People Make Games has posted this video about the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government. YouTube won’t let this video be embedded, but you can click on the link above or here to see it.
Sergey Dvodnenko is a software developer living in a city in Ukraine that is under the control of occupying Russian forces. Dvodnenko is behind software cores for the MiSTer project with a focus on the Sega Saturn and he even recently released a core for Sega’s 32X during the occupation.
His most recent update to Twitter talked about the occupation:
Hi. I'm fine. But my town (and all neighboring ones) is under the occupation of Russian troops. The occupiers have closed the banks, cut off TV, and threaten the population. When people came to the protest, they opened fire in the air to disperse people.
— Sergey Dvodnenko (@srg320_) March 9, 2022
Dvodnenko was later able to post last week to the MiSTer FPGA forums with an update on his status:
Hi. I’m fine. The Russian occupiers have turned off our Internet and mobile communications. There is a slow Internet connection, but this one is not always available. Twitter and Facebook are blocked, so I’m writing here. I’m working on Saturn and other cores. Maybe not so fast, but I continue to work. Thank you all for support.
Sergey Dvodnenko has a Patreon page where people can support his work directly and get updates like the video above when he’s able to upload them with his progress.
The invasion of Ukraine has led to the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine & Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine (that’s one person, Mykhailo Fedorov) requesting via Twitter that Microsoft’s Xbox division, and Sony’s PlayStation division, in addition to “all game development companies” and “esports platforms”, to temporarily block all games from accounts in Russia and Belarus and cancel esports events in Russia and Belarus:
There are a lot of strong and thoughtful arguments that sanctions are a bad idea, the rich are likely to be easily able to work around them so only the regular people may suffer. Without a democratically elected government how likely is it that further unrest in Russia will result in Vladimir Putin being deposed and this war ending? I don’t know, but I do want peace and it is good to sympathize with the Ukrainians and all victims of war. We will see if Sony, Microsoft, and the rest of the game industry join in on the wave of sanctions.
This isn’t the first request that the Ukrainian government has made via Twitter, they’ve also requested support from other countries, businesses and notably from the name-calling heir to a fortune from apartheid-era mining, Elon Musk. Who may have delivered some internet-providing Star Link satellite dishes but who knows if those worked or if the service can even be moved from one location to another which seems like it might be useful when you’re trying to avoid an invading military force.
If you’re trying to keep up with the news but can only take so much, I highly recommend listening to The World, it’s available as a free podcast online and features some great reporting from around the world and claims to be public radio’s longest-running daily global news program. Marco Werman is the regular host and I think he is pretty good. I’ve listened for years and linked to stories they’ve reported on like one about Rachel Lopez’ incredible documentation of the colorful taxi cab ceilings of India.
Unfortunately, the news of Russia invading Ukraine is incredibly sad, but The World gives us a bit under an hour of reporting on this and other stories and it seems like a fair dose to keep up-to-date. For example, today’s broadcast has Werman’s interview with Elena Chernenko which is very good to hear, Chernenko is a reporter from Russia who organized an open letter opposing the war with Ukraine.
Today, Microsoft announced that it has received a contract to outfit the United States Army with tens of thousands of augmented reality headsets based on the company’s HoloLens tech. This contract could be worth as much as $21.88 billion over 10 years, the company says.
Microsoft will be fulfilling an order for 120,000 AR headsets for the Army based on their Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) design. The modified design upgrades the capabilities of the HoloLens 2 for the needs of soldiers in the field.
Microsoft has a long history of working with the government to help murder people and their GitHub unit famously contracts with ICE and helps to cage children.