Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Hashtag Trending March 22 – Australia to tackle misinformation; Amazon acquires MGM; DC sues Grubhub

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Australia’s federal government wants to introduce new laws to cut down on misinformation, Amazon acquires MGM for $8.45 billion, and the District of Columbia attorney general is suing Grubhub.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, March 22nd, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

The Australian federal government plans on introducing new laws to reduce disinformation and misinformation on social media. Australia’s Communications Minister Paul Fletcher proposed to give media watchdogs more regulatory power over big tech companies. The purpose is to hold the major social platforms accountable when they fail to meet the standards of a misinformation code of practice. The Minister said it is the government’s expectation that digital platforms take action to curb misleading content as they appear, and highlighted the Online Safety Act passed earlier this year. This new set of laws are expected to reach the Australian parliament later this year.

Source: SMH

Amazon has acquired MGM for $8.45 billion, a deal that surprised some as they expected the merger to fold under regulatory scrutiny. Nonetheless, Amazon now owns more than 4,000 movies and 17,000 new TV shows from the purchase, including the 007 franchise. Some new additions will most likely find their way into Prime Video, Amazon’s streaming service. But the company also said it wants to create new releases for established franchises. This is Amazon’s second-biggest purchase. Its most ostentatious deal was the purchase of Whole Foods in 2018 for $13.7 billion.

Source: Variety

The District of Columbia Attorney General is suing Grubhub for inflating prices for diners, among a list of other illegal practices. According to the lawsuit, Grubhub’s “free” online orders were misleading consumers. While customers could make pickup orders for free, the company still charged delivery and service fees if they chose the delivery option. The lawsuit alleged that this charge was not made clear enough to consumers. Worse still, up until recently, the service fee was combined into a single line with sales taxes, effectively hiding its amount. Grubhub has also been under fire for listing restaurants without their permission, and launching unsanctioned microsites that led customers away from the restaurant’s official pages.

Source: The Verge

Easter eggs in software and gaming are hidden features left by the developers for the users to discover. For example, Google’s Android had a different hidden minigame for every major version upgrade. Once in a while, an easter egg would be found in an ancient piece of tech. Such was the case with a new easter egg found in Windows 1.0 launched 37 years ago. Lucas Brooks shared a secret message, a list of the operating system’s developers, along with a congratulatory message. This one was very tucked away. The hidden dialogue was encrypted in a smiley bitmap file. It was so complex that back when the operating system was first released, there were no tools to decode this type of data.

Source: TechRadar

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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