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How YouTube Paved the Way for Google's Stadia Cloud Gaming Service

Google's vision is that any device that can play YouTube videos will also have access to cloud gaming through Stadia

5 min read
A Stadia controller on a YouTube red backdrop with cloud symbols
Photo-illustration: IEEE Spectrum. Controller: Google

When Google’s executives floated a vision for the Stadia cloud gaming service that could make graphically intensive gaming available on any device, they knew the company wouldn’t have to build all the necessary technology from scratch. Instead, the tech giant planned to leverage its expertise in shaping Internet standards and installing infrastructure to support YouTube video streaming for more than a billion people worldwide.

Today, Stadia’s cloud gaming platform, which is in the final stages of development, relies on offloading computing and graphics processing tasks from a user’s device to warehouse-sized data centers that may be many miles away from the player. When the service launches later this year, customers will be able to almost instantly start gaming on Stadia by launching a simple client program that runs on Chromecasts, Chromebooks, PCs, and smartphones. 

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How Police Exploited the Capitol Riot’s Digital Records

Forensic technology is powerful, but is it worth the privacy trade-offs?

11 min read
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 Illustration of the silhouette of a person with upraised arm holding a cellphone in front of the U.S. Capitol building. Superimposed on the head is a green matrix, which represents data points used for facial recognition
Gabriel Zimmer
Green

The group of well-dressed young men who gathered on the outskirts of Baltimore on the night of 5 January 2021 hardly looked like extremists. But the next day, prosecutors allege, they would all breach the United States Capitol during the deadly insurrection. Several would loot and destroy media equipment, and one would assault a policeman.

No strangers to protest, the men, members of the America First movement, diligently donned masks to obscure their faces. None boasted of their exploits on social media, and none of their friends or family would come forward to denounce them. But on 5 January, they made one piping hot, family-size mistake: They shared a pizza.

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