Google puts Apple on Blast like Spoiled Child #1557



Google has put Apple on blast like a spoiled child because the EU did not fine them 5 billion dollars for doing the same exact thing as Google has been accused of. But in essence, Apple has not done the same thing as they own the operating system, phone supply, etc They do not need to negotiate with OEM’s on app inclusions as they are the OEM, and Google for the most part is not.

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Facebook Denies Instagram is “Toxic for Teens”



Facebook denies claims made by The Wall Street Journal about Instagram being “toxic for teen girls”. In its Newsroom, Facebook posted the following claims:

  •  Contrary to the Wall Street Journal’s characterization, Instagram’s research shows that on 11 of 12 well-being issues, teenage girls who said they struggled with those difficult issues also said that Instagram made them better rather than worse.
  •  This research, like external research on these issues, found teens report having both positive and negative experiences with social media.
  • We do internal research to find out how we can best improve the experience for our teens, and our research has informed product changes as well as new resources.

CNBC reported that Facebook executive Antigone Davis, global head of safety, will testify before the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection on September 30, 2021. The hearing focuses on The Wall Street Journal’s article that shows Instagram had a negative effect on many teen girls’ mental health.

Personally, it sounds to me like Facebook got caught, and is trying to salvage its reputation before the Senate subcommittee hearing begins.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled: “Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show”. According to The Verge, that information came from leaked documents that had been leaked to The Wall Street Journal.

The Verge pointed out some of what The Wall Street Journal’s findings:

  • A study by Facebook of teen Instagram users in the US and UK found that more than 40% of those who reported feeling “unattractive” said the feelings started when using Instagram.
  • Research reviewed by Facebook’s top executives concluded that Instagram was engineered towards greater “social comparison” than rival apps like TikTok and Snapchat. TikTok is focused on performance and Snapchat is uses jokey filters that focus on the face. Instagram spotlights users’ bodies and lifestyles.
  •  “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” said internal research by Facebook presented in 2019, and that “This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups”.
  • Facebook found that among the teens who said they had suicidal thoughts, 13 percent of UK users and 6 percent of US users said these impulses could be tracked back to the app.

China Declares All Cryptocurrency Activities Illegal



The People’s Bank of China has declared all digital currency activities illegal, and has vowed to crack down on the market, CNBC reported. According to CNBC, the People’s Bank of China said services offering trading, order matching, token issuance, and derivatives for virtual currencies are strictly prohibited. Overseas crypto exchanges providing services in mainland China are also illegal.

It appears that this decision affected the price of cryptocurrency, which resulted in the stocks for at least some types of cryptocurrency falling. CNBC pointed out that this comes after Beijing announced a crackdown on crypto mining earlier this year, which caused a slump in bitcoin’s processing power.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the People’s Bank of China declared all cryptocurrency-related transactions illegal to prevent the risks surrounding crypto trading and to maintain national security and social stability. According to the Wall Street Journal, the People’s Bank of China said that cryptocurrencies are issued by non monetary authorities, use encryption technologies and exist in digital form, and shouldn’t be circulated and used in the market as currencies.

I’m no expert on cryptocurrency, but it is my understanding that one of the reasons why some people like cryptocurrency is because they think the transactions are anonymous. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) points out that “depending on the cryptocurrency, the information added to the blockchain can include details like the transaction amount and the sender’s and recipient’s wallet addresses”. To me, that sounds like China could potentially discover which of their people are buying or selling cryptocurrency.

I understand that a country can make rules or laws that people who live in that country are required to comply with. I’m having difficulty understanding why China’s decision to call all digital currency illegal also requires people who live in other countries to comply with China’s new rules.


Microsoft aims to save the oceans with new mouse



The environment is on almost everyone’s mind these days. It’s hard to ignore when it keeps reminding us with things like one-hundred-year storms every couple of years and going through the Latin alphabet and into the Greek one while naming storms during one season. 

Most of us try to be conscious of what we do with waste and watch our energy consumption, but the giant garbage pit of the Pacific doesn’t shrink any. There has to be things we can do about it, right? 

Now Microsoft claims to be putting some of that waste to use as part of a new mouse. The shell of the new peripheral is made of twenty percent ocean-recycled plastic and the pack is from one hundred percent recycled material. 

The plastic outer part of the body uses a resin with recycled material made from plastic trash that is recovered from our oceans. The plastic waste then gets turned into pellets, which are eventually blended in with the other materials that make up the outer layer of the mouse. 

The mouse is available now for pre-order, priced at $24.99, and will begin shipping on October 5th. 


Apple Bans Fortnite #1556



Apple has banned Fortnite from the App store until the conclusion of the legal battle which can take as much as 5 more years. Apple playing there hand in destroying a business that dared to questions its policies. I hope Epic is prepared and can ultimately survive these actions. Do not ever build your castle on rented land.

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Texas Sued Over Law That Stops Social Media Sites from Banning Users



The State of Texas has been sued over its new law that prevents social media platforms from banning users over their political views, The Texas Tribune reported.

The Texas bill is called HB 20. Governor Greg Abbott signed it into law. According to The Texas Tribune, the law states that “social media platforms with over 50 million monthly users in the U.S. – a threshold that includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube – must publicly report details about content removal and account suspensions biannually. The platforms are also required to establish an easily accessible complaint system, where users could flag violations of the law.”

The lawsuit was filed by NetChoice, LLC and Computer & Communications Industry Association, which represent Google and Twitter in the lawsuit. It was filed against Texas Governor Ken Paxton (in his official capacity as Attorney General of Texas). The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas Austin Division.

Here is a key point from the lawsuit:

…The Commerce Clause does not permit a single state to dictate the rules of content for the global Internet. H.B. 20 would regulate wholly-out-of-state conduct – balkanizing the Internet by imposing onerous extraterritorial regulation on the operation of covered social media platforms. This vastly exceeds Texas’s regulatory purview and will impede commerce across the Internet…

USA Today described this Texas law as a “social media censorship law”. According to USA Today, “Texas lawmakers were motivated in large part by the suspensions of former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol”.

Personally, I don’t think this Texas law stands much of a chance in court. USA Today reported that a federal judge blocked a similar Florida law in June, one day before it could take effect.


Fortnite Will Not Return to the App Store Anytime Soon



Fortnite will not be returning to the iOS Apple Store anytime soon, The Verge reported. This was clarified by Apple recently in a series of emails between Apple and CEO and co-founder of Epic, Tim Sweeney.

Recently, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued a permanent injunction to Apple, to restrain Apple from “prohibiting developers from including their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and communicating to customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app.” That seemed to be in Epic’s favor.

In addition, the judge also sided in Apple’s favor, requiring Epic to pay damages to Apple in an amount equal to 30% of the $12,167,719 in revenue Epic Games collected from users on the Fortnite app on iOS through Epic Direct Payment between August and October 2020, plus 30% of such revenue Epic Games collected from November 1, 2020, though the date of judgement, and interest.” In short, the judge felt Epic Games had breached its contract with Apple.

Epic Games decided to appeal the ruling.

CEO and co-founder of Epic, Tim Sweeney, posted on the Epic Games website about this situation (and also tweeted about it).

Tim Sweeney wrote, Apple lied. Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press they’d “welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else.” Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly over a billion users. According to Tim Sweeney, Epic has paid Apple $6,000,000 as ordered by the court.

The blog post includes a screenshot from Tim Sweeney to someone at Apple. There is also a screenshot of a response from what appears to be a lawyer for Apple. The response briefly reviews the outcome of the case. The key points appear to be these: “Apple has exercised its discretion not to reinstate Epic’s developer program account at this time. Furthermore, Apple will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgement becomes final and nonappealable.”