* Posts by DS999

1945 posts • joined 9 Jun 2020

tz database community up in arms over proposals to merge certain time zones

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Is the database really that big

Because modern routers have UIs designed for ordinary people to use them. If Linksys or whoever is selling a router with parental controls so you can keep your kids off the internet after 10pm, the typical person is going to expect that to mean 10pm where they live, not 10pm in Greenwich.

And as you say thermostats, smart TVs, home alarm systems, or heck in fridges these days. The need for embedded systems to understand time zones is only increasing as more and more devices become "smart" (whether needed or not)

But unless they need to refer to times in the past (before they were first sold) they could use a much more streamlined tz datafile.

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Re: Is the database really that big

For embedded systems maybe they could create a make option that specifies a time horizon - i.e. "make EPOCH=2020" and it doesn't include any data prior to the year 2020.

For an embedded system like a wireless router that never has reason to reference to times earlier than when it goes on sale, that would seem a reasonable thing.

Texas cops sue Tesla claiming 'systematic fraud' in Autopilot after Model X ploughed into two parked police cars

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Re: Drunk driving is illegal and dangerous

useless to sue the guy who is likely skint

Never heard of a broke guy owning a car that sells for nearly $100K

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Telsa's requiring "Full self driving beta" customers sign an NDA

They can't talk to the press, or give people rides. Telling them they should be careful what they post on social media, making sure not to post things that could be read the wrong way.

Tesla knows exactly how bad their system is, they just hope that with enough real world data and enough other people who pay for their mistakes they can get it working well enough before the regulators catch up with them. Basically it is a race to see if their system can stop injuring and killing people before the government reins them in, giving them an advantage over those who are proceeding more prudently.

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Yes it is Tesla's fault

They are marketing a system that drives the car without requiring a driver pay attention, or even remain awake. Other systems like GM's Supercruise have cameras that check the driver's eyes to make sure he's paying attention. Tesla doesn't even require your hands on the wheel, it only complains after 30 seconds and is easy to defeat - and Tesla knows it is easy to defeat but does nothing to address that.

That's even besides calling their systems "Autopilot" and "Full self driving" when they are neither.

It isn't Tesla's fault someone tries to drive their car drunk, anymore than it is Ford's fault or Toyota's fault. It is Tesla's fault they make it possible for a drunk driver to let the car drive them using a system that is not even alpha quality and has had many reported incidents of the same sort of thing (crashing into stopped cars / stopped emergency vehicles)

Given that the car didn't even try to slow down for two cop cars with emergency lights going, I wonder if the driver was even awake when this happened? I mean, in my younger stupider days I drove drunk sometimes, and one thing I can say for sure is if I saw cop cars with their lights flashing up ahead I would have double checked to make sure I was driving the speed limit, given them a wide berth, and prayed whoever they pulled over was worth their full attention!

One-size-fits-all chargers? What a great idea! Of course Apple would hate it

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Re: If they are worried about charger waste

Like I said, people who complained about Apple switching from the older connector to Lightning didn't give a damn about their investment in $3 cables. They were worried about their investments in devices they docked to that cost hundreds.

If the Qi standard was replaced by something else so existing wireless charging units, and thus Apple's Magsafe chargers that use Qi, became obsolete, people aren't going to be too worried about it.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Apple Cars

Tesla have their own standard because they were the first widely marketed electric car. They are going along with the standards in future models, because Tesla owners want to be able to charge in all public charging locations not just Tesla locations that are an ever smaller percentage of the total as more cars go electric.

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Re: Shock

How many improvements would there be?

Well mini/micro USB to USB-C, for one. If the EU had made this law when it was first discussed, the phone you buy today would have a mini-USB port and not USB-C. Sure, once USB-C had been around a few years there would have been people saying "the EU needs to update its law to standardize on a newer port" but there would also have been many people saying "the existing standard is good enough, it would be too disruptive to change now" and inaction would rule the day.

I mean, do you really trust an organization that has been discussing this law FOR A DECADE to quickly react to changes in technology?

DS999 Silver badge

Re: They already do. Have for decades

Unless someone dies in a fire they don't care if a company is putting the CE or UL marking on products that haven't been approved. Even then if the authorities force eBay/Amazon to drop them they'll just return a few weeks later under a new brand name.

This is why if I have to buy any sort of product where this matters I'll pay a bit extra to at least get a brand name I've heard of before. I suppose that doesn't guarantee that e.g. Anker isn't relabeling cheap Chinese crap, but at least they have more to lose by relabeling dangerously cheap Chinese crap!

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Re: Apple Cars

It won't be feasible for any company to have nonstandard electric car chargers in the future, at least not if they plan for their customers to ever use public charging stations.

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Stop

Re: In a statement, a spokesperson for Apple told The Reg

I've never encountered a device where AA or AAA batteries don't fit...

DS999 Silver badge

Why would you ever throw away a charger?

If it stops working sure, but otherwise they're going to end up in a drawer somewhere unless you go all Marie Condo on your spare consumer electronics knick knacks.

I probably accumulated 7 or 8 chargers from iPhone purchases alone, and more from various other purchases, and I'm pretty sure I've never thrown any of them out. Not saying it is all that much better for the environment to make chargers that end up in a drawer somewhere rather than a landfill, but that's why the EU banning the shipment of 'Yet Another USB Power Adapter' is the smartest thing about this.

However, their claim that not including chargers will save consumers money is the kind of wishful thinking only a bureaucrat could engage in! The companies that are trying to shave every last penny off the BOM have already quit shipping chargers, the holdouts who are forced to do so to comply with EU law obviously don't feel a lot of pricing pressure and thus won't pass along any discount from that savings.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: If they are worried about charger waste

That would render useless all the third party gear like speaker docks and other stuff that rely on the phone having a Lightning connector. Remember all the whining and gnashing of teeth when Apple announced it was switching from their old 30 pin dock connector to Lightning? That wasn't because people were worried about having to replace their $3 charging cables, it was because some of them had spent hundreds on speaker docks, car docks, and numerous other things that would no longer be compatible with the new iPhones. A USB-C to Lightning dongle isn't going to fly for most of them.

The reason they have been able to switch to USB-C on the iPad with little or no complaint is that the docks are designed for phones not tablets, so they got no pushback there.

Obviously they can't keep using Lightning forever, but I've said for years Apple will never ship a phone with a USB-C connector. When Lightning goes away, it won't be replaced. They'll ship phones with the Magsafe to USB-C cable instead of the Lightning to USB-C cable, and rely on BT, wifi or UWB for data transfer (depending on what data is being transferred and to what) They will take the same heat from people who have Lightning based accessories, but at least once they go portless people will know it will be the last such transition.

I doubt the EU is contemplating a law that would require smartphones to have a physical charging port, but it is the EU so I guess we can't rule that out lol

DS999 Silver badge

Re: If they are worried about charger waste

Hardly that much of a money spinner. Apple sells magsafe chargers for the iPhone for $39. They would likely include that with the iPhone instead of the Lightning cable when they make the switch, so they'd only make money from people who decide they need more than one (and buy from Apple rather than the inevitable clones for half price from companies like Anker)

if someone wants to go with the pads they sell those for more, but they aren't required unless you own non-Apple devices that charge wirelessly and can't use Magsafe in which case you can't blame Apple for that and you probably wouldn't buy the pad from Apple anyway.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: If they are worried about charger waste

No Apple's reason for choosing Lightning over USB-C is that USB-C did not exist when Apple designed Lightning. The first USB-C based phones didn't appear until three years after the first Lightning based iPhones shipped.

DS999 Silver badge

If they are worried about charger waste

Then Apple has no problem. The port on the charger they used to ship (and that connects with the cable they include) is USB-C. It is only the port on the phone that isn't USB-C.

Are they worried about "one charger" or "one charging cable"? Is there a link to what they are proposing anywhere?

What happens if Apple decides to have no port at all, and charge wirelessly? Would that be allowed or would the proposed EU rule ban that as well?

Fukushima studies show wildlife is doing nicely without humans, thank you very much

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Joke

You'll see them

Once you turn the lights off, so the radioactive glow can highlight them.

Nothing works any more. Who decided that redundant systems should become redundant?

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Fitted kitchen

It would seem if you want this you'd want to leave a little wiggle room just to make it easier to slot in the new appliance (you hardly ever a washing machine in a kitchen here in the US, but dishwashers, ovens, microwaves and more and more commonly fridges are fitted)

Then you just need the carpenter building/installing the cabinets to fit on a little matching trim to cover the gaps flush with the appliance. When you remove the appliance you remove the trim, slot in the new appliance, and replace the trim. Easy peasy. Or at least it was when I replaced my dishwasher, I was even able to replace the wood trim that covered the gaps myself as I was careful when prying it off to avoid damage.

The dishwasher installation was free with the purchase, and when I saw how badly they had to contort themselves to handle the water lines behind it I'm glad I didn't have to attempt it myself or I'd have been laid up for a week!

Apple warns of arbitrary code execution zero-day being actively exploited on Macs

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This is the same 0 day

That was announced Monday last week right before Apple's Tuesday iPhone 13 event. They took care of it on the products that get the most use first, then handled the older stuff the following week.

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Re: Having these 0 days is definitely not a good thing

Wow some people can find a negative in everything. At some point whether 1 year or 100 years, you have to cut off older devices from getting the newest OS versions. Otherwise you make more work for yourself supporting devices that are a lower and lower percentage of the installed base, and can't add features that may require greater CPU, RAM or flash resources than those devices have.

This allows owners of those devices to keep up on security patches and continue using them safely, without worrying that installing an update to keep their phone safe will make it sluggish or force them to delete apps/photos to make room for a larger OS image.

DS999 Silver badge

Having these 0 days is definitely not a good thing

But on the bright side Apple is continuing to support its stuff far longer than the competition. This iOS 12 update now makes a full EIGHT YEARS of support for the iPhone 5S, and counting.

Texas law banning platforms from social media moderation challenged in lawsuit

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Re: Someone

The government can't restrict speech but it also can't COMPEL speech. What this law tries to do is compel Facebook and Twitter to publish certain content, making it clearly unconstitutional. It will be quickly laughed out of court at every level. I doubt the case will even be granted certiorari to the Supreme Court as the outcome is so obvious, and that way Trump's appointees won't have to go on record against him.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Virtue signaling

Their entire identity is based on how pretty much everyone in the world is against them. And that list of who is against them can even include those in their own party, and can change day by day based on pronouncements from their orange god.

Boston Dynamics' Spot robot embarks on its latest thrilling adventure: Insurance!

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Needs to be pretty much waterproof

In a flood, storm damage or fire (firefighting water) situation, the odds of stepping/slipping into a "puddle" that's beyond the robot's "shoulders" is high enough that IP54 is not close to good enough.

Being dust/smoke proof is going to come in pretty damn handy as well if they want it to inspect buildings damaged by earthquakes or fire/smoke damaged buildings.

Memory prices to dive in late 2022, says Gartner

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Barrels of money?

Do you pay in oil or printer ink?

I kid, no one has a barrel of printer ink - it would cost more than the GDP of some of the smaller EU countries!

Japan, Singapore, perhaps the whole world.... Get ready for robot waiters from Softbank and Keenon

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Re: The return of the automat

Guess nobody watches old movies anymore in the age of Netflix, that's where I learned what an automat was.

DS999 Silver badge

The return of the automat

Seriously, if people wanted an automat style dining experience automats would not have disappeared before the Moon landing!

DS999 Silver badge

Re: thus freeing up staff to focus on customer service

It won't free up anyone to be sacked, as anyone who has ever worked in or owned a restaurant can tell you.

You still need someone to check that the plates are correct to each order and each table. That's usually done by the server, or a kitchen 'expediter'. The cooks won't do that, they're on the wrong side of the line and if they screwed up the order having them check the order isn't very helpful.

Unless you expect the customers to take the plates off the robot themselves the server will still need to do that, and the inevitable asking for something else like BBQ sauce, black pepper or whatever will still require a server.

Carrying plates to the tables is a very small part of a server's workload, and having these things trundling along below your eyeline is probably going to be more of an annoyance to them than a help. And what happens when a customer decides to go to the bathroom and slides his seat back without looking and knocks a few plates off the robot or tips it over entirely?

This is just a "hey look at us and how futuristic we are" thing for restaurants to get. Just another theme like a rain forest or rock concert. It will COST them money to have it, and won't save any labor expense.

The bit about it being useful for bringing items to the delivery driver is another fantasy. Someone will have needed to box up and bag the order, and trust the delivery driver to grab the right ones and leave alone something that smells good when he's hungry (yeah he'll be on CCTV taking something he shouldn't but he'll claim it was a simple accident as he was supposed to pick up that Big Kahuna Burger at his next stop)

Google emits Chrome 94 with 'Idle Detection' API to detect user inactivity amid opposition

DS999 Silver badge

Re: The last straw

If the Idle Detection thing is implemented in Chromium, you will still get most of the bad from that "feature", even if the information isn't sent to Google.

Every web site in the world would love to have the ability to tell if the user is active on their site or not, so you can bet it will be used by many regardless of whether Google has access that information too.

Not to mention using another browser based on Chromium helps Google's aims for world domination as it allows web sites to be "designed for Chrome". We didn't get ready of "designed for IE6" only to have it come back with another browser years later.

You need to use something that doesn't use Chromium if you want to prevent that, like Firefox or Opera (if they're still around)

Court of Appeal says AI software cannot be listed as patent inventor

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Allowing software to own a patent would set a bad precedent

The next step would be for Disney to transfer all their copyrights to a software program, and then "life of the author plus 70 years" would effectively be infinite as long as they keep that original program alive in some emulator of an emulator of an emulator in the year 100,000 A.D.

Not that they don't already get infinite copyright by working the legislative system, but this would save them all those millions they must spend on bribing them every few decades to extend copyright protection anytime Mickey Mouse is at risk of losing copyright protection.

Break out your emergency change process and patch this ransomware-friendly bug ASAP, says VMware

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Just using UNIX text editors can be a challenge

In most of the enterprises I've consulted at, the virtualization team is either part of the Windows team or branched off from it at some point, because ESX was mostly used at first to consolidate Windows servers.

So while you may wish VMware admins are more generalist I find many know nothing other than Windows. While they may have used 'vi' once or twice, if editing a text incorrectly is going to bring down an entire ESX farm you don't want them touching it...

Swift 5.5 unleashed with async keyword to fix 'pyramid of doom', plus other changes in 'massive release'

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Re: Not (currently) supported before iOS 15

iOS 12 would be a pretty reasonable target if they can backport it there. It is still being updated and covers all the 64 bit hardware from the iPhone 5S released eight years ago that iOS 14/15 doesn't.

Don't forget to leave a rating: Amazon chairman meeting with UK prime minister to talk taxes

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Rich people don't create jobs

Demand does. If some rich person decided to sit on a pile of all their money Scrooge McDuck style instead of starting a business, the hole in supply left by the absence of that business he didn't start would be filled by someone else.

I would drive 100 miles and I would drive 100 more just to be the man that drove 200 miles to... hit the enter key

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I only traveled last minute internationally for work once

I was consulting for HP managed services a couple years post 9/11 and they had an old DEC office building in Reading, UK. One of their primarily US-based clients was rapidly consuming disk space in the UK/EU area and due to run out at any moment, so they had procured a pair of new arrays and a new tape backup system which finally arrived.

Since I'd worked with that client's systems before and knew their special configuration I was called up on Sunday and asked to be on a plane tomorrow instead of flying to the site I usually worked from. Airport (central US during winter) was fogged for a couple days but I eventually made the trip on Wednesday which meant I couldn't get everything done by COB Friday - and I wouldn't be able to access the site over the weekend so I couldn't leave until the following Tuesday.

The big problem was the fog delay meant that I didn't get back in time for my girlfriend's birthday on Saturday, which she was pretty miffed about. Probably mostly because I got to spend a weekend gallivanting around London while she sat at home. I would have flown her out for the weekend but I checked fares and it would have been $1000+ for the last minute travel. I didn't mind my $1700 fare when I was expensing it but it is a different matter when it is out of your pocket and for only a weekend lol

Chip glut might start in 2023, says IDC, and auto-chip traffic jam could clear this year

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Rip and replace

Who says the Huawei stuff that's replaced will be thrown in the trash? If it wouldn't have otherwise been replaced then it is still fit for purpose, and can be resold and used in a country that doesn't have any Huawei ban.

I imagine carriers in less wealthy nations would love to get their hands on some discount equipment and have probably been reaching out to major US, UK, etc. carriers already.

Apple, Google yank opposition voting strategy app from Russian software stores

DS999 Silver badge

This has happened in the US here and there, usually in state level races. AFAIK no one has ever tried it in a House/Senate race, let alone president.

I remember hearing about some guy with the same name as a democrat candidate running as an independent in a Florida state congressional race either 2020 or 2018, and he accused his republican opponent of recruiting the imposter for reasons similar to why Putin does it. If it was going to be a tight race, a few thousand vote going to the wrong John Smith might be enough to turn it. I never heard any follow up about that (nor can I remember the name) so I have no idea if it the scheme worked or not.

It probably works best in states that list candidates in random or alphabetical order. If they list the democrat and republican on top, most voters won't get down to the imposter unless they are looking for a non-D / non-R candidate in the first place.

DS999 Silver badge

The votes may be counted correctly

I'm sure he has the ability to alter the REPORTED vote count even if they are counted correctly. He just doesn't want to need to use that ability unless he's left with no choice.

Without the ability to "vote against Putin" in an organized way, the anti-Putin vote is split a dozen ways and anyone doing polling before or exit polling after would be able to corroborate that. If the opposition was able to get organized then polling and exit polling would reflect that fact, and if the reported vote totals don't look anything like that then it is obvious he cheated.

Having to fudge the vote totals wouldn't bring him down, but that's a bigger step than simply relying on the way Russia's political system works to split the opposition automatically.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Local laws can apply without truly enforcing this

If they can make a law like you suggest "must be locked to Russia - conditions which can be undone if sold outside Russia" they can just as easily make a law "must not allow sideloading, or alternative app stores other than government approved ones - conditions which can be undone if sold outside Russia".

I wouldn't be surprised if that's their next step, and once Russia has a home grown non-Google Android they feel is good enough, they may simply ban the sale of all other phones.

Though if they do that, they'll probably leave out the ability to undo those conditions for sale outside of Russia. What does Putin care if a phone once inside Russia is useless if sold outside of Russia? That's Apple's / Samsung's / etc. problem not his!

Amazon UK business swelled by 50%+ in 2020, and taxes soared. Lol, no, it means those paid by its staff

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Amazon Web Services UK Ltd, for example, used the "small companies exemption"

They could fix that law pretty easily. A "small company" should not only fit the existing criteria, but should be excluded if it takes its management direction from a larger company that owns it.

i.e., you're a small company if you have a sole owner, partnership, or multiple shareholders (or board responsible to them) controlling your management direction. You aren't a small company if you are directly owned by another company unless that direct owner also qualifies as a small company.

Electron-to-joule conversion formulae? Cute. Welcome to the school of hard knocks

DS999 Silver badge

Re: "electron-to-joule conversion formulae"

Not to excuse the lack of correct science in a sci-fi TV show with warp drive and famously unreliable transporters, but phaser settings in electron volts wouldn't necessarily be calibrating the strength of the entire beam.

It could be a million electron volts per micron per attosecond or something, so depending on the specific area and time base used could easily be enough to destroy a city at full beam width.

Though on the evil Enterprise you'd think the bridge officers would know the correct settings to destroy a city by heart without Spock telling them, as they'd be doing that all the time. That would happen as often as "assume standard orbit, Mr. Sulu".

Ransomware crims saying 'We'll burn your data if you get a negotiator' can't be legally paid off anyway

DS999 Silver badge

Re: I like the US idea.

Surely you understand WHY ransomware exists, right? They do it to make money. If they won't be paid, ransomware will go away.

Same reason why no one has tried to hijack a plane since 9/11, because everyone knows if it happened the passengers will assume they're dead anyway if they don't do something and they'll attack the hijackers en masse like the passengers on United Flight 93 did after they heard about the planes hitting the WTC towers.

You will still get hacked if you have security they can breach, but it will be like the "good old days" when black hats were hacking you because they want to see the world burn, to make you part of their botnet, or to put up a "LeetHaxkor222 was here!" on your web site to impress their black hat buddies.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: I like the US idea.

You have a better idea for stopping ransomware?

China to push RISC-V to global prominence – but maybe into a corner, too, says analyst

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Re: Not sure why Counterpoint believes that

Yeah Loongson isn't exactly original but that's not required. China just wants something they control. RISC-V may be open, but that also means China doesn't get full control over its future direction.

DS999 Silver badge

Not sure why Counterpoint believes that

China has publicly stated they are getting behind the home grown Loongson architecture as their future direction. They've got a bunch of the big tech companies cooperating on that.

It might take a few years to get off the ground, and maybe that will end up being more for internal use but they aren't going to be putting all that many resources into RISC-V when they can use older ARM cores for a time until they are ready to go all-in on Loongson.

You want us to make a change? We can do it, but it'll cost you...

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He missed a chance

He could have told them "I can do it a week, if I'm able to work from home free from distractions so no meetings, calls or anything else. If I have interruptions it'll take at least twice that long".

BOFH: Pass the sugar, Asmodeus, and let the meeting of the Fellowship of Bastards … commence

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Re: Seems more like the Council of Bastards

He followed the tried and true political strategy of dividing the enemy. i.e. he turned the Ricks with the crap jobs against the elite Ricks. Surely in an infinite multiverse there would be at least one PFY capable of doing the same by turning BOFHs lower on the totem pole against those at the top.

DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats sue NYC for trying to permanently cap delivery fees

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They have some nerve claiming contracts are "freely negotiated"

When they add restaurants to their delivery service without the consent of the owner!

Microsoft releases new Windows 11 builds, confirms running on an Apple M1 'is not a supported scenario'

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Re: Windows 11 on...

That's bizarre that they won't support any platform but Qualcomm's. Maybe they did a deal and Qualcomm paid them for ARM exclusivity? The poor quality of Qualcomm's platforms, at least so far, may doom Microsoft's latest attempt at non-x86 Windows just like those that came before.

DS999 Silver badge

What exactly did the Register ask Microsoft?

Obviously running directly on Apple's M1 hardware will not be a supported scenario, because Apple does not provide Windows drivers for their hardware and Microsoft is not going to write them.

The correct question to ask them is whether running on Apple M1 hardware in a VM like Parallels or VMware is / will be a "supported scenario"?

Sort-of Epic win as judge kills Apple ban on apps linking to outside payment systems

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Re: I’m sure they’ll be looking for ways to skirt this judgement.

Seems like it would be easier to charge based on downloads. Get the first 100,000 free or whatever then start charging. That leaves small developers untouched, and big developers with millions of downloads who have the ability to set up their own payment systems and offer free apps where they make all their money via in-game purchases will have to pay something for using Apple's platform.

Despite Epic trying to push for no commissions, the app store they've set up for third party game extracts a fee (12% IIRC) so they are themselves doing what they were suing Apple over doing!

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