⚡️ TikTok FINED $368M

PLUS: Unity developers revolt over fees

Welcome, Tech enthusiasts.

The hits keep coming for TikTok, with another massive fine for child privacy.

Can the social media giant overcome the constant regulatory hurdles?

Let’s get into it.

In today’s tech rundown:

  • 💸 TikTok fined $368M for child privacy violations

  • 😡 Unity's new fees spark developer revolt

  • 🎮 Microsoft targets 2028 for next Xbox

  • 🛠️ 7 new products and 8 quick stories

Read time: 3 minutes

TODAY’S HEADLINES

TIKTOK

Image source: TikTok

The Rundown: The Irish Data Protection Commission slapped TikTok with a $368M fine (the platform's largest to date) this weekend for mishandling children's data and failing to disclose privacy risks.

Key details:

  • The complaint focused on inadequate age verification and public-by-default teen accounts, violating GDPR transparency rules.

  • TikTok says it disagrees with the level of fine — particularly since it already updated the features cited.

  • This isn’t the first legal action against the social media app — and follows smaller fines TikTok received in the UK and US.

  • Investigations into potential illegal China data transfers also continue to move forward.

Our take: Privacy regulations are no child's play (see what we did there), and TikTok's gigantic penalty only reaffirms this. TikTok’s changes over the years show progress, but the burning question is — are they doing enough to keep up with lawmakers' increasing oversight?

UNITY

Image source: Unity

The Rundown: Gaming development platform Unity is backtracking on its controversial per-install fee structure a week after its announcement caused intense backlash and led to developers threatening to leave the platform.

Key points:

  • The original plan charged $0.20 per install after 200K copies sold, concerning many indie developers.

  • Popular games like Among Us said they would delay features or port to other engines to avoid the fees.

  • Unity apologized and will reportedly exempt first installs/limit fees to 4% of revenue over $1M.

  • Unity's new method of install tracking would rely on developers' self-reporting, aiming to tax the highest-earning games on the platform.

Why it matters: Unity faces an uphill battle to rebuild goodwill after ignoring creators' realities — and the backlash shows that platform success depends on empowering developers, not squeezing finances.

MICROSOFT

Image source: Microsoft

The Rundown: Microsoft execs are eyeing 2028 for the new Xbox console launch and have also discussed a more flexible hardware approach, according to court documents revealed in an FTA lawsuit against the company.

The details:

  • An internal Microsoft chat log from May 2022 referenced 2028 as the target for "Gen 10" Xbox.

  • This aligns with recent vague comments about the next generation starting in 2028.

  • Each new console cycle resets competitive dynamics with Sony's PlayStation, with flexible hardware potentially shaking things up.

The relevance: Despite being a bit in Sony's shadow, Xbox’s firm spot in the console wars brings attractive expectations for their next gaming console. The flexible hardware angle also adds intrigue — and could signal a potential shift in the gaming landscape.

NEW PRODUCTS

🇪🇸 Understand Better- Communicate with native speakers through natural language listening exercises (link)

📅 Kyugo- A personal assistant to handle your calendar needs (link)

📸 Picyard- A design tool and screenshot enhancer for image mockups (link)

🗣 Speechify- transcribe everything into audio for you to listen to (link)

🎓 Monic AI- Learn anything faster with AI (link)

🪄 Framer AI- Generate a website in minutes from prompts (link)

🦾 Resolve- ChatGPT-powered customer service chatbots (link)

Browse the most popular tools ever featured with our tool database.

SNIPPETS

Apple has released iOS17 for iPhone users, introducing various new features and switching to a USB-C charging cord for the new iPhone 15 models.

Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi is set to oversee Surface and Windows businesses as product chief Panos Panay steps down after nearly 20 years, amid reports of Panay joining Amazon to lead its Alexa and Echo units.

Stoke Space's "Hopper2" prototype successfully conducted a 15-second test flight, demonstrating the effectiveness of its unique integrated engine design.

Joby Aviation will build its first large-scale electric aircraft factory in Dayton, Ohio, investing up to $500 million and aiming to produce up to 500 aircraft annually, with production starting by 2025.

A federal judge blocked California's CAADCA law, designed to increase online data safeguards for minors, stating it likely infringes on the First Amendment.

Meta is discontinuing support for several games on its Oculus platforms, including Dead and Buried, Dead and Buried II, and Bogo, without providing a clear reason for the decision.

Agility Robotics has opened a manufacturing facility capable of producing over 10,000 humanoid robots annually, while still employing more than 500 people for the production process.

Scottish researchers at Queen Margaret University have developed PALM-ALT, a 100% plant-based alternative to palm oil that is environmentally friendlier, healthier, and indistinguishable in taste and texture from traditional palm oil.

THAT’S A WRAP

If you have anything interesting to share, please reach out to us by sending us a DM on Twitter: @rowancheung & @therundowntech

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