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PayPal Faces $25 M Fine

Posted In: . By Kirhat

PayPal Fined
Users who have used PayPal to buy something are probably going out of their way to avoid hitting the "Bill Me Later" option, a credit service that fronts the money and has users pay it back at a later date. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (or CFPB), that was the least malicious thing about the program over the past few years.

In a complaint filed recently, the organization says PayPal signed people up to the service without their permission, deceptively advertised its benefits (which never materialized in some cases), forced users to use PayPal Credit instead of other payment methods, and "mishandled" billing in a way that raked up late fees and extra interest charges. All in all, very bad things for people trying to spend money on the internet.

"Many of these consumers learned of their PayPal Credit accounts for the first time when they received billing statements with accrued late fees and interest charges, or when they received debt-collection calls," the complaint says.

As a result, the CFPB is requiring PayPal to pay out US$ 15 million in reimbursements to consumers that mistakenly enrolled in the program or made purchases through it, as well as others who garnered fees from questionable customer service. That goes with a US$ 10 million fine to the CFPB's Civil Penalty Fund, which pays out victims in instances where companies can't.

The CFPB is also requiring PayPal to do a better job at disclosing when people are actually enrolling in the credit program, or being charged fees and interest. PayPal agreed to these measures, but did not admit to any wrongdoings, Bloomberg reports.

In a statement, a PayPal spokesperson said "we continually improve our products and enhance our communications to ensure a superior customer experience," adding that "our focus is on ease of use, clarity and providing high-quality products that are useful to consumers and are in compliance with applicable laws."

The fines levied on PayPal are relatively small compared to some other CFPB actions. Last April, the group asked Bank of America to pay US$ 727 million to consumers who were signed up to credit protection services. The year before, it went after Chase for US$ 309 million for fees it said the company was charging people for services they did not end up receiving.


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Nintendo's Bridging Program
The Nintendo's new "integrated membership service" is expected to link the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, PC, smart devices, and its in-development new console, codenamed NX. This will be made possible through a common ID system.

A multi-device membership device was previously teased when Nintendo discussed NX, its successor to the Wii U. However, more information on the service was shared by Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata during a recent meeting with investors. Although Iwata didn't provide details, he gave a brief overview of what Nintendo is aiming for.

"The membership service will encompass multiple devices such as our existing Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, the dedicated game system NX, which is currently under development, smart devices and PCs," he explained.

"Our members will be able to visit Nintendo's website and log in with one ID, and they will receive various services including the ones based on their past purchases and gameplay records as well as services that will be an improved version of the current loyalty program."

According to Iwata, Nintendo plans to "offer advantages to consumers who use one ID across multiple devices."

The senior exec ended by saying the service, as a whole, will "make playing Nintendo games with game pals more fun regardless of which platform they are accessing."

To better leverage its IP, Nintendo's has entered into a deal with the global mobile games publisher DeNA to create "new gaming applications featuring Nintendo IP" for smart devices.

Mario Kart producer Hideki Konno has been placed in charge of Nintendo's mobile game development. During the financial briefing Nintendo also said it plans to release five smartphone titles by March 2017.

Nintendo recently announced a return to an annual profit for the first time in four years, revealing the company made a ¥41 billion ($350 million) profit for the fiscal year ending March 31.

As part of the earnings report the company also updated its launch schedule for upcoming Wii U games. Although it was previously expected to be available by the end of 2015, The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is now listed as "TBD."


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Legends of Tomorrow
First there was "Arrow." This followed by "The Flash." Now DC Comics is planning to take over the television screen with another superhero series, "Legends of Tomorrow."

As Rip Hunter in "Legends of Tomorrow," Arthur Darvill has a big task ahead - recruiting heroes and villains to save the world.

Last 17 May, the actor said in a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) chat (to promote his new film, "Captcha") that he is already working hard to get ready for his new role.

"i'm still preparing - i'm doing some gym time and learning to FIGHT. so WATCH OUT," he wrote on Reddit, referencing Rip Hunter's martial arts abilities.

Arthur's character, Rip, is a member of the Time Masters, and the promo trailer showed him working to bring together a team that will fight to save the world from Vandal Savage and his army.

The series, whose cast includes Brandon Routh (The Atom), Caity Lotz (White Canary), Victor Garber (Professor Stein/Firestorm), Wentworth Miller (Captain Cold), Dominic Purcell (Heatwave) and Ciara Renee (Hawkgirl), is expected to air mid-season on The CW.

Filming on the show has so far been limited to just the trailer that debuted in early May during The CW's upfront presentation.

"I really have only filmed the teaser trailer - in the middle of the night - extremely jet lagged so i haven't had much experience with them yet - everyone seems quite good at martial arts - i'm gonna need to get me some lessons," Arthur wrote of his experiences on the show so far.

Arthur said he's "very excited" to be a part of the project from the DC and CW family (whose shows already include "Arrow" and "The Flash").

"I'm very excited to be entering that world! I think the shows they've got already are really good and the scale of this one is gonna be huge," he wrote. "I'm not really allowed to talk very much about it but... the little details I do know are really exciting and its definitely a new challenge and a new type of character for me to explore."


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YouTube Protest
YouTube should not have been forced to take down an anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in the Middle East and death threats to actors, a federal appeals court ruled last 18 May in a victory for free speech advocates.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal sided with Google, which owns YouTube, after free speech advocates urged the court to overturn a 2-1 decision by three of its judges. The three judges had ordered YouTube to take down the video

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia wanted "Innocence of Muslims" removed from the site after receiving death threats. Her lawyer argued she had a copyright claim to the low-budget film because she believed she was acting in a different production.

Google argued Garcia had no claim to the film because the filmmaker wrote the dialogue, managed the production and dubbed over her lines.

It wasn't immediately clear if or when the video would be reposted on YouTube. A Google spokesman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The film inspired rioting by those who considered it blasphemous to the Prophet Muhammad and President Barack Obama and other world leaders asked Google to take it down.

Google, which said those requests amounted to censorship, was joined by an unusual alliance of filmmakers, other Internet companies and prominent news media organizations that didn't want the court to alter copyright law or infringe on First Amendment rights.

YouTube and other Internet companies were concerned they could be besieged with takedown notices, though it could be hard to contain the film that is still found online.

A lawyer for Google argued in December that if a bit player in a movie has copyright privileges, it could extend to minor characters in blockbusters, shatter copyright law and ultimately restrict free speech because anyone unhappy with their performance could have it removed from the Internet.

"The ultimate effect is to harm the marketplace of speech," attorney Neal Katyal told the court during a hearing in Pasadena.

Cris Armenta, a lawyer for Garcia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. But Armenta previously said the extraordinary circumstances justified the extreme action of a court injunction against YouTube.

"She is under threat of death if she is not successful in removing it," Armenta argued.

Garcia was paid US$ 500 for a movie called "Desert Warrior" she believed had nothing to do with religion. But ended up in a five-second scene in which her voice was dubbed over and her character asked if Muhammad was a child molester.

The film drew the attention of federal prosecutors, who discovered that filmmaker Mark Basseley Youssef used several false names in violation of probation from a 2010 check fraud case. He was sent back to prison in 2012 and was released on probation in September 2013.


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The Many Colors of Windows 10

Posted In: . By Kirhat

Colors of Windows 10
Microsoft has just announced that Windows 10 will come in six core editions and arrive this summer.

In announcing the new editions, the software giant reiterated last 13 May that the full versions of Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro will be free for “qualifying” Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year after launch.

Windows 10 for the PC is the follow-on to the widely-unloved Windows 8.1, which introduced a hybrid operating system model, running a “modern” touch interface side by side with a more traditional mouse-and-keyboard desktop.

Windows 10 Mobile, for smartphone and tablets, will also be offered as a free upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft said.

Window 10 editions include:
  1. Windows 10 Home: This is the desktop edition for consumers. It will include the new Edge browser, a so-called “Continuum” tablet-mode for touch devices, and Windows Hello biometric authentication, which uses your face, iris, or fingerprint to unlock devices. It will also bring the Cortana virtual assistant, similar to Apple’s Siri, to the Windows desktop. Cortana is already available on Windows Phone. Universal Windows apps like Photos, Maps, Mail, Calendar, Music and Video will also be included.

    Microsoft will also bring Xbox gaming to Windows 10, which will give gamers access to the Xbox Live gaming community.
  2. Windows 10 Pro: This is similar to Windows 10 Home but adds features for small businesses. These features include the new Windows Update for Business, which Microsoft says can rein in management costs, provides controls over update deployment, and offers faster access to security updates.
  3. Windows 10 Mobile: This is designed for smaller, mobile, touch-centric devices like smartphones and small tablets. Windows 10 Mobile will allow some new devices to take advantage of Continuum for phones “so people can use their phone like a PC when connected to a larger screen,” Microsoft said. This also includes universal Windows apps.

    Other editions are Windows 10 Enterprise for medium and large sized businesses, Windows 10 Education for school staff, administrators, teachers and students, and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise for business customers on smartphones and small tablets.

    There will also be versions of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise for industry devices like ATMs, retail point of sale, handheld terminals, and industrial robotics, Microsoft said. There is also a Windows 10 IoT (“Internet of Things”) Core for small footprint, low cost devices like gateways.
Other changes coming to Windows 10 to keep in mind:
  1. Windows 10 will unify Windows across all Windows devices including PCs, phones, Xbox One, and the new HoloLens smart glasses.
  2. New Desktop: Microsoft is designing Windows 10 so there is a less jarring transition (if the user so chooses) between the traditional desktop and the touch-friendly (referred to sometimes as the “Modern” interface). This includes changes to the Start menu and changes to allow Modern apps to run within Windows on the desktop.
  3. Touch-friendly Universal Office apps will be coming to Windows, too. Early this year, Microsoft announced the upcoming availability of Universal Office apps for Windows 10, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote that can be installed on PCs, tablets and phones.


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