After Epic v. Apple, a small developer is challenging Apple’s in-app payment system

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The ambiguous finish to the Epic v. Apple trial opened a tiny crack in Apple’s control over in-app payments on the iPhone — and now, a small developer is trying to crawl through it.
A company called Paddle has announced its own in-app payment system that will take a smaller cut than Apple’s system — 5 to 10 percent, instead of the 15 to 30 percent cut claimed by Apple. It’s a way around the commission fees that started the fight with Epic in the first place and likely to be the beginning of a new fight for developers.
Paddle’s system is designed to take advantage of the Epic v. Apple verdict, which required Apple to allow external payment links. Prior to the verdict, an App Store rule had banned “external links, or other calls to action…
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Apple is making it easier to delete accounts attached to third-party apps

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Apple will require developers that offer a way to create accounts in their apps to also offer a way to delete them, starting with app submissions on January 31st, 2022, the company shared Wednesday. The account deletion requirement was originally announced alongside several other changes to Apple’s developer guidelines at WWDC 2021.
Account deletion is a minor convenience, but considering how often apps require accounts and how easy it is to delete an app without ending your relationship with the company connected to it, it’s welcome. Apple’s announcement suggests only that developers “allow users to initiate deletion of their account from within the app,” so it’s possible implementations of these account deletion features could bump you…
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Facebook explains the backbone shutdown behind its global outage on Monday

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The massive outage that took down Facebook, its associated services (Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Messenger), its platform for businesses, and the company’s own internal network all started with routine maintenance.
According to infrastructure vice president Santosh Janardhan, a command issued during maintenance inadvertently caused a shutdown of the backbone that connects all of Facebook’s data centers, everywhere in the world.
That by itself is bad enough, but as we’ve already explained, the reason you couldn’t use Facebook is that the DNS and BGP routing information pointing to its servers suddenly disappeared. According to Janardhan, that problem was a secondary issue, as Facebook’s DNS servers noted the loss of connection to the…
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Ring’s Halloween doorbell Chimes return and new spooky quick replies arrive

Ring brings spooky ringtones to its video doorbells in time for Halloween. | Image: Ring Following in the now annual tradition of the spooky smart home, Ring has released its seasonal ding dongs. In honor of the festive season, you can turn your Ring Video Doorbell’s interior Chime’s tone to a screeching cat, a creaky door, or my personal favorite, the creepy laugh, for the month of October. There are a handful of other scary tones also, nine in total, which is eight more than Google is offering on its Nest doorbell.
To up the spooky ante this year, Ring has a new trick as an extra treat: a selection of Halloween-themed Quick Replies, a free feature that lets your doorbell answer for you. Now, when a visitor presses the Ring buzzer, it can talk back to them with these additions to the standard preset responses:
“Tell us…
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The Europe-Japan mission to Mercury sends back photos of the planet’s cratered surface

The BepiColombo mission snapped this photo of Mercury on October 1st. | ESA/BepiColombo/MTM Photos from a fly-by of Mercury, the least-explored planet in our solar system, show ithas a crater-riddled surface that resembles Earth’s Moon.
The photos came from BepiColombo, a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) that launched from Europe’s Spaceport in 2018. The mission has two linked orbiting spacecraft, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter. The mission is planned to reach Mercury’s orbit in late 2025.
BepiColombo aims to gather more information about Mercury and its composition, and how it evolved so close to our Sun. Temperatures on Mercury can exceed 350 degrees Celsius, or about 660 degrees Fahrenheit.
ESA explains where the…
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NBCUniversal and YouTubeTV reach agreement to avoid dropped channels

Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images After YouTube TV and NBCUniversal announced a “short” extension on Thursday to keep more than a dozen channels on the live TV service, YouTube TV and NBCUniversal say they have finalized a deal — meaning NBC-owned channels will stay put on YouTube TV.
“We’re thrilled to share that we’ve reached a deal to continue carrying the full NBCUniversal portfolio of channels,” according to a Saturday update to YouTube’s blog. “That means you won’t lose access to any of their channels, and YouTube TV will continue to offer 85+ networks for $64.99. We appreciate NBCUniversal’s willingness to work toward an agreement, and we also appreciate your patience as we negotiated with them on your behalf.”
With a deal reached just days after it looked as…
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What’s the deal with Seinfeld’s aspect ratio on Netflix?

Seinfeld has officially moved over to stream on Netflix today, with a new 4K upgrade that promises to make the show look better than ever. But while Netflix has upgraded the iconic “show about nothing” to even crisper resolution, Netflix is hewing to the same strategy that Hulu and other HD releases of the show have used: a more modern-looking 16:9 aspect, instead of offering the original 4:3 aspect ratio in which the show originally aired.
The aspect ratio isn’t a new problem for Seinfeld fans, dating back to the original HD remaster that was produced in 2008 for TBS HD’s syndicated reruns, which were newly made scans of the original film (hence the ability to add back the wider frames that never made it into the initial broadcast) in…
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Star Wars: Visions has a lot more fun than Marvel’s What If…?

Image: Lucasfilm Both Marvel and Star Wars can get a little too serious for their own good. Their stories are often so focused on what happened before, or what’s coming next, that they forget about the fact that people are tuning in to watch thrilling adventures about superheroes and space wizards. What I’m saying is, both franchises often put canon ahead of fun. But Disney Plus has offered them a chance to cut loose a little in the form of the animated anthologies What If…? and Star Wars: Visions. The two series take very different approaches to the concept of messing with established stories and characters — and some extra freedom means that Star Wars ends up being a lot more exciting.
The premise of What If…? is pure comic book fodder: each episode…
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How to sign up for an invite for the Ring Always Home Cam, Amazon’s new security drone

The Ring Always Home Cam retails for $249.99 and is set to launch later this year. | Image: Amazon First announced last year, Amazon will begin selling its Ring Always Home Cam starting today, September 28th, alongside the new Ring Alarm Pro, Blink Video Doorbell, and several other products. There are just two caveats: access to the Ring Always Home Cam is invite-only at the moment, and it won’t ship until later this year.
The new Ring Always Home Cam is an autonomous, indoor security camera that essentially amounts to a flying drone strapped with a Ring camera on the bottom. With it, you can keep an eye on what’s going inside of your home even while you’re away. That’s because the device streams 1080p video to your smartphone via the Ring app, allowing you to check for intruders or make sure you didn’t leave the stovetop on at a…
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