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Anti-Trust, Anti-Heroes, and Anti-Ethics: The Three Antis of Modern Society
Wednesday, March 28th, 2023
Anti-trust Accusations Against Google... Just Don't Release Our Search Histories, Okay?
A group suing Google for alleged antitrust violations has accused Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google's parent company, of taking a page out of Hillary Clinton's book and deleting incriminating evidence related to a lawsuit. They further claim to have uncovered "a company-wide culture of concealment coming from the very top". The group comprises 37 state attorneys general, two tech firms and millions of individuals who are accusing Google of monopolizing the app-selling market through excessive commissions, which allegedly violate antitrust laws. If these major allegations against Sundar Pichai stick, he could be held in contempt of court and face obstruction of justice charges. Google deleting its own search history is some next-level meta-ness, like we're in a freaky Christopher Nolan movie or something.
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The Gift That Keeps On Taking
Apple is moving itself forward with launching a Pay Later service and moving us backwards into debt trap territory. Their Pay Later service allows users to make purchases with Apple Pay and pay back the amount in four installments over six weeks with no interest and potentially no late fees. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services have come under scrutiny by regulators regarding consumer safety, and Apple's launch is expected to receive the same level of attention. A study by SF Gate revealed that BNPL services are all the rage among Gen-Z consumers, with 73% of them taking the bait. Out of those, 43% confessed to having missed at least one payment, while 30% had difficulty making their BNPL payments, leading to two times more overdrafts than non-users, according to a survey. If you're not overdrafting, are you really living life to the fullest? Thanks Apple!
APT43: Surprisingly Not The Name of Fancy New Vacuum Cleaner Model
In a shocking revelation, Mandiant, Google Cloud's cybersecurity intelligence unit, has outed North Korean group APT43 for using spear-phishing techniques to gain intel on foreign governments and firms to fuel their nuclear program. The group, known as an "advanced persistent threat" (APT), uses social engineering to develop relationships with real people from whom they can harvest private user information. Or in simple terms, the key to North Korea's nuclear program is to slide into people's DMs. Mandiant said APT43 steals cryptocurrency which it then launders through crypto-mining sites to remove the connection to the original source. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jennifer Easterly warns that the Chinese-linked app TikTok could be a potential cyberthreat to the critical infrastructure supply chain. Somehow it always comes back to Charli Damelio and her 15-second Tiktok dances…
StellarFi: Predatory Lending or Actually Really Good Idea?
Austin-based fintech start-up, StellarFi has reportedly raised $15 million in a series A funding round. Founder Lamine Zarrad built StellarFi on the principle that everyday transactions, such as paying bills on time, should count towards an improved credit score. So, for a small monthly fee of either $4.99 or $9.99, StellarFi members can enjoy the luxury of having their bills and rent managed, with the company reporting the on-time payments to the four main credit bureaus in the US. Thus, the company proves there's no better way to improve your credit score than by spending money you don't have. In all seriousness, it's admirable to see Zarrad taking on an industry that often preys on the financially vulnerable.
Ethical Capital Partners' Acquire MindGeek Amid Child Sexual Abuse Allegations. Yes, You Read That Correctly.
Canadian firm, Ethical Capital Partners (ECP), made the morally sound decision to acquire MindGeek, the proud owner of adult entertainment websites Pornhub, Brazzers, and Redtube. We bet they're celebrating with a company-wide viewing party! Ethical Capital Partners secretly acquired MindGeek even though the company is facing allegations of profiting off child sexual abuse material. ECP labeled the company as "the internet leader in fighting illegal online content," like how some would label McDonald’s as the leader of promoting healthy eating. Same, same! Despite the departure of MindGeek's CEO and COO in June 2022, ECP still projects confidence in their ability to run a respectable adult entertainment conglomerate. We're more confident in our ability to juggle chainsaws blindfolded.