apple
Apple Might Let You Change Your Default Apps, Other Giants Could Finally Get a Fair Shake

Potentially yielding some bitterly-contested ground, Apple is thinking about allowing its users to replace their default essential apps like Safari, Mail, and Apple Music with third-party apps, Bloomberg reports. [Muted golf clap.] This comes less than a year after the US Supreme Court paved the way for app-related antitrust lawsuits, ruling that iPhone users in America could sue Apple for using its App Store monopoly to drive up prices with its 30 per cent commission on sales. Read More >>

technology
Inside the Bowling Alley’s Mechanical Heart With the Guy Who Keeps It Beating

The narrow hallway behind the bowling lanes looks like a miniature factory, rows of well-oiled pipes and pulleys facing boxes and boxes of jewellery-sized parts. On a freezing January evening, the machinery’s caretaker moves down the line with a clipboard, taking his monthly inventory of backup parts. Read More >>

patreon
Patreon is Putting Up Money for Projects Now, But it Expects a Return

Patreon, the beloved subscription platform whose independent media creators would really like it to stay the course, is following what seems to be the inevitable trajectory of online payment processors and giving out small loans – in this case, cash advances for upcoming projects. This may be getting into hairy don’t-mix-friends-with-business territory for a company which is built on goodwill (namely, a relatively liberal 90 per cent payout of all revenues to creators). But, as Patreon business owners know, everybody needs to get paid, and Patreon is a business. Read More >>

scams
Influencer Offering ‘Legal’ Money in Insta Stories Arrested for Not-So-Legal £1.15 Million Scam

A 22-year-old YouTuber and Instagram personality in the US advertising “legal” money for “serious ppl only” with “no scams!” turned out to be a scammer, allegedly. Nothing is real. Read More >>

privacy
Social Media Post Mocking a Dementia Patient Doesn’t Violate Patient Privacy Law, Court Rules

A nurse’s aide is legally in the clear after posting a hatefully-captioned photo of an Alzheimer’s patient at a nursing home. After the patient’s husband William Furlow sued for personal injury, the State of Minnesota Court of Appeals in the U.S. has ruled that posting an image of a patient does not qualify as sharing private health records. The selfie, taken in a mirror with the patient in the background, announces: “This little shit just pulled the fire alarm and now I had to call 911!!! Woohoo". Read More >>

business
Is Billionaire Okay?

If you read a lot of tech news, the mind wanders every so often to billionaire SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. Is he sitting at his desk, the blackened banana peel of a detonated booby cigar still dangling from his lips, since SoftBank’s multi-billion-dollar gamble on WeWork spectacularly blew up in his face? Or is he gleefully refreshing today’s news that Nuro’s passenger-less vehicle may actually birth the glorious pizza-delivering unicorn one hopes? Is he okay or what? Read More >>

security
Report: Every Single Israeli Voter’s Data Exposed

Campaign managers worldwide should have their internet privileges revoked, period, but here’s the latest stunning fiasco: Netanyahu’s political party the Likud exposed the country’s entire voter registry by uploading it to an app, Haaretz has reported. An “anonymous tipper” claimed to have easily accessed personal data of 6,453,254 Israeli voters, including names, ID numbers, addresses, and in some cases, phone numbers. Read More >>

facebook
Would Facebook Save Your Life If It Could?

If you were on trial for a murder you didn’t commit, it’s possible that Facebook has evidence that could set you free. But it is extraordinarily unlikely that Facebook would hand it over. Facebook would not only refuse to help you, but it will pay exorbitant legal fees to fight your subpoenas through appeals courts as you languish in jail for years. It will ignore your attorneys and judges. It will do so in the name of protecting your privacy. And based on current laws, Facebook’s not entirely wrong to hang you out to dry while it gives law enforcement all the information it desires. Read More >>

facebook
Two Women Allegedly Made Over £63,000 Running Raffle Racket on Facebook

Two women with a very solid plan to make money and perhaps a shaky grasp of local gambling laws were foiled last month in a glorious but short-lived Facebook raffle scheme. Recently-filed criminal complaints estimate that admins Brittany Winings, 32, and Tiffany Dupas, 26, both residents of the US state of Pennsylvania, made a collective $81,507.40 (£63046.79) in PayPal bids over the course of two months last summer via their group “BID WIN SAVE.” Needless to say, the duo possibly did not anticipate the googling capabilities of the Pennsylvania State Police. The investigation was brief, and the two admitted to administering the page late last year. Read More >>

facebook
‘The First Thing That Comes Up on Google’: The Nightmare of Facebook Listing Your Butthole as a Place

Samantha Rae Anna Jespersen never expected to be asked for articles of incorporation for her butthole. But that’s the kind of cold-stupid question she would come to expect over the years in a nightmarish search for a human being in the gears and cogs of the Facebook Support apparatus. Read More >>

instagram
Instagram Wipes Independent Developer’s Work in the Name of Copyright Protections

Social media companies tend to take up copyright issues only when a) mitigating the pain in the arse of takedown notices and b) ensuring users keep reposting memes. Instagram, has erred cautiously on the side of supporting potential infringers for the latter reason. So, we found it curious when TorrentFreak reported that Instagram issued a DMCA takedown notice (an official copyright removal request) against Github to remove an independent developer’s tool which, Instagram claimed, could potentially enable copyright infringement of its users’ works. Essentially, Instagram is filing a copyright infringement notice against an independent developer for copyright infringement that hasn’t necessarily occurred on works that Instagram doesn’t hold the rights to. That’s very nice of Instagram to care, but how does this make sense? Read More >>

donald trump
Big Praise: Trump Says Elon ‘Does Good at Rockets,’ Zuck’s ‘Done a Hell of a Job’

While attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, a few thoughts tumbled across the barren dunes of the US president’s skull space, out through his mouth hole and out onto Squawk Box on Wednesday. He spoke with the programme’s co-host Joe Kernen about tax cuts, the impeachment inquiry, the US Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, relations with China (“President for life – not bad”). And then he turned to starry visions of wingless rocket ships gliding high, like way up high, in the sky. Read More >>

tiktok
TikTok Teens Are Dipping Their Balls in Soy Sauce and Lighting Their Houses on Fire

Typically, blog posts open with a broad statement establishing a thesis, which the writer then substantiates with evidence in order to make a point. In exceptional cases, there’s just information so senseless that it needs no interpretation; in others, the writer isn’t positioned to take a stance on an issue when it’s better interpreted by a member of the community it affects. Who am I, in my capacity as a staff reporter and as a person without balls, to determine whether it’s weird to dip your balls in soy sauce to see if they can taste? Read More >>

gdpr
How Much Should Tech Pay?

European regulators have spent the last few years trying to determine how much you’re worth in data – beyond your email, name, and location, that includes race, religion, opinions, and even mental state. A new report by the global law firm DLA Piper has found that, since Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in May 2018, EU Member States have fined companies a total of €114 million (£97 million) for at least 59,430 personal data breaches. The policy promised to go out for scalps, but it’s still unclear how much the policy has delivered. Is €114 million a lot? I don’t know, and regulators don’t either. Read More >>

twitter
Twitter Announces a New Tool to Limit Replies to Your Tweets

Suppose you get roasted all the time for your bad takes on Twitter. Today is your luckiest day! The platform has announced a new function that gives users a range of options for limiting replies. You may resume tweeting to your heart’s content with full immunity. Read More >>