April 1, April Fools, Lying Liars Day, etc., is a day in the US when most news stories are fake. It could be argued some networks this is the case all year. Here are some fake stories.

Amazon retroactively charging for “free” app of the day

Free App of the DayThousands were surprised to see hundreds to thousands of dollars of unexpected charges on their credit cards from Amazon, and were shocked to find that Amazon had updated the terms of service to change the licensing of the programs distributed under the Free App of the Day program.

The text of the end user licence agreement (EULA) was modified several months after the program started to state that the “free” was a limited license to use the application and that if it continued to be used, or if the application was not removed from Amazon “purchases,” the app would be charged after an extended trial period was reached.

Amazon servers were downed multiple times during the night as traffic spiked past Christmas levels.

“Nobody reads the EULA updates, they just click accept thinking there are no changes,” said Magnolia Everette looking at a credit card statement that included a single charge from Amazon that was more than half her balance.

Blogs targeted under RICO act for purchased positive reviews

Arrested and HandcuffedThe RICO Act passed in the 1970s was designed to break up corrupt organizations extending influence via intimidation and illegal activities. It allows prosecution and civil penalties for activities performed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.

The Justice Department set out a criminal investigation targeting several major blogs who were receiving gifts and products with the understanding that a favorable review meant they would continue to receive such review items and miscellaneous gifts, and that an unfavorable review of any of their product would result in their name being on a reviewer’s “blacklist.”

This is the first such time the RICO act has been used to directly serve consumer protection interests, although it has been used before against foreign currency exchange providers when it was deemed a national interest. With most of the tech companies overseas, this is what’s suspected brought consumer protection to a national interest level.

Agent Steve Barns with the TBI said in a statement issued this morning, “We never expected when we began this operation that the end result would be we’d be arresting the owners of nearly half of the major baby blogs and 86% of the larger Apple blogs on RICO charges.”

What this should do for consumers is ensure that reviews they’re reading are based on actual observations as opposed to real or imagined perceived benefits of giving a product a good review.

Small blog owners and operators who “just don’t review tech garbage,” were contacted due to higher than average overall ratings, but are not expected to be affected by continuing RICO efforts.

“We feel we’re being unfairly targeted due to the actions of some of our affiliate bloggers,” said a **** spokesperson.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department stated, “We’re aiming to bring trust back to the people. If you can’t believe something posted on the internet by a seeming reputable blogging source was not a purchased review by a sub-par manufacturer, what can you believe?”

Paul’s looking for geeky baby names

With Star Wars Episode VII coming up Paul and his baby blog are looking for names for his future daughter who will, obviously, be his current daughter’s SITHter.

The idea first came for the Star Wars baby names from an ultrasound in which you could clearly see she’s the Emperor, and another couple that are vaguely Star Wars-esque.

Palpatina?

I’m thinking Palpatina and Storm Pooper at the moment.