VW Electric Microbus Finally Coming; Sony Suspends Playstation Sales in Russia; House Asks DOJ to Look at Amazon Over Obstruction of Congress; Twitter Testing New Accessibility Features

Some 5 years ago, VW got the world excited with a car of the future type rendering of an electric VW Microbus. Now, it appears it is about to become a reality. According to techcrunch.com, the ID.Buzz and ID.Buzz Cargo will go on sale third quarter of this year in Europe. A long wheelbase passenger model will debut in North American in 2023 and go on sale in 2024! The rig is based on the platform the VW group has developed that will run under Audi, Seat, Skoda, and VW to help with cost effectiveness of producing EVs. The EV Microbus will be built at the VW main plant in Hannover. Sadly, a futuristic feature from the dream van will be missing from the actual vehicle. The ID. Buzz will not have an “autonomous mode,” in which the steering wheel retracts and merges into the instrument panel and then wisks its passengers to their destination. 

Joining over 200 other companies in the West, Sony has suspended all PlayStation sales in Russia over the Ukraine war. The PlayStation Store will also no longer be available in Russia. CNBC reports that Sony will also donate $2 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and to Save the Children, in support of those in Ukraine. 

On a day when Amazon has announced a 20 for 1 stock split, the House Judiciary Committee has asked the Department of Justice to investigate the giant company for possible criminal obstruction of Congress. According to Engadget.com, Members from both sides of the aisle complained in a letter to the DOJ that Amazon declined to provide info related to an antitrust investigation, relating to how they treat their third party sellers. The investigation started in 2019, and included Apple, Meta (Facebook then), and Alphabet (Google.) only Amazon has been accused of obstruction.

Twitter is trialing new accessibility feature to make alt text descriptions much more useful. According to theverge.com, images that have a description will sport a badge that says ALT, and clicking the badge will show the description. According to Twitter, around 3 percent of users will get to try out the new features for a month, and it’ll roll out globally at the beginning of April. Until then, it seems like most people still won’t have access to alt text descriptions unless they’re using a screen reader or are willing to jump through a lot of hoops. Twitter has been way behind others on accessibility, not actually getting a dedicated team until 2020. Prior to that, some staffers just did work voluntarily, in addition to their regular gigs there. 


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