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Gaming News

Russian State TV Photoshops an Awkward Smile on Kim Jong Un's Face

June 4, 2018 — by Kotaku.com0

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Screenshot from the Kremlin backed TV network Channel One on June 3, 2018 (left) Photo from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs showing Kim Jong Un and Sergey Lavrov on May 31, 2018 (right)Screenshot: YouTube and Twitter

Russia’s Channel One aired a segment yesterday about Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. But one part of the news broadcast was pretty weird. Take a look at Kim’s face in the screenshot on the left. Kim has been photoshopped to look like he’s smiling. And it’s not even a very good photoshop job.

The strange photoshopped image aired on “News of the Week” with Dmitry Kiselyov on Channel One, a popular TV news channel that’s backed by the Kremlin. Channel One is a bit like America’s PBS, if PBS made veiled death threats against “traitors.”

First spotted by Fake_MIDRF, a pro-Ukraine Twitter account that spots fakes in Russian media, you can really see the difference in the photo posted to Twitter by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, and the photo that was played on Russian TV, which is available on YouTube.

It’s unclear why Channel One would bother photoshopping the image, since they also aired plenty of positive footage showing Lavrov’s meeting in North Korea. But this isn’t the first time that Channel One has aired fake news footage. The same channel was ridiculed back in February for running video game footage during a news segment about the war in Syria.

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President Trump is scheduled to meet with Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12th, and old alliances die hard. North Korea wants to be recognized as a real player on the world stage, and they’re getting precisely that. But countries like Russia and China don’t want North Korea to get too cozy with the U.S., not that there’s much likelihood of that anytime soon.

You can watch a short clip of yesterday’s show here.

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Russia wants it citizens to believe that countries like North Korea, an old friend from the Soviet-era days, would never abandon it to strike an alliance with western global powers—even if state-run media have to photoshop an awkward smile on Kim’s face to do it. But in the end it simply makes Russian media look less trustworthy when they’re caught manipulating photos.

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It’s fake news, as the American president might say. Though with President Trump’s constant lies, American media can’t cast too many stones. Major news outlets are reluctant to call President Trump’s lies precisely that—lies. So he’ll continue to bulldoze the truth, even without the help of fancy photoshop jobs. (Or, not so fancy, in the case of Channel One’s fake smile.)

Long story short? Everything’s bad and nothing matters anymore, least of all the concept of objective truth.

[Fake_MIDRF via Scott Rose]

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Tech News

Amazon needs to get a handle on its counterfeit problem

May 31, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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Chances are you wouldn’t suspect whatever you’re buying from Amazon, whether that be clothing, sunglasses or a handbag, is fake. And, for the most part, that tends to true. But that doesn’t mean you should trust that every product is legit. In fact, right now if you search for “Yeezys,” a highly coveted pair of Adidas shoes, you’ll get over a thousand results that are clearly fake. Two dead giveaways are design flaws and the low price — trust me Adidas doesn’t sell them for $20. The worst part is that some of them bear the seemingly trustworthy Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) label. But all that really means is that the company is acting as the middleman between you and the actual seller.

When Amazon is questioned about it, it tends to downplay the issue and shift the blame to third-party sellers. Legally, Amazon has no need to take down counterfeit products, since it often uses its Fulfilled by Amazon service as a shield against any sort of liability. With FBA, Amazon takes care of the entire transaction between sellers and customers. It stores, ships and processes payments, but the only thing it doesn’t do is claim to be the owner — and that’s what keeps it from being held accountable.

Counterfeit goods aren’t something you generally have to worry about when you’re shopping in person at most traditional and established stores. While Amazon has made efforts to combat this issue, like requiring sellers to get permission from certain brands to list their products, there are still thousands of fakes clearly being sold on the site. That’s the main reason the high-fashion industry refuses to work with Amazon.

The Counterfeit Report (TCR), an advocacy group that works with brands to detect fake goods, has found around 58,000 counterfeit products on Amazon since May 2016. That’s a small slice of the 560 million items on the site, but even a single counterfeit is probably too many for most customers. Craig Crosby, The Counterfeit Report’s publisher and CEO, said that as Amazon’s sales keeps increasing, so does the fake goods problem. All told, the group managed to have 35,000 items taken down, but TCR says that the total number of fakes on Amazon could be much higher than 58,000 since that only accounts for brands it represents.

Crosby added that manufacturers often have to police sites like Amazon for repeated counterfeit listings, which can become a tedious task. Back in 2016, footwear designer Birkenstock said it would stop doing business with Amazon, citing an increase in counterfeit goods on the site and “a constant stream of unidentifiable unauthorized resellers.” Birkenstock CEO David Kahan said that policing “this activity internally and in partnership with Amazon.com has proven impossible.”

That same year, Apple filed a lawsuit against Mobile Star LLC for making counterfeit Apple chargers and cables and passing them off as authentic goods on Amazon. As part of the suit, Apple