Category Archives: Technology

The latest top technology news and coverage of tech issues and events in the world. Review of new gadgets and smartphones, changes in social networks

Epic Games and Spotify Team Up Against Apple

Epic Games, Spotify, and 11 other critics of Apple’s App Store governance have formed an “App Fairness Coalition” to end Apple’s monopoly. They demand to ensure equal rights for all developers of mobile programs and to reduce the tax of 30%, which they have to pay for placing their iOS-applications in the official store of Cupertino.

Thirteen companies have formed a coalition against Apple’s monopoly, according to The Washington Post. The alliance, called the App Justice Coalition, includes the creator of Fortnite Epic Games, the music streaming service Spotify, the owner of the Tinder Match Group, and other critics of the App Store’s iOS developer rules.

Although the participating companies have previously expressed their individual protest against the unfair policies of the App Store in one way or another, the “Coalition of Justice” is the first group of like-minded people who believe that the Cupertino company must heed their demands. The coalition says it is open to “companies of all sizes in all industries that are committed to protecting consumer choice, fostering competition and creating a level playing field for all app and game developers around the world.”

On its official website, the coalition has published three main problems with which it intends to fight.

These include a 30% tax on all transactions carried out within an application hosted in the App Store, the lack of alternative platforms for distributing iOS applications, and Apple’s use of its monopoly to promote its own services.

On its official website, the coalition has published principles that the participating companies hope Apple will follow voluntarily, or it will be forced to do so by regulators and legislators. They require developers to be able to choose which stores to host their iOS applications, not just the App Store. They also advocate that developers have access to technical information to the same extent as the owner of the platform, thereby equalizing their rights. In addition, they point out that the existing 30% commission, introduced back in 2011, is unfairly high and should be cut to ensure that all app creators can post on the App Store.

You could say that the companies have formed a coalition to take Apple discontent to a new, collective level. Nevertheless, it is still difficult to imagine a situation in which the Cupertinians will voluntarily make concessions and adapt their policies to the demands of the protesters.

Apple Watch 6 main features turned out to be useless

The new Apple Watch proved to be useless for getting lung information. The Washington Post journalist Geoffrey Fowler told about this in a review of smartwatches.

Fowler decided to test the main feature of the Apple Watch 6 presented in mid-September — the ability to measure the level of oxygen in the blood (SpO2). To make the experiment more accurate, the author wore an Apple gadget on his wrist and put a medical pulse oximeter on his finger. As a result of the tests, the readings obtained from the watch and the professional gadget varied significantly.

According to the journalist, the difference between the readings from the Apple Watch and the oximeter was at least two to three percentage points. In this case, the first copy of the watch tested by Fowler, apparently, turned out to be defective. “When I first turned on the Apple Watch 6, it showed that my blood oxygen level was about 88 percent,” the author said. This is a critically low indicator, which can mean severe lung damage. A few minutes later, the journalist took another measurement, and this time the watch reported that the SpO2 was 95 percent.

Fowler concluded that the Apple Watch 6 should not be perceived as an accurate medical gadget, but the SpO2 function is more of a marketing one. The journalist noted that the new Apple watch is available from $399, while the medical oximeter, certified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), cost him $60.

The ability to measure blood oxygen levels has become the main feature of Apple’s announced September 15th watch. According to the company representatives, the corresponding sensor records the watch owner’s indicators constantly, including during sleep.

Zoom video conference service crashed

The failure of the Zoom video conference service is observed on Tuesday in the U.S., as well as in several European countries. It follows from the data of the Downdetector portal, which tracks the work of popular Internet resources.

The most active report about the malfunctions is given by the residents of the United States. Complaints also come from Europe, in particular from the UK and Norway, but their number is small.

According to the portal, most users (51%) have problems connecting to the server, and 33% of users complain about difficulties in connecting to a video conference. Another 15% of complaints were about login failures.

Coronavirus-killing lamp released in Japan

The invention is harmless to humans but deadly to the virus. The lamp is intended for use in rooms where there are people.

Japanese company Ushio Inc. released the Care 222 UV lamp that can kill indoor coronavirus. This was announced on Tuesday, September 22nd, by Kyodo News.

It is noted that the lamp was developed by the company together with Columbia University. It can be used to disinfect living quarters where people are constantly present — for example, buses, trains, elevators, offices.

UV lamps are widely used as sterilization media, especially in the medical and food industries. However, conventional UV lamps are not used in rooms where people are present, as they cause skin cancer and eye problems.

The new lamp emits ultraviolet rays with a wavelength of 222 nanometers instead of the usual 254. This makes them deadly for the coronavirus, but harmless to humans. The effectiveness of 222-nanometer UV rays in the destruction of COVID-2019 was also confirmed by research from the University of Hiroshima.

The lamp is reported to cost $2,860. So far, the company only works with medical institutions.

NASA approved an updated plan for the lunar program Artemis

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released on Monday an updated plan for its Artemis lunar program, the first phase of which (Artemis 1) is now slated for 2021, and the second (Artemis 2) for 2023. This was announced at a telephone briefing for journalists by the head of the department, James Bridenstine.

The landing itself on the moon, which is considered the third stage of the mission (Artemis 3), should occur, as previously planned, in 2024. “All the elements we need to successfully land on the moon in 2024 are in the process of being implemented, and we are rapidly moving towards that goal,” Bridenstine said.

Artemis 1 envisages the unmanned flight of the Orion spacecraft installed on the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket around the Moon and its return to Earth. The second stage (Artemis 2) is a flight around a natural satellite of the Earth with a crew on board.