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  • House Judiciary says Apple enjoys monopoly power with App Store

    How do so many stupid people manages to get themselves elected to government office?
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  • Google following Apple, cutting Google Play commission fee to 15%

    There has been a lot in the industry press lately about the 30% that Apple, Google, Microsoft and many many others charge to sell software and services through their electronic stores. While the past is not always the best way to view things, developers used to pay 70-80% or more to move their software from their premises to the end customer. The chain was: customer buys from retailer (40% margin) buys from wholesaler (30% margin) buys from jobber (10% margin) buys from developer. The electronic stores cut out all the middle men but notice that they did not try to keep the whole historical fee for themselves. 

    I am sure EPIC, Spotify and others want to pay nothing but that is NOT reasonable. I also doubt very much that EPIC or Spotify want to create their own store, and I doubt that they could do so for that same 30% fee because there are many many developers who are jointly sharing the cost of marketing their products. We should be talking about what is reasonable rather than what we "want", because there is no mechanism other than supply and demand to reconcile the "cost of service" supplier approach and the "what is it worth" market approach.

    Until Apple's recent drop in from 30% to 15% for small businesses, those who have the electronic stores have displayed a uniform front in charging 30%. Viewed historically 30% is a whole lot better than the 70-80% that it used to be. Could it be less? Possibly. It is likely that the companies needed 30% in the early stages of setting up electronic stores since setting something up is always more expensive  than running it on a ongoing basis. Could the stores take a smaller cut now that the stores are operating routinely? Possibly. Notice what Apple did in reducing their standard fee from 30% to 15% for smaller developers who constitute most of their developers. Now they have been followed by Google who have also dropped their fee to 15% on the first million in sales. It is interesting that Google will charge 15% on the first million and reset the fee back to 15% for the start of the following year whereas Apple fee is not automatically reset and developer sales has to drop back below the million dollar cut off and the developer has to reapply for the fee to be reduced back to 15%. At this point it looks like Google offers the better financial package to developers.

    It will be interesting to see where all of this leads.

  • How to opt out of Amazon Sidewalk internet sharing, and what you need to know

    dewme said:
    Interesting to see this here today because I got an email from Amazon about this earlier. 

    Before everyone gets their skivvies is a twist, this is very likely an Amazon precursor to what Apple will do with AirTags. Amazon Sidewalk is all about providing a very low cost, low bandwidth, highly distributed, mesh network (using BTLE and 900 MHz) for locating and discovering identification tags and exchanging a few bits of data with simple sensors . It uses a small slice of each participants' WiFi bandwidth (1/40th with a hard monthly cap) as a backhaul to bridge sensor/tag data up to the cloud through your WAN connection. By meshing together all of the participants' data feeds they can achieve area wide coverage, i.e., several square miles. 

    There's nothing inherently nefarious about what Amazon is doing, and if you don't like it, don't use it. When Apple rolls out their wide area coverage for AirTags you'll be able to decide whether you trust Apple more than you trust Amazon, and sign up with Apple to help facilitate the same sort of service. Or not. Nobody has to do anything they are not comfortable doing. Until we have some sort of third-party or governmental infrastructure in place to support these kinds of services, companies like Amazon, Apple, and Amazon (and others) will try to utilize whatever connectivity opportunities are available to them. Amazon Sidewalk is just the first of the opportunists to hot the street, or should I say, the sidewalk.

    Except that people have to opt out rather than opt in. 

    My thought exactly - control is the issue here!
  • Apple to pay $3.4M in Chile to settle planned obsolescence lawsuit

    This is ridiculous! Smartphone hardware is still being modified/added to - a sign that we are still in the Growth phase of product development. In that phase, the product is changing so rapidly that no company needs planned product obsolescence - the industry itself is changing so fast as to make planned obsolescence totally unnecessary!