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  • Epic CEO Tim Sweeney grilled on platform agreements, V-Bucks

    eimoaotl said:
    eimoaotl said:
    There is a lot of vitriol on here against Epic.  I personally think that iOS has become like Windows and Mac, where it is a general operating system and that Apple should no longer be allowed to determine what I can and cannot do with the operating system.  My phone and my iPad are not like my gaming console - I use my iOS devices for basically everything, I use my xbox just for gaming and streaming shows.  I don’t think iOS and gaming consoles are equivalent.  But I do think iOS and windows are equivalent as they are both operating systems that enable me to do “limitless” things depending on software and how much limitation Microsoft and Apple actually put on them.  Same goes for the Mac my wife uses. Can you imagine how angry people would be if Windows mandated that everything now had to go through the Windows store and through their payment system?
    Windows has a dominant share of the computer operating system market.  iOS does not have a dominant share of the mobile operating system market in any country or geographical area.  You can choose to go somewhere else for your mobile platform if you are unhappy with the App Store.
    But it actually does have dominant market share in certain regions.  Windows was 77% of desktop in Q4 2020.  IOS is 61% of mobile in the US, and where I live it is around 9-10/10 kids using iOS products, and reasons they won’t use Android is because it makes their friends iMessage bubbles green. Seriously, that is what kids have told me.  And that not having Apple means you are poor, and no kids want to be seen as poor.  Apple did well on their lock-in to keep iMessage Apple only.  
    You are all over the place with your stats and comparing Apple to oranges.

    In the US the OS marketshare are 

    30% Windows
    30% iOS
    21% Android
    14% MacOS
    3.5% Chrome
    1.5% other

    Worldwide it's

    40% Android
    32% Windows
    16% iOS
    7% MacOS
    1% Linux
    2% other

    But with just desktop OS Worldwide 

    87% Windows
    9.5% MacOS
    2.5% Linux
    .5% Chrome

    with just mobile OS worldwide

    72% Android
    27% iOS
    1% everyone else

    Desktop OS US

    60% Windows
    28% MacOS
    7% chrome
    2.5% Linux
    2.5% other

    Mobile OS marketshare US

    60% iOS
    40% Android

    The problem with the mobile OS marketshare stat in the US is that the numbers uses quarterly sales and it can changes rapidly from quarter to quarter. For now iOS is ahead by 20% because of the recent release of the new iPhones and iPads. But when Samsung releases their new phones, it can easily swing 5% to 8% in Android favor and it'll be  53% iOS and 47% Android. Then back again with the next cycle. It's only been since the last quarter of 2020 that iOS over took Android. Right now, I doubt very much that there are more iOS users than Android users in the US. But that can  change if Apple can keep their 60% marketshare for a few more quarters.

  • Apple 'won't make an exception' for Epic to skirt App Store rules

    Apple said:
     ... We won't make an exception for Epic because we don't think it's right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.
    ... If Apple moves forward with its planned course of action, Epic will no longer be able to update the Unreal Engine ... Epic filed a temporary restraining order to halt Apple's escalation, saying the iPhone maker "is attacking Epic's entire business in unrelated areas."
    So, basically, Epic’s strategy assumed Apple would not ban them as a developer. I wonder if this is standard practice for developers who purposely try to circumvent the in-app rules, or if it is an exception.

    If it is an exception, it’s funny because Epic wanted Apple to make an exception for them, and they will have. Just not the exception they wanted!

    If it is not, and this is standard practice, then it just shows how ill-considered the whole gambit has been.
    What Epic did with Fortnight to bypass Apple in app paying method, did not result in Apple saying that they will pull Epic developer license at the end of the month. All Apple did was to ban Fortnight from the App Store. 

    Apple discovered Epic was violating several other rules of their enterprise developer license and informed Epic that their license will be pulled unless they remedy it by the end of the month. There has been no mention of what those violations entails. Or at least I haven't found any source with detail about those other violations. But my guess is that it's on the scale of what Facebook did in violation of Apple Enterprise Developer license, when the allowed non employees to side load a data mining app. 

    Apple threat of pulling Epic developer license is a separate issue, but Epic is making it seem that Apple is threatening to pull their developer license over what they did with updating Fortnight to bypass Apple in app paying method. And that is not true. All Apple did was to ban Fortnight from the App Store, until Epic fixed Fortnight to conform with the App Store rules. Like they would do with all apps that didn't conform to App Store rules. One does not lose their developer license just because they had an app that didn't conform to the App Store rules. How would Apple expect you to fix the problem than got your app banned, if they took alway your developer license and the use of the tools needed to fix the problem?  
  • New FAQ says Apple will refuse pressure to expand child safety tools beyond CSAM

    elijahg said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    elijahg said:
    Bollocks. So when the Chinese government tells Apple to add a heap of CPP provided hashes, they’re going to refuse? Of course they won’t. If any government said provided data were hashes of CSAM material, who’s Apple to say it’s not?
    That's the great thing about the CSAM material; it's just hashes. In some countries it could kiddie porn; in other countries it could be photos taken by the police at protest march. And in those countries, Apple won't be the only ones checking the pictures.
    CSAM is not just hashes. Where did you get that idea? The hashes that Apple will compare against come from NCMEC, where the actual images are stored. The hashes are created from the images. Are we supposed to believe that NCMEC will now just accept a hash from any government that feels like sending it over without a corresponding image to go along with it?

    Let’s not forget that it US law requires tech companies to report incidences of CSAM. Also, using iCloud Photo Library is opt in, so people who are worried about their photos being matched to a hash don’t need to opt in.

    Gruber posits that doing the check client-side, rather than server-side, will allow them to fully encrypt iCloud backups.
    So you think China will be happy with Apple using hashes of NCMEC? Where the US government could insert hashes that are of someone they want in China, and then under the guise of CSAM find out all the photos they want of this person? 

    There is literally no point in encrypting backups if Apple has defied the trust of their customers by inserting this spyware. What's the point in end to end encryption if the spyware is already on the device pre-encryption? How long until it scans all files on your phone before syncing to iCloud? How long before it scans all files all the time? 
    That isn’t how hashes work. Hashes find the exact same photograph, not a photograph that is similar. So, your imagined scenario where the US government uploads a hash of a photo of someone they are looking for and in return get all photos of that person is not how it works. The uploaded hash would only help to find positive matches of that exact same photo.

    Also, as has been mentioned several times already, everyone can opt out.
    I don't think that's how it works. I someone cropped a photo that is in the NCMEC data base, it should have a different hash when scanned by Apple, but I bet it would still come up with a match. Same if some one were to place a "Smiley" sticker on one corner of the photo or to make a mirror image of it or change its color or contrast, to come up with a different hash. The detecting software is set to come up with a match if the photo is visually similar to one in the database. But it doesn't have to be any where near an "exact" same photo, to come up with a match.

    PhotoDNA developed by Microsoft around 2009 does this. 


    And interestingly, cited under "History" in the link ....... 

    >In 2016, Hany Farid proposed that the technology could be used to stem the spread of terror-related imagery, but little interest was initially shown by social media companies.[21] In December 2016, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft announced plans to use PhotoDNA to tackle extremist content such as terrorist recruitment videos or violent terrorist imagery,[22] which was done e.g. to automatically remove al-Qaeda videos.[23]<

    Also interesting is that the software can detect a hash of a photo spliced into a video. Which means that a video you might receive, might look harmless but can get you in trouble if there's just one frame of that video, which you can't see when playing the video, is a hash of a photo in the NCMEC database. 
  • Epic CEO Tim Sweeney grilled on platform agreements, V-Bucks

    omasou said:
    If these quotes are even remotely correct. How in the world is this guy a CEO of any company?

    So consoles hardware is sold at a loss therefore they deserve a 30% commission rate but Apple makes a profit selling hardware so they do not? Really? Do you seriously think someone who has gone to college, law school and had the experience to become a judge is stupid enough to buy that line of reasoning? Please!
    Here's a more expanded version of what Sweeney actually said in court, about consoles selling at a loss. 

    >During his testimony, Sweeney said Epic does pay commissions to other platform owners such as Sony Group Corp's PlayStation and Microsoft Corp's Xbox but explained that those hardware makers use fees from developers to subsidize the further development of their hardware.

    Judge Gonzalez Rogers also asked her first direct questions of the trial during Sweeney's testimony, inquiring whether Apple's original iPhones from 2007 and 2008 were sophisticated enough to run Epic's video games. Sweeney said they were not.

    “So Apple did have to do something to the iPhone itself in order for it to be sophisticated enough to play your software? How is that any different than consoles?” she asked.

    Sweeney responded that the hardware development was similar, but the two devices had different business models.<


    Just because games console makers adapted the "give away the razor and sell the blades" business model, doesn't mean that they are losing money on the sale of game consoles. It has been proven many times over, that this is a very profitable business model. I'm willing to bet that a game console in it's lifetime, generate much, much more profit for the makers (from the sales of games), than an iPhone in its lifetime, generate for Apple, from the sale of apps. 
  • Steve Wozniak sued over alleged 'Woz U' copyright infringement

    DAalseth said:
    IANAL so I don't know the ins and outs of these things.
    But hasn't Wozniak been doing all sorts of tech educational things over the decades? Then how would this be infringement? Sounds more like one of many initiatives Wozniak has done.
    The guy says his idea was for it to use Wozniak's name, but it's Wozniak's name. How can he sue Wozniak for infringing on the use of his own name? Woz should have the copyright on his own name.
    Ok so there was an attempt to start this sort of thing, but it died ten years ago. Doing something similar a decade later infringes on a completely defunct and moribund idea how?
    Sounds like if this guy really thought he had a case he should have sued Wozniak a decade ago for breach of contract. It just seems like  he thinks that because the deal fell apart a decade ago he has first refusal rights on anything similar Wozniak ever does for the rest of his life. 
    Or am I misreading this?
    The copyright yes, but not the trademark. Even if your real name is "Ronald McDonald", you could not open a diner and call it "McDonalds". Not even if all you serve was sushi. 

    To me, it sounds like this guy only got a contract that Woz would get paid (or compensated in some other way) for endorsing the institute that this guy was to set up. Woz was to have nothing to do with its set up. Kind of like how celebrities would lend their names to products they had nothing to do with, other than getting paid for endorsing it. If this guy never set up his "Woz School of Technology" then it's not on Woz, as his agreement only pertains to the use of his name and an endorsement. 

    Sound like this guy only suit would pertain to trademark infringement, providing he trademarked "Woz School of Technology". If not, then he's out of luck. And even if he did trademarked the name, it would be hard to prove that consumers would confuse "Woz U" with "Woz School of Technology", when no one ever heard of 'Woz School of Technology" because it never existed. Which to me, this was why he set up a mock website using that name. And then was told to take it down by Woz team. Most likely  because he was not paying Woz for the use of his name.  

    In order to retain a trademark, one has to be using it or marketing a product or service with that trademark. This was how Cisco lost their trademark to "iPhone". Even though Apple and Cisco came to some sort of agreement over the trademark, Cisco probably knew they would not win, when they sued Apple for trademark infringement.

    https://macdailynews.com/2007/01/12/experts_cisco_lost_rights_to_iphone_trademark_last_year/comment-page-2/  ;
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  • North Dakota Senate debates breaking Apple's App Store monopoly

    danvm said:
    MplsP said:
    JWSC said:
    Putting aside the merits of this legislation, questionable though they may be, I’m not sure this can be done at the state level.  Interstate commerce remains the realm of the federal Government.

    It would be enlightening to know who is behind this legislative push.  As Deepthroat would have said, “Follow the money.”
    My thoughts exactly. The other question is why an xbox console is any different from a phone, other than some legislator got a campaign donation from Microsoft.
    There are a few differences.  For example, a console is not a general purpose device, as an iPhone / iPad.  Second, as today, console users are not forced to use the app store, neither the app store payment system.  They can purchase a physical or digital game from a retailer, like Amazon or Walmart.
    As of today, with a Live account, an X-Box One game console has a browser and can surf the internet. A X-Box One can send and receive eMail. An X-box One can control Smart home devices like a thermostat and cameras. An X-Box One can listen to PodCast. And X-Box One can  access and search You Tube. One can use Skype and video chat, for free. Add a keyboard and mouse to an X-Box One and it will support Office 365 and Zoom. Since the X-Box 360, with a Live account, one can buy and rent movies and stream it to a TV.  One can stream Spotify or Pandora with an X-Box. Even while playing a game. 

    You must be thinking of the game consoles that only plays games on a cartridge or disc. That must have been over 10 years ago.  With an online account, a game console is much, much more than for only playing games. They are as "general purpose" as an iiPad.  And all the apps that allows an X-Box to be more of a general purpose device can only be downloaded through Microsoft.

    Don't fall for Epic B.S. that game consoles are vastly different than mobile devices because they are only for playing games and therefore it's okay for Epic to pay them the 30% "tax", for access to game consoles customers and not Apple for access to their iDevice customers. Sweeney is clueless. Don't be like Sweeney.  He thinks it only cost Apple 2-3% to process CC payments through iTunes and it's the only thing the 30% "tax" pays for. 



    It doesn't matter if X-Box users are not forced to use the Microsoft Store in their X-Box to get contents into it, all contents for an X-Box must go through Microsoft and Microsoft will get paid for it. What? You think a developer can go to Walmart or Amazon and ask them to sell and distribute their X-Box software that is on a physical disc and they are able to bypass paying Microsoft and without a developer license from Microsoft? Get Real. 
  • Epic Games to hold 'FreeFortnite Cup' as part of anti-Apple campaign


    Apple has defended its decision, saying it "won't make an exception" for Epic to skirt App Store rules. The tech giant promises to terminate Epic's developer account and cut off its access to iOS and Mac development tools, a move that would prohibit Epic from updating the Unreal Engine on which many iOS and Mac games are built. Epic this week requested a temporary restraining order to stop Apple from following through with its threat.
    Once again, that is not entirely accurate. Most news site are only reporting what Epic is saying. And epic is lying or at the very least, not telling the whole truth. And its doing as much as possible to paint Apple as the only bad guy in all this. Very few sites are reporting what is actually happening.

    Epic is claiming that Apple will be terminating their developer license over their App Store violation of linking to an outside source to buy Fortnite V-bucks at a discount. Plus that Apple is retaliating against them for no other reasons. All Apple did for this violation was to ban Fortnite from the Apple App Store. As did Google from their Play Store.

    The threat of terminating Epic developer license stems from other violations that Apple discovered, after Fortnite was already banned.

    In a letter they sent to Epic, which few sites publishes or even mention, Apple gave the reasons for their action in terminating Epic developer license and the letter was not about Epic violating the Apple App Store agreement by including an outside link to buy V-bucks at a discount with-in the Fortnite app.

    this from macrumor     https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/apple-threatens-to-terminate-epic-games-developer-accounts-on-august-28.2250375/

    The letter Apple sent reads .....

    >Upon further review of the activity associated with your Apple Developer Program membership, we have identified several violations of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement. Therefore, your Apple Developer Program account will be terminated if the violations set forth below are not cured within 14 days. [...]

    If your membership is terminated, you may no longer submit apps to the App Store, and your apps still available for distribution will be removed. You will also lose access to the following programs, technologies, and capabilities:

    - All Apple software, SDKs, APIs, and developer tools
    - Pre-release versions of iOS, iPad OS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS
    - Pre-release versions of beta tools such as Reality Composer, Create ML, Apple Configurator, etc.
    - Notarization service for macOS apps
    - App Store Connect platform and support (for example, assistance with account transition, password reset, app name issues)
    - TestFlight
    - Access to provisioning portal for certificate generation, and provisioning profile generation
    - Ability to enable Apple services in-app (i.e. Apple Pay, CloudKit, PassKit, Music Kit, HomeKit, Push Notifications, Siri Shortcuts, Sign in with Apple, kernel extensions, FairPlay Streaming)
    - Access to Apple-issued keys for connecting to services such as MusicKit, DeviceCheck, APNs, CloudKit, Wallet
    - Access to Developer ID signing certificates and Kernel Extension signing certificates 
    - Developer Technical Support
    - Participation in Universal App Quick Start Program, including the right to use the Developer Transition Kit (which must be returned to Apple)
    - Engineering efforts to improve hardware and software performance of Unreal Engine on Mac and iOS hardware; optimize Unreal Engine on the Mac for creative workflows, virtual sets and their CI/Build Systems; and adoption and support of ARKit features and future VR features into Unreal Engine by their XR team

    We hope that you are able to cure your breaches of the Apple Program License Agreement and continue to participate in the program. <

    i have yet to see a site that has what the letter listed as the violations that Apple stated Epic must correct. Of course, maybe bringing a suit against Apple, might be a violation of the Apple developer license agreement that can get you license revoked. 

  • Google, Microsoft cease six-year truce on legal disputes

    Microsoft is NOT exempt. They currently have a $2 trillion market cap. Congress is proposing a $600 billion market cap for the various measures that could be introduced. Companies under the cap can continue with the status quo while companies over the cap will face potential restrictions. 
    Microsoft might not be completely exempt, but if this article is to be believe, it seems clear that special treatment was given to Microsoft to exclude them from these Big Tech anti-trust bills, as much as possible.


    >Microsoft’s diversionary tactics were called into question last week during markup of a package of sweeping antitrust bills designed to rein in Big Tech. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., claimed on the House floor that an early draft of the bills that would have covered Microsoft was rewritten to have the company carved out. Original versions of the draft bills, he pointed out, defined “online platform” as including “operating systems” while the amended versions that were introduced and approved define “online platform” to only include “mobile operating systems.” 

    This would mean Windows is not a covered platform under the bills. Earlier drafts also included a much lower total of monthly active users (500,000) to be a target of the bill, but it was raised to 50 million, which would exclude Microsoft’s Xbox videogame console. (The bills target companies based on the definition of a “covered platform” with 50 million MAUs or 100,000 monthly active business users run by a company with a market cap of more than $600 billion.)<

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  • Stutter charity calls out Apple for 'stammering' emoji gaffe

    crowley said:
    The Germans call it a haube (actually motorhaube, but they do insist on compounding everything) which translates to hat or bonnet, but definitely not hood.  And since they invented the car, that seals it for me
    Actually, it does translate to that. The "hood" or "bonnet" or "haube" in an automobile refers to the covering over the engine and not the engine compartment. Originally it was the covering that protected the driver from the heat of radiator in front of them.  


    1. a covering for the head and neck with an opening for the face, typically forming part of a coat or sweatshirt.

    2. a thing resembling a hood in shape or use.

    In other words .... a "hat". 

    But Benz first automobile designs had the engine in the back or under the driver seat. There were no "motorhaube" to speak of in Benz first designs of his automobiles. 

    It was Panhard-Levassor in France, that moved the engine to the front (several years after Benz first automobiles) and thus requiring a covering over the radiator to protect the driver. This covering is what is referred to as the "bonnet", "motohaube" or "hood". And they all translate to about the same thing ..... a "hat". 


    >Panhard-Levassor made vehicles with a pedal-operated clutch, a chain transmission leading to a change-speed gearbox, and a front radiator. Levassor was the first designer to move the engine to the front of the car and use a rear-wheel-drive layout. This design was known as the Systeme Panhard and quickly became the standard for all cars because it gave a better balance and improved steering. Panhard and Levassor are also credited with the invention of the modern transmission — installed in their 1895 Panhard.<

    So far, this research was much more interesting and educational, than learning about "stutter" and stammer". 
  • Judge so far 'not convinced' on Epic's antitrust stance in 'Fortnite' battle

    • "Epic's lawyers say that Xbox cannot be played on a bus, therefore should not be considered the same market as iOS platforms"

    This one statement alone shows Epic hasn't a clue as to what constitute a "market". So does Epic think that desktop computers are a different market than laptops, just because one can use a laptop on a bus. Users of both are in the same market when it comes to developing software for computers. It doesn't matter if they are on Windows, OS X, Chrome or any variety of Linux or Unix.

    Game developers developing games for IOS is no different that them developing games for the X-Box, PlayStation, Switch or computer platforms. The hardware shouldn't make a difference in determining the "market." Even Epic admitted that only 10% of Fortnight players are using IOS. That leaves 90% of the "market" on the other platforms, from which Epic can develop games for. How does that make devices on the iOS platform a monopoly, as far as Epic is concern?