductor facility in Ohio to Time — one that company CEO Pat Gelsinger is expecting to become "the largest silicon manufacturing location on the planet." The company is earmarking $20 billion to build the site on a 1,000-acre land in New Albany, located on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio. Intel's initial plans include building two semiconductor fabrication plants (or fabs) on the property that would employ 3,000 people. Construction on the site is scheduled to begin this year, and Intel expects the fabs to be operational by 2025.

A Bloomberg report back in late 2021 claimed that the White House "strongly discouraged" Intel from ramping up chip production in China. The administration has been pushing for companies to manufacture chips in the US in order to address the ongoing global shortage. In turn, companies have been lobbying the president to fund semiconductor research and manufacturing. It's worth noting, though, that since building new plants takes years, projects like this won't be able to help address supply chain shortages anytime soon.

Intel said it looked at 38 different sites in the US for the facility but ultimately chose Ohio, because of all the space it could use. The company doesn't want to build in places where it could displace residents, since that's what ultimately killed Amazon's plans to build a second headquarters in NYC. When the fabs are done, Intel will use them to manufacture both its own chips and chips for clients under the Intel Foundry Services. The company announced its foundry services when it revealed that it's building two factories in Arizona, which will also cost Intel $20 billion, back in March 2021. 

According to Gelsinger, the chipmaker has the option to expand the Ohio site to 2,000 acres and to build as many as eight fabs in the future. "We helped to establish the Silicon Valley," the CEO told Time. "Now we’re going to do the Silicon Heartland."

Update 01/21/22 3:45PM ET: Intel has officially published a press release confirming that it's building a new "mega-site" in Ohio. The whole project, if the company decides to expand its initial plans and build more fabs, could be worth up to $100 billion over the next decade.

Amazon one-day sale knocks up to 40 percent off Anker chargers and accessories

You can grab a bunch of Anker accessories from Amazon for up to 40 percent off just for today only. One of the products on sale is the Anker Nano II 30W GAN charger, which is currently listed for its all-time low of $25, down $9 from its usual retail price of $34. The adapter works with the latest iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones S8 and later, iPads, the Apple Watch, AirPods cases and even the 2020 MacBook Air. It's much smaller than an original MacBook adapter even though it works with the laptop, because it uses GAN II technology that gives it an efficient way to disperse heat. The technology enables small chargers to operate at faster speeds without overheating. 

Buy Anker Nano II 30W GaN charger at Amazon - $25

The Anker 2-in-1 wireless charging stand for the iPhones 12 and 13 is also currently on sale for $34, down $16 from its original price of $50. This magnetic stand can securely prop up an iPhone — vertically or horizontally — while charging it and the AirPods or other earbuds you place on its base. It works with MagSafe cases for the iPhone 13, as well.

Buy PowerWave Magnetic 2-in-1 charging stand at Amazon - $34

Another Anker item on sale worth mentioning is its power strip that comes with three outlets, two USB-A ports and one USB-C port. The USB-C port is capable of delivering 30W high-speed charging speeds, while the two USB-A ports can deliver 12W charging. The sale knocks off $14 from the power strip's usual retail price of $40, so you can get it within the day for $26 only.

Buy Anker USB C Power Strip at Amazon - $26

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Amazon one-day sale knocks up to 40 percent off Anker chargers and accessories

You can grab a bunch of Anker accessories from Amazon for up to 40 percent off just for today only. One of the products on sale is the Anker Nano II 30W GAN charger, which is currently listed for its all-time low of $25, down $9 from its usual retail price of $34. The adapter works with the latest iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones S8 and later, iPads, the Apple Watch, AirPods cases and even the 2020 MacBook Air. It's much smaller than an original MacBook adapter even though it works with the laptop, because it uses GAN II technology that gives it an efficient way to disperse heat. The technology enables small chargers to operate at faster speeds without overheating. 

Buy Anker Nano II 30W GaN charger at Amazon - $25

The Anker 2-in-1 wireless charging stand for the iPhones 12 and 13 is also currently on sale for $34, down $16 from its original price of $50. This magnetic stand can securely prop up an iPhone — vertically or horizontally — while charging it and the AirPods or other earbuds you place on its base. It works with MagSafe cases for the iPhone 13, as well.

Buy PowerWave Magnetic 2-in-1 charging stand at Amazon - $34

Another Anker item on sale worth mentioning is its power strip that comes with three outlets, two USB-A ports and one USB-C port. The USB-C port is capable of delivering 30W high-speed charging speeds, while the two USB-A ports can deliver 12W charging. The sale knocks off $14 from the power strip's usual retail price of $40, so you can get it within the day for $26 only.

Buy Anker USB C Power Strip at Amazon - $26

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Crypto.com loses $34 million in hack that affected 483 accounts

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Crypto.com's Chief Executive Kris Marszalek has admitted that 400 customer accounts were compromised by hackers. He said his team detected unauthorized transactions made from the accounts, but that they'd fixed the issue immediately and fully reimbursed the affected users. Now, the company has published a report revealing details from its post mortem. Apparently, 483 accounts were affected and the unauthorized withdrawals totaled 4,836.26 ETH, 443.93 BTC and approximately $66,200 in other currencies. Based on current exchange rates, that's $15.3 million of ETH and $18.7 million of ETC for a total of $34 million in losses. 

Before the company revealed the scope of the hack in terms of lost funds, blockchain security analytics company PeckShield Inc. said Crypto.com may have lost cryptocurrency worth $15 million. At least 4,600 of the coins lost were Ethereum, and half of them are reportedly being washed — a process that obfuscates a coin's transaction trail. Meanwhile, Bitcoin research firm OXT Research said the company's loss might be worth up to $33 million.

The report explained that the company's risk monitoring systems detected unauthorized activity a few days ago, wherein transactions were being approved without two-factor authentication for a small number of accounts. As a result, the cryptocurrency exchange paused withdrawals on the evening of January 16th. Indeed, people in the comments on its Twitter announcement revealed that they had funds stolen even if they had 2FA enabled. 

In another tweet posted on January 17th, Marszalek said that "no customer funds were lost," the company's infrastructure was down 14 hours and that his team strengthened its security in response to what happened. The report expounded on that last part, revealing that Crypto.com revoked all customer 2FA tokens and implemented additional security measures that required all account users to re-log-in. The company said the move is necessary, because it migrated to a completely new 2FA infrastructure. However, it intends to eventually move away from 2FA and to true Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Crypto.com has also introduced an additional security measure that requires users to wait 24 hours before they can withdraw to a newly registered whitelisted address. Finally, the company is launching the Worldwide Account Protection Program (WAPP) on February 1st for users who want additional protection for their funds. 

WAPP can restore up to $250,000 of a participating user's money in case a third-party gains access to their account. That said, to qualify for the program, users must enable multi-faction authentication on all transaction types and not be using a jailbroken device. To be able to recoup their funds under the program, they must've set up an anti-phishing code at least 21 days before an unauthorized transaction, file a police report and provide Crypto.com a copy, as well as complete a questionnaire to support forensic investigation. 

Crypto.com loses $34 million in hack that affected 483 accounts

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Crypto.com's Chief Executive Kris Marszalek has admitted that 400 customer accounts were compromised by hackers. He said his team detected unauthorized transactions made from the accounts, but that they'd fixed the issue immediately and fully reimbursed the affected users. Now, the company has published a report revealing details from its post mortem. Apparently, 483 accounts were affected and the unauthorized withdrawals totaled 4,836.26 ETH, 443.93 BTC and approximately $66,200 in other currencies. Based on current exchange rates, that's $15.3 million of ETH and $18.7 million of ETC for a total of $34 million in losses. 

Before the company revealed the scope of the hack in terms of lost funds, blockchain security analytics company PeckShield Inc. said Crypto.com may have lost cryptocurrency worth $15 million. At least 4,600 of the coins lost were Ethereum, and half of them are reportedly being washed — a process that obfuscates a coin's transaction trail. Meanwhile, Bitcoin research firm OXT Research said the company's loss might be worth up to $33 million.

The report explained that the company's risk monitoring systems detected unauthorized activity a few days ago, wherein transactions were being approved without two-factor authentication for a small number of accounts. As a result, the cryptocurrency exchange paused withdrawals on the evening of January 16th. Indeed, people in the comments on its Twitter announcement revealed that they had funds stolen even if they had 2FA enabled. 

In another tweet posted on January 17th, Marszalek said that "no customer funds were lost," the company's infrastructure was down 14 hours and that his team strengthened its security in response to what happened. The report expounded on that last part, revealing that Crypto.com revoked all customer 2FA tokens and implemented additional security measures that required all account users to re-log-in. The company said the move is necessary, because it migrated to a completely new 2FA infrastructure. However, it intends to eventually move away from 2FA and to true Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Crypto.com has also introduced an additional security measure that requires users to wait 24 hours before they can withdraw to a newly registered whitelisted address. Finally, the company is launching the Worldwide Account Protection Program (WAPP) on February 1st for users who want additional protection for their funds. 

WAPP can restore up to $250,000 of a participating user's money in case a third-party gains access to their account. That said, to qualify for the program, users must enable multi-faction authentication on all transaction types and not be using a jailbroken device. To be able to recoup their funds under the program, they must've set up an anti-phishing code at least 21 days before an unauthorized transaction, file a police report and provide Crypto.com a copy, as well as complete a questionnaire to support forensic investigation. 

‘Shenmue’ anime premieres February 5th on Crunchyroll

The Shenmue anime series is almost here, over a year after it was announced at the Virtual Crunchyroll Expo. It will premiere on February 5th 9:30PM PST/February 6th 12:30AM EST, with Crunchyroll offering its subscribers the Japanese subbed version outside of Japan and China. Meanwhile, the English dubbed version will air via Adult Swim's Toonami anime block. Shenmue tells the story of Ryo Hazuki, who journeys from Yokosuka, Japan to Hong Kong to find his father's killer. 

The first Shenmue game was developed and released by Sega for the Dreamcast in 1999, and the second one was launched for the same console a couple of years later. Its third installment came way later in 2019. Series creator Yu Suzuki debuted the project at Sony's E3 press conference in 2015 and relied on fans' support via crowdfunding to make it happen. Shenmue III easily reached its $2 million goal and ended up raising over $6 million on Kickstarter.

Shenmue the Animation was directed by Chikara Sakurai (One Punch Man Season 2) and will be 13 episodes in all. Kensuke Ishikawa (Tower of God) served Chief Animation Director, while Kento Shimoyama (BLEACH) wrote its script. Masaya Matsukaze and Austin Tindle voice Ryo Hazuki in Japanese and English, respectively. Lan Di, a leader of the Chinese cartel Chi You Men, is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese) and Scott Gibbs (English).