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Nab an iPhone with Fortnite installed — for, um, $5,000 – CNET




You can’t download Fornite from Apple’s App Store, but you can buy it on eBay.


Ever since Apple banned Fortnite battle royale from its App Store, you can’t play the game on an iPhone or iPad if you didn’t download it previously. Unless, that is, you buy someone else’s phone that has it installed — for, say, a cool 5,000 smackers.

“Please help me get rid of Fortnite!!!!!!” Lorena Nacari wrote with a joking wink on her eBay listing for her son’s Product Red iPhone XR with 64GB, which she says has a copy of Fortnite installed. She placed the opening suggested bid at $5,000. There aren’t any bids so far, and the listing expires Sunday afternoon. Any winner has to pay $3.95 standard shipping. “My son agreed to it if we get a sufficient bid,” she said.

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The eBay listing, earlier reported by Business Insider, marks a predictable, if not silly, example of the impact that two companies squabbling over money can have on their customers. 

Epic’s Fortnite is one of the most popular games in the world. Its simple yet addictive design, which pits 100 people in a last-man-standing battle royale, has captivated more than 250 million users, including children such as Nacari’s son. Just like millions of others, he presumably likes to dress up his avatar with goofy accessories and costumes, acquiring those virtual goodies by paying for in-game money called V-Bucks.


For $5,000 you’ll get Fortnite back on an iPhone. Don’t forget to pay for shipping though.

eBay; Lorena Nacari

Until last week, whenever iPhone and iPad owners bought V-Bucks through the app on their device, Apple would take up to a 30% cut from Epic’s sale price as a standard commission it charges app developers. On Aug. 13, Epic staged a dramatic protest, lowering V-Buck prices 20% across the board, except for on mobile phones and tablets. There, if people wanted to buy, they had to pay more. Epic also inserted code into Fortnite allowing users to pay the company directly, circumventing Apple’s commission and thus getting a lower price as well.

Both Apple and Google kicked Epic out of their respective app stores, saying the company violated agreements that insist all in-app purchases go through their commission systems. Epic said it’s fighting to push prices lower, and it sued both Apple and Google to further make its point.

The corporate argument over money has wide implications for the future of app development on Apple’s and Google’s services. But it’s also left a lot of Epic fans with no recourse while these three companies fight their legal battle royale. Except, of course, for eBay. Nacari’s listing isn’t the only one.

Most of the 166 eBay listings on Wednesday admitted that their phones were scuffed or scratched, and many were for older phones, like 2016’s iPhone 7, 2017’s iPhone 8 or 2018’s iPhone XR. Some of the more reasonably priced older iPhones went for around $500, though their “Buy it Now” prices were often $1,000 or more. 

One of the more hopeful sellers is offering a “mint condition” 64GB iPhone X with Fortnite installed for $10,000, not including $9.60 expedited shipping. The iPhone cost $999 when it was released in 2017, and it currently goes for roughly $400 for a refurbished device. “Fortnite is now gone from the App Store and may never return,” the seller wrote.

Nacari, who lives in Miami, set up her $5,000 listing mostly as a joke along with her son. She professed to a lighthearted love-hate relationship with Fortnite and said her favorite game to play with her son is actually Pokemon Go, because it gets them walking around outside while chasing the game’s monsters.

If someone does bite and buy the phone, Nacari said, some of the money will go toward replacing the laptop her son accidentally damaged, as well as toward a new phone for him. And probably some V-Bucks too.

“I will never understand why dressing up your avatar costs $20,” she said. “It’s his favorite thing to do — buying these weird looking shirts. Where is this shirt? I want a real one that I can wash and fold!”

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Apple’s Battle Royale With Epic Games About to Start for Real – Bloomberg



The legal fight between Apple Inc. and Epic Games Inc. kicks into full gear on Monday with decisions that will influence the future of app stores in the U.S. and how the world’s largest technology platforms make money from developers.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers will decide whether to force Apple to let battle royale video game Fortnite back into the App Store with Epic’s in-house payment option. She will also rule if Apple can block third-party apps using Epic’s Unreal Engine development software.

Most legal experts expect the judge to extend her temporary injunction for Unreal Engine, but not reinstate Fortnite in the Apple App Store.

“Epic faces an uphill battle,” said Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School. “Apple’s pricing policies are problematic, and antitrust law should probably do something about it. But courts are very reluctant to dictate who a company, even a monopolist, has to do business with.”


Character actors from the Epic Games Inc. Fortnite video game dance during the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

The decisions will have far-reaching consequences especially as authorities across the globe examine whether tech giants including Apple and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have broken antitrust rules. On Monday, the judge will consider if Epic is likely to succeed on the merits of its antitrust claims and whether the company will suffer irreparable harm if she doesn’t issue an injunction.

At stake is Apple and Google’s ability to charge fees of up to 30% to developers using their app stores. Consumers spent $50 billion worldwide on the App Store and Google Play in the first half of 2020, according to Sensor Tower estimates. That generates billions of dollars in highly profitable revenue for the companies. Some developers deride this an unfair and unwarranted tax. Epic and its Founder Tim Sweeney have led the backlash this year.

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Tim Sweeney, CEO and founder of Epic Games

Photographer: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Google may change its policies if the Fortnite case ends up favoring Apple, said Lewis Ward, an analyst at researcher IDC. No matter the outcome, Epic has gained a lot of goodwill among gamers and other developers.

“In the larger court of public opinion, in the U.S., my sense is that Epic is generally viewed as the good guy here, and Apple is viewed as the bad guy,” Ward said.

“It has raised the profile of Epic from an already well-respected game company to one that has a philosophy or a vision of where the games industry should go over time,” Ward added. “That vision is one that is more aligned with how the internet began, which was open and free and cheap.”

Read more: Epic’s Battle With Apple and Google Has Roots in the Pac-Man Era

The impact on Epic’s business so far has been “fairly negligible,” said Doug Clinton, co-founder at Loup ventures — tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue. While players can no longer download Fortnite on their Apple devices, many of them have simply shifted their playing to consoles and PCs. Fortnite climbed SuperData’s rankings of top-grossing titles among console games in August, reaching third place. It ranked sixth in July, before the legal spat between Epic and Apple began.

Financially, Apple doesn’t have much to lose by kicking Fortnite out. The company has taken in about $350 million in revenue from Fortnite since the game launched on the iPhone in 2018, according to Sensor Tower data. Apple pulled in sales of more than $250 billion in its latest fiscal year.

Read more: Spotify, Match Launch Coalition to Protest App Store Rules

If the court forces Apple to keep distributing Unreal Engine, that could be positive for the iPhone maker. The decision would let other games that use the tools continue distributing their software via Apple’s platform, resulting in a 30% cut for each sale or in-app purchase. However, Apple argues that the continued distribution of Unreal Engine by what it considers to be a rogue developer could harm consumer security.

There are broader risks for Apple from the case, though. If Epic continues to paint Apple as the bad guy to younger iPhone and iPad owners who play Fortnite, that could twist the perception of these users toward Apple as a whole. If Epic wins key decisions, that would make it more difficult for Apple to impose its App Store payment system on other developers, curbing a high-margin source of revenue.

The lawsuit might also spur Apple to continue tweaking its store. While the company isn’t budging on its 30% cut, it has loosened some restrictions recently, letting a small handful of apps avoid the fee.

Read more: Apple Loosens App Store Rules a Bit After Developer Backlash

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    How to Find Latitude and Longitude Coordinates Using Google Maps – How-To Geek



    As one of the most powerful mapping tools available, Google Maps has a number of features designed to help you pinpoint your location. If you want to know your exact position, you can pull up your GPS coordinates in Google Maps.

    You can get coordinates on all platforms, including the Google Maps website, as well as the Google Maps app for Android, iPhone, and iPad.

    Use the Google Maps Website to Find Coordinates

    You can easily find the GPS coordinates (showing the latitude and longitude) for a location using the Google Maps website. These steps work for Maps in any web browser, not just Google Chrome.

    To do this, search for a location in the search bar at the top of the Google Maps website, or use your mouse to zoom in on a location on the visible map. Once you’ve nailed down a location, right-click it to bring up an additional options menu.

    From the pop-up menu, select the “What’s Here?” option.

    Right-click a location in Google Maps, then press "What's here?" to view the coordinates.

    The button will bring up a small location box at the bottom of the page. You’ll see a series of numbers under the location.

    The coordinates for Buckingham Palace, London, shown on the Google Maps website

    These are your GPS coordinates, shown as decimal degrees. If you wanted to search for this location in Google Maps again, you could search for these coordinates in the search bar.

    Google Maps would then display the location for you to find more information about, or to help you create a custom map showing directions and other areas of interest around it.

    RELATED: How to Create a Custom Map in Google Maps

    Use the Google Maps Mobile App to Find Coordinates

    You can also use the Google Maps mobile app for Android, iPhone, and iPad to locate the exact GPS coordinates for any location worldwide. The steps for Android and Apple users are similar, but the iPhone and iPad have an additional step to follow.

    To find GPS coordinates, open the Google Maps app on your smartphone or tablet. You can use the search bar to find a general location or use the map view to locate it manually.

    If you’re using the map view, you’ll need to long-touch and select an unmarked location until a red pin appears.

    The coordinates will be displayed in the Google Maps for Android search bar when you drop a pin.

    The GPS coordinates for the Welsh Parliament, UK in the Google Maps app on Android.

    You’ll need to tap the “Dropped Pin” box at the bottom of the Google Maps app for iPhone and iPad.

    This screen appears after you’ve dropped a red pin onto the map view.

    Tap the "Dropped Pin" box after dropping a red pin in Google Maps on iPhone or iPad.

    Tapping “Dropped Pin” will bring up an information menu with the location address, as well as options to save or find directions to the location.

    The coordinates for the location will be listed under the address at the bottom of the menu.

    The coordinates for the Welsh Parliament, UK, as shown in the Google Maps app on iPhone.

    RELATED: How to View and Delete Your Google Maps History on Android and iPhone

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    Coronavirus: Third of tests in England 'not linked' to new NHS app, developers suggest – Sky News



    The developers of the new NHS coronavirus tracing app have admitted that more than 60,000 tests carried out in England yesterday – just under a third of the total – cannot be linked to its systems.

    The admission appears to undermine the central role of the software, which is to warn people when they have come into contact with anyone who subsequently tests positive.

    The long-awaited NHS coronavirus contact-tracing app launched on Thursday across England and Wales.

    This was the NHS app response to the issue, raised by a user on Twitter

    However, in a response to a tweet by a user who said they had been tested but could not upload the result because they had not received a code, the app’s developers said it is not linked to test results processed in a Public Health England lab or NHS hospital.

    “If your test took place in a Public Health England lab or NHS hospital, or as part of national surveillance testing conducted by the Office for National Statistics, test results cannot currently be linked with the app whether they’re positive or negative,” they wrote.

    Official government figures show a total of 210,275 people were tested in England on Friday, including 61,481 in hospitals and PHE labs (Pillar 1) and 148,894 in testing centres (Pillar 2).

    The admission on the app’s official Twitter account means the results of just under a third (29%) of the tests carried out a day after the app went live could not be linked.

    More from Covid-19

    A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We are urgently working to enable positive tests for people who aren’t already given a code to be added to the COVID-19 app.

    “NHS Test and Trace will continue to contact people by text, email or phone if your test is positive advising you to self-isolate and for those who don’t have a code, the contact tracers will shortly be able to provide codes to insert in the app.

    “If you book your test via the app the results will be automatically recorded in the app and the isolation countdown will be updated.”

    Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth questioned the issue on social media.

    The shadow health secretary tweeted: “We all want to see this app succeed. We’ve encouraged people to download it.

    “But have they really launched an app that doesn’t actually link to tests carried out by NHS hospital labs & PHE labs instead only including tests carried out via the outsourced lighthouse lab network??”

    The Welsh government pointed out that Public Health Wales results can be processed and urged people to continue using the app.

    Posting on Twitter, Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething urged people “shouting” that the app is “useless” to “please calm down”.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock has called the new mobile phone app an “important step forward” in the UK’s fight against COVID-19.

    The app includes a link to enter a code which people receive via email or text message from the testing service if they have tested positive for COVID-19.

    It asks users to self-isolate for 14 days if it detects they were in close proximity to someone with coronavirus.

    Those who are tested in a NHS hospital, PHE lab or under one of the surveillance studies, including the ONS, and test positive are currently contacted by NHS Test and Trace contact tracers by text, phone or email.

    Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery, former chair of the ethics advisory board for the first edition of the app, said: “This is clearly a glitch. I imagine it won’t be that difficult to sort out, and the focus is on making sure the system is integrated.

    “If they book the tests with the system they can feed them back into the app, clearly we haven’t yet got it right in terms of the other parts of the testing system being able to feed in and we would expect that to be sorted pretty quickly.”

    Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran told Sky News: “How on earth can we trust this government with our data with a test-trace isolate system that is meant to be the key to unlocking this country through this pandemic and keeping us all safe, when the very basics of the information that are meant to be given to this app, we find out over a tweet? It is just bizarre.”

    A person on the NHS coronavirus contact tracing app, which Isle of Wight residents have been getting their hands on, as the island plays the role of guinea pig to the technology which is hoped to enable at least a partial return to normal life.

    Is long-awaited test and trace app up to the job?

    Sky’s political correspondent Rob Powell said: “This could be a fairly serious blow to what was touted obviously by the prime minister as a world-beating test and trace system.

    “To add insult to injury, this appears to be an England-only issue.”

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