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Elon Musk Chastises Apple for 30% App Store Fees

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Elon Musk Chastises Apple for 30% App Store Fees

Elon Musk slammed Apple in a series of tweets o Twitter on Monday over its 30% App Store fees, providing Spotify and Epic Games with a powerful ally in their battle against the tech giant.

Elon Musk chastised Apple for charging software developers a fee for in-app purchases and posted a meme implying he was willing to “go to war” rather than pay the levy.

Musk also claimed that Apple had threatened to remove Twitter from its app store, though he did not elaborate.

Spotify has filed antitrust complaints against Apple in Europe, and Epic Games planned to sue Apple in the United States in 2020.

Musk, who purchased Twitter last month, has announced plans to charge users $8 per month to become verified on the social media platform to increase profitability and avoid bankruptcy. A 30% reduction would be a significant blow to those plans.

After Spotify filed an antitrust case against Apple in 2019, the European Commission has been investigating whether Apple’s rules for app developers violate its rules.

If found guilty of violating EU antitrust rules, Apple faces a fine of up to 10% of its global revenue.

Apple is “playing a dangerous game,” according to Luke Suddards, an analyst at investment insights firm Finimize, by threatening to remove Twitter from its App Store.

“If Twitter is suspended, another lawsuit could be filed. Elon Musk used the courts effectively during his Twitter acquisition, and it would not be surprising if he used the same strategy now.”

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Apple vs. Epic Games

Epic Games asked a three-judge U.S. federal appeals panel earlier this month to overturn portions of a lower court antitrust ruling that favored Apple and its App Store payment business.

Apple previously stated that the commissions it receives help it fund app reviews to ensure consumers are not exposed to fraudulent, pornographic, or privacy-invading apps.

“Apple continues to disadvantage competitors, with significant consequences for consumers, app developers, and, most recently, authors and publishers. Nothing will change unless policymakers take action. “Last month, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek posted on Twitter.

Musk, who was in the process of purchasing Twitter at the time, responded to Ek’s post with “concerning.”

However, some analysts are concerned that going to war with Apple will drive more users away from Twitter.

“While Musk seeks to rekindle the ongoing feud between Apple and developers, all of this negativity will drive Twitter users away,” said Paolo Pescatore, an analyst with PP Foresight.

“People are not going to abandon their iPhones… They are used to signing up for various social services but only use one phone at a time, “He stated.

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Apple threat to yank Twitter from App Store

In a series of tweets on Monday, Elon Musk accused Apple of threatening to block Twitter Inc from its app store without explaining why. He also claimed that the iPhone maker had stopped advertising on social media.

The billionaire CEO of Twitter and Tesla claimed that Apple was putting pressure on Twitter over content moderation requirements.

Apple has not confirmed the action, but it would not be unusual given that the company has routinely enforced its rules and previously removed apps such as Gab and Parler.

Apple restored Parler, popular among US conservatives, in 2021 after the app updated its content and moderation practices, the companies said at the time.

“Apple has largely discontinued advertising on Twitter. Do Americans despise free speech? “Musk, who purchased Twitter for $44 billion last month, stated in a tweet.

In a subsequent tweet, he tagged Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Twitter account, asking, “what’s going on here?”

Apple did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

“It wasn’t clear to me how far up the Apple food chain that idea went internally,” Randal Picker, a law professor at the University of Chicago, said.

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Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter.

According to ad measurement firm Pathmatics, the world’s most valuable company spent an estimated $131,600 on Twitter ads between Nov. 10 and Nov. 16, down from $220,800 between Oct. 16 and Oct. 22, the week before Musk closed the Twitter deal.

According to an internal Twitter document, Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter in the first quarter of 2022, spending $48 million and accounting for more than 4% of total revenue for the period.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report from Reuters.

The up to 30% fee Apple charges software developers for in-app purchases was among Musk’s list of grievances, with Musk posting a meme suggesting he was willing to “go to war” with Apple rather than pay the commission.

The fee has drawn criticism and lawsuits from companies such as Epic Games, the creators of ‘Fortnite,’ as well as the attention of regulators worldwide.

The commission may consider Musk’s efforts to increase subscription revenue at Twitter, partly to compensate for the exodus of advertisers due to content moderation concerns.

Since the acquisition, companies ranging from General Mills Inc (GIS.N) to luxury automaker Audi of America have stopped or paused advertising on Twitter, and Musk stated earlier this month that the company had seen a “massive” drop in revenue.

Ad sales generate roughly 90% of Twitter’s revenue.

The self-described free speech absolutist, whose company has reinstated several Twitter accounts, including that of former US President Donald Trump, in recent days, has blamed activist groups for putting pressure on advertisers.

According to Ben Bajarin, the head of consumer technologies at research firm Creative Strategies, Musk may be reading too much into a routine process Apple uses for app review.

“App review from Apple is not perfect by any means, and it is a consistently frustrating process for developers,” he said. “However, from what I hear, it is a two-way conversation.”

Elon Musk to Grants Amnesty to Suspended Accounts

Twitter to Grant “Amnesty” to Suspended Accounts


Sony Is Once Again Facing A Potential Security Breach, This Time By A Ransomware Group

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Once more, Sony faces the possibility of a security breach, this time from a ransomware group alleging to have compromised PlayStation systems. On Sunday, the group LAPSUS$ proclaimed the alleged hack on their dark website. This could have significant implications for PlayStation users, although details remain scant.

According to the ransomware group, they have compromised all Sony systems and seized valuable information, including game source code and firmware. As “proof,” they have provided screen captures of what appears to be an internal login page, PowerPoint presentation, and file directory.

However, according to cybersecurity specialists, this information could be more convincing. Cyber Security Connect stated, “None of it appears to be particularly compelling information.” They suspect that LAPSUS$ may have exaggerated the scope of their breach.

Based on the limited data available, it is extremely difficult to determine the scope or integrity of the hackers’ claims. PlayStation’s online services do not appear to have been impacted so far, with no word if user data is at risk.


Sony Is Once Again Facing A Potential Security Breach, This Time By A Ransomware Group.

Not for the first time have Sony’s systems been targeted. In 2011, the PlayStation Network was compromised, exposing the personal information of 77 million users. Sony ultimately locked down PSN for nearly a month to improve security.

In 2014, North Korea launched a devastating cyberattack against Sony Pictures in retaliation for the film The Interview. The release of terabytes of sensitive data, including scripts for upcoming films and employees’ personal and medical information. Time will tell if Sony can once again recover its systems from a significant cyberattack. However, PlayStation users may need to prepare for potential consequences.

If LAPSUS$’s claims are accurate, this breach could have comparable repercussions. There is a possibility that sensitive source code and intellectual property could be compromised. There is also the possibility of significant PlayStation Network service disruptions. As with any hack, we recommend that users alter any passwords used on any PlayStation service to avoid problems with other online accounts.

CGMagazine has sought out Sony for comment, but at the time of publication, the company has neither confirmed nor denied the breach’s scope; we will update the article if the situation changes.

SOURCE – (cgmagonline)

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Amazon Is Investing Up To $4 Billion In AI Startup Anthropic In Growing Tech Battle

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Amazon is investing up to $4 billion in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic and acquiring a minority stake in the company, the two companies announced on Monday.

The investment underscores how Big Tech companies are pouring money into AI as they race to capitalize on the opportunities that the latest iteration of the technology is set to fuel.

According to Amazon and Anthropic, the agreement is part of a larger collaboration to develop so-called foundation models, which are the basis for the generative AI systems that have garnered worldwide attention.

Foundation models, also known as large language models, are trained on vast online information pools, such as blog posts, digital books, scientific articles, and pop songs, to generate text, images, and videos that resemble human labor.


Amazon Is Investing Up To $4 Billion In AI Startup Anthropic In Growing Tech Battle.

Under the terms of the agreement, Anthropic will use Amazon as its primary cloud computing service and train and deploy its generative AI systems using Amazon’s custom processors.

Anthropic, based in San Francisco, was founded by former employees of OpenAI, the creator of the ChatGPT AI chatbot that made a global impact with its ability to generate responses that resembled human responses.

Anthropic has released Claude, its own ChatGPT competitor. The most recent version, available in the United States and the United Kingdom, can “sophisticated dialogue, creative content generation, complex reasoning, and detailed instruction,” according to the company.

Amazon is racing to catch up to competitors such as Microsoft, which invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019 and another multibillion-dollar investment at the beginning of the year.

Amazon has been releasing new services to keep up with the AI arms race, such as an update to its popular assistant Alexa that enables users to have more human-like conversations and AI-generated summaries of consumer product reviews.


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Photo Giant Getty Took A Leading AI Image-Maker To Court. Now It’s Also Embracing The Technology

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Anyone seeking a gorgeous photograph of a desert landscape will find various options in the Getty Images stock photography collection.

But suppose you’re searching for a wide-angle image of a “hot pink plastic saguaro cactus with large, protruding arms, surrounded by sand, in a landscape at dawn.” According to Getty Images, you can now request that its AI-powered image generator create one on the spot.

The Seattle-based company employs a two-pronged strategy to address the threat and opportunity of artificial intelligence to its business. First, it filed a lawsuit against a prominent provider of AI-generated images earlier this year for what it claimed was a “stunning” violation of Getty’s image collection.

But on Monday, it joined the small but expanding market of AI image creators with a new service that enables its customers to create novel images trained on Getty’s vast library of human-made photographs.

According to Getty Images CEO Craig Peters, the distinction is that this new service is “commercially viable” for business clients and “wasn’t trained on the open internet with stolen imagery.”

He compared this to some pioneers in AI-generated imagery, such as OpenAI’s DALL-E, Midjourney, and Stability AI, the creator of Stable Diffusion.

“We have issues with those services, how they were built, what they were built upon, how they respect creator rights or not, and how they actually feed into deepfakes and other things like that,” Peters said in an interview.


Anyone seeking a gorgeous photograph of a desert landscape will find various options in the Getty Images stock photography collection.

In a lawsuit filed early this year in a Delaware federal court, Getty alleged that London-based Stability AI copied without permission more than 12 million photographs from its collection, along with captions and metadata, “as part of its efforts to build a competing business.”

Getty asserted in its lawsuit that it is entitled to damages of up to $150,000 per infringed work, which could reach $1.8 trillion. Stability seeks dismissal or transfer of the case but has not formally responded to the underlying allegations. Similar to the situation in the United Kingdom, a court conflict is still brewing.

Peters stated that the new service, dubbed Generative AI by Getty Images, resulted from a long-standing partnership with California-based tech company and chipmaker Nvidia, which predated the legal challenges against Stability AI. It is based on Edify, an AI model created by Picasso, a division of Nvidia’s generative AI division.

It promises “full indemnification for commercial use” and is intended to eliminate the intellectual property risks that have made businesses hesitant to use generative AI tools.

Getty contributors will also be compensated for having their images included in the training set, which will be incorporated into their royalty obligations so that the company is “actually sharing the revenue with them over time rather than paying a one-time fee or not paying that,” according to Peters.


Anyone seeking a gorgeous photograph of a desert landscape will find various options in the Getty Images stock photography collection.

Getty will compete with rivals such as Shutterstock, which has partnered with OpenAI’s DALL-E, and software company Adobe, which has developed its own AI image-generator Firefly, for brands seeking marketing materials and other creative imagery. It is unlikely to appeal to those seeking photojournalism or editorial content, where Getty competes with news organizations such as The Associated Press.

Peters stated that the new model cannot produce politically damaging “deepfake” images because it automatically blocks requests containing images of recognizable persons and brands. As an illustration, he entered “President Joe Biden on a surfboard” as a demonstration to an AP reporter, but the tool rejected the request.

“The positive news about this generative engine is that it cannot cause the Pentagon to be attacked. “It cannot generate the pope wearing Balenciaga,” he said, referring to a widely shared fake image of Pope Francis wearing a fashionable puffer jacket generated by artificial intelligence.

Peters added that AI-generated content will not be added to Getty Images’ content libraries, reserved for “real people in real places doing real things.”


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