Facebook ‘XCheck’ Shields VIPs from Rules; T-Mobile Cuts Walmart Deal; Firefox Now Has Single-Click to be Windows Default Browser; Epic Appeals in Case vs Apple

In one of the all-time shockers, it turns out Facebook rules do NOT apply to everyone. The Wall Street Journal reports that a program called ‘XCheck’ actually shields VIP users from the normal enforcement process. Included in the high profile accounts: celebs, politicians, and journalists. According to documents seen by the WSJ, there were some 5.8 million users who were excluded from the normal ‘Facebook jail’ rules everyone else has to live with. 5.8 million isn’t a lot compared to the over billion users on Facebook, but when you consider the reach of those accounts, the impact isn substantial. Facebook had claimed it was trying to eliminate the whitelisting of VIP accounts by the first half of this year, but that goal has slipped. 

T-Mobile has cut a deal with Walmart that will double its presence in large national retailers. According to geekwire.com, they will launch in 2300 stores across the US that will sell both T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile products. T-Mobile is also in Best Buy stores, too. The carrier said this is all part of the effort to expand 5G access. 

Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, has announced that they have beaten Microsoft’s default browser protections in Windows. Theverge.com says that now you will be able to make Firefox the default browser with a single click, instead of wading through the cumbersome process Windows 10 has had in place. With a single click inside Firefox when running, it will do all the work in the background to make Firefox the default. So far, the one-click also works with pre-release versions of Windows 11. Microsoft has yet to respond, and so far, Google, Opera, and others have not followed Mozilla’s lead. 

As expected, Epic has appealed the ruling from Friday in the Epic v Apple case. According to theverge.com, they have given notice of filing with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision has been trumpeted by Apple as a win, but it was really very much a split decision. The judge in the case found that Epic failed to make the case that Apple was a monopoly in the mobile gaming marketplace. The decision has implications beyond the case, as the Feds have been looking at Apple’s possible monopoly power, and at this point, that is undercut by this decision.

Note that we will have a recap right here tomorrow of the Apple event unveiling the iPhone 13 and new Apple Watch models, etc. 



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