Show 394 – Sept 20, 2021
Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael
Our Aussie Apple Ramblings
Story 1 ~ MS ~ Pic
Epic Games Pays Apple $6 Million as Ordered by Court
Epic Games has paid Apple US$6,000,000 in royalties, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said on Twitter. As part of the ruling in the ongoing Epic v. Apple legal battle, Epic was last week ordered by the court to pay 30 percent of the revenue that it collected from the Fortnite app using its illicit direct payment option.
Back at the start of the dispute between Epic and Apple, Epic added a direct purchase option to the Fortnite app, skirting Apple’s in-app purchase rules. This violation of Apple’s App Store guidelines led Apple to pull Fortnite from the App Store, and directly after that, Epic filed its pre-planned lawsuit.
Though Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store shortly after Epic violated the in-app purchase rules, Epic Games was still able to collect payment from customers that had already installed the app and were actively using it. During the time period that the app was available prior to a Fortnite update that made it unusable, Fortnite made $12,167,719.
Epic Games was forced to pay 30 percent of the $12 million total that was collected between August 2020 and October 2020, plus 30 percent of revenue collected from November 1, 2020 through the date of the judgment, in addition to interest, which is where the $6 million fee comes from.
In the ruling, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers determined that Apple did not have a mobile gaming monopoly, and the lawsuit largely went in Apple’s favour. Apple has been ordered to allow developers to add “buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms,” which will let developers provide payment options other than in-app purchase in their apps.
Apple lawyers called the verdict a “resounding victory” that validates the App Store business model, but Epic Games was unhappy with the outcome. In a tweet, Sweeney said that the ruling wasn’t a “win for developers or for consumers” and that Epic would continue to “fight for fair competition among in-app payment methods and app stores for a billion consumers.”
He also said that Fortnite will not be returning to the App Store in the near future. “Fortnite will return to the iOS App Store when and where Epic can offer in-app payment in fair competition with Apple in-app payment, passing along the savings to consumers,” he wrote.
Epic Games has filed an appeal against the ruling, so the dispute between the two companies is far from over. Apple has yet to decide whether or not it wants to appeal portions of the ruling.
Story 2 ~ ZK
Apple thinks motorcycle engines might be your iPhone camera’s worst enemy
ANDROID AUTHORITY reports ~ Motorcycles may not be the safest mode of travel at the best of times, and it might be treacherous for iPhones too. According to a new support post published by Apple, the “intense high-amplitude vibrations” caused by beefy motorcycle engines may “degrade the performance” of iPhone camera systems over time.
Apple explains that long-term exposure to these vibrations may wreak havoc with the closed-loop autofocus and optical image stabilisation systems (OIS). First introduced on the 2014 iPhone 6 Plus, the latter system employs a gyroscope to dampen phone movement when an image is snapped, thus improving image quality. Continuous jitters could adversely affect this mechanism. OIS has become relatively commonplace on iPhone models launched since then.
Apple doesn’t suggest motorcycle owners swap their two wheels for four. It does, however, recommend purchasing a dampening mount for their devices. The company also notes that electric scooters or lesser-powered moped owners may need not worry about damaging vibrations.
The warning will likely affect a select group of users, but it’s worth noting how any intense vibrations can affect phone cameras. It’s unclear if phones from other brands are affected similarly, but it’s worth heeding the warning either way.
Story 3 ~ MS ~ Pic
Steve Wozniak’s latest moonshot is a private space company
engadget reports ~ Steve Wozniak has started a company called Privateer Space.
The Apple co-founder announced the private space firm on Sunday a week ago. Unfortunately, other than to promise his company would be “unlike the others,” Woz didn’t provide many details on the venture.
A teaser Privateer released on YouTube mentions the startup was co-founded by former Apple engineer Alex Fielding. Wozniak and Fielding have collaborated frequently over the years. Back in 2002, they co-founded a company called Wheels of Zeus (WoZ), which worked on GPS smart tags. Wozniak later sat on the board of directors of Ripcord Networks, the robotics startup Fielding founded after Wheel of Zeus shut down in 2006.
On its website, Privateer says it will have more to share at the upcoming AMOS tech conference in Maui, Hawaii that’s scheduled to start on September 14th. What’s clear is Woz and company are about to enter a highly competitive market that is dominated by billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. That’s not an easy space to succeed in.
G#1 ~ ZK ~ Pic
So Apple Arcade have a cooking game! Not only is it a cooking game but it’s master chef!
Master Chef: Let’s Cook
And it’s great fun so far I’ve made pizza, spaghetti, a chocolate pie and cookies.
You are competing against real people online and trying to beat them is awesome.
3 out 5 apples.
#1 ~ MS
The Velvet Underground ~ coming October 15
Experience the iconic rock band’s legacy in the first major documentary to tell
Directed with the era’s avant-garde spirit by Todd Haynes, this kaleidoscopic oral history combines exclusive interviews with dazzling archival footage.
#2 ~ MS ~ Pic
The Morning Wars is Back with Season 2
Also DOUGUNPLUGS for the kids
Also, my wife, Karen and I have been enjoying Mr Corman. It has gotten a bit different the last couple of episodes!!
Story 4 ~ ZK
Germany wants phone makers to offer 7 years of security updates
engadget again ~ Your current phone might get security patches for several years to come, at least if Germany has its way. C’t reports the German federal government is pushing the European Union to require seven years of security updates and spare parts for smartphones as part of negotiations with the European Commission.
That’s two years longer than a recent Commission proposal, and would effectively give phones a more computer-like support cycle.
Both proposals are unsurprisingly facing pushback from manufacturers. The industry advocacy group DigitalEurope (which counts Apple, Google and Samsung as some of its members) wants a requirement for just three years of security updates, and wants to limit spare parts to screens and batteries rather than cameras, speakers and other components that are supposedly more reliable.
DigitalEurope is effectively arguing for the status quo, in other words. While Apple typically delivers five years of regular feature and security updates, many Android vendors stop at three or less.
Samsung only committed to four years of security fixes in 2021. Some of this has been dictated by Qualcomm’s update policy, but it’s clear the brands themselves are sometimes reluctant to change.
This extended support might become crucial. The EU’s proposal, potentially in effect by 2023, is meant to help the environment by letting you keep phones for longer. They’d stay protected and functional for roughly twice the 2.5 to 3.5 years you see today.
However, this could also be vital for bolstering mobile security as a whole. Just over 40 percent of Android users are running 9.0 Pie or earlier, according to StatCounter’s August 2021 usage share data — a large portion of mobile users have devices that either stopped receiving security updates or are close to losing them.
Longer support periods could prevent attackers from targeting old phones that, at present, have been left permanently vulnerable to exploits patched in newer software.
Story 5 ~ MS
Australian court rules media liable for Facebook comments
apnews reports ~ Australia’s highest court has made a landmark ruling that media outlets are “publishers” of allegedly defamatory comments posted by third parties on their official Facebook pages.
The High Court dismissed an argument by some of Australia’s largest media organisations — Fairfax Media Publications, Nationwide News and Australian News Channel — that for people to be publishers, they must be aware of the defamatory content and intend to convey it.
The court found in a 5-2 majority decision that by facilitating and encouraging the comments, the companies had participated in their communication.
The decision opens the media organisations to be sued for defamation by former juvenile detainee Dylan Voller.
Voller wants to sue the television broadcaster and newspaper publishers over comments on the Facebook pages of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Centralian Advocate, Sky News Australia and The Bolt Report.
His defamation case launched in the New South Wales state Supreme Court in 2017 was put on hold while the separate question of whether the media companies were liable for Facebook users’ comments was decided.
The companies posted content on their pages about news stories that referred to Voller’s time in a Northern Territory juvenile detention centre.
Facebook users responded by posting comments that Voller alleges were defamatory.
News Corp Australia, which owns the two broadcast programs and two of the three newspapers targeted in the defamation case, called for the law to be changed.
The ruling was “significant for anyone who maintains a public social media page by finding they can be liable for comments posted by others on that page even when they are unaware of those comments,” News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller said in a statement.
“This highlights the need for urgent legislative reform and I call on Australia’s attorneys general to address this anomaly and bring Australian law into line with comparable western democracies,” Miller added.
Nine, the new owner of The Sydney Morning Herald, said it hoped a current review of defamation laws by Australian state and territory governments would take into account the ruling and its consequences for publishers.
“We are obviously disappointed with the outcome of that decision, as it will have ramifications for what we can post on social media in the future,” a Nine statement said.
“We also note the positive steps which the likes of Facebook have taken since the Voller case first started which now allow publishers to switch off comments on stories,” Nine added.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Voller’s lawyers welcomed the ruling for its wider implications for publishers.
“This is a historic step forward in achieved justice for Dylan and also in protecting individuals, especially those who are in a vulnerable position, from being the subject of unmitigated social media mob attacks,” a lawyers’ statement said.
“This decision put responsibility where it should be; on media companies with huge resources, to monitor public comments in circumstances where they know there is a strong likelihood of an individual being defamed,” the statement added.
The High Court decision upholds the rulings of two lower courts on the question of liability.
Courts have previously ruled that people can be held liable for the continued publication of defamatory statements on platforms they control, such as notice boards, only after they became aware of the comments.
more in the link
Story 6 ~ ZK ~ Pic
Google Drive rolls out a nifty feature for offline access to everyone
androidcentral reports ~ In early 2019, Google began testing an option in Google Drive’s web version that lets you make all file types such as PDFs, images, office Microsoft Office documents available for offline viewing. Now, that feature has come out of beta.
Google has announced the general availability of offline mode in Drive on the web. The new capability allows everyone to mark all file types accessible even without an internet connection. It comes in handy for people who frequently travel to areas where internet connections can get spotty. Previously, only Google files including Docs, Sheets, and Slides can be made available to access offline.
To turn on offline support for a certain file, you can simply right-click on an item in your Drive and then toggle the “available offline” option in the menu. You can then open those files using the compatible apps installed on your PC through Drive’s web-based portal.
As part of this update, Chrome OS users can now choose the Docs, Sheets, and Slides files they want to make accessible offline through the Files app on some of the best Chromebooks. This means they won’t have to open Drive or Docs to mark these files for offline viewing.
How To ~ MS
Please make sure you have Apples Latest updates on your iDevices, Mac and WATCH
Apple has released a slew of updates recently for all their devices.
Please do these updates. AND remind your family to do them too!
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Over to Zarn for the sign off
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