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Apple might position itself as the champion of privacy when it comes to personal data, but court records showed that the company demanded hugely sensitive data from game distribution service Steam to help in the battle with Epic Games.

The reason? Epic previously criticized Steam’s cut from game developers, accusing platform owner Valve of “sucking out a huge fraction of the profits from games.” Apple wanted to understand more about Valve’s business model with Steam in order to help it make its own case for the App Store. The data that Apple demanded from Valve – which is not even a party to the case – was pretty insane…

PC Gamer reports that Valve refused Apple’s demand, and now a court needs to rule on the matter. Here is the data Apple wanted, which its lawyers somehow described as a “very narrow” request:

And, in an additional request:

“(a) the name of each App on Steam; (b) the date range when the App was available on Steam; and (c) the price of the App and any in-app product available on Steam.”

That is, Apple wants Valve to provide the names, prices, configurations and dates of every product on Steam, as well as detailed accounts of exactly how much money Steam makes and how it is all divvied-up […]

Apple apparently demanded data on 30,000+ games initially, before narrowing its focus to around 600. Request 32 gets incredibly granular, Valve explains: Apple is demanding information about every version of a given product, all digital content and items, sale dates and every price change from 2023 to the present day, the gross revenues for each version, broken down individually, and all of Valve’s revenues from it.

Valve says not only that the data is incredibly valuable commercial information, but that it doesn’t even record the level of detail Apple wants – and, in any case, is not remotely involved in the dispute between Apple and Epic.

Valve says it does not “in the ordinary course of business keep the information Apple seeks for a simple reason: Valve doesn’t need it.”

Valve’s argument goes on to explain to the court that it is not a competitor in the mobile space (this is, after all, a dispute that began with Fortnite on iOS), and makes the point that “Valve is not Epic, and Fortnite is not available on Steam.” It further says that Apple is using Valve as a shortcut to a huge amount of third party data that rightfully belongs to those third parties.

The conclusion of Valve’s argument calls for the court to throw Apple’s subpoena out. “Somehow, in a dispute over mobile apps, a maker of PC games that does not compete in the mobile market or sell ‘apps’ is being portrayed as a key figure. It’s not. The extensive and highly confidential information Apple demands about a subset of the PC games available on Steam does not show the size or parameters of the relevant market and would be massively burdensome to pull together. Apple’s demands for further production should be rejected.”

It seems pretty hard to imagine that Apple could succeed here, but the legal world and common sense do not always align.

The Not Jony Ive parody account has a suggested compromise.

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Judge Rules Epic Games Can’t Bring Its Lawsuit Against Apple Into The Uk

Epic Games and Apple are locked in a legal battle at the moment, with no end in sight. And earlier this year, Epic tried to broaden the scope of its action into the United Kingdom. However, it turns out that won’t be happening after all.

Back in January we reported that Epic Games had broadened its legal battle with Apple and Google to the UK. According to Epic, the move was to make sure that its fight for “fair digital platform practices” was heard not just in the United States, but beyond. However, a UK judge has ruled that Epic’s lawsuit against Apple shouldn’t be heard in the region.

Here’s how this breaks down. Apple Inc. is located in the United States. Meanwhile, Apple Ltd. is actually an English company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple Inc. So, this ruling actually decides that Epic Games can’t take legal action against Apple Inc. in the United Kingdom, because it’s out of the UK court’s jurisdiction.

Per 9to5Mac today:

In the Apple action (Case 1377), the application for permission to serve the proceedings on A1 out of the jurisdiction was refused.

However, things get more interesting in Epic Games coinciding legal action against Google. Judge Roth ruled in a decidedly more mixed way with that one. Specifically, the judged ruled that some action against Alphabet Inc. (Google’s parent company) and Google LLC can move forward in the United Kingdom:

In the Google action (Case 1378), the application for permission to serve the proceedings on G1 and G2 out of the jurisdiction was granted for certain claims for breach of the Chapter I and Chapter II prohibitions under the CA 1998, and the injunctions claimed at paras (c), (d) and (h) of the prayer to the Claim Form. Permission was refused as regards the other claims made.

So, an interesting turn of events. Just to set the scene a bit, here’s what Epic Games released in a public statement back in January, after it had filed its lawsuit against Apple (and Google):

The legal proceedings, filed in London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, allege the conduct of both Apple and Google in their respective app stores is an abuse of a dominant position and in breach of the UK’s competition laws, substantially reducing competition in app distribution and payment processes.

We believe that this is an important argument to make on behalf of consumers and developers in the UK and around the world who are impacted by Apple and Google’s misuse of market power. We look forward to making our case on January 21.

Epic is not seeking damages from Apple or Google in the UK, Australia or the US, it is simply seeking fair access and competition that will benefit all consumers.

And just below, you can find the timeline of events that brought us to today in the battle between Epic Games and Apple.

The timeline August 13, 2023

Epic Games updates Fortnite on the


, bypassing the App Store review


. It adds a direct payment option, breaking another rule in the



Apple removes Fortnite from the App Store due to

Epic Games

breaking the App Store rules.


pic Games

launches a media blitz, and it also sues


for anti-competitive behavior.

Epic launches “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite”, a parody video of Apple’s original “1984” ad:

Google removes Fortnite from the

Play Store

, as Epic Games also violated the Play Store’s rules.

Epic sues Google, too.

Spotify weighs in! Unsurprisingly, it applauds

Epic Games

for its


to stand up against Apple.

August 14, 2023

Facebook says Apple’s

App Store

fees make it impossible to help

small businesses

impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

August 17, 2023

Apple threatens to revoke Epic Games’


accounts for not only


, but also


. That cut-off is set to take place on Friday, August 28, 2023.

August 18, 2023

Apple issues an official statement on the matter in


to Epic Games.

Epic Games is revealed to have sought a coalition of “Apple critics” to help fight against Apple.

August 20, 2023

The Wall Street Journal and other news publications sign an open letter asking for Apple to reduce its

App Store

fees down to a standard 15%.

August 21, 2023

Epic Games promotes the #FreeFortnite Cup, or


, that is meant to bring even more attention against


, and is promoting “anti-Apple” prizes.

Epic sought special treatment for Fortnite before it declared war against Apple and the App Store’s guidelines.

August 24, 2023

Judge Gonzalez-Rogers rules that Apple does not need to reinstate Fortnite back into the App Store as the legal battle wages on. The judge also rules that Apple cannot revoke the Unreal Engine


tools, but it can still move forward with removing Epic’s developer account for


and macOS.

Apple says it agrees with the ruling made by Judge Gonzalez-Rogers, and is prepared to welcome Fortnite back onto


as soon as Epic Games is ready to follow the App Store guidelines.

August 26, 2023

Epic confirms that the new season of Fortnite, which is Marvel-themed, will not be available on iOS or Mac. Cross-platform functionality with those


is also removed.

August 28, 2023

Epic lets Fortnite players know in an email that it’s Apple’s fault they can’t


the new season of the game.

Apple revokes Epic Games’ App Store and developer accounts.

September 8, 2023

Apple countersues Epic Games in what it claims is a “breach of contract” related to its

App Store


September 9, 2023

Epic Games says Apple is going to disable the “Sign in with Apple”


as soon as Friday, September 11.

Apple changes its mind regarding “Sign in with Apple”, allows existing


to keep using it.

September 10, 2023 September 18, 2023

Epic Games shuts down Fortnite: Save the World for Mac as of September 23.

September 24, 2023

Epic Games, Spotify, Tile, and other


create the “Coalition for App Fairness” to take on Apple’s and Google’s digital storefront policies.

September 28, 2023

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers says the public’s opinion regarding the legal battle between Apple and Epic Games should be considered, suggests a jury should be involved.

October 7, 2023

Judge rules that the court battle between Apple and Epic Games will resume in May 2023.

November 5, 2023

Fortnite returns to iOS thanks to GeForce Now game

streaming service

, and only available via Safari.

December 17, 2023

Judge orders both Tim


and Craig Federighi to testify in the legal battle between Apple and Epic Games.

December 21, 2023

Epic Games sends out “Free Fortnite” loot boxes to influencers, trying to drum up support

January 14, 2023

Epic Games expands its legal battle with Apple and Google to the United Kingdom

February 1, 2023

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, is ordered to sit through a 7-hour deposition

February 10, 2023

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney confirms that the company had been planning its lawsuit against Apple for months

February 19, 2023

Apple subpoenas Valve Software in an effort to learn about the company’s Steam digital storefront, including revenue and more regarding over 30,000 games.

Apple Describes Epic Games Ruling As A ‘Resounding Victory’ For The App Store

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers today handed down her decision in the Apple vs. Epic legal case over the App Store. Judge Rogers ruled that Apple violates antitrust law with its anti-steering policies in the App Store, but that Apple is not a monopoly. Judge Rogers issued a permanent injunction saying that Apple can no longer forbid developers from directing users to third-party payment options. 

While Epic Games has already announced that it plans to appeal the ruling, Apple is pleased with the outcome.

In a statement to the press, Apple general counsel and senior vice president Katherine Adams said that Judge Rogers’ decision should be viewed as a “huge win for Apple.” Adams underscored that Apple is “not a monopolist in any relevant market” based on today’s ruling, and that the decision “validated” the App Store business model.

Adams’ full statement follows:

We are very pleased with the Court’s ruling and we consider this a huge win for Apple. This decision validates that Apple’s “success is not illegal,” as the judge said. As the Court found “both Apple and third-party developers like Epic Games have symbiotically benefited from the ever-increasing innovation and growth in the iOS ecosystem.”

The Court has confirmed, after reviewing evidence from a 16-day trial, that Apple is not a monopolist in any relevant market and that its agreements with app developers are legal under the antitrust laws. Let me repeat that: the Court found that Apple is not a monopolist under “either federal or state antitrust laws.”

We are still analyzing the decision which is 180 pages long but the headline is that Apple’s App Store business model has been validated. The Court correctly rejected Epic’s “artificial” view of the competitive environment in which Apple operates and determined that “developers like Epic Games have benefited from Apple’s development and cultivation of the iOS ecosystem, including its devices and underlying software.” Underlying the App Store business is a framework, including App Review, curation and protection of the security and privacy of our users. The Court has ruled that this framework is lawful and Apple was justified in terminating Epic’s status as a developer on the App Store. Apple’s rigorous process for app review protects consumers. As the Court observed, “security and privacy have remained a competitive differentiator for Apple.” The Court agreed, and I quote, that “by providing these protections, Apple provides a safe and trusted user experience on iOS, which encourages both users and developers to transact freely and is mutually beneficial.” Importantly, the Court also recognized the value of Apple’s ever-increasing innovation and growth of the iOS ecosystem.

In short, this is a resounding victory and underscores the merit of our business both as an economic and competitive engine.

Apple also noted that the decision from Judge Rogers finds no issue with Apple’s App Store in-app purchase requirement and applies only to steering customers toward outside payment options.

As for whether or not it plans to appeal the ruling related to anti-steering, Apple said that it is considering all options and that it has yet to process the entire 185-page decision from Judge Rogers. As such, the company also said it is still considering the implementation of the changes and there are no App Store changes to announce today.

The ruling gives Apple 90 days to comply with the required changes.

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Data Science Interview Series: Part

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.


Data science interviews consist of questions from statistics and probability, Linear Algebra, Vector, Calculus, Machine Learning/Deep learning mathematics, Python, OOPs concepts, and Numpy/Tensor operations. Apart from these, an interviewer asks you about your projects and their objective. In short, interviewers focus on basic concepts and projects.

This article is part 1 of the data science interview series and will cover some basic data science interview questions. We will discuss the interview questions with their answers:

What is OLS? Why, and Where do we use it?

OLS (or Ordinary Least Square) is a linear regression technique that helps estimate the unknown parameters that can influence the output. This method relies on minimizing the loss function. The loss function is the sum of squares of residuals between the actual and predicted values. The residual is the difference between the target values and forecasted values. The error or residual is:

Minimize ∑(yi – ŷi)^2

Where ŷi is the predicted value, and yi is the actual value.

We use OLS when we have more than one input. This approach treats the data as a matrix and estimates the optimal coefficients using linear algebra operations.

What is Regularization? Where do we use it?

Regularization is a technique that reduces the overfitting of the trained model. This technique gets used where the model is overfitting the data.

Overfitting occurs when the model performs well with the training set but not with the test set. The model gives minimal error with the training set, but the error is high with the test set.

Hence, the regularization technique penalizes the loss function to acquire the perfect fit model.

What is the Difference between L1 AND L2 Regularization?

L1 Regularization is also known as Lasso(Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator) Regression. This method penalizes the loss function by adding the absolute value of coefficient magnitude as a penalty term.

Lasso works well when we have a lot of features. This technique works well for model selection since it reduces the features by shrinking the coefficients to zero for less significant variables.

Thus it removes some features that have less importance and selects some significant features.

L2 Regularization( or Ridge Regression) penalizes the model as the complexity of the model increases. The regularization parameter (lambda) penalizes all the parameters except intercept so that the model generalizes the data and does not overfit.

Ridge regression adds the squared magnitude of the coefficient as a penalty term to the loss function. When the lambda value is zero, it becomes analogous to OLS. While lambda is very large, the penalty will be too much and lead to under-fitting.

Moreover, Ridge regression pushes the coefficients towards smaller values while maintaining non-zero weights and a non-sparse solution. Since the square term in the loss function blows up the outliers residues that make the L2 sensitive to outliers, the penalty term endeavors to rectify it by penalizing the weights.

Ridge regression performs better when all the input features influence the output with weights roughly equal in size. Besides, Ridge regression can also learn complex data patterns.

What is R Square?

R Square is a statistical measure that shows the closeness of the data points to the fitted regression line. It calculates the percentage of the predicted variable variation calculated by a linear model.

The value of R-Square lies between 0% and 100%, where 0 means the model can not explain the variation of the predicted values around its mean. Besides, 100% indicates that the model can explain the whole variability of the output data around its mean.

In short, the higher the R-Square value, the better the model fits the data.

Adjusted R-Squared

The R-square measure has some drawbacks that we will address here too.

The problem is if we add junk independent variables or significant independent variables, or impactful independent variables to our model, the R-Squared value will always increase. It will never decrease with a newly independent variable addition, whether it could be an impactful, non-impactful, or insignificant variable. Hence we need another way to measure equivalent RSquare, which penalizes our model with any junk independent variable.

So, we calculate the Adjusted R-Square with a better adjustment in the formula of generic R-square.

What is Mean Square Error?

Mean square error tells us the closeness of the regression line to a set of data points. It calculates the distances from data points to the regression line and squares those distances. These distances are the errors of the model for predicted and actual values.

The line equation is given as y = MX+C

M is the slope, and C is the intercept coefficient. The objective is to find the values for M and C to best fit the data and minimize the error.

Why Support Vector Regression? Difference between SVR and a simple regression model?

The objective of the simple regression model is to minimize the error rate while SVR tries to fit the error into a certain threshold.

Main Concepts:



Support Vector


The best fit line is the line that has a maximum number of points on it. The SVR attempts to calculate a decision boundary at the distance of ‘e’ from the base hyper-plane such that data points are nearest to that hyper-plane and support vectors are within that boundary line.


The ordinary least squares technique estimates the unknown coefficients and relies on minimizing the residue.

L1 and L2 Regularization penalizes the loss function with absolute value and square of the value of the coefficient, respectively.

The R-square value indicates the variation of response around its mean.

R-square has some drawbacks, and to overcome these drawbacks, we use adjusted R-Square.

Mean square error calculates the distance between points on the regression line to the data points.

SVR fits the error within a certain threshold instead of minimizing it.

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Sap Has Edge In Battle With Oracle

To say that SAP and Oracle are locked in an increasingly bitter competition is, at a minimum, the understatement of the year.

Of course, the fact that Oracle’s 11i has been out for more than five years, and was DOA, as in massively bug-ridden, for the first several revisions of its life are largely forgotten in the Oracle FUD campaign. Also forgotten is the fact that, once the software was basically bug-free and ready to be installed without risk, Oracle announced a two-year de-support window for its previous version, 10.7. Oracle customers, rightly so, pushed the panic button and started fast-tracking their upgrades.

Meanwhile, SAP is trying hard to stake out the high ground. At a recent two-day analyst summit in Las Vegas, SAP further described the business process-driven future it is pushing for the industry. It’s a near-term vision that SAP shares with Oracle, but with one important difference. SAP has been spending literally half its R&D dollars on ‘decomposing’ its software into business processes. These business processes will form the core of what, by 2007, will be a 30,000-strong business process platform that will fundamentally redefine how enterprise software serves the needs of business — for the better.

The difference between SAP and Oracle (and IBM, for that matter) is that SAP’s business process platform will be built from a solid understanding of how real businesses in real industries accomplish their day-to-day tasks. That understanding is currently embedded in SAP R/3 and MySAP, and comes from literally decades of deep vertical industry experience. Exposing those underlying processes and making them available as building blocks in a service-oriented architecture like NetWeaver is the gist of SAP’s game plan going forward. The fact that no other competitor has this wealth of existing industry knowledge already embedded in their software makes the business process platform a powerful competitive wedge.

Of course, Oracle’s acquisition strategy is very much targeted at acquiring this vertical knowledge, but so far most of that is a future capability based on future acquisitions, whereas the SAP processes are already in place, and only need to be converted to fully-formed services. Conversion is not a trivial task, but it’s not rocket science either. And it’s certainly better to be working on converting known assets than promising to deliver on assets that have yet to be acquired.

In the end, FUD is a short-term strategy, and one that Oracle will only be able to take so far. As long as the dialogue is about the wrong issues — like the apples to oranges comparison of when upgrades in two vastly different customer bases and under vastly different economic and technological conditions take place — FUD will work. But Oracle will have a problem combating the business process surge that SAP is planning for 2006.

And all the FUD in the world won’t count when SAP can demonstrate functional leadership in the software it sells today, while Oracle customers have to wait for Fusion. Oracle needs to counter SAP with its own business process strategy, or get out the way. The business process train is about the leave the station.

The Bluetooth Group Signs Heavyweight Apple To Its Board Of Directors

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group announced today it added Apple and Nordic Semiconductor to its board of directors. According to a statement, both companies were appointed for two years by unanimous vote of the current board of directors and will officially begin on July 1, 2011. Nordic Semiconductor is well-versed in wireless health sensors, a fit for the lower power requirements of the Bluetooth 4.0 standard.

Apple, of course, has a penchant for industry verticals such as medical where its iPad has become the physicians’ favorite tool (especially in Australia). Apple’s appointment to Bluetooth SIG’s board of directors  might also help popularize dedicated wireless accessories for iOS devices, such as this dongle that lets you take your own electrocardiograph readouts. Full release below.

Bluetooth SIG Adds Apple and Nordic Semiconductor to Board of Directors Industry Leaders Support Expansion of Bluetooth Technology into New Markets

Kirkland, WA – June 21, 2011 – The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) today announced two new members to its board of directors from Apple and Nordic Semiconductor. Leaders in their perspective markets, Apple and Nordic join household names Intel, Motorola, Lenovo, Nokia, Microsoft, Ericsson AB, and Toshiba on the Bluetooth SIG board. These companies, plus the more than 14,500 additional Bluetooth SIG member companies, will drive Bluetooth technology’s expansion into platform and sensor markets.

“We see the importance of platform development and ultra-low power sensor silicon for Bluetooth technology and believe guidance and board participation from Apple and Nordic, industry leaders in these perspective fields, is essential,” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “We have set the ambitious goal of shipping five billion devices in 2023 – to get there we must continue to build a technology that will offer a simple and secure solution that can be found everywhere, in every type of device. These additions to our board will ensure we succeed in new markets we have targeted for growth.”

The way consumers utilize digital devices is undergoing a fundamental shift – mobile phones, laptops and tablets, TVs and even cars now stand to serve as hub devices that capture data from small sensors monitoring everything from footsteps, heart rate activity, blood pressure and sugar levels to house temperature. Hub devices turn that data into useful information at the application layer, then may push that information to the cloud. Apple and Nordic understand this shift; insight from Apple on platform development and Nordic for sensor silicon demands will ensure a smooth growth trajectory of Bluetooth v4.0 into these new areas.

Nordic Semiconductor’s Svein-Egil Nielsen brings extensive experience in R&D as well as his entrepreneurial spirit to the Bluetooth SIG. Nielsen’s vast understanding of the ultra-low power space and its demands will help guide continued development of the Bluetooth v4.0 specification.

“Bluetooth technology has been the main R&D focus at Nordic for the last six years and we are now in a position to enable new and exciting products for consumers,” said Svenn-Tore Larsen, CEO Nordic Semiconductor. “ With our success in ultra-low power wireless technology, we know the market, applications and the customers. Nordic is proud to have the opportunity to extend this knowledge to the Bluetooth community.”

Apple and Nordic’s two-year appointments were agreed upon by unanimous vote of the current board of directors and will officially begin on July 1, 2011.

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