The Register: Opera hits back at ‘short seller’ whose report claimed its ‘predatory’ microloan droid apps could hurt, er… investors. “In response to the report, Julia Szyndzielorz, a senior public relations manager at Opera, said: ‘We believe Hindenburg has issued this report with the attempt at creating a situation to short Opera shares.’ She told us: ‘The Company believes that the report contains numerous errors, unsubstantiated statements, and misleading conclusions and interpretations regarding the business of and events relating to the Company.'” None of those errors, statements, etc. were apparently included in the response given to the Register. I’m going to keep an eye on this, as I was a huge Opera fan back in the day.
Engadget: Opera accused of offering predatory loans through Android apps. “Opera has frequently tried to claim the moral high ground in the web browser world, but it’s being accused of using its side projects for far less virtuous behavior. Hindenburg Research has published a report alleging that Opera is running four Android apps aimed at India, Kenya and Nigeria (CashBean, OKash, OPay and OPesa) that appear to be in direct violation of Google Play Store policies forbidding predatory loans and deceptive descriptions.”
KGW8: The Oregonian launches database of grocery store grades. “Unlike other states, Oregon did not have a quick and easy way to get information on how local grocery stores where doing on routine state food safety inspections. That changed Jan. 10 when The Oregonian launched a searchable database that provides thousands of grocery store inspections online. Records are shown for stores that have a retail license and handle or prepare raw food, The Oregonian said.”
CNBC: This developer was surprised that Apple Card didn’t let him download spending data, so he built a fix. “The Apple Card was designed to be loaded into a user’s iPhone, with spending history living inside the Wallet app and transaction data arranged in a colorful interactive interface. But consumers who want to analyze their transactions in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets for tax or budgeting purposes, a tool that many credit card companies offer, are out of luck.”
ProPublica: How to File Your State and Federal Taxes for Free in 2020. “TurboTax and other tax prep services advertised themselves as ‘free,’ but we found several ways that they tricked people into paying. Here’s our guide to preparing and filing your taxes without falling into a trap.”
Search Engine Land: Yelp cracks down on ‘review rings’ as Google continues to see widespread mapspam. “Yelp has almost certainly been the most aggressive of the review platforms to take action against spam and review fraud. The company has historically and controversially tried to prevent any form of review solicitation….Now the company is stepping up efforts to stop ‘review rings,’ which have become something of a cottage industry online.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: State launches more consumer-friendly website with inspection reports on healthcare facilities. “A month after a glitch took the state’s healthcare facility website offline, the Georgia Department of Community Health on Thursday restored online access while launching a new version of the website with crucial licensing and inspection information for thousands of facilities.”