Big names and big doubts as Luminary launches subscription podcast app

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. On Tuesday the company “will join Stitcher Premium as the only two large subscription services featuring podcasts, and it hopes to be a friend to everybody in the ecosystem.” For instance, both the free and paid versions of the app promise access to “hundreds of thousands of shows you already listen to and love.” The paid version adds access to “40+ Luminary Originals coming this year.” But there’s a problem… Here’s the hard part Today’s “Podcast Wars” headline was inspired by The Verge’s Ashley Carman. On Monday she reported that “the industry hasn’t accepted Luminary or its …

‘Grassroots’ Facebook Brexit ads secretly run by staff of Lynton Crosby firm

Exclusive: grassroots groups that spent up to 1m on targeted Facebook ads share administrator who works for lobbying firm A series of hugely influential Facebook advertising campaigns that appear to be separate grassroots movements for a no-deal Brexit are secretly overseen by employees of Sir Lynton Crosbys lobbying company and a former adviser to Boris Johnson, documents seen by the Guardian reveal. The mysterious groups, which have names such as Mainstream Network and Britains Future, appear to be run independently by members of the public and give no hint that they are connected. But in reality they share an administrator who works for Crosbys CTF Partners and have spent as much as 1m promoting sophisticated targeted adverts aimed at heaping …

Apple to close Texture on May 28, following launch of Apple News+

A year ago, Apple acquired the digital newsstand app Texture to form the basis of its new subscription-based service, Apple News+, which launched on Monday. As some have expected, the standalone Texture app will soon shut down as a result. According to emails sent to current Texture subscribers pointing to a FAQ on the company’s website, Texture’s last day of service will be May 28, 2019. Existing customers will be offered a one-month free trial to Apple News+ to make the jump. A closure like this was bound to come. It doesn’t make sense for Apple to continue to operate both Texture and Apple News. But not everyone is thrilled about this change, of course. Specifically, Android users and other …

Social media addiction is not natural or normal but is it really a disease? | Roisin Kiberd

We should be focusing on living with Facebook et al, rather then abandoning, restricting or censoring it, says technology writer Roisin Kiberd Is social media addictive? The issue is complex, and probably generational. Its obvious that what social media does to us, especially those of us who are heavy users, is not natural, or normal. Its not normal to submit opinions for approval every day to an online crowd, nor is it normal to consume the opinions of strangers in bulk. Its not normal to live under the surveillance of software companies, which tailor their advertising with such eerie precision that it wake in the night to use social media, or to spend roughly depressed and alone. None of these …

Parents: don’t panic about Momo worry about YouTube Kids instead | Keza MacDonald

One is a viral hoax. The other is rife with distressing and disturbing content, says Keza MacDonald, the Guardians video games editor I first heard about Momo in my local parents WhatsApp group. Someone had screenshotted a Facebook post about a creepy puppet that supposedly appeared in unsuspecting childrens phone messages and spliced into YouTube videos, dispensing advice on self-harm and violent acts. I reacted with suspicion: this would hardly be the first time that something on Facebook was indeed a hoax, a viral shock-story driven by a frightening image and well-intentioned worry about childrens safety online. There have been videos on YouTube Kids with suicide advice spliced into otherwise innocuous cartoons as a malicious joke they just dont involve …

Lawyer for National Enquirer’s CEO denies the tabloid extorted Jeff Bezos

New York (CNN)An attorney representing American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker says his client did not engage in extortion or blackmail against Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. He added: “It’s not Saudi Arabia. It’s not President Trump. It’s not Roger Stone.” Abramowitz said he couldn’t confirm or deny if Lauren Sanchez’s brother Michael was the tipster. Michael Sanchez is a California public relations executive who is close to Pecker, according to the Washington Post. “It was somebody close to both Bezos and Ms. Sanchez,” he said. After the Enquirer asked Bezos for comment last month about an alleged affair with Sanchez, Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced that they were divorcing “after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation.” …