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Tech

The shopping sensation with a controversial twist

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As the holiday season continues, bargain hunters are turning to the Temu app for incredible deals.

Temu’s success story took a grand turn in February 2023 when, at the mere age of five months, the company made its TV debut during Super Bowl LVII, showcasing two commercials that cost an estimated $14 million. With an annual advertising budget of $1.4 billion, Temu is ambitiously eyeing a user base of nearly 100 million people by the end of the year.

What sets Temu apart is its focus on providing ultra-cheap knockoffs, enticing users with Apple Watch dupes for $10, Yeezy knockoffs for $4.99, and gaming consoles for a mere $20. These unbelievable prices, coupled with a barrage of coupons, free shipping countdowns, flash sales, and discount wheels, have catapulted Temu into the limelight.

However, behind the façade of this Boston-based company lies a significant connection to the Chinese retail giant Pinduoduo. This strategic partnership allows Temu to offer products manufactured in China, shipped directly to the U.S., resulting in remarkably low labor costs compared to manufacturing in the U.S. and other countries.

Despite its popularity, Temu has not escaped scrutiny. The U.S. government has accused the e-commerce platform of exploiting shipping rules, allowing it to undercut U.S. retailers. Under these rules, shipments valued under $800 are not subject to duty taxes and undergo minimal customs checks. Additionally, a U.S. House committee has accused Temu of violating U.S. import laws by allegedly using forced labor in the production of its products.

Concerns about data privacy and security have started to emerge. Users are questioning the app’s data handling practices, leading experts to investigate whether Temu is a revolutionary breakthrough or a potential threat to personal information.

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News

Ford’s all-electric plan for Europe proves too challenging to achieve by 2030

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Ford has revised its plan to go fully electric in Europe by 2030, admitting it was too ambitious.

Originally aiming to transition entirely to electric vehicles, the automaker now plans to continue producing some internal combustion engine vehicles alongside electric ones.

Mike Costello from Cox Automotive joins for the latest. #featured

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News

Major Microsoft outage shuts down airlines, news and cloud servers worldwide

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A widespread Microsoft outage is affecting Australia’s supermarkets, banks and telecommunications companies.

A widespread Microsoft outage is affecting Australia’s supermarkets, banks, telecommunications companies.

There are also reports of outages in Japan and the United States.

The ongoing widespread outage is reportedly related to US-based cybersecurity provider CrowdStrike. Its ‘Falcon sensor’ is installed on many business computers to gather security data.

In a statement to Ticker News, StickmanCyber said:

“Multiple StickmanCyber security engineering and our 24×7/365 security operations teams across the country support reports that this outage is related to a CrowdStrike update. 
 
“It is our understanding that any business running versions 7.15 and 7.16 are affected by the outage, but 7.17 seems to be ok. We are waiting on official advisory from CrowdStrike on these findings but doing our best to help affected customers. It’s a lesson to always update your software, but obviously this is an extreme example. IT security tools are all designed to ensure that companies can continue to operate in the worst-case scenario of a data breach, so to be the root cause of a global IT outage is an unmitigated disaster.
 
“Crowdstrike support is offering a workaround to customers. It claims users may be able to fix the issue by booting windows in safe mode or in the Windows Recovery Environment and deleting a file named “C-00000291*.sys”.   

“CrowdStrike is aware of reports of crashes on Windows hosts related to the Falcon sensor,” the company said in a statement on its website.

“Symptoms include hosts experiencing a bugcheck\blue screen error related to the Falcon sensor. Our engineering teams are actively working to resolve this issue and there is no need to open a support ticket.

“Status updates will be posted below [on the Microsoft websit€0 as we have more information to share, including when the issue is resolved.”

Laptops down

Thousands of users across the world reported problems with Microsoft services to Downdector.com, a website that tracks service disruptions.

Microsoft laptops suddenly restarted across Australia on Friday afternoon.

Outage website Downdetector shows issues across companies including NAB, Bendigo Bank, Telstra, CBA, Google.

Microsoft response

As users take to social media to complain, Microsoft reported a service outage for its Microsoft 365 apps and services, affecting businesses and users across the world.

“We’re investigating an issue impacting users ability to access various Microsoft 365 apps and services,” Microsoft 365 Status said on X early Friday.

Microsoft didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.

Frontier airlines

 

The outage forced low-cost airline Frontier to cancel some flights. “Our systems are currently impacted by a Microsoft outage, which is also affecting other companies,” Frontier said in a statement. “We appreciate your patience.” The carrier said it would offer refunds to affected passengers.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Frontier asked it to pause the airline’s departures across the U.S. Thursday night. The ground stop was later lifted. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It said it is “observing a positive trend in service availability” as it continues to mitigate the problem.

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Money

Netflix expands use of ads despite slow subscriber growth

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Netflix is intensifying its efforts to introduce an ad-supported tier amidst a plateau in subscriber growth.

The streaming giant hopes to attract new users and boost revenue by offering a cheaper alternative that includes advertisements.

This move marks a significant shift from its traditional ad-free model, reflecting Netflix’s response to competitive pressures and evolving consumer preferences.

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