Apple Lets Developers in the Netherlands Offer Payment Options, escape from the 30% squeeze

Apple will grudgingly allow dating app developers in the Netherlands to use alternative payment methods in the App Store, but it doesn’t like it, and the score hasn’t been settled yet. In an update on its developers’ blog on Friday, Apple said dating app developers will have two new optional “entitlements” in the App Store, Read more about Apple Lets Developers in the Netherlands Offer Payment Options, escape from the 30% squeeze[…]

North Korea made ‘$400m’ in cryptocurrency heists last year

Thieves operating for the North Korean government made off with almost $400m in digicash last year in a concerted attack to steal and launder as much currency as they could. A report from blockchain biz Chainalysis found that attackers were going after investment houses and currency exchanges in a bid to purloin funds and send Read more about North Korea made ‘$400m’ in cryptocurrency heists last year[…]

Open source maintainer PLC4X hits out at corporate freeloaders, stops offering free support

Yet another developer of open source software has tired of companies utilizing the code he helps maintain without giving anything back to support the project. On Tuesday, Christofer Dutz, creator of Apache PLC4X, said he will stop providing community support for the software if corporate users fail to step up and open their wallets. “The Read more about Open source maintainer PLC4X hits out at corporate freeloaders, stops offering free support[…]

FTC’s latest monopoly lawsuit against Meta Facebook gets go-ahead

The Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust complaint that Facebook, er, Meta operates as a monopoly will be heard by the courts after the US watchdog’s initial lawsuit was dismissed. In December 2020, the FTC accused Meta of “illegally maintaining its personal social networking (PSN) monopoly through a years-long course of anticompetitive conduct.” It threatened to break Read more about FTC’s latest monopoly lawsuit against Meta Facebook gets go-ahead[…]

White House invites tech firms to discuss open-source software security in January

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has invited major tech firms to discuss ways that the cybersecurity of open-source software can be improved, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. According to Bloomberg, the tech firms include “major software companies and developers.” Cloud providers are also reportedly among the invited companies. Anne Neuberger, deputy national security advisor for Read more about White House invites tech firms to discuss open-source software security in January[…]

Google and Facebook Fined Big in Russia for Failing to Remove Banned Content – imprisonment threats follow forcing local data storage

A Russian court fined Alphabet Inc.’s Google 7.2 billion rubles ($98 million) and Meta Platforms Inc. 2 billion rubles Friday for failing to remove banned content, the largest such penalties yet, as the authorities escalate a crackdown on foreign technology companies. The fines were due to the companies’ repeated failure to comply with orders to Read more about Google and Facebook Fined Big in Russia for Failing to Remove Banned Content – imprisonment threats follow forcing local data storage[…]

EXCLUSIVE Dutch watchdog finds Apple app store payment rules anti-competitive – sources

The Dutch antitrust authority has found that Apple’s rules requiring software developers to use its in-app payment system are anti-competitive and ordered it to make changes, four people familiar with the matter said, in the latest regulatory setback for the iPhone maker. Apple’s app-store payment policies, in particular its requirement that app developers exclusively use Read more about EXCLUSIVE Dutch watchdog finds Apple app store payment rules anti-competitive – sources[…]

Roblox and many other huge tech businesses Save Millions Taking Advantage Of A Massive Tax Dodge

Game-making platform and fledgling metaverse Roblox made the news yesterday as the focus of a New York Times report about a ‘90s era tax cut that’s spun out of control. Originally created to foster investment in small businesses, the Qualified Small Business Stock, or Q.S.B.S., exemption has transformed into a way for ultra-wealthy businesses to Read more about Roblox and many other huge tech businesses Save Millions Taking Advantage Of A Massive Tax Dodge[…]

Yes, Norton 360 has a built in cryptominer. Deletion is not easy.

Norton antivirus’s inbuilt cryptominer has re-entered the public consciousness after a random Twitter bod expressed annoyance at how difficult it is to uninstall. The addition of Ncrypt.exe, Norton 360’s signed cryptocurrency-mining binary, to installations of Norton antivirus isn’t new – but it seems to have taken the non-techie world a few months to realise what’s Read more about Yes, Norton 360 has a built in cryptominer. Deletion is not easy.[…]

France fines Meta, Google: Cookies must be as easy to reject as to accept

Google and Facebook have come a little unstuck in the cookie department as French watchdog Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) slapped the pair with a €150m and €60m fine respectively. The CNIL kicked off its investigations after receiving complaints regarding the way cookies can be refused on facebook.com, youtube.com and google.fr. The Read more about France fines Meta, Google: Cookies must be as easy to reject as to accept[…]

EV startup Nikola (who showed video of car rolling down hill as being powered) settles with U.S. for $125 million

Electric- and hydrogen-powered truck startup Nikola has agreed to a $125 million settlement over charges that it defrauded investors after misleading them about its products, technical advances and financial prospects. Nikola violated the antifraud and disclosure control provisions of the federal securities laws, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday. In July the founder and Read more about EV startup Nikola (who showed video of car rolling down hill as being powered) settles with U.S. for $125 million[…]

US returns $154 Million in bitcoins stolen by Sony employee

[…] According to court documents, Ishii switched the transfer address for a Sony Life transaction to use a Silvergate Bank account under his control.. Ishii later converted the stolen funds into more than 3879 bitcoins via A Coinbase set up to automatically transfer all added funds to an offline cryptocurrency cold wallet with a Bitcoin Read more about US returns $154 Million in bitcoins stolen by Sony employee[…]

Cryptocurrency ‘rug pulls’ cheated investors out of ‘$8bn’

First, come up with a catchy name for a cryptocurrency project. Next, convince the credulous to buy associated digital tokens. Finally, abandon the project and keep investors’ funds. This “rug pulling” scam lacks sophistication but evidently it works. According to Chainalysis, a blockchain data biz, separating cryptocoin buyers from their money in this manner has Read more about Cryptocurrency ‘rug pulls’ cheated investors out of ‘$8bn’[…]

Bitcoin’s Inequality Problem Is Putting the Dollar to Shame 0.01% owns 27% of all BTC

[…] new research detailed in The Wall Street Journal suggests its inequality problems are worse than the United States’ disgraceful performance under the dollar. An incredible feat considering income inequality in 2020 America was the highest of all G7 nations according to data from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development viewed by Pew Research. That Read more about Bitcoin’s Inequality Problem Is Putting the Dollar to Shame 0.01% owns 27% of all BTC[…]

Hackers Steal $135 Million From Users of Crypto Gaming Company

In the latest hack targeting cryptocurrency investors, hackers stole around $135 million from users of the  blockchain gaming company VulcanForge, according to the company. The hackers stole the private keys to access 96 wallets, siphoning off 4.5 million PYR, which is VulcanForge’s token that can be used across its ecosystem, the company said in a Read more about Hackers Steal $135 Million From Users of Crypto Gaming Company[…]

FAA says lack of federal whistleblower protections is ‘enormous factor’ hindering Blue Origin safety review

Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin, became the subject of a federal review this fall after a group of 21 current and former employees co-signed an essay that raised serious questions about the safety of the company’s rockets — including the rocket making headlines for flying Bezos and other celebrities to space. But that review Read more about FAA says lack of federal whistleblower protections is ‘enormous factor’ hindering Blue Origin safety review[…]

Italian regulator fines Amazon $1.28 billion for abusing its market dominance

Italy’s antitrust authority (AGCM) has fined Amazon €1.13 billion ($1.28 billion) for “abuse of dominant position,” the second penalty it has imposed on Amazon over the last month. Amazon holds a position of “absolute dominance” in the Italian brokerage services market, “which has allowed it to promote its own logistics service, called Fulfillment by Amazon Read more about Italian regulator fines Amazon $1.28 billion for abusing its market dominance[…]

Spotify Pulls Content of Comedians Fighting to Get Royalties

[…] Spotify took down the work of hundreds of comedians, including big names like John Mulaney, Jim Gaffigan, and Kevin Hart, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Mulaney, Gaffigan, Hart, and other comedians are represented by Spoken Giants, a global rights company that’s leading the fight to get radio and digital platforms, such as Read more about Spotify Pulls Content of Comedians Fighting to Get Royalties[…]

The SEC is probing Tesla’s faulty solar panels prone to fire, whistleblower says they kept evidence of danger under wraps

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into whether Tesla failed to tell investors and customers about the fire risks of its faulty solar panels. Whistleblower and ex-employee, Steven Henkes, accused the company of flouting safety issues in a complaint with the SEC in 2019. He filed a freedom of information request to Read more about The SEC is probing Tesla’s faulty solar panels prone to fire, whistleblower says they kept evidence of danger under wraps[…]

Huge 20-Year Study Shows Trickle-Down Is a Myth, Inequality Rampant

The 2022 World Inequality Report, a huge undertaking coordinated by economic and inequality experts Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman, was the product of four years of research and produced an unprecedented data set on just how wealth is distributed. “The world is marked by a very high level of income inequality Read more about Huge 20-Year Study Shows Trickle-Down Is a Myth, Inequality Rampant[…]

‘Wall of secrecy’ in Pfizer contracts as company accused of profiteering

Ministers have agreed a secrecy clause in any dispute with the drugs manufacturer Pfizer over Britain’s Covid vaccine supply. Large portions of the government’s contracts with the company over the supply of 189m vaccine doses have been redacted and any arbitration proceedings will be kept secret. The revelation comes as Pfizer is accused by a Read more about ‘Wall of secrecy’ in Pfizer contracts as company accused of profiteering[…]

UK competition regulator orders Meta to sell Giphy

As rumored, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has ordered Meta (Facebook) to sell Giphy, saying the deal “could harm social media users and UK advertisers.” It found that the deal would boost Meta’s already prodigious market power by limiting other platforms’ access to Giphy GIFs, “driving more traffic to Facebook owned sites — Read more about UK competition regulator orders Meta to sell Giphy[…]

Elon Musk Email Warns of Potential SpaceX Bankruptcy

SpaceX employees received a nightmare email over the holiday weekend from CEO Elon Musk, warning them of a brewing crisis with its Raptor engine production that, if unsolved, could result in the company’s bankruptcy. The email, obtained by SpaceExplored, CNBC, and The Verge, urged employees to work over the weekend in a desperate attempt to Read more about Elon Musk Email Warns of Potential SpaceX Bankruptcy[…]

Hitting the Books: How Amazon laundered the ‘myth of the founder’ into a business empire

We’ve heard the fable of “the self-made billionaire” a thousand times: some unrecognized genius toiling away in a suburban garage stumbles upon The Next Big Thing, thereby single-handedly revolutionizing their industry and becoming insanely rich in the process — all while comfortably ignoring the fact that they’d received $300,000 in seed funding from their already Read more about Hitting the Books: How Amazon laundered the ‘myth of the founder’ into a business empire[…]

Big tech fined 2% revenue if they force their own in-app payment system in S Korea

South Korean has again imposed new regulations on app stores, this time with a regime that will see operators fined up to two per cent of revenue if they force their proprietary in-app payment systems on developers. “Considering that certain payment methods compulsory acts are serious illegal acts of app market operators, an enforcement ordinance Read more about Big tech fined 2% revenue if they force their own in-app payment system in S Korea[…]