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Author: Alex Hern

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Fortnite players using Android phones at risk of malware infections



Developer’s decision to bypass Google Play Store could have dangerous security impact, experts say

Fortnite players risk becoming victims of malware infections on their phones, following the decision of developer Epic Games to bypass the Google Play Store in favour of publishing the game to its own website, security experts have warned.

The popular battle royale game, which is already available on PC, home consoles and iOS, is now available on select Samsung devices – and will be on other Android phones soon. But in an unusual decision, Epic Games won’t publish Fortnite to Google’s main Android App Store, instead hosting the app for download itself.

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Facebook, Apple and Spotify ban Infowars’ Alex Jones



Major technology firms crack down on US conspiracy theorist

Facebook has banned four pages run by American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for “repeated violations of Community Standards”, the company said on Monday.

The removal of the pages – the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page – comes after Facebook imposed a 30-day ban on Jones personally “for his role in posting violating content to these Pages”.

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From Macs to iPods and apps: how Apple revolutionised technology



Over 42 years, the company has created an ‘app economy’ and placed itself at the centre of it

Few companies change the world, and fewer still do it more than once. Apple is one of them, with a string of products over its 42-year history that have revolutionised computing, upended industries and ultimately reshaped society.

Related: Apple becomes world’s first trillion dollar company

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Tech firms fear regulation nightmare if MPs get their way



Report into fake news could put legal burden on firms such as Twitter and Facebook to remove harmful and illegal content

Facebook, Twitter and Google could face their worst regulation nightmares if the recommendations of parliament’s report into fake news, based on a leaked version published on Friday by the former campaign strategist for Vote Leave, come to pass.

The report is expected to call for the creation of a new legal framework for regulating technology firms, tightening their liabilities and imposing a requirement for them to take down “harmful and illegal content”. It will argue for the end of “safe harbour” provisions, whereby platforms are not liable for content hosted by them until it is flagged to them as problematic.

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Big tech warns of ‘Japan’s millennium bug’ ahead of Akihito’s abdication



Emperor’s 2019 exit will be first era change of information age, and switchover could be as big as Y2K say industry figures

On 30 April 2019, Emperor Akihito of Japan is expected to abdicate the chrysanthemum throne. The decision was announced in December 2017 so as to ensure an orderly transition to Akihito’s son, Naruhito, but the coronation could cause concerns in an unlikely place: the technology sector.

The Japanese calendar counts up from the coronation of a new emperor, using not the name of the emperor, but the name of the era they herald. Akihito’s coronation in January 1989 marked the beginning of the Heisei era, and the end of the Shōwa era that preceded him; and Naruhito’s coronation will itself mark another new era.

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YouTube’s biggest stars trade insults in London ahead of boxing match



KSI and Logan Paul have been verbally sparring for months – in August they will have their turn in the ring at the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena

York Hall, in London’s Bethnal Green, is one of Britain’s oldest boxing venues. Opened in the 1920s, it still hosts professional bouts to audiences of 1,200 people. But in its near-century, it’s never seen anything like the event that took place on Wednesday, as more than 1,000 teenagers queued to watch two of YouTube’s biggest stars – and rivals – trade insults ahead of their highly publicised boxing match next month.

KSI, a one-time Fifa gamer turned internet personality, and Logan Paul, who found fame posting skits on Vine and is best known for mocking the dead body of a suicide victim in one of his videos, are big names on YouTube, with almost 20 million subscribers each. They’ve been sparring verbally for months, and after KSI defeated fellow YouTube star Joe Weller in a boxing match in February, fans began piling on the pressure for KSI and Paul to have their turn in the ring.

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WhatsApp to restrict message forwarding after India mob lynchings



Facebook-owned messaging service wants to crack down on viral spread of hateful misinformation

WhatsApp’s users will only be able to forward messages to 20 people, as the Facebook-owned messaging service attempts to crack down on the viral spread of hateful misinformation.

In India, where false rumours about child abduction spread virally over WhatsApp, leading to several vigilante murders over the past year, the new limit will be even stricter: each message can be forwarded just five times. In that country, where according to Facebook “people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world”, WhatsApp is also removing the “quick forward” feature, a button that appears next to photos, videos and links. The previous forwarding cap, rarely hit by users, was more than 250.

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YouTube bans FamilyOFive ‘pranksters’ after child abuse conviction



Michael and Heather Martin were sentenced to five years of probation last year for treatment of children in videos

YouTube has banned a family of vloggers from its platform, after the parents were convicted over physical and emotional abuse of their five children in the course of filming their popular “prank” videos.

Michael and Heather Martin,who post videos under the name FamilyOFive, were sentenced to five years of probation for child neglect in September last year, after viewers raised alarm over their treatment of their children in videos.

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Mark Zuckerberg’s remarks on Holocaust denial ‘irresponsible’



Facebook founder had suggested site did not need to remove ‘unintentional’ denial

Mark Zuckerberg has been criticised by Jewish groups and anti-racism organisations for suggesting Holocaust denial should be allowed on Facebook because it could be unintentional.

In an interview on Wednesday, the Facebook founder said he found Holocaust denial “deeply offensive”, but added: “I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong … It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent.”

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