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I haven't owned a game console in 30 years, but I want the Ataribox

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When Atari announced it was jumping back into the game-console arena, those old enough to remember the 8-bit glory days of the Atari 2600 — like myself — perked up, briefly lighting up whatever part of the brain responsible for feelings of nostalgia.

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If last month’s announcement clicked on a standard 60-watt retro bulb, today’s reveal of the first images of the Ataribox console just lit up the nostalgic equivalent of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in the minds of ’80s kids everywhere.

Atari sent the photos to those who signed up for updates on the Ataribox site. Clearly inspired by the Atari 2600, the design is a beautiful modern reboot of that console. It retains the woodgrain front (although there will be an alternate all-black version), the non-boxy design that slopes upward in back, and the horizontal lines that… help for cooling? House the speakers? Something. You almost want to start hunting for Difficulty A/B switches somewhere in the back.

You won’t find ’em, though: The back is the only part of the Ataribox that gives away what decade it was designed in. There are USB ports for controllers and other gear, an SD card slot, an HDMI output for connecting to a TV, an Ethernet jack, and of course a power socket. No need for separate TV/Game adapters anymore — that is, assuming you’re not connecting to your…

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Myanmar

Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand

Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.

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By Karen Lee

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Following the February 1 coup, Myanmar’s netizens became the latest to join the #MilkTeaAlliance, an online collective of pro-democracy youth across Asia.

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Ecommerce

How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

Oxford Business Group

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

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A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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Tech

How the Rural-Urban Divide Plays Out on Digital Platforms

It is one thing for entrepreneurs, whether urban or rural, to create and operate an online store, as some digital platforms have made it relatively easy to manage an e-store – even by using just a smartphone.

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In the West, villages are emptying out due to the lack of economic opportunities. Consider Italy where, in a bid to attract newcomers, a handful of municipalities have turned to selling houses for €1.

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