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Apple loses appeal in Fortnite court battle

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Australia’s Federal Court has weighed in on the drama between Apple and Fortnight

The top court has determined that Fortnite can sue Apple in Australia for illegally wielding control over its iPhones and iPads.

Epic Games originally sued Apple in November 2020, alleging Apple’s tight control of its App Store amounted to breaches of Australian Consumer Law and the Competition and Consumer Act.

Epic Games claimed that this was all because Apple illegally “forces Epic (and other app developers) to only use Apple’s App Store to distribute its software applications and to only use Apple’s payment platform for purchases of their in-app content by iOS device users”.

Epic takes on Apple in the US

Because the games company had also sued Apple in the United States for much the same thing, Apple successfully argued in April that the Federal Court lawsuit in Australia should be stopped, in favour of the presented in the United States.

Epic appealed that ruling, arguing the public policy issues surrounding Apple’s App Store were more important than jurisdictional issues. On Friday the Full Federal Court, which heard the appeal, found in Epic’s favour.

“Epic Games is pleased that our case will proceed with the Federal Court and be examined in the context of Australian laws,”

the company said in a statement.

As part of its long-running enquiry into the power of major tech organisations, the ACCC is investigating whether Apple and Google are abusing the stranglehold they have over the distribution of apps, at the expense of competition.

Author

  • Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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Business

T-Mobile confirms shutdown of Sprint’s LTE network

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America’s T-Mobile has revealed its takeover of Sprint Mobile, and confirmed the shutdown of the Sprint LTE network

T Mobile has committed to a June 30, 20-22 shutdown date of Sprint’s LTE network.

It’s an expected move as T-Mobile continues to absorb Sprint’s network and customers into its own base.

T-Mobile says that “most” Sprint LTE and 5G devices can work with its LTE or 5G network. It adds that those devices “will continue to operate on T-Mobile’s LTE and 5G networks,” so long as those Sprint users upgrade from Sprint-issued SIM cards to ones from T-Mobile. You will also need to make sure that Voice over LTE (also known as VoLTE) is enabled for voice calls. 

The carrier adds that it will be contacting those who might be impacted by the switch, stating that it already “began sending notifications late last year.”  

A third of Sprint customers have already been moved onto the T-Mobile network.

Author

  • Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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Business

American Airlines Now Offers Free Inflight Access to TikTok

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Free TikTok has arrived on flights operated by American Airlines

Passengers will be able to use the app for up to 30 minutes for free, which gives them time to watch at least ten of the new, longer TikToks.

The move to make TikTok available to travelers comes as airlines are trying to reignite the sector which has been hit hard by COVID.

Customers will be able to log into their TikTok accounts by enabling airplane mode, connecting to the “AA-Inflight” signal, and selecting the TikTok ad for the free access in the Wi-Fi portal. For those who do not have an account on the platform, American Airlines is also allowing travelers to download the app inflight, free of charge.

“Faster Wi-Fi allows us to deliver diverse inflight entertainment options and invest in innovative partnerships with platforms like TikTok,”

AA Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience and Onboard Products Clarissa Sebastian said in the statement.

“Customers play the lead role in helping us better understand what content they want during their inflight experience and TikTok is one of the platforms they love on the ground.”

At this time, it’s unknown whether TikTok will remain a permanent inflight option, as the addition is “promotional” in nature.

Author

  • Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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Global Politics

Researchers reveal China’s huge network of fake social media profiles

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A new study has revealed that China is using a network of fake social media profiles to push pro-China rhetoric and discredit opponents

Researchers have uncovered a sprawling network of over 350 fake social media profiles China’s using to push a pro-China rhetoric.

According to the Centre for Information Resilience (CIR) report, the network’s goal is to delegitimise the West and improve China’s international perception.

Fake users in the network shared large amounts of content about issues like gun laws and race politics. The fake users also used the accounts to criticise opponents to the regime.

The study found a network of fake profiles circulating political cartoons

The cartoons negatively depict critics such as exiled Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui, whistleblower scientist Li-Meng Yang, and Steve Bannon, former political strategist for Donald Trump.

China has accused all of them for spreading disinformation including incorrect information about Covid-19.

The network also used the accounts to highlight human rights concerns in the US. Some of the posts cited the murder of George Floyd and hate crimes against Asians.

Cartoon depicting Steve Bannon as a demon, 'Yan Limeng' with a forked tongue and Guo Wengui with a tail and holding an American flag.

China’s multi-platform fake social network

The accounts are across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

Some of the accounts use entirely fake AI-generated profile pictures, whereas bots appear to have hijacked some other accounts.

There’s not concrete evidence that links the network to the Chinese government other than speculation from experts. The CIR says the network resembles other networks Twitter and Facebook have taken down previously.

Who are the fake users?

The researchers found most of the fake profiles use AI-generated faces. A reverse image source cannot search for these images.

The CIR says fake profile pictures in disinformation campaigns are becoming more common. It was able to identify fake images by lining up the position of their eyes.

They say that fake images always tend to put eyes in the same location of an image. Other signs of a synthetic image include blurred hair edges, strangely-angled teeth, and blurred objects around the face.

China responds with campaign against misinformation

This comes as China launches a campaign against fake news to ‘cleanse the cyberspace’ of ‘fake or harmful’ information and unlicensed citizen journalists.

The campaign is a joint effort with ten regulatory agencies, which plan on hitting Chinese social media platforms like WeChat and Douyin.

Some of the accounts denied human right abuses in Xinjiang

Some of the fake profiles also denied any human rights abuses against Muslim people in the Xinjiang region. One post called the allegations, “lies fabricated by the United States and the West”.

Many of the Facebook accounts appear to have Turkish names. The researchers believe these accounts once belonged to real people before being hijacked or sold.

The network also appears to have hijacked some dormant accounts on Youtube which previously posted in English or German. After being dormant for years, these accounts suddenly started posting Chinese content from official state broadcasters.

Author

  • Keira is the front-page editor at Ticker NEWS. She's previously worked at Reuters in Jakarta, and ABC in Australia. She has a Bachelor of Journalism, specialising in international politics. Keira is particularly interested in writing about politics, technology and human rights.

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