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AM Prep-Cyber Corner

May 9, 2019

IN THE NEWS: FACEBOOK AND FINES

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ever see a delivery truck with a bunch of parking tickets on its windshield _ and realize the company will gladly paying them all as part of the cost of doing business? Some members of Congress are wondering whether the huge fine being considered for Facebook is like that _ something the social networking site won’t mind paying as long as it can stay in business. Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky says socking Facebook with a huge fine isn’t enough _ and that Congress also needs to make sure online companies do more to restore consumer confidence on things like privacy issues. During a hearing on the issue yesterday, an FTC commissioner says for some big companies, fines alone are little more of a nuisance than a parking ticket.

IN THE NEWS: AMAZON AND KIDS’ PRIVACY

UNDATED (AP) _ Does Amazon’s kid-friendly version of Alexa violate laws protecting children’s privacy laws? It’s a question some privacy advocates _ and members of Congress _ are looking into. They want the Federal Trade Commission to look into Amazon’s practice of storing contact with the kids’ edition of the Echo Dot and similar devices, even after parents try to delete them. Josh Golin directs the Campaign for a Commercial Free Children” _ a privacy group. He notes children using Amazon’s Echo Dot basically are, “talking in their own homes about anything and everything.” And he wants to know why Amazon would want to keep those recordings. For its part, Amazon says its Echo Dot Kids Edition complies with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

ON THE WEB: UBER AND DRIVERS

CYBERSPACE (AP) — It’s a balance many companies are struggling to find: how to maximize profits while making sure its employees feel taken care of financially. Uber is trying to walk that financial tightrope as it prepares for its initial public offering tomorrow. The company relies on an army of nearly 4 million drivers to keep providing the rides its customers hail. But drivers have complained that they get low wages _ and since they are considered contract employees, they don’t get benefits due employees. Yesterday, drivers for Uber and rival driver Lyft staged strikes around the country to call attention to their plight. It is unclear how many actually took part in the labor action.

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Online:

Uber site: http://www.uber.com

IN STORES: NOMAD BATTERY CABLE

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) _ It’s a dilemma many smartphones users had: your phone is dying from lack of power. And you have a battery or other power source, but no cable _ or a cable with no power source. Nomad has taken a giant step toward solving that problem _ by offering a charging cable with a battery built in. Nomad’s Battery Cable is a durable, nylon-braided cable that can power Apple phones. It has a high-capacity 2,800mAh portable battery. Even if you aren’t up on what the charging specs mean, it’s enough to fully charge an Apple phone. And to make sure you have the power you need when you need it, the cable restores power to the phone before recharging the battery. The pass-through technology makes the Nomad Battery Cable a valuable addition to any pocket, backpack, purse or car storage compartment.

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Online:

Nomad site: https://hellonomad.com

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2