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Apple vs. Epic Games: Tech Giants’ battle for Fortnite

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Fortnite

Apple revealed earlier today that it won’t allow Epic games to join its App Store until the two companies come to an agreement to “play by the same rules as everyone else,” following a prohibition of re-releasing Fortnite for iOS in South Korea.

In August, a South Korean bill was passed forbidding search engine giant Google and Apple from preventing developers from installing built-in payment systems. From its part, Fortnite’s parent company, Epic Games, has previously requested from Apple to “reinstate its developer account so that it could re-release the iOS version of Fortnite in South Korea,” according to The Verge.

However, the smartphone giant is clear about having no legitimate commitments whatsoever regarding Epic games.

“As we’ve said all along, we would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else,” an Apple spokesperson told The Verge. “Epic has admitted to breaching of contract and as of now, there’s no legitimate basis for the reinstatement of their developer account.”

The South Korean legislation has not yet been passed and enacted. But, if it ever does, Apple won’t have any responsibility to approve developer accounts, according to the tech giant itself.

Until Epic agrees to work according to Apple’s review guidelines, the iOS developer won’t bat an eye towards the video game and software developers’ requests.

Even with all the back-and-forth Epic games is engaging in with Apple, the video game giant had the time to team up with Radiohead for Kid A Mnesia: Exhibition, an interactive game that’ll be available on PlayStation 5, PC, and Mac during November as part of the band’s upcoming Kid A Mnesia commemorative album release.

According to the British rock band, the Kid A Mnesia: Exhibition for PlayStation will be an “upside-down digital/analog universe created from original artwork and recordings” that will go in unison with the re-release. 

Historically speaking, Epic has been dabbing into interactive musical experiences for the past months. So, users are anticipating some type of ‘metaverse’ experience with Radiohead’s interactive game. However, all official details will be disclosed and released to the public by early November. 

Rim is an experienced content writer with a demonstrated history of working in various niche industries.

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Google illustrations has just upped the tech giant’s game

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Google

If you’re not keen on placing your personal picture on your Google profile, or even if you find it difficult to find a picture that represents who you are, the search giant just found the perfect solution for you. 

Google has recently published a number of images under the name Google Illustrations, providing a wide variety of pictures representing animals, technology, and even space figures. 

“The new library of illustrations indicates that Google is taking a different approach from avatars like Snap’s Bitmoji or Microsoft’s Xbox avatars, which can let you make stylized representations of what you look like,” explained The Verge

Instead, Google illustrations offer different categories of objects and places to use for your avatar. 

Before your serotonin levels spike up, you should note that the illustrations are only available for Android users, according to Google. However, the tech giant is currently “working on” providing the illustrations to iOS users. 

The collection of illustrations available will also witness an expansion soon. In case none of the available avatars suit your liking, check back when Google welcomes more images. 

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Brave launches a non-tracking video call feature

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Brave

Brave Software, a privacy and security-based software firm is welcoming a video conference feature under the name “Brave Talk’, emphasizing a privacy-conscious video chat option embedded into its own browser.

Through clicking on the camera icon or by visiting the page talk.brave.com, users of the Brave browser can enjoy a non-tracking video call option and even invite participants who do not have the particular browser built in their devices.

Brave, which is one of the Chromium-based browsers competing to become an alternative window to the web, is now vying to join the video conferencing space next to platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft teams. However, unlike other video calling apps, Brave is placing privacy as the number one priority.

Founded in 2016, the company prides itself with its privacy-conscious tools. The new non-tracking video call feature uses an open-source called ‘Jitsi as a Service.” Given that the source can be used directly in Brave, users won’t have to install any apps or software that can potentially compromise their devices.

This is the main differentiator between Brave and platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or Skype, who all have the power to monitor your calls.

“Brave Talk users can enable multiple layers of encryption on calls, so an eavesdropper cannot listen in on users’ calls, and our servers don’t save metadata, so calls, images, and activities are never recorded or shared without user consent.” The company explained according to ZDNet.

The Brave Talk feature is offered free of charge for one-on-one video conferences.

The new option also includes video group watch, livestreaming directly from YouTube, and unlimited call times.

However, a paid version does exist, allowing for even more benefits such as team calls with three or more users, having the ability to record calls, mute other users and enter a passcode to join a video call.

The paid version costs $7 a month for all international users, but the Chromium browser-based Brave has plans to launch the free version of Brave Talk for all Android and iOS users.

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NBCU Warns YouTube TV Subscribers Could Be Blacked Out

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YouTube said it has been unable to so far reach a new carriage agreement with NBCUniversal. The current contract expires on 30 September. If no new deal is struck by then, NBCUniversal content, such as Sunday Night Football, Jimmy Fallon or Law and Order SVU, will no longer be carried by Youtube TV.

NBCUniversal is warning YouTube TV subscribers that they are in danger of losing 14 channels from their streaming lineup if Google and NBCUniversal are unable to come to an agreement on carriage agreement terms.

If you are a YouTube TV subscriber, you may lose NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen, SYFY, Telemundo, The Olympic Channel, Universal Kids, Universo, and USA Network.

Google said that if it gets equitable terms, it will renew its agreement with NBCU. Otherwise, subscribers will get a discount for the duration of a blackout, which could begin Thursday.

“If we are unable to reach a deal by Thursday, the NBCU lineup of channels will no longer be available on YouTube TV and we will decrease our monthly price by $10, from $64.99 to $54.99 (while this content remains off our platform),” Google said.

It added: “You can sign up for NBC’s own direct-to-consumer streaming service, Peacock, which they offer for $4.99/month to continue watching NBCU content, such as Sunday Night Football.”

In a statement, NBCU said it is seeking fair rates from Google for YouTube TV.

“Unfortunately, Google is refusing to make a deal at these fair rates and is willing to withhold entertainment, news and sports programming from their paying customers,” NBCU said.

“NBCUniversal feels a responsibility to inform our fans that they are at risk of losing their favorite shows if Google continues with their demands.”

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