Fortnite maker sues Apple after removal of game from App Store

Aug 13, 2020 - 10:00 PM - by Reverend
Apple on Thursday removed popular video game “Fortnite” from its App Store for violating the company’s in-app payment guidelines, prompting developer Epic Games to file a lawsuit against the iPhone maker seeking to end its in-app payment practices.

The move came after Epic Games enabled a direct payment feature on the Fortnite app, which Apple said violated its in-app payment guidelines. Epic filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking no money from Apple but instead an injunction that would end many of Apple’s practices around the App Store, which is the only way to distribute native software onto most iPhones.

“Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation. Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear,” Epic said in its lawsuit.

Apple takes a cut of between 15% and 30% for most app subscriptions and payments made inside apps, though there are some exceptions for companies that already have a credit card on file for iPhone customers if they also offer an in-app payment that would benefit Apple. Analysts believe games are the biggest contributor to spending inside the App Store, which is in turn the largest component of Apple’s $46.3 billion-per-year services segment.

In a statement, Apple said Epic had been removed because it had rolled out the payment feature with the “express intent of violating the App Store guidelines” after having had apps in the store for a decade.

“The fact that their (Epic) business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users,” Apple said in a statement.

Epic’s free-to-play battle-royal videogame “Fortnite” has reached... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 70 Views

Researchers discovered significant vulnerability in Amazon's Alexa

Aug 13, 2020 - 9:54 PM - by Reverend
Researchers at cybersecurity provider Check Point uncovered a flaw in Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant that left owner's personal information vulnerable before it was patched in June.

The researchers detailed the vulnerability in a report released Thursday, saying potential hackers could have hijacked the voice assistant devices using malicious Amazon links.

Once those links were clicked, hackers would be able to install or remove "Skills" — essentially apps — from Alexa devices.

They would also be able to access the user’s voice history with their device as well as personal information as sensitive as banking data and home addresses.

Check Point presented the flaw to Amazon this past June, and the company subsequently fixed the security issues. The online retail giant did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

Experts have long warned about security vulnerabilities present in the internet-enabled devices that are now commonplace in many American homes.

More than 200 million Alexa-enabled devices were sold by the end of 2019, and a vulnerability in those devices could pose serious privacy risks.

“Smart speakers and virtual assistants are so commonplace that it’s easy to overlook just how much personal data they hold, and their role in controlling other smart devices in our homes,” Oded Vanunu, head of products vulnerabilities research at Check Point, said in a statement.

“But hackers see them as entry points into peoples’ lives, giving them the opportunity to access data, eavesdrop on conversations or conduct other malicious actions without the owner being aware.”

Amazon, however, has insisted the devices are safe.

"The security of our devices is a top priority, and we appreciate the work of independent researchers like Check Point who bring potential issues to us," an Amazon... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 67 Views

Twitter Now Lets Any User Block Unwanted Replies to Their Tweets

Aug 13, 2020 - 8:36 AM - by Reverend
Any Twitter user can now block random people from replying to their tweets.

On Tuesday, Twitter made the once experimental “conversation setting” feature available to all users for both mobile and desktop. The company first introduced the function back in May to help stop harassment over the platform. And apparently, Twitter liked the results.

“Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about what's happening when they can choose who can reply,” wrote Twitter’s director of product management Suzanne Xie in a blog post. “We’ve seen people use these settings to have conversations that weren't really possible before.”

By keeping out unwanted replies, users should have an easier time continuing meaningful conversations on the platform, Xie added. You’ll notice the option when you begin penning a tweet. An icon below will let you control the replies to your tweet with three options: everyone can reply, only people you follow, or only people mentioned in the tweet.

“Tweets with the latter two settings will be labeled and the reply icon will be grayed out for people who can’t reply,” Xie said. “(However) people who can’t reply will still be able to view, Retweet, Retweet with Comment, share, and like these Tweets.”

According to Xie, the new conversation setting has been helping users to host interviews and panels on Twitter without interruption. There also hasn't been a major backlash to get around the restriction either.

“These settings prevented an average of three potentially abusive replies while only adding one potentially abusive Retweet with Comment. And, we didn’t see any uptick in unwanted Direct Messages,” she added.

One concern has been whether the feature might create echo chambers on Twitter, or pave the way for censorship. But the company says the Retweet with Comment function ensures people can still weigh in on a controversial tweet even when... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 66 Views

You can now try the macOS Big Sur public beta

Aug 07, 2020 - 9:52 PM - by Reverend
Apple today made the first public beta of macOS Big Sur — version 11 of Apple’s desktop OS — a month after it did so for iOS and iPadOS 14. The update promises an all-new design that blends Apple’s clean modern aesthetic with its skeuomorphic tendencies of old. It also borrows several ideas from iOS, including a Control Center and redesigned Notification Center.

Though the company already released preview versions of the OS for developers, its public betas don’t require special credentials and are generally considered more stable than the more iterative updates developers get to play with.

Getting it on your system is simple: just head on over to Apple’s Beta Software Program page, and sign up to try Big Sur (or any other of the available software updates announced at WWDC). You’ll have to sign in with your Apple ID to access the software, and then select ‘enroll your devices’ to pick which ones will get the beta update.

Keep in mind the public beta is over 12GB, so it’ll take a while to download and you should make sure you have a good buffer before installing the OS. As always, it’s a good idea to make a backup before installing beta software on your primary computer, and though Apple‘s public betas tend to be stable, there’s always a chance things can go amiss. Install at your own risk.

The Next Web
  0 Replies | 202 Views

Intel investigating breach after 20GB of internal documents leak online

Aug 07, 2020 - 9:47 PM - by Reverend
US chipmaker Intel is investigating a security breach after earlier today 20 GB of internal documents, with some marked "confidential" or "restricted secret," were uploaded online on file-sharing site MEGA.

The data was published by Till Kottmann, a Swiss software engineer, who said he received the files from an anonymous hacker who claimed to have breached Intel earlier this year.

Kottmann received the Intel leaks because he manages a very popular Telegram channel where he regularly publishes data that accidentally leaked online from major tech companies through misconfigured Git repositories, cloud servers, and online web portals.

The Swiss engineer said today's leak represents the first part of a multi-part series of Intel-related leaks.

ZDNet reviewed the content of today's files with security researchers who have previously analyzed Intel CPUs in past work, who deemed the leak authentic but didn't want to be named in this article due to ethical concerns of reviewing confidential data, and because of their ongoing relations with Intel.

Per our analysis, the leaked files contained Intel intellectual property respective to the internal design of various chipsets. The files contained technical specs, product guides, and manuals for CPUs dating back to 2016.

None of the leaked files contain sensitive data about Intel customers or employees, based on ZDNet's review. However, the question remains to what else the alleged hacker had access to before stealing and releasing Intel's confidential files.

In an emailed statement sent after this article's publication, Intel denied getting "hacked," disputting Kottmann's claim.

The company suggested that an individual with access to its Resource and Design Center might have downloaded the confidential data without authorization and shared it with the Swiss researcher. The ... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 174 Views

OnePlus Under Fire for Pre-Installing Facebook Services That Can't Be Removed

Aug 07, 2020 - 11:32 AM - by Reverend
OnePlus is facing criticism for pre-installing Facebook apps on its newest smartphones—and apparently the bloatware can’t be fully removed.

The apps can be found on the new OnePlus 8, 8 Pro, and Nord models; all three come with the Facebook App Installer, Facebook App Manager, and Facebook Services as system apps, according to Android Police, which noticed the issue.

The bloatware paves the way for the social media company to install the Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram apps directly on your phone, without going through the Google Play Store. Users can choose to uninstall the apps. But according to OnePlus owners, the Facebook services can’t be removed; they can only be disabled.
SEE ALSO: Hands On With the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Disabling the three Facebook services on a OnePlus phone (Credit: JonnyJaap via OnePlus forum)

Doing so will prevent the services from working in the background. However, small amounts of data can still be sent to Facebook, reported one OnePlus 8 Pro owner who raised the issue in June.

OnePlus confirmed to PCMag the preinstallation is real. “The OnePlus 8 Series and Nord have these apps and services pre-installed. Older phones will not get these apps and services with later updates,” a company spokesperson said.

PC Magazine
  0 Replies | 172 Views

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