Braidwood news, sport and Australia
Braidwood Times delivers latest news from Braidwood NSW including sport, weather, entertainment and lifestyle.
Fortnite battles Apple in Australian court - Braidwood Times
The maker of online game Fortnite has brought its beef with Apple to Australian shores, accusing the $2.75-trillion tech giant of breaking consumer laws throu...
The maker of online game Fortnite has brought its beef with Apple to Australian shores, accusing the $2.75-trillion tech giant of breaking consumer laws through its iPhone app monopoly. Epic Games this week filed a claim in the Federal Court accusing Apple of breaching laws forbidding exclusive dealing, the misuse of market power and unconscionable conduct. "It goes to the heart of whether consumers and creators can do business together directly on mobile platforms or are forced to use monopoly channels against wishes and interests," Epic chief executive and majority owner Tim Sweeny said in a statement on Wednesday. Fortnite was banned from the App Store in August after the multi-billion-dollar developer allowed iPhone and iPad users to pay it directly for in-app content, bypassing Apple's system. Apple takes a 30 per cent cut of all purchases it processes and bans iOS app developers from using alternate payment methods. The tech company also prevents iOS users from sideloading apps - or downloading apps directly from websites. "The conduct, in turn, results in harms including a reduction in choice for app distribution and higher prices for in-app content for iOS device users in Australia," Epic's claim states. "But for Apple's conduct, the App Store would (or would likely) face vigorous and effective competition in the iOS App Distribution Market from other app stores to distribute iOS-compatible apps to iOS devices users including in Australia, leading to pro-competitive benefits including increased quality, innovation and choice, as occurs with Apple personal computers." Epic says the ban from the iOS app store ban had caused a loss of goodwill and "permanent and irreparable" damage to its ongoing business, reputation and trust with customers. Apple said its priorities always were to provide customers with a safe and trusted place to download software and to apply the rules equally to all developers. It referenced a similar, ongoing case Epic filed in the US, in which the developer was called out for not being upfront with Apple when introducing the code circumventing the tech giant's in-app payment system. "In ways a judge has described as deceptive and clandestine, Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines that apply equally to every developer and protect customers," a spokeswoman told AAP in a statement. "Their reckless behaviour made pawns of customers, and we look forward to making this clear to Australian courts." Apple is yet to file a defence and the case's first mention before the court is yet to be scheduled. A US District Court judge in October refused to order Fortnite's immediate restoration to the App Store, but did ban Apple from taking any adverse action against Epic that would impact access to Epic's Unreal Engine, which is used by other developers. Australian Associated Press
Italian virus count highest since March - Braidwood Times
Italy has recorded another major spike in coronavirus infections as the daily caseload hit 5372 infections, the highest since late March. The Friday figure co...
Italy has recorded another major spike in coronavirus infections as the daily caseload hit 5372 infections, the highest since late March. The Friday figure compared to 4458 on Thursday and was getting close to the all-time daily record of coronavirus infections - 6557 - reported on March 21. The total infection count reached 343,770, while the overall death toll increased by 28, hitting 36,111, according to the tally by the Civil Protection Agency. Until last week, Italy seemed to be doing better than most other European peers in terms of controlling a feared second wave of the coronavirus. Daily infection numbers stayed under 2000 until October 1. On Wednesday, the government announced a raft of virus containment measures, including the mandatory use of face masks when outdoors and the extension of a state of emergency until January 31. More restrictions may be forthcoming with local shutdowns "where necessary" but no new country-wide lockdown is in the works, Deputy Health Minister Sandra Zampa told the Affaritaliani.it news site. Compared to the worst days of the epidemic in March, when Italy was struggling with severe shortages of beds, ventilators and face masks, the health system is now under significantly lower stress. On Friday, there were 387 COVID-19 patients reported in intensive care compared to a peak of more than 4000 in late March and early April. Australian Associated Press
New cases as Ardern reviews NZ COVID rules - Braidwood Times
Three new community cases of COVID-19 this weekend will give Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern food for thought as she considers axing restrictions in New Zealand...
Three new community cases of COVID-19 this weekend will give Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern food for thought as she considers axing restrictions in New Zealand on Monday. The fresh cases are not linked to the Auckland cluster which saw Ms Ardern send New Zealand's biggest city into lockdown last month. Instead, health authorities say they are three members of the same household as a man who recently returned to NZ but passed quarantine without a positive result. That man travelled from India to New Zealand on August 27, completed his mandatory isolation in Christchurch before returning to his home in Auckland. On developing symptoms, he was tested, and on returning a positive result, his household members were isolated and tested - picking up the two further positive results. It remains to be seen whether the outbreak will spark a fresh cluster. Health authorities have two working theories on how the man brought the virus into the community despite his fortnight in isolation. The first theory is he caught COVID-19 overseas or on his international flight, and had an above-normal incubation period, developing symptoms after three weeks. Developing symptoms after more than two weeks is considered rare. The second theory is he was infected on his flight from Canterbury to Auckland after completing his isolation. This has led contact tracers to contact all passengers on that Air New Zealand flight. A connection to the existing Auckland cluster has been ruled out by genomic testing. The notion of a new cluster will be the major concern for Ms Ardern as she considers New Zealand's alert level settings. Auckland's 1.6 million inhabitants endured a 16-day lockdown in the aftermath of last month's cases, but is now at alert level two - like the rest of New Zealand - with smaller cap sizes for gatherings. Last week, Ms Ardern pledged to lower those cap sizes for Auckland to rid all restrictions for the rest of New Zealand should cases "track as they are, and maintain the containment we have seen". The Auckland case numbers seem to tick that box, given there were four community cases in the past week, compared with 18 in the previous week. Outside of Auckland, there have been no cases found in months - except for a handful of cases in Tokoroa with established links to Auckland businesses. The Tokoroa cases also produced two of three deaths due to COVID-19 this month, with NZ's overall death toll at 25. New Zealand's cabinet will meet on Monday morning to make a decision, before Ms Ardern announces the decision at a 1pm NZST press conference. Australian Associated Press
Concern as Victoria's COVID-19 cases rise - Braidwood Times
Plans to ease coronavirus restrictions in Victoria could be in doubt if the number of new cases in the state continues to rise, the state's deputy chief healt...
Plans to ease coronavirus restrictions in Victoria could be in doubt if the number of new cases in the state continues to rise, the state's deputy chief health officer has warned. Eighteen new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the state on Thursday, including eight cases of community transmission, bringing the state's total to 1780. About 80 cases remain active. Six cases of the new cases are returned travellers in hotel quarantine, one is connected to an existing outbreak and a further three remain under investigation. It comes after Victoria recorded 21 cases on Wednesday, the state's biggest increase in more than a month. Victoria's Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen said authorities still plan to relax restrictions on Monday, though a lot can happen in the meantime. "Monday is not that far away. The plan is to continue to ease those restrictions on Monday, but a lot can happen in five days," Dr van Diemen told reporters on Thursday. "We don't want to take any chances and if it does continue to climb, we will be taking all of that into account when we decide whether or not to ease further on Monday." Gyms, cinemas, indoor sports centres and concert venues will reopen on Monday, while cafes, restaurants and pubs will increase capacity from 20 people to 50. Australian Associated Press