Judge blocks Apple from retaliating against Unreal Engine, Fortnite to remain off App Store

Elva Mankin

A federal judge on Friday granted Epic Games’ petition to prohibit any action by Apple against the Unreal Engine, but denied the game maker’s bid to reinstate Fortnite to the App Store.

In her ruling, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers granted in part and denied in part Epic’s preliminary injunction that sought to both protect an affiliate developer account that maintains the Unreal Engine and force Apple to restore Fortnite after it was pulled for implementing a rule-breaking direct payment option.

The ruling cements an earlier decision from August and ensures the current state of affairs remains unchanged throughout a pending bench trial.

Following an initial attempt to return Fortnite to the App Store, Epic launched a second legal effort in September. During in-court hearings, Gonzales Rogers was largely unpersuaded to take early action by either party. She noted a heavy burden fell on Epic to prove Apple’s

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Google Meet is getting breakout rooms, but only for some education customers to start

Elva Mankin

Google’s Meet videoconferencing service is getting breakout rooms, but they’ll only be available to G Suite Enterprise for Education customers at first, according to a Google blog post (via 9to5Google). With the feature, teachers and educators will be able to break their classes into smaller groups for things like projects or focused discussions.

Google will let you make up to 100 breakout rooms in a single call. Once you’ve decided how many breakout rooms you want, Google will randomly group up the people on the call into rooms, but moderators can manually add people to other rooms if they want. Meeting moderators can also hop between rooms to check in on groups.

If breakout rooms are something you might want to try out, but you aren’t an Enterprise for Education customer, you might be able to use them sometime soon — the feature will be coming to other G

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Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield: Remote Work Will Not Magically End

Elva Mankin

Slack chief executive Stewart Butterfield knew the world was changing the night of March 11, right around when Tom Hanks announced from Australia that he had contracted Covid-19. The NBA postponed its season, and President Trump suspended travel to the United States. Butterfield’s team had already been working virtually for a week–something that came fairly naturally to the business-communications-tool startup.

Seven months later, Slack still is fully remote. Butterfield has had the same jarring experience so many executives and knowledge-workers have had going into his company’s near-empty headquarters. “It was pretty strange to be in there,” he said, of the nearly vacant 230,000 square-foot office at 500 Howard Street in San Francisco–one of 16 offices the company has in 10 countries. “A little depressing, to be honest.”

The visit got him thinking about the role of an office beyond the pandemic. Sure, it’s a place for meetings. It’s advertising, marketing,

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FIFA 21 Is Limping Toward Retirement

Elva Mankin

The world might be strange and confusing, but there are still some things you can rely on. Every autumn, a chill comes into the air, the leaves begin to change color, and EA releases a new edition of FIFA, the all-conquering soccer simulation franchise.

WIRED UK

This story originally appeared on WIRED UK.

FIFA 21 arrives at a slightly odd moment for world soccer, which has been devoid of fans for more than six months in most countries. In fact, for some broadcasters, the piped in crowd noise they’re using to mimic the presence of real fans actually comes from the video game—which is one way of making sure your simulation sounds like the real thing.

In other ways, though, the game feels further from real soccer than it has in a while—particularly at the top level, where Video Assistant Referees have fundamentally changed the way goals are scored and

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Yelp Will Add Racist Behavior Tags to Business Pages

Elva Mankin

Illustration for article titled Yelp Will Now Advise Customers When a Business Is Racist Enough to Land in the News

Screenshot: Yelp

Yelp will now warn customers that they’re looking at a “business accused of racist behavior”—just so long as it’s been racist enough to warrant a mention in the news.

The review platform announced in a blog post Thursday that it will place an alert on a business page when a business “gains public attention” such as a news article documenting “egregious, racist actions from a business owner or employee, such as using overtly racist language or symbols.” Previously, Yelp implemented a “Public Attention Alert” feature that informed visitors that a business may be at the center of a controversy involving racism, but that alert didn’t specify whether the business was the source of the bigoted behavior or the target.

“As the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism, we’ve seen in the last few months that there is a clear need to warn consumers about

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Epic judge permanently restrains Apple from blocking Unreal Engine, but won’t force Fortnite

Elva Mankin

Fortnite won’t be coming back to the App Store any time soon. On Friday, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers refused to grant Epic Games a preliminary injunction against Apple that would force the game developer to reinstate Fortnite on the App Store, while simultaneously granting an injunction that keeps Apple from retaliating against the Unreal Engine, which Epic also owns (PDF). In other words, we now have a permanent version of the temporary restraining order ruling from last month.

That means the state of affairs, in which Epic is banned from publishing new games on iOS and cannot distribute Fortnite on the App Store in its current form, will remain in place for the length of the trial — unless Epic decides to remove its own in-app payment mechanism that initiated the bitter legal feud in August. Rogers had previously suggested a jury trial might be appropriate as soon as next

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Should you still buy it?

Elva Mankin

google pixel 4 xl long term review 2

Google has an impressive knack of creating polarizing products. The Pixel series is no different. These are phones that have been lavished with critical praise as much as they’ve received scorn for lacking fundamental features you’d expect from a modern smartphone. 2019’s Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL exemplified this love-hate relationship many have with Pixel phones.

Me? I love Google phones, warts and all — have done ever since the Nexus 4. The winning combo of pure Android software and innovative (even when doomed) features has been a cornerstone of the Nexus/Pixel lineage and that continued with the Pixel 4 XL.

With the newly revealed Pixel 5, Google is looking to right some of the wrongs of its predecessor. But is the Pixel 4 XL still worth buying a year later, or should the most divisive Pixel to date be consigned to the history books?

$599 .00

Google Pixel

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Apple’s 5G iPhone Will Need to Be More Than 5G

Elva Mankin

Apple Inc.


AAPL 1.74%

is master of the upsell, but 5G might present the company with its biggest challenge yet.

The tech giant has scheduled an event for Oct. 13, when it is widely expected to unveil this year’s iPhone lineup. As is typical, the company has said nothing about its plans for what would be the 20th iteration of its iconic smartphone, not counting large-screen variants of the same models. But leaks and supplier reports all have confirmed that the next-generation 5G wireless standard will be included in at least some of this year’s designs, and Apple itself dubbed the event “Hi, Speed” on its announcement.

Nearly all of the company’s competitors—including the largest,

Samsung

—already have 5G phones on the market. But most of the world’s 5G action has been taking place in China, which accounted for more than three-quarters of 5G device shipments in the second quarter,

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Amazon One uses your palm to approve store purchases

Elva Mankin

Amazon is putting contactless payments in the palm of your hand. No, seriously. Today, the company has revealed Amazon One, a service that uses your unique palm signature to authenticate purchases and let you into gated locations, such as offices, gyms and stadiums. For now, palm reading is restricted to two Amazon Go stores — the type that doesn’t require you to interact with a cashier or self-service checkout — in Seattle. You’ll need to ‘enroll’ on your first visit by inserting your credit card and following the scanner’s on-screen instructions. Once your card and palm have been paired, you’ll able to enter the Seattle stores simply by holding your hand above the device “for about a second or so,” according to a blog post.

For now, it feels like a pilot. Amazon has big plans for the technology, though. The company says it will “start” in select Amazon Go

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Kepler launches first internally produced satellites

Elva Mankin

WASHINGTON — Canadian startup Kepler Communications launched Sept. 28 the first two satellites built in its own facility as the company ramps up its plans to deploy a constellation for data and Internet of Things services.

The two six-unit XL cubesats, known as Kepler-4 and Kepler-5 but nicknamed Antilles and Amidala, were among the 15 smallsat secondary payloads brokered by Exolaunch that launched on a Soyuz-2.1b from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 7:20 a.m. Eastern. The primary payload for the launch was a trio of Gonets satellites for the Russian government.

The two Kepler satellites are the first “GEN1” satellites for the company after the launch of three prototypes, two in 2018 and the third Sept. 2 on a Vega dedicated rideshare mission. The three prototypes were built in cooperation with AAC Clyde Space.

The new GEN1 satellites, however, were built by Kepler at a satellite manufacturing facility

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