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Google will reimburse developers $90 million to settle a lawsuit over Play Store earnings

Google said Thursday it will pay $90 million to settle a lawsuit with US developers that accused Google of abusing its power of app distribution and charging an unfair fee of 30% for app purchases and in-app purchases made through the Play Store. The company noted that US developers who made less than $2 million each year between 2016 and 2021 through Google Play Store earnings will be eligible for compensation. “A vast majority of US developers who earned revenue through Google Play will be eligible to receive money from this fund if they choose. If the Court approves the settlement, developers that qualify will be notified and allowed to receive a distribution from the fund,” the search giant noted in a blog post . Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, the legal firm that represented the plaintiffs, said that developers were entitled to a minimum compensation of $250 — with some settlements going above $200,000. The firm noted that more than 48,000 US developers are eligible for paym

Meta’s co-accused Sama to retain BCorp status until case is determined

Meta’s main subcontractor for content moderation in Africa, Sama, will retain its BCorp certification until the case against it in Kenya, over claims of union busting and exploitation, is determined. The referenced case, which also includes allegations against Meta, was filed in May this year by Daniel Motaung, a former content moderator in the East African country. The corporate responsibility group, B Lab, told TechCrunch that the decision to uphold Sama’s certification was made after its standards management team concluded an initial review of allegations against the company, as captured in a Time magazine article , and following similar complaints received through its complaint process. The BCorp status is a stamp of approval for companies seen to meet high standards of transparency, performance and accountability, taking into account several factors including employee welfare, company structure and work process. The status is arguably one of the reasons Sama says it’s an ethical

Sharpen your credit card, the Apple Store is down

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At June’s WWDC , Apple launched a slew of new and exciting products, only to mention that they’d be available to order at some point later this month. Well, as the end of the month draws closer by the minute, it looks like Apple is updating its store, presumably to make some of those tasty morsels of carved-out-of-aluminum goodness available for ordering. So, what are we expecting? As Greg summarized, the company made a ton of announcements , but most of those aren’t relevant to the hardware side of things. Including, well, this cavalcade of stupidity . Ahem. Here’s everything Apple just announced at the WWDC 2022 keynote   Anyway, here’s a few of the announcements you can touch with your fingers — hardware, in other words — that we’re expecting to show up available to order: The new M2 processor itself, although you probably need to order a computer to get one; Apple hasn’t made a habit of letting you raw-dog its silicon quite yet. … In the MacBook Pro , as reviewed by Br

Micropyramid lenses triple the light that hits solar panels

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Stacks of teeny lenses that look like inverted pyramids could juice up solar panels, helping them capture more light from any angle on both sunny and overcast days. Solar panels perform best in direct sunlight, which is why some solar systems track the big fireball across the sky, turning to face it for maximum light. Unfortunately, such tracking tech is pricey and moving parts can break. Shortcomings like these motivated researchers at Stanford to develop an alternative. The resulting tech — named Axially Graded Index Lens, or AGILE for short — offers a way to boost the efficiency of static solar panels, even in diffuse light, authors Nina Vaidya and Olav Solgaard said in a peer-reviewed paper . P rototype arrays of AGILE lenses successfully concentrated light into a 3x smaller area, while retaining 90% of its power in the best-case scenario, and well ahead of more elementary concentrators when the light was more slanted (sometimes concentrators can sacrifice light intensity but c

Lenskart acquires majority stake in eyewear brand Owndays in $400 million deal

India’s Lenskart is buying a majority stake in Japan’s Owndays, the two firms said, creating one of Asia’s biggest online retailers of eyewear. The firms did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but a person familiar with the matter said the merger values 32-year business Owndays at $400 million. The 12-year-old Bengaluru-headquartered startup is buying Owndays’ shares from L Catterton, Mitsui and Principal Investments, the two firms said. Owndays co-founders Shuji Tanaka Take Umiyama will continue to be shareholders and lead the management team at the Japanese firm. The deal will extend the merged entity’s reach to 13 Asian markets, including India, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan, the two said. “The way people buy eyewear is changing rapidly and at Lenskart it is our mission to drive this transformation globally. In today’s age, the customer wants great products, great prices, and delightful experiences all the time. With Owndays w

NFT giant OpenSea reports major email data breach

OpenSea, the popular NFT marketplace that hit a colossal $13 billion valuation in January, is warning users of email phishing after a data breach. A staff at Customer.io, an email vendor contracted by OpenSea, misused their employee access to download and share email addresses of OpenSea’s users and newsletter subscribers with an unauthorized external party, the world’s largest NFT marketplace said  Wednesday night. The scale of the security breach appears massive. “If you have shared your email with OpenSea in the past, you should assume you were impacted,” the company said, adding that it’s working with Customer.io in an ongoing investigation and has reported the incident to law enforcement. More than 1.8 million users have made at least one purchase through the Ethereum network on OpenSea, according to data collected by Dune Analytics, an open-source crypto analytics platform. We have reached out to OpenSea for more information. Crypto startups have emerged as a target for cy

Black Swan analyzes social media to predict which products will be successful

Consumer packaged goods companies — think PepsiCo or Nabisco — face steep challenges from the rising cost of living and distribution. As inflation continues unabated, consumers’ disposable income isn’t going as far as it used to while products are becoming more expensive to ship. The pressure is on businesses to place their bets on the right innovations, then. That’s true during less chaotic times, but the stakes are higher at the moment. While founded long before the pandemic, Steve King says that Black Swan Data , the data science and tech company that he helped co-launch in 2011, is well-suited to the current environment. Black Swan taps into data from conversations on social media and analyzes the data to map “growth opportunities” for companies, attempting to identify trend signals more accurately than traditional market research approaches. Prior to co-founding Black Swan, King was a technical director at creative agency Digital Jigsaw. Black Swan’s other co-founder, Hugo Amos,

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