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Apple developers can challenge App Store rules – Engadget

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In a lengthy post about its new developer technologies, Apple has announced changes to the App Store review process that might have been triggered by the Hey email app controversy. The tech giant said developers won’t only be able to appeal its decision in case their app violates an App Store guideline — they’ll also be able to challenge the guideline itself. Further, Apple will no longer delay bug fix rollouts over guideline violations for applications that are already available on the App Store. Developers will be given the chance to address their violations in their next submission instead.

If you’ll recall, Apple and Basecamp locked horns over the past week over the latter’s “Hey” multi-platform email service. The email app needs a subscription that costs at least $99 a year to work, and the developer designed it so that customers will have to pay on the web instead of within the app itself. That didn’t sit well with Apple, which takes a 15 to 30 percent commission on all in-app purchases and paid apps. When Basecamp tried to submit a bug fix, Apple refused to publish it. It cited an App Store guideline in its rejection letter, which states:

“If you want to unlock features or functionality within your app, you must use in-app purchase. Your app requires customers to purchase content, subscriptions, or features outside of the app, but those items are not available as in-app purchases within the app as required by the App Store Review Guidelines…”

Apple SVP Phil Schiller told TechCrunch in an interview that the Hey iOS app was approved in error and that the Mac app was rejected from the get-go. He also said that the tech giant wasn’t considering any rule changes to accommodate Basecamp, but things have clearly changed since then.

Basecamp CEO Jason Fried responded to Schiller and Apple in an open letter, explaining that his real issue with Apple’s App Store payment policies isn’t the money itself but “the absence of choice and how Apple forcibly inserts themselves between [the] company and [its] customer.” David Heinemeier Hansson, Basecamp co-founder and CTO, also publicly proclaimed that the company won’t give in to Apple’s demands. Apple eventually relented and re-approved the app after Basecamp tweaked it so that it offers iOS users a free 14-day trial.

The newly announced changes to the way Apple deals with guideline issues will be implemented sometime this summer. Apple didn’t elaborate on how the process will work exactly, though, and how it will determine whether a complaint warrants a change in its App Store rules.

Catch up on all the latest news from WWDC 2020!

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The PS5’s Potential Price Is Being Floated In A New Marketing Survey – Forbes

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While neither Sony nor Microsoft have announced the prices for the PS5 or Xbox Series X yet, despite the fact that in any other year with E3, that would have already happened, they may not even know what it is themselves yet.

That is evidenced by the fact that Sony (though probably also Microsoft) is still doing market research about what the price should be. And it may give us some insight into what the price may end up being in the end.

This comes from redditor u/youessbee (sent in by reader JellyBelly) who is a frequent taker of surveys like this for extra cash. The Nielsen survey asks about two “randomly generated” potential prices for the PS5, £349 for the disc-drive one and the digital-only edition at £259.

So, pound to US dollar conversion would be:

£349 = $435

£259 = $323

So yes, that is absurdly cheap, though the survey-taker says that when they see prices in this sort of survey, that usually the final product ends up being 20% more expensive. So that would leave us with

Disc-drive PS5: $522

Digital-only PS5: $387

That sounds more “reasonable” and yet coming in under $400, even for the digital version, does seem rather low, and I would not expect that to happen. Given that this is a marketing survey, they are likely surveying all the possible range of prices just so they can have data like “95% of survey participants say they would be ‘very interested’ in a PS5 at $387” even if that doesn’t end up being financially possible.

I think the thing I am most curious about is the wide gap in prices between the disc-drive PS4 and the digital-only PS4. A gap that almost seems too wide to me to be realistic. While I would expect at least a $50 disparity between the two, the gap here is $135. Again, that seems high, but could the gap be say, $100? If so, that would be kind of a gamechanger.

We don’t know if Microsoft will have a disc-free version of the Series X. If they do, it would likely be secondary, lower-spec console Xbox Lockhart lacking a disc drive to become even cheaper, in addition to its other power sacrifices like no 4K gameplay. But if Sony could manage to get the digital-only PS5 down to $400 or so, that would be a huge deal.

Again, this is all just market research, but it does give at least a glimpse into the window of Sony’s thought process here.

So, what’s the price you would pay for each type of console?

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Two top Ubisoft execs leave during sexual harassment probe – CTV News

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MONTREAL —
Two top executives from one of the world’s largest gaming companies have left the firm during an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and abuse.

Last month, French company Ubisoft — whose products include Assassin’s Creed — launched an investigation after allegations of sexual assault and harassment were shared online.

CEO Yves Guillemot wrote in a message to the company’s 18,000 employees late Friday that Maxime Beland, vice-president of editorial in Toronto, had resigned.

“We continue to investigate the allegations made against him,” Guillemot added, without specifying the allegations.

Tommy Francois, vice-president of editorial and creative services based in Paris, was placed on disciplinary leave “pending the outcome of an investigation,” Guillemot said in the message seen by AFP.

Another unnamed employee in the Toronto studio has been dismissed for “engaging in behaviors that do not align with what is expected of Ubisoft employees,” he said.

“Other investigations are ongoing and will be conducted rigorously.”

“We cannot tolerate workplace misconduct and will continue taking disciplinary actions against anyone who engages in harassment, discrimination and other behaviors that infringe on our Code of Fair Conduct.”

Ubisoft is the latest player in the gaming industry to be the target of harassment accusations.

In June, current and former employees used social media recently to denounce predatory behaviour by powerful managers.

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Gmail users flooded with spam messages, company says issue fixed – CanIndia News

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San Francisco, July 5 (IANS) Gmail users around the world were complaining about spam messages flooding their inbox over the weekend as the Google service was apparently suffering from a widespread problem with its email filters.

Several Gmail users took to Twitter and other social media platforms like reddit to convey they were being bombarded with spam messages.

Google acknowledged the problem to Forbes, saying the spam flaw was actually part of a bigger issue which caused Gmail emails to be delayed, both when sent and received.

The consequence of this was “some messages were delayed enough that they resulted in delivery without all spam checks completing”.

Google said that “during this time, scans to filter malware and the most egregious spam and harmful content remained fully operational”.

The issue was first reported by Android Police.

“Why did the gmail spam filters break?!” posted one user.

“Did gmail’s spam filter and category function just completely shut down for anyone else? Everything’s now going straight to the primary inbox,” commented another.

Google said the issue has now been resolved.

Another user posted: “It is a strangely comforting thing that I can just search for ‘gmail’ and immediately Twitter provides me with evidence that yes, others are getting weirdly hit with spam right now”.

–IANS

na/

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