It turns out WordPress doesn’t need to add in-app purchases to its iOS app.
“We believe the issue with the WordPress app has been resolved,” Apple said in a statement Saturday. “Since the developer removed the display of their service payment options from the app, it is now a free stand-alone app and does not have to offer in-app purchases. We have informed the developer and apologize for any confusion that we have caused.”
Apple said the WordPress app had originally featured a payment-plans section but didn’t offer in-app payments, violating App Store rules all developers must follow. Apple gets a 30% commission on in-app payments.
Apple’s remarks come after WordPress founding developer Matt Mullenweg tweeted Friday that Apple was going to cut off updates and bug fixes to the open-source software app unless it committed to supporting in-app purchases for WordPress’ payment plans.
Mullenweg said WordPress, the open-source website builder used by around 38% of the internet, agreed on a license when it signed up for and stayed in the App Store. “Open source relies on licenses and copyright,” he tweeted. “I am a big believer in the sanctity of licenses.”
WordPress had agreed to add in-app purchase support within the next 30 days, Mullenweg told CNET in an emailed statement Friday, and was being allowed by Apple to update again.
Mullenweg also tweeted a warning to apps that have similar functionality to WordPress on iOS that don’t offer in-app purchases.
“My guess is they will get similar feedback soon so I’d encourage them to start making [in-app purchase] plans,” Mullenweg said late Friday.
Ranchman's seized memorabilia returning to owners | CTV News – CTV Toronto
The saddles seized by the bank from Ranchman’s closure will find their way back to their rightful owners.
That was the message delivered Friday by realtor Rob Campbell, who is looking for a tenant for Ranchman’s, the iconic Calgary cookhouse on Macleod Trail that shut its doors for good last Saturday.
Last Sunday, Campbell revealed, in an interview with CTV News, that all of the memorabilia inside the club, which belonged to several generations of cowboys, had been seized by the bailiff, despite the fact that all of it was on loan from members of the western rodeo community. Many of those individual were crowned champions and allowed their personal treasures to be put on display inside the bar in exchange for a tab and priority entrance.
“When they called the note, they send in a bailiff and the bailiff comes through and basically puts everything on a list,” said Campbell. “We gave them a list of things we thought would be excluded, but until they got proper backup, legal documentation, everything was seized.”
That meant a treasure trove of rodeo paraphaenalia was taken from the restaurant, he said.
“There’s saddles, there’s buckles, spurs,” he said. “Outfits from rodeo princesses. There’s bronzes.
“All kinds of different things,” he added, “That comprise a mini-museum of rodeo history – and we were lucky to have that (on display in Ranchman’s) for the last 45 years.
“People entrusted these things to us,” he said, “And we felt it was incumbent on us to make sure they got it back.”
The effort was greatly aided by Kahane Law, Campbell said, which lent its legal expertise to the effort, and to the Bank of Montreal, which was willing to hand back the seized saddles.
The heroes, Campbell added, included a former employee named Wendy Daniels, who worked at Ranchman’s for 38 years, and was the person who managed all of the rodeo memorabilia and bar tabs.
She was no longer employed by Ranchman’s at the time the bank foreclosed on the property, Campbell said, but then she heard about the saddle seizure.
“(She) called right away,” Campbell said, “And said, ‘Look, I was a part of bringing these things in and I’ve got to be a part of getting them back to folks.'”
Daniels, Campbell added, has been downstairs in the club – all the saddles are still inside – tracking down family members and letting them know their stuff is safe, and that it will be returned to them.
“She deserves a ton of credit,” Campbell said.
The irony of the saddle seizure, Campbell added, is that all that old western leather isn’t really worth anything – except to the families whose loved ones sweated and strained and sometimes got clobbered over – for years.
“It’s not worth anything if you were to take it to auction,” he said. “You might find a collector who wants to pick up a piece here and there, but it’s not worth a lot of money.
“It’s worth everything,” he added, “To cowboys and cowgirls that earned it.”
Ring’s Traffic Stop feature is about bringing more accountability to policing – The Verge
On Thursday, Ring, the home security subsidiary of Amazon, released a new dashcam embedded with a novel feature called “Traffic Stop” that could help bring more accountability to policing. That could be a powerful thing, especially as tens of millions of people have poured onto the streets in cities across the country to demonstrate against systemic racism, white supremacy, and police brutality. It could also be a privacy nightmare.
The Ring Car Cam, which will cost $199, has two cameras: one pointed out the front windshield and one that points toward the car’s interior. The camera can send alerts whenever an event such as a break-in, towing, or accident is detected, and owners can tap into the cameras’ feeds to see what’s happening. The Car Cam relies on either Wi-Fi or LTE for connectivity.
But the most interesting feature is Traffic Stop. All a driver needs to do is say “Alexa, I’m being pulled over” to trigger the cameras to start recording and save their footage to the cloud. At the same time, a notification will be sent to a list of emergency contacts specified by the user during initial setup, informing them of the traffic stop.
Essentially, what Ring has created is a tool for “traffic stop counter-surveillance,” said Elizabeth Joh, a professor of law at UC-Davis and an expert on policing, technology, and surveillance.
“In policing, technology is all about power,” Joh told The Verge. “Redistributing that power can be an important means of police accountability.”
There’s nothing particularly new about using dashcams as a means of recording traffic stops, but the novelty of Ring’s Traffic Stop feature is that it automates the process, Joh said.
“We’ve always been able to pull out our phones… and try to record it,” she said. “But by embedding it in the landscape of our cars, by simply just saying ‘I’ve been pulled over,’ makes that recording much more likely.”
That’s especially meaningful when you consider that police body cameras can be unreliable, hard to obtain, or subjective in what they capture. “Easily recording a traffic stop from a driver’s perspective is going to be able, in theory, to give us an important part of what’s happening in these encounters that sometimes go badly wrong,” Joh added.
And if people are willing to share the footage from their traffic stop with academic researchers, that can be incredibly useful for better understanding excessive force and police violence during traffic stops.
But there are also privacy implications. After all, it’s a camera that sits on your dashboard and sends video, audio, and perhaps GPS information to the cloud. Passengers in vehicles equipped with the Ring Car Cam may not be able to consent to being filmed before the device starts recording. And Ring as a company has been criticized for sharing data with police departments without informing their customers.
“What if the prompt is used for bad purposes?” Joh asks. “Say you’re not actually being pulled over or someone just wants to record you. And if the traffic stop video has embarrassing information, it’s in the cloud.”
She added, “There are good questions about who has access to that information. And I’m not just talking about the police, but somebody who works at Ring. Do they just get to watch it?” (A spokesperson for the company did not respond to a request for comment.)
Ring has said the most important thing about the Car Cam is access to the footage. While many dashcams include a removable SD card, Ring’s camera automatically uploads the footage to the cloud, giving customers more immediate access to what was recorded.
“The most important thing in these situations is to make sure that you have the video and so we’ll be streaming the video from the Car Cam to the cloud in real time,” Ring’s head of mobile products, Nathan Ackerman, told CNET.
As for who else should have access to that footage, Ring is still working through those questions. “We’re working through some of the ins and outs of exactly when the [emergency contacts] get notified, whether they can jump in and view the live stream or if it’ll be available after the fact,” Ackerman said.
These will be important questions for Ring to answer, especially if it hopes to win over people who are aware of the company’s controversial partnerships with police departments.
“I think for privacy-minded and civil liberties-minded consumers, they’re going to be really skeptical about whether or not Ring has some other purpose or agenda in mind in making this video capturing really easy,” Joh said. “But maybe that’s beside the point, because if Ring doesn’t do it, I think it was inevitable that another technology company was going to do it.”
The 4 reasons Ring thinks you’ll trust its flying camera
At first glance, it’s a tough ask: allow Amazon-owned Ring to fly a mini drone carrying a camera around your house, all in the name of security. Ring Always Home Cam was undoubtedly the weirdest of the announcements at yesterday’s big Amazon Fall hardware event, but while it may seem like an Onion gag the security firm insists it’s headed to your living room in 2021.
Reactions were, as you could probably expect, mixed. Some people instantly loved the idea of a camera that wasn’t limited to the traditional pan, tilt, and zoom we’re familiar with from existing security systems, instead being able to move the lens to where it’s actually needed.
Others, though, weren’t so convinced. After all, the prospect of an extension of Amazon’s AI taking flight around your home requires a fair degree of trust, and there are plenty of people who aren’t all that comfortable at the thought of cohabiting with a fixed connected camera. Ask Ring, though, and there are four good reasons why you shouldn’t’ be worried about Ring Always Home Cam.
You tell Ring Always Home Cam where to fly
Although we’ve seen drones get increasingly smart, and develop autopilot systems, Ring’s flying camera errs on the dumber side – and that’s by design. Although it has features like obstacle avoidance, to stop it from colliding with unexpected objects, the actual flight plan is all preset. Indeed, you set that up when you first take the Ring Always Home Cam out of the box.
Each flight path is established from day one. So, if you don’t want the camera to go into your bathroom or bedroom, you can make sure they’re off-limits.
You’ll always hear Ring Always Home Cam coming
If you do find yourself in a room where the flying camera can roam, you shouldn’t ever be surprised by it. “We even designed Always Home Cam to hum at a certain volume,” Ring explains, “so it’s clear the camera is in motion and is recording. This is privacy you can hear.”
Drones generally aren’t quiet things when in operation: after all, having multiple rotors, even little ones, make some noise. If anything, the flying camera is undoubtedly more easily spotted when it’s in action compared to a traditional, fixed camera. They usually only have an LED to show they’re active.
Ring Always Home Cam can’t be piloted manually
Should the flying camera spot something while you’re not home, you’ll be notified in the Ring app. What you can’t do, however, is log in remotely and pilot the Ring Always Home Cam using manual controls. Unlike a traditional remote-control drone, there’s no way to manually operate it.
Again, that’s by design. “It cannot be manually controlled,” Ring points out, “ensuring that it will only record and see what is important to you.” Of course, that also means that you’ll want to think carefully about where you do set up the preset flight paths, since the camera won’t be able to stray from those areas.
When Ring Always Home Cam lands, it’s blind
Adding to the “you’ll always know when it’s recording” reassurance is the nature of the drone camera’s dock. When the Ring Always Home Cam lands, the camera isn’t just switched off, it’s fully enclosed. “The device rests in the base and the camera is physically blocked when docked,” Ring explains. “The camera will only start recording when the device leaves the base and starts flying via one of the preset paths.”
Even if someone could hack it to turn on while it was landed, all they’d be able to see would be the dark insides of the docking station itself. To change that, it would have to take off, and then you’d hear it. Plus, Ring is delivering end-to-end encryption later this year to further minimize the potential for unwanted app intruders.
Clearly, there’s still some way to go before the idea of a $250 flying security camera is palatable to everyone. As ideas go, however, Ring’s design is a little less creepy than it might first sound. Whether that will translate to actual sales when the Ring Always Home Cam takes flight next year remains to be seen.
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