This week, there's an Uber problem in California, an Epic problem for Apple and Google, and a confusing problem for Netflix and Hulu.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.
In September of 2019, California passed a law requiring changes to the operations of gig economy companies, specifically Uber and Lyft. The ultimate goal of the law was to force these companies to treat their contractors as employees. The end result would be a change in the entire way these companies work and the way that their contractors work. Despite the major change in the companies' business models, Uber and Lyft made changes in an attempt to come into compliance with Assembly Bill 5.
Over the past few weeks, a storm has been brewing over the way the two mobile app stores treat their developers and their platforms. The biggest offender has been Apple, whose App Store is a closed ecosystem with a set of very strict rules that are expensive for app publishers. They have even barred Google Stadia and Xbox Game Streaming from their platform entirely. Among those rules is that if you offer anything for purchase in the app that is usable in that app, you must process your payment through Apple's system, which includes a 30% fee to use the system. Google has a similar rule, but it only applies if you distribute Google Play and use any Google Play Services.
In decades past, the browser wars were a major part of the technology world. Everyone and their mother was making a web browser, and everyone wanted to be in charge. What a lot of the developers learned was that offering a software product that was a lot of work to make for free was not a great way to generate revenue. Today, the browser wars are mostly settled, with Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla being the last major players. While Google and Microsoft use the revenue from other divisions to keep their browsers aloft, Mozilla has little else going on. This week, that business model bit them and their employees.
Some of the regional laws governing media transmission are bizarre and made even more so in the ever-changing landscape of modern media. As appointment television slowly fades into a second-tier position and internet content takes over, cities with some of these strange laws are looking to implement those laws against the internet. And that is exactly what is happening in a town in Texas.