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THE ‘AMAZON EFFECT’ IS YET TO DISRUPT BRICK-AND-MORTAR STORES

JB HI-FI BREATHING EASY FOR NOW.

Amazon Australia created plenty of fear in physical retail stores leading up to its inevitable arrival, but in the months since its December 2017 launch, the online retail giant has yet to dent local shops. Financial reports from JB Hi-Fi show steadily growing profits, although the stock market has been more cautious and future-wary as JB Hi-Fi’s stock dropped 7.5% when it released its half-yearly report. [ HD ]

CHAT APP TELEGRAM PULLED FROM IOS APP STORE OVER CHILD PORN ALLEGATIONS

THE PITFALLS OF ENCRYPTION.

Late in January, the encrypted messaging service Telegram was temporarily removed from the iOS App Store and, according to a report from 9to5Mac, this was due to allegations of child pornography on the service. After it was reported, the app was immediately taken down from the App Store. Telegram was quick to ban the users who uploaded the content in question, and a new version of the chat app — one with safety measures in place that are believed to prevent illegal material being uploaded in the future — has been allowed to return to the Store. [ HD ]

NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT SUED BY KIM DOTCOM OVER WRONGFUL ARREST

KIWI AUTHORITIES ACCUSED OF NEGLIGENCE AND MISFEASANCE.

Six years after New Zealand authorities conducted military-style raids to arrest individuals accused of copyright infringement, Kim Dotcom is suing the Kiwi Government for billions of dollars. The German-born entrepreneur has always maintained that his arrest was unlawful under New Zealand law. That erroneous arrest, he says, resulted in “the unlawful destruction” of his now-defunct file hosting service Megaupload. The legal documents filed in court claim the arrest warrant was invalid and there were no reasonable grounds for Dotcom to lose his freedom and his profitable company. [ SS ]

 

US, UK AND AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS BLAME RUSSIA FOR NOTPETYA VIRUS

RUSSIA DENIES ALLEGATIONS.

Halfway through 2017, malware dubbed NotPetya swept the globe, crippling governmental and business computers and halting operations in hospitals, ports and many other major sectors. Now, the finger has been pointed at Moscow, more specifically at its military, as Australia joins the UK and US in claiming the attack was more than just a criminal activity but a militaristic disruption. [ HD ]

ADVOCACY GROUPS ASK FACEBOOK TO DISCONTINUE MESSENGER KIDS

SOCIAL MEDIA IS DETRIMENTAL TO MENTAL HEALTH, ARGUE CHILD HEALTH EXPERTS.

Facebook launched Messenger Kids for children as young as six years old, but child care advocates are urging the social media platform to discontinue the app. A letter sent by the advocates to Zuckerberg cites numerous studies that link social media use to child development and mental health issues, not to mention the concerns over privacy and the possibility of abuse. Facebook claims it worked closely with experts to ensure the app was safe for younger users, but it’s been reported that these experts were funded by the social media platform. Despite the criticism, the app is now available on both Android and iOS. [ SS ]

FITNESS APP STRAVA GIVES AWAY SECRET ARMY BASE LOCATION

ALSO INVITES USERS TO JOIN “SEX CLUB”.

In November 2017, the fitness-tracking app Strava released maps of every route its users had run and displayed it in a rather dazzling lightshow. Unfortunately, this included tracks taken by military personnel around their top-secret bases, both in their home countries and abroad. Many users of the app have since received an unsolicited spam invitation from “Jessy Kiss” to join her “SEX Club”. Strava is now reviewing its privacy features. [ HD ]