“Don’t edit your games for Australia” | Opinion

Implicit in the assumptions in our guidelines is the notion that if there’s a gameplay incentive tied to an act deemed immoral, that the game is therefore endorsing that act.

I guess Australia doesn’t understand how endorsement works.

So I’m quite far removed, but what I want to say to developers and publishers concerned about the Australian market is this: don’t edit your games to accommodate these guidelines. It’s still a relatively small market, you can afford it. Make the beautiful, wonderful visions you set out to make and if your work causes another Disco Elysium debacle, it’ll be worth it. It results in headlines like this over at The Guardian that keep the pressure on. It pushes people to bring our classification system up to speed with the rest of the developed world.

This is the right approach, not just for the added pressure it might apply but also for the rest of the world. It’s not easy to provide country-specific variations of a game —certainly not as easy as going for the lowest common denominator— thus enforcing whatever local mitigation to the whole world which also means national law having an impact internationally without any sort of acceptable process.

Apple Rejecting Apps With Fingerprinting Enabled As iOS 14 Privacy Enforcement Starts

Device fingerprinting, sometimes called probabilistic attribution, uses a large amount of data about a device to identify it. A measurement company might, for instance, collect data on software version, time since last system update, time since last restart, location, time zone, and more: even things like battery status, charging level, and amount of disk space.

Put it all together and you have something fairly unique — estimates on degree of uniqueness vary — that you can use to track who clicked an ad, who installed an app, and potentially more. You could also use this data to potentially build a device graph which includes insights and history on every device your software interacts with.

I think we can all agree that a battery’s charge level isn’t private information though it obviously can and has been used along with other data for user fingerprinting. But we can also argue that a battery’s level charge isn’t the advertising sector’s birthright. And many other kinds of data along with it.

Google to limit Android apps from seeing what’s installed

Apple did the same starting with iOS 9… back in 2015.

Where use of the permission is not directly related to the core purpose of the app.

Timing aside, it is kind of amazing that the tech sector has taken so long to realise that apps having access to data that have no bearing in what they actually provide to the user was never sensible to begin with.

Amazon colluded with publishers to fix book prices, class-action suit alleges

In a twist, that same firm also sued Apple and the Big Five a decade ago for setting e-book prices too high, which benefitted consumers by allowing lower prices but arguably helped cement Amazon’s dominant position in the market.

The irony is palpable. Back then Apple was at fault according to the ruling because its scheme resulted in higher retail pricing. In the US especially that’s usually a big no-no. That ruling paved the way for Amazon to keep prices so low, often selling at a loss, that everyone else has been getting squeezed out of the the market.

Austria threatens to halt EU’s 100M vaccine buy until it gets greater share of jabs

In a meeting of the EU’s vaccine steering board on Friday morning, Austria once again demanded additional doses, this time with a threat: It would block the Commission from exercising its option on the larger 100 million-dose purchase unless Vienna got its way.

This is one way to infuriate everyone in one go.

One EU diplomat expressed fury that Austria is blocking the 10 million doses to member states “in dire need of them, like Latvia and Bulgaria.”

“This shows Kurz is willing to jeopardize the lives of 50 million Europeans to get something he does not even need,” the diplomat said.

Austria obviously object to EU’s allocation plan as it stands. The problem is, only Austria is so openly (I have no idea if other member states are scheming similarly but in the background) willing to disrupt distribution to counties with more urgent needs just to gets its way, not to push for a better overall allocation plan.

Activision targets Call of Duty: Warzone leaks with DMCA takedowns

Copies of the leaked footage, which comes as part of a celebrity-filled promotional video for the game, is still available on YouTube, Reddit, and other sites as of this writing. Video Games Chronicle confirmed the authenticity of the leaked footage yesterday, though it didn’t cite any specific sources.

This morning, though, VGC reporter Andy Robinson tweeted that his Twitter account had been locked due to a DMCA notice surrounding that coverage. “Still, as if there was any doubt, that’s confirmed our story,” Robinson wrote. An Activision representative was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment from Ars Technica.

I can understand getting trigger happy to fight spoilers, actual code/product leaks and more. Fighting this hard to take a trailer off the web —which is just promotional material— just to safeguard your marcomms plan is pushing it. Not only that but completely suppressing the spreading of a leaked video is practically impossible.

But then we get Activision that gets so trigger happy, a journalist’s personal account gets blocked because the outlet he works for covered the leak.

I think this calls for a Batman slap.