Weather Alert(2)!
"Blizzard Warning" ...Blizzard Warning in effect from 1 PM Monday to midnight EST Tuesday night... The National Weather Service in New York has issued a Blizzard Warning...which is in effect from 1 PM Monday to midnight EST Tuesday night. The blizzard watch is no longer in effect. * Locations...New York City and surrounding immediate suburbs...Long Island...and most of southern Connecticut. * Hazard types...heavy snow and blowing snow...with blizzard conditions. * Accumulations...snow accumulation of 20 to 30 inches...with locally higher amounts possible. Snowfall rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour expected late Monday night into Tuesday morning. * Winds...north 30 to 40 mph with gusts 55 to 65 mph...strongest across eastern Long Island. * Visibilities...one quarter mile or less at times. * Temperatures...in the lower 20s. * Timing...light snow will begin Monday morning...with accumulations of 1 to 3 inches possible by the evening rush. Snow will pick up in intensity Monday evening...with the heaviest snow and strongest winds from about midnight Monday night into Tuesday afternoon. * Impacts...life-threatening conditions and extremely dangerous travel due to heavy snowfall and strong winds...with whiteout conditions. Secondary and tertiary roads may become impassable. Strong winds may down power lines and tree limbs. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities will lead to whiteout conditions...making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If you must travel...have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded...stay with your vehicle. All unnecessary travel is discouraged beginning Monday afternoon...to allow people already on the Road to safely reach their destinations before the heavy snow begins...and to allow snow removal equipment to begin to clear roads. , "Coastal Flood Watch" ...Coastal Flood Watch in effect from late Monday night through Tuesday morning... The National Weather Service in New York has issued a coastal Flood Watch...which is in effect from late Monday night through Tuesday morning. * Locations...low lying coastal areas along western Long Island Sound. * Tidal departures...most likely 3 to 4 ft of surge above astronomical tide. A low probability of 4 to 4 1/2 ft surge above astronomical tide. * Timing...during the times of high tide between 3 am and 6 am late Monday night into early Tuesday morning. * Beach erosion impacts...2 to 4 waves and high storm tide will cause beach erosion along north facing shorelines open to Long Island Sound. A few exposed water front structures may be damaged. * Coastal flooding impacts...potential for flooding of vulnerable shore roads and/or basements due to height of storm tide and/or wave action. Several shore Road closures may be needed. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A coastal Flood Watch means that conditions favorable for flooding are expected to develop. Coastal residents should be alert for later statements or warnings...and take action to protect property. ...Most likely western l.I. Sound water levels for Monday night/early Tuesday morning high tide... Coastal............time of......forecast total.....Flood..... Location...........high Tide.....Water level.......category.. ....................................(mllw)................... Kings Point NY......455 am........11.1-11.7.......moderate... Glen Cove NY........445 am........11.5-12.1.......moderate... Stamford CT.........436 am........11.1-11.7.......moderate... Bridgeport CT.......433 am........10.6-11.0.......moderate... New Haven CT........432 am.........9.5-10.1.......moderate... -- Sunday Jan.25 15,07:24 PM Weather  |  LIRR  |  Traffic  |  Traffic Cams |  Weather News

 

Millions of Dollars of Unauthorized In-App Purchases Made by Kids Results in FTC Suing Amazon

Tech & Science, Family & Parenting, School & Education, Crime, Business & Finance, National & World News

It can be hard for children to tell the difference between when real money is being spent and when it's just virtual play money in ...

Whether kids are online reading stories or playing games on a mobile device or tablet, they can easily be enticed to click on virtual items like “coins” and “stars” that cost real money.

When there’s no restrictions to making a purchase that can easily mean unauthorized spending. This is where the problem lies, and where the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken the lead to sue Amazon in federal court this week.

The FTC alleges Amazon violated the FTC Act by unlawfully billing parents for millions of dollars in children’s unauthorized in-app charges. The FTC claims no passwords or other parental consent was required before purchases were made.

“Amazon’s in-app system allowed children to incur unlimited charges on their parents’ accounts without permission,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez in a press release. “Even Amazon's own employees recognized the serious problem its process created.”

The FTC’s lawsuit is ordering for refunds to consumers for the unauthorized charges and the permanent ban of billing parents and other account holders for in-app charges without consent.

In the lawsuit, it complains of unauthorized in-app charges dating back to November 2011 – when in-app charges was first introduced to the Amazon Appstore.

In March 2012, Amazon updated its in-app charge system to require an account owner to enter a password only for individual in-app charges over $20, but the problem remained where children could still make an unlimited number of individual purchases of less than $20 without a parent’s approval.

In early 2013, Amazon updated its in-app charge process again to require password entry for some charges in a way that functioned differently in different contexts. For instance, a parent is prompted for a password to make a single purchase, but authorization resulted in access to additional purchases within an undisclosed window of anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour in some instances.

Finally, in June 2014, Amazon changed its in-app charge framework to obtain account holders’ informed consent for in-app charges on its newer mobile devices.

The FTC has recorded thousands of parent complaints of in-app charges from Amazon when their children incurred it without their authorization. In one instance, a child racked up as much as $358.42 in unauthorized charges.

Amazon has kept a policy that all in-app charges are final and nonrefundable. Consumers may report unauthorized orders placed for a refund, but the FTC’s complaint indicates the refund process is unclear and confusing with statements that do not explain how to seek refunds or that suggest consumers cannot get a refund.

Amazon also keeps 30% of all in-app charges.

Amazon is not the first to face such a lawsuit from the FTC. A case against Apple, Inc., was settled earlier this year.

[Source: FTC]

Photo by Siukiu903, via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

comments powered by Disqus

Join Our Weekly Newsletter

Sign up for a free weekly newsletter covering things to do, hottest local headlines, and everything Long Island! Read more here or enter your email to signup.

   
     Newsletter Archive
Advertisement
Advertise With Us
 
Open Feedback Dialog